Cormorant with “top wingy bit” – courtesy of a graphic glitch with a Heron
In any MMO, a player will at some point reach the so called “end game”. If I should define the term “end game”, I’d say this is the part of a game, where the game itself stops to guide you around and you have to start to do research about game mechanics and things you want to do in that game. Or you start to die horribly repeatedly. Often both, the latter part ideally only for a short time. This is often also the point, at which a player has to start interacting with other people. Or one can avoid this by starting a second character. Or unsub.
In World of WarCraft, a player typically reaches this point when he reaches the maximum level. One can always continue to go for solo questing, but there will be the point, when all quests are finished. Most people then start to raid (where one should start to research class mechanics and boss mechanics – the “die horribly”-part translates to wipes) or some form of pvp. Given the amount of solo content in that game, one can easily play along for weeks or months (depending on how much time is invested in playing the game) before hitting the end game.
In Eve, this point is reached somewhere between two and ten days, depending on how much time is invested in playing the game. So, I’ve reached the point after two days. I’ve done the four career agent missions, which teaches the basic gameplay elements and provides a few skill books, a few frigates, an industrial ship and the first destroyer. In my case – playing a female Caldari Achura – a Cormorant. After that, I’ve done the Epic Arc of the Sisters of EvE, which is a long chain of missions designed for new players, connected by a long story line. It was interesting and provided a good amount of start money. Most missions can be done with a destroyer. The last three missions or so gets tricky – they either require a cruiser or help from another player. With very low skill points, one will need help. In my case, my brother helped me out with a battlecruiser and so I finished the storyline.
And then, there I was, flying around in my fail-fitted destroyer, clueless in space. Oh, how fail-fitted you might ask? Well, it was a product of stuff lying around in my hangar after I’ve finished the career agent missions. I’m not too sure about the details, but it was something along the lines of this:
[Cormorant, Lolfit - Stuff that was lying around - DO NOT FIT THIS!] 1x Civilian Damage Control 1x 1MN Afterburner I 2x Civilian Shield Booster I 1x Photon Scattering Field I 4x 125mm Railgun I 2x Light Electron Blaster I 2x Salvager I
To make this clear: DO NOT FIT THIS! It did its job, but in retrospective, it was horrible. A very good starter fit for a Cormorant can be found at BattleClinic.com. The required skills are also listed there. It isn’t that expensive and the first few missions of the Sisters of EvE Epic Arc should provide the money for it. If you are still low on the Engineering-Skill, you can either start with only six turrets and add the seventh later, or install the afterburner later.
So, flying around in my little destroyer, clueless in space. I was at the start of this game and already felt like reaching the start of the end game. So, I needed a goal to pursue. And there are a lot of possibilites in EvE. A summary can be seen in this little, handy chart:
After removing the scamming and griefing activities from the list, I’d like to try out most other things. After the general goals were set, the next question was about how to approach them. I’m not really the “go ahead and try out” type, because in MMOs, this tends to end in “dying horrible repeatedly” – and costs ingame money. In order to reduce the latter a bit, I’ve started my research. There are quite a few good starting points out there for general information about stuff:
- Ingame: The non-englisch rookie channels. They seemed to work at least a bit. The english one was just way to crowded and thus unusable. However, there is also a good channel for english speaking starters:
- Ingame: Channel “E-UNI”, the public channel of the EvE University. You’ll usually get helpful advice. The EvE University is a player corporation, which trains new player in the basic gameplay elements of EvE. If you already know, that you will be spending regular time in EvE, I think this may also be a great corporation to start with.
- Out of game: The EvE University Wiki. A lot of their collected knowledge about the game is publicly available.
- Out of game: CCP also hosts an official wiki themselves: The EvElopedia.
- Out of game: As a book-like form, there is the ISK3.0 as a general guide. Many people call it the “Manual of EvE Online”. As it is usually with books, they are only updated every so often, so some information might be out of date. The Wikis are usually more up to date. The german equivalent of that guide is probably the “Pilotenhandbuch“.
So, with all this information at hand, I tried to set up a few short and medium term goals. I realized, that most stuff will lead to me blowing up anyway, so I’ll need some way to fund ships for these cases. Since my time was very limited (well, it still is), I expected to only play irregularly, when I have time and felt like it. That ruled out a corporation at the start, because I might be more inactive than anything else. Also, some kind of passive income would be nice under these circumstances. So, I put datacore farming at my first long term goal. Also, I wanted to be able to use jump clones in order to venture out in lowsec and nullsec without risking any implants, thus I needed to grind standings for one corporation anyway. So my basic thoughts were “Why not combine it and go missioning for a R&D Corp”. So, my start went the typical carebear-route for the beginning. Since I knew that I’ll need to able to do level 2 and level 3 missions, I put flying a cruiser (more specifically the Caracal) as my first short term goal and flying a battlecruiser (the Drake) as the first medium term goal. Oh, and while researching, I found the previous mentioned fitting for a Cormorant. So switching to that was first on my agenda. And thus, I ventured out to Jita, a very little bit less clueless, for buying the moduls and then went missioning…
Clueless in Space – the random ramblings of an EvE newbie – will continue soon™…