I never spent much time on “Singularity”, EVE Online’s test server. The server resets itself occasionally and – at least for me – without warning, meaning that permanence of skills and objects can not be guaranteed.But it does have a place to try things out you have never done, play with ship fittings and lose ships if you must. Since ISK is free, your skills are the only real limitation what you can do. Today was an exception. I am about to move to one of our alliance C4 holes and recently lost my Tengu to some dumbass mistake (don’t ask. Ok, do. I was afk at a hole and paid no attention to the game since I was cloaked. Well, something decloaked me and a traveling gang found me – I realized that something was wrong when my Pod ejected. How I got the Pod out, I don’t know. They knew I was afk since I had no hardeners or anything on – we all laughed in local channel. They louder than me. A lot of ISK and 1 week of training lost. Great)
But the thing that pleases me most about Singularity is that it is totally devoid of people outside the starter system. You can travel safely across nullsec, low sec, high sec in the most gimped out boat and relax, nobody there to shoot or gank you. So, with no risk, Singularity is a perfect single player game.
Wait a second.
The sales man in me is stirring. Is there a place for EVE to be played as stand-alone game? For players who do not wish to experience the harsh world of the Tranquility? Who dont care about other human beings for an hour after they come back from work? Who don’t enjoy getting ganked, insulted, belittled by geeks with inferiority complex?
Singularity promises all of that – provided some things can be tweaked by CCP. First of all, a form of permanence has to be created. Ships, ISK and skills / skill points would have to persist. Much like World of Tanks, personal hanger space could be limited to a few ships so that players would have to engage in some form triage what to keep and what to throw away. Secondly, ISK cant be free anymore – otherwise there is no challenge. Missions should still pay, markets should still operate by NPC but prices need to be adjusted much like in any other game. Tutorials need to be beefed up, missions and PvE content needs to be expanded. Its actually pretty easy to do – the missions should string one after another (much like chain missions that already exist), so that a player gets to be sent on errands all over the universe. Sure, eventually (pretty soon) PvE content will run out. But without the threat of getting camped, ninjaed or getting my loot stolen, missions could be easy little adventures I do after work. And when players finally get bored and want to actually engage in the real universe? Well, come on over to Tranquility, you will bring your skills but neither ship nor ISK.
A nice side effect: with most newbs playing first on Singularity, Tranquility would not need real high security zones either.
Anyway. Those were musings while I spent an hour trying out different Tengu fits on C3 rats. I actually had fun “playing” the game for a bit… Spaceships can be too serious business….