Category Archives: EvE Online

Clueless in Space – Starting Serious Business

The Caldari Industrial “Badger” in front of Jita 4-4

As mentioned in the  earlier post, I wasn’t really happy with the local supply of ammunition for my Drake. On top of that, I noticed that there was quite a bit of traffic of other missile boats at the station I was missioning at that time. So there were plenty of other capsuleers who were standing for the same problem. A situation which opened a market opportunity. On top of that, there were also a lot of miners in the system. So it was a possibility that I could directly buy minerals in the local system using buy orders. So I took the situation as a reason to try out the basic industry part of the game.

As with a lot of things in EvE, doing research is the first step to success. I needed to know how I can produce my heavy missiles and if I can do it without losing money in the manufacturing process. Again, the EvE University Wiki proved to be a good source of knowledge with their articles about Researching and Manufacturing. The basics steps needed to get from nothing to a finished T1-product at a competitive price level are:

  • Train the required skills
  • Buy the desired Blueprint Original (BPO)
  • Research its material level in order to reduce production time and (more importantly) reduce the amount of needed materials for production
  • Buy the needed materials
  • Manufacture the items

The basic needed skills are fairly minimal. For researching, we are looking at Laboratory Operation I (which requires Science III). For manufacturing, you only need Industry I, theoretically. In practice, there is also the skill “Production Efficiency”, which also reduces amount of materials needed for production. As there are a lot of people out there you have to compete with, I think Production Efficiency IV is pretty much required in order to be competitive on the market, which also requires Industry III. And even then, you may want to avoid the major trade hubs for a lot of items, because the price competition might be too hard. There might be additional skill requirements, depending on the BPO.

So, I started with the most basic a Drake would regularly need: Scourge Heave Missiles. The Uni-Wiki has some basic guidelines on how much research is needed for a BPO-type, but it doesn’t hurt to look at each BPO on its own, does it? For that, there is a very nice and simple website: First, the site tells us, that this particular blueprint is seeded on Caldari Navy and Republic Fleet stations, as well as the base price. So the initial investment in the BPO is 750k ISK. The site also tells us, that the maximal material research level is 147 and time research level is 60. With less than 2 weeks research time needed, theses levels seems to be a good investment, as perfectly researched BPOs can sell for a good amount of money on contract. Next up is the question, if one can manufacture the item at a competitive price. Since I only have Production Efficiency IV, I’ll also need to calculate the required materials first. Some serious business incoming:


Spreadsheets! Kind of needed if you need to handle EvE math together with market prices for different items etc. The needed equatations can be found at So, for example, the perfect researched BPO needs 738 Tritanium per run. But with Production Efficiency IV, there will be some waste. So, the actually needed amount of Tritanium is:

AmountNeeded = BaseAmount + Round( BaseAmount x (( 25 - ( 5 x ProductionEfficencyLevel )) / 100 ))

which translates to:

738 + Round( 738 x (( 25 - ( 5 x 4 )) / 100 )) = 738 + Round( 36,9 ) = 775

So, in the end, I needed 775 Tritanium and 2 Nocxium for 100 Missiles. At the current buy order prices, it would end up at around 34,26 ISK per missile, not including the cost for the manufacturing slot. So, let’s say we produce 10000 missiles (= 100 runs), this would take 400 minutes. At 1k ISK install cost and 333 ISK per hour rent (yes, you can find NPC-stations with these prices), we are looking at a whooping 0,322 ISK per missile. So, the factory throws out each missile for 34,582 ISK. As I write this post, the current sell price for the Scourge Heavy Missile in Jita is 42,95 ISK. So even with Production Efficiency IV, this would be a competitive price. And you can go higher with the price outside of this trade hub. It is also possible to drop the manufacturing price by producing missiles more per job, because the installation cost is a one time fee. At 100k missiles, I would end up at 34,492 ISK.

Armed with this rudimentary business plan, I ventured out to start my research… and then I found out, that the material efficiency research slots in highsec are always filled for at least 20 days – usually longer. I was not interested in waiting that long, but I could see in the installation overview that the queues in the lowsec stations in my current region were shorter. So I equipped a Rifter with a cheap T1-fitting, plotted a route through various regions through lowsec and NPC nullsec and started to venture out in order to find a station with a short material research queue. What could possibly go wrong? The Rifter was cheap and expendable, and my BPO investment was only at 750k ISK, which wasn’t that much either. So losses were acceptable.

I got immediately distracted by a DED deadspace complex thingy in the very first system I jumped in. Thinking I could take a look at it, I found a Hurricane at the gate. Oh hai! I knew that a BC wouldn’t be able to get into that Level 2 DED complex, so I immediately hit the gate. Inside I tried to get an overview and started to shoot the first rats, as a Jaguar appeared in the pocket, targeted me and let my Rifter explode in a fireball. Well that much for my first PvP experience. Got the pod out, got it into a second Rifter and was back on my planned route for finding a suitable station for my research plans. I eventually find one in NPC-Nullsec with a waiting queue of only two days. So I flew to highsec, got my freshly bought BPO, flew back and installed it in a research slot at the station. When I flew back, I learned about Mobile Warp Disruptor bubble thingies and Arty-Rapiers just one jump before lowsec. This ended in another exploding Rifter and a broken pod. From that moment on, I decided to use Shuttles for traveling into nullsec for as long as cloaked frigates were out of reach (read: not enough skill points). Up until today, I lost two Shuttles and another pod. And I was also ransomed once in a shuttle – the pirate let me go after paying, so a shoutout to him (forgot the name). However, I’ve never lost any blueprints in the process – got kind of lucky, I guess.

So, eventually, I got that first fully researched blueprint back in highsec. My first minerals came from refining some mission loot. After filling a manufacturing slot in a station and waiting a bit, I got my first 20000 self produced missiles. I kept half for myself and put the other half on sale order in my then current mission hub – with a good markup over the Jita price. Half an hour later, they were sold.

I started to expand from that point. There was a substantial time investment before getting the first finished products, but from that moment on, it was just installing manufacturing jobs and handling materials. I started to research more BPOs and reinvested my earnings bit by bit. Although the market prices are always shifting around, I always made a profit until now. This little “How does missile production work?”-experiment turned out to be the base for my current primary source of income in the game. I’ve never expected that.


Clueless in Space – Fire ze Heavy Missiles

The Caldari Battlecruiser “Drake”

It seems that in most MMOs, you face certain spending steps where one have to save a bit of money in order to advance to a new thing in order to enable a bigger income source. Thinking of WoW, my first thought would be getting the mounts. You have to save a bit of gold to buy the necessary skills and the mount itself, but you enable yourself to travel faster, thus quest and level faster, thus earn more gold. Although this process has been nerfed down a bit, it is still there today. In EvE, at least in the beginning, this step seems to be when getting a bigger ship. “You need ISK in order to make ISK” they say, and after 4 weeks into the game, the first Lvl3 agent was available to me, promising a higher income, but requiring more than my frigate blasting Caracal. So I bought the next bigger ship, the natural choice for a relatively new missile spamming Caldari pilot, the infamous battlecruiser “Drake”.

The Drake – as I should later learn, one of the most flown ships in New Eden. One of the most used ships, also one of the most disliked ships. Able to fit the relatively hefty tank but has also relatively low damage output. Things I wasn’t aware of four months ago. Things that didn’t matter at that point. I was more worried about how to fit that thing and how I could bring it through those new Lvl3 missions in one piece. After all, the first battlecruiser was quite an investment. Once again, the large EvE Uni-Wiki came to the rescue. However, I wasn’t completely satisfied with that fit. The resists were kind of low, so I wanted to fix that. I was already aware of the different meta level items for T1 modules, so I checked the market if I could afford some upgrades and could free up midslot that way. I took the T2 based fit from the EvE Uni-Wiki as an idea guideline. First thing I checked were the shield rechargers. The T1 Meta 4 variant “M51 Iterative Shield Regenerator” were sold for around 10k ISK in Jita. This was triple the price of the Meta 0 variant, but 10k ISK per piece wasn’t really an issue. The price steps of the shield power relays were a lot steeper, so I took the Meta 2 module “Local Power Plant Manager: Reaction Shield Power Relay” for 100k ISK each. With the better shield recharge modules, I removed one shield recharger and the invul field and used two mission specific hardeners. So, my fit for Guristas was like this:

[Drake, T1 PvE Drake]
Local Power Plant Manager: Reaction Shield Power Relay I
Local Power Plant Manager: Reaction Shield Power Relay I
Local Power Plant Manager: Reaction Shield Power Relay I
Local Power Plant Manager: Reaction Shield Power Relay I

M51 Iterative Shield Regenerator
M51 Iterative Shield Regenerator
Large Shield Extender I
Large Shield Extender I
Heat Dissipation Field I
Ballistic Deflection Field I

Heavy Missile Launcher I, Scourge Heavy Missile
Heavy Missile Launcher I, Scourge Heavy Missile
Heavy Missile Launcher I, Scourge Heavy Missile
Heavy Missile Launcher I, Scourge Heavy Missile
Heavy Missile Launcher I, Scourge Heavy Missile
Heavy Missile Launcher I, Scourge Heavy Missile
Heavy Missile Launcher I, Scourge Heavy Missile
Drone Link Augmentor I

Medium Core Defence Field Purger I
Medium Core Defence Field Purger I
Medium Core Defence Field Purger I

Hobgoblin I x5

I bought two of each shield hardener so I was able to adapt my resists for each mission. Reviewing that fit now, I should’ve also taken a look at better missile launchers. After insuring the ship, I went to my new mission agent and started those new Lvl3 missions. The first mission was quickly done. Then, I almost lost my Drake on the second mission. What happened?

The mission was The Blockade, Lvl3. I was already aware of things like trigger ships that spawns additional waves and EvE Survival as a guide for dealing with such things. With one destroyer, 3 battlecruisers and 4 elite cruisers on grid, I checked the description for the trigger:

Note: The triggers may vary, so do the spawns. Usually the ship with the highest bounty is the trigger.

I didn’t read any further and thought in the lines of “Hey, the destroyer has the lowest bounty, so it probably isn’t the trigger, is it?”. Well, it was! I suddenly had 12 battlecruisers, 4 elite cruisers, 6 destroyers and 2 frigates on the field. My tank began to melt. I tried to kill the elite cruisers first, because I knew they were from the first wave, but I wasn’t able to kill them in time and I had to warp out. So I started to focus on the smaller targets first, frigates, destroyers, then the battlecruisers, while I warped out repeatedly. That worked, until I hit the trigger battlecruiser. More stuff on the field, including more elite cruisers. From this point on, I wasn’t able to kill anything anymore without my little T1 shield tank with my low skills gave up. I tried… and got away with 30% armor. So I called it a day and tried it again after the server downtime. The mission was reset, back to wave one. And I also did some research – turned out, the trigger note should say something like:

Note: The triggers may vary, so do the spawns. Usually the singleton with the highest bounty is the trigger.

And that worked – the destroyer of the first wave was the only ship type that was only once on the field. From that moment on, I could tank each single wave without a problem and could finish the mission.

That looks tankable

Things went relatively smoothly from there. I flew some mission, got some standings and ISK. But ammunition supply turned out to be an issue – the nearest market was quite expensive and also 3 jumps away – not really the best thing. The next interesting market was Jita – 10 jumps out. Getting ammunition was a choice between hauling stuff a long way or paying extra and still hauling stuff around. That was annoyance and I decided to change this…

Clueless in Space – the random impressions of an EvE newbie – will continue soon™…

Clueless in Space – AFK Mining and Cruisers


Starting with my trusty Cormorant, I made myself at home in the “The Forge” region and started missioning for the Lai Dai Corporation. Since I was still busy with my thesis and also attended to four raid nights each week, my time for EvE was rather limited. Still, I was always searching for ways to increase the amount of ISK I own. Since I own a dual monitor setup and a quite powerful PC, I could run EvE at the same time I was running WoW. Name it multigaming – like multiboxing but with two different games.  I was wondering if I could use the time, which I was spending in raids, to profit in EvE.  It would have to be an activity, which only needed little to no attention, doesn’t lead to a ship loss and still provides a usable income stream (compared to the almost empty wallet). Turned out, there is an activity, that fits this description: AFK-Mining in Highsec using a little T1 ship. And I had this nice Cormorant. So I slapped two Miner I and an Expanded Cargohold I on it and went out mining. To make it clear, I think mining is rather boring, but if your wallet is almost empty, the possible income was nice. And since I was raiding, I was busy with some other game anyway. Also, back then we were still in the middle of making progress, which means a lot of wipes. Or in other words, a lot of short breaks, where I could send my Destroyer back to station, unload it and send it back to an asteroid belt. I kept this up until it stopped to be an appreciable source of income.

Caldari Cruiser "Caracal"The Caldari Cruiser “Caracal”

With only little time for playing EvE, I had lots of skill training time, which enabled me to not only aim for better ships, but also to throw in the first science skills, which would be necessary for the research agents I aimed for. Speaking of ships, my first aim was the Caracal. Since there is a huge difference between being able to put a pod in a ship and actually do something with a ship, I started to look for fits and stumbled across one, which is posted on the EvE-Uni-Wiki and added two rather cheap medium shield resistance rigs (~120k ISK each) to it:

[Caracal, PvE Basic Skills Caracal]

Compact 'Limos' Assault Missile Bay I
Compact 'Limos' Assault Missile Bay I
Compact 'Limos' Assault Missile Bay I
Compact 'Limos' Assault Missile Bay I
Compact 'Limos' Assault Missile Bay I

Invulnerability Field I
Photon Scattering Field I
Large Shield Extender I
Large Shield Extender I
10MN Afterburner I

Ballistic Control System I
Ballistic Control System I

Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
[empty rig slot]

Hobgoblin I
Hobgoblin I

So, I added the ship and those modules to a new EvEMon-Skillplan and set up my training queue accordingly. A few days later, I had my brand new, fully fitted Caracal. This started to one-shot stuff in lvl.1 missions and also the first lvl.2 mission was a blast. Then I almost lost the Caracal in the second lvl.2 mission and found myself in my pod. What happened?

The mission was Recon (1 of 3). Clueless as I was, I accepted it, warped to my place and started shooting things. What could possibly go wrong? Turned out: A lot! The first wave came in: a frigate, a cruiser and a battle cruiser (or putting it in a newbies view: a small plus, a not so small plus and a bigger plus). I was worried about the battle cruiser, but the frigate already exploded and there wore only two ships on the grid. So this seemed fine. Then more ships turned up, mainly elite cruiser. I wasn’t able to do much damage, but they did to a lot to me. So I started to warp out and back in. Sniped more frigates, but after the fourth wave spawned, I wasn’t able anymore to get out in time. My cruiser blew up. Back at my current home station, I bought a shuttle and set course to Jita in order to buy my second Caracal (which still has a “II” at the end of its name). Then I did a little google-fu. Turned out, I wasn’t the only one with the problem. The solution was apparently to just fly to the second gate, before there are that many waves of NPCs spawned. The solution seemed so easy that I was wondering what the mission text actually said. So I looked it up:


Scout the deadspace areas, then report back to your agent. Destroying any pirates found in the area is not a requirement.

Reading quest mission text, useful skill to have. Should’ve known that from WoW already. Still, there now was that room full of stuff that blew up my Caracal – so how to deal with that? I didn’t want to wait till after the down time on the next day. So I got the cheapest frigate on that market that I could fly, slapped some shield tank and an afterburner on it. Warped in, approached the exit gate, activated my afterburner and hammered on the warp button. With 15% armor left, I was finally in warp. Mission completed.

Not much happened in the following two weeks. I continued to enhance my science skills and continued to fly missions. I also skilled for having a first dedicated salvage vessel and bought it eventually. So, a usual newbie start, I guess, at least with the missioning. This continued until lvl.3 missions started to show up at the horizon. It was clear that I would need a bigger ship in the near future…

Clueless in Space – the random mishaps of an EvE newbie – will continue soon™…

EvE: Monetizing the creative player

I regularly stumble across decisions which I don’t understand the reasoning for and only can acknowledge with a facepalm (emoticon: “m(” ). In fact, in the last two years, this happened kind of often. I’ve developed some kind of gallows humor to deal with it, but bad decisions are still bad. My personal facepalm of the day was sponsored by CCP.


CCP prides themselves for having one of the most creative game community. In fact, the available offerings of applications and services around EvE Online as a game is quite astonishing. A lot of things have counterparts in WoW, too. For example, in WoW, I have a few third party tools, which I’d call “essential for the game” as a raider and partially as a guild officer. In my case, these includes DBM, Recount (mainly for seeing why people died), my RaidTracker for tracking loot, Grid and Bartender. Those were there for a long time and I couldn’t play the game the same as I do now without them. Granted, Blizzard acknowledged that their game interface is/was flawed in multiple parts and started to adapt popular addons into the game client (the new raid unit frames are a basic copy of Grid). You will find such game essential tools also for EvE Online, although not in the form of ingame addons but external programs. Even as a total newbie, I’m already dependent on EvEMon for skill planing and EFT for testing ship fittings before buying them. I couldn’t play EvE the way I do now without them.

Additionally, there are also a lot of additional services. What may be the web based DKP-System for a WoW guild is the killboard for an EvE Corp. And there are a lot of information portals and news sites for both games, most of them are financed by ads. The available services for EvE go a bit further with examples like EvE Online Hold’em for spending in-game money or EvE News24 as a side for news about ingame events. WoW don’t have any counterparts for services like that. I think the main reasons for that is, that EvE is a sandbox based game and additionally, the WoW community is heavily divided on a lot of different servers, which makes the possible target audience rather small.

CCP themselves acknowledged these creative services and prides themselves with it. They are encouraging them and have created a few dev blogs for promoting these services. (Found here, here, here, and here). AFAIK, as long as you don’t charge real money for your services and not violating the EULA and TOS, you have relatively free hands on creating something around, for or in EvE. Then, very few developers asked for a way to charge money for their applications. They were willing to pay some kind of licence fee in order to do so. Nothing wrong with that, why not give some guys the opportunity to make some money and let them pay money for it, as long as anything that is free stays free.  There are WoW related services that charge their users. An example would be the WowStead-project of I don’t see a problem with that. Well, so much for the theory. Then, out of thin air, a certain dev blog arrived… Continue reading EvE: Monetizing the creative player

Clueless in Space – The Beginning

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 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:

A "little" chart to tell you about all the possibilities in EvE Online

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™…

Internet Spaceships

About two months ago, after the big initial raid encounter grind fest in the new Cataclysm raid instances, the In Harmony raid schedule went down from 6 days a week to about 3-4 days a week. It was a bit of a relief of having more nights with free time, but on the other hand left me with the decision of what to do when I’ve nothing else to do. My initial plan was to finally finish my complete Fallout 3 playthrough, but at this time, my brother and a few of his friends started (for whatever reason) playing EvE Online. And somehow, a friend invite made it in my E-Mail-Box.

At this point, I should mention that I’ve already played a trial period of EvE once, about 2,5 years ago. I was very positively surprised about it and already thought back then, that this is a game that could entertain me for a longer period of time. However, I was kind of alone in space, already really involed in WoW and didn’t want to pay subscription for another MMO, so I stopped after the trial period. However, I still bought the boxed version of the game and put it on my shelf. Just in case I wanted to play it again sometime in the future. Well, the future eventually arrived. I got the friend invite, which gave me 21 days, and the boxed version, which gave me another two months worth of playtime. And the beginning of EvE is still on of the most demanding game starts I’ve ever encountered.

So, why do I blog about EvE and not WoW. Well, for WoW, I don’t think I have to say much new about it. WoW is a very streamlined experience: You get interesting questlines from the start and Blizzard basically holds your hand and keeps you busy until you reach the level cap. After that, you can do PvP (Battlegrounds and Arena) or PvE (Heroic Dungeons and Raids). That is the so called “endgame content” which keeps players busy from that point on. That isn’t a bad thing, but almost anything interesting about this endgame has been written down already. At least for the PvE side. And since I’ve never actively played PvP in WoW, I can’t say anything about that.

So, how is EvE different? Well, they say that one picture can say more than thousand words, so I’ll start with a lot of pictures. EvE can be like this:

Or it can be like this:

But, when approached wrong, EvE can also be like this:

So, for starting this little personal, irregular instalment of ramblings about internet spaceships, I’d like to talk a bit about the game mechanic differences of between EvE and WoW from the EvE-newbie point of view and what type of gamer might find more enjoyment in EvE than others:

  • EvE doesn’t hold your hand. At least not for long. In WoW, you’ll get into a storyline (presented via quests) from the first second and you are guided that way through different areas and stories until you hit level 85. Putting the presentation aside, that part of WoW would do quite well as a single player RPG. There is always a subtle “at your current state, you can do this or that” signpost guiding you through the game, keeping you busy. In EvE, there is a basic tutorial, then five “Career Agents” that will explain some very basic professions and game mechanics. After that, there is a so called “Epic Arc”, a coherent storyline of 50 missions (= quest). This will keep a player busy for 2-10 days. After that, a player have to pursue his own goals.
  • In EvE, your character doesn’t have a race, class or profession limitation. In WoW, your possible actions in the game are bound to the class and race you choose at the start. For example, a dwarf is limited to the alliance side of the game, a priest can only heal or deal damage but not tank. Each character can only has two professions. In EvE, you learn and enhance “skills” which will limit the possibilities you can do in a certain moment. However, each character can acquire any skill that is available in game. For example, every character can play as a “healer” by flying a logistics ship, as long as the player took the time to acquire the required skills.
  • In EvE, you can’t grind your character progression. In WoW, you progress your character by collecting experience. You get experience for slaying mobs, completing quests, etc. The accumulated experience will result in a level up, which will give you access to more powerful spells. So, the more time you invest in getting experience, the faster your character progresses to the level cap. In EvE, you will get a fixed amount of skill points per second. These skill points are used to enhance skill through 5 levels, chosen by the player. The amount of gained skill points depends on the character attributes, which can be modified by the use of implants or remaps. But in the end, there is a hard limit of how many skill points on can get per second. Which basically means, that it is impossible to catch up with older players. However, each activity only requires a certain set of skills. So, for example, while an older player may be able to operate all available battlecruisers, a younger player may be able to fly only a battlecruiser of a certain race. But by specializing in the skillset for that particular battlecruiser, he can fly it as good as (or better) than an older player.
  • In EvE, getting killed costs ingame money. Ok, now the WoW player will probably scream “but in WoW, you get 10% damage on your equipment, which you have to repair and that will costs gold!”. That is correct. But the amount one have to spend on repairs compared to the money one get by playing the game is not really worth mentioning. At least, I was never in a situation where I have to worry about a repair bill. And if you were in such a situation, then chances are, you are doing something wrong. But in EvE, you will lose your ship, which means you have to buy a new ship and new modules. You may also lose your pod. In that case, you will have to buy a new set of implants. Which lead to one of the golden EvE rules: “Don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose”. Or put in other words: In EvE, the game won’t protect you from having a repair bill bigger than your wallet. If you can’t afford it, chances are good that you shouldn’t fly that ship yet. In WoW, the game mechanic hinders a lvl 2 player from wearing a lvl 85 item, for which he can’t pay the repair bill at that point.
  • There are no instances in EvE. Every point in the universe where you have access to, can also be accessed by any other player. In WoW, there are dungeons, raid instances, arenas and battlegrounds which are exclusive for your current group. In EvE, everything is open. So the plex (which may be called a dungeon – a set of rooms full of mobs) you are flying to may be empty. Or there may be a competing player. Or if you accept a kill mission, it will usually spawn a special mission room. Even that can be accessed by other players.
  • There is no place in EvE where PvP is prevented. If you take a WoW-PvP-Server as an example, there are places where no PvP is possible (Shattrath, Dalaran) or at least proactively interfered by NPCs (the NPC guardians of Ironforge will attack any horde player). And if I’m informed correctly, one can always disable his PvP flag in their home cities. In EvE, there are no real safe places. In Null-Security and Low-Security space, there is no mechanic that prevents PvP. And although there are some kind of NPC guardians in High-Security (CONCORD), they take some before they arrive at a PvP place. Depending on the enemy ship and your own ship, your ship may have already exploded before help arrived.
  • There are no interface addons for EvE. I actually saw this question quite often in the rookie-channels (english, german and the public EvE-Uni channel). No, no addon system there. Afaik, this is the norm for most MMORPGs. So, no, you are stuck with the user interface as it is – as bad as it is in some places. (And I am not the only one calling some aspects of the EvE UI bad.) This is actually a nice thing for WoW. I personally think, a lot of addons for the WoW-UI exists because there were a lot of deficits in the standard WoW UI. And since Blizzard took a few addon ideas and implemented them into the standard UI, they basically admitted that some aspects were… crap. (Old raid unit frames *cough*).

I’ve probably missed a few more points, but the main point should be clear: If you are new to EvE, you shouldn’t expect a “WoW in space”-game. In my opinion, both are very good MMORPGs but the game mechanics are different and a player have to be aware of that. It is the same if you compare Mass Effect 2 with Fallout 3 – as an example. There is the linear, storytelling approach on one side and the open world with free character development approach on the other side. I enjoyed them both, but I’m aware that there are players who don’t like the game mechanics of one or the other. Still, both are very good games.

If you enjoy open world RPGs (like Fallout 3, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind) and you are more busy exploring the world than actually advancing the storyline , than EvE might be a game you might like. If that doesn’t appeal to you and still want pixel spaceships, you are probably better of with playing Freespace 2 or Freelancer.

Coming soon(TM): Clueless in space – Random ramblings of another EvE-newbie trying to explore this vast internet universe with internet spaceships.