Tuesday, February 4, 2014

EVE Online going free to play

Since I am considering starting career in EVE Online I did some reading on EVE Online blogs and forums and things are not looking good for CCP Games (Developer of the game). Last few ‘free’ expansions didn’t bring much new stuff. And why the hell are they calling it free expansion when they tax players 15$ a month. You are paying every month and then they want you to pay for some update of MMO. In case they stop updating the game it will be dead in few months. But now players are bored as last few updates didn’t give them much new things. Just big talks from the devs where the game is going.

But if only that was the problem I think EVE can survive. There are some more complicated problems. A lot of players are angry at the devs. They may love the game, but don’t like what devs are doing. They are giving some third party site free ships so they can sell tickets to the players to won the ships like lottery. This is wrong on so many levels. They are promoting gambling activities on some ‘fansite’. From all the fansites they choose one to ‘sponsor’. The tickets cost more than the ship you win. You can read more on EVE forums, but it is something that ruins the thrust in the developers.

Another big problems are bots. Just like in Diablo 3 where bots were farming gold 24 hours a day and until you manage to collect 100k gold someone have 100kk gold. For Diablo it s not such big deal because you can play single player and never worry how much gold other players have. But in multiplayer MMO where other players can kill you on every corner the difference between your gold and theirs is important. Also Eve is running for more than 10 years now and the gap between poor and rich is multiplying every day. And I don’t see how they can fix that. They can’t just reset the game and everyone to start from the beginning.

And lastly Star Citizen coming in 2015. While they are different games. In Eve Online you don’t control the ship directly and you have skills to train. While in Star Citizen you control your ship directly and there are no skills to train in game, just your own real life skills. In short the games are different on many levels, but the activities you can perform are kind of the same. In both games you can buy ships, trade, fight, PVP or NPC, mine, explore and so on. With the small difference that for Star Citizen you have to pay once. Let say you want to play with your wife and 2 kids. For 120$ you can play for life (or until servers are running, which is probably 10 years time). And for EVE Online you have to pay 720 $ per year.

Now even after all downs of the game I still consider playing it. It’s just in human nature to try to reach for the stars and so far only one game is coming close to fulfilling that desire. Star Citizen will also fill that niche and may replace EVE. Not to mention its graphic will be kick ass and now some players are playing EVE for the good graphics. And once SC is out many of EVE players will change games. New players will prefer SC cheapness. And CCP Games will be in hard spot. Probably changing the payment model from subscription based to free to play with purchases of ingame currency for real life currency. Not sure if this is going to help them. It will help them to gain more accounts, but will it help them get more cash? Probably not.

So expect EVE Online free to play in 2015.

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