Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
EVE and constructive criticism

How do you evaluate a sandbox game with a non-linear game structure and no fixed goals? Well, given enough time, the only method I can think of is to play different gameplay elements one at a time, and blog about them one at a time. That is what I have been doing.

Of course it was unavoidable that when I wrote about PvP in EVE, I came out strongly against it. Check my blog, I have strong opinions against PvP, 7 years worth of archives. That reflects my personal attitude towards PvP in general, and is not specific to EVE, although of course EVE has a particularly asymmetric form of PvP due to the absence of fixed objectives.

Now EVE players are even more defensive of their game than most other MMORPG players, so I'm not particularly surprised that my opinion was strongly criticized. But there is a certain irony in EVE players telling me that I am playing EVE wrong. It shouldn't be possible to play a true sandbox game wrong. Everything is supposedly allowed and possible, and that must be true for me as well. If there is a right way and a wrong way to play EVE, then it isn't a sandbox.

Nevertheless of course there are probably aspects of EVE gameplay that I haven't written about yet, and which would be more fun for somebody who is new to the game and not interested in PvP anyway. So I'm inviting you to suggest me something that I should try and write about. What in EVE is fun for new players without having to wait weeks for skill training or running a strong risk to get podded? I liked scanning, but I don't think entering wormholes would be something you should suggest to new players. I already wrote about mining and running missions. What else is there to suggest for new players in EVE?
This may be a little off-topic but I can understand why some of the players are defensive about EVE. After all, Tobold did use some strong language to describe EVE, e.g. bullies.

I would say that if those posts were written in a more neutral tone, the amount of defensiveness would have decreased.

This is not a suggestion or attack, but rather a commentary on what has transpired.
I think Eve is ultimately all about the nullsec wars.

Sure most people are in high sec but they're in high sec planning to take over the galaxy one day.

Eve is all about long term goals and 4X.

Some of us are going to love it but if you see non-instanced pvp as bullying there's not much point in playing Eve.
If you don't go into exploration and flying covops ships, then just get into industry or trading. And if you don't know how to get started, visit Eve University's class library. You don't need to be a member to use it.
Sorry for two posts so quick. But in 10 days we get planetary interaction. You've written how older players have an advantage and you'll never be able to catch up? Well, here's your chance to be in at the ground floor for something.
Did people say you were playing wrong? I thought they were saying that there are consequences to your actions and that the consequences are highly predictable.

In the case that they were truly telling you that you are wrong for wanting to play in a style that gets you killed then I would have to side with you on that argument. If someone chooses to make singing in space their method of play then no one has the right to tell them they are playing wrong.

However, if they were instead just trying to say that "if you do X then Y is likely to happen, unless you do Z" then I would have to say that a lot of the fuss has also just been caused by a little bit of confusion on your part. Nothing to feel upset about, it happens to everyone, and over the course of over 160 replies it is very easy to have some communication loss.
In my five month stint in EVE I found trading/hauling to be a lot of fun. I enjoy casually finding good trade routes on a day to day basis. I didn't drill down too much; there were no spreadsheets involved. It wasn't compelling gameplay on a minute-to-minute basis but was fun nonetheless to haul X to Y, taking advantage of market differences and making a million ISK or more only to do it again in the opposite direction (or do something completely different like mine).

I appreciated the aspects of EVE I tried as they were the polar opposite of my WoW experience and scratched another itch. WoW for me gets to Counterstrike/MW levels of intensity and refinement. It involves both spreadsheets and sweating. At one moment it's an optimization puzzle and then for two or three hour stretches it's five to ten minute stretches of laser focused engagement punctuated by less intense encounters and a lot of friendly chatter.

EVE played up the optimization and slowed down the timescales/intensity. If you've ever fancied yourself an investor, but don't want to risk real capital, then try EVE's simulacrum of it.
I thought they were saying that there are consequences to your actions and that the consequences are highly predictable.

Oh, but I know that. And actually my original post starts with me predicting what the consequences would be, preparing for those consequences, and then doing the experiment to show the prediction was right. The fight is purely over me having a strong negative opinion, and using strong negative terms to describe, the human motives behind that predictable consequence.
"I liked scanning, but I don't think entering wormholes would be something you should suggest to new players."

No need to enter wormholes. Scanning was probably the activity that I got the most enjoyment from in my brief (two months subscription) EVE playtime.

I did go into some wormholes, but yeah, there wasn't much I could do there with my dinky little scanner-frigate, and no powerful ship to switch to once I found something.

But mainly I enjoyed scanning in normal systems and finding salvage sites and hidden complexes and asteroid belts. Got some lucrative T2 salvage and named items, too.

That's definitely a course of action that's well worth writing about, especially if you've already tried it and liked it.
But mainly I enjoyed scanning in normal systems and finding salvage sites and hidden complexes and asteroid belts. Got some lucrative T2 salvage and named items, too.

Have you got any advice on how to find those? I literally spent two days trying to do this, but all I found were sectors which had already been emptied by other players of all interesting sites, and sites which were guarded by rats stronger than what I could beat in my cruiser. Which is was induced me to train up for a battlecruiser.
Your approach Tobold is absolutely wrong. EVE is an MMO. That means there are more players and one is supposed to group with them. Try to join some corporation that would show you the New Eden from different angels. There is no need to kill people from day one. Alas, there are people who never PvP in EVE and have fun, using all other options of EVE, be it mining, market warfare, industry, exploration and so on.

Starting to play a game and jumping into "end-game content"-area as a newbie is silly. You get killed on sight, as character level 5 would not make it alive to Blasted Lands.

Join and learn with them in team, what your options are.
"Your approach Tobold is absolutely wrong"
It would seem to be a good course of action, that if you want Tobold to not be so judgmental and harsh in his choice of words, that you also do the same.
Thanks melodiousgames. It's a rare thing to see such level-headedness on the internet.

Also Tobold I think you're spot on about how you're getting people riled by using "strong negative terms to describe, the human motives behind that predictable consequence."

Sadly what you're doing there is making a massive assumption the average EVE player's psyche that is based on little to no evidence.
Tobold, with regards to scanning.. it was a while ago I was doing this (maybe a year) so my memory isn't too clear. But I don't recall having either of those problems?

I was in a not-particularly-busy corner of Minmatar space, so maybe that's why I never had issues with finding sites that had already been cleared out, not many other players around.

But I certainly never hit any rats I couldn't handle in my Rupture cruiser. Pretty sure they were all frigate-sized rats (this was scanning in high-sec systems).
I started out in Eve as a hauler. It was a bit slow with a frigate, but as soon as I got my first industrial, I quickly multiplied by initial funds, and lots of flying around helped me learn the major market hubs, the production centers and the missioning systems. There's plenty of profit to be made by providing convenience for other people. Especially missionrunners are willing to pay a premium for getting their supplies from their home system. After all, the time they're spending shopping is time they're not making money doing missions. Eventually I moved into low-security space, which taught me quite a few lessons about situational awareness, netting me my first billion.

After that, I branched out into manufacturing and mining. If I could have made a profit hauling goods inefficiently manufactured by others, I could make a bigger profit making some of my goods myself. That billion was a bit overkill, and I would have made do with much, much less, starting out with light missile manufacturing. The first set of blueprint originals cost about 30 million, but I could have turned a profit with blueprint copies as well. I eventually branched out into different products while continuing to do some arbitrage trading on the side. Eventually, I learnt the old adage that something being farmed by me is not free, and dropped mining and hauling as active professions.

For me, the main interest in the industry is detecting and analyzing market niches that are not being satisfactorily fulfilled by other players. No situation is ever exactly the same. New batches are being manufactured and bought out all the time. A product that netted me a sweet 50% profit yesterday could be worthless today, and anything that happens in the game could open up a completely new niche. A missionrunner gets ganked? Someone's going to need a new ship. A fleet returns from a fight? They're going to need some more ammo. A blockade shut off a supply route? Someone's going to pay a premium for the POS fuel they need ASAP.
Try to join some corporation that would show you the New Eden from different angels.

I didn't even know there were angels in EVE. :)

But talking about wrong assumptions and making judgements out of being uninformed: I joined a corporation weeks ago, and blogged about the fact, and my adventures of doing corporate mining events with them. Only this isn't a huge corporation controlling a part of nulsec, we are currently trying to get a POS in highsec instead.
Your approach Tobold is absolutely wrong.

I'd love to hear some discussion about how any approach to a sandbox game can be "absolutely wrong". I mean, I'm sure there are more effective and less effective ways to reach any given goal, but if you proclaim that the charm of EVE is that there are no fixed goals, then by definition there are not absolutely wrong approaches to it either.

If, on the other hand, you say "you can't play EVE solo", as you appear to do, then doesn't that mean that EVE isn't really offering all that infinite freedom it is supposed to do?

I mean, I'm sure there are more effective and less effective ways to reach any given goal, but if you proclaim that the charm of EVE is that there are no fixed goals, then by definition there are not absolutely wrong approaches to it either.

I do not think that this is true. 'Sandbox' or 'no fixed goals' doesn't mean that no matter what you do it is fun (strawman?). Instead, it means that the players build the castles themselves, no more no less.

Of course it is possible to enter EVE with the wrong mindset and consequently have no fun; just as this is possible in any other game every made.
If, on the other hand, you say "you can't play EVE solo", as you appear to do, then doesn't that mean that EVE isn't really offering all that infinite freedom it is supposed to do?

Stop trolling pls. Of course EVE can't offer infinite freedom. Of course it isn't a true sandbox. It is still a freakin' game for christs sake. Every game has it's boundaries because it's artificially created on a limited platform. EVE just is one of the games that are close to "infinite freedom" and close to sandbox. EVE is closer to a sandbox compared to e.g. WoW, but EVE is still themepark compared to "the real world"(tm).
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how about group PVP? Isn't that the major appeal of EVE, being an MMO?

and btw, EVE is not really a sandbox game in the "do whatever you want sense". It's a game about territory/financial control.

Good post Tobold. Your point about the sandbox is very well made. I do not agree with those who say that the only Eve is this or that. Many many players never get to nulsec for example but still enjoy the game. Likewise I believe Eve can be enjoyed at any level if it is the game for you. Eve is a a great game for explorers but not so great for achievers.

Here are some things I enjoyed that might appeal to you:

1.Start with a certain seed capital and try to double it just by trading.

2.I loved EFT I used it to squeeze the maximum performance out of my mission ships within the limit of my skills.

3. Start a brand new alt in a noobship and go exploring in 0.0 . Getting past the first have camp will take planning and luck. Once you are in head for a system with a neutral station like sisters of eve where you can dock and set your clone.

4. Visit Jita and observe. It is not always pretty but it is worth a look at the busiest system in Eve. You can even make a trade or two while there.

5 Listen to Eve radio and chat away to the DJ online.

6 Learn to use warp to zero. It allows you to travel fairly safely in low sec.
EVE is an MMO. That means there are more players and one is supposed to group with them

Wrong. Over 60% of MMO players play solo. So either thegame adapts to that fact and gets millions of players, or they don't and do "merely" 350.000 like Eve. Remember, this is a business.

To answer the original question: Depends on age (yes) and player type.

I have a character which started with trading skills first and I sold 2 plexes to give him capital and he never left Jita since then. He is worth 5 billion now and trading is still fun. Of course that kind of misuses the game, but on the othe rhand its fun to follow trends and react to them.

Example: The Eve Tournament. Whenever a certain ship type becomes famous in those battles the prices go up. So stock up soon.

If there is a major war going on ask whats needed most and stock them up.

Remember Hulkageddon? This player event doubled the Hulk price, that was nice profit!
So you got this pink and green shirt. You think its ugly, but somebody keeps tellin you its just that your wearing it wrong and you need to wear it for a few more months. Then you will change your mind and think its the prettiest thing. Yeah right.
But ofc, we should respect others right of wearing it and not call them bullies. I just close my eyes when I walk past them on the street.
So you've got a pink and green shirt. You put it on backwards, and what you really need are trousers. Some
people point out that you're wearing it wrong, and what you really need are trousers. But the shirt is supposed to be one-size-fits-all.
So you’ve got this pink and green shirt. A lot of people like it because of its symbolism, but to you it just kinda chafes around the neck and isn’t a comfortable fit. People tell you that if you got the trousers and tie that go with it then you’d appreciate it more, but even with the trousers you imagine that it’ll still be uncomfortable and not as pleasant as the plain white shirt everyone else wears.

Then you fly into nullsec and get murdered.
Pink and green? Seriously, that's just wrong!
Set a buy order on the really low end for some sort of mass produced part at Dodixie, Rens, Capital or Jita, then take them out to .6 space systems in Gallente or Minmatar space and sell them for double the Jita going price. Probably not the funnest thing to do overall, but if the part is small enough it can be done in a frigate. Trying to optimize your sales will also give you a good hands on introduction to the player run market.

Assuming you get your battle cruiser here soon, try working on your tanking fits. These are where new players tend to loose their first BCs and BSes even to just standard PVE. If you have to run back and pay for hull repairs during a mission, then your fit is probably still fundamentally flawed.
One person is telling you that you won't have fun until you are wearing a pink and green shirt someone else say pink and green clash. All you have is a needle and thread and a bunch of material and it turns out that you don't really like sewing. You ask people if there are any other garments that you could make quickly so that you can start having fun but perhaps you should abandon sewing altogether and see if you enjoy cutting shapes out of the material.
I believe EVE is a "niche" game in that it appeals to a smaller spectrum of gamers. I also judge EVE to be a fairly successful niche game. EVE is niche because of the sandbox-like nature and "war-like" PvP combat.

WoW is a mainstream game and hence has a larger player-base. Like EVE, it is also successful. I consider WoW to be more theme-park and PvP is not really emphasised.

The whole sandbox vs themepark argument is pretty pointless in my opinion. I treat sandbox or a theme-park as a game characteristic. Thus sandbox doesn't automatically mean good whilst themepark doesn't mean bad.

Now, the question that I'll pose: Can EVE maintain it's sandbox like nature with "fair" PvP combat. Can more themeparks be added to EVE to provide more content and give players more "things to do".

My answer to this is no, I don't believe so. This is because if themeparks were added to EVE, it will violate the design goal of giving players freedom to do what they like. If people wanted to play a WoW-like game, EVE is not the game for them.
This is how I understand a sandbox game: the Developers of the game tries to leave things as open to the gamers and don't set that much restrictions or ways to play it. Your Fellow Gamers can however form some structures by consencus wether it's conscious or just following a trend.

I don't play Eve never did though your recent posts have made me very interested in it.

Here is how I see what has happened (just by reading what you posted and some comments) in some wow terms. You went into the Timbermaw caves and got attacked, you complained and the community replied "Hey, the ideal way to go about this is to go farm some rep in Felwood first then the Timbermaw clan won't attack you.". It doesn't mean you have to go farm the rep, just that if you don't go through the player created (part of sandbox as I have it) content and loops you should expect some reaction.

Blizzard made the Timbermaw and the rep for them. The gate campers you ran into was not made by CCP, they where neither encouraged nor discouraged by CCP. In Hi-sec space gate campers have been discouraged by the penalties to Hi-sec rep and prosecution.

You posted some time ago about going fishing with a very low level alt in NR. If you'd have complained to Blizzard about being killed by the mobs there, they'd have pointed you to the starter zones and told you there's a lot you can do there and the mobs won't one shot you. Why have a go at the people that forms part of the content when they point you in the direction that will probably result in the better overall experience to a game they enjoy? Would you not in any of the other games you've played helped a friend that complained about some aspect of it if you realise that there is a way off less resistance, a way to potentially increase the enjoyment he'll get from it?

Is there anything you cannot do in Eve when you avoid null sec? Except maybe PvP, which the gate camping as explained could have been one of many reason.

P.S. I hope there's not to many typos here.
Tobold: I think you are mischaracterizing the content of your statements, you did not simply state an opinion about what you find to be fun and what you found to be not fun, you made broad sweeping statements such as:

"I say that a game which not only allows but actually encourages or even enforces ganking is bad and evil, because ganking itself is bad and evil."

Calling people evil (or at very least their behavior evil) is a far cry from stating your opinion about what sort of content that you find to be fun. In my experience, people do not enjoy being called evil and doing so in a case like this is rather inflammatory.
I think if you enjoy the gameplay mechanic of scanning itself, you should do more of that. Even if a lot of sites are beyond what you can clear solo, find someone else who would like to run exploration sites but doesn't like scanning much to run them with you.
At the moment, in Eve Uni, we have a setup where scanners can put up their bookmarks on contract and get a cut of the profits from that site. Maybe look for some people in your corp that run wormhole ops and see if they would like some ready scouted bookmarks.
Way to really prove yourself to be bullies.

Given the invitation to promote positive activities for new players, you are still hung up on nullsec and telling Tobold he isn't welcome in your precious fucking sandbox.

"Wrong. Over 60% of MMO players play solo. So either thegame adapts to that fact and gets millions of players, or they don't and do "merely" 350.000 like Eve. Remember, this is a business."

I just had to comment on this that Teut said, the quote is self contradicting. Someone says, "Play with other people." and you say, "Wrong, most people solo, so either a game adapts and gets millions of players or they get a smaller amount like EVE." We happen to be discussing EVE, so your comment is actually stating that EVE has chosen to be a grouping game instead of having millions of players, and therefore telling people to play with others in EVE is not wrong.

It shouldn't be possible to play a true sandbox game wrong. Everything is supposedly allowed and possible, and that must be true for me as well. If there is a right way and a wrong way to play EVE, then it isn't a sandbox.

I would argue the exact opposite. A sandbox game is the only type of game you can play "wrong". You can't really play a "themepark" game or a traditional game on rails "wrong" except if you are intentionally trying.

Just because a sandbox game allows you to do anything you want doesn't mean that everything you choose to do will be fun. That's obvious, but that's the point. If you're doing stuff that's not fun then either you're playing wrong, or you don't share the other player's opinion on what is fun.

Regardless, my point is that if there is fun to be had (based on your own personal definition of fun) and you're not finding it, then you're playing the game wrong. Though it's not necessarilly your fault since the game doesn't offer much in the way of guidance so might be difficult for a new player to find the fun, assuming it's even there.

(Personally I tried EVE a few years ago for a few weeks and I couldn't find the fun either).
The people who keep saying things about Tobold "wandering into nullsec and getting killed" should really learn to read properly.

It is making every person talking about EvE look as foolish as you, so please stop.

Tobold didnt wander anywhere, he created an ARTIFICIAL situation that he KNEW would get him killed.

However this of course also makes it completely unusable as any sort of evidence to prove anything.

Tobold, will you please respond to this comment, that I keep making and you keep ignoring?

You say you are "disappointed" because you were killed by other players and you felt it showed "malice" and that "significant portion of players camp gates".

I believe you area scientist(?), and as such familiar with scientific studies and statistics.

If we are considering your play a test of EvE's player base, to decipher if ganking was unavoidable (or plentiful), then it the only thing it proves is that there is pretty much NO ganking in EvE.

I dont know how many hours you have played total, but any way you look at it out of ALL that time, ONCE in a completely artificial situation you ran into ganking.

Also, I would contend that watching your borders is NOT ganking. And how does doing so show "malice"? Was it malicious for Britain to fight back against the Luftwaffe in WW2?

I dont have statistics, but if you just take into account YOUR playing time there is absolutely no reason to believe a "significant" portion of the player base is gatecamping.

If you get ganked once in WoW as a Horde lowbie in Ironforge, does that mean a significant portion of WoW's player base is ganking?
When it comes to scanning, you could try getting out to the high sec systems that border low sec systems and scan for mining sites for your corp's industrialists. Those are gravimetric sites I believe. While they might not last long due to the population density in high sec they should last long enough to get some informal corp mines going.

You may find mining slightly less boring when it's being done in the sites you found... haha... or not. >.>
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My first suggestion would be to keep fiddling around like you are - while keeping a long term goal in mind.

If you enjoy scanning, and don't want to get popped at gates, train for covert ops ships. There's some overlap in the skills, so even if you decide at a later time you don't want to fly one - the skills aren't wasted. You could be in a decent covops ship in 30 days or less most likely. After that, train the covops cloak (so you can warp while cloaked) and you've become a rogue - can't gank what you can't see.

If you enjoy this sort of clandestine approach, you could branch out to flying a blockade runner - basically a stealthed hauler - and run valuables from highsec into low and null for profit.

Just a couple ideas - and things I personally still enjoy doing after 4+ years.
This is just an update for those who missed the 3 million comments explaining this:

1)Tobold was not "ganked" for no reason, he was shot down for invading enemy territory. (In precisely the same manner as an enemy would have done) EvE is a game of endless territorial warfare, and it is vital to protect your borders.

A lone enemy in a noob frigate could be a scout, but could also carry a beacon that allows any allies within a certain radius to warp there directly.

2)There is no "end-game" in EvE. There is no linear advancement on rails that guides you precisely along a path.

For an example, did anyone play Planetside? What was it's end-game? It was another game of all-out warfare that had no end-game.

For some reason its hard for people who are over-acclimated to themeparks to understand anything else, but believe you me its possible! ;)


""Doh, if you don't want to get shot down, don't enter nulsec", which has absolutely nothing to do with the argument that I am making." -Tobold

You contend EvE is a ganking game, but only by going into enemy territory were you shot down.

Your statements imply there is no escape from gankers. When in fact every noob knows not to go to null-sec and as such are almost immune to ganking.
Regarding things to do, have you looked at EVE Central & tried hauling with it? I'm sure there are other sites around that do similar things.

Assume you can haul.
Goto EVE Central and pick a commodity.
Find a place that's selling low and buying high, or have the site pick some systems and choose commodities for you. I think you can sort by ISK per jump or total ISK. You can put in your hauling capacity and it'll figure ISK per trip, too.

You can also do traditional commodities trading without even flying, which is my favorite, but that takes a couple months of skills. It's great when you only have a few minutes a day to play, though. Your profit to time played ratio is insane, but it takes lots of real world time and very little game time to maintain that ratio.
Attack? I keep my arguments civil and profanity/insult free, unlike yourself. Actually your post is blatant trolling.

I have great respect for Tobold, and thats why I am trying to help him view EvE in a different light. As for being an "eve fanboi", I dont play it. And I enjoy WoW very much as well.

The ideas I would have first suggested were already posted, and I wanted to get Tobold's response on my comments (that got lost in yesterday's thread).

I think a few Wowheads are confusing debate with "attacking". And my post wasnt about null-sec, give it another read perhaps.
“If there is a right way and a wrong way to play EVE, then it isn't a sandbox.”

Ah, that explains a few things…you don’t understand what a sandbox is.

There is a right way and a wrong way to play any game, sandbox included. The “right ways” to play are determined by the individual playing and what they like and find entertaining vs the next player. A sandbox just gives a player more ways to play and be entertained vs a themepark (which still provides different ways to play, just typically not as many) or a FPS or a single-player strategy game or rpg etc.

The thing about a sandbox is that it usually takes more work and thought to get the enjoyment out of it because you mostly have to figure out on your own what to do instead of being led down a certain path. The majority of people out there don’t want to put any work into a game, they want to be led down a route and have the fun lined up and thrown in their path. On the other side, the minority of folks out there enjoy putting some amount of work into their gaming because it makes the fun parts even that much more enjoyable and they get a greater sense of achievement out of their accomplishments.

Nothing wrong with either group, that’s just the way it is. Just like these arguments between both sides that never convince anyone on either side of anything and typically ends up being a waste of everyone’s time. Unless you find it entertaining.
Tobold, I put a post up about your last EVE post on my blog, but as an EVE player I want an apology.

Your post much singles out EVE players as bullies in PVP when I have seen that behavior repeatedly in any MMO I have played: WoW (ever do a Tarren Mill defense, or Barrens?), level 19 PVP twinks, DAoC, Conan... what have you. You ever hear of Premades afking out because they got a bunch of scrubs?

The second is that as a test of PVP, to those of us who play the game, its seems you chose to suicide and then use that as a characterization of PVP. You certainly can PVP that way, most of us wouldn't choose too.

And did you have any other goals in your PVP test other than get blown up? Go 20 systems in and make it back alive? Gank someone yourself? Establish friendly relations?

As for fun, the day-trading and contracting systems seem darned interesting. Buying faction ammo in the hubs and then hauling it out to the militia/faction warfare zones might have a some isk in it. That is just one idea off the top of my head.
Re your original question:

You should try trading and hauling. As someone with many WoW Bank alts, I was disappointed in them. Hauling and travel in EVE is a huge, boring timesink. A lot of the trading is driven by checking your orders several times a day (or hour in Jita.)

I am definitely against "forced grouping" and think game designers make games solo unfriendly at their financial peril. E.g., poker or tennis could not be played alone; but playing with does not mean you are cooperating with the other players.

If you wanted to play cooperatively with other players, then EVE seems among the last games I would want to try that in. The scams, threats, spys, and players who join just to be able to kill you without consequences mean that people are quite slow to trust you and you should be even slower (never?) to trust them.

That last comment is extremely misleading. Why exactly would someone invite you to their corp just to kill you?

A) If they really wanted to, they would just do it. Why go through so much work to kill some random person?

B) Corps (that are recruiting lowbies) always want more players. Why throw away one more potential corp member at such a crucial stage in corp development? It is so easy to find a corp and youll find most are the same generally: an average mix who are mostly decent people, just like every other game.

C) They have absolutely nothing to gain by killing you. Contrary to popular belief, not every player is a griefer who kills lowbies. Scammers arent going to waste their time with a 0 profit venture.

D) There are so many advantages to joining a corp that it makes little sense not to. Even if you are going to do things solo, you can at least have some people to chat with and get help from. Corp members are almost a sure bet when asked for advice. And if you want to mine, haul, or any other activity its always nice to have friends to call on
As to how to evaluate a sandbox, I think one of the main errors you're making in look at Eve is in thinking that these systems can be segregated from each other.

Different play-styles in WoW are very sharply segregated to reduce as much as possible the effects other players can have on one another. It has effectively evolved into a single player game that also serves as graphic player matching lobby for pvp battlegrounds and small group PVE and raiding. With 3.3, you may go weeks without doing anything but being randomly matched with strangers.

Eve is exactly the opposite, everything is an interrelated web and you will be forced to deal with several if not all of the differing aspects of gameplay in order to prosper.

Consider your humble little frigate. You go to a station and buy it. But how it gets there is the result of a long almost entirely player controlled production chain that involves manufacturing, mining, transport, and since some components are from nulsec, also pvp and territorial control.

Until you can understand how getting ganked in that nulsec pipe gatecamp was related to how you came to have a frigate to fly in the first place, I fear you're never truly going to understand what's going on in Eve.

As others have suggested though, I'd try going through Eve University and really getting involved. You can't just dabble in Eve for a few days and understand it.
If you want to participate in PvP (and be successful) early on in the game you can, you just have to join a corp that intends to engage in it and bring a small fast frigate with a warp scram and web (also known as a "point"). Yes, you will likely lose your ship but it's cheap and easily replaced and you will make a useful contribution. These could even be fairly even fights, but I wouldn't guarantee anything. You might find you don't even know what sort of fight you'll engage in until your group finds one.

As for other activities for new players, missions and mining are the most common. Scanning can be more lucrative but may require you find a less populous area of space (Empire is a big place, not all parts are crowded and tapped out). One can very quickly train a cruiser or battle cruiser capable of ratting in nullsec as well but this requires a bit of experience to know how and where to do this without being killed, ask around if you have an experienced group or again I offer my assistance.
People are still missing the point and lashing out with condescending responses. You can call it “defending territory”, but it’s still a form of ganking or bullying when they spend long periods at a time camping out in one spot for the purpose of killing any random person there. It’s not the fact that they killed him, it’s that the game encourages them to wait there for anyone. If you can get past your anger at Tobold for badmouthing your game with words that seem to personally offend you, then you’d see that his participation has nothing to do with his point. Yes, he had lots of warning, yes he knew it would happen, and yes it’s not common, but it’s still a form of PvP that he wouldn’t find fun on either side, and neither would I. And that’s the whole point.

Bob walks into an alley and some gang members beat him up to make an example of him. Doesn’t matter who he was, they were waiting there to beat the shit out of anyone. If you were a gang fanboy you’d say that’s just the way it is, the alleys are vicious around here so they were justified in being complete assholes and beating up Bob. You might like to roleplay that you’re protecting your vital territory from an unknown enemy, and it’s certainly justified by the game, but that doesn’t make it good.

I’ve said this before. I’m not trying to defend Tobold himself, I only want the blatant fanboys to quit because it’s getting difficult to enjoy what should be an intelligent discussion. He doesn’t owe you anything, stop being so dramatic.
Tobold: I think this converstion will be much improved by avoiding the contentious language of characterizing players and designs as bullies or evil and flawed. As many have pointed out choosing a suicide run to establish your position on pvp is as inappropriate as taking a level 15 into STV as a means of characterizing PVE in wow. However, I can offer my own suggestion for something amusing to do while your main is skilling. I was curious about your experience in null sec and so I took one of my alts in his newb ship and set out for red space. Much to my surprise I did not get killed immediately, in fact some of the systems I travelled through had nobody in local. The first time I got killed was because I was afk next to a gate for about 10 minutes and I came back just in time to hear the targeting noise and then a laser of some sort. I asked the guy not to pod me and he said ok. So not everyone out there is in full gank mode. My second and third runs I did get podded but one guy told me that riding through systems in autopilot would get me killed much more often. He also told me about a website where you can find out what the kill policy is in various areas. I am at work now so I will have to link it some other time. A previous commenter said there were SOE stations out there in red space so I may see if I can find one and get there since none of the other stations I tried would let me dock. There one newb’s suggestion for fun.
Tobold, will you please respond to this comment, that I keep making and you keep ignoring?

You say you are "disappointed" because you were killed by other players and you felt it showed "malice" and that "significant portion of players camp gates".

I believe you area scientist(?), and as such familiar with scientific studies and statistics.

If we are considering your play a test of EvE's player base, to decipher if ganking was unavoidable (or plentiful), then it the only thing it proves is that there is pretty much NO ganking in EvE.

At popular request I changed the terms "ganker" and "bully" into the term "border guard". So lets me explain again using that term:

While of course a single data point is not necessarily statistically significant, I can nevertheless from the short time it took the border guard to shoot my illegal immigrant conclude that there are quite a lot of border guards active. A lot of EVE players also confirmed that border guarding is a quite common activity in nulsec.

As illegal immigrant I don't like border guards, and I chose to express my dislike in strong terms, but as you quoted me saying the word "disappointed", it should have been clear enough that this is a personal emotion.

Furthermore people keep telling me that if I work hard enough, one day I can be part of an alliance which owns a part of nulsec, at which point I would be the border guard defending it. But I don't *want* to play a border guard! Not only do I have this personal dislike of border guards, I also think that playing a border guard isn't any fun: Too much time spent waiting, and if a shootout occurs it is nearly always completely unbalanced, with the winner being obvious from the start.
Not exactly my cup of tea, but if you liked playing the Auction House in WoW, perhaps you could try your hand at a market in EVE?

Choose a station to base out of, preferably one with a few popular agents for missioners. Missioners need ammo, you can haul some in from a lower priced region and sell it at a mark-up. Or go for the whole shebang and produce your own and put them on market for a profit.

It may be worthwhile to mission at that hub yourself, take the junk modules you may get and refine them down to minerals so you can produce more products. If you want to take it another level, you can set up buy orders in the region for those same modules you get while missioning at a bargain price, now other capsuleers are feeding you modules for you to refine and manufacture. If you want to take it even further, you could set up courier contracts so other capsuleers can haul your goods from one place to another for you. This kind of thing might require a lot of spreadsheet work, so you can work out the profitability of a certain module over its raw mineral components, not everyone likes doing that kinda thing.

Invention is something else you could try, but you'd have to build up some standing with an R&D corp to gain datacores, it's probably described better in the science and industry section of the EVE-Forum under the stickied resources thread.

I've been doing level 3 missions for Pend Insurance, I thought it would be funny to be a violent insurance agent flying internet spaceships. Even without a dedicated scanning ship, the on-board scanner will detect combat plexes, you could do some of those. Heck there are also some beacons visible on the overview that lead to plexes, but they tend to be a little busier.

There's a few wormhole bloggers I've been reading about, they seem like they're having a good time. PvE with the sleeper NPCs is more challenging than the pirates in regular space, I'm personally training skills so that I can someday join them.
RE: people telling you that you are doing it wrong - you kinda are. If you are playing a sandbox game (presumably for enjoyment's sake), and you purposely but yourself in situations you know will be detrimental to your enjoyment of the're doing it wrong.

Like me? I hate mining in Eve. It is dull beyond measure to me. Therefore (quite logically)- I don't mine! You? You dislike PVP. So what do you do? Avoid PVP and focus on the various PVE mechanics of the game?

Nope! You went ahead and put yourself in a thoroughly un-winnable pvp situation. All that proves is that you are fixed on highlighting the parts of the game you dislike. I'll let everyone draw their own conclusions as to why you would do that.

As for today's question, I would definitely start in on trading if you like playing the markets. Invest a small amount of time (30 minutes or so?) in looking up some good beginner's guides to trading, and have a go at it. You don't even need an industrial hauler to start, just a frigate you can fly that has the biggest cargo room!

If you like exploration, just keep at it! High sec is pretty huge, and you shouldn't run into anything you can't handle in a well-fit cruiser in high sec. Once you get more advanced in skills, hit up lowsec and try to scan stuff out there - bring a cloak to avoid pirates and such though.

There is also mining, manufacturing, researching BPOs, making BPCs - all of which require little in the way of skills to get started.

The thing to remember about Eve is that the game will not hold your hand - that's what corps are for, if you aren't enterprising enough to spend some time looking stuff up on the 'net.
"You might like to roleplay that you’re protecting your vital territory from an unknown enemy, and it’s certainly justified by the game, but that doesn’t make it good."

It's not roleplay, it's game mechanic. You claim space and it bears your name. There is a good deal of space owned by NPC groups, but in all likelihood the space in question was their territory that they were defending or enemy territory they were attacking.

There is no attempt to police what goes on out there by design, in your alley the police are supposed to be preventing such actions. The actions of the gatecampers more closely resemble zealous border guards of a military regime. ;)

I'm not trying to say that one should take it and say "thank you". I've certainly been the victim of similar events and was none too happy about it, but I don't feel the answer is that they shouldn't do it either.

I agree, being a "border guard" borders on tedious. My recommendation if so far your favorite activity has been scanning really would be to work towards a capable cruiser/battlecruiser build and venture into nullsec either as part of an established alliance or sneaking in (alone or with a small group). Yes, you will probably lose some ships due to bad breaks and/or inexperience but the sites out there are more lucrative.

A battlecruiser will be the easiest to accomplish this in with the exception of dodging unfriendly players due to their slow speed. For ideas on effective fits I suggest
It sounds to me like "fun and interesting for new players" activities that have been suggested all involve avoiding combat. Mining, hauling freight, maybe a bit of exploring but "bring a cloak" so you can hide. Survivable battles do not appear to be an option, until you have invested considerable time. I can see that some would enjoy this, but it has zero appeal to me, and probably little appeal to most new players.
To agree with what a few other people have said - I think if you really want to explore Eve and understand it pick an aspect (even if it is piracy or low/null sec) and then look for a corp to latch onto. There are a ton of 'training' corps where there are more experienced players who can help you learn about certain aspects of gameplay.

You need to find a corp that fits with what you want to do. This does mean that during your life in Eve you may switch corps any number of times as your needs and desires change. I think if you keep poking around you might find something you can enjoy doing with other players.

One comment on missioning, find someone in corp who has high standing and is running L4 missions. Follow along behind in a ship with tractor beams and salvagers equipped. I got to see some pretty awesome combat missions this way and I got a chance to make a bundle off salvaged loot. The caveat being fly with someone you trust, like a corpmate - if you just put a LFG out in local you are going to find someone who will take advantage of you.
"It sounds to me like "fun and interesting for new players" activities that have been suggested all involve avoiding combat. Mining, hauling freight, maybe a bit of exploring but "bring a cloak" so you can hide. Survivable battles do not appear to be an option, until you have invested considerable time. I can see that some would enjoy this, but it has zero appeal to me, and probably little appeal to most new players."

Missions are the most obvious answer to new players looking for combat. These are PvE instances that one would typically take up within empire (safe space). They can be done as a group or solo and start at a level suitable for brand new players logging in for the first time.

You as the immigrant may not like border guards, but I think we can all agree a country has the right to defend its borders.

But as you consider this bullying, and I find that truly puzzling, this point is moot.

However, although of course many borders are tightly blockaded (due to the widespread wars currently raging), as many players have mentioned there are also alliances that arent doing so regularly.

Even if EVERY gate in nullsec was camped, that would still represent a tiny fraction of the game's overall population.

Tobold, you seem to think that if you join a nullsec corp that gate-camping duty is inevitable. This is very far from the truth, actually most corps/alliances have divisions focusing entirely on industry, trade, etc. And the gatecampers are only a fragment of an alliances's pvp strength.

Even if every single nullsec player was gatecamping at once, they would come nowhere near representing the player base.

In fact, at any give time there is always more players in high-sec. Actually, estimates put the number of players who stay almost entirely in high-sec at 70%.

I'm going to keep saying this:

Nullsec is NOT the endgame.

There is no "end-game" as you know it.

You could reach your personal "end-game" without EVER leaving high/low sec.

If I disliked and disapproved of PvP as you did, this would be the only logical choice

All this stuff I read is interesting. I bet many other communities would love to have this quality of discussion. And no, I do not mean this to be ironic. I love this site.
Sorry for all my WoTs everybody, but I seriously have read every comment the past bunch of huge threads, and as such have a lot to say.

And I use bold/caps for emphasis and so words and sentences won't be missed. Definately not any sort of anger or nerdrage, I fear thats the impression I've given off.
The EVE fanbois are just using the strawman argument pretending that I stumbled into nulsec unaware. That is totally not true, which should be blindingly obvious from both of my posts about it. I didn't do it wrong, I set out to prove that EVE is a ganking game, and I did it.

Of course it was unavoidable that when I wrote about PvP in EVE, I came out strongly against it. Check my blog, I have strong opinions against PvP, 7 years worth of archives. That reflects my personal attitude towards PvP in general, and is not specific to EVE, although of course EVE has a particularly asymmetric form of PvP due to the absence of fixed objectives.

I'm not an EVE fanboi by any means and I can clearly see the flaws in your arguments here.

You say you set out to prove that EVE is a ganking game (I'm curious to know exactly where you stated that), but you've done so such thing. Even by a reasonably acceptable definition of ganking, all you've proven is that you can be killed by flying through a gate that opens into someone else's territory.

I can prove anything I set out to prove if I make my definitions broad enough and my data points few and narrow enough. Want me to "prove" that WoW is a ganking game? All right, I'll just make a new Horde character and dance around naked outside an Alliance town. There, point proven! Right?

It's fine if you're against PvP, but all you've done is set forth to prove to yourself that you don't like something by causing it to happen to yourself. You've accomplished nothing and demonstrated nothing. You haven't offered any decent commentary on the situation or shown you have any desire to understand the paradigm behind what happened to you.

What you've done is the like me saying that I dislike raiding (you: PvP) and joining the worst PUG I can find for the toughest dungeon in the game (you: going into controlled nullsec space alone and gimpy) and then using that negative experience to "prove" that raiding sucks, or is unfair or flawed in some way (you: "It is negative sum PvP in which *both* sides are worse off."). It just doesn't work.

Call it a strawman argument if you wish, but I'd love to see you demonstrate the logical flaws in what I've said.
Eve has got a huge tactical/strategic component to their PvP. It's not something that is immediately obvious to the outsider. So here's a little story of asymmetric warfare:

We were in a small/medium roaming gang, battlecruiser (BC) heavy. We had 3 very high SP characters (2 players). One was a Falcon (Electronic Warfare boat, force multiplier) and a Scimitar (remote shield repair boat "healer", another force multiplier). The other high-SP guy was in a max-skilled BC. Total number about 16 (including to scouts in paper-thin cloaky ships).

We engaged a gate camp that had multiple bubbles, interceptor, battleships (BS) and some BCs. Higher SP then our average.

We slaughtered them and then again when they reshipped. We lost the falcon and a cruiser (who's pilot it turns out hadn't realized he couldn't use his missile launchers!).

Why did we win?

(1) We had a scout warp in first and provide use count of enemies, locations and etc. They didn't so knew nothing about us.

(2) We had a scout in the system "across" from the system the fight happened in. They didn't so had split their fleet between both gates.

(3) We jumped in a bait (the high-SP BC) which they took. Then we all jumped in. They knew how many of us there were and not what we were in. They scattered. Suddenly we went from firepower parity to huge advantage.

(4) Our logistic (healer) did a great job (so much so he forgot his falcon for too long... pop.)

(5) We had constant (although hectic for a while) re-assessment of the situation and calling of the next most critical target to kill. They didn't seem to coordinate their fire.

Most of our fleet had 2.5-5.0 million SPs. This was 10 jumps inside nullsec (in L4X-FH while it was held by CURSE.)
Why would you expect a "sandbox" to have no rules at all? Even real world sandboxes obey the laws of gravity. And if multiple players are present simultaneously, the rules of human psychology will also apply (sharing, negotiating, etc.).

What you did with your "experiment" was to jump in a "sandbox" with some big kids, without even bringing a shovel, and essentially demand that they lend you a shovel and let you take over a corner of "their" sandbox.

It's not institutionalized "bullying" that's the problem here, it seems more like an institutionalized sense of "entitlement." You seem to feel entitled to go anywhere you want. Sadly, just like in the real world, there are some things that have to be earned. Even in a sandbox.

And to be perfectly blunt, if you're going to set the tone of the conversation by calling people "bullies," it should hardly surprise you when they react negatively and, effectively, call you a "wuss."

How about you look at it from the point of view of the "bullies." They've invested their time and resources into building a POS. They're investing their time defending that POS against attack. Now some newbie frigate pops out of the wormhole. Is he a lost newbie? Or is he a spy for another corporation scoping out defenses before an attack? Would YOU take the chance and let him live?

Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence. Never attribute to incompetence that which can be explained by a lack of information (or perspective) on your part....
Re JDangerous:

Re A) I was referring to the scams, more after the "Dominion opens up lo/no sec come join us" patch, which recruited people/corps to join them and did not end well for the doe-eyed carebears once they arrived.

re C: "They have absolutely nothing to gain by killing you" - They have nothing to gain if I Tobold or I take an Ibis to Rancer either. Personally, I do not find this a creditable argument. At all. I suspect if I complained on the forums about my industrial being killed in hisec where it was safe, I would receive many comments about safer not safe etc. I do not think there was financial profit in most Hulkadon or Jihad kills.

You are correct that most people/corps are helpful. But if 99% of the people in the corp are wonderful, helpful people and one person is a goon/fgriefer/"playing the game the way they enjoy" then my Hulk or Freighter or BPO is gone. Yeah, they could have just suicided me, but it takes much fewer people to kill a corpies freighter than to suicide it in Jita.

I have zero problem with killing/being killed for 0.0 Sov, RvB, FW. And zero problem if my Inty with 100m cargo is destroyed. It is the lol kills that I feel are unchaperoned children of whatever age.

Losing a Hulk would be a major annoyance and a freighter even more so. Not that I would undock during a wardec, but losing a ship due to a spy would just be an unfortunate act of war. But losing a considerable portion of my assets due to what I would consider griefing, regardless of what you/they would call it, would be very, very annoying. This is not life where you need to cowboy up and keep on going. It is something I pay CCP for entertainment. I would probably move on.

Finding an interesting chat channel would be worthwhile. So I see the risk/reward of the 10% or 1$ or 0.1% of the worst people in the corp as not being worth the risk of being in the corp.

My point is that CCP designed EVE so that joining a corporation had many downsides. Some people may say the benefits outweigh the risks, but the downsides are far more than in other MMOs I know off. And has a target audience of customers that will employ those downsides. So my thesis is that if working with others is something you want to do, you would be better off paying for a different MMO. Even if you are correct and the benefits to most people of joining a corp outweigh the negatives, then it still does not change the statement that there are other MMOs out there with less onerous grouping mechanisms.
"It sounds to me like "fun and interesting for new players" activities that have been suggested all involve avoiding combat."

Actually it's more like Tobold asked for the ones that avoid combat. PvE combat doesn't become terribly lucrative or interesting until you can fly a battlecruiser. Even then outside a few public complexes and arguably some of the better level 3 and 4 missions, you would have to wander into open PvP zones to really see the best of it.

For a newbie combat pilot, my advice would be to arrange duels with your corp mates. Usually the duels end at 50% armor or hull and not at ship destruction, so you aren't blowing each other away. Meanwhile you get the chance to test out various fits and find out what combinations are actually combat fit. Other than that, usually you'll have at least one combat heavy pilot in the corp who will try to arrange semi-regular roaming low sec gangs. If not, well then you can be that guy and get some good experience being an actual fleet commander. instead of replying to the actual topic and making suggestions about things Tobold can do that might make him see their game in a better light EVE players continue to argue and bicker over them/their game being casted in a negative light...

That definitely doesn't make me want to rush out and buy EVE. I salute the few people in here that are respecting the topic and contributing to it.

Anyone know of guides or tips for newbies on how to use the market effectively? During my trial play I really liked the games AH, but didn't have time to really delve into it.
To Bigeyez:

I'd suggest looking in the certificate planner to get an idea of what skills are useful to train for real market manipulation. As far as guides I don't know of any, but that isn't my focused area of gameplay. Basic real world principals hold true, buy low, sell high.

Websites such as and can help you find some items that are selling low in various places and high in others. Eve-Central's trade route planner can be useful, but set the age of records really low (12 or 24 hours max) or you are going to find a lot of the high profit trips have been snatched up. (Always check the stations as well.)

Once you get a good amount of seed money you can start placing buy orders on the market in either trade hubs or more distant locations. Wait for people to sell you goods at this lower price, then transport the goods yourself to high sec for profit. Often times players don't want to place goods on the market and wait for them to sell so they'll sell to buy orders simply to get the fast ISK.

The original post has four paragraphs. The first paragraph is intro. The second is about Tobold's negative view of PvP. The third is a general criticism of EVE players based on his preconceptions. In the fourth he gets around to asking for activities EVE newbies can engage in.

If I played EVE, I might suggest some fun activities for newbies. But I don't play EVE. So alas, I'm stuck with responding to the =other= 3/4 of the post....

And no, I don't play EVE. I have no interest in PvP. I have no interest in games that essentially require grouping. I just think it's silly when someone who dislikes PvP goes to a PvP zone (intentionally, mind you), dies, and then complains that people in PvP zones kill strangers.
I am not going to say join a corp. Both because I am a bit of a solo player and because other commenters have already suggested it.

For a solo inclined new player I would suggest roaming ratting and scanning. Even with just the ship board scanner you can usually find something to visit in high sec systems, and at 0.8 and higher most destroyers can handle it. In a battle cruiser, the range of systems that it is worth doing this in is wider.

While you could do this in a small group of systems, there is one advantage in travelling a lot for this, the occasional newbie asking for help in a mission in local. I've actually had a bit of fun with my general purpose battle cruiser this way, and while the player interaction is infrequent, it is still fun. And no, I don't gank them. I ususally leave them all the loot and salvage too.

Most of the time I fly a raven for missions, so for this excercise I take a blaster/drone Myrmidon. Flying it in combat is a lot more involved.
If you enjoy scanning, then do that. For more of a challenge, try to scan down other players (you can either do this for the purposes of invading their mission and stealing salvage/loot from them, or 'ganking' them, or simply for shits and giggles) For even more of a challenge try scanning other players down in low security space, where they should be on the lookout for your probes and will be moving around alot more.

If you do this for a pirate gang (against your principles I know, but hear me out) You never even have to be on the same grid as any PvP. You scan someone down, get a lock, and as long as you're a squad leader you can warp your compatriots into the fray without ever decloaking or leaving your safespot. You need never partake in PvP to enjoy it.

Scanning down other players is a whole different kettle of fish from scanning down static sites. First you have to track them down to a general locality using the directional scanner, then you have to use your probes to get a lock on them, and you have to do it quickly. The longer your probes are in space, the more likely that you'll be spotted and your target will move, necessitating starting the whole process from scratch.
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