Posted Wed, Dec 21, 2011 by Space Junkie
EVE Online's creators have decided to give us players the choice of several gifts this holiday season. But which is most valuable? Is that the best gift to get? With such a bewildering array of choices, this guide will most certainly be helpful.
The players of EVE Online have always been receiving gifts from CCP, the makers of EVE. They give us special ships on EVE Online's birthday, on christmas, and sometimes for no reason at all. Sometimes the gifts are helpful, sometimes they are valuable, and sometimes they are just cool.
Gifts help CCP keep EVE Online players subscribed longer, and help new players have enough in-game cash (ISK) to enjoy themselves. Unlike in years past when we'd just get a single gift, CCP is giving us a choice here. This is useful because it presents a de facto poll of where players' interests lie. If players are really interested in clothing they will take the aurum option. If players want to manufacture, they may take the fuel block blueprints. If players have wanted to try using boosters but have never had the chance due to prices and illegality, this is a good way to do so.
But we pro players do not care for where our interests lie. Indeed, we care only which is most valuable. Finding that out was actually way, way more painful than you'd think.
How To See The Gift List
It is important that you log into your account management on the official EVE Online as soon as you read this, because the deadline for choosing is less than 24 hours away. If you do not pick a gift, you may not receive anything. It is possible that CCP will assign a default gift and forgot to tell us that they would, but I'm not counting on it.
So: log into your account management, click on the gift banner on the right. Pick your gift. Once you have selected your gift and clicked the continue button at the bottom of the page, you can forget about the goods for a while. In a week or so, the gift icon will appear at the bottom of your character selection screen, when you log in. Pick a character that is docked in a station (or log in, move a character to a station, and repeat) then accept your gift. Voila.
Choosing Your EVE Online Gift
As of this writing, there are 23 possible gifts to choose from. Many of them involve more than one item, and several include items that are rare or otherwise not really within EVE Online's general day to day experience.
So which to choose? As I see it, there are three main ways to approach this.
First, you could choose the package that you think will be the most valuable on the day you receive it. That way you can flip it onto the Jita market (or wherever) and call it a day.
Second, you could choose a difficult to obtain item that you expected to increase in value over time. This might be a good choice if you expect the item with the highest raw ISK value to be chosen too much and decrease in value, before you can take advantage of it. Or perhaps you won't be around in EVE Online during the holidays, and will not be able to play the market to its fullest extent. If so, a long-term strategy might be the best choice.
Third and finally, you may have a pressing immediate need for one of the gifts. Maybe you live in a station in deep null-sec, and would rather have faction ratting ammo than ISK. Maybe you are like me, and have a bunch of starbase towers that are going to need fuel blocks down the line, and would rather have some fuel appear in the middle of nowhere and reduce the need to import or produce your own. Other possibilities include you really, really liking Quafe Zero for PvP, or being so new to the game that a pile of frigate ammo will help you more than ISK.