Friday, August 28, 2009

Altaholics Anonymous

I've noticed that it is very uncommon to have a traditional alt in Eve, unlike in WoW or many other MMOs out there. For instance, in WoW, I had a main (level 80 dwarf priest), and tons of alts (a 73 human mage, a 69 gnome death knight, a 20 night elf shaman, etc.). In Eve, I did create one alt, but I never play her. I created her during one of Eve University's numerous war decs to avoid station spinning. As soon as I could stop playing her I did.

Obviously (at least its obvious to me), the main reason that people do not play more than one character on an account is the skill training system. You can only have one character on an account training skills at a time. When faced with the decision of having an alt taking up valuable training time for Energy Grid II or working on Amarr Battleship II for your main, it is an easy choice. The skills for your main will always trump the skills for your alt.

So having multiple characters on one account does not seem to be common. However, I'm amazed at how many people in this game multibox (i.e., have more than one account and login in and play more than one character at the same time). In WoW, this is done, but it is fairly uncommon. In my guild in WoW of over 100 active players, only one person that I know of multiboxed. In Eve, it seems over half my corporation are multiboxers. In fact, there is one person in my corporation (who shall remain nameless) who has 4 accounts and 4 characters in the game. Whenever one comes online, you can expect the rest to follow!

In some ways, Eve is well suited to multiboxing. Of course, for certain play styles in the game, multiboxing is not going to work (I think, but I really don't know). For instance, I am guessing that certain types of PvP encounters would be difficult when you are trying to control 2 or 3 different ships. On the other hand, multiboxing is perfect if you are a miner. You can have one character mine and the other character haul, reducing the time it takes to gather ore and get it to a station. In addition, neither of these two tasks requires a huge investment of concentration to accomplish, so it's easy to control both pilots.

Whereas I was a bit of an altaholic in WoW, I am happy with my single character in Eve. This is for a number of reasons (the single skill training queue being a big one). But the biggest reason is that Eve does not limit your choice of play styles based on character class. When you can do anything with the character you are already playing, there is no reason to play an alt. In Eve a miner doesn't have to reroll a new toon to get into PvP; just have him train some new skills.

Anyway, it seems that alts are fairly prominent in Eve, but in the multibox sense, not in the single account/multiple toons sense. We know that CCP boasts 300,000 active accounts. I wonder how many actual human beings are represented by those accounts. I think we might be surprised by the answer!

No comments:

Post a Comment