Monday, February 15, 2010

EVE Online: Guide for Newbies

I am quickly closing in on the end of the free trial that I got with EVE Online. I must say that it was a lot of fun and I'm seriously considering paying for the full version of the game. It has a harsh learning curve, as others have noted, but once you have the basic mechanics down, it shouldn't be that hard. Hell, 14 days in and I've almost got my first Cruiser!

Here are some points that I think new players would find useful if they were starting EVE Online.

1. The Overview
Travel in this game is click based, not running like other MMORPGs. Your number one tool is using the overview and right-clicking on the thing you want to interact with. If you're traveling somewhere, select "Warp to within 0m." Other good commands are "Dock" for stations, "Jump" for gates, and "Orbit xm" for combat. You can also lock your targets with the right Click.

2. Skills take Time
You will not be able to do everything right out of the gate. The first night you play the game, expect to do a few missions, pick the skills you want and then either run trades or log out. I was *lucky* in that we were remodeling our kitchen when I started the trial, so I literally did nothing but queue skills for the first 4 days of the trial. I skilled up my frigate skill to 4 and almost all other skills to 3, and it was well worth it.

3. Learn How to Use the Market
It's not super difficult, but knowing how to use the market can mean the difference between having fun in EVE Online as opposed to going Office Space on your computer. The Key trades of importance early on are Trade Goods - specifically Consumer Goods and Industrial Goods, both of which you can trade between stations for some small profit.

4. Get a New Ship!
I got the hell out of my crappy ship (Ibis) and got a slightly better frigate (Bantam). Then I upgraded to a better frigate (Kestrel, pictured above) and now missions are easy. Just be sure you have the skills for your new ship! I hadn't done any missile work until I found out the Kestrel didn't have any turret hardpoints - only missile hardpoints. I had to go learn the missile skills and log off for the night (no biggie, they were ready in the morning).

5. New Skills and Learning Skills
Every skill book you could want is available at your University starting location. Along the way, you'll see an item that you want but don't have the skill for. When that happens, then just go purchase the book. You should be able to learn level 1 in any skill less than an hour (in the beginning).

Learning skills make training faster in the long run. While I wouldn't do these first, you should be able to do them in the first 10 days. Start by getting the skills that make you comfortable doing your thing first, then get Instant Recall, Analytical Mind, and Learning to level 4.

6. Important Ship Mods
Life was easier after I got a few specific modules. Shield Booster (or Armor Repair depending on ship) and Afterburners are a must. You will be very happy once you have them. Also, make sure you have at least two functioning weapons if you're running missions. If your ship only has two high slots, that means you'll have to take off your mining laser.

7. Acceleration Gates
I didn't understand how missions worked, so I quit a mission assuming it was bugged. Turns out, you need to select the acceleration gate and activate it to get to the deadspace area. Just a little tidbit that I wish I had known ahead of time!

8. Run Away!
Early on, you might have some issues completing missions. Don't be afraid to warp away when things get hairy. There were a few missions where I would fly in, kill one guy, warp out, repair, and repeat. Don't get discouraged, as some of those ships will have some nice loot!

9. Sell Orders
When you sell items you have to drop them in your hangar, right-click them and select "Sell this item." When that pops up, it will tell you how much you get but it will also tell you the amount above or below the market value. If the value is lower than -10% below market value, you will want to use a sell order. Click advanced, and set your own price. I would suggest checking the market for the lowest sell price in the market details on that item and drop it by about 10%, and it should sell pretty fast. If you just right click and sell every time (like I did), you will sometimes sell something for hundreds when it should be selling for more than ten-thousand (or more). You only have a limited amount of sell orders that can be open at any given time, so make sure you prioritize high value items before low value ones.

That should be enough to get you started. Good Luck!

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