The EVE Diaries, Part One: The Journey Begins

EVE Online

By on February 26, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Many potential EVE players find themselves enraptured by the number of outrageous and exciting stories that regularly make headlines. But the high learning curve, mixed with a game designed around what is basically fundamental freedom, usually scares most people off within the space of a few weeks.

It’s not exciting to wait three days for Gunnery IV to tick over, grinding boring missions for pittance while you avoid the plethora of scammers, pirates, dodgy corporations and other undesirables. But there’s a point to the tedium, the careful learning, and the gradual ascent to power. EVE allows for such a large breadth of opportunity because it relies exclusively on players knowing exactly what they are doing.

In security level zero space, also known as Null, the players control everything in one of the most complex sandboxes ever devised — from fighting over entire star systems with Titan class behemoths, to building their own secure stations and mobile hangars.

It’s in null space where you realize that everything you had been doing — the missions, the mining, the trading — was just training. While EVE relies on players for nearly everything, security is guaranteed in most parts of safe space (also known as Empire) thus creating an almost Utopian environment. NPCs patrol the areas, warping in at the first sign of trouble, running down players who have breached the sacred rule of unjust PVP.

Miners, largely, are safe to sit in belts for hours at a time, brushing off mobs with automated drones, sifting heaping loads of low value ore for processing. The plethora of easily available resources means that almost everything is available for purchase, which makes Empire space comparable to somewhere like Adelaide or Canberra – safe and plentiful, but also a little boring and ordinary (sorry, friends).

It’s in these areas that the large majority of new players will play out their 30 days, usually alone, bored or confused due a lack of direction or motivation. There are a number of myths that perpetuate around new players, and the first one is that it takes a long time to do anything. This is untrue – most players can be in a surprisingly decent ship within three days, and if they are game enough, could even be out in null space, roaming around with more experienced pilots within the space of their first week.

What is essential — more than anything else in the entire game — is finding purpose. Unlike other MMOs, EVE won’t allow you to simply choose a class, join a queue, and complete easy objectives for glory. Glory is sought out and earned, and the game has been designed to make this feat almost impossible to complete on your own.

Finding and joining a good corporation of regular players is the most important move you will make in EVE, and it should be done as early as possible. It’s not that hard. If you have crashed and burned in EVE before, it’s likely that you didn’t get this far. A well run group is a positively addictive experience, namely due to the fact that they instantly build a culture of the things the game organically, and intentionally, doesn’t provide – that direction. They will get you on track, help you accomplish your goals, help with equipment, ships and money, and allow you to form a persona within the overall universe. That gigantic space suddenly feels a lot cosier, and you now have a side to bat for.

So began the concept for my experiment.

I have been playing EVE, on and off, since 2007. I have had four separate accounts, peaking at three active subscriptions at one point, where all three would be run across three monitors. I have been in all sorts of corporations, from noob-ganking pirates, openly considered the bottom dwellers of the cosmos, to logistics experts, contracted to move equipment across dangerous space efficiently. But I found that every time I attempted to explain EVE to another gamer, it was impossible for them to understand the sheer scope of a single experience in such an enormous game.

Every single person says the same thing; “I would love to play EVE, but it just sounds too unobtainable”.

EVE requires a lot of things from a prospective player, and most of them are generally incompatible with not only each other, but real life. Unlike most MMOs that seek to reward players with a plethora of useless garbage and arbitrary levels in the shortest time possible, most of the pleasure that can be derived from the title takes place over not just days or weeks, but months and years. The time-based, rather than action based, configuration of the skills system rewards longevity, self learning and intelligence.

You can’t login to the game and fight those extraordinarily epic battles or contrive some intricate meta-game hustle in minutes == much of the build up for these climatic events requires significant planning, building of trust and relationships, and going above and beyond. In one word? Patience.

Waiting 28 days (yes, real life, 24hr cycle days) for a high level skill tends to skim out most of the people least likely to enjoy a game like EVE, and thus building a steady player base of similar minded people. I haven’t met players in any other game like those in EVE – most of them polite, smart and dedicated, not only to the game but to their families and friends. They appreciate that your real life is first, and thus every minute you offer to them is precious and respected — especially when you’re doing something important.

Many of these people, these experiences, and these concepts are rarely effectively communicated to the majority of players who are interested, intrigued or downright mystified by the incredible ecosystem that CCP have developed. As such, over the next four entries I will talk about the various aspects of the game, from combat to trading, politics to sovereignty, roles to professions, from the standpoint of my own personal experiences with the game. This is not a trick or a ruse, I have joined a brand new corporation that operates out of the aforementioned NullSec, my intentions will be noble and truthful, and I will hopefully continue to play beyond these series of articles.

My plan is to clear up the myths that prevent people from taking the plunge into this incredible place, and to highlight what makes traversing through Tranquility so incredibly addictive and exciting. I hope you’ll join me.

Click here for the next instalment in this series.

21 comments (Leave your own)

There’s no myths; Eve is a game people like to read about, but not really participate in. Having months of work come crashing down in a few minutes is too much for most to bear, let alone something most have the time for.

 
Lord_PorkSword

Remove the subscription model, or provide a free one, and I may be interested! :p

 

It’s a large task ahead of you, but I respect you greatly for it. I look forward to reading these to see how your experiences match and differ from my own.

 

lordporksword,

Why does everything have to be free these days?

 

lordporksword,

god no, that dribble is best left in the rift style games where it belongs, or with the billions of COD clones out there. EVE is steadily but slowly loosing what made it the only true Adults MMO left after Daoc died. HS is slowly being turned into farm-ville online where you are immune to death. Bit by bit the miners an mish runners are being more an more protected so they don’t have to think for themselves anymore.

When I started in 04-05 you had to plan your route in HS if you were in a hauler for instance. because garenteed someone would try an take off you what was yours. Now you can afk billions of isk worth of material to Jita (the main trading hub), in complete safety.
CCP are trying to mainstream the game to make it attractive to todays gamers who, lets be honest here, Many don’t have the will or the interest to be responsible for their own game time.

For instance I killed 2 miners in hulks other night just as they undocked in jita, an I was reported on the spot for “griefing”, then they demanded I repay them (twice) what the ships were worth. When I laughed at them, they reported me again lol.

Welcome to today’s gamers.

EVE is a great game if you can handle its slow decent into mainstream,but aside from that, it really is great in most respects.Also a little top the reviewer forgot to add.
If you have the isk (you can buy isk off CCP in the form of PLEX cards), you can “buy” chars on eve forums for X amount of isk. Many people do this to get them a kick start.

 

I agree with you Tas. HS is becoming ridiculous. I remember having to dodge people in HS years ago. It’s pretty tame these days.

Anyone who manages to lose ships in HS deserves it, because it’d take a monumental amount of stupidity to manage that.

 
James Pinnell

Tas – HS is more of a training ground than anything else. In both LS and NS – that freedom hasn’t changed and it’s still unsafe and chaotic.

 

Looking forward to a write-up on zero-sec fleet fights… I’ve been in a few 300+ player battles and, apart from the INTENSE lag, the whole experience from warping in off a Titan to the sheer chaos as your FC goes freakin’ mental are some of my most memorable gaming experiences.

Also James, write-up the size of the game too… the number of star systems, how long would it take to cross the entire universe without warping, that’s usually my starting point when I’m pimping EVE to new players.

But ForumRabbit has it right, I’m far more interested these days in reading about EVE than playing it, and it’s unlikely I’ll ever sub again. I did head back in for a new char and 14 day trial recently and the new station elements look superb, but the game seems largely unchanged.

 

tas,

“Welcome to today’s gamers”

Spoken like a true child.

9 years pass and apparently the world is completely different.

 
ageNtreachery

tas:

When I started in 04-05 you had to plan your route in HS if you were in a hauler for instance. because garenteed someone would try an take off you what was yours. Now you can afkbillions of isk worth of material to Jita (the main trading hub), in complete safety.

must have changed fairly quickly because you could do that in HS in 07

 

forumrabbit,

unfortunately the gaming world HAS changed. today theres about 15% true gamers and about 85% cod fanboys and girls.. because of these idiots who want an easy game, triple A titles are becoming COD clones. and because a majority of the top of the line games are gonig that way other games have to adapt to it or die off..

 

rcame26,

Couldn’t agree more mate, EVE still has a pretty good community though. For most part anyway. Funnily enough its the NPC corps that are most fun. I got sick of the anel retentive narcissistic egomaniacs in 0.0. These days I split my time between killing miners who are stupid enough to use hulks, to running fuel out to Syndicate selling to the Carriers who pass through.

 
NoobyMcNoobnoob

i quite liked eve, but that because i had a friend show me the ropes, and had some good ideas for system layouts for me. the problem is i dont have tha attention span or time for it anymore if i want to go combat. i belive i was rail guns as well a scavaging and doing small bounty missions at the time and after about 5 or so of those missions i was spending most of my time fying around to other systems just to get some desently priced ammo, then dragging my haul of salvaged junk back to a single hanger were i dump everything. I actually liked it quite a lot there was just so much down time, most friends who i know play it have 2 accounts, one mineing for money and the other for fun. To me that said it all about eve, you gotta get a eve job to support what you really want to do because at the start it would take quite a lot of low level combat grinding to really get into it.

but then again this was back before the big graphics update and what not maybe earn a bit more now or something.

 

I used to play EVE, but got so hooked i had to choose between EVE and my family >.< very addictive and awesome once you get into it though, I'd still recommend it to anyone.

 

Kinda regret I never got into EVE earlier on. but i’ve convinced myself to wait it out for Star Citizen to come along now.

 

Now you can afkbillions of isk worth of material to Jita (the main trading hub), in complete safety.

For instance I killed 2 miners in hulks other night just as they undocked in jita,

Your statements contradict each other.

 

sgtpitt: Your statements contradict each other.

Not at all, there’s always stupid people. an hulks die fast, Freighters do not. You cant solo kill a freighter, its impossible in HS. Anyone that tells you otherwise istalking shit,period.

 

kinkykel:
lordporksword,

Why does everything have to be free these days?

Paying money to work a second job?? Sounds pretty crazy to me.

 

Looking forward to hearing how it goes!

These kind of articles are my favourite.
PCGamer.com has been having similar articles – where the author plays weird games etc but the writing makes it interesting and funny.
Its great!

 
psychofruiterer

Eve Online – The prettiest spreadsheet ever made!

 
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