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Oy... I don't think I could even begin to explain everything that EVE is in a single post, so I'm going to cop-out and point to the Wikipedia article on it first: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eve_online along with "trailers" CCP has made from ingame footage: http://myeve.eve-online.com/download/videos/ (note, CCP is applying a *very* large content patch tonight beginning at 10p EDT, so the second link may not be functional for the next day or so).

Ok, that said, here's why I'm still playing it, three years later.
- The corporation. Corps are to EVE what guilds are to most other games. Finding a corp you work well with is vital to your enjoyment of the game. The newbie corps are great for learning a couple of the basics, but if you really want to experience everything the game has to offer, you have to move elsewhere. There are corps that specialize in combat, industry, logistics, and just about anything else. Some (Caldari Independent Navy Reserve and Ushra'Khan pop in my head) even forego the usual corp goals of making cash and stomping other corps to take part in role-playing the ongoing story lines CCP develops. Other corps have invitation-only rules, such as "must be a licensed professional of some sort" specifically to keep out teens and college kids in an attempt to increase the maturity level of members as well as provide a common framework for fun, non-game related discussion.

- The pace. Games like EQ, WoW, CoH, and so on require you to log in and grind away in order to advance. Well what if I want to go on vacation for a month? In EVE, your character advances even while you're not playing through the use of a time-based skill advancement tree. I go to sleep, and my avatars train. I'm at work, and they're still training. I sit in a barge and mine rocks for three hours straight, they still train. It's great for people who can only jump on for an hour or so at a time, since they're not being penalized for it.

- The graphics. I'd be lying if I didn't say I love them. They're so far beyond what other games provide it's not even funny.

- The outside community. The vitality of a game can often be judged by the kinds of fansites it spawns, and EVE has them in spades. They've also made it possible for other people to write apps which can directly interface with the CCP servers, making character management (skill training in particular) immensely easier.

More, yes... but it's past my bedtime :)
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