What better way to start off the New Year than with a free 14-day trial of a new MMORPG? It beats a hangover, anyway. A friend of mine has been trying to talk me into playing EVE Online. One can actually download the full game for free, and only pay a monthly subscription should one decide to continue playing. And since an actual Linux client is available for this game, I figured, why not?
I admit, the idea of EVE Online was intriguing. Most MMORPGs have one take on the role of your typical elf, barbarian, or fantasy wizard, and then has said elf, barbarian, or wizard trek across a monster-infested countryside in search of precious Experience Points. EVE Online instead puts one into the role of a starship captain, who can then mine, battle, or trade his way to fame and fortune. In fact, I gathered that it would be rather like Star Control II, except with no aliens.
So, after installing the correct video drivers, I launched the EVE Linux client and prepared for a grand hyperspatial adventure, or at least a short, rewarding tutorial. In fact, the in-game tutorial seemed to be at least an hour long. I’m not sure exactly, because the computer woman lost her place somewhere along the line, and pops up from time to time with admonishments for me to read my journal, or that I must immediately undock from the current space station. That’s not a big deal, as it’s mildly amusing as a running gag.
As with DDO and City of Heroes, a player will create a network of contacts (called "agents" in EVE Online) who will dispense missions to the player. A successfully completed mission will, of course, result in a reward of money and/or equipment. A failed mission will result in the agent becoming irritated, which may cause the agent to cease dispensing missions to the player. (Just like in real life.) Missions have so far have been pretty typical: kill all X, retrieve Y from X, and deliver Y to Z.
Will this MMORPG capture the imagination of this burned-out gamer? Or will the evaluation period expire without fanfare? The betting pool is now open…