Daily Tip:Never go into a wormhole with a ship that does not have a probe launcher and probes.

EVE Online: Newbies in Space

Posted Sun, Apr 19, 2009 by The Mittani

It was Janurary of 2006, and North Star Networks (NSN), a corporation in the elite Mercenary Coalition alliance, was running into trouble. They had been hired on a short-term contract with a simple mission: go to S-UA84 in Syndicate and slaughter Goonfleet, a corporation made up almost entirely of newbies unable to fly anything larger than a frigate. A small outfit specializing in fiendishly expensive and faction-fit Heavy Assault Cruisers (technically, a 'heavy assault ship', but no one calls them this), NSN had anticipated easy pickings. Sure, Goonfleet outnumbered them by a ratio of 4 to 1, but they were newbies. Newbies in frigates couldn't even touch someone in a HAC; they had no armor, did no damage, and had no skills. Yet as soon as NSN entered Goonfleet territory, things began to go wrong. Swarms of tiny frigates began to mob the HACs; twenty goons would be destroyed for each NSN pilot, but the ammunition being used to shoot down a frigate cost more than the frigate itself. A single HAC lost was the equivalent of two whole fleets of frigates. A loss to newbies was simply inconceivable; the rest of the Mercenary Coalition was called into Syndicate to help NSN against Goonfleet. Something seismic was shifting in EVE, though few realized it at the time; the failed NSN contract was the beginning of the end of the Old Guard in EVE, and marked the ascendancy of the newbie.

EVE has legitimately acquired a reputation as being the most Darwinian of MMOs, and for many years that perception was advanced by CCP's unstated policy of doing their level best to make the game as newbie-unfriendly as possible. It seemed that the Icelanders affirmatively did not want the hoi polloi to play in their spaceship playground. In order to get past the barriers of entry, a prospective newbie would need to run through a formidable gauntlet of both tedium and frustration: nonexistent or incorrect documentation, a deliberately misleading playerbase, a character progression system inherently tilted towards the old guard, and quite possibly the world's most boring tutorial ever conceived in any game, anywhere, ever. These were the Bad Old Days.

Assuming that a newbie made it past the tutorial - or skipped it midway through, which was the most common reaction - he entered a world where skillpoints accumulated over time, which meant that it would be literally impossible to catch up to an older player’s level of power. The game forums were a minefield of players lying about how the game worked, and there was essentially no manual for the game at all - fundamental gameplay mechanics would change abruptly, and often the only way one would discover this is after getting blown up or surprised in some way. Economically, newbies were excluded entirely from the top level of the market because they had no way to acquire a T2 blueprint, which was the only way to produce a Tech 2 item or ship. These precious BPOs had been given out through a 'lottery system' in the earliest days of the game, and they granted a functional monopoly on production to the oldest and richest players. At an alliance level, T2 monopolies allowed certain sets of players to buy these precious items at or near build-cost, while on the open market they could only be acquired for up to two hundred times build cost - the Cap Recharger IIs spring to mind. With their superior knowledge of the game, higher skillpoints, and better economic situation, the position of the 'old guard' in EVE was unassailable.

Even in this dark era, however, it was possible for a single newbie to make a difference. Scorned and ignored in 0.0, a newbie who managed to overcome the endemic fear of losing his ship that plagued most Empire-dwellers could wreak havoc. Armed with knowledge and training, even though he lacked in skillpoints and isk, one pilot, Paradigmblue, managed to tackle and hold a Moros dreadnought barely four days into EVE. "Two points on the Moros" became a rallying cry of the power of the newer players against the old.

Bust Out the Credit Cards: EVE Fanfest 2015 and EVE Vegas Tickets Now on Sale

It seems like the floodgates have officially opened on fan event ticket sales. If you haven't already broke the bank snagging tickets for SOE Live or BlizzCon, today CCP is giving you two more opportunities to do so as tickets have gone on sale for both EVE Vegas and EVE Fanfest 2015.

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Can’t make it down to Reykjavik, Iceland for EVE Fanfest 2014 in May? There’s an online streaming alternative.

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Wed, Apr 09, 2014

CCP reveals its plans for an epic celebration of the EVE universe at EVE Fanfest in May.

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Fri, Feb 28, 2014

The first issue of Dark Horse Comics’ new series featuring the true stories of EVE Online in comic form is now available.

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Thu, Feb 20, 2014

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