A couple days ago I was checking up on my Eve media and noticed that Sniggwaffe was having a question and answer session with Eve University. This came shortly on the heels of CZ’s very own Xander Phoena having a similar class, and the CSM9 Town Hall that taking place on their Mumble. I attended that session with Sniggwaffe, and enjoyed the entire thing immensely, but I have been thinking about my experience more often. I was once a student of Eve University, and I ended up being forced to leave by the leadership. I want to take a quick retrospective this week of my time there, and the many changes that Eve University has undergone in the following years.
I joined two or three months after I had started the game, and was extremely excited to get in with a group of people who were going to teach me the ropes. I didn’t really have anywhere else to go, and I was getting increasingly bored of the solo missioner playstyle I had lived up to that point. I knew I wanted to PvP but I didn’t know much else. The first fleet I was a part of was led by James Arget, the previous CSM member and alliance founder, who just happened to cruise down to Gukarla with a bunch of useless newbies and get an amazing fight with a half a dozen pirates. It was a ridiculously crazy battle to have on my first time in a PvP fleet, with a ton of baiting and tension (as I remember) before our ball of frigates struggled to take the opposition down. In reality we blobbed the hell out of them. You might notice a single loss among the Eve University members from that battle. In that fight I panicked, had no idea what I was doing, and ended up clicking targets from the battlefield instead of my overview, leading to my inadvertent targeting of my alliance mate. Surging with adrenalhine, and scared that I had ruined my chances of being a part of this alliance, I threw out wild lies when convoed by the pilot I had just sent to his doom, one of which is on Eve Kill in perpetuity. Certainly not one of my proudest Eve moments, but an event I fondly look back on at my clueless self.
This experience, this visceral experience, is unlike anything I had ever had in any other game, and was all it took to get me hooked into Eve’s PvP, and it happened on my very first fleet with Eve University. The first fleet I had ever been a part of would turn out to be fleet commanded by the founder of Future Corps, which would go to become one of the largest and most influential wormhole corps in the game. My first kill ended up being a friendly fire incident on Sto Lo, a notable pilot for many reasons, who would go on to form his own corporation. Later on in my time with Eve University, I would eventually become a cov ops scout for a pilot known as Zeroniss, who would become a nullsec fleet commander and alliance leader. Eve University has this uniquely amazing ability to put you in this melting pot with pilots who will eventually go on to influence the greater Eve world, and have all of you learn together.
Still, it was far from a perfect experience. I railed at the endless rules, and I did it fairly soon into my time there. I would frequently undock during a wardec so I wasn’t stuck station spinning during my limited time with the game. I would scout fleets in a cov ops without the full set of required skills, which was one of the reasons I clung to the fleet commanders who either ignored or were unaware of those rules themselves. Eventually I wanted to do more things outside the box that the University leadership had set up, and so I attempted to start a nullsec initiative where other people like myself could go to NPC null and try and get some PvP away from the rest of the corporation. In the end, while I doubt I was specifically named in any conversations, when I dropped corp to attend a roam in nullsec, I was conveniently and unceremoniously stopped from reapplying a couple weeks before I was scheduled to leave for The Red Circle. They would end up contacting them and cautioning them against me. Thus I feel is the rather huge gulf between Eve University’s stated goal of educating new pilots and its actual one, an unending string of self-aggrandizing, pedantic managers attempting to be relevant in an internet spaceship game. I assure you I say this with only the “merest hint of bitterness’, as Eurogamer would put it.
Eve University has succeeded in putting that past firmly behind it. The recent creation of the trifecta of campuses allows exactly what was needed during my time, a way for those bloodthirsty Eve players to get out from under the thumb of the leadership. The classes have opened up to be a public service instead of an internal perk. As an outside spectator it’s been immensely successful. They’ve taken a stronger stance on allowing unwanted PvP, and their training has some of the strongest entities in the game recruiting their pilots. From SSC to Agony, Sniggwaffe, and any number of nullsec blocs, the Eve University student has his pick of excellent, University affiliated organizations at every turn. The University’s best quality is the encouragement of its pilots to leave the alliance, and as the Sniggwaffe class has shown, there is not a single organization in Eve that shouldn’t be actively trying to recruit from the top of Eve University. Hopefully more pilots accept the olive branch and decide to move on in an attempt to excel. In the end, what other new player alliance has so much influence and good will? Certainly not BRAVE, who will undoubtedly be fighting and dying for their alliance with as little training or direction as possible, and definitely not RvB, filled to the brim with links and alts (admittedly, of which I am one). No, Eve University has been and will continue to be the place to go to learn Eve Online, to understand the mechanics, and even join in public classes these days.
When you want to leave, send me an evemail. Wormhole space is great this time of year.
Tags: eve university, joran, whs, wormholes