The general label of EVE as a SANDBOX based MMOG is something I feel is a little too flat. To me EVE is more like a shoreline with beaches, estuaries, and cliffs that are subject to effects of the water that is its players.
When I first started to play EVE if found myself like waves crashing against a cliff face. Each action returned little to no gain but every once and a while a chunk of the cliff fell off. I was relentless yet futile in my plight to beat down those cliffs.
In time the flow of the game took me to the beach. I still crashed onto the shore with fury but with every return came a little of the beach too. Every time I pushed forward a little of the beach also came back with me and together we shaped the beach. The force of my waves collided with other waves and the layout of the sands changed and churned.
I’ve moved past the beach now to the estuaries where things move in great swirls. Actions take longer and it’s much harder to influence things alone. With the steady filling and draining that is the combined movement of so many as a single body of water. The estuaries change slowly but dramatically as one body of water is pushed out, surges back, and then drains allowing another to flow in. It’s an easy place to feel cramped yet alone, but when returns come they are staggering.
Sometimes I simply enjoy the ocean and the lack of any shore to interact with. The objective is more about how my movements change the ebb and flow of other volumes of water in a much smaller scale. In times like this the shore has no meaning and there are no gains other than the knowledge of movement.