Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Questions about joining a player corporation in EVE

As lots of people advised me in the previous EVE threads to join a player corporation, and I even got a mail from a reader with an invite, I'd like to bundle the discussion of player corporations in one thread, that is HERE.

Status: The game put me in the "Royal Amarr" newbie corporation by default. I followed the advice of several readers and applied to EVE University, but other readers mentioned it could take weeks before they accept me. I got an offer to join a corporation from a Canadian player, but given the time zone difference I either need a very big internation corporation or a smaller European one if I ever want to actually meet somebody from my corporation.

And then there is the big question: For WHAT should I join a corporation? Last time is was in one was back in 2003, and at the time the only activity of corporations were joint mining operations (boooooring) and PvP. So why exactly would I be better off in a corporation than without one? Just as a point of comparison, I wouldn't necessarily advise a new player of World of Warcraft to join a guild right away, because guilds aren't all that useful for learning the game and leveling up, as they are mainly occupied with the end game. Is that different in EVE Online?
The biggest difference usually is the convenience and sometimes saving of ISK.

Newbie Corp has a flat tax on earnings above 100k ISK (I believe thats the limit, I forget) of 10-15% I believe. A Player Run Corp (PRC) can often be a way to lower this ISK drain, some don't have a tax whereas others have a very low tax.

There is also the convenience of the Corporate Hangar and Wallet features - if you happen to be in the same system as them, and they are a good corp, they will probably have 'newbie' gear in the hangar for new players and possibly member ISK wallet accounts to help new folks out.

The convenience does come with the possibility of being War Dec'd by another PRC (it doesn't have to be consensual) and that turns on full on PvP between the two corps without interference from the authorities (it already is full on PvP but there are consequences to 'pwning noobs' in High Sec).

The big advantage to the Newbie Corp is that it can't be War Dec'd, there are lots of folks to talk to all of the time, and helpful people jump into the channel pretty often to give a helping hand to newbies. You won't get the same hands on help that a PRC will give you maybe, but its a trade off in either choice.
Joining a corporation is very dependent on what you want from the game and what you can put into it.

Traditionally joining a corp was good because most corps would provide game play advice and ships and modules (Tech1 frigates and cruisers) for the new recruits.

With the introduction of the newbie corps and newbie channels and PLEX for RMT, this use of joining a corporation is pretty much non-existent now.

The main draws for joining a corporation now are social, exploration and complex running (PvE), and PvP.

Low level complexes are soloable, but the higher level ones are analogous to raid instances in WoW.
Exploration of the new systems (from last major patch?) can be done solo, but you need to be careful. Better to do it as part of a group where the required skills (combat, mining, navigation) are spread about in the group.
PvP can also be done solo, but you need to be very confident in your skills. Most PvP is group combat and most PvP corps have a certain amount of cannon fodder. Tackler ships are a very useful role that can be fulfilled by alts or newbies while they learn the ropes of fleet combat.

Mining is unfortunately a necessary evil of EvE, in much the same way that having a job is a necessary evil in real life (unless you enjoy your job of course). Mining as part of an occasional group is far better (and more efficient) than doing it solo because you had your last ship popped by npc's.

I'd say the possible enjoyment to be had from this game is inversely proportional to being in a good player-run corporation.

Unlike other MMO's, the Eve Online universe is huge. Chances are you won't see other players as a noob except for the few seconds docking or undocking. Being in a corporation can give you goals to work towards which is much better than the typical aimless meanderings of new players who have no idea what to do next. One of the early Uni classes had us newbies tag along with older players in a level 4 mission and the resulting pyrotechnics and vast horde of enemies to defeat whet my appetite for more. After that, I set myself a goal of soloing level 4 missions since they were a great source of income at that time and I wanted to be self-sufficient.
A corp in EVE gives you a forum to ask question which is imho the most important function of a corp to a newbie player.

About the mining thing: it the easiest way to get ISK later, but not the only one and not necessarily the most effective one (Daytrading, industrial production (T1,T2,T3), L4 mission running, PLEXing, BPC/BPU research are others). Mining is simply the one that requires absolute no brainpower and only limited preparation.
From a game mechanics perspective, corporations are not required until you start maintaining player-owned structures. However, plenty of player corporations provide free skillbooks, ships, modules and most importantly, advice on how to use them. And of course, community-building. You can get the latter two via this blog, and you can get the former via PLEX. What you don't get is practice in working with a group. This is vitally important in PvP, but it does help in PvE as well.
Lots of benefits to being in a corporation but you'll have to decide for yourself once your more informed I guess. My first set of standard implants were provided by my first corp. Would have cost me months of income when I first started... They even provided the first mining barge once you learned the skills. Maybe they were extra generous but that's a pretty good example of a definite pro. I learned a lot from my first corp and even got a glimpse of how exciting large scale corp pvp can be.

I'm not averse to solo play and created a corp as a tax shelter for the time being with plans to join another player corp later. Access to POS's (Player Owned Stations) and all their benefits kind of make it an inevitable for me with my manufacturing and future science activities.

One thing I like about the game is I can set long term goals and work towards them. Fits my personality but not necessarily others.

Also your not getting married or anything so it's ok if you play the to speak.
There is also a downside to joining a player corp (rather than an NPC corp) in that another corp can declare WAR and freely attack that corp in High Sec.

Although, if that happens, the solution is simple. Leave the corp and rejoin when the WAR is over. However, that also means paying attention on the Corp page to see if you are, in fact, actually at WAR with another corp.
You don't actually need to watch the corp page. If you corp is war decced you will receive an eve-mail 24 hours in advance. This will make your little mail button go blinky so no real need to be watching the corp page too much. Having your corp decced is not that common though. Unless the corp you join is in the habit of smack talking people or is a specific target for some other reason you probably don't have to worry about it.
The most important thing a corp in EVE gives is context. The corporations goals can give you a set of self-determined goals for you to achieve yourself.

Generally, I find that without a good corp, I loose interest in EVE. With a corp working toward a goal, you can fit yourself into that and create many goals for yourself along the way.

My corp, for example, had goals of setting up a POS and playing in WH space. While we still don't have a PoS up in K-space, we have 3 of them up and running in our Class 4 system and our new goal is to run class 6 combat sites, and add a carrier and Rorqual to our class 4 system. (The carrier and the Rorqual would both be permanently in our system, so that is a real commitment to system.)
I sense that some people who have spent little time in the sandbox environment of virtual worlds with no strictly defined goals and outlined vertical progression tend to take the said environment for something it is not.
In this case a thing to keep in mind is that the whole entirety of what constitutes the game of EVE (skills, combat, mining) is just a framework for the Grander Game and as such should not probably be approached from the point of view of game content that should be 'completed' or 'played through'. The Grand Game itself is the interaction between the players themselves, and if you don't join a corporation you risk missing out on the main action. The difference here is that you need genuine social skills to advance in a corporation, and I do not believe that a select few get to participate in the political struggle as there is a constant movement of people between corporation and a wide variety of people playing, and as such you will get many saboteurs or spies or plain confused people milling around.
As such, I don't believe that in-game wealth or skill progress mean that much if you are outside of the social dynamic. That might even be the case for the easy-ISK option of PLEX - in the long run, wealth doesn't mean a thing if you are unable to form (or be a part of) a larger group of players. Basically - it's just like life, but in space.
I suggest adding "EVE Blog Pack" via CrazyKinux using google reader. It's essentially a collection of EVE bloggers compiled by another blogger. Some of them provide in-character fiction, others recount war stories, manufacturing jobs, or wormhole exploration.

My personal favourites are Letrange's at

I joined a player corp mainly because their 7.5% tax rate was lower than the NPC corps 10% tax rate. Before joining I made doubly sure the corp had no war declarations and was not actively seeking one, corp mates have the right to shoot and loot each other much like UO guildmates and I'm well aware of people who would exploit that fact.

I started EVE about 2 months ago after quitting WoW, perhaps I'll look you up in-game, I assume your name is Tobold related?
OK Eve Uni's admission system took about a week to ten days a couple of months ago.

Eve Uni is literally a school for learning about Eve. To enjoy it you have to consider that Eve is a topic you want to learn about and that you're willing to spend some gaming time doing that.

The highlights of Eve Uni are lectures, usually at EU evening time. A speaker, sometimes a celebrity guest speaker will come and talk to you on Teamspeak. I really enjoyed these when I was in the corp.

After the lecture a fleet is often formed to pvp. These fleets rock. Up to a hundred, sometimes more, clueless newbies in frigates under the direction of a veteran fleet commander will go pirate hunting in dangerous space. You are pretty likely to get killed but they're great fun. I managed to tackle and hold a Battleship for a fleet to warp in on with my little tackler frigate. I died but by the time he and his friends had got rid of me he was doomed. It was like a pitbull fighting an elephant.

For a lot of the time the Uni is at war, pirates and griefers love to target the noobs. During war decs you aren't meant to undock unless you're with the fleet. Don't tell anyone but I did occasionally fly around when I wasn't meant to - but you're basically a free kill to enemy players if they catch you.

A good way to handle the boring bits is with a trader alt. Use one of your other character slots to train Trade and Retail up to about 3-4 and park it in Jita. Then throw a regionwide buy order on light, easily moved goods eg implants. Level 1 or 2 implants are given to mission runners and often not needed. The tutorials (the set of 5 advanced tutorials) give a lot of skill books so if you order the ones handed out there you'll often get them cheap. I've bought Hacking and Connections for 1 isk and sold them for close to a million.

If you join other corps find an EU time one. There really are loads, you don't need to join the first corp that asks you.

Join the Recruitment channel in game or
I do not think you have any advantage from a player run corporation early on: Stay in the newbie corporation!

This prevents you from some jerks declaring war on your newbie corp and you can ask for advice in your newbie corp a lot. Many alts of experienced players are there, it is almost like a 2nd help channel and tbh I had much better conversation there than in my - naturally- much smaller player run corporation.
When I was still in a Corporation that was mostly spread over Europe and the USA, the main added value was having people to chat with as far as I'm concerned really. Sure they were doing all manner of interesting things again as I was still getting my ropes untangled and my hair unknotted in EvE anyway.

There are advantages to being in a Corporation but I'd say it's not vital for many gameplay mechanics if you are a PvE player, like me.

Since I haven't played in a while again (due to Gevlon's WoW experiments taking my MMO time now), they have removed me for inactivity though. And I didn't get in any way upset. If/when I go back to EvE, all that will be missing is known names in the chat windows as far as I am concerned.

Also taxes only apply to mission rewards and bounties IIRC and only if they are over 100K. It may be a while before you see those.

Furthermore, do all 5 newbie quest chains in your current location (Amarr? If you are in Conoban, that is where I am parked :) ) They are enlightening and are actually very easy for the rewards you get from them.
I don't play EVE, I just observe my partner playing. The impression that I get is that without powerful friends, you will be instantly splatted by gangs if you leave hi-sec space, no matter what your equipment. Of course, you would be mad to venture out there in your first year or so of playing anyway.
Virtually everyone recommends joining a corp. And i certainly would recommend Eve U.

Remember your "forced grouping" post? I am definitely old enough to not like forced grouping. One of the good and worst things of EVE is that it is a dark, cruel place with fraud allowed. A very real downside is that joining a corp is not without risk. Someone can join a corp just so they are now allowed to destroy your 700m ISK (US$50) freighter without repercussions. People stealing from corps is quite common.

A 2,000 person alliance can be impressive. But forced grouping in EVE has far more downsides than other MMOs.
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