I find the whole affair super compelling.
No way I have time for it though.
My experience with the game is that the PvE elements are entirely forgettable and uninteresting. The PvP elements could be amazing, but there are too many mechanisms to favor experienced players. It's almost impossible to find a "fair" fight, even as a person with several months of experience under your belt, to the point that it's kind of a joke.
Personally, I don't have that much free time, so I prefer games with a higher ratio of fun to boredom. That being said, if I had to pick a game to play all day for a long time, Eve might be a good choice, simply because of the diversity of experiences and complexity of optimization it offers.
: I just checked. Out of the top ten streamers, nine are ratting (the most boring form of PvE) and one is doing PVP, but he just got killed by five guys after ten minutes of warping around.
Then when you finally did deal with people, they were tribal dicks and any battles were 100% lopsided to the benefit of the experienced player.
Eve Online is everything great and awful about online gaming all in one lag-filled package.
So basically, it's like real life. "Bigger army diplomacy," as CGP Grey says. I think this is also extending to social media space.
An assumption. Like RL, a game cannot be fun 100% of the time. MMOs are the Metaverse simulation Neal Stephenson wrote about in Snow Crash.
This is why I prefer Starcraft and Dota. Both games start with a clean slate. No matter how many games played you have under your belt, you and your opponent are on an even footing at the beginning of the match.
EVE is a job. It's a job that gives you an occasional adrenaline dump from some awesome or horrifying event, with no real-life consequences (other than memories), in a space-based violent virtual environment with no judicial system.
Anyone looking for something fun to do in real life, you're probably not going to match the addictive kind of "fun" you can get in EVE. The isolation from real-life consequences also isolates you from most real-world feedback that would discourage you from continuing to play. Spaceships, lack of judicial system, and the extremely long-interval-based variable reinforcement schedule of boring activities (trading, ratting, logistics) punctuated with very occasional great deals, great drops, or PvP or empire-building success, make it pretty optimal in terms of addictive "fun". If you want to dedicate a part-time or full-time job worth of time to achieve that fun, and you can stomach an environment that's often sociopathic, then jump right in, you'll have a blast... for whatever that's worth... but your real-life life might well suffer for it.
In a nutshell, EVE is a combination of paper-trading (it's not paper-trading in the virtual world, of course... virtual proceeds support virtual world activities), virtual logistics, virtual rock climbing with good loot at the top of each climb. And — for players who do PvP — that part is like WestWorld, with long stretches of anticipation-fuelled scouting and voice comms fun leading up to short, adrenaline-fuelled encounters with an enemy... with much of the virtual money and equipment gathered through trading and ratting being put on the line in combat.
Layered on top of that, on a corp and alliance level, it's like trying to build a real company, with factories and outposts and such, but in a virtual world, while trying to defend and expand the corporation's assets... again in a space-based world with complex but often obtuse game mechanics, and with no judicial system. That means a lot of successful corp and alliance activity centers around psy-ops and team-building to keep all the people in your corp or alliance happy and doing their jobs, and to demotivate and distract opponents... otherwise the corp/alliance assets will get blown up or stolen.
Automation remains prohibited at least as of the last time I played (~1 y ago). It's hard to picture that ever changing.
I've been "dry" for about three years now but I still have to fight the urge from time to time!
And yet, I find it utterly dull to play, and only enjoy it with these yearly big events that seem to trickle out.