Like many EVE Online
players, I grew up playing early sci-fi games
and its sequel Frontier
. In fact, CCP
's recently released stats on the distribution of ages within the EVE
community shows a peak around 29 years old
, meaning that most players grew up in that same gaming era. A big part of what initially drew me to EVE Online
was the prospect of playing the same kind of massive trading and space exploration game with other people, and for over 10 years it's scratched that sci-fi sandbox itch. I've watched EVE
grow from a relatively unknown game with around 40,000 subscribers and laggy cruiser skirmishes into a vast game where thousands of players wage war for territory, profit, or just the adrenaline rush of PvP with something valuable on the line.
Now that Elite: Dangerous
is finally here, I want to see whether it can scratch the same sandbox itch as EVE
and to what extent the two games can be compared. Both feature customisable ship fittings, open-world PvP with a criminal justice system, and real financial loss on death, for example, but the end result is two very different gameplay styles. And both also have that same intoxicating notion of exploring the unknown and try to make you feel like you're in a living world, but they take very different approaches to world design, content, and travel. Elite
may not be a full-fledged MMO, but with a sandbox made of 400 billion procedurally generated stars and an open play mode that seamlessly merges players' games together, does it matter?
In this edition of EVE Evolved
, I compare my experiences in Elite: Dangerous
to my experiences in EVE Online
and look at their differing strategies with regard to server model, active and passive gameplay, and the new player experience.