Monday, April 23, 2012


I was surfing the net this weekend and ran across the news about the Tera open beta.  The part that interested me was the mention of "big-ass monsters".  That got me to thinking.  Every MMORPG I can think of with combat has players fighting monsters or gods bigger than any single player can defeat.  Players have to band together to fight the giant, whether it be Onyxia or Deathwing in World of Warcraft or Nagafen in EverQuest 2.  Raids are the name of the end game and big raids call for big-ass monsters.  Well, except for one game.

That's right, Eve Online is the only MMO I can think of in which the developers allow the players to be more powerful than the most powerful NPCs.  Some might dispute that is the case in Eve.  But the Jove never interact with the players unless a dev is behind the controls of the ship.  And as for all-powerful CONCORD, they only punish.  If a player is willing to pay the price and knows what he is doing, even CONCORD can't stop him.

In fact, the devs sometimes have to protect the NPCs from the players.  Without the cyno jammers that accompany incursions, the null-sec alliances would hotdrop the Sansha NPCs with capital and super-capital fleets.  While the Sansha have the Revenant-class mothership, Eve players have access to titans, the biggest and most powerful ships in the game.  Even the super-carriers available to players are more powerful than the Revenant.  In Eve, killing the biggest and baddest monsters involves killing players, not NPCs.


  1. If we look back to the origins of table-top role playing games, player characters have always been the dominant characters (when high level). With character levels and abilities approaching divine stature.

    Look at the wandering monster table, and by the time the arch demons or devils show up, small character parties of relatively (IMHO) are there as well.

    In EVE, it has long been realized that the greatest threat to humans players are human players. No animal is more creative, more dangerous, and nothing on this planet holds a grudge better

  2. He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.

    A certain quote from a certain philosopher. We all have a darkness within. EvE allows that full reign. Some (most) players do not indulge it, while others see the abyss and jump in with glee.

    The results of a study and behavioural analysis of the players of EvE in game )and comparison with their RL tendencies out of game) would likely throw up some fascinating results.