What is Eve Online?
I'll be showing a few videos in this article to help explain to people what exactly Eve Online is, and what it offers to those that are looking to play it. In the technical sense Eve Online is a "Persistent Single Shared Universe, with Emergent and Non-scripted game-play." What does this mean in Layman's terms? This means that when you are playing Eve Online you are playing it with all of the 360,000+ subscribers that play the game as well.
This means that Eve Online is a game universe built around the principles of gameplay that isn't scripted, outside of course fighting NPC's for various reasons. This means that Eve Online is a social game in the truest sense of the word. In a game where every action you make has a consequence, it brings new meaning to this type of world.
One of the first videos I think will help show this better then I can explain it, is the "Butterfly Effect" video as released by CCP Games on Youtube. The video follows,
Hopefully this video helps really get the main point across, that Eve Online is huge. It's a sandbox where you can choose a profession, and choose your own path. A game world were every choice has a consequence. This is what Eve Is.
This Video is what CCP Games wants Eve Online in combination with DUST514 to become, these graphics are current in game technology and not pre-rendered CGI.
How do I start Eve Online?
First things first, unless you are a vary patient person or a huge sci-fi lover, I'd first recommend making sure you have some friends to play Eve With. So look for your fellow TG gamers in Eve Online. As the old adage of safety in numbers holds true in Eve. Plus again, Eve is a very social game and you are truly lowering your potential game-play if you don't at least play with friends at times. As Eve offers a large amount of rather cool content that needs several people to do.
When you start a new Character in Eve online you'll be presented with a Race Selection Screen that looks a little something like this,
As you click on an area of the universe, that specific race's video presentation will play. It explains the race, their culture, shows off their style and the like and you move on to the "Blood Line" selection screen. Now before we move on, race and bloodline no longer have any real baring on gameplay other then the visual look of the character and the starting races ship skill. The Bloodline screen follows,
After bloodline selection follows the new "Carbon" Character Creation system, which allows one to create a full body avatar using drag-manipulation. Meaning that were ever you click on the characters body, you can drag the mouse to mold and sculpt that area of the body. You also have a good deal of clothing choices, hair choices, eyes, colors and soon tattoo's, piercings and scaring.
You'll move to a portrait screen next,
and finally to the Identiy screen. Which asks you to choose a bit of background information based on your bloodline and race, such as your education and who you are and where you came from. This will affect some minor starting skills.
Now that that's done, I'm sure your sitting there and going "Gee Damion, all this is nice and pretty but what about actual gameplay and things like, how Eve supports the TG gaming style?." You'd be right to be asking this and I'm getting to that right this very moment.
So now that we are on to gameplay, I'm sure you are asking some very good questions at the moment. Such as how does one grow in Eve Online? Well to answer it simply, Eve Online is a "Persistent Skill Based" game. Meaning that your character has certain "Attributes" and these tie into each and every skill in Eve Online. Each skill has a Primary attribute and a secondary one. There's a bit of simple math to it, but basically the game takes the full primary attribute and half the secondary adds them together and that's how many "Skillpoints" you train per minuet.
Once you've reached the number of points required to learn a certain skill, you learn that "Level" of the skill. Skills come in "Ranks" and "Levels". A skill's "Rank" determines how many skillpoints it takes to learn each level of that skill. Higher rank skills take longer to learn each level then lower rank ones do. Every skill in the game also has five levels. Each level gives you a liner bonus to something in the game, or allows you to pilot a ship or use an item with increased bonus.
Actual gameplay currently revolves around spaceships in Eve Online, but is soon moving to cover the full body avatar's that I just got done showing off. Each race has it's own style, and technology. Each and every ship in the game also has it's own "role" and "class" bonuses as well that give you a general idea of what the ship was designed to do. At the full end of the spectrum, eve online boasts over 300 ships.
The Fitting Window, first glimpse into "Tactical" Gameplay
is the fitting window. This is the window to the soul of your ship. Listing all the information you could ever really want to know. Such as number of "Slots" High, medium and Low, number of Turret and Missile Launcher hard-points, speeds, sensors, etc. As well as showing a pretty full 3d render of your current ship that can be spun and zoomed and all those goodies.
Your first taste of tactics in Eve online is at this window, fitting a ship for a role in a PvP/PvE fleet requires knowledge of that ships capabilities and this screen shows them to you. Do you want to fit a battleship out as a "Fleet Battleship"? Then you need to know how many long range guns it can hold, how much power they take, etc. So this will be your first stop in exploring Eve Online.
What does eve have to support the TG Way?
Well the answer to that question is, "Quite a few things". First of all Eve Online has on the thee best built in in-game VOIP I've ever played with. This VOIP is run on a different set of servers so even if the game crashes, in-game VOIP will sometimes keep working. Eve Voice is built into every facet of Eve Online. From Chat channels, to private chats to the first level of true organization in Eve Online, The Fleet.
"Fleets" in Eve online are groups of players, grouped together working towards a goal. The fleet system in eve online looks a little like this,
This picture shows the Fleet view in Hierarchy mode. Eve Voice is tied into this window, and allows the Fleet Commander to allow people to speak based on their rank with in the fleet. The Fleet Commander can mute everyone so that he only hears information being pased from the next "Commander" in the chain. That being Wing Commanders and Squad Leaders. Wing Commanders and Squad Leaders have the same power over their individual channels allows in a Wing Commander to mute other Wing Commanders, and everyone but the Fleet Commander and his Squad leaders.
This level of co-ordination and organization is really powerful in a game like eve, especially in Small and Large scale warfare. Now that this article is starting to get rather large I think it's time to end on a few short notes about how we play this game the TG way.
As you've seen in bits, Tactics and Strategy play a huge role in Eve Online in everything from PvE combat to large scale warfare in a PvP environment. Communication, teamwork and professionalism is what wins wars and fights. Be it on Eve-Voice or teamspeak, understanding the rules of the fleet and obeying the orders of the commanders in the chain and the fleet commander are crucial.
Using Scouts so that you have accurate and up-to-date real-time information on enemy compositions, movements, and response to you is extraordinarily important. Using the ships you have at your disposal in these engagements to good effects as a solid and coherent team will win fights, just like we play in our FPS games.
I'm sure some of you may have seen some videos and information about a game called "Dust 514" which is CCP games first FPS. It is at this time Console only, PS3/XBOX360, though it is cross platform. This of course means that PS3 and XBOX users will be playing together on the same server.
The game will be using a micro-transaction model, and will only cost money in order to buy it. Server's will be ran by CCP and will not be able to be bought. So how does this affect TG? Well think of Battlefield 2, or BF2142 save on the Planets of Eve Online, and you get DUST 514. DUST 514 players will be fighting battles on the planets of Eve online and will receive their objectives, and compensation from Eve Online players.
In turn Dust 514 players will be responsible for helping to secure planets, boot out enemy players from planet surfaces and everything you can imagine and I feel that TG needs to seriously think about supporting these games in tandem very soon.
Hopefully you guys have enjoyed this little look at Eve Online, and have got the just of how to get started, what the game offers and how we as TG can play it our beloved TG Way. Any questions comments or concerns can be PM'ed to me and I'll get back to them as soon as I can.
Thank you for reading, and remember, "Be Tactical, Be A gamer, Be a TacticalGamer!"
[TG-18th] Damion Rayne
Eve Online In-game: Damion Rayne, Dark Rising Corporation "You will not see the light when the Dark is Rising!"