The new player’s blues
There is all the reason in EVE Online’s world to have the blues as a new player. You are looking at years of training for that shiny ship you want, and it seems that you will never be able to reach the heights of players that started years before you. While this is mostly true, it will not spoil the game for you – unless you cannot put it out of your head. If you can not, EVE is not for you – or you need to invest a lot of real money to buy an established ingame character. I do not recommend it, for the same reasons than giving a new driver a Ferrari is also a very bad idea.
Nowadays we are used to getting what we want almost immediately. EVE is a lot about patience, so it does not come naturally to sit around waiting for skill X to complete. The thing is, do not wait for it to complete. I can not stress it enough: play the game. In EVE you do not have to kill NPCs by the thousands to advance, it is done for you in the background. Even if you play just two hours per week, your character will learn new tricks on his/her own.
The way I see it, CCP are doing a pretty good job on the new player experience. The tutorials are really good, and the new starter missions are so interesting that even the older players run them. The key is to focus on what you can do with your current skills. If you try to take down older players in PvP it is true that you can succeed, but you will very likely fail. Choose your targets intelligently, be informed about what the different ships can do and which weaknesses you can exploit. Brute force will only work later on in the game, as a new player you have to put your brain into top gear. That is a good thing too, as it will give you the keys to understand how the game works.
Depending on what type of player you are, from the PvP addict to the avid explorer, no matter what your skill level, you will always find enough game content to have fun. Of course you will moan about those 30+ day skills, everybody does once in a while. Personally I have always had enough to do while skills were training – sometimes you just have to switch to something different for a while. Naturally you want what the skill you just started can give you as fast as possible, but you already have all you need to pass the time.
To conclude, in my opinion it all rests on how much you are willing to invest to keep playing the game. Some players I encountered did not find what they were seeking for, spending a lot of time searching for the kick they needed and never really finding it. Remember that it is supposed to be a game, if what you can do as a new player is not enough, faction battleships or capital ships will in all likelihood not fill the craving you have. I may be a special case – I have not been bored of the game yet after three years… There always seems to be something to do, and there is a lot of gratification in the gradual evolution of your character(s).
- For fun’s sake, try to broaden your skills so you can do more stuff even if not well: that way you can try out different things and train up those areas you really like.
- To get the most out of the skills system, do not use the certificates – they will make you train more than you really need. Use tools like EVEMon to get a bigger picture.
- Always start with the minimum requirements for that new class of modules or ships you want to try out. You can always train it up further later.
- Level 5 skills are for noobs. No, really. Train those skills to 5 that will really give you a benefit. Especially early on, only train skills to 5 if they are a requirement for something else. Optimization is for later, and should be targeted at key skills for your playstyle.
- Relax. Don’t get too involved. If you get too tied up in the game it will end up not being fun anymore.
Note: I am not trying to defend CCP’s skilling system, just to give some leads on how to cope with it. My personal opinion is that while being a great concept, it reeks of artificial lifespan in its current implementation. But that is another story.