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.


I've been playing on this trial account now for a little over a week. I have decided to go ahead and subscribe for a month as there were certain things I couldn't do on a trial account (e.g., create contracts, learn certain skills, activate my industrial ship, etc.). I think I will see how jet-can mining works which I couldn't before due to restrictions on the types of ships I could fly.

Anyway, I've bought into this whole Eve thing enough to spend real cash on it (albeit, only $20). Let's see where it takes me...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Welcome to my new blog

Welcome to my new blog. This blog, Journey to New Eden, will chronicle my experience as a new player in Eve Online. I honestly don't know what's going to happen on this journey. I am intrigued by this game, but am not sure if I am really going to stick with it or not. Therefore, this could possibly a very short-lived blog.

A little bit about myself (at least my gaming self): I started with MMORPGs back in the Ultima Online days. I played that for a year or two, then took a break. I tried EQ back in its very early days, but really could not get into it. I remember fighting bees for 45 minutes to make enough money to buy a new pair of gloves, then die and not be able to find my corpse. It was way too frustrating.

I took several years off online games until about 2 years ago when I started playing WoW with a friend of mine. I played for a few months on a human mage, then lost interest for about 3 or 4 months. Then, for some reason I started back up again on a new toon (a healer), and never looked back. I lived through the launch of TBC and WotLK, and currently have a level 80 dwarf priest specced holy, and my aforementioned mage, now level 71.

As much as I love WoW, I'd always been intrigued by this Eve game I'd heard about. I had some friends who played it and told me just how complex and "real" it was. I had really no idea what they meant, so I thought I'd give it a try. I downloaded a copy of the Eve client and got myself a 14-day trial account. I muddled through the first few missions, but after I was out of the basic starter missions, I was really lost. I found myself being killed over and over again on what should have been easy missions, and really had no idea what I was doing, or more accurately, doing wrong.

But while I was failing epicly, some things about Eve were starting to click in my head. I saw that on the market, everything was being sold or bought by real players, not NPCs. I got a glimpse of how a player could play as a miner, pulling resources out of asteroids, an industrialist, manufacturing goods to sell on the market, an arbitrageur, correctly market discrepancies and making a killing at the same time, haulers moving stuff around the galaxy, a pirate, making things hell for all the above, and so on. As an MBA, I really appreciated how I saw the market at the core of the game.

Anyway, I gave up on that character because he was such a disaster, and decided I would give it one more try. I wanted to like the game, but I was being stymied at every turn. How much fun is a game where you wipe again and again on beginning missions. This wasn't end game raiding for crying out loud! So I got myself another trial account, and set about starting out again. This time, I was going to do it right.

I figured if I was going to do this right, I would need some additional guidance. I looked around and found a number of resources, but what I was most excited about an Eve-focused podcast I found called The Drone Bay. As I like to listen to podcasts on the way to and from work, I downloaded all the episodes of the podcast to my Zune and started listening to them.

The Drone Bay podcast has a segment on it they call "Don't Panic" that is targeted at new players. Bingo! I'd hit the jackpot! The segment had two suggestions that really helped me on my second attempt at Eve. These suggestions have made a big difference in my enjoyment of the game this second time ar0und, and may be the difference between me sticking with the game or giving up on it.

And with that I'm going to stop for the evening. I will save those two suggestions for my next blog post...