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January 23, 2009



The more I read about it, the more I think EVE is the sort of place that I'd get sucked into pretty easily. Too bad I'm not on the subscription boat. Maybe I can plot out a way to do the whole "cash card" thing... but I'm disinclined to start with the sub seed money, and at some point, as it did in Puzzle Pirates, it would just turn out to be like another job, maintaining the "subscription machine", so I'd drop it.


Alysianah aka Saylah

@Tesh - Yes, I think it would start to feel that way. A one month time card goes for like 500+ million ISK. You have to be a serious and regular player to do that each month.

What are your favorite no-sub games? I'm not a Puzzle Pirates fan and DOMO didnt do anything for me either but am interested in seeing what else others are playing that might click with my style.


I presume you're talking about online gaming, preferably of the MMO variety? I've got Guild Wars and W101 in the rotation at the moment, dabbling in Puzzle Pirates now and then. Other than that, I'm also kind of hunting around. I had a good fling with Atlantica Online... but ultimately, I don't really play one single game for that long. I don't really get personally invested in games like WoW, so I don't play long-term; I explore the content, play through the fun parts, then move on. I don't have time to spare on the loot treadmills and PvP that typically consist of the long term plans for MMOs. Yes, markets are fun for a while, but not worth the maintenance in the long run.

Have you tinkered with Whirled yet? It's from the Puzzle Pirates people, and it's pretty much another minigame suite rather than a "world", but the key is that it's mostly user-generated content. Some will inevitably be lame, but there are some gems there.

I'm still hunting around as well, actually. I'm less interested in finding an MMO "home" as I am in finding fun content to be consumed, though. I have a real home, and I find that's more than enough of a time sink to prevent a "second life" from being something I want to indulge in for more than a few months at most.

Alysianah aka Saylah

Yes, I meant MMO. If I could find a single MMO home, I'd opt for that. I'm not one for game hopping. At least I wasn't until my recent grind fatigue. I do like to be invested in the experience. To me it's like reading an interactive story or running around inside a pop-up book, which is why puzzle games don't appeal to me. I've never touched the mini-games in W101 as that's not my thing either. The other nice thing about W101 is it's opened my eyes about judging games by the cover, subscription model or presence of RMT.


I guess my main point is that "grind fatigue" is inherent in a game designed for the subscription grind. The whole point is to keep you playing, not by providing a steady stream of new and interesting content, but by stretching existing content as far as it can go.

I was sold initially on the MMO genre for its concept of a living, dynamic alternate reality. So far, the genre as a whole has devolved into pretty treadmills to keep people playing. It's a bitter corruption that I see as wholly driven by the subscription model and the need to maximize returns with minimal dev effort.

If there were an MMO that were truly dynamic that made for an interesting and changing experience constantly, based on player actions and consequences, then I might find it to be enough to maintain my interest. I'd still have a hard time justifying spending a monthly fee for it when I don't have dozens of hours per month to play, but at least it would realize the potential of an MMO more fully, and I'd not feel the urge to meander quite as much.

Alysianah aka Saylah

Noodling on the comment on you posted on your blog about service vs. product, from preliminary information about Free Realms, that might be more toward services than a product. It seems like lots of plug-and-play content/experiences that you can move through but are not tied to any one in particular. As long as it's not too heavily focused in mini games that might be a nice place to land for a bit.

I agree that on the whole, MMOs have not lived up the possibilities of dynamic and consequential existence within the content of a virtual world.


Aye, I'm looking forward to Free Realms. I'll also probably check out The Agency. I've heard A Tale in the Desert is good, but haven't spent much time researching it yet... mostly because it has a sub cost.

I guess I just can't see any current MMOs offering a service worthy of payment in my mind. Certainly some people do, and I don't begrudge that. I see content I'd be happy to pay for (like my oft-repeated plea for a packaged offline WoW), but no *services*.

What services I do find some value in are matchmaking, market actions and data maintenance. The market is part of why I see EVE as being interesting. It's a bit like paying a fee to play a virtual Wall Street, which I'm sure some people do. Then again, Wall Street trades are often monetized per trade, not per unit of time.

Like the choice to pick a Gallente because that race matches your EVE goals, I make MMO picks based on whether or not they can satisfy my monetary and entertainment demands. WoW and EVE itself match my entertainment goals in large part, just not the monetary ones. :)


Cruiser will do any level 2 mission with ease Saylah. The destroyer is kind of a side step rather than a necessary requirement. Dessies are very nice for salvaging as other folk have pointed out but I must admit to having two minds about salvaging. It is very lucrative but also very boring.

Alysianah aka Saylah

@Tesh - Besides the environment for The Agency not being one I'd choose, I worry about the necessity of a static group to be effective. That doesn't work very well for me.

@mbp - So you think that at L2 there wouldn't be missions that prohibit the use of the Cruiser? That's the only reason I'd get on other than salvaging. That last mission in a Tristan just about tested the limits of what I can pull out of a hat soloing in that rig without the doing the warp away, repair then go back which is too time consuming on top of doing the salvaging.

Salvaging certainly isn't entertainment but it's easy and consistent money. Plus if I dabble in a little crafting for myself the salvaged items will come in handy.


My interest in The Agency is twofold. One, I'm hoping that it shows a market for skill based MMOs, rather than the treadmills, and two, I'm hoping that it shows a market for its monetization scheme. I'm not terribly interested in the spy action, but I see it as an experiment that I want to succeed. That's the first I've heard of a static group, though, and that is potential trouble. :(

I'm also keeping an eye on Gatheryn as a steampunk inspired world. I'd also like to see if Jumpgate Evolution diverges from the Elite/Privateer/Freelancer lineage and EVE enough to be interesting.

I guess that a game that I'd want to call "home" would have to be one with player power, player skill, a nice crafting/economy suite and great lore/visuals. That's part of why EVE looks interesting.

Alysianah aka Saylah

@Tesh - I vaguely recall reading something about needing groups for missions. I remember thinking that it sounded very DDO-like in that regard which concerned me.

I've also kept a very casual eye on Gatheryn. After running around Marleybone in W101 which is clearly steampunk, it raised my level of excitement for a full SP MMO. I'm hoping they pull if off successfully.


@Saylah & mbp - Yep Level 2's are cruiser level missions and I don't know of any that prohibit cruisers. The basic progression is: Level 1: frigate (with dessy making them easy mode). Level 2: cruiser. Level 3: Battlecruiser. Level 4: Battleship.

One of the sneaky tricks for salvage is that Angel and Sansha (and bloodraider?) are the valuable NPCs to salvage (alloyed trit bars and melted capacitors respectively) so one trick is to only salvage those missions that have a chance to have really valuable salvage. Another trick is to fit out a specialized ratting destroyer for use in minmatar/anmatar or amarr space which is 6 long range guns and tractor/salvager and rat in the belts instead of missions (find a nice big system in 0.5 space with a lot of belts for best results)

Alysianah aka Saylah

@Letrange - great tips. Although I'm doing missions to eventually have jump clones. Don't you have to earn reputation with them for jump clones? So far I'm sticking to only two factions and working on only that reputation. ISK isn't a bit deal right now. I don't lose ships so I'm more interested in the benefits of doing missions than random killing and looting. I might feel differently once I start FW and have to fund ship replacements. :-)


@Saylah - Jump clones: Personal standing of 8.0 or corp standing of 8.0 with the npc corp involved (make double sure you're working on an npc corp who's stations have medical services). Congratulations on finding where the "grind" is in EVE. There are tricks. If you're in a hurry to get a jump clone you can simply join a corp that has JC access, get your clone and leave (the corp my alt is in has this facility). You don't even need corp access rights. As a bonus you don't begin to affect the corps standings till after you stay a downtime. Getting jump clones is not really a big deal per say. Of more interest to your future cash flow is getting good standings for eventual research agent use. Conservatively you should be able to generate a few million isk a day from 5 research agents. This is with almost no effort, just running around twice a month picking up datacores to put on the market. (this reminds me I NEED to get the skill that allows more than one research agent... but I digress).

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