OP Updated April 29, 2012.
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EVE Online By PajamaSam, Bulaba0 & Forumaster.
EVE Online in a game developed by CCP games, released in 2003 for the PC.
EVE Online is one of the most unique MMO's available on the market today. It is probably the top game on the market as far as player control of the game world. The universe is all on one server system, spread out across many hundreds of star systems linked together by a weaving network of stargates.
The main gameplay concept is that the players create the complex interactions that fuel a top-level game world. Everything within the established world is controlled by the players, from factional control of star systems spanning across large (often player-owned) empires, to resource gathering, processing, and production. As you are dealing with other players, the game is unpredictable, complex on many varying levels and exciting to both observe and participate in.
There is no cradling of new players, unlike in other games where there is usually a whole plethora of safeguards and measures to prevent the abuse of younger, less experienced players. You learn in EVE by your experiences, acquaintances, and through your personal actions.
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The Amarrians rule a vast Empire, the largest and oldest of the four empires. Ruled by a mighty Empress, this vast theocratic society is supported by a broad foundation of Minmatar slave labor. Amarrian citizens tend to be highly educated and fervent individuals, and as a culture adheres to the basic tenet that what others call slavery is in fact one step on a spiritual path towards fully embracing their faith. As a result, the Empire remains the most stable and militarily powerful nation-state in New Eden, despite several setbacks in recent history.
Founded on the tenets of patriotism and hard work that carried its ancestors through hardships on an inhospitable homeworld, the Caldari State is today a corporate dictatorship, led by rulers who are determined to see it return to the meritocratic ideals of old. Ruthless and efficient in the boardroom as well as on the battlefield, the Caldari are living emblems of strength, persistence, and dignity.
Champions of liberty and fierce guardians of the human spirit, the Gallente Federation is the only true democracy in New Eden. Some of the most progressive leaders, scientists, and businessmen of the era have emerged from its diverse peoples. Pioneers of artificial intelligence, the Federation once relied almost entirely on drone fleets to defend its beliefs and borders. But the limitations of this technology and the lack of a human element—both in terms of a military strategy, and as a means of spreading influence— eventually reached a critical point. Today, Gallentean starships are manned by some of the bravest men and women of New Eden.
Of the four major races of New Eden, none has endured more turmoil than the Minmatar. Once a thriving tribal civilization, the Minmatar were enslaved by the Amarr Empire for more than 700 years until a massive rebellion freed most, but not all, of those held in servitude. Modeling their recovery after the Federation's success, the Minmatar Republic was born. But despite rising to prominence on the world stage, more than one third of the present-day population remains enslaved. The Minmatar people today are resilient, ingenious, and hard-working. Many of them believe that democracy, though serving them well at first, will never restore what was taken from them so long ago. Instead, they long for a government truly reflective of their tribal culture, and remain deeply attached to their enslaved kindred. They will forever resent the Amarrians, and yearn for the days before their accursed ships ever reached their home skies.
So you picked your race, but that's not the end of the choices you can make, as you go on to choose a bloodline for your character. Important? Not anymore. These were used to determine what skills/attributes that you started with, but now they really just change what you look like. The character customization in EVE is probably the best for all-out different player looks. You can edit the facial features with multiple options for each, edit the angle, the way your character is looking, the background, the lighting, tattoos and decals, hats, hair, etc. The choices are virtually endless.
There are essentially no rules in EVE, you can grief, steal, deceive, scam and swindle your way to victory and/or riches. You don't get banned if you swindle some cash out of some poor unsuspecting fellow's hand, as long as you didn't hack his account or exploit the game to your advantage to do so. Real-money-trading is not allowed, and CCP bans thousands of accounts per year for buying in-game assets with real-world money.
Infiltrating corps is also completely fair game. There have been hundreds of billions of ISK lost and hundreds of players betrayed through unsecured corporate holdings subject to theft by members.
There are hundreds of different skills within the EVE universe, these are incredibly varied and anyone can train any skill as long as they have the prerequisites needed to train them.
Skills come under the following groups, for which I offer an explanation.
Corporation Management - Skills at managing corporations, allowing you to eventually run 10000+ member corps. Includes skills required for Anchoring structures.
Drones - Skills at drone control, allowing you to control more, faster, and stronger drones in combat (or mining).
Electronics - Skills at electronics, allowing use of jammers, targeters and other advanced electronic warfare.
Engineering - Skills at shield operation mainly, allowing you to use resistance boosting fields and such.
Gunnery - Skills at guns of all kinds, allows you access Tech II guns which do a lot more damage at higher rates.
Industry - Skills at industry, allowing you to carebear your way to large sums of money through mining.
Leadership - Skills at leading and enhancing fleets, allowing you to eventually command hundred-man fleets.
Mechanic - Skills allowing you to utilize advanced armor boosting devices.
Missiles - Skills to do with all aspects of missile-assisted-destruction.
Navigation - Skills with navigation, allowing your ship to utilize speed boosters and be more agile.
Planetary Management - Skills that allow you to better manage your planets and harvest their resources.
Science - Skills at science, allows you to learn how to salvage wrecks and use scanners.
Social - Skills at social interaction, affecting your missions.
Spaceship Command - Skills at flying the ships of EVE, ranging from frigates to the bigger ships such as titans.
Subsystems - Skills at subsystems, which control the workings of T3 Ships (Strategic Cruisers).
Trade - Skills to do with trading, allowing players to handle transactions better.
All skills affect some statistic, so even the basic skills will be giving you very useful boosts (ie 10% shield per level).
Skills are trained to a maximum of level 5 and often unlock more advanced skills with their completion.
There is so much choice in EVE and best of all it's completely up to you from the very start about what you want to do with your character, though your true niche will not be apparent immediately.
An essential tool for planning skills, EVEMon allows you to set a ship you want and it tells you what to train in what order and if it can be sped up at all using learning skills. (Link to D/L at the bottom)
EVE is not a Flight-Sim.
Double click anywhere in space to move there, navigate longer distances by right clicking, selecting where you want to move and hitting 'warp to', control your speed using the bar at the bottom. Ctrl-click something on overview to lock onto it and blast away using the bar at the bottom (or your F1-F10 keys).
It's confusing at first and may take a few days to get used to, but it's truly simple after you've given it a real go.
Missions are a significant part of EVE. They allow new players to easily make money and also allow long time players to build faction standings and do harder missions for much larger rewards. Missions consist of asking an agent in a station for a mission and then receiving an objective. Upon Completion, you will receive a set amount of money, and an amount of Loyalty Points (LP) for the specific faction. These LP can be used to buy faction-upgraded items and ships that can be some of the best and most expensive, though relatively cost-effective, modules in the game.
Nearly all stations contain mission-giving agents of some kind, but they will not all be available to you from the start. Loved by many, hated by some, missions will always be there. It's entirely possible to play the game without ever touching a single mission at any point, a lot of players do this.
There are some sub-factions that are preferred for missions, but most will give you the same rewards and access to the same Loyalty Point stores.
The following agents give the following types of missions:
Distribution: Courier (moving cargo from one station to another)
Mining: Mining (pewpewing rocks)
Research: R&D with the occasional courier (R&D used to obtain datacores which are used in Invention)
Security: Encounter (killing NPCs)
Corporations are groups of players who form a corp, you get a lot of logo customization as well as member control related to ranks and such. Corporations usually run between 10 and 400 members, though some corporations have historically hovered between 1000-3000 members.
Alliances are formed from multiple corporations. They are often very large and powerful, yet somewhat more loosely connected. They often engage in alliance warfare, fighting over territory in low-sec/0.0 space, and will branch out their efforts to cover multiple genres of EVE, to accommodate their more varied playerbase.
The current map of which alliance owns what Nullsec space is here.
That map automatically updates on a daily basis and it changes significantly.
The industry in EVE is thriving and a potential gold mine for miners and industrialists alike, you can play the entire game this way without engaging in combat or even touching a combat ship or ship module, but it is considered by many to be relatively boring and more of a side-operation to normal mission running and PVE/PVP.
...but I believe this would get somewhat boring rather quickly. Despite my own thoughts on this, there are literally thousands of players who do nothing but shoot at rocks all day and sell whatever comes out.-PajamaSam
...but you can make the same money doing missions, the skills for which will also allow you to do PVP in the future when you get bored/have enough money.-Bulaba0
A very common method however, is for players to train their desired combat skills first, and also train up for a retriever, the medium mining barge. The retriever is a cheap (<5million ISK) and very skill-time-efficient (10-16 days) mining vessel. This proves very useful in corporation and alliance work, when everyone who chips in their time helps the entire alliance gather resources for capital ships, stations, and large-scale manufacturing.
A very important note: Industrial Ships and Mining Barges CANNOT be trained on trial accounts. This is done to prevent macro-mining trial accounts run by Real-Money-Traders.
Exploration is a wonderful thing in EVE online, and it is typically how many players spend a lot of their time now days. Exploration consists of utilizing probes (alien to a lot of players) to find sites which are completely invisible to people without probes.
Scanned sites can be a variety of things, like rare mining deposits, archaeological sites (where special, rare and expensive items can be obtained), areas where rats lurk (more difficult than basic mission rats), and of course wormholes.
It's a lot of fun to run such sites and they often become increasingly difficult as you move throughout the stages of them (you can also get special missions known as 'Escalations' which take you to dangerous and hostile places to get rare faction and deadspace loot).
It's also very profitable if you loot and salvage everything you kill.
Wormhole Space was recently added to EVE, it is basically areas of space separate from the main regions, accessible through wormholes that open and close in random places between each other and standard space regularly. You can easily be lost in space inside a wormhole if you are without probes, which can result in the loss of your ship and pod as you would not be able to locate an exit.
Corporations can set up starbases by the moons within wormholes, providing a safe haven from which to mine rare ores available within wormholes, and to kill sleepers, incredibly difficult enemies with great rewards, components used to make the recently-added Tech 3 Strategic Cruisers.
The market in EVE is consistently changing, based on a real world escrow model. On the market you can place a buy order for a certain good, then when someone drops by and hits the 'sell' button, you'll pay out however much you offered and receive the item.
Alternatively you can just grab the lowest priced item on the market from the "Selling" portion of the panel, which will be yours immediately.
On the other end of the scale, you could put an item on for slightly less than the lowest price and make in some cases double what you would have got if you'd just hit the 'sell' button and sold it to the highest buyer.
Obviously the drawbacks of listing your item is that someone could rush in to drop their prices and thus beat you at your own game and also that the money/item from listing a buy or sell order might not immediately go through and you may have to wait days.
As I said it is entirely real in it's function, players within the industrial market consistently mine ores to produce and supply ammo/modules/ships to the trigger happy non-industry players who are more than willing to pay large sums for it.
It is entirely possible to employ real world tactics to make the market work in your favor no matter how devious they may be. IE: Take a small loss to drive the price of an item down 20%, then buy up all the low priced items and resell them +10%.
Player versus Player combat is wonderful in EVE and is orchestrated through the system security rating which EVE uses.
Systems go from Nullsec (Outlaw) (-1.0 - 0.0) to low-security (0.1 - 0.4) to high-security (0.5 - 1.0), and each represents how much security is provided in system.
You can potentially attack anyone anywhere at any time. However:
If the system is 0.5 or above, CONCORD (in-game NPC police) will send a response force consisting of immensely powerful ships to destroy you in seconds. This doesn't however make it impossible to do so, it's been known that small ships like frigates carrying expensive cargo have been destroyed by groups en-route to their destinations in high sec (resulting in the destruction of the attacker's ships), but so that a ship who didn't engage in combat can nip in and attempt to retrieve whatever the ship was carrying.
If the system is under 0.5, anyone can attack anyone else at any time and any place. This will not result in CONCORD presence. Engaging targets here will get you shot by the gate and station guns and also degrades your characters security status, which goes down to -10.
Entering 0.4 before you know what you are doing is essentially suicide. Doing so when you do know what you are doing is still very dangerous, but you can bypass a lot of the danger through using fast or cloaked ships. The danger lies when pirates sit on gates waiting for hapless players to come through from other systems, and then when you surface, they blow you up.
0.0 (null-sec), is relatively difficult to get to from the high-sec systems (usually a few jumps through low sec), here things are no holds are barred, no security-penalties, and bode home to the large alliances and huge capital ships that are deployed in combat between the large, warring player factions.
Wormholes are also 0.0, but are slightly different, there is no local chat so there is an element of surprise when you have to rely on your ship's directional scanner to see who is in there with you. (It doesn't show cloaked pilots sneaking up on you, however >:))
Ships in EVE are incredibly varied and distinct. The smallest are frigate class ships which are fast and agile, slightly larger are cruisers with their many variations. A step up from this is the battlecruiser, opting for slightly slower speed but larger armor and shield amounts. The largest sub-capital ships are battleships, which are slow and 'fat', with high armor and large, powerful weapons. Capital ships are immensely tanked, serve a specialized role and are very expensive, usually reserved for nullsec warfare and for incredibly experienced pilots.
Before saying 'what, only 5 ships???' bear in mind that each race has a set of each type of ship and there's many variants on the standard class. For example as well as the standard 'frigate', you've also got deviations such as covert ops, assault ships, logistics, interceptors, destroyers and more. They all bring some unique aspect or other to the playing field with various specialties and abilities.
Planetary Interaction (PI) allows you to produce NPC trade goods from Raw Materials you extract from a planet by building a colony on that planet. These Raw Materials can be processed in the colony into various NPC trade goods. These trade goods were originally only provided by NPC market orders, but the production of these items is now completely in the hands of the players, and prices and availability are now at the mercy of the player market.
Among the NPC trade goods are components to manufacture Starbase & Sovereignty Structures, T2 components, non-ice related POS fuel, Nanite Repair Paste and other products.
Planetary Interaction marks the first step in connecting EVE to the upcoming game Dust 514.
The basics of Planetary Interaction are very simple: Just as when they engage in the manufacturing of modules or ships, players gather Raw Materials which are then made into products. These products are in turn made into more advanced products, and so forth. Every solar system of the Eve Universe contains planets. Players purchase Command Centers from the market to place on these planets. Once a player installs a Command Center on a planet, he or she can construct raw material extractors to harvest different types of Raw Materials. These materials can either be shipped off-planet, either by launching into orbit or shipped to the planetary Customs Office (Cargo Link) at the player's command, or be used in the production of basic and advanced goods on-planet. From this point it may be stockpiled, re-shipped, or sold, as the player requires for his personal goals.
Player screenshots (PM OP to have your screen put here!)
Getting These Fixed soon.
Evelopedia (Official EVE Wiki)
EFT (EVE Fitting Tool)
Pyfa (PYthon Fitting Assistant)
Oh, and one last thing:
Seriously, "FP Corp?" Is considered spam, trolling, and asshat-ery in the thread. Unless you mean to have a legitimate discussion about it.