Eve Online - Raising the Bar for Terribleness

Friday, August 26, 2011 | 69

I have downloaded Eve Online five times

If Eve Online is the answer for sandbox MMORPGs, the question must have been, "how can we make a game for people who don't actually want to play the game?". In this respect it is immensely successful. On paper, Eve Online seems like an amazing step forward in sandbox multiplayer games up until the point that you figure out that it isn't really even a game at all.

Eve Online is a spectator's MMORPG

If you look objectively at what you're doing when you play Eve Online, you will notice that you aren't actually directly in control of any actions you're taking. You select from an endless array of incomprehensible menus and tell the game to play while you watch.

This is the rough equivalent of dictating orders to someone playing X-Wing vs Tie Fighter for hours and never being allowed to touch the controller. Not only that, but if you decide that you're bored of watching your best friend hog the joystick and you walk away, the game seems to reward you, knowing that you're having a terrible time.

So how do they retain subscriptions?

Simple. The system is designed around one idea: account creation date dictates success. This ensures that the only way for an individual to be competitive is by essentially paying money to not play for years, only to still lag behind people who have not played for more years than you.

I'd make a comparative metaphor about this business model if one had ever existed in parallel in any industry ever, but I am honestly at a loss.

My only assumption is that Eve's subscribers are in fact so terrible at traditional MMORPGs that they have to play a game that simulates letting their more capable friend play for them. There simply is no better explanation for the success of this game.

Character creation? Really? Really?



If you can't tell, I hated this game more than any sandbox MMORPG I've ever played, and it basically ruined the 'Sci-Fi Outer Space' genre for me. I guess everyone is welcome to their own opinion about this game, but if you like it you are probably autistic or something.


  • (-10) Infinite Space (skyboxes)
  • (-10) Like playing with a calculator
  • (+10) Pretty Original
  • (+10) No
  • (+10) FFA
  • (+10) Loot
  • (-100,000) Menu Diarrhea

Final Score: Almost as fun as staring at dirt..


  1. Hey is there a new article coming? Can i reccomend you do Age of Conan? it's a somewhat entertaining game.

  2. Sure. I've been playing Deus Ex despite it being generally horrible. I'll do one tonight.

  3. Been playing that one too. Looking forward to read your review.

  4. Right brother, its like excel spread sheets game. :))
    I also tried EvE like 3 times. The only good thing about this game is that it makes you very sleepy. After 30-40 minutes of killing some bandits or transporting some shit from one instance to another instance I fell asleep in no time.
    Select from menu...pew pew...zzzzzz....pew pew...zzzzzz....

  5. It's almost a game! Not quite, but a definite almost...

  6. 100% agree, it is so sad also. The concept of the game is so great, but OMG. It is boring, I tried to get into the game many times over the years & never could.

  7. I also covered some additional thoughts in MMOSmackTalk's podcast interview.

  8. eve dosent even seem like it was made with the intention of entertaining the player you could sum it up by saying here look at these pretty pictures while we take your money

  9. Your assessment of EVE is...interesting. Did you make it through 5 minutes of playing before uninstalling? I'll be brief:

    You can manually fly your ship. You can simply hit a hotkey to fire your weapons or perform any number of tasks. You don't have to rifle through context menus to play the game. You can grief, scam, ransom, kill, loot, steal, carebear, or do anything in between. It is the only sandbox game with a competent dev team behind it. It's an mmo with *gasp* consequences for your actions. Veteran players only have an advantage in the number of ships they can fly, not necessarily how effective they are at flying them. Yes, a semi-properly functioning brain is required to maximize your enjoyment out of the game. There is a reason EVE is the only sandbox game out there that has enjoyed even a modicum of success since UO.

  10. Don't be mad that you wasted your time on a space captain voyeurism simulator.

  11. Doesn't MS Office have hot keys also? Does that make it fun, not really.

  12. Office is probably more of a game than EVE.

  13. ya i think the reason why EVE online is so popular and so...well...shit as a game is that they didn't put any effort into actually making an engaging combat system. the reason why it is so popular is that it took all the effort of making a good combat system and funneled it into making a complex economy and social aspects of the game, lets be honest with out selves its not a fun game if you don't play with multiple people fighting with you.

    it reminds me of an RTS in the way that if you only have one unit fighting (your player character) then your going to:

    1. die horribly
    2. not have fun watching 1 ship shoot another 1-2 ships.

    it has alot of strategy and tactics involved but ultimately your not going to enjoy the game in the slightest if you are by your self and have not invested at least a week skilling up to fly the not fucking terrible ship.

    in the long run though u have no direct control over your ship, if you can get over that you might be able to have fun, i couldn't. Also copying O-game where you "research" in real time is plain stupid. you only have to play the game for 6 hours the first day you get on to get enough money for a new ship and weapons then wait for a week to use them.

  14. Unbiased review? Really? Really? REALLY? :-)

    Are you really satisfied with this review yourself? This is more like "I tried EVE, but I hate it, I hate it, I hate it and I want to let the world know how I hate it". You missed so many aspects of the game. Some information you are stating in the review are incorrect. The review is short, and compared to your other reviews (e.g. SWTOR), really weak.

    If I would review this review according your other reviews I would have to state EVE online review is terrible. :-)


  15. Hyperbole? Not hyperbolic enough!

    You should have added that EVE fails even as a menu simulator. There seems to be built-in lag - every click of a button has cca 200 ms latency - even if you are docked in the station and are sorting items in the stash - which has afaik NO effect on anything on the server (or it should not).
    Oh, and the GUI looks awful - maybe the look and feel was cool in previous century (no, it wasn't), but now it is just horrible. You are not even allowed to resize the text in most parts of gui which makes most of the letters unreadable on higher resolutions (if you are not using binoculars). But hell, you can always switch to 800*600, right?
    The PvP - well apart of tiresome traveling back and forth across the galaxy and boring gatecamps, sometimes you can have a bit of fun in some bigger fleet if you don't mind you are in fact only a kind of human bot listening to commands of your fleet leader.
    So thank gods for the EVE training system, at least you don't have to play if you want to play EVE - that will surely save you a lot of time and nerves - only for ~20 bucks a month - yay.


  16. See something, say something... Don't let your friends and family try bad games.

  17. thank you for this revyew. I am EVE player and am autistic too, like yoo sed. I fink lots of us are. Yoo r ryte about everyfing and you are good revyewer. But I onlee just red this revyew and Im sad that it is old. Can yoo do a new wun, with more info?

    I wish I cud stop playing EVE, but I cna't. It is horrible but styll I play. I dont undastand why? I like the gfx though - you are rong abut them. They r pretty.

    Plese do anotha revyew to show me the way out. Im trapped in EVE. Help me.

  18. Fixing your review:

    "I played a game for 5 minutes and it was too hard for me. Don't play this terrible game that requires intelligence" /Fixed

  19. Fanboys get me through the day

  20. @Seismic : Your inability to successfully emulate autism, which doesn't cause you to type like a 12 year old girl, betrays a woeful lack of education. Autistic doesn't mean stupid.

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. @Miguelito: I understand that, but I'm sure you appreciate that funny and offensive has more impact than attempting to be accurate.

  23. Worst review ever. Is EVE a terrible game? Yes. In the same way that Democracy is a terrible form of government. Is it the best MMO yet devised? Yes, in the same way.

    It's transparently clear that you have no idea what the game actually has to offer, nor have you attempted to seek out the extremely active community, which is the real "content" of the game.

    Yes, the single-player content is mostly terrible. If you're playing an MMO hoping for excellent single-player content, something has gone horribly wrong somewhere.

    It ruined the sci-fi outer space genre for you? Sounds like a personal problem, and I doubt you ever liked it in the first place.

    "...if you like it you are probably autistic or something"?

    The only thing I can say to this is, if this is the way you think, and you're willing to post such things, then you really should give EVE another try; there's a place in it for people like you: more so than any other MMO.

    Otherwise? A shamefully inaccurate and hopelessly ignorant and uninformed "review" of less than 5% of what the game actually has to offer. So sorry for your loss.

  24. It's always amusing when people expect a serious review from this Site.

  25. Serious is over-rated.

    As an EVE player, I really enjoyed this review. It's funny because there's an element of truth in many of the criticisms.

    "...endless array of incomprehensible menus." - check.

    "...you walk away, the game seems to reward you..." - the EVE 'waiting' mechanic, check.

    "...if you like it you are probably autistic..." - the ability to maintain focus on performing repetitive tasks is certainly helpful.

    Yet I still play. I think I might be broken.

  26. Well, inability to recognize sarcasm and hyperbole is actually a symptom of autism, but I know what you mean.

    EvE online if nothing else is the only successful sandbox MMORPG in history (outside the relative success of Ultima Online). They have managed to grab at a very unique crowd that is capable of seeing only the big picture rather than expecting a game to be fun all the time.

    Lots of people I like play EvE, but I can't justify paying for months of game time before I'm capable of actually "playing" the game. It seems too much like a evil plan to bore me to death.

  27. Except that I've read the reviews, and while they may not be serious in tone, they are all attempting to say something real about the games, and they all succeed; except for this one, which is sad.

    Sad because it's clear that the reviewer has really missed out on something, and if other people give it credence they're missing out as well.

    Part of what the EVE community does is make the game orders of magnitude more fun than it would otherwise be, which is sort of the point of MMOs, isn't it?

    Add to that the fact that it's on a single server, it features truly consequential PvP, massive fleet battles, and all the other odds and ends and different play-styles, and it's a total package of mostly-goodness. More than can be said of just about every other MMO on the market, surely.

  28. @Priest: Sure. I don't take issue with anything you've said, but it seems to me that when people spend more time in a spreadsheet than they are in a game they pay monthly for, they're getting robbed.

    EvE planning meeting:

    Dev1:"Okay, so let's make a game where people pay us money while we give them skill in a giant universe!"

    Dev2:"Do you have any idea how much bandwidth it would take to have that many people participating in giant battles?"

    Dev1:"So let's make it so they don't actually play and we give them skill for abstaining entirely!"

    Dev2:"Are you insane? That is unethical and ter-"

    *Dev1 shoots Dev2*

  29. Oh shit, I need to make a web comic now.

  30. You're not completely wrong about that. What you are wrong about is the idea that you have to skill up for months before you can play.

    Perhaps I'm showing autistic tendencies now, but it's totally possible to be skilled enough to contribute meaningfully to any corp by the time you're done with the tutorials and career agents. The New Player Experience is much better now than it used to be, and actually gives you some pretty cool stuff and skillbooks for free.

    Anyways. You're kind of right about spreadsheets, but I seriously don't even see them anymore. I guess I've bought in to the Big Picture thing and see what the spreadsheets represent, rather than the fact that they are, technically, still spreadsheets. When you start to get tied in to New Eden and its economy, politics, and community (blogs, podcasts, etc.) it becomes worth the price of admission.

    To me. :)

    You should make that web comic; EVE players will love it.

  31. Maybe I'll give it another shot one of these days... Make it 6 times.

  32. Don't go back alone.

    Don't mine.

    Try to stick with the game and a skill plan for 2 months. Will really make a difference on what you can see and do.

    Then admit to me on voice comms that I was right and you were wrong and Eve is the best sandbox you have available to you.

  33. More than that, if you need a group to play with, I can hook you up. :)

  34. My ability to play well with others is well documented.

  35. How to make eve online a somewhat enjoyable experience in 7 easy steps:

    1) Aquire membership in a corp of an alliance in a large power block with lots of monies.
    2) Aquire one of them ships that's part of your respective alliance's fleet doctrines.
    3) Only log in when fleet is going out. <<-- this is the most important part, if you play eve in other ways or too much in general it becomes shit, kinda like that girl that you invite over for a one-night stand but then drag it out for weeks.
    4) If you lose ship, make use of glorious reimbursement program of your alliance.
    6) Hop in new ship, start shooting the enemy again.
    7) Rinse repeat.

  36. Gotta be honest, anon. That makes it sound even worse.

  37. Definitely less amusing than Yahtzee's EvE bashing, but true enough.
    And yet... love this game to bits, in all its spreadsheet glory.
    I'm probably even more broken than one previous poster suspected they are, but I find being finessed into just thinking about the game while your character's docked and training skills is what makes up half the appeal. By the time the skill training is completed you'll be yearning to play again.
    Alright, reading over what I wrote just now I came to the realization that I'm weirder than I thought. Ah well.
    Long live EvE!

  38. I love everything about EvE online except the game itself.

  39. Just thought I'd add this to my previous comment:
    EvE (as much as I love the game) isn't unique. In fact, EvE devs ripped off the preceeding MMORPG Earth and Beyond left and right, and sometimes quite blatently.
    Perhaps fortunately for them, only a small group of devoted players still remember Earth and Beyond, as it got shut off shortly after Westwood was taken over by EA.

  40. Was Earth and Beyond the most boring thing on the planet as well?

  41. There's an emulator and a community of fans and devs right over here http://www.net-7.org/ I invite you to find that out for yourself. Serious article request, complete with bonus points for tying in the possibility of E&B having been responsible for making EvE so boring. >)

  42. I know what made EvE so boring. The secret can be found at ihatemmorpgs.tumblr.com

  43. I hate this game because they love to pester you to pvp in high sec when your not ready for it. Sad but true. I didn't know anything at all about eve and I was flying around high sec just learning about stuff and doing my thing. I wanted to be an industrialist until some dick head blew up my destroyer in a t2 ship. I say fuck Eve. I prey they go out of business and everyone just abandons the game for this bull shit.

    Later, I did get back into it and had to move to another system about 14 jumps away and restart operation. Good thing I had friends I guess, but they all took off on me a while back.

    Since then, I hated EVE when I lost my first ship to a force pvper. They should make a rule, no pvping in high sec unless your war dec and no payout for those who attack players in high sec and force pay all the cost of replacing destroyed ship in high sec as well as all equipment on board and any cargo that the victim was carrying and lost. Bunch of fucking maggots. I love to blow up a developers car in the parking lot while parked in high sec and take off too. Nice car you have there. To those that defend this, let me blow up your car and see how funny it is.

    As for skills you all mention, it take 90 days to max out your core skills if you want to stand a chance to hit something and maximizing your engineering operation for your ship. Another 90 days to max out your pvp skills with the correct pvping ship you want. Good luck. Enjoy the 6 months waiting period and 6 month subscription. Depends what you want to do, you have to be specify in the skills you take to do something you want. Pirate (death to all pirates in real life and in game), Industrialist, Miner, Trade, construction, mission running, low sec fighter, etc. One last thing, you also have to maximize your ship design with pvp stuff.

  44. Boring, yea, it can be very boring.

    Starting with mission running. Run in, destroy everything and come back with a savager ship and collect the wreckage. Most of it is junk and you only find a couple of things that are good. Yea, its boring to collect junk and rig parts. Unless your an industrialist that can make something with it. But give me a break, 99% junk all the time, not even a meta 3 or better and more of them. AKA 3 generation equipment or better.

    Pirating, seems to get away with a lot but sooner or later, people catches on and when they come after you, they come after you in a big way. You can try but be ready to get your ass handed to you. This is why I hate player pirates the most. Especially in high sec. I guess now they kicked them out somewhat, but still.

    Mining, is ultra boring, sit there for 15 minutes mining. I have a duel screen laptop and I watch movies, and play another game while waiting for my cargo hold to fill up. Easy money but you have to contend with empty asteroid belts. I usually open up a mission and clear out the bad guys and come back in my mining ship and collect. Takes forever. The worst part is that your a big bulleye and your just a one shot kill half the time. Don't even stand a chance in a mining ship, let alone fending off a pvp pirate in low sec. Your ship is slow as a brick, speed is lousy, getting into warp is even worst all to let pirates catch you. FUCK CCP. If I want to out run your ass I can. That also go for transports and freighters. Always seem to jam us and keep us from getting away. I can always reenforce the warp stabilizer to the point that I can never be stopped and if you try, it will blow up your ship. Fuck you ccp. I want combat freighter.

  45. More boring, the most you can make in high sec is about 10-15 million isk an hour no matter how you look at it. That's includes low sec. If you do the math on the mining with or without friends, its about the same when you share everything. May be at the most 10% more on average. Not very much. Even with low sec minerals hi value, they are so big to bring back to a station it will still cost you the same amount of time if you were in high sec.

    Driving, yea it does suck, i like to steer my own ship but it's not going to make a difference when firing is 360 degree in every direction. The only thing you have to worry about is Anglicization. As long as your ship turret speeds out turns the enemy ships. You will be fine but if not, your not going to hit the broadside of a barn.

    Spreadsheet, yea, its is a big spread sheet. So is real life accounting, finance, and Wall Street. It can be annoying, but if your going to maximize your profit in this game you have to use a spread sheet. I know it sucks but the game cannot provide all the information for you. I can live with this I guess.

    However, my over all hatred for this game is FORCE PVP BY PLAYERS THAT KNOW HOW TO. Yea a bunch of tough guys fighting players that don't know how to pvp. Therefore, I have stopped playing EVE and ccp is out 14.95 per month from me. I read on another site that there are approx. 330,000 hardcore casual gamer * 14.95 subscription = ccp being out 4,933,500.00 USD per month(59,202,000 USD Year) due to force pvp. I hope the number grows so ccp will go out of business soon. Right now, WOW MOP is getting my subscription fee because I can play the game my way and not be force to pvp if I don't want to.

    Death to Eve online!

  46. Anonymous: Omfg stop whining and don't play EVE if you are a carebear.


  47. OMFG: Eve doesn't want to make more money!!!

  48. if your a dick rate.

  49. Gho'rak needs to get his house blown up and have thousands of people laugh at him.

  50. No pay raises for Eve staff. ha ha!

  51. Gho'rak is a piece of chicken shit. All he can kill is noobies.

  52. 1) Saying that EVE is bad because of open PvP = CAREBEAR = play a single player game and stop whining.
    2) Now if you excuse me, I'll return to burning debris of my house to kill some more noobs, hope it will be you.


  53. Eve Online - the game you play while AFK..

  54. Yeap, eve is not for lazy people!
    If you have ever took some time to understand it, you would know, that there is no Win button.
    You can get a 10 years old charter for in game money, if the "account creation date" is the WIN button for you :)
    That however won't make you better at eve online.
    EVE for smart "spectators", that know the difference between shooter / simulator and MMO. :)

  55. First of all, you don't have to be 'smart' to play EvE. The majority of players just follow the instructions of other players when making decisions. The entire game is designed to trap people into thinking that if they stop paying they'll fall behind (which is true).

    A person who has been paying for their account for 3 years only logging in to update their skills for 2 minutes a day is in a much better position than a player who has been playing for 3 months for 12 hours a day, despite having played less.

    CCP is only in business because no other sandbox MMORPGs exist.

  56. To be honest, its a Game for Nerds and i am happy with that, if i want to Play with a community who wants daily New awesome Content and thinking the Screen has to be explode when you press the iWin Button, then i can go to ALL the other Mainstream Games outthere.

    Eve doesnt hurt any gamers only selfish and arrogant pricks want to interrupt the Fun of this small Community.

    Oh, and by the Way, sarcasm or not the "Review" is just wrong...

  57. The whole idea behind a Sandbox game like EvE is to have new and awesome content every day generated by players, so I'm not sure what your point is on that front. Everything about EvE is pretty dang good, but the gameplay is nonexistent and the revenue model is unethical and probably a bit evil.

  58. This game is one just for the kicks. Its boring like hell. Waiting is the best option sure you can do pve yah all the missions you are doing repeat it self sure there are some improvement when you go up in faction loyalty. But come on not word to do. I think the problem in this game is you need 5 skills. 1=Warping/2=F1 bottom/3=Bookmarks/4=Security Sectors/5=How to login... And that's all you need to do. Pvp is fast if you are not you die very fast. Also you need a ALT or your screw in pvp. You need a scout to patrol the sector. So people with multi accounts are in advantage. If you have money you can do what ever you like. Sure its pay to win factor. The only thing eve is doing right is how "fans keep playing" That's because if you have more than 100mil sp you aint going to quit this game any soon. Because its a waste of money.... And buy X3 there you have better pvp.
    + Coints
    -Very large universe to explore if you don't mind to lose some couple of 100 ships in the progress.
    -economy is running by the players
    -1 server all players have some effect over the game play in eve online
    -Great story`s you can make in eve online
    -A ending is over 15 years playing. so there is plenty of time to play without worry that you going to end this game soon.
    -A noob or beginner with some good research can even kill a veteran with over 200mil Skill points so there is no real advantage over a player.
    -2 levels of space (wormholes and normal space)
    -Yes you can even lose your way back in wormhole space
    -real explorations
    -Real time battles that can let your blood pumping.
    -over 15 side jobs you can do from pvp pirate to drugs cartel
    -You can do what ever you like to do in this game its complete free of any rules except some of the eula rules.
    -You make your own story in eve that can be ass real as you have your first child.
    So in general is it word to play if you handle the boring in eve yes. The 90% of time is more reading and waiting. So its a hard choice.. The real answer is and the best answer is just download the game and make a trail account and just play don't read anything also don`t buy the game yet. Go play trail after that you like it go ask for a 22 days trail a new trail why because now you how it works and speed up your dream after the 22 you buy the game you get free month and you playing for 2 months for free. Without spending real money.
    Sorry for the grammar/spelling not English.

  59. yah I play eve more then 10 years now. he is right you know...... Why iam playing because I got over 400mil sp so if a stop now I'm losing my fame in this game. And not many people want to lose that you know. Its all about you my friends. Trolling a post is not the way to go dude.

  60. I was playing a game called Earth & Beyond when EA closed it down. My whole guild decided to move over to Eve because they offered E&B Players a deal for to come over after the shut down. So i played for 1 year and quit. Probably the most boring game i ever played. And any former E&B player got nothing but crap from Eve's player base.

  61. You serious bro? Open pvp ROCKS but all you do in this game is click and afk to pvp in this game.
    You literally click 1 button and if you got a better ship you win, this game SUCKS.
    Try I dunno any other game with open world pvp and I'd be there to beat you and im sure everyone else would too even literally children (as some kids can be decent at games) but if you can only click 1 button to fight you must be the worst player ever, EVE IS GARBAGE

  62. You heard here from this impartial observer.

  63. Extremely biased, why bother to review a game as a noob? Seriously you haven't even played for a week I'll bet.


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