Posts tagged ‘EVE online’

12/01/2012

My Top 5 songs to play EVE Online to.

I love EVE Online. Nothing beats chasing down a pirate, and giving him a hot depleted uranium enema. But just as important as having the right weapons payload is having just the right set of tunes on your media player while you do it. So here are my own personal favourites to listen to while playing, along with the situations they’re best suited to.

5. Night Ranger – The Secret of my Success.

Originally used in the soundtrack to a wonderful Micheal J. Fox movie of the same name, I find this piece of music most conducive to making vast sums of money by playing the in-game market. Though admittedly I usually get distracted by something shiny and explodable before I make much money at all.

Best listened to screaming “GREED IS GOOD…BOOMS ARE BETTER!”

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLv6RjnyvVc%5D

4. Heather Alexander – March of Cambreadth.

Any one who has read John Ringo’s Legacy of the Aldenata is familiar with this one. Filled from beginning to end with crazy piping, heart pumping vocals, and one of the best choruses ever screamed by a transgirl on an exercise bike, this is the song to play when you send your destroyer screaming in for a knife range fight with a dozen pirate frigates.

Best listened to while slaughtering everything around you.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCrnF844_ww%5D

3. Bif Naked – I Love Myself Today.

Sometimes even in a computer game a girl just has to stand in front of a mirror, and consider a new look. A change of hair style, maybe a new color of lipstick…well whatever the change may turn out to be nothing helps get those “Damn I look good!” juices flowing like this gem from the delicious Bif Naked.

Best listened to naked while dancing in front of a mirror, and singing into the hilt of a sword, because you couldn’t be bothered to find a hairbrush. (yes I know that description is worryingly precise.)

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdpJh_zc6k8%5D

2. Blue Oyster Cult – Veteran of the Psychic Wars.

For everyone the day dawns when the battle is going against them. No matter how well set up your ship is, or how quick you are getting the right commands clicked. It just so happens that the bastard in the other ship has you outgunned 3 to 1, out-masses by 10 to 1, and has reinforcements on the way. You’re screwed, you can’t escape, and your clone hasn’t been updated so you’re going to lose weeks of character building. Those are the “everything has gone to hell moments.” Those are the moments tailor-made for this treasure from the back catalogue of one of the rock greats.

Best listened to when your back’s to the wall, and you know the gods of EVE have decided you’re time to suffer has come. But don’t worry you can go out swinging and come back for vengeance later.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mWGmzduYnU%5D

1. Within Temptation – Stand my Ground.

Sure for some this is a game of commerce, for others a way to make-believe exploration fantasies. For me it’s all about finding those Thermopylae moments. The one against many. Swooping in between some waste of genetic material, and the total newb he’s been torturing for hours, then opening up with everything you have. It’s like most MMO’s a way to let out that inner warrior, without winding up in prison with the nickname “Glove”. Well for those moments, when you find a set of Hot Gates to stand at, and someone worthy to protect for a few moments nothing I’ve found beats this wonderful piece of music by Within Temptation.

Best listened to while kicking some cyber bullies testicles so high that he’ll speak with a squeak for the rest of his gaming career.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sCkAvh50Vs%5D

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23/06/2011

EVE Online, first impressions.

As I wrote last week, after a few years of Warcrafting, I’ve switched to playing EVE Online as my main MMORPG.  Well so far because of delays in receiving my copy of the game, and a major game update, I’ve only managed to play for a grand total of three hours.  But those three hours have been some of the most enjoyable gaming hours I’ve ever had.

I’ve played around with the idea of playing EVE more or less since it came in existence.  Initially I didn’t join in because my PC was a lumbering dinosaur.  With 500mhz of processing power, 63mbs of ram and a miniscule 10 gigabyte hard drive, it struggled to play anything at all.  So EVE was out of the question.  Even after I later upgraded, well at 900mhz it was an upgrade for me, I still couldn’t have played EVE.  Besides I was busy playing my way through half a decades worth of other games.  But even after I did get a machine that would run EVE I didn’t play, not even on the free trials.  And I don’t regret that at all.

Why?

Well three days ago I finally had a three-hour play session.  It was polished, well thought out, fun, beautiful to look at, and above all else had a built-in tutorial, which made learning the basic control and gameplay reasonably easy but above all else, very enjoyable.  I’m happy I waited so many years to play because I am now playing a very nice product.  Of course my long wait has some detrimental effects, the main one being that I will never, ever, catch up to the big boys, who have played since the beginning.  But while they had to spend years dealing with a game which was essentially half-developed when it was launched, I believe I’ve started at just the right time, for maximum enjoyment.

So all that said, what are my first impressions of EVE Online?

Firstly bear in mind that I have had three hours of play time.  That means that I’ve done the tutorial and two extra missions, so I’ve only barely scratched the surface of what is very obviously an incredibly deep game.

Secondly, the entire game client had a major update last night.  This means that in all likelihood, I will end up starting a second character, just to experience the new updated tutorial.

So those two facts mean that my first impressions really are nothing more than that, first impressions.  But I have to say that they are very, very good first impressions.  Let’s start with the graphics, they’re gorgeous.  To date I have only played one space based role-playing game with graphics to match EVE, X3 – Terran Conflict.  They’re smooth, beautiful, with so far at least absolutely no glitches.   Because the system requirements for EVE are so low even my slightly elderly, Radeon HD 4800 video card, can run EVE at maximum settings.  The ships are works of art, from the smooth flowing lines of the Calderi warships to the rough ‘garden shed with an engine strapped to the back’ look of the Minmatar fleet, the attention to detail in this game is nothing short of a wonder to behold.

The sound is pretty good, a little above average.  The in-game ambiance music is bearable and the sound effects and beautifully crisp.  It may not be quite as beautiful to listen to as it is to look at, but EVE is still no slouch where it’s audio is concerned.

In fact one of the nicest features of EVE, is sort of part of its audio existence.  It has a built-in MP3 player.  I know that these days that probably seems like small potatoes to most of you reading this, but for me this is one of my favourite things about EVE.  Whenever I play games I either play them in silent mode while I watch the television, or I listen to something loud and violent.  But that usually means having a separate MP3 player running in the background.  And, that, means switching back and forth to change playlists or to pause my music to answer phone calls.  So a built-in player with in-game controls is a nice thoughtful addition to any game, but especially a game as immersive as this.

Which brings us nicely to the gameplay.  Well it can be summed up with just one word, complex.  Seriously, seriously complex.  The controls are pretty intuitive, your mouse controls the camera, left click confirms choices and right-click runs a drop down contextual menu where most of the important controls are hidden.  The keyboard is a huge mass of shortcuts to various controls.  So lot’s of controls, but as I said they’re all pretty self explanatory when you read them.  The complexity comes in when you realise that this game is not set on rails.  It’s a genuine sandbox, where you choose where to go and what to do.  Want to be a pirate, well then be a pirate.  How about a miner?  Yup, you can do that too.  But, to do it effectively you have to train your character accordingly.

Let’s say you want to play a pirate, who flies a destroyer built by a specific faction, armed with a specific set of weapons and some electronic warfare gear.  So right off the bat, you have to train to fly a destroyer, a destroyer by that faction, those weapons and electronic warfare pieces.  More than that though you have to train you character to a point where she can actually learn those skills.  You have to find the ship for sale, or build it.  Develop the right reputation with the right people to buy the ship and the equipment.  Of course all this takes time, money and effort, but with how quickly you can train the first few levels of each skill you can get into the action very quickly.

Well so far my main impression of EVE is extremely good.  It seems well thought out.  It seems to be a deep game that can be played in as many ways as your own imagination can create for you.  What it definitely is up to this point, for me at least, is fun and relaxing.  So, all in all, it seems to be a wonderful MMORPG.  And in some ways perhaps I’ve finally found the role-playing game of my dreams, one where your destiny truly is your own to create.  A true second life, which is as rewarding and enjoyable as you yourself make it.

Play time will tell and when I have an answer, expect a second part to this review.

16/06/2011

From Azeroth to New Eden – my journey to the worlds of EVE Online.

Having played WOW (World of Warcraft) from just shortly after the WOTLK expansion (Wrath of the Lich King) launch, I felt I was lucky enough to play it in a golden age. It was challenging, playing a Marksman Hunter while extreme soloing and general raiding was wonderful. Everything felt, right I guess, a little simple but right. Then Cataclysm launched and…well I leveled, played all the dungeons at both levels and slowly lost my mind.

The game I loved for three years is now inhabited by wall-to-wall kid-iots, old-time players who have this insane sense of entitlement, worse still mana vanished, extreme soloing became so easy that all challenge had vanished. In short I was bored to tears and only my close friendship with a few of my guild-mates kept me there. But frankly I’ve had enough. Aside from a lowbie character to play with my lil sister and the occasional dungeon or raid session with my guildies,  I’m done.

So what has this to do with EVE? Well like a lot of gamers, I’ve toyed with the idea of playing EVE from time to time. Monday was one of those days, so I went onto Amazon, just to price a DVD copy.  I prefer a DVD installation to downloading, much the same way that while I have an e-book reader, I prefer the feel of real paper in my hands.  I’m just an old-fashioned geeky goth-girl I guess.  Anyway while I tried to get Amazon to give me a price in Euros, I accidentally ordered a copy of EVE, for what turned out to be less than the amount I spend on chewing gum most weeks.

Aha Fate!  I could have cancelled the order but, I didn’t.  Which begs the question, Why?

Put plainly I need a challenge.  On the hardest setting I have almost finished Crysis after less than two weeks of very casual gaming.  WOW is no longer any sort of challenge.  Star Trek Online became boring after I ran through what felt like the same mission, for the umpteenth time.  And yet there’s one game which has successfully kicked my ass over and over for years, X – Beyond the Frontier.

This game was launched approximately at the same time as EVE and despite X being a single player game and EVE being a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) they have a lot in common.  They are both set in distant parts of space with you cut off from Earth, in EVE’s case for thousands of years.  They both have huge strategic elements, as well as tactical action, trading and exploration based aspects.  Indeed many moons ago, when I asked a friend what EVE Online was like he told me it was like “X with other players, griefers and the an even more complex set of control panels.”  Yes he really did talk like a computer magazine reviewer writes, a slightly odd guy.

Well from everything I’ve read, as well as everything I’ve been told by other gamers, EVE will be a challenge.  I will lose ships.  I will get my ass handed to me over and over.  I will struggle to create a successful character.  And I will get head-bangingly frustrated sometimes.

I can’t wait.  But while I have to wait for the postal service to get my copy to me, I think it’s time to make up some EVE playlists, you know just because.  I think I’ll start with some Heather Alexander, hmm maybe some Queen.

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