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Eve Online: Commissioned Officer Edition review

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A great opportunity to get into a unique game at an exciting time in its development; just beware the massive & unforgiving learning curve.

Eve Online is one of the longest-running games in the massively multiplayer online (MMO) genre. Started in 2003, the game takes place in a single, massive universe shared by up to 50,000 players at one time. It’s unique in that every skill takes time to learn, and only one can be learned at a time, so “older” players generally have an advantage. The Commissioned Officer Edition goes a long way to softening that disadvantage for new players.

In Eve you play an independent pilot, or Capsuleer, and initially you start out in high security space, which is controlled by non-player character agents who offer you combat or trade missions. Later, you’ll move on to systems where players can shoot at each other with few consequences. Eventually, though, you’ll want to venture to Null-Sec systems, where the game is largely controlled by warring player alliances.

Eve Online: Commissioned Officer Edition 1

Your choice of career is hugely varied. You can learn combat skills, and then either engage in piracy or join a corporation fighting pirates, or join the factional militia. You can learn mining and industrial skills, which let you harvest ore from asteroids, refine it into raw materials and build anything in the game. The game economy is almost entirely player-driven: so that harmless-looking miner may be supplying ships to a pirate corporation.

Some people specialise in other areas. There are hidden sites to probe and explore, and fixed complexes that only spawn once a day but offer rare rewards for those who get there first. Some people treat the game as a giant spreadsheet, placing buy and sell orders remotely between stations or hauling goods in massive freighters across the galaxy to cash in on tiny margins.

The recently introduced Planetary Interaction skillset lets you set up mining and refining complexes on the game’s planets. This paves the way for Dust 514, a console-only shooter to be released later this year in which players fight as mercenaries to control these complexes. Thus, players in Eve will initiate battles for players in Dust 514 to participate in – a first in multiplayer gaming.

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