Way back in June of 2014 I wrote about Art Hornbie's blog and his culture shock at coming into EVE and finding things were not as he expected:
At first my reactions to these angry posts was the usual "get friends and do things", or to simply ignore them as the ravings of a bitter new player without the patience to work towards a goal. But over time as I continued to read his blog posts and consider them with an open mind, I realized that the issue is not his patience or ability to adapt, its the difference of a vastly different perspective on what Eve could be.I was correct and Art Hornbie left EVE for Elite Dangerous a few short months later:
My perspective, and the one shared by the vast majority of the playerbase I suspect, is to view EVE's storyline and a lore as merely a backdrop to the actions and machinations of the player constructed entities, be they high sec manufacturers or null sec coalitions. I've often said that in EVE the players are the end game content and that roleplaying in EVE doesn't exist because players live the roles and don't need to play-act them.
On the other side, we have Art Hornbie and I'm going to try and paint what I think his perspective is. Imagine watching a show you love for years and getting a chance to visit the set. You walk down the street and decide to walk into a store and discover that inside the door the building is empty. Not just unfurnished, but a shell representing a store and not really a business. And the next house is also fake, like those ghost towns they used to build for nuclear tests. In fact, every building is a placeholder for a real business or home or utility but on the inside they are merely facades, painted to look the real thing but are not.
If you approach EVE as a living and vibrant sci-fi operatic universe filled with millions of souls moving in cohesion or conflict, and the players are mere actors in this milieu, then you are going to be sorely shocked to discover its all a two dimensional backdrop to the players that occasionally gets a new coat of paint or picture but is static and unresponsive the rest of the time. Don't bother looking for a man behind the curtain, the curtain hides only a brick wall.
This disappointment is further compounded by a game that continually gives more power to the players, which if you are a "players are the endgame" proponent is a good thing, but can be frustrating for a newer player who sees only the resources fought over and gobbled up by the string and/or numerous, leaving scraps (if anything) to the casual newer players.
And from that perspective, I can see why Art Hornbie writes what he does. I don't know if I agree with it and I definitely thinking he's tilting at windmills, so I'm patiently waiting for the "I'm Quitting" post albeit with a bit of sadness. Its possible the game Art expected and wants might have been a fun game if the technology could be built to allow it.
But its not EVE.
Well, after reading the CSM minutes, I plunked down my money for Elite:Dangerous. E:D's idea of billions of stars to precariously explore and frolic in appeals to me.Consider this a cautionary tale for November and the possible incoming wave of Alpha players looking for a vibrant game they can plug into easily, or resources they can exploit alone or in small groups, and facing the same disappointment and uphill struggle Art Hornbie faced.
I've written before about how much fun it is to build things from scratch in Eve. Go out get the blueprints, harvesting the materials, assembling all the pieces and building a thing-a ma-jig. It's all fun until you realize that raw moon resources are all spoken for. Monopoly of content by those who have gone before stopped we newer players, me and my corp mates, dead in our tracks. And I've written about that ... extensively.
So the wide open opportunities that I presume are inherent within E:D are simply begging for me to discover and explore. A space game with actual space.
Eve doesn't have any much needed infinite-growth inhibitors so everything gets taken and monopolized by the few large constructs. In E:D, who cares! We'll just get what we need somewhere else; or, we'll simply operate on some fringe performing up to our capabilities. No more ghetto, no more content exclusion.
I'm looking forward to some real E:D space exploration of a logically laid out universe and discoverable resources. I expect I'll still Eve a bit, maybe.
Maybe I'm approaching one of those walk-away moments that I've read so much about. It's too bad, really, as the Eve Online sci-fi universe is so full and evolved. Wish it was actually part of the game.
Anyway, we all try new games from time to time. Since I'm a one-game kinda guy I'll be largely absent from Eve while I explore E:D. But I'll be checking in every once in a while to see if any content opens up for the progression of newer players.
Looking forward to the future of both games ... but more so for E:D atm as Eve has lost its way.