CZ Minutes: PathsCosmo
Playing Eve for all this time, how did you get to where you are today? Can you trace a path through the stars, through your social network, or through your zKill history? Can you see the line of your footsteps trailing on in the horizon, leading you back to your first character shooting crosses or rats in highsec?
It’s important that we at least try to.
It’s important to understand the lessons and trials all of us had to overcome to become the Eve players that we now are. We need to do this in order to better help steer the ship of new players now joining our game. Try to guide them to a healthy future in Eve Online instead of losing them to the wayside.
While we’re sure we all have unique stories and ideas on how best to achieve that steady hand on the rudder, we have asked some of the Crossing Zebras staff to weigh in on the topic, each of them players coming from various backgrounds with stories big and small crisscrossing across New Eden. From privateers to spies, from industrialists to explorers.
The question we pose to them is: “In order to succeed, what do you see to be the best path throughout Eve that a player could engage in, or do you even think that such a concept of a unified breadcrumb-trail could exist for players?”
Get shot at by a real person.
Avoid going down only one path. Too many pilots get focused on a single playstyle and don’t even try many of the options that are open. There is no reason that you can’t do a little of lots of different things. Yes, the min/max mindset is strong in Eve, but don’t let it trap you. Understanding mining and industry may not make you a better low sec small gang PvP pilot, but you will probably enjoy the game a little more. Flying logi now and then might not directly help you in your path to a Dreadnaught, but it will help you understand how logi can help you better. Over time, pilots will focus on what the enjoy most and likely specialize, but that should only happen after they’ve tried a lot of different paths.
I would echo much of what Dunk said above me. I wanted to try everything when I started playing Eve. If it sounded fun and interesting then I was there ready to go. If no one else was doing it, then I’d just start doing it myself anyway. I did crazy things, I tried my hand at just about everything you could do in Eve. I probably even managed to make up a few things along the way. And I have never, not once, ever regretted anything.
Eight years later I have focused on the parts of the game that I find the most interesting and challenging. But every experience, every little bit of knowledge, every story, every adventure is what keeps me going. Try it. And see where it leads you. I could never have predicted or foreseen where my Eve adventures would lead me when I first undocked eight years ago. And neither will you.
There is no best bath. There is no worst path. There is only the happy accident filled path one has actually traveled. I touched on this a bit in my piece Identities not long back but you can only fit so much in a single piece so I layer on a bit of eloboration.
The eyes behind the Dire grow misty.
Ahhh, my first PvP engagement. T’was long ago and not on this character. I’d taken my noobish Meta 4 ‘Scout’ Artillery fit Thrasher out to low sec for a little rat stomping. It paid surprisingly well and I went unnoticed for several days. When Ozkar (my pirate) found me he brought his Amarr Crusader in fast and tight and proceeded to dispatch me without breaking a sweat. Post engagement, once I got my head screwed back on straight, I chatted him up via private convo. Cheery fellow and absolutely delighted to discover he’d grasped the honor to pop my PvP cherry. I kept track of him for quite a while but alas he went inactive. I miss him. Knowing we wandered the same universe filled me with the warm fuzzies.
The record of my past is intentionally obfuscated and buried, it also stretches back over more than eight years of playing EVE. Despite this, some memories are still as fresh in my mind as if they happened yesterday, and for my recent EVEsterdam presentation I dusted off some of those old memories and yet again one conclusion emerged clearly: what stands out about EVE is the path one can take through its ever evolving history. This path will be strewn with the ruins of past mistakes as well as the shining moments of success or eye-opening experiences. Today we see thousands of new accounts being created every day since the Ascension expansion, and over the course of the week the average daily PCU has climbed by almost 10K. We player have no way of knowing how much of that is just returning players or those who try out a new Alpha Clone. It is also to early to make any predictions about the future development of the playerbase yet. However, if this expansion brings what we all hope for – many new players – then a multitude of new paths will be forged.
We now have several organisations in the game who follow the old rationale that the best thing for new players is to bring them into the so-called “endgame content” of sov nullsec, shower them with ISK and materiel and have them jump into the deep end. On one side I am glad that this opportunity is open for so many more than it ever was, and that there are several different groups which offer such an experience, but I would also advise every player to try and find their own way. That may not lead to the overwhelming large battles and spectacular fleet operations of media hype, but in taking a shortcut through this amazing game world you might miss many great sights and experiences. EVE does not have one endgame, it has many, and nobody but you yourself can ultimately tell you what your endgame is and how to get there. Live and learn and try out as many things as possible until you find what suits you most, and never be afraid to change. In this game, you are an immortal capsuleer. A trans-human demigod unbound among the stars. Play like one.
There are so many visible options today for new players. Karma/PH/insertnewbiecorphere are ever-present recommendations and there are a ton of resources if you want to engage in anything from duo BC C2 farming to drone data sites. The game itself offers some more ‘hardy’ recommendations via the career agents. A player also gets to choose from a good deal of corps, tiny and huge, elitistic and carefree, to act as their social medium for the game.
But all of these serve to underlie the basic premise that my CZ-compatriots mentioned above. That of you choosing for yourself the road you want to do down on. Still, as the game is currently set up, not like people are heavily pushed to join a corporation. Often enough they still end up mining especially when the game itself, at the end of the current NPE, goes ‘go mine’. Not that mining is a bad career choice or activity, but as a first recommendation/foray into exploring and understanding the game universe, it’s such a secluded activity.
I’m glad people are suggesting exploration to new players, and i’m glad exploration is in such a good place to get pushed so often. Exploration teaches a lot of skills, avoiding gatecamps, probing, identifying threats, and also allows you to observe the sandbox as it’s unfolding in front of your eyes. You still need to know what to look for though, but you can do that at your own pace. Gas huffing as well, can teach a lot of skills and be a lot of fun for a new player, especially given the large payout for five-ten minutes of a pressured environment.
I guess that covers game-skills, but that does nothing to help people on their way to becoming scammers or spies, gankers or baiters. That still requires quite a large leap of critical and outside-the-box thinking.
And that’s not going into the social aspect. Not everyone can be the ‘loud one’ or the guy that catches attention during fleets of dozens or hundreds of people, and a lot of players aren’t that. Nor are small corps, with small-corp drama and seeing the same faces day in, day out, something other types of players would want to engage in. In the end, this is a choice they still need to take for themselves, after realising what they want, and not like you can pave this down with any kind of guidelines.
So to close a long rant short. I’d love to see more dudes like this guy. Just giving it his best and trying shit out, playing the game and taking risks. Even if the risks bite him in the ass.
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