Surviving on your own
Almost every new pilot in EVE gets the advice to join a nice corporation. It is a legitimate advice, as corporations are one of EVE’s core elements. Joining a corporation can bring a lot of benefits, the most advertised ones being free ships, skillbooks, even ISK to get you started. You also often get assigned a mentor that helps you understand the game. In exchange, most corporations will ask a legitimate small percentage of all your income to support it, which usually ranges from five to twenty percent. Additional obligations can (must not) include anything from learning a specific set of skills to running mining operations for a common goal.
So what if you still decide to go your own way? I did, and I thought sharing my insights could be interesting to some pilots out there.
When I started playing EVE, I got told to join a corporation numerous times. Always having been a lone wolf, I waited to learn a bit more about corporations before I took any action. The bulk of recruiting mails also made me suspicious as to how new players could be so interesting. The bits and pieces I was able to learn made me even more reticent, up to the decision to create my own corporation for accounting purposes between my two characters. I did not feel like becoming a part of something larger, but the main reason was that I did not want to have any duties/obligations at all – or be forced into war by someone else’s decisions. EVE promoted freedom, and I wanted a full taste of it.
Needless to say, I tasted freedom! Getting anywhere was very slow at first – starting with five thousand ISK and no external help whatsoever, I mined in a Burst, ran level one missions for ages, and made some micro-scale market operations. Imagine even modules like an Afterbuner I being out of your reach… many players nearly completely skip this step by enlisting the “help” of a corporation, and I am glad I did not skip it.
I think my progression in EVE was much better adapted to the pace at which you learn skills. By the time I had earned the funds to buy the Rupture for missioning, I also had the skills ready for it. A corporation wants you to evolve fast, because then you start earning your keep that much faster. What you do not have is being a part of a community though, joining in something bigger than you. I do not feel a need for that, so I cannot tell you much about it. I have friends in-game, and we have a lot of fun overall. Most of them are in corporations, but that does not hinder our contact at all. Except maybe my odd comment about how they should join Syrkos Technologies to be freed of their bonds 😉
Today my corporation’s wallet is at 200 Mil, I have a fully rigged battleship, a roid-kicking Hulk, a Mammoth with a jetcan-sized hold, corporation offices on five stations throughout Heimatar and Metropolis, and a healthy manufacturing venture. Not once was I bored, I still have a long way to go, and I look upon the future optimistically as always. If you like freedom, I can only tell you that you can do more than just surviving in EVE on your own.