Eve Online Learning Experience

As usual, months went by with me intending to post something about Eve Online.  I did post something in an eve forum a one point. But I just can’t to stop playing long enough to go back. Housework suffers. Or was that hauling ore?

One of the strong appeals is that it is a hard game. So much to learn, so much variety, so much depth. I read that Eve attracts lots of new players, but few stay. Absolutely no surprise there. Eve is not a simplistic first person shooter or ‘pissed off birds’ type of game. Yet I understand the subscription count continues to grow. The people a complex and deep game appeals to are far from the majority. But they are going to stay with it.

Stuff Learned

Not that I’ve learned much. But now I see new to not so new players doing things that are just wrong or foolish. Must be getting somewhere. A small sample.

Gankers. A player is mining or wandering about just exploring in a noob or low end frigate. Wham, in comes one or more gankers to kill him off because they can. Thats just the game. But for a good time, go into an Eve forum and say something like “gankers are just too gutless to take on experienced players. Might lose their precious ship, so they only attack unarmed miners and new players who cannot fight back.”  Hilarity ensues. Gankers step up to the plate and claim they are doing legit stuff and you (and your mom too) are a big baby for whining about it. Of course, the gankers are being the big crybabies and just can’t take being called on why they do what they do. Biggest bunch of babies in the game.  But its only a game, so don’t stress if someone smokes your ship and pods you. One day, you can go do some damage too. It’ll be fun.

Ship control. Its pretty good. But game physics dictates a big ship takes longer to react to your desperate “go that way” click on the screen. I still sometimes forget this and think “its not turning, wtf” when things are working exactly as they should.

LCOs (large collidable objects). One day long ago I was watching a youtube vid on how to stay alive in asteroid belts in lowsec. At one point, the guy is aligning and runs into an asteroid (aka LCO) and the ship stops, gets deflected. “Thats never happened before,” he says like its a bug in the game. A few days earlier, that happened to me and I lost a catalyst. So I was watching this video (link long lost) hoping to learn what to avoid.

With videos, quality varies.

Scanning.  I had tried this and gave up at the start of my career. A wonderful system, its represents a radar technology based on isotropic radar devices. But no way could I sort out the mechanics of it. My probes would die of old age. Could have been another bad video. Recently I found a good video tutorial, up to date too, http://www.eve-online-strategy.com/tutorials/eve-online-tutorial-exploration-probing. I tried again. I can now scan! Found lots of stuff, wormholes, and other things.

Scissors-rock-paper. This is one of the core aspects of Eve and PvP in all its forms. Except its DPS-HP-Shield Tank-Armor Tank-Speed-Tank-Tackle-Etc in a multidimensional format. Simply put, relying on some utility that you use to maximize your DPS or whatever it is you want is going to lose you a ship because strength in one area alone means you are glass in all others. Unless you have a very well defined need, balance is your friend. But not too much balance. Experience, including listening (skeptically) to other players is a better way.

If you want examples of good fits, forget the utilities and pretty-picture websites. One stop is the Eve University website. EU is a player corp that is dedicated to the how-to thing, be you a member or not. Example:  http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Hurricane  for a good time. As is always the case, you might want to do a few things differently – so go for it.

There are also some excellent player blogs that can help you build that ultimate fighting frigate. Such as option two here: http://jestertrek.blogspot.ca/2013/02/fit-of-week-ad-venture-ous.html

AFK / Autopilot. I was assured in my pre-signup research that afk (away from keyboard) mining and autopilot are reliable methods for losing ships. I have never tried autopilot. The reason: your ship idles its way toward a stargate, and any ganker who thinks you might be  easy loot is going to kill your ship (and pod you too). And afk mining? Same thing and with less chance of Concord protection. Some players think killing miners is the high point of the game. If you aren’t ready to gtfo, your ship is wreckage. I will still be afk for the time it takes to refill my coffee mug though.

So someone in corp is complaining how he was afk on auto-pilot in lowsec in an industrial with a load of high-value (to him) stuff and lost his ship+cargo.  I and others tell him “you did it wrong” on several counts, why, and what he needs to do.

A few days later, he’s telling how he got ganked again. Autopilot in lowsec.

Fear of 0.5. or going to Jita, or any number of other things. My own preference is highsec, but I’ll happily go into lowsec for various reasons. If I get toasted, its just a ship. I can get another. And any cargo too. And I have gotten toasted. Sometimes in one shot. There was this big flash of white, and I’m podding my way to the gate.

Yet you will see chatter about the dangers of going into 0.6 (highsec) or 0.5 (still highsec) because someone really desperately wants to kill your frigate with its little cargo of ammo and a BPO for more ammo. And to go to Jita? Death can only follow. Every time. Why, there have been stories…

Take the trip. Go places. Visit Jita, buy and sell some stuff there. Its all good. If you are flying a freighter with more than a few hundred million ISK in cargo, or a hauling some PLEX in anything, you WILL be a target (but you’ll still get through most of the time). Lugging that load of 30 missile launchers and 5000 missiles in your industrial? Why would anyone bother?

Yet sure as homeopathy is a bogus, someone will offer “They just might kill you cuz them am want to.” Bah. Get in your ship and do what you want. Learn what the real risks are. Get shot – it won’t kill you. And it will happen a lot less often in highsec than you have been led to believe. AFK mining and autopiloting excepted.

LowSec is Dangerous.  This is true. But it also depends on what you are doing and if you are paying attention. Every time I’ve tried mining or ratting in lowsec, no more than 60 seconds have elapsed before a ganker or pirate shows up hoping for an easy kill. Every. Time.  Yet I usually survive. Keep that scan big. If mining, be aligned to a station or gate. Keep eyes on screen. Incoming? Be gone.

Last time I went in with a barge (Procurer), some guy in a Tengu decided I was dinner. I saw him coming and was almost up to warp when he scrammed me. I spit my drones at him. He stops shooting me as he finds them annoying and targets them instead. I get away. Sadly, he was on me before I could mine anything at all.

Most other times, I’m just going gate to gate or gate to station. Usually nobody in sight. And if there is, I am usually gone before they can so much as lock me.

Critical.  So they say not to fly anything you cannot afford to lose.  I say – are you so sure you cannot afford to lose that cruiser, iteron, or frigate? Get out there. Have some fun. Its a game, and the loses are in game money and ships. Its serious stuff, this spreadsheets and spaceships, but why play if you are afraid to lose anything?

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