Part one of an ongoing series hoping to make new players more at home in the daunting Eve universe. This isn’t an end-all be-all guide, just a few tips from my perspective.
If you’ve been in the gaming circles you’ve undoubtedly heard stories of Eve Online, and let’s be real they’re probably daunting stories of how Eve is a griefers paradise where everyone wants to kill you or swindle you for all you’ve got. Now it’s true that Bernie Madoff would probably cry a single tear of joy if he ever witnessed the shenanigans that Eve players got up to, but it’s not the whole picture. You can be completely straight-edge in Eve –with tons of other people mind you – and have a blast, or you can just let your morals slip and become an infamous pirate, scammer, griefer, or combination thereof. Or you can be both. Eve is, after all, a sandbox in the truest sense.
Another misconception about Eve is that the learning curve is so steep that you have to make it your second job in order to be successful at it. When I started playing this was true, and strangely enough the steep learning curve helped create the close-knit bond the Eve community experiences. Once upon a time it would take /months/ of training before you could hold even the most basic of roles – but that is no longer the case. Ships have been rebalanced, skills are more intuitive, and the tutorial actually teaches you things about the game. Nowadays you can not only be useful, but actually become a sought after commodity, relatively early on both in PvP and PvE. These new mechanics also let you explore the various roles and figure out what you want to specialize in first. It really has come a long way. If you are anything like me you see a tutorial and you think “psh, I’ve played games all my life I don’t need a tutorial for this one.” Wrong. Oh god you’re so wrong. Please do the tutorial. Eve is such a deep game that the tutorial barely scratches the surface. Once you get done you’re going to realize how little you understand about the game. Remember that feeling, because it’s going to be a common theme for your first few months in Eve. I promise you it’s OK, even the grizzled vets don’t really know how things work outside of their areas of expertise.
OK I did the tutorial, now what?
This is the point where I think most people get to in Eve right before they get bored and quit. The sandbox nature of Eve basically means that you don’t have a set direction. There is no traditional grinding in Eve – you train skills at the same rate as everyone else regardless of how much time you spend in the game. That’s right, the skills train while you’re not playing – and they train at the same speed when you are playing. They also train at the same speed as the guy who has spent 10 years playing. Well, kind of – like everything in Eve there is a bit of nuance. You can spend space-money to increase certain attributes by using “learning implants”, and each skill relies on two attributes. As you’ll learn in Eve, every generalized statement has an implied asterisk – but let’s not get bogged down in specifics of it all, the tl;dr is that there is no grind for skillspoints. There is a grind for money, though.
The tutorial exposes you to a bunch of PvE activities in the Eve universe. It boils down to two rudimentary options: kill NPCs, get money or harvest resources, get money. This is where the tutorial really helps, because it exposes you to a very reliable way to make money: NPC Agents. These agents have a structure – you work for them, they tell you want to do depending on the type of agent you’re working for, and they give you a reward. You then progress from agent level 1 all the way to agent level 5, and they get progressively harder along the way. This is a great way to start because it gives you structure and allows you to figure out the type of flying you like, the type of activities you enjoy, and just learning the quirks of the game. Don’t worry, every decision you make early on you’ll later realize you were doing it hilariously inefficiently, or you’ll get bored of it and never do it again – but again that’s part of the game. Embrace it – you can drastically change your “style” in Eve very quickly so don’t worry.
While you’re training skills and making money, the most important thing is to find a group of people to play with. Socialize in local with your fellow noobies, browse the forums, trawl the Eve subreddit, or join up with a “noob friendly” corporation. Eve University is a common one, Brave Newbies is another – but these are just examples. You may find out that just chatting to people in local or your NPC corp-chat that you want to make your own corp and fumble your way through Eve together. Maybe there’s some specialized group that is looking for new blood. Once you learn the basic Eve mechanics, it becomes a very boring game to play alone. It is imperative that you find a group to play with. Not only because group-play is rewarded in Eve, but also because it’s just more fun. You can explore the game together, ask questions, answer questions, shoot things, die together. Frankly, it’s what makes Eve worth playing. The first corporation I joined was some mining corporation where the guy was just plain exploiting newbies. I figured this out pretty quickly and ditched it for another corp – a group of pirates that killed me while I was haplessly exploring space. They were cool, though, so I joined up and was a pirate. I quickly learned that these guys weren’t for me, but they did teach me a lot, and I moved on two weeks later. So I joined another group where they promised to teach me PvP, and then I was hooked. This whole socializing thing is the lifeblood of what makes Eve entertaining. You may be skeptical, but just try it out.
The next guide will be more focused on navigating Eve modules ships – basically an introduction into how you want to fit ships. But I’m open to suggestions – if you’re new respond with what you want to see and I’ll try to go over it.
About me: My ingame name is Elise Randolph, I’ve played Eve for about 8 years. I’m probably most known in the Eve community for writing battle reports over various nullsec fights. And being an unapologetic fan of Taylor Swift. I do other things, though! I like to PvP in both low-sec and nullsec, big fleets and solo. I’m an FC for Pandemic Legion which basically means I organize groups of dudes with the express intention of shooting other groups of dudes. I’ve been a member of the CSM – a player elected body that interacts with the developers – for two years. I’ve also been involved with 3 Alliance Tournament wins. I’ve done almost everything Eve has to offer, and I want you to get hopelessly sucked into the game with me.
Feel free to discuss in the comment section below!