Monday, March 25, 2013

Eve Online: PLEX and YOU

So, I'm coming up on almost one month of playing EVE and still can't say enough about how awesome this game is. I don't know why I am writing these blogs, I've never blogged about anything before.

PLEX is an abbreviation for Pilot License Extension. These can be purchased with real money through the Eve website or they can be purchased in game with ISK, the currency used in the game to purchase everything you need.

Since Eve is a pay to play game (after the initial 14-21 day trial), you'll need to plan on how you intend to continue playing the game to finance the monthly fee. You can do missions, mine, kill other players, trade, etc, but eventually if you don't want to pay real life cash you'll need to find a way to extend your online play.

The PLEX value in game can range between 450,000,000 ISK to 600,000,000 ISK depending on where you are, and how readily available it is. Early on, it's going to be fairly difficult to earn this type of ISK to purchase a PLEX in game, but it's not impossible at all. We'll cover creative ways of earning ISK in the future, but for now just know that if your are resourceful, you can play this game and never have to spend real money.

Another use for PLEX is to buy one with real money, and turn around and sell it for lots of ISK. Some people recommend buying one PLEX immediately to jump start your finances, but I recommend waiting at least 2-3 weeks for multiple reasons. In the beginning you're going to make lots of mistakes, and that's ok , this is a learning experience. Best that you make those mistakes and not have them be too costly. If you have the money you'll spend it, then get blasted and then lose the money. Another reason why I think you should wait is the early level 1 missions you run will earn you between 25,000 - 200,000 ISK per mission, and the skills you receive and the lessons you learn are necessary. If you go out and buy a PLEX day one, you don't have much incentive to run the missions because you already have enough cash. What's 50,000 ISK when you have 500,000,000 just sitting in your wallet? It kind of takes the fun out of running missions, or salvaging, or mining, etc. Once you can legitimately buy expensive stuff and not lose it immediately, then it makes more sense.

One final thought on PLEX, and cargo in general that you don't want to lose. Don't ever carry a PLEX on your ship and move around with it in your Cargo. In the event your ship gets destroyed, your cargo is jettisoned into space, meaning that if someone scans your ship, sees that you have a PLEX in your cargo, you can almost guarantee they are going to blast you out of the sky and steal your PLEX, even in HighSec where they will be blasted for blasting you.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Eve Online: To Corp or Not to Corp???

I think the better question is really, when you should join a corp and when you should wait. Again, everyone's experience is different but I suggest you wait to join any corporation until after you've completed most if not all of the tutorial missions. There are Mining Corps, PvP Corps, PvE corps, etc. And you probably don't know what you want to do, or who you want to be until after you've played the game for a while.

You can always leave a corporation and find another one, so don't be afraid of making a life long decision that you can never change, but that doesn't mean go and try and join up with the first corp you come across. A common method of recruiting ( and trapping ) is Cargo Containers. You may have noticed by now depending on what system you're in a Cargo container or maybe twenty of them, floating around with a name of a corporation saying that they are recruiting. Some of these are legit, some of them are just trying to get you to go into lowsec space so they can blast you and pod you, or to give them money, or something else evil that you don't want to find out about.

Take your time, do your research before choosing your corp. Look them up online, read their profiles, try to do some digging as much as possible. Don't give them anything you don't have to, and don't risk anything you aren't willing to lose. Most corporations have a tax, and that's normal. Don't be afraid of the tax unless it's really high. I still don't know what constitutes really high, but I was personally comfortable paying 5% tax when I joined my corp. You may be comfortable with more, but be careful.

Unless you're joining a Lowsec corporation on purpose, don't trust them if they ask you to follow them to a lowsec system. You're just getting set up to get blasted.

Carebears.... took me a bit to figure out the term but I finally figured out what it means. It's a derogatory term for people that are afraid to take risks, live only in highsec, and never do anything illegal. My advise to you is to play the game however you want to, BUT the more you risk, the more you could gain. There is definitely more ISK to be made by taking chances, and if you made a mistake and go BOOM, then pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and learn from your mistake.

I've been podded 5-10 times already in my 3 weeks of play, and I don't regret any of them. Once again, if you can't afford to lose it, don't buy it/fly it.

Eve Online: Getting Started

I'm going to skip character creation, as I've only gone through it once and ended up choosing Gallente since that is the same race I choose when I created my character in DUST 514. I thought that maybe I'd be able to link the two somehow, but I never did figure out how to do that. I haven't picked up DUST since I started playing EVE so, I'm not sure it matters anymore anyways. 

Everyone has a different experience with Eve, and that's a good thing. There is no text book that says you should do X,Y,Z and that's how you play the game. What works for one person may not work for another. You're going to hear all kinds of advice online and in the game, and generally everyone has a different opinion of how you should do the exact same thing. The advice that follows is my advice and my opinion based on my experience of only 21 days playing the game. 

First off, I do recommended doing most if not all the tutorial missions at the starting station you begin at. I haven't done all of them yet myself but I think I've done about 75% of them. I recommend you go through these for multiple reasons. You'll earn 3-4 million ISK (money), learn the mechanics of the game, be given a bunch of free ships, and some of the core skills you need to get better skills later. 

Speaking of CORE skills, it took me a week or two to even figure out what Certificates were and what purpose they served. Certificates are ultimately proof that you've mastered some level of a skill group. Nobody really cares about your certificates, but they provide good plans for deciding on what you should train for. There are various levels of each certificate; basic, standard, improved, and elite. I have 2 of the 5 core certificates right now and I'm working on the other 3. I have lots of other skills that don't fall into these core certificates, but I'm starting to find there is a lot of value in spending the time getting the first level of core certificates.  Essentially, all the "Basic Certificates"; Core Capacitor, Core fitting, Core Integrity, Core Navigation, and Core Targeting, of which will give you the Core Competency Certificate. 

I recommend you spend the time to work on this Core Competency Certificate because all the skills will set a solid foundation for anywhere you want to go in the future. 

Eve Online: Welcome to the addiction

Greetings everyone. Today is day 21 of my addiction. My name is Val and I'm an Eve Online Addict.

It's a shame that this game has been out for a decade now, and I'm only now discovering it. Although maybe that's a good thing. I've played many online games before, but typically stay away from the ones that I believe cause my addiction to grab hold. Never played EverQuest, never played WoW, I did play Diablo I, but stayed away from II and III because I don't trust myself.

About a month ago I was browsing through the Playstation Network store and saw a free game called DUST 514. First person shooter that takes place on various planets, and you do stuff like capture strategic points and hold on to them or just all out deathmatch. DUST is still in beta testing, so there were a few bugs here and there but overall I enjoyed the experience.

In DUST, occasionally I witnessed these huge orbital strikes people were organizing and decimating the enemy with. I searched and I searched through the skills, weapons, tools, etc to try and see what I needed to do to try and acquire this awesome skill. After a few days of searching through the marketplace on DUST I gave up and googled it, and come across a video about Eve Online and DUST (two entirely different games) interacting with each other. I was fascinated at the real-time interaction between two video games living in the same universe.  Although I've been playing Eve Online for about 3 weeks now, I still have yet to be skilled enough to perform one of these orbital strikes, but that's ok.

I decided to log onto my computer, download the Eve 14 day trial and find out how a game survives for a decade with so many active members. While the game was downloading I kept thinking to myself "The Graphics are probably going to suck" "There is no way this will be fun for a newbie" "Glad I don't have to pay money to find out if the game will be worth it or not" ...... And wow.

This is the game I've been looking for so long, and I haven't even scratched the surface yet. Thousands of solar systems with thousands more planets, moons, space stations, etc. There are so many careers open to a player, and if you ever get tired with one type of career, you simply switch or do two, three, or more careers at once. Some people choose to become proficient at asteroid mining, others like to explore and find ancient ruins and salvage them for money, some people enjoy the politics or economics of trading (like wall street) others like to become the best one on one fighter they can be to try and blow other people up, and there are thousands of missions you can run just to keep yourself busy and make a little money on the side. Those are just a handful of the type of things you can do, with hundreds of other possibilities available.

This game isn't for everyone though. The controls take a few days to understand, exploration if you don't know what you're doing or where you're going can cause you to lose your ship, and there is always someone bigger and badder than you out there that wants what you have, or just wants to see you cry as they blow up your ship. If you get frustrated easily, don't have patience, and blindly trust that people are inherently good and honorable, then this game is not for you.

If you like a challenge, endless possibilities, great graphics, and an open universe with every type of personality you can find in the real world, then this game is for you. I look forward to writing a lot more blogs on my experiences and getting in to more detail on specifics, but a few rules you should know before you go.

1. If you can't afford to lose it, don't buy it.
2. Trust No One
3. Have fun