I think EVE is at its best when it is a social game. While the game can be played as a solo affair and I am sure there are those who prefer it so, I think it is the relationships with other players that make for a great game experience. The game mechanics allow for players to join together to form corporations and, on a larger scale, alliances between different corporations. Larger still, in-game alliances whose goals coincide can loosely associate to form coalitions, but there’s no in-game representation of these organizations. From corps with just a handful of pilots to mega-corps with membership in the thousands, there are all sorts of corporations. Like wise, there are alliances of every shape and size spread across New Eden. If you can’t find an organization to be in, then you just ain’t trying.

It has been said more than a few times that joining a corporation is essential for players to get the most out of Eve, but is it true? I agree completely that finding like-minded players to join forces with in game is one of the best things someone can do in order to maximize the joy they get from this game. I am much less certain that there is always a need to make it a formal arrangement. There are a great many activities within EVE in which players can cooperate without forming corporations or alliances. There are myriad options in game and third party tools players can use to stay in touch and informed as to the goings on of their friends. It may make more sense for some people to stay in their noobie corp and just gather in an informal cabal.

Why not form a corporation? Well, for one thing someone will have to train corporate management skills. It is not a huge deal at the smallest levels but it can start to add up. Training takes time and time is ISK. Another ISK sink in forming a corporation is having to have an office somewhere. Why? It doesn’t do a damn thing. There is no hot secretary to chase around the desk. Hell, there is not even a desk! It would be cool if there was but I won’t get back into that whole deal.

OK, so let’s say you aren’t bothered by a little training time and some office expenses which may actually be offset by taxes in a noobie corporation. There are still some compelling reasons you might not want to join or form a corporation. One of the biggest one would be the war dec. If you are not in a player corporation you are effectively immune to being war dec’ed. This makes certain high sec activities a bit less dangerous. Hauling, mining, missioning and even ganking are easier to do when you don’t have to be on the look out for war targets. Even if your normal sphere of influence is going to be low or null sec, avoiding war decs will make those occasional shopping trips or roams easier to manage.

The numerous coalitions in EVE make it perfectly clear that players can cooperate and band together outside of the the prescribed in-game structures. There are, of course a lot of good reasons players may want to form a corporation but you shouldn’t feel like that is the only, or even the best, option for your particular situation. Don’t go rushing to put a ring on it.

Your Drinking Buddy,

Rupert Foulmouth

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