This is the first of a multi-part series focusing on the most frequently asked questions from players that are new to EVE Online. This portion concentrates on some of the most elementary questions that confront new players.
What are the best skills to train?
There are hundreds of skills in EVE Online. The ones that are best for you to train will depend on your interests and price range. For new pilot characters, however, you will want to train the so-called "learning skills" that allow you to learn other skills faster. Getting most of them to at least level IV will pay for themselves within a few days, while training the more advanced skills will do so within weeks or months.
To find learning skills, open your market browser, click on the 'Skills' tab, and click on the 'Learning' tab. Voila.
What is the best ship to fly?
A lot of the best skills and ships will depend on what interests you as a player, rather than there being any one best thing.
As time goes on and you need more performance, look at a potential ship's bonuses to try to figure out how that ship is useful. Read guides about particularly popular ships like the Drake or the Harbinger. Use the market browser to see what options you have for your particular EVE race's ships. Most of all, ask around. People that are playing EVE often like talking shop about what and how to fly ships.
A ship attacked me in high security space, but CONCORD did not intervene. Why not?
There are a few ways that players can avoid CONCORD and still blow each other up. The easiest is to declare war on your corporation. This cannot happen to you if you are in one of the NPC starter corporations that players begin the game in, by default, because those corporations are immune to war.
The more likely culprit is that the player in question left an item floating in space in a conspicuous location, and you took that item. CONCORD considers taking something from another player's wreck or jet-can to be stealing, and will give the owner 15 minutes in which to get revenge on the thief (in this case, you).
I keep having to pay ISK to send an EVE Mail or start a private conversation with another player, and vice-versa. What gives?
CCP designed their mailing and chatting systems in EVE Online to cost ISK by default, so that players would not be hammered by spam. These are called "CSPA Charges", with the CSPA standing for "CONCORD Spam Protection Act".
You can turn these CSPA charges off for yourself, so that others will not be asked to pay a fee to talk to you, or you can increase the ISK amount, though in the latter case it is good to remember that the cash goes to CONCORD rather than to you. This is done by opening up the EVE Mail screen, and clicking on the little triangle in the upper left corner. I recommend setting the fee to 0, because it is considered the mark of a newbie to still have CSPA charges turned on. Adding a person to your "People & Places" contacts list will allow them to circumvent any charges.
You will still be asked to pay the fee for other players that have not turned this off. They need to manually fix their charges or add you to their contacts list, as well.
What is the fastest way to make ISK?
The fastest way to make ISK for most new players is to hook up with more advanced players and help them run their missions. Older players often like having newer players follow them around, looting wrecks and salvaging so that they don't have to. If you are shy about working with others, running low-level missions is good, and will contribute toward your long-term mission grind should you choose that route. Be aware that most activities in EVE Online are more profitable when there is an element of cooperation involved.
Mining can be fun for the right kind of person, but unless you are in a max-skilled character with wormhole access, I wouldn't characterize it as especially profitable.
Mining is a bit of a pitfall for newbies, for a few reasons. First, the ISK earned seems like easy money, even though it pales in comparison to other activities, especially with new characters. Second, the profitability of the ores that are available in high-sec space has been steadily plummeting, but competition to mine those ores is only going up.
The reasons for that are much debated, but the bottom line is that mining is only minimally profitable for the time spent doing it. Some players enjoy the activity because it does not require much attention and because it allows for social activities at the same time. That's fine, but it is not the path to riches unless, perhaps, one is doing so in one of the more dangerous areas of the game, and even then there are more profitable things that could be done with your time. More importantly, there are better things to do with your skillpoints, especially for first-time players.
Where can I find more newbie-oriented information?
As with most things in life, Google can usually find a few helpful answers to EVE-related questions. The caveat is that there is also a ton of bad or outdated information out there, so be sure to check dates and compare multiple sources if you at all suspect a source's accuracy or there is ISK on the line.
Some of the more newbie-oriented Ten Ton Hammer guides to EVE Online include the following: