4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Eve Online: Starter Pack [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
A great game. It's not for everyone though. The gameplay is fairly daunting and you REALLY need to go through the 2 hours or so of tutorials (the exploration one especially takes awhile to get the hang of probing) to have a good base for understanding the game. On the plus side, these tutorials ultimately give you several million isk starter cash (a goodly amount for a newbie), skill books, starter implants, a few different varieties of ships to play around with, several varied pieces of equipment and give you the opportunity to try out the basics of the more common avenues of gameplay from mining, manufacturing, combat, exploration, trade.
All the stories about ganking, scamming, and the games learning curve (not quite as bad as it used to be, but still pretty high) are all very true and accepted parts of the experience, and thus this might not be the best game for the inattentive or overly trusting, but it does add a degree of excitement found lacking in most other MMO. Skill development is done at a constant rate whether you're logged in or not, making it an attractive game for those without a lot of free time to grind levels. And high skills allow you to gain money more quicker from whatever avenue you choose to follow allowing you to get into ships quickly once you've the skills to fly them. There is no level cap (would supposedly take 20+ real-time years to max every skill in the game), and thus your character is in a constant progression, but due to the limit advancement of individual skills (they go from 1-5), long time players don't have a massive advantage over a newbie like happens in most other MMOs, except in raw experience at playing the game. In a few weeks, if you focus training on a particular playstyle, you can be running close to par with vets.
The game also sports an interesting design choice in the form of PLEX. This is an in-game item that when used adds 30 days to your account and can be bought in-game with in-game money. These are bought by people willing to spend real money to make in-game money. This means that once your chosen area of expertise reaches the point where you can earn enough ISK to buy PLEX regularly, you can play for free. While it's possible to make enough to earn a PLEX during a trial and upgrade totally for free, it's unlikely (currently they run about 500 million which is A LOT for a new player, and remains substantial for a while until you learn the game) and requires either a lot of luck, or a good understanding of playing the market. OR a willingness scam people mercilessly.
The "end-game content", or the closest thing Eve has to it, usually involves inter-corporation warfare. And no that doesn't imply that PVP is all you do. Corporations need mining fleets, manufacturers, researchers, trade and shipping masters, spies, scouts, saboteurs etc in addition to the soldiers holding their front lines to maintain their holdings or replace loses without bankrupting themselves buying through the market.
Another interesting thing about the game's economy is that everything except skillbooks and a handful of specialized equipment are made by players, who either farmed the materials themselves or bought (or stole) them from other players, using blueprints they researched themselves or bought from other players.
It's one of the most expansive games I've ever played and even over a year and some months later, I still have barely scratched the surface of what the game has to offer.
Lastly, All expansion packs to the game are free. There's been I think about 13 or so expansions since Eve first came out and all their changes and content are available as part of the client with no additional charges ever.
They offer a 14 day trial with few restrictions, mostly just limited you from more advanced skill books. You can also track down active players and get a 21 day buddy invite.