EVE Online: Diary Of A Noob Part 3

Click here to read Part 2.

Welcome to the EVE Online: Diary Of A Noob Part 3!

So who do you want to be? That is the question I finished off with last week and the question I will begin with today. As I have stated before, you can try doing everything in EVE Online, but you will never be great at anything. The game forces you to set your own boundaries, just because all the skills in the game can be learnt, doesn’t mean they should be. You can walk down any path and the paths are created by the players themselves, two players who both excel at mining may do so in completely different ways. The freedom to pick whatever variation of skills you like can be both a blessing and a curse, it is very easy to get distracted and you must tunnel vision to a degree. It’s nice to go buy up every skill you can get your hands on and learn it, but it won’t help you and it will just waste time you could spend learning more important skills.

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I obviously want to help with this issue and guide you in at least the general direction of where you want to go. It’s quite easy when I ask who you want to be for you to say that you want to be a powerful pirate or a wealthy businessman. Having a general idea of what you want to be is the easiest part, but then you must figure out how you will reach that point. Having free will means you must make your own choices and are basically left to your own devices when figuring out how to become the best pirate or businessman. To put it bluntly, there is no one right way to do things in EVE. My rule of thumb so far has been, if it works for you then it is right. I’m not sure how more experienced players would view that opinion but it’s the one piece of advice I would give anyone. Figure out what you want to be, who you want to be and then become that pilot however you see fit.

Throughout the next few articles I will talking about how to get started with each career path, giving you a simple nudge in the what is hopefully the right direction. These won’t be sure-fire ways to become rich and successful but they will help you wrap your head around the beginning steps. This will hopefully assist you on your way to forging your own career path and eliminating most of the early questions in the process if I can. As we go along I will be conducting some interviews with more experienced players, offering tips and advice for the particular area they excel in. Look forward to these as they will be a great help I am sure and we will even take a look at what it’s like to run a Corporation. So back on track, last week I stated that my main end goal was going to be PvP. My plan is to train skills based around PvP but also as a secondary focus I will mine and craft for a second income stream. 

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When beginning your journey as a pilot, it is best to focus your attention in one direction and establishing yourself before moving on. Today we will be talking about  the main activities I participate in and also the first of our topics, Ratting and Missions.Ratting as I mentioned last week is the act of killing NPC Pirates, aka Rats. I have decided to include Ratting with Missions because they go hand in hand together and if you are doing one you might as well do the other in this case. Ratting is something you can always do at any time and almost anywhere, plus it is a decent source of ISK. I mentioned the world was split up into 5,000 sectors, these sectors are like zones and each of these zones has a security rating. The higher the security rating the safer that sector is. Security ratings go as high at 1.0 and low as -1.0, with .1 intervals. 

In each sector there are planets, space stations, asteroid belts, stargates and a whole lot of space. Around certain stargates and asteroid belts, NPC Pirates will spawn and attack anyone who enters the area. Rats only appear in sectors with a security status of 0.8 or below, the lower the security rating, the harder the rats become. Once a security rating drops to 0.0 or below, it’s considered Null-Sec and Ratting here will bring chance of facing ‘boss rats’. As you progress with your skills and acquire better ships and weapons, you will be able to begin progressing towards lower security levels until you finally face -1.0 rats and claim a massive reward. So Ratting is basically farming mobs over and over, this is profitable because all rats have a bounty on their head and killing them rewards you with this bounty and any loot on their ship. Obviously the lower the security rating, the greater the bounty and loot. 

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So where do you begin? After completing your Military missions for the tutorial trainers you will be rewarded with a Frigate. For me as a Minmatar this was a Rifter, a very popular ship for fast flying and gunning. Complete these missions, get your ship or buy a Rifter cheap off the market and you’re almost good to go. Before you can go and start blowing up rats, you will need to fit your ship with weapons and defences so you don’t get blown to bits. You would of come across a tutorial on fitting your ship in the beginning and if you haven’t by this point then I would like to know how you made it! So instead of going into detail about putting fittings on ships, I am just going to give you a resource to find what fittings to use for what ships. Click Here for a Ship Matrix, find your ship on the table and click it for information on the recommended fittings.

You will most likely have to buy these fittings off the market, and the ones stated there may or may not be a bit advanced for your skill level. If it is then just buy the lower rank weapon of the same type or a more affordable version. Now an important thing to take into account is when you are looking at items on the marketplace, check the skills they require. Skills must also be bought on the marketplace if you haven’t obtained them from missions, and if you haven’t learnt the skills already you will need to do so before you can use the fittings. So gear up as best you can and as close to the Ship Matrix as possible, or find your own variety it is up to you. You might even have some more in-depth information by googling for example ‘Rifter Fitting Guide’, replacing Rifter with your ships name. Research what fittings are good for your ship, learn the skills required and buy the parts and finally you are good to go!

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Now to begin Ratting, all you need to do is find a sector with a security rating of 0.8 or below. I recommend starting off in a 0.6 sector first for some easy targets, if you need to drop back to 0.7 or 0.8 for more practice. Enter a sector, warp to an asteroid field and look around to see if there are any rats. Generally red boxes will appear as soon as you warp in, if they don’t you can just warp to the next asteroid field. Keep rotating between fields killing rats and collecting their bounties, once they become too easy you can move down a security level. As you make cash spend it towards buying new skills to use better weapons and buy better ships, never put all your ISK into one ship though. One thing to remember in any part of EVE is, don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose. If you put all your ISK into one ship and then it is blown up in battle, you are left with your crappy starter ship that will make your life a nightmare.

To help combat this loss, EVE does allow you to insure your ships. This is a must for any ship you will be flying that you don’t want to be wasted, you pay a set fee every 60 days and if your ship is blown up you receive a payout of ISK to buy a new ship. This payout maxes out at just over 200,000 ISK though, so it isn’t a way to instantly replace your ship and more of a means to lessen the impact. This 200,000 ISK makes a huge difference if you have no ships left and lets you at least gather some essentials to begin the journey back to where you were. Taking all of this into consideration, it is important to manage your flow of ISK and never be left broke. The way I approach it is if i’m looking at buying upgraded fittings, if I can’t afford to buy 2 of everything, I keep on ratting. This way if you lose one ship, you still have a replacement that you can be much more careful with. Always try to have a few back-up ships on hand, because death is a very real threat.

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It won’t take long before you are sitting in 0.5 sectors, unchallenged and undefeated. Don’t get cocky however, jumping down to 0.3-0.1 sectors will bring on new challenges, rats can disable your ship from targeting them or remove your ability to warp away to safety. The last thing you want to do is get stuck and killed by pirates before you have even reached 0.0, so pace yourself and make sure you are upgrading your skills and fittings as you can. Don’t be in a rush, take your time and build some wealth. If you bite the bullet and take some extra time to set up a hangar full of ready-for-battle ships, a cargo hold full of fittings and a wallet full of credits, your going to have a much easier time. It’s better to do something right the first time, rather than rush and have to attempt it 100 times. Build up an arsenal at a pace that is comfortable for you, don’t ever feel rushed because remember, you are playing how you want to play. Eventually you will make your way to Null-Sec and that’s when the real ISK will be made.

So that’s what i’ve mainly been doing with my time, roaming 0.5 sectors and blowing away pirates in my badass ship, D-Rifter. It doesn’t feel like mindless grinding, you never know what you are going to face and you must approach each opponent differently. There is always an element of surprise and each encounter gets better than the last as you head through the sectors. This brings me to missions, another decent source of ISK and one you would already be familiar with. At each space station, in each sector, is a group of Agents who offer missions to pilots. These missions you will have already been acquainted with, travelling to dead space to kill rats or transporting valuables to another space station. Missions generally offer quick and easy ISK and don’t differ much from Ratting. You show up at a place, shoot at pirates and collect a reward. If you are ever getting bored of Ratting you can keep on the same path but add a little more excitement.

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Because you are killing the same types of enemies, it’s quite easy to use the same ships for both careers. This makes it an easy way to branch out between the two, seeing as Ratting is basically missions without the Agents. Missions have levels of difficulty, to unlock the higher level missions players must gain standing with the faction the agent belongs to. Standing is your reputation with a particular faction or corporation, completing missions for a faction or killing their enemies will reward you with standing. Once your standing is high enough you are able to complete harder missions, later on these generally require groups to complete but bring in a lot of ISK. There are some decent ships for soloing however, so it is a lucrative career choice. Alternatively if you aren’t a fighter pilot and still want to do missions, Mining missions are completed by collecting resources and delivering them to clients, allowing Miners an alternative way to bring in ISK.

This is all I have for you in regards to Ratting and Missions today, if it seems like something you are interested in then I hope this helps with your first steps. When finding missions a great resource to find out where specific agents are is the EVE Online Agent Finder available in-game or at this website here. Search for the Division you want and find an agent in a sector near you, or find out where the next level agents are hiding. Soon I will return with Part 4 where I will discuss Mining and we will hear from an experienced Miner from the corporation, Interstellar Fleet. Stay tuned for more EVE Online: Diary of a Noob, right here at MMOGames.com

One more thing, I would just like to say to anyone else just starting out, comment below and tell us how your experience is going so far. There is a lot to learn about EVE Online, it’s extremely complex and there is a million ways to do everything… it’s the f*****g hardest game in the world, but every moment is breathtaking and the more you learn, the easier it gets. Trust me, I only lie sometimes.
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