It happens early, but late enough that players have spent hours and hours with the game. In a moment, it’s all gone. There’s no checkpoint. Most games are designed to ensure the player, if found to be putting in a reasonable effort, will be victorious. Games are, largely, not about failure anymore. There is no winner in EVE Online, at least not a permanent one, and many players are happy to squash you under a virtual boot--the whole reason Something Awful’s GoonSwarm alliance exists is to ruin everyone's time. It’s an experience that asks you to totally forget the concept of a backlog and submit.
There was a point around 2007/8 where the game design environs, especially in the MMO genre where the noble goal of ensuring no one is completely screwed and can be guarenteed to acquire a Success State deevolved into a guarentee of not seeing a Failure State.
From that point on, it has led to various things once reguarded as basic expectations: the risk of setback, the coming up short on a goal of doing/acquiring something while it's still fresh, or the upgrading of one's experience and prowess in-game, are now seen as anaethemas, horrible slights to the sanctity of the player.
No longer is it about "Equality of Opportunity" but "Equality of Outcome". In this viewpoint (both from developer and players who follow this creed) all gameplay and socialization leading to that Outcome is seen as a grind, boring and tedious, but inherently better than the Opportunity, as that carries a risk of Failure State. And since that gameplay and socializtion is a grind, when its lessoned and/or marginalized, it is inherently a Good Thing.
People complain about apathy, ennui, and boredom in MMOs, but few realize this is the main source of that emotional entropy, and fewer still that do realize are ready to take back the mantle of player agency, player responsibility, and player restriction necessary to curtail it. The genie is out of the bottle.
Thank god CCP makes an MMO that flips off this wasting disease of the genre, even if I don't find the gameplay or aesthetics to my liking. Keep up the good fight.