A personal journey with EVE Online
Capsuleer journal #3
Capsuleer journal #3

Capsuleer journal #3

Screen capture of a Cormorant ship approaching a wreck near a rocky asteroid and Serpentis bunker.
[Cormorant, Caldari destroyer approaching a wreck for loot and salvage.]

Well safe to say I’ve definitely caught the bug with EVE Online. There’s still plenty of challenges facing me, but I’m in no hurry and probably a big reason I like this game, you can totally set your own pace. There are in-game challenges, as well as any personal challenges you fancy setting yourself. However, if you want you can just meander doing something you enjoy. And there’s quite a bit to choose from: mining, industry, haulage, salvage, exploration, combat against NPCs (nonplayer characters) or against other players.

So where am I now? and what can I say about EVE – now I’ve got a lot more time playing it under my belt? Firstly, there’s so much you can say about this game and keep discovering more aspects about it … There’s a lot of truth to two common phrases heard within the EVE community “There’s life outside of EVE.” as you can get so very involved with it as well as it sometimes called “Spreadsheets in space” – even the makers of the game admit to that epitaph (https://www.eveonline.com/news/view/information-is-power).

I’m still playing as an alpha (free) account. There are some really nice advantages to the paid for Omega account, as it unlocks a lot of things such as more choice of ships, ability to use certain things, trading advantages, better in-game rewards, etc. I’ve dipped into being Omega for a month or so, but admittedly it was for the free ships being given out for a week-long event.

For a very long time I totally avoided combat. I was happy with mining and manufacturing, then took the plunge (for me) one day with combat against NPCs by following an in-game agent career mission. NPC set career missions given by agents at specific stations are a good way to develop actual skills and have the advantage of dropping rewards (ISK (the in-game money), ships and equipment). I should mention that there is also in-game a virtual skill system which you develop for the career path/s you fancy. It is also integral as ISK, as ISK allows you to buy the ships and equipment, but you need the skills to use it.

I’ve also joined EVE University . It’s a large friendly group of EVE players who are happy to help explain things, run courses, in-game training sessions and socials (get out and fly together using chat and verbal coms to keep in touch) as well as other benefits for players starting out and established.

I’m mostly exploration, combat and salvage now. It’s unlikely I’ll return to mining and industry as a primary activity for a number of reasons: there is only so far you can go with it in an alpha account and with manufacture. Lots of others are also able to sell their ore or refined minerals cheaper, and it relies a lot on keeping a watch on price for minerals and other commodities, as well as selling prices locally, the more system-wide markets and developing a sense of what commodities are wanted where and for price they’ll sell (or you want to buy). However, it’s still a good way to start making ISK. More about that later or in another post as there’s quite a bit to it.

Screen capture of a Dragoon destroyer class space ship in EVE Online
[Dragoon, Amarr destroyer.]

I’m also enjoying collecting ships and the fun and skills in fitting them out – and discovering no matter how much theory, you really need to fly the ships in the way that suits your style of play to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each component. Also, each ship type in EVE has its own special attributes as well as basic attributes which help determine what can be fitted and what fittings to take advantage of. It should be noted however that all this costs (ships, fittings, ammunition, etc in-game money the ISK). So it’s not just a matter of getting a ship, fitting out and away… There’s also another aspect to this all. When you are in-game and look up the market you only see what’s offered locally in your system. You don’t see what prices and where available across the whole of EVE. That requires you to use dedicated external websites such as https://evemarketer.com .

Although I have a ‘few’ ships now, admittedly I find myself tending to fly certain ships depending on what I’m planning to do or even take advantage of a situation. The Dragoon Amarr destroyer (shown above) is one of my current regularly used ones. Generally used to run local combat sites and salvage. I also often run fly a Heron or Probe for exploration.

A brief (very brief!) run down of some basic elements within EVE.

Movement / Navigation

What could be the most frustrating part of any game, in EVE is actually very easy. Almost point and click allowing you to concentrate on other things. Select from the overview window or click the object in space and use the right click menu to decide what you want to do. If you want to jump through the system gate to another system or dock at a station, just select this… no actual need to align yourself with a landing zone, etc.


NB as with anything within EVE these are very simplistic descriptions. Each has it’s own set of challenges and there are whole Wiki sites dedicated to detailing

Mining – Equip your ship with mining lasers, find an asteriod patch, and mine the ore it contains. Either sell the ore directly or refine it and sell the minerals. Ice mining and gas mining are also other options for Omega accounts.

Industry and manufacture – Get the blueprints to something you want to make, obtain the required components and/or minerals and start production. Use it for yourself or sell it.

Exploration – Hunt down data and/or relic sites by equipping your ship with scan probes (to find the sites) and the data or relic analysers to hack open the containers around the site.

Hauling – Collect items from one location and move them to another.

Combat – Player versus EVE (PVE) against NPC pirates, factions or entities. There is also a lot of player versus player (PVP).

What have I forgotten?… probably quite a few like Planetary development, but I’ve kept to mentioning the main careers available to anybody on alpha.

Security levels

With over 7,200 systems to explore, the level of security for each system varies from 1.0 (best) to negative. Effectively defined as

High Security (high sec / HS) 1.0 – 0.5
Low Security (low sec / LS) 0.4 – 0.0
No Security (Null sec / NS) all negative values.

What this means in effect is a number of rules in force to restrict and prevent other players taking advantage of you and engaging you in combat such as speed at which NPC police turn up if another player engages in combat with you and ability for them to dock up in certain systems so running the gauntlet of the system gates.

Ships and fitting

Oh boy where to start… hundreds of different ships all coming with different advantages (‘traits’), attributes, fitting as well as required skills to operate. Weapon types and ammo also come under fitting. If you do not have the required skill, you can not fly it. And as for fitting… thankfully there’s a simulated fitting system that allows you to try out the various modules and what suits (and you can afford and/or have the skills for).

Ship fitting basically spilts into 4 different areas: High, Mid, Low and Rigs. High, Mid and Low slots can be changed for other modules in station or while in space if you have and can a mobile depot. Rigs cannot and if removed are destroyed (there’s an exception this with certain ships) Typically the bigger the ship the more slots you have available. For instance a Venture (typical starting ship and basic mining vessel) with an Abaddon (standard Battle Cruiser).

Ship wise, Alpha accounts are restricted up to standard Battleships (not that affects you so much with NPC play, also mostly Tech I ships. However, you can still fly many of the faction and pirate specialised ships. Each comes with modifications and traits. Eg the Gila, a popular cruiser, has 300% damage by medium combat drones (but it can only field 2 at a time).

… see what I mean? There’s a definite sense of ‘opening up a can of worms’. Fun though and you don’t need spreadsheets to play it. I just find it them useful myself for aspects of the game.

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