EVE Online probably has the most lively metagame of any MMO. Players routinely spy on each other, communicate with each other, and develop complex business plans. Between the politicking, espionage, deep economy, and drama-laden corporations, there are many ways to stay involved in EVE Online without actively playing the game.
Here are seven ways to play EVE Online without actively playing:
7. Autopilot Through High-Security Space
Dedicated industrialists and traders inevitably need to move things around. If robotics spikes in price at Jita, but there are still vast quantities at a much lower price in Rens, you've got to get that stuff to Jita. But doing so takes forever. So it is much better to set up your industrial for autopiloting while you eat lunch or go for a run. Be sure to estimate the value of your cargo and keep it below the numbers that would make you a good target for suicide ganking.
6. Long Production Jobs
style="font-style: italic;">The most successful EVE players are probably the ones with really boring office jobs.
If there is a dedicated market for something in the area where you live in EVE and you have the ingredients for it, do not be afraid to put in really huge production jobs, whether you are at the computer or not. Popular kinds of ammunition like scourge missiles will always sell, so you might as well install build jobs that run overnight or longer so that you are making the most ISK from your production slots.
Pro tip: Even though you might wake up to a fat stack of ammo, don't put it all up on the market at once. Smart traders keep some stashed away or sell the same items in two locations at once. If it sells in Agil, it will probably sell in Orvolle, and you'll be all the richer for it.
5. Read EVE Guides
Polishing your personal skills and building up your knowledge base are the two best things you can do to increase your worth in EVE Online. Researching how to PvP, run missions, or build an EVE business is the first step to being successful at it. Knowledgeable players are valuable players, both to their corporations and themselves. Pro tip: I know where you can find some good literature. Start here.
4. Chat With Corpmates
Communication with your friends in EVE need not stop when you log out. Indeed, the most effective players are those that remain in contact with their friends while logged out of EVE, be it through EVE Gate, IRC, Ventrilo, a facebook group, or forums. This constant communication makes the game more engaging to you as a player, and can keep you informed of any developing space crises that may make it it important for you to log on. Better to be told that your friend's titan is going down in flames and be able to make an informed decision about whether to join the fray than hear about it afterwards.
Chatting on Ventrilo is also a good way to get to know your corpmates and let them get to know you. They can help you get ahead in EVE, tip you off about business opportunities, and generally, improve your enjoyment of the game. As cheesy as it sounds, you could even form friendships that outlast your interest in EVE. And, at the least, it's always hilarious to run into the friends that you've been chatting with on Ventrilo in person at live EVE events like Fanfest.
3. Keep Up With Current Events
The universe of New Eden is constantly changing. Developers release new game features regularly. Alliances rise and fall. Planetary materials double in value overnight. Keeping abreast of all of these changes is crucial because of the interconnectedness of EVE's economy. A new war on one side of the universe could cause a major price spike in weapons on the other side, and you could be the only guy with the supply if you buy early.
There are a few good sources for reliable news in EVE Online. The ISD News, published by CCP, is probably the most read news but it is not the timeliest. Stories are often published with a week's delay and the details can be surprisingly shaky. For better news, I recommend kugutsumen, an incredibly active site discussing up-to-date alliance politics. EVE News24 is another site that is growing in popularity. Its virtue is that it is constantly updated. Be forewarned, however, that many of its writers have biased perspectives. Reading the comments on individual articles can provide the necessary context to may help you figure out what actually happened.
2. Experiment In EFT
style="font-style: italic;">The more spreadsheets you have, the better.
The EVE Fitting Tool is a program that's essential to outfitting your ship. It allows you to experiment with different set-ups and modules without actually buying them or being logged in. It gives hard data and real numbers on the effectiveness of any given ship set-up. Even though it's not run by CCP, it is nearly official. You can be sure that your opponents and rivals are using it each time they buy a new ship or devise a new battle strategy. EFT can help you find something that works for you, or even better, something that sends them home crying.
1. Refine Business Plans
There isn't a plan in EVE that couldn't be made better. Taking a step back and reviewing the big picture of your business plan may give you insight into how to improve. I frequently make convoluted supply chain diagrams and spreadsheets to figure out where I could outsource or save ISK and what processes are a waste of my time. Without a spreadsheet, you're like a blind man in the wilderness, but with one (or many), you have the tools to accurately understand and refine your business model, which goes a long way to becoming an EVE tycoon.
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