Lost in EVE, yet again

EVE is one of those games that always fascinates me, but then when I try it, I don’t really know what to do with it. A couple of weeks ago, CCP had one of their ever-so-often “get two months for one” promotional offers. Wilhelm’s recent posts about EVE at TAGN left me in a state interested for the game again, so I resubscribed. Discount skill training time, if anything, right?

The first two weeks I did… nothing. I learned various Level V skills on both my characters, but that’s all I logged in for. The “return fatigue” was a bit too much. My private corp had long lost its office, so all the items were dumped into my personal inventory, which was too much to stomach for me at the time. I vaguely remembered I had bought a Drake last time before my subscription ran out, but it sat there without any fittings, and refitting was more complicated than I remembered. In short, I logged in, enqueued skills, looked bewildered at my ships and inventories, and logged off in confusion.

On Friday, I finally bit the bullet and decided to try EVE again, for real.I tried to figure out what I could do on my own in this game.

Planetary Interaction: I remembered I had trained PI skills on one of my characters last time, but never used them. My private corp has its home turf in Isanamo, which has mostly Barren planets, so I decided to set up a chain that would produce mechanical parts. I duly watched the video tutorial, then went off, and got it nearly right the first time (I think).

Two extractors, for base and noble metals, two base refineries, and an advanced factory to produce the final product: mechanical parts. It probably would’ve been smarter to use the storage facility as hub instead of the command center, but oh well, doesn’t matter too much.

My first PI setup.

Only afterwards did I realize that there probably would’ve been smarter choices to make money from PI:

D’oh.

Story of my life. Suffice to say it will take a long time to make back the money I dumped into PI.

Mission running: So I had this brand-new Drake sitting in the hangar, but without any fittings or idea how to fly it. I went around and tried to figure out what a good fit was from sources like Battleclinic, but if you’re a noob like me, that’s harder than it sounds. I have the skills to fit most stuff by now (most of the relevant skills are IV or V), but there are so many opinions, and… how to put it… EVE players are very vocal when they consider a fit inferior.

In the end, I manage to put something together that seemed to make sense. A short look at my standings showed that I was above +7 with Nurtura, an Amarr corporation, and I decided to go and push for +8. I remembered there was something good waiting at +8, jump clones I think. Not that I had any use for that right now, or in fact any idea what to use them for exactly (something with PvP?), but it sounded like a plan.

Level 3 missions in a Drake were simple enough: warp in, switch on Shield Hardeners, and shoot everything with Heavy missiles until it dies. I managed to hit +8 in a couple of hours. Nice. Also a good money-maker, I managed to make about 20 million ISK in that time. And now what?

What are my goals in EVE, exactly?

If I knew, this would be so much easier. So far, I basically played EVE as a glorious single player game. I did mission running, PI, and mining mostly, and I like that, but it’s just boring on your own after a while. Maybe I should go look for a real corp. What could I do with them?

Mission running: I guess that will still be a single-player activity, and that’s fine. I like mission running, if it isn’t the only thing I do.

Mining: I like mining, I really do. One of my characters has very developed mining skills. (The only down is she doesn’t have any refining skills to speak of, because I oh-so-intelligently trained those on the other character. Then I realized you’ll need them down the road for real mining perfection. Did it wrong again. That’s so EVE!) I could fly a hulk within half a day, and a Mackinaw with decent skills in about two days, if I had the money to buy the skillbook and the ships+fittings. But solo mining gets boring. A mining squad would at least mean you’d have people to talk to.

Hauling: I’m not sure that’s a real stand-alone occupation, but I could also fly a freighter within half a day. Same caveat: no money for skill book + ship. But hauling ore for a mining squad would also be viable, or transporting large amounts of goods for a corp. Somehow I like the idea of being a space trucker.

Refining, development, and production: I mention them together because, frankly, I have no clue how this works when you’re serious about it. I did refining and have the skills to do that flawlessly, but I always shied away from research and production, because it feels like you’ll never be able to compete with the people who know what they’re doing and have the skills trained for it. I’d sure would like to learn how that actually works in reality, though.

PvP: When you’ve read this blog, you know that I’m not a big fan of PvP. Nevertheless, I would be interested in at least trying out PvP in EVE, in its blob version. I’m not interested at all in small-scale PvP.

Hmm… maybe I should try and find a corp based on that. I’ve been thinking about EVE University for some time. I would imagine I would have people around to do some stuff together, and learn about fields of EVE that maybe aren’t even on the list above, because I don’t even know they exist.

They don’t do PvP, obviously, at least not the kind I’m interested in. When it comes to that, I’d need a corp that’s looking for Drake blobbers, because frankly, that’s the only thing I can fly, skill-wise, that would make sense in a blob, I think. But I can’t even name more than three or four corps: Goonswarm, Raiden, Pandemic Legion. And I’m not even sure whether those are corporations or alliances. Shows you how much I’m invested in PvP warfare in EVE.

So, to wrap this up: Does anybody have any suggestions what might fit me and how to go about it?

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