My Life as an EVE Uni Undergraduate

Just to get going again, here one of those “what I did” posts.

It was actually quite fascinating. “Was” because I just was graduated last weekend. “Was graduated” instead of “graduated” because, in contrast to a real-world university, you don’t take exams on the way and write a thesis at the end as well-defined milestones. In EVE University, you rather rack up participation and show what is called “a general understanding of all things EVE”. So the graduation itself feels a bit like a passive process because you apply at some point and then wait. (In all fairness, it went quite fast for me, my wait was less than a week from application to graduation.)

Look mum, my first real medal!

So now that I graduated, this is a great chance to give you an overview of all the things I did in the last two months when I played:

Participation in classes: The UNI runs a nice class program. Older players give an overview over basic (shield or armor tanking, trading) or more advanced (interceptors, assault frigates in PvP) topics at pre-announced times to newer players. It’s a great system, it works surprisingly well, and quite a few people participate as part-time-teachers.

This shirt design explains what I like about the Uni.

Giving classes: To be fair, I’ve only given one class yet. It’s a topic I really like though (What is the EVE test server, and why would you want to play on it from time to time?), and I felt competent because it doesn’t involve a lot of detailed EVE knowledge, but also “common sense” from how development cycles work in other games. I’m looking into teaching more classes soon, but I’m not sure yet what I feel sufficiently competent about.

PvP: Oh yes, I did a lot of that. In fact, for a couple of days, I peaked at no. 27 (of a 2800+ member organization) for top kills on a 90-day moving window. For someone who never liked PvP before, this is an interesting turn of events. My doing PvP involved wrapping up the RvB war I talked about in the last post two months ago, moving full-time into the University’s Low-Sec camp (more about that in a second), and fighting in a whole bunch of other wars. The Low-Sec camp is a group of Uni people who (surprise!) spend most of their time in low-security space: less regimented areas of space in which you can’t expect much NPC help if you’re attacked, and therefore have to watch your own back. You tend to be able to earn a bit more money from the PvE parts of the game, but you have to make sure that this isn’t offset by being blown up by pirates.
Speaking of pirates, we had our fair share of run-ins. One problem that we had is that many pirates operate in small groups. The University’s credo is “strength in numbers” though. And like always in EVE, there are only two outcomes of a battle: if you win, you ridicule the other for being bad. If you lose, you complain about being “blobbed” (outnumbered, unfair fight!). Yes, I’m exaggerating for the sake of the argument. So the university wasn’t that well liked in some pockets of space.
At some point in late May or early June, a new patch was released that changed the war mechanics in a critical point. As an effect, it was now a lot cheaper to declare war on the Uni. And the war decs came in, mostly from pirate corps that then descended on PvEers that were not prepared to fight in (otherwise relatively safe) strongly-regimented high-sec space. Normally, if you attacked one of them, you would be blown up by CONCORD police forces (you might or might not take your target down with you if you did enough damage fast enough). With the officially declared war though, the police looked the other way. So the low-sec camp was in the line of fire from inside very fast, too, being accused of “drawing wardecs on us” by some members. It was decided to move a few systems over, but this didn’t work well, either. In fact, it worked out worse. News travel fast, and moving after being wardec’d left an impression. Within a week, we had no less than four war declarations from alliances at our new place. We fought it out for some time, while the university’s diplomats worked behind the scenes. In the end, we decided to move yet again, but managed to come up with an agreement with several of the alliances that made nobody lose face and ended the confrontation on amicable terms. Now the low-sec camp’s base of operations is at the other end of the universe, and I heard its nice, quiet, and so far war-dec free, but I haven’t had time to check it out myself yet because of the fourth thing I did:

PvE: I’ve been back to running missions for a bit. I started when the last move was announced, and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. It was a long move to a far-away system, I didn’t know yet what the situation would be and whether we would have to move again within weeks (which is quite annoying because moving all your ships from one place to another is quite a logistic endeavor). So I started to run missions again, with the goal of improving my standing with some of the factions. I managed to increase my standings with the Ministry of Internal Order enough that I could start running the Amarr Epic Arc by last weekend. I’m currently working on that, and it will probably take me another day or two to finish, because the missions are quite long and also harder than the typical level-4 missions that I’ve run so far. It’s nice so far though, it’s a change of pace and you get a bit of story to boot, though I’m not yet sure what to make of it.

So that’s what I’ve done recently. What next? In-game, I’ll probably stay in the Uni for some more time as a post-graduate. There are currently some interesting things evolving (that I can maybe write about soon), and I’ll see whether that interests me and encourages me to stay for a long time. Otherwise, I’ll probably go and look for a sov-holding nullsec corp.

I think another post is in order to talk about what I’ve not done recently, although I had had plans for it…

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