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EVE Online By Pajama Sam.
EVE Online in a game developed by CCP games, released in 2003 for the PC.
In my opinion it is the best MMO available amongst today's large selection, and I aim to give players a place to discuss EVE in this thread as well as encourage more people to join and play in this incredibly large and complex game universe. I will be updating the thread with a lot more content on as much EVE related info as possible.
The EVE universe in singular in nature, so everyone plays together and players are not seperated physically from other players. There are not PvP or PvE realms, and the game is very hardcore in nature. If you lose your ship, you lose anything that was on it, and the money it cost to buy it (though some can be regained through insurance).
Races of EVE Online
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.
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.
Customization and Specialization
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.
Friends and Enemies
From the start you have no real friends or enemies in the EVE universe, you forge your own alliances regardless of race, there's no factional/alliance boundary stopping you from going anywhere.
The Game Rules
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 commandeer 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. Buying ISK or in-game items is also not allowed.
This is a feature I love in EVE, it's not some pansy game where you can whine to a GM if you're scammed because if you're too stupid to realize someone offering to double your ISK is a scam, you truly deserve to be scammed to be honest.
Infiltrating corps is also completely fair game. There have been hundreds of billions of ISK lost through corps 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.
[indent]Corporation Management - Skills at managing corporations, allowing you eventually run 10000+ member corps.
Drones - Skills at drone control, allowing you to control more, faster 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, allowing you to eventually command hundred-man fleets.
Learning - Skills at learning, does nothing other than speed up training times.
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.
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 have to do with tech III ships (lategame).
Trade - Skills to do with trading, allowing players to handle transactions better.[/indent]
All skills affect something or other, so even the basic skills will be giving you very useful boosts (ie 10% shield per level).
Skills go up to level 5 and unlock more advanced skills to be trained.
An essential tool for planning skills, as it 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)
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 1-5 days to get used to, but it's truly simple after you've given it a real go.
Missions are a large feature in 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.
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.
Corporations and Alliances
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.
Alliances are formed from multiple corporations. They are very large and powerful. They engage in alliance warfare, fighting over territory in low-sec/0.0 space.
The current map of which alliance owns what space is here:
(media tagged for hugeness)
http://go-dl1.eve-files.com/media/corp/Verite/influence.pngThat 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 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. 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 time-effective (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.
A very important note: Industrial Ships CANNOT be trained on trial accounts. Mining Barges CANNOT be trained on trial accounts.
Exploration is a wonderful thing in EVE online, and it is typically how I spend a lot of my 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 'Explorations' which take you to places to get rare faction 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 regularly. You can easily be lost in space inside a wormhole if you are without probes, and can result in the loss of your ship and pod as you would not be able to locate an exit.
Corporations can set up bases on moons within wormholes and the reason for this is typically to mine rare ores available within wormholes, and to kill sleepers, which are difficult enemies, the purpose of which is to obtain rare tech III ship components and salvage used for building tech III ships.
The market in EVE is consistently changing, based on a real world economic 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, 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.
Player versus player combat is wonderful in EVE and is orchestrated through the system security rating which EVE uses.
Systems go from low-security (0.0 - 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 0.4, 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, and huge capital ships are constructed and used in combat between corps and alliances that live here.
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.
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.
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.
If you want to see every ship in the game:
(media tagged for hugeness, and I mean hugeness.)
Screenshots and Videos
A machinima based on EVE Online. Highly suggested that new players watch it.
There is no Facepunch Corporation.
Battleclinic Eve Community/Killboard
Scrapheap Challenge EVE Forums (Good fitting suggestions)
EVEMon Tool Download
Eve Fitting Tool
Thank you Pajamasam, and all others from the previous OP's.