EVE – Newbie Thoughts

I enjoy reading other MMO blogs – especially ones focused on EVE. The game has a famously steep learning curve, and reading other adventures gives me ideas about what to aim for. Plus, I pick up tidbits of info even though I’m not really in a position to use them. Anyway, here are a few of my favorite EVE blogs, and some random thoughts about recent topics from those blogs.

EVE Blogs

One of my favorites is Tiger Ears, a blog by a wormhole explorer. I can’t follow all of what he’s up to, but Google helps make more sense of it. Someday I would like to be that handy exploring, scanning, and hopping about unseen due to cloaking.

Another interesting read is Low Sec Lifestyle, which covers a variety of topics. A recent post was on Exploration and some of the upcoming changes.

Jester’s Trek is also quite good, however as a new player, much of the topic matter is beyond me. For example, the FOTW (fit of the week) posts – I don’t have any of those ships or modules, but maybe later I can use the info.

Cheradenine Harper, at Diaries of a Space Noob, is interesting to follow as a new player too. I was especially curious how he earned ISK, and it appears he started out mining, at least for the first 60 days, then manufacturing, and now some planetary interaction.

Finally, Gevlon at Greedy Goblin, is the perspective of a dedicated trader. That sounds deathly boring to me (buy low sell high haul stuff from A to B) however Gevlon is apparently an EVE trillionaire, so it does work.

The Importance of ISK

I’ve tried exploration, and it was fun. It also took longer than expected and I lost a ship and some modules, so it was net negative ISK overall. So I read Sugar Kyle’s post with great interest. She noted that exploration favors Tech 3 Strategic Cruisers, which I find very dismaying because those cost ~255 million ISK, a very large amount to me.

Gevlon is on a crusade to kill ice-mining bots, since those reduce profits. Apparently ice mining is quite profitable, but is it too expensive for me to start. Plus, it is mining (yawn). Actually, the bare minimum ISK needed for ice mining is attainable, but I’d rather do something less dull for income. For example, Level 1 distribution missions even if I only earn ~300K ISK/hour.

The “Conflict of Self Interest” post on Jester’s Trek is a great read, especially the comments. It covers a bunch of issues, from ganking to how to encourage more PvP to other issues.

I can’t speak for other players, but I know that for me, I avoid PvP and low/null sec purely for economic reasons. Simply put, I don’t have enough ISK to afford replacing ships, nor do I have the income stream. Plus, EVE PvP can be wildly asymmetrical. For example, I was ganked in low-sec by a Tengu, a Tech 3 Strategic Cruiser. It was a volley of 4 missiles, each of which cost more than the ship I was piloting! There’s no defending against that, it isn’t an equitable (trying to avoid using “fair” so I don’t imply that using an advantage is bad) fight. EVE vets might be proud that PvP is non-consensual, but that also implies equitable battles are voluntary. I’m going to guess without any proof that the typical PvPer doesn’t first scale their ship down to match a weaker unsuspecting victim.

I’m not sore about the gank, I know low-sec is risky. However, as a result of this and my low ISK wallet, my behavior has changed – I don’t go into low-sec anymore; I can’t afford the losses right now.

Newer players are at an enormous disadvantage in PvP. It isn’t possible to bridge it, except through time and ISK, and perhaps extra help (corporation members). It is like a boat race where once side gets to use a yacht and one side gets to use a rowboat. Except the rowboat owner has to buy another one after each loss, because the rowboat is destroyed. In that situation, if all I have is a rowboat and can’t afford too many replacements, I’m going to avoid racing altogether until I can at least afford my own yacht(s).

That’s what I do – avoid PvP as much as possible – right now.

In an earlier post, Jester asserts:

The simple fact is that every single EVE player in the game is impacted by how easy or complicated the POS system is. If you’ve ever bought a T2 ship or module, ever flown or been supported by a super-capital ship, ever hidden in a POS shield from your enemies, ever mined in a system with no station using a POS as your storage location, or ever been a part of a null-sec alliance, you are impacted by the POS system. That, as far as I can tell, is everyone.

I’m special! Apparently I am not at all currently affected by the POS (player owned starbase) system, because I am not in any of those categories. I have no T2 ships – my fanciest ship is a T1 Destroyer, the Catalyst; I have not flown or supported a super-capital ship – I’m certain I’ve never seen one; I have not hidden in a POS shield – I’m certain I’ve never seen one; I have never mined in a POS-only system – all my mining has been strictly for high-sec missions; I’m not part of a null-sec alliance or any-sec alliance for that matter – I am in the NPC corporation each character starts in.

I have been blind-invited to join a few corporations, but I decline because I play too inconsistently and too-few weekly hours to be a good corporation member. If Syncaine is representative of what an average corp wants as far as weekly availability, let’s just say I’m going to be a soloer.

Conclusion

One of the ways EVE is unique is that losses suffered are actual ISK lost. That last part is a major impediment to me doing much in game (right now)… I don’t have much of a rainy-day fund to replace losses.

It’s kind of like being in a casino with a $10 bankroll – I’ll have to stay at the $1 tables. I can see others at the $100 tables, and they are eating better food, have more choices of table games to play, and sometimes they even point out how much more fun they are having and probably think I’m nuts for staying at the $1 table. But the thing is, they are all millionaires and maybe don’t relate that well to people who have a smaller checkbook.

Anyway, to make up for some terrible analogies involving boat races and casinos ;), the next post will be on what I think will be my best income source.

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