In which I work through long todo-lists and fly around in space a lot without actually doing much

After some more waiting on Sunday, my EVE University invite went through, together with what seems a large bunch of other people. I was proud of myself because I had been smart enough to haul (most of) my belongings the 24 jump from Isanamo to Aldrat already. Which takes time in a hauler. But I had saved that time at least. Or so I thought…

First Things First

Getting accepted into a new group of people always leaves me with this “and now what?” feeling. You might get a lot of “welcome!”s (I did, the Uni is a friendly place, from what I’ve seen so far, very refreshing after all these disturbing news about EVE the last week), but then you’re left to your own devices. Not that I can blame everybody. You see people joining constantly, you can’t throw a party for everybody.

So I started to work through the new member todo-list. First thing was setting up your UI to be at least only useless if you ever get stuck in PvP, and not actively harmful because you can’t see what’s going on. That wiki guide has an impressive 48 subsections. Took me about 20 minutes to work through it. Thankfully, you can then save your setup and import it on alts and such. (As I later found out, not everything gets exported, which means you still have to do some of the manual work multiple times. Cue rant about EVE’s horrible UI here.)

Then I decided it would be a good idea to get a jump clone. Jump clones in EVE are “copies” of you. You can jump between them once ever 24 hours. They serve two main roles: fast travel (you can jump from one clone to another one at the other end of the universe), and cutting your losses. You can put implants in your body to boost the speed at which you are learning new skills, and they can be very expensive. If you get killed in PvP, gone are the implants. So a lot of people jump into a cheaper clone for PvP.

It would make sense to have both clones at our main EVE University base. But, it’s not that easy! See, you can only create jump clones in bases that belong to corporations that really love you. (Strangely enough, once they’re created, you can store them wherever you want). Like NPC faction reputations in other games. And the nearest base I could do that in was…. 1 jump next to Isanamo, where I originally started from. Grrreeeat. So, I had to 1) fly 25 jumps back (this time, in a shuttle though, so it was a lot faster), 2) create my jump clone and fly back to Aldrat, and 3) jump into the the new jump clone (ending up in Isakano again) and flying the 25 jump AGAIN in a different shuttle. That’s traversing 75 solar systems, in case you lost track.

And what now?

All that, of course, only postponed the question of what to do next. I browsed the Uni’s forums, and found some information about an ongoing long-term mining operation. That sounded like my kind of thing!

Mining is one of the occupations in EVE that attracts more ridicules than most others. Maybe that’s because it doesn’t involve shooting stuff into pieces. It sure is a laid-back way of earning ISK. Fly your mining ship to an asteroid belt, set the lasers to “lick”, and let your cargo bay fill up.

There was just one problem with this. All my mining skills were concentrated on my alt, who was still sitting in Isanamo. If you now say “I know what’s coming! Another 24 jumps!”, you’re almost right. Just that it wasn’t 24 jumps. Because, see, the mining operation isn’t based in the University’s home system, but quite a bunch of jumps away. It was around that time I lost track of how much I traveled. But let’s say it was about 35 jumps from Isanamo. In a mining barge. Which is very good at mining, but also very slow and about as agile as an elephant with a heart condition and two legs in a cast. And the trunk too, for no other reason than that it would look funny.

Mandatory space picture: My mining barge during one of the countless warps. The ship looks surprisingly sleek for something that's designed for mining, isn't it?

And, of course, I needed to get my main over there too, because he’s the one that can fly haulers, and I needed to ferry equipment over and means to transport ore. When I finally reached our mining base, my second evening in EVE University was almost over. But tomorrow, I’ll be actually able to do something worthwhile, I’m sure!

Did I mention before that things take a lot of time in EVE?

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