Monday 17 February 2014

Bumbling Through: 6 months in Part 1

I didn't expect this to be so long when I started writing, so here is part 1. Hopefully it's not too boring but it might offer a nice perspective on a new players foray into EVE online.

Background: My stable of characters

My first character, which is now my industrial/hauling alt, was created on 13th August 2013 making it just over 6 months old. Bizar Raizen is a little younger and was created on 4th September 2013 with the goal of being a PvP character, though I started him off as a mission runner while initially skilling up via dual character training. Just under 2 months later, at the end of October he liquidated his assets, joined Brave Newbies and moved out to Barleguet. Unfortunately in those 2 months a rather excessive amount of time was spent rushing to the point of sitting in a Raven, rather badly, making his skill set almost useless at the point of joining Brave. I'll get to that later. In December I received that Collector's Edition for my birthday and transferred my trade character onto that account allowing me to run my 2 "main" characters simultaneously. I filled the 4 empty character slots with trade alts which sit at various trade hubs and make up my, now rather lucrative, trade network. At time of writing my net wealth including various assets is ~10 billion, not too shabby!

EVEs Tutorials aka "Here's a Rubik's Cube, go fuck yourself"

I had a rather rocky start in my first couple of months. I really derped... a lot... but I soldiered on. Coming off the tail of 2 years of theme park MMO gameplay I was in the habit of not reading NPC text and everything being easy mode. Unfortunately, the tutorials (and missions) in EVE almost always have a gigantic wall of text with random bits of flavour text here and there and the key information required to complete the mission hidden somewhere within. The "click button, receive bacon" mentality I had been brainwashed into really made the tutorials a pain in the ass at first. I was eager to get into the meat and potatoes of EVE and couldn't really be bothered sitting through walls of text to get to the spaceships. So, naturally, I didn't bother reading them properly. One that really comes to mind is the suicide mission where you are supposed to lose your ship. I think I had an Atron which I had been building up and fitting through the missions. The mission gives you an unfitted ship to use for the mission and explains that it is a suicide run. Without reading the text there is no way to know you were given another ship or about to blow up. So off I go. Pop goes my Atron. I docked back up at the station, confused that I just completed the mission despite exploding, only to actually read the damn mission information and proceed to facepalm. I had other facepalm moments through the tutorials but I managed to get through. So off out into space I went with a head full of grand ambitions of building an unstoppable space empire. I was destined to rule the universe. I was going to win EVE.

30 minutes later I was dead. You see, I bought the game through Steam on sale, a decision which I now regret with every ounce of my being*. It was called the "Explorer's Pack", or something to that effect, presumably off the back of the Odyssey expansion. With that pack I got a fancy skinned Magnate with the modules to get started exploring. So, I took it out and went to the first signature I could find. It was a wormhole, no way was I passing up on that. It sounded cool as hell! So, I jumped in and started scanning again. I don't remember what the next signature was, I just remember a bunch of red crossed making short work of me (Sleepers). My dreams of dominating the universe thoroughly shattered, I grabbed my Venture from the tutorials and set off into the asteroid fields of Perimeter. I needed to shoot lasers at something that wouldn't shoot back.

30 minutes later I wasn't dead. It was refreshing! So, like many unfortunate fools in EVE I spent a couple of weeks mining**, building up some ISK eventually upgrading to a retriever. It was soul destroying, but I had a plan. I had heard tales of people making unholy amounts of ISK station trading. Once I was making an acceptable amount of ISK per hour mining in my retriever I started training trade skills and being a no life 0.01 ISK undercutter in Jita. With the Daytrading skill I was even able to do it while mining next door in Perimeter! It was working, sort of. In my first month I had reached ~200million ISK. I could see that it was viable and as my capital went up so would my earnings. However it was soul destroying. I was getting very bored very fast and thus Bizar Raizen was born.

Missioning at 0 fun per hour

One of my Rift buddies at the time had started playing EVE again on the side and was set up out in Khanid somewhere doing industry. So out I went with Raizen to cut my teeth on missions as I skilled him up. Being overeager and impatient I rushed through the standings grind and ended up at level 4 missions well before I was suitable to run them efficiently at all. I had worked my way up from Level 1 to 4 in typical fashion, moving up from the Frigate on Level 1 missions to the Battleship on Level 4s. It was my undoing. At each step I sold my previous ship and subsidized the next purchase via my station trading earnings. So, the Raven that I had bought represented my entire wealth on Raizen. I also hadn't insured it. I lost it on my second Level 4 mission when faced with my first dose of warp scrambling by NPC ships. It was a right kick in the nuts. I was never in danger of giving up at that point but I knew I had to do something else. I had to suck it up and take the plunge into PvP before I burnt out on the repetitive nature of my current gameplay style. So, into corp finder I went. Into the search box went "Brave Newbies". Off to Barleguet I toddled. It was time to be BRAVE.

* I think Steam is great. I've been using it since it launched when it was truly dreadful. The modern incarnation is actually a fantastic piece of software in my opinion. I have more games on it than I care to admit to. However, EVEs integration with Steam is an absolute aberration. With other MMOs you still get a separate account and can bypass Steam if desired. With EVE however you are forced to launch the EVE launcher through steam where it logs you in with your steam account automagically. You can then launch the game. This becomes a pain for a multitude of reasons which I won't list here.

** I don't really think miners are fools. I just don't understand them. Particularly those who mine solo. If mission running is 0 fun per hour (out of a maximum 10) then mining is -1 in my books.

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