Hezekiah Winter of the Black Shark Crusaders brings his take on Eve Online’s impact on its players. The original article can be found here.


Eve will change you and break you and you will never be able to be satisfied by a normal game again. However for it to do this it needs to transform your mind and the whole way you perceive reality and gaming. If you come into Eve with an open mind and are ready for a challenging journey then you will not be disappointed. –Hezekiah Winter

Do you remember the old world maps in the middle ages, when they thought the world was flat? Out on the edge was the ocean, and there it would be written, “Here be dragons”. If there was a map of gaming experiences of all the games ever made. Eve Online would be out on this edge with a massive sign over it saying “Beware, here be dragons”. Many valiant explorers will have traveled around the flat world that is the sum total of the universe of gaming, they are sick and tired of fake pre-baked experiences like Generic Military Shooter 15 and Theme Park Fantasy MMO 9, and they are searching for a life transforming gaming experience. If this sounds like you, and you want to go through a life transforming experience that will forever change the way you game, then pack your bags and be prepared to set out for a brave new world.

As you set out on this voyage don’t think that this will be easy. The world you have always known has been flat. You are seeking to discover a whole new dimension. You are going to journey to the land of dragons. Now I’m not talking about fantasy dragons that you can kill with a sword. I am talking about real psychological dragons. You will be confronted by the reality of your insignificance and impotence. You will feel powerless and confused. In the midst of this you will be presented with the challenge to seize real power. You will discover real loss and a sense of fear, when you put yourself at risk. You will learn to gamble with the scales of risk and reward. You will learn how to manage risk, and when to commit everything in a high stakes opportunity. If you can overcome this encounter with your own insignificance and move past it to seize power, then you will have defeated the dragons in your mind.

For many of us Eve has actually changed us as human beings. We are not the same people we were before we began this journey.


If you defeat the dragon then you can take the treasure that it is guarding. This treasure is real. You will actually live in a fully functional virtual universe. Eve is literally the forefront of human development in the area of creating virtual worlds. It is the Matrix. Eve is well known for the physiological responses people have when playing it. Many pilots report having ‘The shakes’ in the moments before they commit to a high risk encounter. The euphoric rush that comes from being tested to the edge of your ability and then outsmarting and overcoming a skilled opponent is immense. This is especially true because you both know that the loser will actually have to face a real and painful loss. Once you have faced the true nature of your insignificance, to be tried and tested, to prove yourself to be significant is an experience like no other.

To get to this end point there is a journey, it is not for the faint of heart, so don’t come expecting a sugarcoated candy treat. This is the meat of life and it will require chewing and digesting. Those of us who have experienced the revelation through Eve will lend a helping hand to pilgrims who are searching for the way. The path is narrow and the door is not wide.

Eve is a game that is all about player interaction. It’s about outsmarting and outplaying enemies. It is the most complex game of chess ever invented. It is like there are 20 thousand players who are each playing 20 games of chess against 10 people each all at the same time. This example is only scratching the surface when describing the complexity that is present in Eve Online.

If you approach Eve as a theme park MMO like World of Warcraft, then it will suck. It will suck really bad.

The levels and missions the game gives you have bad story lines, they are repetitive, and the actual game play and AI is pretty damn bad. There is a lot of work being done to improve this but those changes are still around the corner.

PvE is not what Eve is actually about. Eve is like the ultimate PvP game of hyper chess 7000. However when most people start they do the tutorial (which sucks) and end up doing the boring missions it tells you to do. Then the players get bored because these missions are boring. When they then go to low sec to try the PVP that Eve is famous for they usually die in a fire and run away, and never come back. Many people are not willing to deal with facing their own insignificance. However it is only by facing it that one can overcome it, and become truly powerful.

This sounds like an exaggerated example but you will feel like Neo when he first wakes from the Matrix in the real world. Eve is totally different to 99% of other games. It does not baby you or make you feel good or try and look after your feelings. So you need to prepare yourself for a quest. You will be confused as hell for the first few weeks. You will be totally overwhelmed. Lots of things will seem stupid or boring or too hard. Push through this. You will learn a new way of thinking. You will learn to problem solve. You will start your path to be a ninja. You will die, and die again, and die again and again.

This is normal. For weeks you will be a failure and a loser. This is all part of the path to finding mastery. Your goal is to become a master of one small area of the game. Once you have mastered that you move on and learn to master another area. You will never master every area. New Eden is too big, too complex. The first few weeks is learning to speak the language of Eve. Learning to think in risk and reward, and learning the basics of combat. During this time you will have heaps of amazing experiences. You are a little fish entering a deep dark ocean, and you want to learn to become a great white shark. But all around you are hungry fish that want to tear you apart.

You need to be fast you need to be smart, you need to keep on moving. As soon as you undock your ship from a station you are a target. So don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose. Ships in Eve are like ammunition. They explode, all the time, and you lose everything in it. So always try and have enough money to buy 3 or 4 replacements. Your goal for the first few weeks is to learn to avoid the many hunters while learning to feed and grow.

In Eve we think of the player vs environment (PvE) gameplay like eating plants. Players who do PvE are herbivores. Players who do Player vs Player (PvP) are carnivores and predators. So to start off with you want to be a herbivore feed on the plants and build up your strength while you learn the skills to avoid hunters that are after you. Once you have learnt how to avoid hunters you can start to think like a hunter. Then you can start to practice hunting others.

Black Shark Cult have designed a series of guides to lead you on the path of training to ascend from being a prey animal to become a predator.

Newbie to skilled Pvper in 3 months – A guide

This guide shows you a number of important waypoints on your journey. Every traveler is different, and you must each find your own path and your own niche. If at any point on the journey you feel led to stray from the path and see what else you can discover, then go for it. There is a whole deep dark ocean to explore. This guide will teach you the basics but then it is up to you to find your own play style, your own niche in the complex food chain.