Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Day One

Day One originally happened on the 16th and 17th  June 2012. This blog is catching up. The following posts are as it happened.

Saturday. The day after the first England game in Euro 2012 and, well, it was a Friday yesterday. I have an extreme hangover. Owing to my intermittent and varied expressions of insomnia I am up and about at 6am. Six pints on an empty stomach the night before have not made me feel any better about this.

 Slowly drinking tea that might make me feel better and having a cigarette that won't make me feel better but will enable me to enjoy the misery some more, I decide that I need to do something. I need to get my brain running. I've some coding projects I could get back into but lets face it, I'd be hard pressed to write my own name at the moment, let alone code. I decide to log into SWTOR and give it one last go. I log in. I go to Hoth. I log out. It's going to be a long day. There is something that has been on my mind for weeks that might cause some brain cells to come out from hiding. I flick to the browser, head to http://www.eveonline.com/ , fill in the details for the free 14 day trial, start the 4 Gig download and go back to bed.

Several hours later, still massively hungover, I write a note to my friend and old WoW guild leader.

 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!DO NOT TRY EVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 You are not as much of a hard sci-fi space nerd as me so it
might not grab you. However you are a cash generating nerd and EVE
has a real economy with a massive real market where EVERYTHING is
made by players from the raw materials up. Any kind of gathering,
trading or manufacturing approach is in there. It is that
complex. Do not get involved. The story below doesn't even mention
me investigating things like flying to another system because
there were free assembly lines in one of the stations factories so
I could produce.... well. I will stop there. Read the tale of woe.

A Cautionary Tale 

  1.  It is statistical and detail nerd paradise. You can get sucked in too fast. 
  2.  Once you are flying it looks amazing. If you are a bit of a space geek like me then you love it. Then you start to hate it because you can't really fly manually - its basically flying mainly by menu options. Then you find you can point and double click. Then you discover warping, then you discover afterburners. Around this time you "undiscover" that you hate it, and yet you still hate it enough to make it interesting. 
  3.  Sucked in by scenery and ship detail (particularly intelligently animated cannon mounts). Again. 
  4.  Get new type of ship. Sucked in by graphics that you don't have much control over so are basically scenery. Again. 
  5.  Don't read enough, and skim too fast (basically not reading the manual) during the tutorial missions and during the last of a series of missions I turn up to a fight in a third new ship (some ace 'Destroyer' class thing that I am thinking is way cool) with a couple of guns that have served well until now but it turns out have such a low range that I can't even shoot the enemy. Ship gets destroyed. THERE IS NO WAY OF GETTING IT BACK FROM THE QUEST GIVER. And this is PVE. It wasn't even a PVP incident. I learn the first rule of EVE: "Never fly anything you can't afford to lose" 
  6.  Next morning : too ill to do much so decide to get even. I investigate another tutorial mission set. It teaches me stuff about guns and drones I wish I'd knew in situation number 5. My basic frigate is now less puny but still really puny. 
  7.  I get mad. Figure out mining (little knowing there is a tutorial set of missions I'd missed that would have easily taught me it all) and more about skills (already knew a bit) and head out into space. Making enough cash to buy a new Destroyer in a few hours while essentially reading a book and watching some TV. I love the way mining looks. Also it involves sitting there doing nowt for five minutes which means I can watch TV/read/look at the internet. 
  8.  In the process of fitting out the new Destroyer I use the market a lot more. Scope of the economy scares the hell out of me. 
  9.  Take the new Destroyer (now named 'Revenge' - literally. You can name your ships) on a test run using a combat tutorial mission. A player character is lying in wait in the mission/quest area and is obviously there to kill noobs (he is red flagged and with a bounty on him and is named after Feyd Rautha from Dune, and his). I leg it down an accelerator gate through warp to the next area. He FOLLOWS ME AND STARTS RACING TOWARD ME. I crap myself and bug out. I go back later and go through the same process. Repeat until the ganker gets bored of following me. Note down the name as this mission gives me a new ship of a type that might be good for pirate hunting. 
  10.  Realise that the visceral terror invovled in the above incident, and the huge possibility for loss is about as truly excited as I've been playing a game since I first tried Arena games in WoW. I laugh when I enter the asteroid belt and see a cargo pod labelled "Free stuff for noobs" 
  11.  In the process of equipping the Revenge to go back and complete the mission that first caused the loss I accidentally buy a ship component ( a Warp Disrupter) on a station in a more dodgy (and yet still fairly "safe" area of space. Cue long 15 minute journey through Stargates and systems where instead of leaving the autopilot to it I am constantly ready to stop it and run for home. While doing this I see more epic scenery such as warping into a system where the sun was going behind a huge planet with a Saturn like ring system above my head. Sucked in a little more. 
  12.  Dreading the upcoming mission, I instead complete the Trade mission tutorials. Get a huge cargo hauler (well huge in respect to my other ships) that would have been perfect for mining. Then I find out I can't learn to use the skill use ships this large on a free trial account. Am annoyed and tempted in equal measure. Thats a lie. I'm more tempted than annoyed. Job done owners of EVE. I resist though. 
  13.  Its time for what I now call the "run of the Revenge". I can put it off no longer. First time : Destroyer class ship with Webifier and Warp Disrupter and two small Ion Cannons with a 500m range. Second time : As above, except a speed boosting unit, 2 armour repairer units, 3 Gatling gun mounts with a range of around 6000m before drop off, 2 Rail Guns with a range of 12000m. A standard Light Scout drone in the drone bay called a Hobgoblin. Here we go. I am crapping it. Warp in. Launch drone. Lock onto leader and one of his two bodyguards. Drone is already attacking one bodyguard by the time I've webbed and warp disrupted the leader and opened up with the long range rail guns. I get to within 7500m of the leader and open up with the three gatling guns as I get closer. Even with reduced effect at range they tear him to shreds in around 10 seconds. I lock the second bodyguard while switching Rail guns to finish bodyguard one. Bodyguard two has obviously decided to chase the drone. This is why I get really close before setting all 7 guns on him at once. He is dead in less than a tenth of a second. Then I loot the sad wrecks of their ships and laugh like an idiot. Then I consider the game and my recent laughter and think - uh oh........ 


Infuriating, boring, exciting, fascinating, geeky, beautiful and terrifying all mixed in. I may be in trouble


  1. one of us, one of us

  2. This is a really, really great summary of the noob experience in Eve. It actually made me nostalgic thinking back to similar experience when I started.

    Three years later I love the game more than ever and play way too much. If you stick through the learning curve, and are willing to find your own path you will enjoy this game like no other!

  3. Welcome to EVE. The solo game can be exciting, but EVE really shines when you join a good corporation and start flying in fleets. From small gangs to 1,000 ship blobs, cooperation really enhances the experience.

    If you want to learn the game in a classroom setting, EVE University is great. Other corporations, like RvB, offer a less formal way to learn the ropes.

  4. http://tinyurl.com/combatmechanics

  5. Wait he used scrambler in pve ? He didnt knew it wasnt needed ?

  6. Very nostalgic post for me as well. I got scared off from eve a couple times before I settled down to play it... then life got in the way. Now i'm getting back into it, getting re-addicted :).

  7. I am reading your blog and i think it is fantastic. U should make a book. Gl with your adventure mate.