Eve Pilots: Bet you can’t have just one

My pilot, Sarin Blackfist, hit 8.5 million SPa few days ago, and I can’t really do anything well. I can do a great many things half-assed, though; such is the burden of the newbie pilot. Sarin can do a little bit of Planetary Interaction. He can fly missile ships, from Stealth Bombers to Battleships. He can drone boat around in nullsec, slaying countless Guristas Pirates. He can also fit Hybrid Turrets to a few different battleship hulls, and limp along beside an Incursion fleet, contributing three-quarters of the DPS of a fully skilled Incursion pilot. Every time I see something that looks like it could be fun, or make me some money, Sarin learns to do something else, delaying the all-important Core Skills another few weeks. I’ve covered a lot of holes in Sarin’s skills with extra ISK investment. He flies a Gila, not an Ishtar. He uses more expensive Caldari Navy drones, instead of Tech IIs. More than once, the only way I’ve been able to fly the ship he is sitting in, is because of skill-boosting implants in his head, edging him above the Power Grid or CPU requirements for the modules on the ship, because my core skills are a bit lacking. Sarin is a Jack-of-all-Trades, and a master of none. I’ve come to find out that a lot of new players are a bit like this. Trying to find their niche in the game, they skill around randomly and end up spreading themselves thin. I spoke to some of the more experienced players I know, asking what the solution to wanting to do multiple facets of the game well was, and I was told two things. First, be patient, fly what you can and don’t worry about the rest. And second, I was given a statistic, that may be a little outdated now, but which really stuck with me. The average person, who has been playing Eve for more than a year, has 1.2 accounts. For a while, I could not track down a source for this number, but it’s something I never forgot, as this was the beginning of my spiral into madness. CCP Quant actually came forward on reddit.com with as accurate of an estimate as we’ll ever get for this number. The average player playing EVE Online has somewhere between 1.35 and 1.65 accounts. According to data provided by CCP Quant, this number has been steady for most of the last decade.


Enter the Power of Two

In a previous article, I’ve mentioned the friend that got me into the game, is a pretty prolific multiboxer, running up to four ships in a fleet with me. Every time he did this, I could not wait to do the same. When I started playing EVE I was gifted the Collector’s Edition by this friend, which started my bank account at nearly 2 billion ISK. This, plus a bit of farming, enabled me to immediately buy into the Power of Two sale when it started up. The plan for this second account was to make several dedicated PI alts to make some passive income. I started the first pilot on this second account training into PI for somewhere between fifteen and twenty days. My plan was to train the other two character slots the same way, but then I realized that I absolutely hated managing it. I could not stand the idea of managing it on two more characters. This was about the point in my EVE career when I had made my way to nullsec and begun semi-AFK ratting to make money. I decided I would use the game time on the second account to double down on this strategy, and build up another pilot to do the same. However, while researching the skill plan and the correct way to skill up a pilot, rather than the haphazard way that Sarin was built, I found a skill plan that could put a brand new pilot into a Carrier in six to nine months time, depending on what corners I wanted to cut. Zeiss Blackfist (yes, I give all my pilots the same last name, because I am uncreative and lame) was born. Currently, Zeiss flies a Gila, and he flies it a good deal better than Sarin, as he’s a dedicated drone pilot. Typically, I fly the two of them together, in the same anomaly, hunting the Guristas. Eventually, Zeiss will do the majority of my ISK farming in a Chimera, as well as hopefully providing Triage support in major fleet engagements, if Aegis sov ever really allows for them to happen. I found that I was easily able to manage the two pilots, and still be able to focus on other things, and there was plenty of power left in my PC to run another instance of the game or two.

Space rocks. They are the enemy, and must be destroyed.

My second account was running fine, and everything was going smoothly. My friends had ridiculed me a little bit, sure, but I was confident that the slowly brewing carrier pilot was a great thing, and that I would not regret it. By the time I had to pay for more game time, surely I would be space-rich. While I was browsing EVE information one day, I found two pieces of information that really interested me. The value of nullsec ore, and the fact that the EVE Starter Set was only $5 dollars on Amazon for effectively 60 days of play time. Later that day, I had two additional accounts. Both aspiring miners, and both easily ran at the same time as my two drone pilots. The combination of all four pilots running at the same time was finally taxing enough that I did not want more pilots, and could produce a truly staggering amount of ISK for my experience in the game. Over time, my mining pilots have lost several mining barges due to me not paying enough attention to them, but they’re each able to pay for themselves every month and generate a bit of profit on the side for me, as long as I’m willing to run them. Towards the end of the second month of skilling the miners, I noticed that I was running out of skills to train towards to really increase their mining effectiveness. Their defensive skills were lacking, but generally I mine in fleets under heavy guard, so I decided I could use their training queues towards other goals. My newest project pilot is a dedicated Factional Warfare krab, who lives on the same account as one of the miners. She flies a Stealth Bomber, and tries her hardest to avoid any kind of content whatsoever. Gorski Car inspired me to take this path with this alt after talking about how much money Minmatar LP was making him, and how ridiculously easy it was to do. Faction Warfare space has turned out to be extremely exciting however, and now I’m considering spinning up another alt to join the actual battles…


I’ve mentioned my friend that got me into the game several times in my articles. He’s really done a lot to help me get started, and keep me playing. Hands down, the coolest thing he did for me, ended up adding onto my altoholic playstyle. About two months before I ever created my first account, when the two of us had first began talking about EVE and I expressed the vaguest of interests in the game, he started a pilot on one of his accounts. He named it after one of my main characters in another game we play, and he began skilling it towards being a well developed Tengu pilot. About a month and a half ago, he told me what he had done, and said that for two PLEX, he would transfer the pilot over to me and it would be mine. The Tengu pilot, Seiz, is by far my highest Skill Point pilot, and he’s my favorite one to actually fly now. Seiz is both my primary PvP pilot now, and the one I use to do 10/10 DED sites in nullsec, thanks to the Tengu’s versatility as a ship. I’m terrified of getting it blown up still, because it’s pretty pricey, and it will apparently partially kill my brain when it dies, which is scary.


Why am I doing this to myself?

At the end of the month, all of these characters need to be paid for, for me to be able to continue playing the game the way I’ve come to expect to. Five accounts comes to either $75 US a month, or at current prices, 5,500,000,000 ISK. This is a huge amount of ISK for a player who’s still relatively new to the game to game, and far more money than I’m willing to pay per month to play a video game.  However, I feel like if I let even one of them slip for more than a month, I’m doing myself a disservice, so sacrifices must be made. EVE is a game which encourages multiple pilots and preferably, multiple accounts. To get the full experience of the game, I believe it is almost required, especially as someone who is a member of a nullsec state. Due to my standings with many entities in the game and constant war declarations against the Goonswarm Federation my main pilot is unable to exist alone in Highsec without being destroyed, making logistics difficult at best. Neutral alts make buying, selling and shipping in highsec possible. In addition, being able to skill pilots in completely opposite directions is very useful, as it allows you to explore different facets of the game without feeling like you are hurting your chances in others. Having a dedicated industry pilot to support your combat pilot(s) is much more time efficient than training both skills on the same pilot. I do not think that this is a bad thing. EVE exists as a sandbox, and being forced to choose between skill paths makes each different path that much more rewarding and engaging. If everyone could do everything at all times, EVE would lose a great deal of it’s depth, and would be much less engaging in my opinion. I am curious though, how many pilots (survey) do you all have, and across how many accounts?
Tags: alts, Sarin

About the author

Sarin Blackfist

Sarin Blackfist is a linemember with Karmafleet, part of the Imperium.

  • Dirk MacGirk

    Cue Zeiss Blackfist watchlisted by Sa Matra. Stunt Flores would have but… banhamer

    • Sarin Blackfist

      Stunt already killed Zeiss, take a look at the KB.

      And yes, the amount of effort that goes into PLEXing them can be very overwhelming at times. Sometimes I find it easier to just let one or two go for a bit.

  • Kamar Raimo

    That article sounds like you have fallen into the same trap so many have been lured into before and down that path lies what Dirk pointed out in his comment. Following this trajectory you are well on the way to internalising the ISK/hr mindset and then you’ll soon be one of the people who become bitter about game changes that influence your ISK making activities and start raging against devs.

    Don’t become like that.

    It would be better to focus your training. There are some ships which can be useful in virtually every fleet, tacklers logi and EWAR for example, learning battleships too early really doesn’t help you that much and having to rely on too much ISK for implants that make your fits possible is just a waste. But hey who cares about ISK. You have several alts for ISK making activities after all 😉

  • Inzek

    1 account, 1 toon… by now it can do pretty much everything sub cap, or is really close to it with perfect gunnery and good shield acceptable armor. Imo, no-alts is the way to go, i got really worn out when i tried using alts. I tried a 3 toon PI account. It actually has 3 perfect PI toons but its unsubbed and it will continue to.

  • Ben Ishikela

    Its the 1-account-challenge!
    If a game is not playable like that, its broken.
    Luckily my 1 account serves me fine. Having to use my friend-ships to scout/scan/haul/market and paying them for it is actually fun.
    But the must-have-hauler-toon sucks. 🙁

    In the end i believe the introduction of plex has hurt the game. But they are unremovable now.

    • Kamar Raimo

      Dirk MacGirk recently pointed out on Podside that PLEX was introduced as a means to reduce the inevitable RMT which develops around MMOs. I think it’s a good measure. Where it went wrong is when people started developing the idea that they should be able to play EVE “for free”.

      • Druik Arbosa

        I use Plex as a means to offset my lack of in game time to generate isk, yeah it costs me RL monies, but it keeps me in combat recons.

      • Druur Monakh

        Like Druik, I use PLEX sales to compensate for a lack of real time. But I don’t see that as a bad thing: even though it’s indirect and (mostly) anonymous, a PLEX sale does engage another player, whereas an ISK making alt doesn’t.

  • 1 Man Army

    4 years into the game, 75m sp and still one account, one character, challenge accepted.

  • Dwaigon Aumer

    8 chars – 3 accounts. Currently in a lowsec small pvp group.

  • alfius

    Three accounts each with a main toon and a Jita alt or spy.

    The main on the third account is only a month old and running a similar carrier training program to your alt, he’s going to be my dedicated cap pilot, roll on May 2016 and he’ll be in a Thanny.

    I’m not sure I could multibox more than two accounts at once effectively though, maybe in PvE but PvP would be harder. Sometimes I like to dual box logi in a big fight – that’s quite hectic enough for me thanks.

  • MrFoundryguy .

    I am two and a half years into Eve, and have one 43M SP toon. The only thing I have ever considered an alt for would be on my main account as a money holder.

  • Druur Monakh

    I do have multiple accounts with multiple alts, and they were created to be able to explore the facets of EVE, to generate ISK, or just to be helpful to my fellow corp mates. And yes, there were times when an alt provided a very useful warp-in.

    But for me, the question is not so much the number of how many alts you have in total, but how many you run at the same time, and for what purpose. And there is no hard and fast answer – personally for example I give industrialists more leeway than PvPers. I alt the boring parts of EVE – e.g. the ISK making – but when it comes down the core game elements I’m interested in, there’s just me.

    The overwhelming majority of the time I spend in game, is still on my one and only main.