EVE Online is arguably the acme of the sandbox-style MMO, where players are allowed to go anywhere and do anything (or die trying). Such an open-ended universe can sometimes leave players stranded and unable to determine what to do next. That's where we come in: here are ten unconventional ways to occupy yourself in EVE Online.
Try Something New
Run An Incursion: Incursions are a sort of group PvE where Sansha's Nation NPCs lock down a constellation, ruining it for money-making. Players then form fleets to take out the NPCs in an escalating series of sites that involve everything from mining to taking out an NPC supercarrier. To do so requires at least a small group of people, and usually involves coordinated remote armor or shield repairing. In high-security space, players can often join a fleet just by wandering into an affected area (listed under the journal button on your sidebar) and chatting in the window that automatically opens, though it is hit or miss. This is also a great activity to try at the corporate level. Grab some of your pals, organize your fleet composition, and head out to the nearest Incursion area.
Jump Through A Wormhole: Got a PvP-capable ship that can also fit an expanded probe launcher? Know how to probe out wormholes? Then why haven't you tried going through one. Just be sure to insure your ship, update your clone, and bring enough probes so that losing a few by accident won't hurt you.
Read A Different EVE Forum: Each of the official EVE forums has a certain milieu associated with it. Each has different EVE Online guides, different evergreen threads, and different opinion makers. Pick a forum outside your normal field of interest and spend an afternoon reading it. You might be surprised at what you learn.
Low-Sec Planets: Getting a command center down on a valuable planet in low-security space may take a few tries. It may take half a dozen blown-up industrials, each with a cargo of correctly-flavored command centers. But once your command center is launched onto the planet, there is currently no way to get rid of it. Once there, it can cheerfully churn out at much material as you can store (often quite a bit if you design your model around it), until you get a chance to breeze through and pick it up. Materials can be combined into ever more advanced goods if you change what your refineries and harvesters are doing, or you can export the materials back to high-security space. A local station may also be a decent place to sell goods, depending on how safe you deem it. I have heard estimates that the volume materials produced in low-sec are about five times as in high-sec. That's quite a bump in profits, even with the periodic industrial ship loss.
Steal Ore: The lowest of the low, or the funniest, most-accessible way to earn ISK while PvPing at the same time? You decide! As miners churn through ore in asteroid belts, it is often more efficient to drop their product into a jet-can floating in space, rather than return to a station every time their cargo hold is full. If you are willing to risk that miner getting angry and having CONCORD's permission to attack you, you can take the ore out of those cans for yourself. While it isn't going to make you a billionaire, it is better than no income. Note that most miners will get mad rather than attack you, but there is also a fine art to goading hulk pilots into attacking and then taking them down with combat-fit industrials. As a profession, this is not for those that eschew personal conflict or bad feelings, but for those that are it is a fine wine.
Size Up The Market: Most EVE traders usually have at least a couple long-term investments sitting on the back burner, ready to turn a profit or catch on fire. But what will be the next big thing that will turn millionaires into billionaires? There are three ways to find out: the first is to travel back in time from the future to make a detailed to yourself. This is impractical for a number of reasons. The second is to spend some time crunching numbers with the market in-game, paying particular attention to how much of a commodity is on the entire market, and how much is traded per day. When an item is traded much more than it is being produced, it might be a good time to invest. The third way is to spend a few days reading everything on upcoming patch changes, the market discussion forum, and interviews with CCP developers, and to see what seems promising. The fresher your information and the fewer people know it, the more likely that there is some ISK to made on it.
Adopt A Newbie: EVE Online is a hard game to learn, and new players need to do a lot of reading and playing to get in the swing of things. This is why you, as a more established player, should adopt a new player and impart some of your wisdom to them. The recipient of one-on-one guidance is more likely to continue playing EVE Online, and will become an asset to their corporation much faster. Fair warning: don't get your newbie too used to free handouts. You don't want to spoil him.
Help Strangers: People get stuck on missions and need help, all the time. Just wander throughout the solar systems near Jita and Amarr, and there is nearly always someone looking for some help. If not, you can always offer in local chat. The biggest system where this happens, bar none, is Arnon. This is because it is where some of the more dangerous parts of the epic mission arc assigned by Sister Alitura (an EVE agent). Depend on the time of day, someone usually asks for help every few minutes.
Lead A Frigate Fleet: Most players in EVE Online have never been in a consensual PvP fight. Help others get past the intimidation factor by banding together in an expendable fleet of frigates and sallying forth into low- or null-sec. Because the ships used are cheap, everybody can afford to attend and nobody will get too mad if they blow up. An alert player will generally learn more about EVE game mechanics getting blown up than they will blowing things up, so even if your fleet is wiped completely out it should be a learning experience.
Best Of All
Write An EVE Guide: When I first started playing EVE Online in 2007, there was almost nothing in the way of reliable information available. The best places to run missions and best EVE agents? Impossible to determine. The best moon mineral locations? A closely guarded secret. How POS mechanics work? Laughable and impossible to decipher, at the same time. Since then, things have improved significantly: CCP has their own wiki, while media sites like Ten Ton Hammer give more attention to the fine details with hundreds of EVE Online guides. Perhaps most importantly, the culture and nature of the game itself has changed to the point where expertise in a given game mechanic is no longer restricted to a few dozen people. You can help spread the love by writing your own guide about whatever you like. Fair warning: don't write specific details about a lucrative way to get ISK unless you want to have all the profit competed out of it.