I played EVE Online for 18 months or so. Well, more like 9 or 10 months, since the last half of my playtime was largely me logging in long enough to fiddle with my skill queue.
Still, I remember that the PvE combat wasn’t terribly exciting. Syp’s comment on a Massively post, about how EVE Online is “mindless circling and autofiring” reminded me that yeah, that’s kinda true, at least for PvE. Of course there is the PvP option, but that would be a very abrupt change. Somewhere between “PVP: very high risk and probably very difficult” and “PVE: too easy” is a happy medium. Perhaps the key is harder agent missions: accepting challenging missions in lower security systems. On the other hand, how much should “exciting” combat matter, versus exploration content? EVE Online, I think, is unsurpassed in exploration opportunities.
I would like to play a sci-fi game, and these days, there are some great options. Fallen Earth looks interesting, as does Star Trek Online, especially since both are free-to-play. Then there is EVE Online, with a monthly fee but honestly that isn’t exactly the barrier. I’d certainly feel more casual about a free-to-play game, which meshes well with the actual available time I am able to devote.