Thursday, December 10, 2009

What I love about Eve #4: Freighter Kills

Here's a story that demonstrates one more thing I love about Eve. As we all know, the Dominion patch has changed how alliances can claim territory in 0.0 space. Now, they must deploy various structures in their systems to claim them and upgrade them to support things like jump bridges and so on. One item that needs to be deployed is something called an infrastructure hub, which is an enormous structure that must be moved by huge freighters out to the alliances' systems to be deployed.

Now huge freighters filled with expensive cargo regularly move around New Eden, but not usually in such numbers at the same time as is happening now when the alliances are upgrading their territory. This has provided an opportunity for mischief, which in typical Eve fashion has not been neglected.

In an ISD post on the Eve Online web site, there are reports that dozens of freighters have been ambushed and destroyed as they deliver the infrastructure hubs needed by their alliances. One alliance reportedly lost 17 freighters when an opposing alliance attacked a fleet of freighters moving equipment out to null sec. As a freighter may cost 1 billion ISK, and the infrastructure hub it was most likely carrying costs 500 million, the losses from these ambushes is significant to say the least.

Just one more reason to love Eve...

Monday, December 7, 2009

PPL featured on CrazyKinux' web site

Check it out! My corporation, Phoenix Propulsion Labs, is featured on Crazy Kinux' blog. You can see the article here:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The means of production

According to some communist leader back in the day, it was he who controlled the means of production who had the real power in society. Well, I have now been given control of the means of production for my corporation, having been granted access to the corp hangars where we keep the blueprints we use to build tech 1 stuff. In addition, I've been added to the roster of builders, and now will be assigned stuff to build every week.

The funny thing about production is how easy it is, and yet how nice it feels to be a bigger part of our corporation's main money making operation. While all I can build right now is tech 1 stuff, by providing extra build slots to the corporation, the higher skilled builders can concentrate on building more interesting stuff. And since the tech 2 stuff starts life as tech 1 stuff, I'm providing the base items that get our who production process started. It's just one more way to contribute to the success of the corporation, and it feels good.

So while I am no more powerful than I was before, there is still something to be said about having access to, if not control over, the means of production.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

D-Day Arrives...

Yesterday was the launch of Dominion, and overall I would say the launch was remarkably smooth. I know that a lot of the update was around 0.0 changes, but there were a number of changes that were really cool for any player.

The new browser that it built into the game is fantastic. It is not only usable (unlike the previous browser), it is actually quite fast and renders pretty well. Previously I would have to switch to windowed mode if I wanted to surf and mine at the same time. Now I can just use the in game browser to give me something to do while I am mining.

"X-ing up" looks like it will be a thing of the past with the new Fleet Finder. I used it last night several times and it really works well.

Finally, the mail looks much better. Our corp doesn't do much with mail, probably because the in game mail system was so bad, but the new system looks pretty good.

It was a successful deployment in my book, especially considering the fiasco of the last patch I went through when doing a gate jump was a crap shoot!

Way to go, CCP!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Share your most embarassing ship loss

Hey, I just shared my most embarassing ship loss. I'd love to hear some of your embarassing ship losses. Perhaps it will make me feel better to know I'm not the only one who has lost a ship in an embarassing manner.

Please leave a comment to this post with your story.

Oh no!!!!

Ok, first off, I know it's been a while. I've been pretty busy at work, and I've been using my limited Eve-related time to play the game rather than blog about it. That said, I'm back, and have some new things to blog about.

The biggest thing is that I lost a battleship the other day. Fortunately, it was a tech 1 ship with all tech 1 fittings, but it still was an expensive loss for me, and my first loss of anything bigger than a destroyer.

The sad part is that I lost it in a L3 mission, and in the most noobish way possible. Here is the sad, sad tale...

I was running a mission where you have multiple waves of frigates and cruisers that spawn and attack. The goal is to reach a station in space, blow it up and take the inhabitant.

Everything was going fine, except the fact that the fast ships were difficult to kill by anything except my drones, and I there were so many of them, they were starting to go through my drones after a while. I was tanking everything fine, and with my supply of drones dwindling, I decided that I'd just blitz the habitat, grab the hostage and get out of there. With that in mind, I recalled my drones, turned off my lasers and make a beeline toward the station which was about 55km away.

As I said, the ships attacking me weren't making a dent, and I probably could have stuck around all day with my armor repper and DC going, so the damage was not a big problem. However, that's were the first of my noob moves came in: I decided it would be a good idea to start softening up the habitat from range so that I could pretty much pop it as soon as I got close. I figured this would save me a bit of time and get the mission over sooner.

With this plan, I loaded up some longer range ammo (see last post!) and focused my bank of heavy lasers on the structure. Right here would be a good time to add one more bit of data: Eve Survival had mentioned that the habitat was a trigger for 6 cruisers, 6 frigates, and 1 more ship of some sort (I can't remember what). Therefore, I knew that I should only soften up the target, not kill it, as I would really need to warp out as soon as I did so to avoid a large pack of baddies that could take me down.

Anyway, back to my story. I let loose the first volley from my lasers. You can imagine my surprise when the target was into structure after one shot! Holy crap, I thought, and hit the F-Key to shut off my guns. Of course, the second cycle had already started, and when it went off, the habitat popped, the can appeared, and a bunch of new friends showed up. An aside: does anyone know a key that will abort a cycle in progress?

So now I've got about 20 guys on me, including a bunch of guys that can actually do some damage. The DPS started coming faster than I could rep it, but not too much faster. At this point I made a fatal decision: I was about 45km from the can and decided to see if I could make it to the can anyway. Armor was still high, but started dropping bit by bit. Still, it looked okay, and I thought I could ride it out. Then I noticed the wierd effect on my ship and realized someone was webbing me (by the fact that I was going about half my normal speed).

Now that I was making such slow progress toward the can, I realized that I would not be able to make it and decided that as much as it would suck, I was going to have to warp out. I tried to warp to a nearby station and nothing. Crap, I thought, I'm being warp disrupted! And this is where I had my second noob moment: I had no idea how to get out of the warp scramble! After it was all over, my corpmates pointed out to me the little icon on the overview that shows who is webbing and scrambling you, but at the time, I was completely at a loss. Instead of fighting back and trying to kill the guys holding me, I instead sat there trying repeatedly to warp as I watched my armor then my structure melt away. It was excrutiating!

Eventually, they popped me. I just sat there in my pod next to my wreckage stunned that I'd just lost the best ship I've ever had to a bunch of NPCs. It had been ages since I lost a ship, and I was really mad and bummed out. I will admit that I had potty fingers for a while after that in corp chat!

Anyway, I guess in the end I learned a valuable lesson, but it is pretty sad/embarassing that it took me all the way until I was flying a ship that cost tens of millions of ISK to learn that you can find out the person webbing or scrambling you.

Anyway, that's my tale of woe. Feel free to razz me now...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hey, Amarr pilots: Don't be like me!

Okay, I had one of those super noob moments tonight. (As an aside, super noob moments seem to happen pretty frequently in this game!) I was in a gang getting ready to run a site in our wormhole (did I mention I love our wormhole?), and I asked some of the experienced players what type of laser crystals I should be using. They said "It depends on the range", to which I replied "Oh, really?" They explained how each crystal trades off damage for range and vice versa. This is actually all stuff that I knew. What I didn't know is that the preferred approach for laser packin- capsuleers is to actively manage the crystals rather than just load them up and leav them.

Based on this info, I stopped by the corp hangar and grabbed some Microwave L and dropped them on my guns. Holy crap! I went from 45km optimal to roughly 70km optimal! Yes, my damage went down, but basically, I might as well not even shoot at 70km with the multifrequency crystals loaded due to the difficulty in hitting.

Anyway, you new(ish) Amarr pilots, here's what we're supposed to be doing: we should carry a bunch of different laser crystal types for our guns, and swap them out as needed depending on the range of our targets. I know 99% of you already knew that, but if I can help just one other noob such as me, it will all be worth it!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ratting is fun (so far...)

As I mentioned, our corp has moved into a wormhole recently. We have run some sleeper sites and have done some mining, but there are times when things are quiet in the WH, which leaves me looking for something to do. A corpmate suggested ratting in the belts outside the WH, which I tried out last night. So far, it's actually pretty fun.

The WH is in low sec space, so I've been going out in a battleship fitted with 3 big guns (for long range targets), 3 medium guns (for medium and short range targets), drones (for medium and short range targets), a tractor beam and a salvager (for salvage, of course). This set up seems to be working out for me in killing and cleaning up. I also keep an eye on local to determine if I need to warp out to safety.

I seem to be able to keep myself pretty busy in this way, while making a bit of ISK, accumulating salvage for our T2 builds, and building sec status. All in all, a pretty good thing.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wormholes are cool

Over the past weekend, we set up operations in a wormhole and are having fun getting used to living and working in a wormhole. From a miners perspective, the WH has been amazing with some incredible asteroids to mine. On the downside, it is pretty easy for someone to sneak up on you, since you can't see them in local.

I leave it up to my corpmates to find baddies in the system, while I focus on mining. This is mostly because I really don't know how to find them other than running the scanner every so often.

Anyway, we're pretty well set up now, and I have even moved a battleship into the WH so I can even help out with some sleepers if needed.

Long story short, I think we're going to like it here!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Reverse Butterfly Effect

I think everyone has seen the CCP video called "The Butterfly Effect", so I'm not going to go into it in detail here. What I am going to talk about is something that happened to my corporation that was sort of a reverse Butterfly Effect.

As you know, the butterfly effect is when a seemingly small incident can cause a cascade of knock-on effects that have a major impact on events. There are many examples of the butterfly effect in Eve Online. However, I'd like to recount a little example of a reverse butterfly effect.

As you may know, Goonswarm was at war with BOB (or KenZoku, their new name) for ages. While this war was going on, it kept both alliances busy, leaving small corporations like PPL to get on with their business. Not long ago, because of the boring and painful nature of POS warfare, KenZoku basically gave up and let Goonswarm "win" the war.

Shortly after that, Goonswarm showed up in our low sec systems, with eyes on some moons that we owned. Apparently, with their enormous war over, Goonswarm needed to find something else to do to keep themselves busy, and taking our stuff was one of those activities. We battled valiantly, but when Goonswarm showed up with 60 capitals, it is way more than a little indy corp like ours can handle. You can imagine the results. They put two of our POSs into reinforced mode, then came back later to destroy them when then came back out. In light of our little portion of space suddenly being of interest to Goonswarm, we decided that the better part of valor was to take down the rest of our POSs and vacate the area rather than risk having them destroyed.

Thus, a little bit of reverse butterfly effect: the end of a huge war between two giant alliances resulted in PPL having to tear down all our POSs and move to a different part of the universe.

And that's another thing I love about Eve...

Skills: what's next?

In about 20 hours or so, I will have trained all the skills I need to be qualified by my corporation to fly all Amarr battleships. This is a goal I've had for quite some time as it means I will be able to comfortably run Level 3 missions and be a reasonably useful addition to any wormhole operations that the corp undertakes.

However, the end of one thing is the beginning of another, and now that this I've reached this goal, I have to start thinking about where to go next. The first thing I need to do is get right with my corporation which has mandatory skills that they've let me slide on a bit. I have to finish Anchoring 5 and then Starbase Defense Management 3 to be have all my mandatory skills done. That will take a bit over 2 weeks.

After that, the question is do I get qualified for another ship type or something else (research, production, refining, etc.). As I am in an indy corp, it feels like it is time to "choose my profession". Moving on toward being qualified to fly even larger ships really doesn't help the corporation that much. Therefore, I am going to start focusing on production skills. Our corporation makes its money building and selling, so I want to get firmly into the revenue side of the corporation.

So that's it: starting in about 2 weeks I will be focusing on production skills, first on being able to produce Tech 1 ships and equipment, then moving on to Tech 2. I'm guessing I will deviate a bit from this plan (I'm getting the impression that remote repping and cap transfer is going to be needed for wormhole ops, so I'll probably train that real quick along the way), but in general I will be learning how to build stuff.

Who knows: the next time you buy a destroyer or cruiser, it might have been built by me!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Alliance Tournament VII Final Day

I've been watching the Alliance Tournament VII since 8:00 this morning and it has not disappointed. There have been some incredible matches, and this is coming from someone who has never really done PvP.

The star of the show so far has been Pandemic Legion who have torn apart two of their opponents today. In one match they smartbombed their opponent into armor within the first 10 seconds of the match starting. That's a hell of a handicap to start off with.

In their semifinal match, they lulled Manifest Destiny into coming with a setup that was targeted to counter PL's previous setup. Unfortunately, PL came in with a setup designed to counter the counter! It was an absolute blood bath.

If you aren't watching the AT7, get over there for the last few matches at

Friday, September 18, 2009

New blood

PPL is on a bit of a recruiting binge, and we've recently had 3 or 4 new members join. I don't know what it is about new members, but it always makes me happy when we get new blood. It was the same in my old guild in WoW. I guess part of it is just more people to chat with in corp chat. It is also nice to have more people available to group with if you need a hand. Corp ops are always more impressive when you have more people involved. Finally, new players joining your corp means it's not stagnating, that it's moving forward.

I don't advocate recruiting anyone and everyone just for the numbers, but I do think that, just like in business, if you aren't growing you are losing, and PPL is growing.

If you are interested in learning more about PPL, check out our web site or get in touch with me in game. My character is Radd Trigon.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The worst thing in the world

The worst thing in the world happened to me last weekend. In short, I wasn't training anything for almost 3 full days. I know, you're saying to yourself "How did he let this happen?". Well, let me tell how a bunch of different factors combined to make me do one of the most unforgivable things in Eve: waste training time.

So it all started last Friday when I was contemplating a clone jump back to my corp's primary base of operation. I had jumped a few days before to one of our low sec bases to do some mining with the corp, and was thinking about heading back to high sec to grind some standing.

In preparing for my clone jump, I paused my training queue and left my ship, but then I reconsidered the jump. I contemplated using a shuttle to get back instead, and after a while I just decided to stay where I was. I got out of Eve and did some real life stuff. Notice the step that I left out: unpausing my skill training.

Under normal circumstances, I would have logged in a few hours later and noticed my paused training, but last weekend I was out of town and while I took my laptop, I could not find usable Internet access. Net result: over 2 days wasted training time.

I discovered the problem on Sunday night when I got back home and logged in. I expected to be done with Amarr Cruiser 4, a 5 day training skill, and instead I still had 4 days training left. Ugh...

Anyway, long story short: if you are going to be away from the game for a while, make sure that you are actively training a skill with a long training time. Don't do the worst thing in the world like I did.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Non-Eve Weekend

Sorry for not posting over the weekend; I was doing something more important than flying Internet spaceships. Instead, I participated in the Bike MS 150 bike ride in Mt. Vernon, Washington. I rode 160 miles over two days, and helped raise a bunch of money to fight multiple sclerosis.

If you would like to donate, please let me know and I will provide a link.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Low-sec mining...

We recently had to move our base of operations, but last night the corp was back mining ore in our old stomping grounds. Since we were in low-sec and didn't want to risk them, we left our big boys in the hangar and instead did some good old jet can mining, tearing through one huge belt and one regular belt last night. It was good to have a bunch of people on Ventrilo just chatting and mining. Scheduled events like that are one of the things I really like about Eve...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

No more exclamation points!

I just reviewed my last few posts and I'm averaging 1.5 exclamation points per blog posting title. I think I need to tone it down a little...

Martha Stewart went to prison for the same thing!

A member of the CSM resigned yesterday for using information he gained during the CSM meeting in Iceland to do a little insider trading. It's not clear exactly what he was speculating on, but according to the story (found here), he purchased 5 billion ISK worth of certain items he had reason to believe (based on NDA information) would increase in value a lot, apparently with a future patch or upgrade.

In Eve, scamming inside the game is all well and good. In fact, I heard stories of alliances in the AT7 offering to throw matches for ISK, and I guess even this is not considered cheating as there is no specific rule against it (although this could change next tournament!) However, insider trading of this sort is apparently beyond the pale.

Oh, well. One good thing I can say for the perp: he had already gotten his all expense paid trip to Iceland by the time he resigned!

Hooray! Level 3 missions: here I come!

Yesterday, I finally got my standing up to 3.15 (with Connections) with one of the local corporations, which unlocks some Level 3 agents. Last time I had a Level 3 agent available, I was flying a cruiser, and was not hugely successful. Now I'm in a battle cruiser and have better skills, so I am hopeful I'll do better. I'm also getting closer and closer to being ready to fly a battleship which should really help.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hot player on player action!!!

Okay, it's really "Player versus Player action", but that doesn't make as good a headline. If you haven't checked it out yet, there are tons of great high definition videos of the Alliance Tournement VII up at I've never been involved in much PvP. I've been on some roams with the Eve University Uniblob and killed an AFK mission runner with a 5 man gang, but other than that I'm a PvP virgin. I really don't know much about it, but if it is anything like the videos up on YouTube, it looks pretty freaking awesome.

Scoot on over to YouTube and check out the action, and then tune in the next two weekends for more PvP.

Training Level 5 skills

If you are anything like me, you have some skills out there that you have no choice but to train up to Level 5. Most recently, I had to train Drones to Level 5. This skill has a 1x training time multiplier, and it took me a bit over 5 days. The worst I've trained is Mining Barge which has a 4x multiplier and took over 20 days. I've browse through EveMon and noticed skills that have a training time multiplier of 12x. One example is Fighters. The Level 5 skill for that (with my current implants which quite honestly are terrible) takes 65 days to train!

I understand that Level 5 skills are the creme de la creme and that they shouldn't come easy. But I've got to admit, it is hard to put those suckers on your skill queue knowing that they're going to be there for so long. A case in point for me is Anchoring. It has a 3x multiplier and is about a 15 day training slog for the Level 5 skill. I need this not because I do a lot of anchoring and want it to go faster. No, I need this so I can train Starbase Defense Management so I can shoot you guys if you try to attack our POSes. I keep procrastinating on this skill because I have skills that I can get done faster that I want, when I know that I just need to drop this thing on the queue and get it over with. If there's anything worse than taking 15 days to train a skill you need to level 5, try training a skill to level 5 that you don't need!

Here's an idea! Perhaps CCP should create a super skill injector system that speeds up the skill learning process dramatically. Perhaps this device could be used to increase the training speed of 1 skill by a factor or 10 for a single level, and could sold it for real money like PLEX. How much would you pay to speed up training for a skill? I know I would seriously consider it for certain skills...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mining like a banshee (Well, not really, but still mining!)

Tonight we got some corp members together to tear apart a couple belts back in our old stomping grounds. We are loading up on materials to build new ships for corp members rather than for selling, so this requires a bit of additional ore and salvage than normal.

One interesting tidbit: the head of our corp's mining operation always tells us to leave one asteroid in the belt rather than clearing every asteroid. She says it helps make the respawn better. It sounds like a load of hooey to me, but who knows. Anyway, it's just one asteroid so it's no big deal, but has anyone else heard of this?


I've learned something recently: drones rock! If you haven't trained Drones and crammed as many as possible into your ship, you should stop everything and do it immediately. Go ahead and log in now and get that started. I'll wait....

Okay, now that you have Drones on your training queue, I'll tell you why they are important. Drones really add a lot of DPS when running missions, PvPing, etc. In addition, when you are fighting small, fast ships and they get in close, I've found it difficult for my larger guns to track them as they whiz around my ship. My drones, on the other hand, have no difficulty keeping up with them and firing away. I've had fights where I could not hit with my guns at all and my drones had to do all the DPS while I sat and armor repped.

For miners, if you stick combat drones in your drone bay, you won't be helpless when rats arrive in the belt. Clearly, you will have to bug out if something big jumps in, but for most situations, have 3-5 combat drones available will take care of business.

One other suggestion: I strongly recommend getting cheap drones. If you are anything like me, you have about a 30 to 50% chance that you'll forget to grab your drones as you leave, and going back to get them is a pain in the butt.

Moving to ISKSense

You may have noticed that the Google ads are gone. Bombarding readers with ads for character and ISK sellers just didn't feel right. Bye bye, AdSense! We hardly knew ya!

On the other hand, I imagine there are readers out there like me that are interested in new services, etc. that don't mind seeing a few reasonably unobtrusive advertisements that are well targeted. I received a comment regarding my previous Google ads post that recommended ISKSense, an Eve specific advertising service that work entirely on ISK rather than real dollars.

You will notice that I have replaced the Google ads with ISKSense ads. If you see something interesting down there, feel free to click on it or not.

If you are interested in advertising your Eve-related services or corporation on Eve-focused sites, you should check out

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My first near gank

Well, I almost got ganked today in low sec. I had accepted a mission that required me to courier some goods to a station in low sec. I successfully made it to the station to drop off the cargo, and was heading back to the original station.

When I undocked, I was immediately targeted by two ships lurking outside the station. I started to try to warp off to the gate when I noticed that one of the dudes was trying to warp scramble me while both were wailing away with their guns. I went through shields pretty quickly, and started into armor. I flipped on my armor repper while I waited to get aligned. Since it was taking a long time to get aligned so I tried to dock again, which thankfully I did instantly. It was all over in about 20 or 30 seconds, but it really scared me. I was afraid that I was going to lose my ship and my implants.

I guess I learned a little bit about Eve tonight: always pay attention, but especially when in low sec.

My new battle cruiser and L2 missions...

I've been running Level 2 missions for standing for the past week or two in my battle cruiser. Having run missions in my frigate or destroyer that were very challenging for me, using my Prophecy to run these missions is a breath of fresh air. I don't know if it's me (it probably is), but I've run missions where I had to warp out 3 and 4 times to repair or restore cap, and that makes running missions even less fun than it already is.

Anyway, I don't mind being over powered. Let's face it: I'm not running these missions for fun, I'm running them because I have to for standing. Anything that gets them over sooner is a plus!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Woot! I'm part of CK's Blog Pack!

Well, I got the word today that I'm now a part of CrazyKinux Eve Blog Pack! Now the pressure is on to keep the blogging going!

Thanks to CK for the honor! And you should definitely visit his site at and see what he's talking about over there...

Damn you, ISK sellers!

Well, as you may have noticed, I turned on Google ads on this blog. As you probably know, is owned by Google, and turning on the ads was really easy, so I figured "what the heck, I'll put them up but put them in an out of the way location, and if anyone clicks on something, I'll make a few cents."

Well, thanks to the ISK sellers and their paying Google for ad placement on Eve-related web sites, basically every ad ever shown is a freaking ISK seller ad, and I know that no self-respecting reader of my blog is going to click on one of those things. So basically, there is little to no chance for anyone using Google's AdSense service on an Eve-related site to ever make any money because of the ISK sellers. I know that that is not a big deal for me since I'm just blogging for fun, but other folks out there are trying to run a business and the ISK sellers are damaging that as well.

I'm going to go ahead and keep the ads up for a bit longer to see if Google will realize that the ISK ads aren't working and show something else. I hope you don't mind...

Alliance Tournament VII Thread

I will be posting comments on this thread regarding the Alliance Tournament VII. Feel free to chime in as well...

Wow! The Alliance Tourney is just about to kick off!

Turns out I'm really bad at reading a calendar! The AT starts today in about 15 minutes, not yesterday as I posted. Duh!

Anyway, people are getting pretty excited as the battles get set to begin. I'm listening on the Eve Voice channel which is actually less troublesome than New Eden Radio or Eve Radio at the moment. Oh, and grinding standing too!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Alliance Tournament begins today!

The 7th Alliance Tournament begins today at 11:00am Eastern/8:00am Pacific. You can listen at I believe that they will also be posting videos on YouTube the next day. Learn more at

Monday, August 31, 2009

Eve Blog Banter #11: Introducing the T3 Strategic Mining Barge

This month's banter comes to us from Joe Brusati a long time reader of CrazyKinux's Musing, who asks the following: CCP states that T3 Strategic Cruisers are just the start for the T3 line-up. In future Eve expansions what would you like to see as the next T3 ship type. Please be specific on details about what role this ship would play, cost of manufacturing, and the different modules that would be available for it, and of course you must give your T3 ship a name!

CCP Announces New T3 Option for Carebear Corps: The Strategic Mining Barge

With the introduction of T3 ships, CCP provided a new toy for the pew pew set: strategic cruisers that can be pieced together like Lego building blocks. However, CCP have realized that it's not the PvPers or mission runners that build the T3 cruisers. No, it's the carebear production corporations that do. And after doing all that hard work, they can't even use high tech ships they just built. Is this fair?! I don't think so, and neither does CCP, apparently. Or at least that's the impression I get from planned introduction of the new T3 Strategic Mining Barge.
With the introduction the new T3 Strategic Mining Barge, the carebears will finally have a T3 ship to call their own. The SMB will be capable of operating in extreme conditions in 0.0 or W-space on high-risk mining operations, or on extended solo mining ops in Empire.

The SMB will be able to fit many of the same defensive and utility modules that their more combat-minded brethren can. However, the Strategic Mining Barge will be optimized for fitting specialized high-tech mining and gas harvesting modules. For instance, the Enhanced Nanotech Strip Mining Array, based on advanced sleeper-inspired nanotechnology. This array is capable of turn one ore type into another by unleashing tiny nanobots to tear down and rebuild an asteroid at an atomic level. Staring at a Veldspar asteroid outside Korsicki and wish it was Mercoxit? Unleash your nanobots to rearrange those atoms and mine what you want, where you want!

The Phase Shift Cargo Expander Array will dramatically increase your ability to store ore or other cargo. The Cargo Expander Array uses one of the first practical applications of string theory to "shift" cargo into another dimension, leaving room for more of the valuable ore that you are mining. No more jet-canning with the T3 Strategic Mining Barge!

While CCP has yet to name all the races' versions of this new ship, it has been leaked that the Amarr version of the ship will be called the Journeyman. As far as price is concerned, as with most carebear corporations, the T3 SMB cost is measured in time to build rather than ISK. A typical carebear corporation with access to worm hole space will be able to construct the SMB in around 2 to 3 weeks.

Radd Trigon, 3 month old noob miner for carebear corporation Phoenix Propulsion Labs, had this to say about the new ship class: "I am very excited about the possibility of flying the Journeyman! It will be exciting to have such high-tech gear sitting idle while I'm alt-tabbed out watching CCP trailers and reading COAD!"

Other Posts for Blog Banter #11:

A Mule in EvE - ‘Thor’ the Minmatar T3 ~ Banter #11
One Man and His Spaceship - Blog Banter 11 - The many heads of the Hydra
Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah - Strategic Capitals
Achernar - Strategic Battlecruisers: the Spiders
Kyle Langdon's Journey in EVE - Strategic.... EVE Blog Banter #11
The Captain's Log - Blog Banter 11: Increasing our knowledge of the universe
Deaf Plasma's EVE Musings - Eve Blog Banter #11 - a ship called Starfury
More to come...

What to do with those 2 extra characters?

Over on Massively, they have posted an interesting article on how to make use of the two extra character slots on your single account. As I mentioned in my Altaholics Anonymous post, most people don't use alts in Eve the way you would in another MMO. However, Brendan Drain posts some good ideas on how not to let those 2 extra slots go to waste. Read the article, One Account is Good Enough, here.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Eve news sources

One good thing about WoW was that there was a pretty constrant stream of WoW related news and information coming out on a regular basis. WoW Insider ( provided many articles every day on WoW topics. When I played WoW, WoW Insider was on my daily rotation of web sites to read.

Now that I've switched to Eve, I find that the sources for Eve-related information are much more scarce. I read which covers MMOs in general and which has some Eve information, usually something each day. In addition, the dev blog ( can provide some interesting reading. Unfortunately, that's about all I know of for providing Eve news.

Anyone out there know of any good Eve news sources? Please post them in the comments...

Altaholics Anonymous

I've noticed that it is very uncommon to have a traditional alt in Eve, unlike in WoW or many other MMOs out there. For instance, in WoW, I had a main (level 80 dwarf priest), and tons of alts (a 73 human mage, a 69 gnome death knight, a 20 night elf shaman, etc.). In Eve, I did create one alt, but I never play her. I created her during one of Eve University's numerous war decs to avoid station spinning. As soon as I could stop playing her I did.

Obviously (at least its obvious to me), the main reason that people do not play more than one character on an account is the skill training system. You can only have one character on an account training skills at a time. When faced with the decision of having an alt taking up valuable training time for Energy Grid II or working on Amarr Battleship II for your main, it is an easy choice. The skills for your main will always trump the skills for your alt.

So having multiple characters on one account does not seem to be common. However, I'm amazed at how many people in this game multibox (i.e., have more than one account and login in and play more than one character at the same time). In WoW, this is done, but it is fairly uncommon. In my guild in WoW of over 100 active players, only one person that I know of multiboxed. In Eve, it seems over half my corporation are multiboxers. In fact, there is one person in my corporation (who shall remain nameless) who has 4 accounts and 4 characters in the game. Whenever one comes online, you can expect the rest to follow!

In some ways, Eve is well suited to multiboxing. Of course, for certain play styles in the game, multiboxing is not going to work (I think, but I really don't know). For instance, I am guessing that certain types of PvP encounters would be difficult when you are trying to control 2 or 3 different ships. On the other hand, multiboxing is perfect if you are a miner. You can have one character mine and the other character haul, reducing the time it takes to gather ore and get it to a station. In addition, neither of these two tasks requires a huge investment of concentration to accomplish, so it's easy to control both pilots.

Whereas I was a bit of an altaholic in WoW, I am happy with my single character in Eve. This is for a number of reasons (the single skill training queue being a big one). But the biggest reason is that Eve does not limit your choice of play styles based on character class. When you can do anything with the character you are already playing, there is no reason to play an alt. In Eve a miner doesn't have to reroll a new toon to get into PvP; just have him train some new skills.

Anyway, it seems that alts are fairly prominent in Eve, but in the multibox sense, not in the single account/multiple toons sense. We know that CCP boasts 300,000 active accounts. I wonder how many actual human beings are represented by those accounts. I think we might be surprised by the answer!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wow! A mention on PODDED!

I was listening to PODDED last night in my car and I was shocked to hear a mention of my little blog toward the end of the podcast! Hooray!!!

I'll say it again (and not just to get another mention): PODDED is a really good time and I highly recommend it. I must warn you: if you are offended by 2 guys drinking beer, talking about Eve, and occasionally using adult language, PODDED is not for you. All the rest of you get over to or search on iTunes to check it out. Oh, and Dillon and Warchilde, I'd love to give you a review on iTunes but I listen to you on a Zune!

Jack of all trades, master of none?

In some MMOs (WOW and just about every other major MMO except Eve, I'm looking at you!), the decisions you make when you create your character dramatically impact what path you will take in the game. If you choose to play a warrior class, you will not be able to heal, for instance. If you are a mage, you can't pick up a sword and duke it out in melee combat.

Eve is different, as I'm sure you know. You can train any skill and (eventually) fly any ship in the game, no matter what decisions you make when you create your character. You can become a PvPer, miner, industrialist, market player, pirate, explorer, mission runner, etc. no matter what kind of character you start as. In fact, if you have enough time, you could become all of the above assuming you have enough money to train the appropriate skills.

This is both a blessing and a curse. For a new player, you can jump into the game and start training one set of skills for one play style, then find out you don't like it and change without too much of a penalty. This is a definite plus since new players (myself included) have absolutely no idea what you can do in the game let alone what play style they are going to enjoy. The downside is that the plethora of options can make it difficult to decide what skills to train next.

For a more experienced player, the biggest problem comes in the old saying "Jack of all trades, master of none". It is very easy to get yourself into this position in Eve, where you try to train skills to support 2, 3, or more play styles that don't really complement each other (think pirate/miner). Unless you have a huge amount of time, you are never going to become really good at either role.

I guess the question is: does it matter? I'm asking because I'm looking at my EveMon training plan and it is quite a jack of all trades extravaganza. I have trained tons of mining, up to exhumers and would even love to fly an Orca. However, I'm also actively pursuing battleships and want to fly a combat capital ship as well. Does this make sense, or would I be better off focusing on one play style (i.e., mining) and get really good at it?

I'm not just asking a rhetorical question here. I'm really open to suggestions. Please post a comment and let me know what you think.

Outfitting my battle cruiser tonight

Well, thanks to having all the qualifications for Cruiser done, I was able to train very quickly for Battle Cruisers in just a few hours. Tonight, I'm going to pick up my shiny new BC at one of our stations and get it fitted out. I am hopeful that I will be able to fully load it up with lasers, and really put out a ton of DPS with this thing.

I'm not sure about using it for solo missions or not as I don't want to really risk having it blow up. Back when I was flying my Coercer (the Amarr destroyer), I was going through those things like water. I must have lost at least 4 or 5 of those things. It should be pretty useful for group mission running as a pure DPSer.

I can't wait: it is always exciting to get a new ship!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Eve raid night!

Most raiding guilds in World of Warcraft have scheduled at least one raid night per week, and often two. These raid nights are scheduled to occur every week and usually last for two to four hours, and are the time when the raiders in the guild run one of the large instanced dungeons in the game.

If you aren't familiar with WOW, raids require either 10 or 25 players, and the composition of the group is very important to the success of the overall raid. Each player has a role, and you cannot easily substitute different players for certain key roles (main tank, main healer, etc.). What this means is that if you are a raider in the guild, you are making a pretty strong commitment to be there for whenever the guild is raiding.

For some reason, from my experience talking to other Eve players, listening to Eve podcasts, and reading Eve blogs, Eve does not seem to have the concept of a "raid night". There does not seem to be a specific night where a corp or an alliance gets together to do a big task that requires a lot of manpower. I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing. I think that instituting something like a raid night in a corporation could actually be very good for the overall health of the corp.

On raid night, the corporation could have everyone (who is available anyway) get together to work as a team on a task. For some corps that could just be a huge ore, ice, or gas mining jamboree. For other corporations, it could be putting together PvP gangs and running around looking for targets of opportunity to kill. Whatever the corp decides to do, it would probably be useful to get people together on Ventrilo or TeamSpeak, working toward a common goal.

In fact, because Eve is a bit more flexible about roles than WOW, raid night is probably even easier to pull off in Eve than in WOW. For example, if your Orca pilot can't make it to a mining raid night, you don't have to cancel the entire operation. This is not the case in WOW, where if the main tank or other key player can't make it, you might have to scrap the whole run.

Anyway, I strongly advocate the institution of Eve corporate raid night. If you are in a corporation that has something like raid night, please let me know. I'd be very interested in how it is working out for you...

What I love about Eve #3: EBANK Collapse

I guess I don't actually love the fact that EBANK has lost 1.2 trillion (!) ISK, although since my corp and I don't use their services, this doesn't impact me. But what I do love about Eve is that it provides an environment where someone could set up something like EBANK and have enough people deposit enough cash that you could lose that much money. Try that with a guild bank in WOW!

Anyway, I am cheering for EBANK to recover just because I think the concept is cool. I guess maybe it's my MBA background, but I was always interested in finance and banking, and the fact that Eve allows you to do these sorts of activities is awesome.

Good luck to all those pilots and corporations who have deposited money with EBANK. I hope that you eventually get your money back.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lesson learned

I learned a valuable lesson about missions last night, and this is this: Don't take every mission that's offered to you.

Here's the situation: I accepted a mission without really reading the mission text (we all do that, right?). Then I went out to perform the mission. It turns out that the mission was for a corp in the Amarr faction, and required me to kill lots of Minmatar rats. The mission was going to give me lots of standing with the Amarr and several corporations, but at the expense of losing standing with the Minmatar. Unfortunately, in my corp (and I'm guessing in other corps), we try to have high standing with all the major factions.

When I think of it, the only real reason I run the missions is for standing (and salvage), and raising standing with one corp or faction while losing it with another is hardly a good tradeoff. Therefore, sometimes it is better to decline a mission than to take it. Lesson learned.

Here, then, are two suggestions:
  1. Read the text of the mission to find out who you will be killing, and
  2. Don't take missions that require you to kill NPCs in the major factions.

Oops! Disabled my hit counter...

Not that it's a big deal, but I accidentally deleted the HTML for SiteMeter (, the hit counter that I use to see if anyone's reading my blog. Now I won't know about the million hits I got last night.

Retiring my tag line...

Now that I've been playing the game for a bit, I think I will still be posting topics that are interesting to new players, but I am going to take the focus off exclusively catering to new players (was it ever really that way?)

Anyway, I'm removing the tagline and am not sure I'm going to replace it. If I do, it will be something like "The random scribblings of a newish Eve player as he tries to figure out how to get ahead and have a good time in the wild and wooly world of Internet spaceships". Or something like that.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Status Report - 8/24/09

I guess I could give you all an update on where I stand after my hiatus...

Radd Trigon Status Report for 08/24/2009

Skill Points: 5.1 million
Skills in Queue: Science V (3 days to go)
Skills at Level 5: 6
ISK Balance: 4.7 million (Hey, we're a socialist corp, so I'm not supposed to have much cash!)
Currently Flying: Omen cruiser
EVEMon Training Plan: Battle Cruiser then Battleship interspersed with PPL requirements
Corporation: Phoenix Propulsion Labs

Summary: Finished getting qualified for Amarr cruisers. Did a fair amount of mining with the corp. Ran tons of L1 missions with the local NPC corp. Now have moved my personal base of operations to a new system where I have access to a Level 2 agent.

Why do I like mining anyway?!

As many of you know, I have decided to make mining my primary "career" in Eve, at least for the time being. I have spent many weeks training up skills to help me be a more effective miner, including Astrogeology, Mining, Industry, and Mining Barges to 5 in order to be able to fly an Exhumer. However, the question remains: "Why do you like mining?!" with the subtext that it has got to be the most boring thing in the game to do.

I guess the short answer is that it is easy. It doesn't take a huge amount of effort or concentration to do it reasonably well. In high sec, especially in a fleet operation where someone is hauling for you, you can go mine all night long while watching TV, talking to the family, or even reading a book or newspaper, checking in every minute or two to move ore out of your cargo hold. Even if you go AFK and are gone for a long time, nothing bad is likely to happen to except that your mining lasers will shut down when your cargo hold fills. Not a big deal.

In addition, mining is something that is highly valued, especially by a production corporation such as PPL. Without raw materials, a production corporation is pretty much a social club, so the folks who are willing to put in the time mining are highly valued. Whether it's mining ice to power your POSs or mining asteroids for ore, miners are what make production possible, and are a valuable link in the supply chain.

And don't think that mining is always mind-numbingly boring either. If you are doing jet can mining with a large fleet and don't have an Orca or two to drop your ore into, mining can actually keep you pretty busy (even if the activity is not that exciting). Popping new cans, renaming them, tractoring them to the the hauler, hauling back to the station, etc. can keep you very much occupied if there are lots of miners working a belt. In addition, mining in low or null sec or in a worm hole can be exciting when you need to be ready to warp out at the drop of a hat.

Anyway, yes, it is not as exciting as forming a gang and going on a mission hunting bad guys, or firing up your scanning gear and discovering new belts and wormholes, but mining has an allure all its own. I compare it to fishing in WOW: something to do that doesn't require a lot of attention, with the difference being that in Eve you actually have something worth having when you're done.

Training Battle Cruisers

Hey! What do you know?! In my corporation, if you are qualified to fly a cruiser, you are pretty close to being able to fly a battle cruiser too. Since this is the case, and since flying a battle cruiser is cool, I'm going to take part of a day and train up to get BC qualified.

Now, I am no guru on battle cruisers, they seem to be similar to destroyers but bigger. They carry tons of guns but don't have much tank. I guess you just need to make sure you kill whatever you're shooting at before it can shoot at you and everything will be fine.

I am going to be very careful with this thing. The reason I say this is that when I was flying my Coercer (the Amarr destroyer), I had a hard time keeping my ship in one piece. This was not as big a problem when I was financing my own ships and they were cheap. Now that PPL is footing the bill for my BC, I absolutely don't want to have to get more than one of these things, unless I have a darn good reason for getting blown up!

Anyway, pretty soon you will see Radd Trigon flying around at least some of the time in a shiny new battle cruiser. If you do, say hi!

What I love about Eve #2: The Butterfly Effect

I know this has been out there for a while and if you are reading my little blog, you've probably already seen it, but CCP recently released a video called The Butterfly Effect that sums up the second thing I really love about Eve. You can see the video on YouTube at

What happens in the video is perhaps a bit out there, but the fact is that little things can have big impacts in this game. However, it also works in reverse: huge events in which you are not in the least bit involved can have a way of becoming very personal and can impact you in a big way. I will be posting about one such instance in a future post. Until then, if you haven't checked out the video, do so, as it is very entertaining.

The standings grind

My corp recently moved to a new location, and as part of that move, we need to gain standing with a new NPC corporation. This means running missions, and because my standing is low with these guys, I can only take on Level 1 missions. Of course, they are very easy to complete (I've been running hard level 2 missions successfully for a while), so not successfully completing the missions is not a problem. What is the problem is how little your standing increases for each completed Level 1 mission. I know I turned in missions yesterday that didn't even move my standing on the standings page because of rounding! Ugh...

Anyway, one way to beat this is to find someone in your corp who has a higher standing and who can do higher level missions and group up. Make sure they share the cash and standing increase when they turn in the completed mission. I did this yesterday with one of my corp mates (Thanks, Sil!), and it was just what I needed to get me qualified for a Level 2 agent. Another thing to remember is that if you look around, you may find a lower quality agent of a higher level. An invaluable resource for locating agents that you can work for is As you start turning in harder missions, your standing increases faster, so getting into Level 2s and Level 3s is really important to getting the standings grind over as quickly as possible.

Anyway, hopefully now that I'm running L2s I will start to make some real progress with these guys. But it was quite the slog to get to this point, and one that I hope to not have to do again soon...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What I love about Eve #1: Options, options, options

One thing that I really love about Eve is that there are very few things that you can't do. You have so many options for things to do. In fact, there are so many options that it can paralyze you as a new player, and I think this is part of the difficulty of getting started in this game.

Eve is different that many (most?) MMOs in that you start as a blank slate and there is nothing keeping you from going into any play style no matter how you begin. In WOW, if you start as a warrior, you will be a DPSer or tank, period. If you're a mage, you pew pew from a distance, period. There is no changing your role after this initial decision.

In Eve, your initial decision of race, etc., only really impacts the type of ship you will be flying at the beginning of the game. Beyond that, you can decide what you will do, i.e., you have options. You can mine, PvP, be a pirate, be a builder, explore worm holes, etc. There's nothing you can't choose to do because of your initial character decision.

Right now, I am trying to figure out what I want to focus on, and I have a bit of analysis paralysis myself. There are so many choices, it really is difficult to decide what to focus on. Up to this point I have focused on mining, but I would also like to consider some other roles, including:

  • Exploration - finding worm holes, etc.
  • PvP - getting qualified to fly a battleship and then a dreadnought
  • Production - get qualified to build stuff to be sold on the market

The cool thing is that in the end, I will eventually be able to do all these things, but the question is which to do first. And having this choice is one of things I love about Eve.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Yes, you can fly it, but...

I learned a valuable lesson not too long ago: just because you can fly something doesn't mean you can fly it well! My story is as follows...

I had been training to be able to fly the big mining ships (the Mack and the Hulk), and running missions to earn a few ISK and grind out standing. I was running the Level 1s in my frigate and destroyer, and things were going okay. Then I reached Level 2s. I really started to have trouble with these to the point that it wasn't even fun and was sometimes even impossible to finish these missions on my own.

Therefore, I decided I had to get a cruiser if I wanted to keep running missions, so I got hands on the Amarr Cruiser and Medium Energy Turret skill books and started training. As soon as I could, I trained these skills and jumped into my brand new Omen ready to fit it out.

Let me tell you, it was a rude awakening! I could barely fit anything on that ship! Because my various skills were so low, I couldn't fit the armor I wanted, and I could only get 2 turrets online at a time because of power grid limitations (I think, I'm no expert!)

Anyway, I figured I'd try to use EveMon and the Battleclinic load outs to figure out what skills I should train and how I should fit the ship, but that didn't help either. Every one of the loadouts there that I found is loaded with Tech II and/or high end faction stuff that requires tons more skills than I need. As great as EveMon is, this capability is not well suited for the beginner. I needed something else.

Fortunately, my corporation, Phoenix Propulsion Labs (, has a solution. They have developed a very cool application on their web site for members that lays out "qualifications" to fly various classes of ships. In fact, because it is a socialist corporation where you are going to be given a ship by the corp rather than pay for it yourself, these qualifications for the ship are pretty much mandatory. You typically won't get your hands on a ship that you aren't qualified to fly (although they apparently made an exception for me with the Omen and we see how that worked out!)

Anyway, these qualifications don't mean you are going to be the best pilot of the particular class of ship, but you will be able to fit it out in a way that won't totally suck, and you should be able to hold your own in a fight with those skills.

I don't know if other corporations have anything as sophisticated as the qualification application, but I'm guessing they have something like a system of recommendations to help new pilots. Of course, my corporation's system is best! :-)

Anyway, I am now Amarr Cruiser qualified and am having a much better time piloting my Omen. I am now using the qualification requirements to train to be able to fly an Amarr battleship next.

If you would like to know more about PPL's qualification system (or anything else for that matter), feel free to convo me in game at Radd Trigon, drop by the "SHOP@PPL" channel, or post a comment on this blog.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Check out the Podded Podcast

Regularly produced Eve podcasts are hard to find these days. My not so recent post about the Drone Bay returning turns out to have been a bit of a false alarm, although I'm sure they have the best of intentions, and when it comes out again I fully expect that it will be great. Warp Drive Active is pretty spotty these days as well, but well worth a listen when it does come out.

The podcast I've been listening to a lot recently, and which comes out regularly enough to keep you satisfied is the Podded podcast ( It apparently is two British guys sitting around a table together, slowly getting drunk and talking about Eve once a week. It is really a lot of fun to listen to, and because both hosts, Dillon Arklight and Warchilde, have a tendency to ramble as the beer flows, the podcasts usually end up being pretty long. Definitely check it out if you, like me, enjoy listening to podcasts about our favorite game.

I'm Back!!!

Alright! I'll admit it: I fizzled out big time on the blogging front. I was going like gangbusters to start and then just stopped. I am sorry about doing that.

Anyway, I've decided to get back to it, but with more realistic goals. I am not going to be posting everyday, but I will try to post at least a few times a week. In addition, I'm will be focusing on stuff that our corporation is up to and just the stuff I think is cool in the game.

I will say this: I really like the corporation that I'm in as they are a bunch of really great people who take the game seriously, but not too seriously. I also love this game for the grand scope of things, and how everything is interconnected. I'm going to be talking about all of this in future posts.

Anyway, I'm back and will be more active than I've been recently, but probably less active than I was right at the beginning. Hopefully, you'll find something interesting in what I write...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Drone Bay is back!

The Drone Bay podcast is back after a long hiatus. I'm sure if you're reading my little blog, you already know this, but who knows. Anyway, I have a real soft spot in my heart for The Drone Bay because it is the podcast that really helped me figure out how to play Eve Online after floundering around on my own for my first few weeks on a trial account.

You can learn more about The Drone Bay at Enjoy!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The great skill-up slowdown

One of the interesting things about Eve Online is that there is no experience points. All skills are learned by studying skill books, and the learning goes on around the clock, whether you are playing or not. This has some advantages and disadvantages. One advantages are that you can continue progressing even if you are not able to play very often. On the downside, there is no way to "power level" a character by working hard and grinding.

Anyway, something interesting happens when you hit 1.6 million skill points that I didn't realize: you slow down by a lot! It turns out that you earn the first 1.6 million skill points at double the normal rate. I don't know how to put this information to use for a new player, but perhaps this might work. If you have several skills to train and you are about to pass the 1.6 million SP mark, train one that takes the longest. I think that you will train at double speed for the whole skill, even if the majority of it is over 1.6 million points. There: advice...

Anyway, it kind of sucks that skills take so much longer now. I will have been training Astrogeology V for over 2 weeks now!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New Corp!

As I mentioned in my last post, I applied for a position in Phoenix Propulsion Labs. I'm happy to tell you that I was accepted into the corporation a few days ago. I am officially a cadet in PPL.

So far things have been going very well. The other corp members are very friendly and helping me along quite nicely. It is a whole different ballgame, though, working in a corporation that has actual work to get done to service its external customers. In Eve University, the corp members are the closest thing to customers for the most part.

Since joining a few days ago, some of the highlights since I have been a member have been helping out as a sentry for a low sec ice mining operation and participating in a pretty extensive mining operation for a discovered asteroid field.

Being in a "real" corporation is really different, and quite a bit different than Eve University. So far I'm enjoying it much more.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Out of the University

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I was thinking of dropping out of Eve U. Well, I dropped from the corp a few days ago when I was finally able to fly my Retriever. I just couldn't stand not being able to take my new toy out and use it!

I also started to look into other corporations that might be a good fit for me. I contacted CrazyKinux about his corp, Phoenix Propulsion Labs, and it sounded like a good fit. I went through the interview process today and hope to get accepted soon.

I feel a bit guilty about leaving Eve University (if it happens), especially given that this feels like exactly what the griefers are trying to accomplish. On the other hand, I pay money every month to play this game, and would like to have some fun doing it.

We'll see how it goes with the app. In some ways it feels like applying for a real job!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Status Report - 5/27/2009

I'm a day late on my status report, but here it is. Honestly, the holiday on Monday threw me off!

Radd Trigon Status Report for 05/27/2009

Skill Points: 1.6 million
Skills in Queue: Astrogeology IV (1d 5h to go)
Skills at Level 5: 1 (Industry V came this week!)
ISK Balance: 17.8 million (+10.1 million since last week)
Ships: 5 (Crucifier, Tormentor, Punisher, Sigil, Coercer)
EVEMon Training Plan: Retriever then Orca
Corporation: Eve University

Summary: Another week of limited activity owing to the wardec. Seriously considered dropping corp, but have not done so yet. Decided to train for a Retriever first, then move to Orca, and should have skills and ISK to buy and outfit it by Thursday. Flew in some uneventful fleet ops. Reached out to Phoenix Propulsion Labs as a possible corp to join after I'm done with Eve University. Will stay in the University a bit longer to see how the wardec situation plays out.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Vote Dierdra Vaal

The CSM election is ending soon, but all new players of Eve Online would appreciate a vote for Dierdra Vaal. Dierdra is a major force in Eve University, the corp that has helped so many new pilots over the years get a solid foundation in the game. The students of Eve University, many of whom are too new to vote (like me), would appreciate your vote for Dierdra.


I think I mentioned that I was getting tired of station spinning due to wardecs. I have decided to drop out of Eve University in order to get on with my life now that wardecs appear to be the order of the day (week?) for Eve University. I know that sucks and I wish I didn't have to do it, but until CCP makes changes to the game to prevent these nusiance wardecs, I'm afraid it is always going to be this way.

My drop from the corporation will become permanent tomorrow evening. Until then, you can find me spinning in Korsiki.

Eve Blog Banter #8: What new mechanic should be added to Eve?

Well, this is my first posting as part of CrazyKinux's Eve Blog Banter. The question this month is:

What new game mechanic or mechanics would you like to see created and brought into the EVE Online universe and how would this be incorporated into the current game universe? Be specific and give details, this is not meant to be a 'nerf this, boost my game play' post like we see on the EVE forums.

Now, granted, I am new to the game and have not seen all the various mechanics already in the game, so it is hard for me to write about something truly new since it might not be new at all, but just something I haven't seen yet. So instead, I'm going to focus on a game mechanic that I think needs to be changed, and give my reasons why and suggestions for how it should be different. You can certainly disagree with me and I'd love to hear your thoughts.

My suggestion is that there needs to be a way for truly neutral corporations to avoid frivilous war declarations. As I wrote previously, I am a member of Eve University, a truly valuable resource for the Eve universe as a whole. I don't see how anyone could have an issue with the university in a true political sense in that they really stay neutral. Their entire goal is to train new Eve players through the generosity of the more senior members of the corporation. Eve U. is a valuable resource and should be supported by other companies who benefit from being able to recruit pilots trained by Eve University for their own corporations.

Unfortunately, Eve University has been regularly wardec'd on a nearly continuous basis for the past several months, with no end in sight. If we assume the best possible intentions from the aggressors, they wardec the Uni because there are lots of noob pilots to target for a week. However, Eve University rules require all pilots to stay in base until the hostilities end, so while there is the ocassional target of opportunity that didn't follow the rules, for the most part a wardec on Eve U. brings nothing but the Uniblob of 30+ noob pilots with nothing to lose attacking single targets until the war is over. Why would someone pay 50 million ISK for that?

This leads to what I think is actual reason to wardec the Uni: simple griefing. There is no good reason for this sort of activity, other than giving people trouble and making their lives miserable. It seems like there is someone or some group out there that does not want the University to exist in its current form, and the constant stream of wardecs is a way to kill it. Why would someone join a corp if you have to spend 95% of your time doing nothing?

Therefore, I would like there to be changes to the game to prevent these sorts of grief wardecs from being declared, while still staying true to the fact that the Eve universe is a dangerous place. Here are some suggestions I'd like to submit:

  1. Make wardeccing MUCH more expensive. From my understanding, the cost for a wardec has been 50 million ISK since the game began. It seems like this is a pretty paltry figure, given that it is easy to make this much money in a day. Change the cost to something more reasonable, like 500 million or a billion and we could get a feel for just how important this war really is to declaring corp.
  2. Allow a corporation to pay protection money to CONCORD. Obviously, the wardec payment to CONCORD is a bribe to get them to look the other way while you illegally attack another corp. Therefore, the target company should be able to pay a bribe to either keep a wardec from being made in the first place, or a bribe to end the wardec early.
  3. Allow a neutral status. CONCORD is the currupt cop in the neighborhood that is happy to take a bribe. But it's one thing for a cop to turn the other way when one gang is beating up on another gang, whereas it's another thing to let that gang rob defenseless old women. I think that the same principle should apply in Eve. It should be easy for one corp to declare war on another if the second corp declares war on others or is in an alliance that is regularly involved in aggression. If, on the other hand, the target corp does not declare war on others and is not in any alliance, it should be significantly harder (i.e., more expensive) to declare war on that corporation.
  4. Allow a corporation to buy/get protection from another corp. It should be possible to create an agreement between corporations such that a smaller, weaker corporation can obtain protection from a larger, stronger corporation. This formal agreement would give the stronger corporation the ability to attack and kill members of any corporation that wardecs the smaller corp. The smaller corp would not be embroiled in any conflicts of the stronger corp.
Personally, I think the fourth option would open up lots of new play styles and conflicts in the game:

  • Strong corps with lots of firepower could fight over the right to "own" turf, and be able to collect the protection money from the weak corporations in a certain part of the galaxy.
  • Weak corps could choose to move to new neighborhoods if they don't like the "terms" being offered by the neighborhood tough guy.
  • Strong corps could threaten the weak corporations if they don't pay the protection money.
Let me know what you think about these suggestions. I'd love to hear from you! And thanks to CrazyKinux for setting up blog banter. Please make sure to visit his blog for more discussion at CrazyKinux's Musing.

Other Blog Banters:
  1. CrazyKinux's Musing, EVE Blog Banter #8: Care for a little game of SecWars?
  2. The Wandering Druid of Tranquility, Wow, that new thing is so shiny!!!
  3. I am Keith Nielson, EVE Blog Banter #8 - Return of the Top Gun
  4. Once More from the Beginning, 8th EVE Blog Banter May 2009 Edition
  5. A merry life and a short one, EVE Blog Banter #8: In the Year of Our Awesome
  6. Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah, Planets
  7. Helicity Boson, Bantering the blog
  8. Achernar, Unique adventures
  9. Ecliptic Rift, OOC: EVE Blog Banter 8: Standings and secondary factions
  10. The New Edener, EVE Blog Banter #8
  11. Journey to New Eden, Eve Blog Banter #8: What new mechanic should be added to Eve?
  12. Life, The Universe and Everything, Blog banter 8: mentorship
  13. EVE Guru, EBB 8: Yarr! Prepare to be boarded!
  14. The Ralpha Dogs, Greed Is Good, Greed Works
  15. Rifter Drifter, Blog Banter 8: Strategic Gunnery
  16. More to come...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Can you believe it?!

A 3 person corporation called Forge Monster Inc. has wardecced the University this time. This is absolutely ridiculous, and is making me consider other options in the game.

I honestly don't see why you should be able to easily declare war on a neutral corporation like the University. Fifty million ISK is nothing, so there's hardly any incentive not to wardec the University.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Profession chosen

I have decided that my first "profession" in Eve is going to be mining. After chatting with some miners in the Uni, I have set my sights on my first true mining ship, a Retriever. This puppy runs about 5m ISK, and requires a fair amount of training to be able to operate. So, using EVEMon, I pulled up the Retriever and added all the required skills to my plan. I've been training them for a couple days now, and by next week I should have everything I need to fly a mining barge.

Now when I go out on fleet mining operations, I won't feel so guilty about not pulling my weight!

War is over (for now)

Yesterday, the war dec against Eve University expired. It was great being able to get out of the dock and do something other than hunt for enemy ships.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Status Report - 5/19/2009

As a progam manager, do my share of status reports. As such, I'm going to be giving a brief weekly status update every Tuesday (the day after my status reports for work and WOW's patch day!). Here's my first SR:

Radd Trigon Status Report for 05/19/2009

Skill Points: 1.1 million
Skills in Queue: Iron Will 4, Clarity 1, Focus 1, Clarity 2, Focus 2, etc.
Skills at Level 5: 0
ISK Balance: 7.7 million
Ships: 5 (Crucifier, Tormentor, Punisher, Sigil, Coercer)
EVEMon Training Plan: Orca
Corporation: Eve University

Summary: A week of limited activity owing to the wardec. Developed a number of skills useful for fleet operations including High Speed Maneuvering, and am now a (theoretically) qualified tackler. the week started with a really fun mining operation that was extremely profitable. Based on this experience, I've decided I want to work on my mining-related skills, and eventually fly an Orca. Flew in a few fleet ops that were uneventful.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Noob to Noob #4: EVEMon

If you're a new player like me, you have a basic idea of what you might want to do (I think I'd like to be on the production side of the house, but I'm not sure...) and you know you need skills to do that. Unfortunately, there are tons of items, ships, etc. out there that each require skills to use them, and those skills often require other prerequisite skills, etc. And don't get me started on skills to help make learning new skills easier. It can be really confusing.

Enter EVEMon. This handy tool will help you figure out what skills you need, and how to get you to them as quickly and painlessly as possible. For instance, say you wanted to be able to fly an Orca. You can look up the ship in EVEMon, and it will tell you the skills required to fly that ship. In addition, you can review buildouts for that ship that will show suggested fittings. From there, you can even add the skills for the equipment to your training plan.

For me, the biggest utility for EVEMon so far is the way it optimizes your training plan. For instance, if you take a few hours training some of the learning talents, you can cut those hours plus off your overall training time. This is stuff that is not really obvious to a new player (and in fact is counterintuitive), but comes in very handy when you are trying to get your skills up.

Oh, I guess I should mention that EVEMon has tons of other handy features too, but I really don't have time to go into them all. Suffice it to say, if you are playing Eve at all, you should probably be running EVEMon.

EVEMon can be downloaded from Go check it out!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

First PVP fleet operation

Last night I went out for the first time in a fleet operation. As I mentioned, we were wardeced a few days ago, and rather than sit holed up in our docks, we decided to take the fight to the enemy, Eve University-style! That means about 40 corp members getting in ships that they don't mind losing and going hunting for one of the six members of our enemy's corporation.

We grouped up last night, and I ended up in a squad being commanded by Sagacious Z, who did a terrific job getting me squared away. As this was my first fleet op and I'd never even had any training, to say I didn't know what I was doing would be an understatement. I learned such abbreviations as
  • AL XXX - Align to stargate XXX - Aligning to a stargate helps everyone to warp at the same time, keeping the fleet together
  • JJJ - Jump Jump Jump! - This one I had no idea of, and is a bit of a funny story. I got the align part down, and when you are aligned, the fleet commander (FC) can cause all ships to warp at the same time. I guess I kind of took that to mean I was on autopilot and didn't need to do anything. However, we'd get to a gate and I would look around and notice there were none of my fleetmates around. Apparently, I have to jump, the FC can't do that for me!
  • JOC - Jump on Contact - This is a good way to travel quickly, where the second you come out of warp at a stargate, you immediately jump to the next system. It is safer and faster than hanging around out of warp.
  • WT - War Target - A ship we can kill!

The good news is that we found a WT at a system not too far from us and were able to take him down. I wasn't exactly in the thick of the fighting, being about 85km away when he went down according to the overview, but still it was exciting to be hunting with the corp.

Thanks to the various leaders of Eve University and the Ivy League Navy (ILN) for having me along on this operation, and helping me learn a new set of skills!

First mining fleet operation

I went out with Jen Loo (big shout out!) from the University on my first mining fleet operation. Strangely, it was a lot of fun! For about half the time, I was the designated can popper. Basically, the way the mining fleet works is this:

  • One person jettisons ore, creating a cargo container floating in space
  • That person names the can with a time stamp
  • Everyone puts their ore in the can
  • When it's close to full, the can popper jettisons the next load of ore, making a new can which he names with the new timestamp
  • After the first can is full, the can owner renames the can to indicate it is full
  • A transport ship uses a tractor beam to grab the full cans, empties them and ferries the ore to the station

We had about 7 or 8 miners going for a few hours and cleared out a couple asteroid belts. I'm sure that more experienced miners with better equipment (most of us were noobs) could do this a lot faster. And while it was not action packed, it actually required more thinking and work than I expected. This is partly because I was the can popper and was mining in a frigate with a tiny cargo hold, so I had to stay on my toes (relatively speaking) to make sure the mining lasers never turned off.

The best part about it was that I made over 4 million ISK out of the deal, which is huge for a newbie like me. I know this is not because I actually pulled in that much ore, but because of the way Jen calculates the payout, but I am not going to complain. I plan on getting back out there with a better ship next time and I will come closer to pulling my weight. I actually think mining might be something I really get into.

Anyway, I'd like to say a big thank you to Jen Loo, miner extraodinaire, and the rest of the Eve U. mining crew for having me along!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

All moved in and getting ready for war

I finished my move last night and am now happily based in a station in the Korsiki system. Now it's time to get ready for the upcoming war. The corp that declared war on us is pretty small, so me might not have as many restrictions as normal, but that is not decided yet.

When war comes to Eve University, they pretty much go into full-on lockdown mode in order to make wardecing us as undesireable as possible. There is no mission running, mining, etc., only PvP fleet operations.

I plan to participate in the war effort by training skills and outfitting a ship for tackling. I didn't know what this was 2 days ago, but apparently tackling is pinning down a ship so your buddies can kill it. It is done with warp disruptors and stasis webifiers that keep the ship from getting away. Anyway, I got necessary skill books from the University and am learning them right now. I also bought a new Crucifier frigate and stuff to outfit it as a tackler. Hopefully, I will get to see some action before the war is over.

Leaving for college

As the Uni prepares for war, I figured this was as good a time as any to move my operations to Korsiki and its environs, which is where Eve U has its headquarters. I've got a fair amount of stuff spread around Amarri space, and I'm going to get it all to one central location.

When I told someone in my corp what I was up to, he suggested thta I just sell stuff in one place and buy in the other. However, I wanted to make it more fun. I decided I would do things the old fashioned way, by moving everything myself in my own Sigil industrial ship. So if you see me driving by in my Orange U-Haul Sigil, wave to me!

Friday, May 15, 2009

War, again!

Okay, it looks like another corporation has declared war on my corp, Eve University. Since I've been playing Eve, there has only been about a week during which E-Uni has not been at war! Oh, well, I guess I will get a chance to see what being in a war is like...

Hello to new visitors!

Hello to all the new visitors coming from Crazy Kinux's Musings! Just to let you know, I am a brand new Eve player, blogging about my experiences as I learn more about this game and become a contributing member of the Eve Universe. Hopefully, new players will occassionally learn something from my posts, while experienced players may get a chuckle out of my noobish exploits.

I hope that you come back and visit on occassion. If you have any thoughts or feedback about my blog or about Eve in general, I'd love to hear from you. And finally, a special thank you to Crazy Kinux for the link!

Noob to Noob #3: Getting better missions

Missions are one of the key ways to make ISK in Eve. However, it is kind of a pain to run missions that pay 40k ISK (including the bonus) when you know there have to be more lucrative missions out there. In the Eve Uni chat channel I was told that to get better agents to talk to you, you have to increase your standing with them and their corporations. I was also told there were several ways to do that: run missions for the agent or other agents in his/her corp, or train some skills.

Well, I decided I'd run missions, since I was happily training away on my learning skills and didn't want to disrupt them. So there I was I was running missions like crazy for several days, seeing repeated missions coming up and generally getting bored to tears. And the sad thing was, my standing was barely going up at all. I think the corp I did the most work for went up less than 1 point during that whole time, and barely a new mission was made available.

So I asked my fellow students and got two bits of advice that really opened up lots of new mission opportunities: train Social and Connections. These two skills took way less than a day to train to Level 3, and they immediately opened up better quality agents almost immediately, including my first Level 2 agents. This was the best 4 or 5 hours of my training schedule I think I ever spent.

So if you are looking for new missions and new agents to give them to you, get out there and train Social and Connections. The skill books aren't too bad, the training (to level 3) is pretty short, and the pay off (at least for me) was huge!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

WoW Time

I went out raiding with my WoW guild tonight, and I can see how people would have disagreements about which game is more hardcore. In many ways, with Eve you have to "want it" more to get something out of it. In WoW, you will eventually make it to 80 even if you aren't very good, just because there's really no way to go backwards in the game. In that respect, Eve is more hardcore than WoW.

On the other hand, with WoW, you really have to commit the time if you want to REALLY progress at the end of the game. There is no way around raiding if you want to get the really good loot, etc. And raiding, even "casual" raiding, takes huge chunks of time. There's no getting around it. In that respect, I suppose you can probably be a serious Eve player without having to commit to it in quite the same way.

Anyway, I'd love to hear the thoughts of others out there. Which game is more "hard core"?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

By the way, who are you?!

I guess I haven't actually told you anything about my character in Eve. Sorry about that! My character's name is "Radd Trigon", which now that I think about it is an amalgamation of valley speak and pidgeon Greek that means "cool three-sided object". I actually spent approximately 15 seconds coming up with that name, and I guess it sort of seems outerspace-esque enough for the job.

My character is an Amarri, and is currently based out of the Nakri/Youl area. I'm about 15 jumps away from Korsiki, home of my corporation. I'm currently flying a Punisher frigate for my missions, and combination of a Tormentor and a Sigil for jet-can mining.

If your in my neck of the woods, feel free to look me up! (By the way, that's "look", not "blow"!)

Noob to Noob #2: Skills

Eve is a unique game in that you don't have levels or experience points. Instead, you train skills by studying. To learn an ability, you need the appropriate skill book, which you can buy on the market, and time. Given enough time and skill books, your character will be able to learn everything he or she wants to learn.

There are a number of tips to help make sure you are progressing and learning as quickly as possible. Here are some tips:

  • ABT (Always Be Training) - Okay, it's not a great acronym, but it is still true. Make sure you are always training something. Training continues even when you are logged off, so make sure that your training queue is always full enough to get you to your next login at least.
  • Maximize the amount of training in the queue - One thing about the queue is that all training in it must start in the next 24 hours. Note that the last training can end days later, but it must start today. To make sure you're always training something, put a skill at the end of your queue that takes a long time to train. That way, if you get hung up or real life keeps you from logging on, you are less likely to not be training, which is a cardinal sin in Eve!
  • Train you training ability - There are a whole set of skills that improve your attributes or learning ability. These skill books are all under the Learning category in the market, and have names such as "Iron Will", "Instant Recall", and "Learning". These skills help you train faster, and will pay off huge over the long haul. I would definitely train these up to level 3 pretty early on to give yourself a training speed boost. You will want all these up to Level 4 at least at some point.
  • Do the starter mission chains for free skill books - When you are doing the starter missions, you will recieve skill books either as mission rewards or as part of the tutorials that pop up. Do all three chains even if you are not interested in that profession, if nothing else but to get the skill books.

Note that these are just the tip of the iceberg on training, but they have helped me. There's tons to know about skill training. Check out for links to useful threads about skill training in the Eve forums for more information.

Good luck, and happy training!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Attending an Ivy League University has its advantages...

Most corporations in Eve belong to an alliance, and Eve University is no exception. Eve is a member (and perhaps the only member) of the Ivy League. Therefore, I suppose you could say I am attending an Ivy League institution!

I can say that being a member of Eve University has a number of perks that are pretty great for a new player just starting out. In my short time as a Unista, I have:
  • Received learning skill books subsidized by a member of the University to the tune of 2.25 million ISK. Considering that 2.25 million ISK is about all the money I have at the moment, this is HUGE! A big shout out to the generous Uni member who makes it possible for us noobs to get our hands on the advanced learning skill books that otherwise would be out of our reach. I won't call you out by name, but you know who you are and I really appreciate it!
  • Received 1 million ISK about 2 minutes after I was made a member of the corporation. Again, that bumped my cash on hand by about 30% and was really appreciated.
I know that there are many other perks, including free skill books, free ship replacement, etc. that are all super helpful for a broke bugger such as myself getting started. And this is on top of all the great instruction that I've gotten and will continue to get as a member of the University.

I can't say how other corporations treat their noobs, but I can tell you that the Ivy League is a great place to start for a new player in Eve.

You want Eve blogs? You got it!

CrazyKinux has a list of over 300 Eve-related blogs that might interest you. You can find the list here:

It's official: I'm a member or Eve Uni

The war is over and tonight I was officially made a member of Eve University. Over the next several months I will be working with the instructors and students of Eve University to learn more about this fascinating game. And as I do, I will be posting on this site...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Noob to Noob #1: Getting there faster

In today's Noob to Noob (N2N #1), we'll talk about traveling long distances a little faster. One of the big complaints about Eve is that the game is so big and it takes forever to get anywhere. There is no doubt that this is true, and my tip will not make it that much faster to get around, but it will help.

Here's the tip: if you want to get between systems faster, don't use autopilot. Autopilot does one really dumb thing: it warps you to a point about 15km away from the stargate you are heading towards, then slowly approaches the stargate under normal propulsion until you get close enough to jump to the next system. It is this 15km distance that really adds to the travel time.

If you turn off autopilot and drive yourself, you can warp straight to the stargate so you can immediately jump as soon as you come out of warp. This speeds things up A LOT, although you can't go get a Diet Coke (or Quafe!) while you're traveling across the galaxy.

You may be thinking that that's great, except you don't know the route to where you're going whereas the autopilot does. Well, here's a secret that makes driving yourself much easier. If you set the destination you are heading to in the same way you would if you were using autopilot, the way will be plotted out for you, and driving yourself will be easy. Just look for the stargate in your overview that is highlighted in yellow. This will be your next stargate. All you need to do is follow the yellow stargates until you arrive in your target system. It's just that easy!

Basically, the process is as follows:

  1. Set your destination through whatever means is appropriate (right clicking on the starmap, right clicking on the destination in a mission, etc.)
  2. Left click the yellow stargate in the overview. This will put the stargate in the selected item box.
  3. Click on the triple arrow icon (the 'Warp to within 0 M' button). You will start to warp.
  4. As soon as you start coming out of warp (watch your speedometer), click the 'Jump' button.
  5. When the jump is over, repeat steps 2 through 4 until you arrive at your destination.

Granted, this technique is not going to solve world hunger, but it will get you from point A to point B a bit faster, and since traveling doesn't earn anyone any ISK, getting there faster can actually be more profitable.

A new feature: Noob to Noob!

In my next post, I'm starting a new feature that I call "Noob to Noob". In these posts, I will provide tips and advice that I have recently learned that may be helpful to other noobs out there. Think of it as the semi-sighted leading the slightly less-sighted. Keep on the lookout for these Noob 2 Noob posts, coming to a blog near you!

The war is over!

I heard this morning that the war is coming to an end tomorrow, so Eve University will be back in business as usual. Hopefully within a couple days I'll be back in school!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The two suggestions...

In my first post, I mentioned two suggestions that I think are going to be key to my enjoyment of Eve Online this time around, and have already made a huge difference so far. Those two suggestions are:
  1. Join a corporation, and
  2. Look into Eve University

These suggestions are very much related, obviously, in that Eve University is a corporation in the technical sense. However, Eve University is set up as a place with the primary goal of training new Eve pilots as they get started in Eve. Some stay for a while, some stay for a long time, but most if not all leave the University with a strong allegience to the corporation that helped them when they were new.

Anyway, I thought the idea of a corporation whose sole purpose was training people and sending them out into the Eve universe was about the coolest thing I'd heard of. They don't have any such thing in any other MMORPG game that I know of. There are certainly no parallels in World of Warcraft, where guilds most guilds that actively recruit newbie players are created by newbie players themselves.

After I finished the 3 10-mission chains, I immediately got in touch with Eve Uni through the recruitment channel. I read up on the University and was excited about what I heard. I checked out their web site and I was hooked. I traveled to their nearest office and put in my application. A day later, I was speaking with a recruiting officer who put me through a thorough interview. We chatted in game for about 30-45 minutes and afterwards I was accepted into Eve High.

Wait a second: you're probably asking where Eve High came from. Well, at the moment, Eve High is at war (through no fault of their own, I might add). When they are at war, all their members are targetable and killable by the alliances at war with them. Generally speaking, Eve University will not take in newbie members when they are at war because it makes them vulnerable to attack. In addition, when Eve Uni is at war, they do not allow their members to run missions, mine, etc. Everyone either stays docked or moves in fleets on offensive or defensive missions. This keeps the students safer and makes it less fun to declare war on the University, but makes it a lot less fun to be a member.

The way Eve University handles this situation is to allow new students to join Eve High. When you are in Eve High, you actually are not an official member of the corporation as far as the game is concerned, but you get access to all the out of game stuff that Eve University has to offer, including classes, forums, etc. In addition, there is a private chat channel that many Eve Uni people are also on that you can chat on. It is not quite as good as being in the actual corporation (I assume, since I've never been in a corporation), but it is a lot better than being out there in Eve all by your lonesome.

So that is how it has been for about a week or so: I've been a member of Eve High, an unofficial extension of Eve University. I've attended two classes, both of which were very helpful, and chatted with the faculty. I am waiting for the war declarations to expire (they must be renewed every week). When it does, I expect to become a full-fledged member of the U.

Anyway, affiliating with a group of people in a corporation has been extremely helpful. So far, I have had a member give me really good advice on setting up my ship (I was completely wrong!), and a member provided me with half price training books out of the goodness of his heart. I am really happy with my decision, and can't wait until this war is over so I can really get involved in the University and start running missions together, mining, etc.

If you are new to Eve, I strongly suggest that you check out Eve University. And if you don't join that corporation, do join a different one. I think being a corporation is probably the key factor in enjoying the game and getting over the hump in the Eve learning curve.