Hello, my name is Johann Landier, and I’m a writer and political analyst for EN24. The thoughts, advice, and opinions written here are mine and not meant to represent anyone else’s.
Last week the “Ascension” Expansion of Eve Online brought capsuleers a wide range of new features. Everything from new ships, realistic explosions, a desperately needed revamp of the Rorqual, and engineering complexes, to name just a few. However, Ascension’s biggest feature was the addition of the “Alpha Clone”, which now allows both new and old capsuleers a “Free to Play” option and has created a surge in Eve’s most precious commodity…”The Newbro.”
So, our new “Alpha Bros”, this article is aimed at you. The information below is not meant to be all encompassing or absolute gospel, and some of the items I will expand on in more detail in a series of articles over the coming weeks. A lot of what is below I learned on my own and in most cases I learned it the “hard” way. It is my hope that by passing it on here I may ease your entry into the hardest game you will ever love.
Don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose….period
If New Eden has a prime directive, then this is one half of it. Nothing has caused more ‘rage quits’ and anger than the loss of an expensive ship. Just so all you Alphas know, this rule is one that many veteran players themselves violate. Assume the instant you undock a ship anywhere in New Eden that that ship will explode. If you cannot absorb that loss then don’t undock it until you can. Unlike other games, once your ship is destroyed, it’s gone for good. While you may salvage some of the modules from the wreck, that ship cannot be “respawned” or recovered. When you lose something in New Eden you have truly lost it, and CCP will not give it back to you no matter how long the petition is or how unfair you feel the loss was. It is part of the harsh reality that makes defeat feel so devastating to a player, or victory so sweet.
The rarest ore in New Eden is trust
The other half of New Edens prime directive is “trust no one.” While this may seem harsh and brutal, it is a reality. In New Eden the only rule is that there are no rules, and if the mechanics allow for it then it is considered fair play. Scamming, stealing, betrayal, spying, ganking, pirating, and all sorts of dark deeds that are prohibited in other games are allowed in Eve. There are players whose entire Eve experience is seeing what they can “get away with” and while this may not be your cup of tea, there are plenty whose it is. I have come to believe that this is part of the brilliance of Eve, and that this allow players to truly run the game. Not everyone in Eve plays this way, but the choice of being a “good guy” or a “bad guy” is really up to you, and just like in real life you have to make decisions and live with the consequences. This is not to say that you won’t build friendships and trust during your adventures in Eve. I have friends I have made in this game who I have followed into hell and back and would do anything for. However, I do it with my eyes wide open and I have built this trust over time. If one of my fellow corp members took advantage of that and I suffered a loss, I would know that there is no one I can appeal to and CCP will not bail me out.
You will die….a lot
You will lose ships and die many, many times as you explore the game. It is not a bad thing, and it is not something to get angry about. If you do get angry, then your rage messages and Eve Mails will end up on Reddit and someone from Texas will probably offer to be your lawyer. However, there is a bright side, because as a capsuleer you are an immortal being and this game offers you many avenues to recover your losses. The best advice is to take your loss in stride and use it as a chance to learn and get better. Nothing warms the heart of a ‘salt filled bitter vet” in this game more than a chance to help a newbro learn. If you lose a ship, open a conversation or Eve Mail the person who killed you and ask what you could have done different; in most cases they will be more than willing to offer you some advice and mentoring.
You can make a difference and you can win
The sheer breadth and span of New Eden is simply staggering, and there are players who have played this game for years that still haven’t “done it all.” It will seem overwhelming, and you will feel like you cannot compete or make a difference, but you can leave your mark and you can make a difference. Unlike other games, having the most skill points or the most expensive ship and fitting does not guarantee victory, and many expensive officer fit battleships have fallen to the guns of relatively cheap T1 frigates, destroyers and cruisers. This is not to say that skill points and better ships are a waste, but that they have to be combined with something more valuable, which is experience and an understanding of game mechanics. As a new player, you will gain those over time but luckily there is also a wealth of knowledge available on the forums, Youtube, and other sites dedicated to Eve Online, with guides for just about everything. I encourage you to take some time and study the game. The difference between winning and losing may be understanding something as simple as how and when to overheat your modules, what ammo to use, what range to engage at, or a minor tweak to your fit. Sites like Eve University, Eve Central, EveInfo, Dotlan, and the like provide tons of knowledge free for the taking.
Find a path and find a home…but don’t settle
I saved this for last, not because it is the least important but because it will, for most players, mean the difference between staying with Eve Online or moving on. You can absolutely play this game on your own, without any social interaction, and succeed at it. But as hard as Eve is, playing on your own makes it exponentially harder. However, I believe that most players who stay with the game or really enjoy it do so because they find a home (corporation) and a play style that fits them. There are player-run corporations for everything. Do you love Reddit and smack talk in local? Well, I hear Dreddit is recruiting. Do you hail from the Something Awful forums? Well, The Mittani is your overlord and Goons maybe the place for you. Heard of “Pan Fam?” Maybe you’re a future Pancake. Want to indulge your darker side? Join up with the self proclaimed savior of ‘highsec’ to extort and gank miners with CODE. Whether it is industry, PVP, PVE, trading, banking, or pirating, there is a home for you. Finding a group of players who share a common play style will likely enhance and ease your way through the complex landscape that is the adventure of Eve Online, while making friends with people from all over the world at the same time. That being said, if your corporation does not feel like home, then don’t be afraid to try something else. The worst thing you can do is stay somewhere where you’re not happy, because you do neither yourself or that corporation any good. A good fit for you should be as much a benefit to you as it is the corporation you’re a part of.
With all of this said, welcome to New Eden, we’re glad you’re here. We look forward to running into you in space and shooting at you, and I promise we won’t feel bad for blowing you up. But that does not mean we want you to leave the game.
We hope you find us and start shooting back.