Someone asked me once how threatening or disturbing I thought something was and I answered glibly that it was a "a threat level orange on a scale of 1 to Batman". (I so need a graphic for that.) My point being that the question being asked did not make any sense to me as it was perpendicular to the information in question. Like discussing a supercarrier nerf and asking me how it was going to affect the market for small antimatter charges.
So I thought of my little saying when I started thinking of how to write this post. The list of similarities is tiny compared to the list of differences such that comparing them is pointless. Yes, they are both a game played online with and against other players involving vehicles of some sort, but that's it. Eve is a space operatic sci-fi simulator sandbox with a single shard that all players can interact at all times with all others, and World of Tanks is a lobby based death match game where player interactions are extremely limited in scope and duration unless a player goes out of his way to do so.
That being said, we can compare and contrast the Player Versus Player aspects of each game to highlight the differences and which will lead into tomorrow's post.
To recap World of Tanks game play, the main mode is 15 minutes or less battles which pit 15 randomly selected and non-randomly balanced tanks against 15 others in which each side tries to destroy the other or capture their base. You earn credits and experience at the end of the battle, the amount relative to how well you and your team did in the battle.
In Eve, I'll pick a typical PvP encounter in which you and a group of friends/allies start off on a roam through many star systems looking for enemies (or neutrals) to shoot, sometimes catching and killing single pilots or smaller groups which may or may not themselves looking for combat, and occasionally running from a large gang of hostiles, and even more rarely engaging an enemy fleet of approximately the same size and composition. These roams can be short but typically last an hour or two and depending on your area and the other pilots, you may get a lot of kills or you may dock up empty handed. And even if you do catch some ships, there is usually no financial or material gain beyond a few modules on the wrecks, and if your side gets caught you could lose your own ship and modules.
At first glance, the WoT approach appears preferable: instant PvP, lots of targets to shoot, no serious consequence for losing, smaller time commitment, no need to make friends, and consistent rewards even if you lose.
In contrast Eve's PvP roam has slow burn PvP, sometimes no targets at all, you can lose your own ship, you need allies to count on for the most part, and rewards are typically small if any beyond a killmail.
"World of Tanks, sign me up!"
But wait. There is a downside to the easy access PvP World of Tanks offers.
Random battles includes team mates of questionable ability and mental fortitude with almost no compunction to work together beyond "oh, I'll follow those guys". There are exceptions, but you can't be sure how many idiots will be on your team versus the other guys. In Eve, you get to choose who you fly with and in chat and voice comms you can build a pretty serious friendship with these people who you can usually trust to do the right thing in PvP.
The instant battle equal battle and quick resolution means that there is nothing in the way of "Epicness", each battle quickly runs into the last one with only a few bright points coming to mind and statistics being more important than events. In Eve, I can still remember some roams point for point as the thrill of the hunt on a target builds up the anticipation and satisfaction of a kill.
But most importantly, the battles in WoT have no consequences for either side beyond a handful of credits and experience. Nothing is won or lost, no care bear tears, no joy in defeating a superior enemy and taking their loot. In the most intense situations in WoT battles my heart rate did not so much as jump a beat. You know that if you die that in three minutes you are back on the field in another battle and your tank will be returned to your hanger. In Eve there are times I swear my heart is going to jump out of my ribcage when we move to engage a target, and adrenaline shakes come down afterwards. The simplest kills in Eve can give endorphin rushes that last for hours for the casual PvPer like me.
In Eve, because the effort is so much harder and the loss for the loser so much more bitter, the PvP is much more rewarding. That's not to say its perfect, but it scratches a different itch than WoT does.
Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying that Eve is better than WoT and I love the latter because it is a less stressful and more immediate-gratification game. I am saying that comparing the PvP of the two must take into account that they are completely different styles of PvP in the context of the whole game.
In other words, Eve scores an orange and WoT scores an apple on the scale of 1 to Batman.
Tomorrow we'll talk about if and how Eve and WoT can learn from each other.