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I know a lot of you are upset that E&B is shutting down but if you're looking for an alternative you might enjoy Eve-Online. If you go over to the Eve board someone there will be more than happy to sign you up with a buddy trial account.
I've never played E&B so I can't make a fair comparison but I want to through out a warning from what I've heard:
1. You will have an extremely difficult and frustrating experience with EVE if you like to play MMO's solo. It's possible to do but this MMO was designed around teamwork and you have to be quite clever to succeed as a solo player.
2. EVE has a much more intense PVP system than E&B (again from what I've heard). If you don't like direct PVP then EVE might not be for you. Unlike a lot of MMOs now days you don't have to go to a certain PVP area and look for a person to fight with...A lot of times in EVE the PVP will find you...even if you want no part of it.