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.

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