I’m just going to run down a list rather than do a fancy preface paragraph.
1. No PvE. None. Virtually every mission in EvE is kill braindead ships or mine or move stuff. It’s sole point is to give you ISK to PvP. This is how bad it is: missions are duplicated exactly across all 4 EvE nations. You can be Amarr, change races to Gallente, and get the exact same mission with the exact same text, exact same reward, and same NPCs. It’s not even challenging, people boast about running PvE content afk, or macroing it.
Harvesting is the same. Mining involves clicking on an asteroid, activating lasers, and moving ore to a can every minute or so. There is little to no activities otherwise, and it’s all braindead. There is no PvE aspect to really play.
2. No lore. There’s nothing really in game to tell you about the nation you are fighting for, except bare minimums. I’ve seen more roleplaying in Champions online, a linear themepark, than in EvE. Even FFXI had more RP and more of a coherent storyline.
3. It’s not a sandbox. There is only one type of real gameplay with any results in it-PvP. Marketing , harvesting, and crafting are pointless in themselves as all they do is give ISK, and fund PvP actions. It’s impossible to play the game except in PvP mode, because even if you don’t others can and will PvP you unless you cripple your experience by staying out of player corps. There isn’t enough meat besided the openworld PvP experience. This would be ok except for…
4. The PvP sucks. There is no balancing mechanism at all. You can get ganked by as many and as powerful ships as anyone wants to. In my time playing:
-One destroyer, a ship barely above frigate class, got ganked by three battleship-using pirates.
-One frigate, in RvB, got killed by a Tech 3 cruiser from a hundred + KM away, to the point where it would be impossible to respond.
That’s just a couple. The PvP simply isn’t fun. It’s too reliant on player stats (and dont let people lie to you, having all level 5 skills and being able to equip tech 2 stuff is a huge difference, as well as shipping up to higher ship classes) too reliant on large fleets all coordinating fire on single targets, and has no point.
5. PvP has no real point. Even the big alliances, what are they doing? Just PvPing for the sake of PvPing. There’s no meta-purpose to the PvP itself except collecting stats and killmails. The big allaince versus alliance crap is just a game of halo versus clans-driving people in or out of space does nothing but remove targets.
6. Community sucks. They want to play the game one way, and call anyone who doesn’t a carebear. Then they wonder why lowsec is empty and people don’t want to PvP. They don’t make room for anyone who doesn’t agree with what they say or play the way they want, and they love to gank on the helpless-the lates “player-driven” event was ganking unarmed mining barges.
I started playing to give the game a chance. Playing it only reinforced my belief that it is one of the most overhyped, underwhelming, content-free experiences in the MMO sphere. CCP cannot design an actual compelling game, so what they do is put a half-empty shell, encourage players to go blow each other up in it, and call it content. If this is sandbox, I’m glad Ultima Online died and hope it stays long dead.
Edit: You want to know what I did half of the time playing EvE? Using the ingame browser to surf the web while my FC took an hour to get a fleet up, or I half-afk’d a mission or salvaging. EvE is the only game where I felt so unengaged that I did that. That’s how boring it got, that I wound up surfing the web most of the time, and the “Action” took minutes.