Monday, September 28, 2009
It is said about war that it is "long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror". In the recent discussion about crafting and economic systems, somebody asked me the inevitable question I always get: Why don't I play EVE Online? Well, I would say EVE Online is long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror. Mining is terribly boring, hauling goods from A to B over long distances is terribly boring, but then while mining or hauling you get attacked by pirates and experience moments of sheer terror. Or you have other moments of strong excitement, pulling off a great deal, forming an alliance, or something else. But in general the pacing of the excitement is very different from games like World of Warcraft: EVE Online certainly offers stronger peaks of excitement, but they are spaced out more, and there are some game elements which are definitely not exciting at all.
Of course that is a strictly personal preference. There are certainly other people who find a gentle stream of mini-excitements (oh, another quest done, oh, another level dinged, oh, another nice loot drop) a lot less interesting than the stronger stuff that EVE Online and other impact PvP games like Darkfall offer. But I would say that it is a lot easier to keep those little excitements coming all the time, while it is pretty much impossible to keep up "sheer terror" over long periods.
What do you think? How do you prefer excitement to be paced: Smoothly or with peaks and valleys? Or do you think a game could be extremely exciting all the time, for hundreds of hours?