A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that EVE Online is a massively multiplayer online role playing game that requires a monthly subscription. The world and the economy is player-driven and a major part of the game is Player versus Player (PvP) where players actively fight each other. Smuggling or "drug-running" is part of the game as is exploration, trading, manufacturing, fighting the pirates or being a pirate and hunting and stealing from other players. The game is rated T for violence as players shoot and blow each other's ships up, but there is no blood or gore as player "characters" are space ships and not humanoids.
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What's it about?
EVE ONLINE is a space flight and combat game set in a universe far away and eons away from the current time. It is a \"sandbox\" game, meaning that players are provided the \"sandbox\" and can play in it as they wish. Players choose one of four different races and make an avatar, but control ships. Unlike many games which make use of mouse, keyboard, or joystick to control movement, players issue orders by selecting destinations and commands such as orbit, dock, or mine, and the ship will perform that action. Players in EVE Online earn skill points and train skills in real-time - meaning that skills will be training even when the player is offline. Although there are careers that players can choose to follow, they can train in any skill they wish, either specializing in some or spending the time to learn as many as they wish. Players also build and improve their ships with better armor, equipment, and weapon systems. EVE Online is also about power and control. Players battle each other to control star systems and build star bases.
Is it any good?
On the one hand, EVE Online is a great game because of the open sandbox play, where almost literally, anything goes. Players can trade to earn a living, be a mercernary, conduct mining operations, fight the pirates, be a pirate, focus on research or manufacturing, or play the meta-game of space control by participating in a Corporation and fighting other Corporations for control of space and resources. On the other hand, it can be a confusing game because there are no structured or predefined advancement paths.
A mature game with many expansions since launch (all of them free), EVE Online has a volunteer program and one branch specifically helps new players by greeting them and helping them get a good start in the game. For the best experience, players will want to join a Corporation, which are player run groups, because the best way to learn is from other players. Graphics in EVE Online are simply gorgeous and yet computer requirements are quite low. Players who enjoy creative thinking and opportunities afforded in an open-ended game can find EVE Online utterly compelling.
Online interaction: Although there are volunteers that help new players, and other players are generally helpful, a major part of game play is player-versus-player and gamers must expect to lose their ship and have to rebuild. This is a game with open chat so risks are present.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the possibilites and history of space travel. When did manned space flight first occur? Do you think a world like EVE Online could exist in the future?
Families can also talk about online interactions, safety, and courtesy. If you wouldn't say or do this in real life, why would you do it online?
Online games are compelling and time consuming. Families can talk about setting time limits for online game time.