Eve is a game that benefits tremendously from mixing up your playstyles. This, combined with the influx of new players, led me to a question: what would happen if a 10-year Eve vet were to start fresh and roleplay a noob? The New Player Challenge happens, apparently.

The New Player Challenge

My goal was to start as a trial account, with no outside help, and just experience the struggle of a casual new player. Eve is painted as a very complex game – which it is – but not prohibitively so. I wanted to demystify the process as much as possible while dropping a few knowledge-bombs in the process. To do this right I wanted to simply play a few hours a week, explore my options, and just see what was possible for new players to do and what the rough patches were like.

For added enjoyment, I decided to stream the entire process. Now let me get this out there – Eve is not the most exciting game to watch on stream. While the game is pretty, by nature of the game there is a lot of downtime and at times the action can be sparse – especially early on. To fill the void I try to add in as much starter-advice as possible and when I hit a noob roadblock, I explain how to get around it. It’s my first stream so it’s by no means perfect, but there are some fun moments. In game I try my hardest to maintain the noob persona, but on stream it’s vet-me doing all the talking.

Two Week Report Card

Nearly two weeks later, the average time of a trial (I got 21 days using a trial from an Eve account), and maybe 10 hours played I’ve managed to accomplish a hell of a lot. The missions were…an experience for me. I dare say I was flat-out bad at it, but I got up to level 2s and did the first Epic Arc with help from random players and some stream-bros. I got my first set of ships and made my first 15 million ISK in a few days. Nothing huge, but easily doable for a casual player and enough for fun.

A huge hurdle I noticed from talking to fellow noobs and reading various forums is deciding what to do next. I asked this question in nearly any channel I was in and the responses I got, from players not much older than noob-me, was the generic “Eve is a sandbox you can do anything!” This is something that you hear all the time and, while technically true, it’s completely useless. Those people who told me I could do anything were stuck in the same clueless boat as I was – they just had an “answer”. So after making my nut and finishing the first Epic Arc, I decided to hunt for fun. While most of my compatriots were trying to figure out what to do next or pining over money and a bigger ship, I was curious to see what else I could do for fun.

The best advice I can give in Eve is to join a corporation, in fact it’s bar-none the best thing you can do early on. So I sought out to do just that. I chatted with anyone that would respond, fumbled around, got killed by some dude in lowsec and eventually struck up a conversation with him. Like most people in the game, dude was super helpful. Told me why I died, how to make my fit better, and then gave me some suggestions on corps – including inviting me to join his own! So it really is easy to do, just have to start dialogue.

I instead opted to join a new-player centric corporation that is popular: Brave Newbies. This is where noob-me and vet-me started having a /ton/ of fun with very little time investment. As noob-me went on various roams, vet-me was able to backseat the crap out of everything on stream diagramming the mistakes and thought-process of the FC. The Brave Newbie FCs were also learning so hopefully if they ever hear my back-seating they won’t take the criticisms too hard :3 Mistakes or not, it was tons of fun. Some of the highlights included – as a 14 day character mind you – killing a pair of Archons, quite a few Tech-3s, some faction battleships, shutting down roams, and even participating in a 500+ man brawl. It was cool!

I noticed that many of the newer, or even moderately-aged players, are very afraid to take the first risk. There is always a way to be more prepared than you are, so it’s very common to get stuck in this “I need to get more skills or more money before I can do anything dangerous”. But I mean, if 14-day old me can do it then anyone can do it! Proving this was another goal I had for the New Player Challenge. If you want to try the big nullsec fleet fights to see how they are, you can just go do it in a snap. If you want to try out what it’s like being a low-sec pirate, do it! Industry tycoon? Why not. Don’t worry about having a billion isk in the coffers, don’t worry about training for a bigger ship or getting more experience, just hop in the deep end with something cheap and go buck wild. You can do it, and more importantly everyone wants to help you. Bodies are a resource that even the richest alliances cannot buy.

So what’s next?

As of writing I have another week or so left on my trial, but I’m going to continue beyond that and sub month-to-month and continue to explore all that Eve has to offer a noob. For now I’m in Brave Newbies doing null-sec PvP, but soon I’m going to try my hand at solo PvP and give pointers on that. I think wormholes are somewhere in my future since they sound so mysterious and daunting, but I have no set “plan” so I’ll play it by ear.

About Me

When I’m not RP’ing a noob, in Eve Online my main character is named Elise Randolph. When I have ample time I’m without a doubt nerd-active in the game; Eve is more than just a game to me it’s more of a hobby. I’m an FC for a major nullsec alliance Pandemic Legion. At times people seem to think I help run the alliance, but honestly I’m mostly a cog in the glorious machine of 0wn. It is, without a doubt, my favorite alliance in Eve and has been since I joined a few years ago. I have also done Factional Warfare (I rather proudly set the first FW milestones back in The Day) and low-sec PvP. I do industrial stuff, in fact I got my start in PL doing a bunch of logistics-type jobs, and for two years I was on the player-elected representative body known as the CSM. Yea, a huge nerd.

Whenever I’m involved in a big fight I tend to record what happened through battle reports. Posting is one of my favorite things to do in Eve, I sometimes joke that nullsec fights in Eve are just a pretext for posting. Sometimes I’m not joking~ One of my proudest accomplishments is posting an alliance into death. Additionally I’ve been fortunate enough to have participated on quite a few Alliance Tournament winning teams. I’ve even helped run a few (3rd and 1st place, woop woop). Not all that glitters is gold, though, and I never seem to have much luck with the NEO tournaments. In that vein I love to theorycraft fleet doctrines and solo/small scale fleets.

Stream Content and Highlights

I’m having fun learning how2stream with the New Player Challenge. Some hilarious things I managed to catch on stream has to start with me completely and utterly failing at doing missions. Not dying or doing it wrong, but simple things like failing to read the mission description or even accepting the damn thing. More than once my mission began by failing to accept it and wonder what the heck to do. I even got to an NPC that I’m still not sure how a new-player is meant to kill – I had to pull out a few tricks to do it.

Next highlight was during my first low-sec outing. About 4 days into the game or so I came across a Macherial ratting in a belt in lowsec. I tackled it and my whopping 60 DPS wasn’t enough to break it’s passive shield regen. This was hilarious and incredibly frustrating – catching a billion-isk ship ratting in a belt is such a rare occurrence.

Without a doubt the best streaming experience so far was to have Eve UI programer CCP karkur watch the stream and give me a few pointers on the radial menu. As a CSM there were daily interactions with the Eve devs, but this wasn’t a CSM thing this was just as some rando Eve player. I must say it was the coolest thing to have someone who helps make this game just randomly tune in, have a chat, and actually teach me how to use the (apparently) ever-improved radial menu.

Eventually I’d like to expand the content a little bit. I have ideas, but if anyone has better ones I’d love to hear them – the stream is by no means limited to my noob character.

Check out the stream, let me know what you want to see me do, and I’ll do my best to deliver.

Stream: twitch.tv/habitgaming
Twitter: @EliseRandolph

  • ffgg

    Good posts on evenews wtf

    • .

      reddit repost

  • jae

    i wanne read moar of dis!

    • RBW

      Yes Elise make this an every two weeks article series please, I want more add well

  • EasyKill

    There seems to be a strong absence of T-Swift.
    This is unnerving.

  • 2.4

    The fact that you’re a vet, you know exactly what to do. Thus making this whole experiment moot and this story a big Brave Newbies advertisement.

    “I can do it, so can you!”

    Total BS, get a true noob to the game and have him stream!

    Good read besides that!

    • Kullen

      You can ignore all the things you know about the game and only follow the advice given to you.

    • bigbonedbobby

      Its always the really bitter guys putting down brave newbies…my advice create an alt and join us and feeel how fun eve can be,everyone is welcome.
      we dont care about losses,forget about the isk for a moment and meassure it by fun per hour in your noob frigate.

      You will thank me later.

  • Alison King

    Yawns , Boring

    • Koomji

      You mom is boring and makes me yawn.

  • JoveBishop

    Good shit. Keep it up.

  • Loki

    The real Elise would drown us in Taylor Swifts….

    • Loki

      But indeed a good read, you should totally FC Braves fleets in a week or two. (would be funnier if they didnt know it was you hue hue)

  • Seith kali

    Elise, I think you submitted this to the wrong email address. This is no place for Good-posts.

  • Vc

    Eve is like that chain mail story of the investment banker and the fisherman.

    • JohnDrees

      I have used that same analogy before also.

  • Canadian Jesus

    My only issue with this thread is the ability to create isk after you join a null sec Corp. As a 14 day old player you would be hard pressed to kill belt rats in null, and with all the war decs that come with being in such a group missioning in high sec is all but impossible. You have to be able to sustain your play style, and that is something you just can’t do in 0.0 in just 2 weeks.

    • the voice of reason

      friend there is more then enough ways to make isk in 0.0 for a 14 day old toon. u don’t need to kill belt rats. all u need to do is talk to a fellow corp mate who is ratting or doing anoms and salvage and loot…. you can make more money salvaging and looting wrecks then ratting. dont need to pay tax on that and you dont need to risk a BC or BS to do it.

  • Mitch Taylor

    Did the same thing myself recently was a lot of fun, thanks for the write up elise.

  • The Obvious

    I’ve started a new account a few times with the same intent, and although fun, it’s not the same. My first account I had effin clue what I was doing. Account 8, I instantly know what to train, where to go to optimize. But is fun pewing roids in a rookie ship instead of half a dozen exhumers with Orca boosts, providence hauling, and a Legion standing guard.

  • Bawk Bawkbagawk

    TL:DR I set up a spy alt in Brave Newbies for when we inevitably befriend and back stab them.

    • Koomji

      I inevitably befriended and then back-stabbed your mom

  • N3_Grunt

    Good read, I liked it. +1

  • AtLeastYouAreTrying

    It’s hard to get new players to stay in Eve Online! They always leave! I know! I’ll make a video about being a new player to show them how exciting and fulfilling Eve Online can be!

    “While the game is pretty, by nature of the game there is a lot of downtime and at times the action can be sparse – especially early on.”

  • swamp donkey

    Unlike all other noobs Elise, you know the game mechanics inside out, You know how to fit and pilot any ship, and in any given situation you know what the likely outcome is going to be. So it’s still a lot easier for you than most noobs.

    • Noisrevbus

      I imagine the point being made is that, that is the only difference and that the hyped-up comments about skillpoints and ISK are just that, hyped-up, while experience is the real hard currency of the game. Thing is, if knowledge derived from experience is indeed the hard currency separating new and old players then it also means that every new player have the ability to close the gap by learning – making progression in EVE not as unsurmountable as is commonly paraded around.

      The good thing about experience is that it is accumulated by reading up on theories, thinking outside the box to theorize your own concepts and then putting them to the test to gain the experience of the outcomes; that also means that experience is gathered in different ways and in itself something that can help you close the general experience-gap. Experience is ever-evolving as such, and there are plenty of things left to invent.

  • Kraiklyn Asatru

    I remember my two week trail. My merlin got alpha’d by a PL titan after I tried to tackle it. Also noobs don’t know transversal. .. ouch :p

  • jakelon german

    It has been a blast watching you Elise! Thanks for doing this, you’ve rekindled some of that that newbie awe of the game for me.