Back in my first post about EVE I mentioned that I have a habit of indulging in theorycrafting, often tool assisted, when it comes to MMO. I thought I’d get a little further than four days in before I fell prey to it once more. I clearly thought wrong. EVE has a reputation for having a near vertical learning curve. I’d actually thought that reputation a little undeserved until I ran fight off the edge of that fucking cliff. So now I’m in freefall trying to figure out what to do.
But I’m getting a little ahead of myself. So to backpedal a bit. At the end of my last post I had finished the basic tutorial and three of the advanced career tutorials. I’d also secured my initial goal ship – the Punisher. Which left me feeling a little aimless. The next tier of ships, the Destroyers, didnt really appeal as I’m not a big fan of the look or playstyle of the Amarr destoryer – the Coercer. With no concrete goal in mind I decied to work on completing the career tutorials in prepration for undertaking the first Epic Story Arc, the Sisters of EVE. So I plugged away at the Advanced Military career for a bit which expanded on how to use various modules and approachs to properly handle all facets of space combat. It also involved a mission flying what is quite possibly the stupidest looking Amarr ship, the Crucifier
Following that I did a few more Advanced Military missions, switching back to the sleek glory of my Punisher, which I’d named Kurenai (but sadly until they bring in the promised ship customisation I could not recolour). The random nature of space debris can make for some rather surreal vistas, like this weird space snake thing. As an aside even with all graphical options set to high the game runs at a fairly rock solid 60 FPS. I’ve encountered no slowdown at all so far. Which is great as the game looks really nice with everything maxed out.
But the career missions can at times be a little boring, or perhaps “overly educational” would be more accurate. As such I wanted a break from them. I also wanted to make some cash so I figured it was time for another spot of mining. I was planning to take out the Tormentor again but luckily Patrick pointed out something I had missed, the nice big 5000m3 ore capacity on the Venture. So I stripped the fittings from my Tormentor and quickly tarted up my Venture, which I named Aurum. It didnt take much outfitting, a few mining lasers, a cargo expander (which in retrospect may have been a mistake) and a survey scanner (very useful tool, once you find asteroids it will tell you exactly how much ore each has which lets you set up a proper schedule). Once I undocked from a space station I realised that the ship was also a lot cooler looking than I’d initially thought.
So once I was in space I set off for the nearest asteroid belt and began the boring/relaxing (depending on ones mood) job of mining for that sweet, sweet ore. Now I currently have no urge to venture into low or null-sec (more dangerous areas) of space. As such theres only a limited number of low profit ores I can get in high-sec space. But that didnt bother me too much. Slow and steady wins the race and I was still trying to figure out exactly what I want to do with the game. I’d my ore hold about half full when some filthy pirates showed up. You may have noticed when I was listing what I put in my ship that I made no mention of any offensive or defensive equipment. Which left me with one option, run, run, run away.
A quick conference with my consigliere and I was jumping across four systems to snag myself some combat drones. I logged out for a while to allow my character time to learn how to use the aforementioned drones and then a while later I was ready to continue my adventures in mineral extraction. So far I’d been mining in very hi-sec space (0.9), but the lure of better ore drew me off the beaten path into mid-sec space (0.5). And it was worth it as I chanced across an asteroid of the second highest selling ore you can get without hitting low-sec (Luminous Kernite to be exact). The ore must flow!
Once more my hold was about half full when those filthy rats (EVE slang for pirates) appeared. As I watched my shields more or less disintegrate I realised that these were slightly more effective than their 0.9sec brethren. But wait! I had my drones to protect me! As I fumbled to figure out how to use said drones I realised I possibly should have experimented with them outside a live fire situation. I managed to launch one, which did basically fuck all, unaware of how to dock it again I ended up warping out and leaving it there. Annoyingly the system I’d been mining in had no stations so I had to jump twice to find somewhere to repair my ship. Ship repaired I wondered what to do. That drone had cost me 60K ISK after all. I’d just warp in, retrieve it, and warp out. I warped in. I failed to retrieve it. I got blown the fuck up almost instantly. FFFFUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKK. Redued to my humble pod I fled.
Luckily I had the ship fully insured. The insurance payout, added to the ore I’d mined meant I had enough to afford to replace the ship and re-outfit it. So in essence I’d spent an hour or so of play time to end up right back where I’d been (only this time my Venture was named “Ecstasy of Ore”). Not going to lie, this put me off mining a bit. So I returned to the Advanced Military missions and pushed on with that. The last mission was full of ominous warnings about how tough it was going to be so I spent more or less all my ISK (about 2 million) upgrading my Punisher as best I could. Possibly too much as I absolutely breezed through the thing. Which earned me a brand spanking new Amarr Destroyer, the Coercer.
This left me with one career path to finish off, the exploration one. But to be honest I hadnt enjoyed it so I decided to move on to the first Epic Story Arc, the Sisters of Eve and try that out. Supposedly it was a good introduction to level 1 missions. Unfortunately it required me to jump across 17 systems. Interestingly enough the different regions of space actually look noticeably different, with the fringers of Caladari/Gallente space being noticeably darker than Amarr space.
I eventually got to where I was going (autopilot is handy as you can AFK, but its slow as fuck) and did the first few missions of the story arc, most of which involved shooting fuckers out of the sky.
But it was growing late (or more correctly, early) so I logged off. And went to bed. No thats a lie. Which leads me back to first paragraph (“At long last” I hear you sigh gentle reader). When I first started playing MMO’s there werent (or I certainly wasnt aware off) the daunting range of support websites, software, etc. that there is available today. Whether that was a good or a bad thing is certainly open to debate but either way it’s a thing. I mentioned before that these days the first thing I do with a new MMO is to start gathering support material. Its no different with EVE, I’ve been reading a lot over the last few days. Which probably accounts for why I feel like I’ve done a lot even though the summary of what I’ve done in-game above doesnt seem that much.
So as I said I’ve been reading a lot, from which ship is best at doing to x to which loadout for that best ship is actually best. I’ve been dicking around with EVEmon (I now have a better handle on how to use it, its much more about making long term plans to take advatage of your once a year attribute remap than day to day stuff), EFT, and such. The only problem is that I do a lot of this reading very early in the AM when I am, in all honesty, not exactly the sharpest tack in the box. Which can lead to some poor decisions.
The more I read the less I know. The game is just so vast and as I learned about more and more options I began to feel a little overwhelmed. Should I skill for combat and run missions? Should I concentrate on mining? Maybe hauling/salvaging/researching/playing the market/a mix of all and none/ would be better? What ship should I go with (the siren call of better stats and no sleep was swaying me from my initial rule of cool ship selection method). Then even worse I let the thought of “Hey how can I make enough ISK to pay for my monthly subscription?” take hold. Which lead me down a number of other rabbitholes (and introduced me to the interesting practice of planetary interaction). Luckily some perceptive fellow in one thread on how to become a space billionaire pointed out the obvious, to paraphrase, “Look its 15 quid, just work an hour or two of your real job for it, dont turn the game into a job.” That brought me to my senses and I finally dragged myself off to bed.
Which brought me to today, where I woke too late and too close to work, to get a chance to login. The only directly EVE related thing I’ve done today is to upgrade my 21 day trial to a full account (luckily the 30 days add on to the 21, which is nice). Unfortunately the Starter Kit sold by Amazon (for $5 at the moment) doesnt work with the Buddy program, so Patrick didnt gain a free months game time. Bit shitty, but I suppose I can see how CCP dont want to leave it open to abuse when the starter kits are on special offer everywhere. Unfortunately the fact you dont get a months time free sort of ruins my plan to cheese out an alt using the Amazon starter kits. Oh yeah, thats another thing.
I’ve been strongly thinking all day about setting up an alt account, specialising in either Mining or Hauling, or Planteary Interaction. That may seem a little rash so early in the game, but unfortunately normal alts are rather shit in EVE. You can have three characters per account, but only one can train skills at a time. Which means to create an alt you are going to have to pause your mains development. An entirely new account bypasses that problem (though it does introduce some issues of its own, the most pressing being a second subscription fee). I think I’ll probably hold off on my alt for the moment. I want to figure out what I’m doing with my main before I branch off into anything else.
So I thought I’d finish off this post by looking at some of the better guides and resources I’ve come across for EVE.
ISK – The Ultimate Guide to EVE Online – This is a fully laid out professional looking guide to EVE. It’s available either in a printed version, or, best of all, as a free PDF download. It’s a fucking beast of a thing, 400 pages long, and covers most of the major areas of EVE Online. It’s well written and while one or two sub-sections seem out of date its an awesome additon to a new players arsenal. I’ve been working my way through it as best I can.
Uniwiki – The EVE University (a benevolent player run corporation it seems) wiki. Full of excellent articles, handy guides (e.g. Creating an alt hauler and Creating an alt miner) and a nice looking ship database. Their basic ship and skill guides for each faction (e.g. Amarr) are also a good starting point to work out ship upgrade plans.
Invictra Atereides – A blog where a guy sets out with a trial account to see if he can earn enough money via Planetary Interaction to pay for his subscription (which he does). Contains the spreadsheet he used, the steps he used, etc. Good intro to PI and a nice roadmap if you wanted to follow in his footsteps.
Eve Evolved: Making your first billion ISK – A solid overview of how you can go about earning enough ISK to pay for your subscription