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EVE: The Unforgiving - A Basic Understanding of CCP's Masterpiece

7:00 PM on 04.17.2009 // WastelandTraveler

[dyslixec gives us a deep hard look at why you should be playing EVE Online. -- CTZ]

EVE is the darkest, most unforgiving universe you will ever walk through. This isn't some world of alliance/horde characters running around in wheat fields waiting for you to get half health and then ganking you, or playing school yard capture the flag in an arena the size of my bathtub. This isn't a world of open pvpers killing you and getting NO reward other than just killing you. This isn't a world where you have your hand held, guided on a wire, or spoon fed all of your equipment and skill. This is EVE, a universe of cold, hard working, and merciless players. This is our world outside of the real, we are a mimic of the War Profiteers and Black Market monsters that effect everyone in real life today. We profit off of your misery, we make advancements by stealing yours, and we take your merciful attitudes, chew it up, and spit it out. But here is the best part: you will most likely mistake us for someone who cares.

We create the world, we make the history, we alter the course of the story. The players of EVE are all responsible for evolving this game. Think of its creative structure being completely driven by the players and implemented by the developers. Story, new ideas, support, all of this is in our power, and we can all bring these into the world. What do we get in return? A world created by us, and the finance to support our lives within this world we have created. There is no limit.

This is NOT a simpletons game. This is a complex, unforgiving, but vastly rewarding game if you have the patience to stick it through. If you understand how tabletop miniatures games work like Warhammer 40k, Battletech, and D&D, you will understand what I mean by complex. There are attributes for EVERYTHING in this game, and EVERYTHING in this game has a use, whether it is to make money, build ships, build weapons, or ammunition for those weapons -- everything has a purpose.

If you are looking for a constant action, twitch/fast paced adventure game, this is NOT for you. This is a mix of Sins of a Solar Empire, Freelancer, Omnitrend's Universe (very old school) and with the game pace of Homeworld/Sins of a Solar Empire. If you want to experience heart pumping adrenalin in this game, then its in the end game. That being when you join a corp and start experiencing PVP and Corporation wars, then you experience an intensity unlike any other game.

Now I will tell you, this game can be slow paced, and many get the idea that the game requires 100% attention. This is a misconception. I put in only an hour or two of (gameplay) time a day into this game if I'm lucky and I am still able to excel in this game. It all matters to what you prefer to do. This is a game for the hardcore complex casual and hardcore complex core gamers. My friend said it best, EVE is hardcore for the hardcore.

If none of this interests you and you don't think you can get into it, it's OK, just stop reading now. This isn't a game for everybody. If you are interested in playing, and have patience, then by all means keep reading! You can keep reading if you are just overall interested but not interested in playing.

What can I do in EVE? The better question would be what CAN'T you do?

What you can be in EVE is all dependent on how much of an effort you want to put into it. Ultimately, EVE is all about its player driven universe. The storyline, the events, the structure of the game and its economy is all effected from the players of EVE. What they do on a daily basis, what Corporations they bring down, the ways they find to exploit other players -- all of it brings something to the table of CCP's development for EVE.

The following is a list of the things that players do and what YOU can do in EVE. I'm not going to describe each path, for there is too much to explain.

[Side Info] YES these ALL matter in a BIG way with the EVE Universe and there are hundreds if not thousands of people doing each of these roles.

Administrative Roles - The management and arrangement of personal and personnel services in the pursuit of economic or political interests
Accountant
Alliance Executor
Chief Executive Officer
Council Representative
Recruitment Officer

Combat - Careers dealing with space navigation and flight where combat and front line support is the modus operandi
Bait Pilot
Capital Ship Pilot
Cloaking Specialist (Covert Ops)
Damage Specialist
Defense Specialist
EWAR Specialist (Electronic Warfare)
Fleet Commander
Logistics Pilot
Militia
Scout
Sniper
Speed Specialist
Tackler

ISD - Careers dealing with technical and gameplay support, understanding and advancement.
Bug Hunter
Evelopedia Administrator
Fiction Writer
Interstellar Correspondent
Support Officer

Resource - Careers dealing with the extraction, acquisition, transfer and process of materials for research and manufacture.
Explorer
Hauler
Manufacturer
Miner
Mining Supervisor
Researcher
Salvager
Starbase Manager
Trader

Service - Careers dealing with the provision of technical, creative or economic services to the players of EVE. -- "There is no way of knowing where this will lead, but we're all in it together and the promise of what we can accomplish together is astonishing" - CCP Xhagen
Adventurer
Agency Contractor
Banker
Bookmaker
Broadcaster
Cartographer
Diplomat
File Archivist
Freelancer
historian
Instructor
Mortician
Musician
PR Consultant
Software Engineer
Videographer
Writer


Where it all starts:

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, and you understand that there is a VAST world to be explored, I am here to really give you a basic start in 'breaking yourself in' into the EVE universe. I will take you through a simpletons path of breaking yourself in. I will show you the path I took and what its brought me so far, and basically give you an idea of what you can accomplish. Now there are MANY ways you can approach this game, this is just the way I did it and its helped me greatly.

Step One: Creation

So choose a race (I recommend Caldari - this is the route I went) and a bloodline. These used to matter and have specific attributes added to them, but now its all on an even playing field for all races. You start from the scratch with all races. What it all depends on now is what type of career path you choose and how you want to fight, mine, trade, manage, etc. Each race is located in different regions of the galaxy (and this is one big ass galaxy) so if you want to play with friends, its best to all go the same race so you all start in the same region of space. Otherwise you could be taking a rough and deadly journey through the galaxy just to meet up with your friend.


Step Two: Tutorials

So, you created your character and you have a vague idea as to what you want to do with yourself in the universe of EVE. You launch the game, you are in space and, well, here is where I'm going to be very blunt.

DO THE TUTORIAL.

Many people want to just start this game and skip through everything and think they can learn it all on their own. Well guess what: THIS IS NOT A SIMPLETON GAME. You will fail miserably if you try to learn this game without reading through tutorials or guides.

You will first go through the main tutorial that comes up when you launch the game. This tutorial will teach you the basic ways of combat and navigation and it will also teach some important aspects of the menu system. Once you go through this tutorial it will dock you at your races station. This station will contain three other tutorial agents that you can also find through the help menu that is located on the left side of the EVE Nav bar.

These tutorial agents were brought to my attention after the new Apocrypha patch. I saw this one month after I started playing so you will have a much better head start than I did when I started this game. These three agents will cover the aspect of hauling materials, contracts, combat, salvaging, materials reprocessing and mining. After you learn these things from these agents you are ready to make your way through the first series of the Epic Arc missions that were introduced to EVE Online with the Apocrypha patch. And with these skills you will be able to pull in AT LEAST 700,000 ISK (game currency) per mission. On average I was making 1.2 million ISK per Epic Arc mission by doing the missions, salvaging on these missions, and selling the resources you collect.


Step 3: Fitting your ship for the journey and understanding your environment.

Once you have finished the basic tutorial missions, you will go and venture out into space. But first you must fit your ship properly for the adventure. Depending on what you have been training your skills around, is what you will fit your ship with. For instance, since I have been training missiles. I am going to go with a Caldari Frigate, and for this I went with a Kestrel. The Kestrel is a basic frigate missile boat for the Caldari and uses missile launchers for its weapon systems. This ship was actually given to me as a reward for one of the tutorial missions, so it saved me some money right there.

[Side Info] The reason why I went with a Kestrel is because I am going for the Cloaking Specialist Career path which is a Covert Ops type career. With this in mind I looked up what type of Caldari Covert Ops ships there were and saw that the Covert Op Ship I wanted was a kestrel frigate. Early preparation for what I will be using I guess you could say.

The skills I have been training under Missile Launcher Operations is:
Missile Bombardment : I have trained this to lvl 5 first
Missile Launcher Operation : lvl 5
Standard Missiles: lvl 4

Now you may not start off with some of these skills so you may have to buy the skill book. If that's the case, run some missions with your basic setup and then buy the skill books. They shouldn't cost much at all. You will also want to pay attention to the time it takes to train these skills. For example, when I got my Missile Launcher Operation to Level 4, I stopped it there and trained my Standard Missiles to level 4 since it would take less time, then went back to training Missile Launcher Operation to level 5. Apart from training these, you will want to focus your training around learning and engineering if you go through this route that I'm talking about.

Now apart from selecting the proper ship, and understanding what to put on it, you must understand how to utilize materials that you purchase. For instance, when you are looking for missile launchers and missiles for those launchers you want to understand what they do. So -- IMPORTANT RULE -- Always view the product info and read up on its attributes and prerequisites. This will let you know if you can use these products or train these certain skills just yet.


[Side Info] Salvaging is another way to obtain materials to sell and build things. Whenever you destroy a ship there is always a ship wreckage and sometimes that wreckage has some cargo in it for you to exploit. That cargo can get you some cash, but if you really want to expand your profits, salvaging will help you greatly through missions. What salvaging does is it takes the ship wreck itself and tries to salvage any ship components it can. Now you wont always get something out of a wreck, but more times than not you will get enough to add another 400,000-600,000 isk to your mission. You can also collect these ship components and use them to build ships yourself if you don't want spend the money on buying them pre-built.

Ship Fitting for my adventure

Ship: Kestrel Caldari Frigate
Hardpoint Fitting (Missile launcher hardpoints) : 4 of the Standard Missile Launcher I
Secondary Fittings : Cap Regcharger I, Shield Booster I
Basic Fitting : Power Diagnostic System I, Ballistic Control System I

With these fittings I was able to plow through the Epic Arc missions with ease. There were some missions where I had to spend some time fighting a foe. At first I thought they were impossible until I learned that certain ships have a harder time hitting you the closer you orbit them.

Which brings in another aspect; understand how the weapons work. Each weapon system has a certain effective range. With my setup, I can hit targets at 0-25km, any further and my missiles die out and don't do anything. The closer I am with certain ships the more damage I will do. Apart from distance, there is also importance in the types of rounds and types of launchers/turret weapons you use. Some are geared for PVP and others are geared for PVE. For instance, faction missiles are used mainly for PVP, and standard missiles are used for PVE. Understanding how your weapons work will improve your chances of survival in this universe.


Step 4: Moving deeper into the verse and running Missions

First things first, you must understand the space that you are in. The systems you start off in no matter which race you are is rather safe security territory. You can see the security of systems in the upper right of your screen where it shows the system you are in. Security status goes from 1.0 to 0.0. 1.0 to 0.5. Space is generally safe territory, and is protected by AI Police known as Concord. Concord will come to the aid to players in 1.0 to 0.5 security space, however they may not make it on time depending on where you are located and what the level of the security space is (usually the lower the security space is, the fewer Concord that are around).

0.5 and below is unsecured space and you should only go in at your own risk. Starting off you do NOT want to go into this territory, even when you first join a corp as a noob they advise that you stay away from anything below 0.5 until you can properly defend yourself or you have an escort. Players that attack players in security space going all the way down to 0.1 will have a negative standing, but that doesn't stop them. In 0.0 Security space, this is lawless territory, free game, wasteland. These are usually territories controlled by alliances, and some alliances will have open travel free territory while others will have shoot on sight territory. You will learn more about this when you get into corporations.

MISSION TIME!



Now its time for you to do your missions! So I will tell you one simple thing: Go to the Arnon System, Go to the Sisters of EVE Bureau Station, and talk to the Agent that gives you the Epic Arc mission. And from there the adventure for you begins.

System: Arnon
Station: Sisters of EVE Bureau

[Side info] You can find these stations and systems through your People & Places Dock which is located on the EVE Nav bar, here is also how you find and add other players playing the game. Your buddy list if you will.

This epic arc structure will take you through some high paying missions for starter pilots. You will make A LOT of money with this path. I went through this and did salvaging in all of the missions I was given and I finished with 20 million ISK at the end of it all.


Step 5: Your Final Destination

Now it is time for you to get your hands dirty. This is the end game, this is where it all comes to fruition, this is where it all matters. You will join a Corporation, you can find Corporation recruiters in the channel's list which is located on the EVE Nav panel on the left side of your screen. You can use this to find Corporations to join, or if you have friends that play and are in Corporations you can join up with them if they will have you.

Many Corporations will accept noobies, this is the best way to get your feet wet. With this new experience you will be on your main track of learning. They will teach you the deeper complex structure of EVE and the complex and satisfying nature of PVP & corporate war.

[side info] Corporations are like Guilds & Clans in other games/MMOs. But unlike other MMOs, these boys play shit for the profit. Their actions effect EVERYTHING in the game. They can bring down entire alliances, they can control vast amounts of EVE territory. With Corporate alliances players, will experience what its like to be a nation, they will live a virtual life of political and military unrest. Here is where all of EVE is centered around, it is what all players work for. You literally are living in a virtual capitalist society that is controlled by corporate war profiteers, black market mobs, and cold hearten pirates.


Conclusion

So there you have it. It seems like a lot, huh? Well I warned you, this is not a simpletons game, this is a very complex, very intuitive game. It is not for everybody, it is not a friendly world out there, this is as dirty as it gets. The problems of today's real life with corporate power and war profiteers is just what EVE online is. If the corporations and war profiteers of the real world were to still be in power hundreds of years from now, EVE could very well be the real. LOLOLONOES CONSPIRACY! I know, but its an interesting outlook when you make the comparison.

To say this game is horrible and sucks is just pure subjective rage. From a design aspect and community aspect this is a very innovative and brilliant structure. Sure its not for everyone, its a very underground style of gameplay, but the way it has been approached with getting the community to be a core part of its development process is nothing short of spectacular. Graphically the game is like no other, and from a design structure, nothing can compare to its complexity. I mean, we are talking about a game that had Financial and Economic Advisers aid them in creating the games economic structure.

What I explained to you today was just but one sprinkle that is on top of the frosting which sits on top of this giant cake. Besides combat there is a whole entire active world of manufacturers, traders, market exploiters, corporate managers, pirates, mercenaries, spies (quite literally there is internal espionage within Corporations that cause massive amounts of damage that can destroy years worth of a player(s) work), bankers, miners, etc. etc. And all of these aspects are taken seriously. Management, asset control -- all of it. If you are someone who is interested in business, finance, expanding a company, this game can seriously give you an insight as to what its like. There is so much more that I cannot show you in just one blog, and this was long enough.

So if you feel up to it, take the step, be bold pilot.

-WastelandTraveler (dyslixec)
-GalOre Industries of the Final Retribution Alliance.



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