Now and then whenever I’m looking for a new game to play, I load up Steam and spend anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes at a time carefully perusing my recommended games.
(Recommendations. Can anyone tell me a good example of a site that has the “if you like that, you’ll love this” feature? I’m yet to be dazzled by anything. Especially MovieLens.)
More often than not I close the window down again and resign myself to another hour or so on Farmscapes with a podcast playing on my headphones, but one game I keep coming back to and hovering over is the spacefaring MMO, EVE Online.
Pretty beautiful, ain’t it.
And goodness knows I love me a space sim – from my time playing Pioneer to the game I loved staring at as a child in awe of the difficult controls, its spiritual predecessor Frontier, I’ve had a weakness for exploring the outer reaches of the Big Black.
On a grand stage like an MMO, the thrill appears to intensify tenfold, but there are a few reasons why playing EVE Online would be beyond me at this stage. Here are some of them.
My computer could not hack it
Most significantly, even if I wanted to give EVE a go, I sincerely doubt that my computer packs enough of a punch to play it. I bought this thing four years ago, haven’t upgraded it in any way since, and even then it was only okay spec-wise. I can manage a good journey around the Capital Wasteland in Fallout 3; there are plenty of indie games that keep it on the undemanding side, and I’m alright with its modest output. But to play it effectively and for it to even look halfway decent this thing would need to pack a serious punch.
MMOs are a hell of a big commitment
Remember that article where I gushed endlessly about Animal Crossing: New Leaf? How it’s “as gentle and cute as it is fun and wholesome”? How I missed being away from my friendly townsfolk? Yeah, well I gave up on it, didn’t I. It all got really quite tedious after a while. If I can’t even face my friendly townsfolk every day then what chance do I have in a massively multiplayer online game which requires careful planning and strategy? None. Plus, I’ve never played an MMO before and it feels too late to learn now.
I don’t trust myself with that much money
Planning and strategy? Yeah, you’d need that when you’re actually putting your own time and money into building a fleet and defending your virtual property against the space-taxman and his unruly warring empire. The thing about an MMO is the amount of relatively real money you see being poured into them; according to an article I found on QuickQuid of all places, the EVE Online economy is worth an estimated £10 million. Totally not worth going in there in case I accidentally start a massive money war or something.
It appears to be completely inaccessible
Back to New Leaf, but I get the distinct feeling that were I ever to start building my own ship, I wouldn’t get a friendly-looking dog with human characteristics telling me how to start my piloting career; more likely blown up for looking at a warship funny. It’s apparently a common misconception that it’s really tough to start cracking into the game and making serious money, as well as a few friends, but unlike, say, World of Warcraft where you can go raiding with friends, I’m not sensing the same community spirit among those million-pound destroyers trying to wreck each other’s economies.
I can’t be arsed
The largest of all obstacles is probably my own lethargy. It’s sort of a combined reason for the previous four points here, but it certainly all adds up to my enthusiasm waning before it’s even…waxed, I guess. Can enthusiasm wax? Cos I’m about to wax up another game of Restaurant Story on my phone.