Online: The Second Genesis is probably one of the most ambitious online
RPGs Ive played in some time. No, this is not the first online science
fiction title to come off the presses, but it is one of the first to try
and harness the sheer size of the space environment. Indeed, it seems
that in most aspects of the game "larger than life" is par for the
course. The games box warns that your new life in Eve may be too
addictive to get away from, which may be true. There are some issues,
though, that trip up this game at the finish line. Unfortunately, as
cool as it is to have a massive environment, players may begin to tire
of the cold reaches that make up outer space.
behind Eve is definitely epic in nature. Humans find themselves in a
"golden age." They have become prosperous in their exploration and
colonization of space. A mysterious wormhole is found and dubbed "Eve"
because of the greater prosperity that may be found on the other side.
Thousands leave their homes in hopes to strike it rich in new, uncharted
space. Eventually all these colonists get stranded in new portion of
space named Eve after the wormhole that transported them there. Several
millennia pass as the colonists struggle to survive and grow in the
harsh new world. Though they all started out the same, five groups
distinguish themselves with slightly different characteristics as a
result of their adapting to their environment. These five groups
represent the ruling nations of Eve, Amarr, Caldari, Gallente, Minmatar,
and Jovian. They also are the five races you may pick from upon
character creation. Players may not choose to play a Jovian character,
though, until they have played Eve for some time.
of Eve are interesting in their own way. The Amarr closely resemble the
Galactic Empire from Star Wars. They are haughty, cruel, and extremely
rich. The Amarr make up the largest part of the population of Eve, once
dominating the cosmos. They have since lost a great portion of their
power, but still cling to the old days of their glory. Their great
enemies are the Minmatarr, whom they once held as slaves. The Minmatarr
have since broken free to form a primitive, tribal structure. They are
tough and self-sufficient. Just because they appear rustic doesnt mean
they cant just as easily whoop your butt.
great enmity is between the Gallente and Caldari populations. Theyre
easily understood if you look back to the famous Greek war between the
Spartans and the Athenians. Sparta, as we know, was a rigid, highly
militarized nation, much like the Caldari. The Gallente race, seemingly
patterned after the Athenians, is the only democracy in Eve. They are
highly cultured and articulate, which has unfortunately given them a big
ego problem. They try to dominate Caldari life, but are unable to
completely succeed because the Caldari are about the toughest nuts there
are to crack in the world of Eve.
leaves the lone race of the Jovians. These guys appear to be very
similar to the Borg of Star Trek. They are mysterious and they graft
mechanical parts into their bodies to make themselves ultra powerful.
They have the technology to mop up the galaxy, but their numbers are too
first start out in the world of Eve youll need to choose from one of
the first four races mentioned and go through a fairly comprehensive
creation process. The Jovians will be out of your reach for now. Once
youve chosen a race you must pick one of the bloodlines within that
race. Following that choice you get to waste a large amount of time
customizing your portrait. After you choose a bloodline and appearance
you get to alter your vital statistics. These include intelligence,
charisma, perception, memory, and willpower. Each race already has its
own amount of points in each area, but youll get five extra points to
allocate as you see fit. You continue from there by further honing your
character. You must choose a school to attend, a field to study, and a
further area to specialize in all the while picking up skills. Every
race, bloodline, school, and field has inherent skills tied to it. By
the time you finish youll have a fair amount of skills in your
repertoire. Then its time to get lost in space, no pun intended.
of Eve is gigantic. Pilot your way through constellations each made up
of several systems of planets, stars, and asteroid fields. Each system
is teeming with all sorts of space stations. There you can access the
player run market of Eve along with factories and clone banks to use in
case of your untimely demise. A few space stations are owned by players
who have banned together to form corporations. These corporate stations
have several duties attached to them. The CEO must appoint bookkeepers,
pilots, factory managers, and security officers to keep his/her station
probably guessed, the learning curve in Eve Online unfortunately falls
under that "larger than life" category as well. Players must invest an
enormous amount of time into learning the ins and outs of this game. The
interface does its best to make life convenient, but the sheer amount of
information in this game cannot be denied. In the end youll probably
know more about energy matrix systems in an Amarr frigate than youd
ever want to admit in public.
certainly does allow you to get around the galaxy in style with a vast
number of ships to choose from. Ships are ranked by their size and
usage. Players begin with lowly frigates and can eventually move their
way up to massive battleships. Upon joining a corporation players will
be able to form their own fleets. This sets the stage for some
large-scale battles since corporations are able to declare war on each
interested in combat can save their dough for great industrial ships
capable of hauling tons of commodities, ship equipment, and minerals. I
applaud Eve for providing professions that dont require violent
involvement. The new trend of online RPGs is to provide some obscure
crafting classes. Eve blows that open with several career options.
Professions range from shipbuilding to nuclear science. Those who still
wish to live by the way of the gun may find themselves pirating convoys
or hunting pirates themselves.
the world of Eve is one bogged down by a very slow pace. In order to get
anywhere in the galaxy youve got to pay some serious dues and give up a
massive chunk of your time. Most days youll find yourself mining
asteroids for minerals (the backbone of Eves economy) for hours at a
time. There are other ways of making money, though. Players can get into
the trade commodity business, but that in time reduces you to running
courier missions all day. Even worse you just end up wandering around
with no clear purpose. At this point the games sheer size begins to
bite itself in the butt. Its very cool to be able to sell something to
someone several constellations away thanks to Eves galaxy-wide market,
but once the realization hits you that youve got to travel millions of
miles to get to your purchase that coolness wears off quickly. Its hard
to get excited about having to do nothing but travel for hours at a
time-related aspect of Eve Online that I do like is the skill system.
Skills are raised not by experience hunting for hours at a time thank
goodness. Each skill has five units of mastery. Each unit demands a
certain amount of time invested before it is learned. For example if you
want to train your mechanic skill from one to two units then youll have
to wait for an hour and a half. As you reach for more units the time
demanded becomes greater. That time is whittled away even when youre
not online, though, which greatly helps matters. Want a high-end skill,
but youre going out of town for the weekend? Just set it and leave.
Eve Online is beautiful. Each ship is modeled with a great amount of
detail. If you have mechanic skills you can refit your ship with
different types of turrets, which the graphics engine updates
faithfully. Sometimes you can intimidate a foe just by showing off a
ship bristling with weaponry. Oftentimes outer space can itself be a
work of art. Beautiful nebulas, planets, and stars are pulled off with
wonderful detail and color. The scale is also well done to show the
sheer size difference between, say, a frigate and a battleship or space
station. Eve also sports some decent techno tunes that you can sample by
using the in game jukebox.
Eve Online: The Second Genesis is quite the bittersweet experience.
Fire up the game and youre awestruck. After awhile, though, it wears
off and you have to go to work. Sure you can become just about anything
in the world of Eve, but in most cases gamers just wont have the time
to. Life in this game makes too many of the same demands of real life. I
agree that online RPGs should reflect some measure of day-to-day
living, but in the end they should provide an escape. Eve Online is for
the hardcore gamer that wants to quite literally build another life.