What do you remember most fondly about your early MMORPG experiences? For us, it's being simply overpowered by a world or universe that is so much larger than you it evokes a sense of untraversable magnitude. Being so incredibly immersed, all that exists is you and the mission at hand. Feeling the sense of wonder when you discover something so far off-course, you can't imagine more than a few others have ever gazed upon it or looted it.
More and more as the years pass and MMOs age, those feelings are lost in favor of quick loot grabbing, overbearing hand-holding, and a race to the finish without ever stopping to smell the roses. This trend hasn't gone unnoticed by the developers at CCP Games -- it can't have, because with Odyssey's release we're noticing a lot of the same feelings washing over us again.
EVE's universe already dwarfs us -- that's not even up for discussion. It has one of the largest explorable worlds in any MMO ever with its multiple thousands of of linked star systems all open for your perusal. What Odyssey introduced to the game has managed to unlock the full potential of this universe.
Picture it: You undock, and suddenly a number of anomalies you never noticed or knew about before are revealed by the new scanner overlay sweeping across your screen. If you choose to pursue any of them, you can further pinpoint their locations with vastly improved probing controls and go after them; hopefully with a fully decked exploration ship complete with the new relic analyzer.
That immersion you crave? It's not interrupted by any loading screens, which is insane in a universe this huge. In fact, the game now has dynamic audio, which feeds on the atmosphere you're traveling through to give you music that fits what you're doing, and how dangerous it could prove to be.
Once you find whatever the probe has revealed, you can partake in looting and pillaging -- the best part! Use your relic analyzer to reveal security barriers, enjoy an interactive hacking experience, or engage in an all-out brawl with someone who really didn't want to be discovered in their previously un-populated corner of the system. You might even find some of the new exploration loot, like decryptors, capital rigs, and rarely Faction Tower BPCs.
Will you be able to get away with your loot? Will you get any loot? Will you even make it out alive? Challenges like decay, passing hostiles, and space itself are all working together to make your job as difficult as possible. If you're quick and efficient, maybe you'll make off with some goods. If not, you just might experience the new death transition. It's all up to you and your skill.
CCP had said that Odyssey was all about going back to EVE's original promise: "A truly massive universe filled with danger, opportunity and wonder." They're truly enhancing the little moments, which are adding up to one hell of an experience.
If you're jaded, we get it. It's hard not to be. Who knows, maybe your cure lies in downloading Odyssey and experiencing true discovery once more?