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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Education is Kind of a Big Deal

Even in EVE. Because EVE is serious business.

@Lady Dragon

I know what Starcraft is. =P Amarr are just a tiny bit crazier than Protoss, but have some very pretty ships.


Back in the earlier days of EVE (early, not beginning), new players simply had no hope of catching up to old players due to the skill training system and a shoddy tutorial meant new players could hardly catch up to some other new players.

An organisations called EVE University was formed to combat this incompetence (developer and player). EVE University is a corporation that specialises in teaching all players about EVE. Every essential aspect of EVE is covered in the university. Live lectures are given via voice chat on basic subjects as well as live exercises performed out of hangar. Recordings of lessons are available from the website, though it's better to have the teacher on hand to answer questions.

One such lesson is Caldari Ships 101 and the full list of lessons is here, though the wiki is a very good source of information for new players on its own.

The university's chatroom should be one of the first destinations a new player goes to. By default, a chatroom called Rookie Help automatically opens every time you log in for your first month, but this channel is a crowded, immature mess. Close Rookie Help and gos straight to the university's chat named E-Uni.

This being EVE Online, the university regularly forms fleets of new and old to send to lowsec for live combat training. The university is well-known, meaning idiotic troll corps often declare war on it hoping for easy kills of new players or just to slow down the university. The university has a very complicated set of Standard Operating Procedure during wartime which must be followed. This SOP is designed to hinder and corporation declaring war on the university, generally by protecting the vulnerable players and ensuring any kills gained aren't worth the losses.

The university also provides very well for members, with stocks of ships available for rent and in case of war, fully fitted ships for combat pilots at no charge, as well as a skillbook wallet to pay for skillbooks (EVE Online skills must be bought in skillbooks before training).

EVE University is a very good place for any serious new player and I left my corp yesterday to join. My corporation is making a big move to bring itself closer to alliance territory and lowsec and I was going to be one of the few people to stay behind due to low skills and standings with people at the destination. I decided to join E-Uni to improve my skills and knowledge as things were getting quiet on the homefront.

The university being a very valued place, even joining is a nightmare. A large questionnaire should be filled out beforehand. After that, you line up in a queue of players waiting to speak to a Recruitment Officer. The recruitment officer will interview you and accept you based on your performance in the interview and then decide whether you get in or your wait was worth a whole lot of nothing.

My wait so far's been 4 days and I'm expecting at least another 3 before I see my interview. And I joined at one of the quicker times. Some of these people have been waiting for 3 weeks.


Everybody picks a race and bloodline before joining. The avatar is purely aesthetic and character creation only affects where your starting location is and what rookie ship will be issued. Picking a race of which you enjoy the look is a good idea. The only skills your avatar affects is a few levels of your faction's most basic frigate ship, which can be trained on another faction in a few hours.

There are playable 4 factions, each with their distinct opinions, philosophy and art style.

Caldari are a hypercapitalistic gone worse. The state is literally divided between the megacorporations, with government holding less than 15% of total shares. The corporations are in constant competition and police themselves. People are born into a corporation and being fired is equivalent to a death sentence or exile. Caldari are determined, disciplined and abide by rules and a very rigid society. Caldari ships are usually grey and blue, unbalanced and built for utility. Caldari favour long-ranged engagements with hybrid turrets and missiles.

Amarr are monotheists and the oldest and most numerous of the empires. Most fully endorse slavery and in their earlier years, enslaved all races they came across. They enslaved much of the Minmatar race prior to the uprisings and still hold much of the Minmatar population. The Amarr are also the source of the main humanitarian aid organisation in EVE, the Servant Sisters of EVE. Amarr ships tend to be gold with touches of black as well as ornate engravings and decorations present on hulls. They use long-ranged, lower damage beam lasers and mid-ranged, good damage pulse lasers with light drone support as their weapons of choice.

The Minmatar consist of many freed slaves. The nation's development has been stunted by Amarr slavery, but they are still amongst the brightest thinkers in EVE. Minmatar are driven and aggressive at defending their homes and livelihoods. Minmatar ships are usually rust red or brown and have a ramshackle, improvised appearance. Minmatar ships are the fastest ingame and the main weapons are long-ranged, high damage, slow artillery cannons and short range, high rate of fire, good damage autocannons.

Gallente are mix of almost every race in existence. A highly liberal society which accepts foreigners with open arms, they are a melting pot of refugees and immigrants from everywhere who will defend their freedom and rights to their deaths. Gallente are highly varied in culture, but are united in their love for freedom. Gallente ships are dark green and turquoise, front-heavy and rounded. Their primary weapons are hybrid turrets and large numbers of drones.


New player life in EVE isn't easy. You start alone in a cold and unfeeling world and your only known source of help is one of the worst help channels in the game. Rookie Help. Close it ASAP.

You first ship is the rookie ship. Arguably the weakest armed thing in the game. Your basic tutorial agent is in the system you are currently in. Do the tutorial, follow the agent's instructions to a destination of Career Agents. These agents will teach you the vast majority of EVE Online through a rather long tutorial process which will probably take the better part of an afternoon and part of an evening to complete fully.

They're also a very good isk and ship source. By the end of these, you should have a good frigate, a destroyer and an industrial, all as mission rewards or granted on mission acceptance. You may not have the skills to fly all of them, but I recommend the industrial and frigate. At this point, you can move out of your training system into a bigger world.

There are lots of corporations to join. Many of them take new players, but it's best to have a plan before you start the game, in the days before the client is downloading. I recommend downloading the 'demo' from Steam. Steam's reliable and the 'demo' is actually the full client and is offered at the low, low price of free.

Once you are out of your training system and have slipped comfortably into a station, with all assets nearby, you can go one of three ways;

1. EVE University. They always accept new members and are a first community for a lot of people. Their public chat is 'E-Uni' and is a good community with lots of good advice.

2. Join a corporation. If a corporation has an office in your station, it means they have a base of sorts near you. Read their description, player numbers and see how well their alliance ranks and submit an application.

3. Stay alone. EVE Online favours the player who goes out to find adventure themselves, but it is possible to fly alone and do whatever you want. Mine, run missions, roam in PvP. If your skills and wallet are solid, you can do it all.

Joining EVE University is a solid beginning for any player, as the university holds very regular events (happens when you have over 1000 players). Other corporations are more likely to accept a player if they have been through EVE University, as this is a mark of a competent player.

I don't elaborate much on new player life because it's so open. Telling you about what to do after the tutorial is tantamount to saying, "Do what you want." The best advice I can give you is to plan hard and early. EVE is a big place and it's up to you to make your own fun. The university just happens to be a very good start.

Regards, IVIilitarus

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