Community Spotlight: Thirty Days in EVE Online
Remember the awe you felt the first time you undocked from a station to witness the majesty of space? Did you sit and stare at nebulae, suns, and stars? Maybe you giddily found something to shoot at watched your guns as they created beautiful explosions. Or perhaps you warped from place to place, reveling in the boom of the warp drive and checking out everything you could find.
New players find EVE Online every day, drawn in by stories of rising and falling empires, epic battles, betrayal, and more. But veterans of EVE, so often referred to as bitter by themselves in grim sarcasm, rarely get a chance to experience those feelings of wonder again. But there is one rookie who has been sharing his journey with the world for everyone to remember what it felt like in their first few days.
Kidabeybe Ahmed is sharing his first 30 days in EVE Online and they are magical.
Kudabeybe Ahmed is fresh to EVE Online. He began playing on November 24th after picking up an EVE Online account through Steam. Seeing that the offer would supply him with a sexy ship known as the Sarum Magnate, he decided to give the game a shot.
Of course it wasn't that simple. He had played another sci-fi game that he found dissatisfying. The experience had him yearning to play Homeworld again. He was looking around Steam for Homeworld when he stumbled across the EVE Online Starter Pack, which was selling for 75% off at the time.
He did some research on EVE. He'd heard about it before, but his experience in other MMOs had put him off the typical “grind, loot, level” routine. Of course, EVE is different. You do not need to log on every day to run quests and instances to get the best gear and keep up with your friends' levels. Even if you aren't logged into the game, your character continues to learn and grow.
And then he learned about PLEX. Believing himself to be a decent gamer, he considered PLEX a challenge. He asked himself, “Do I have the skills to get that PLEX and keep playing this game without paying for it?” He decided that he did, so he would make it his goal! How long would it take him to earn enough ISK where he could be supplied with a monthly PLEX?
An Indescribable Experience
Of course, goals are one thing, but there's always the one question a new player must ask themselves, “Will I enjoy this game?” That's something that not everyone answers with an affirmative. While trying to decide that, his brother gave him a brilliant idea: Since he is a new player, maybe others would like to see how a rookie handles things in EVE Online; the good, the bad, and the notorious.
Kidabeybe decided the idea had merit and began to record his journey. Summarizing his experiences so far is a challenge for him. He likens the task to trying to explain how to find the courage to ask someone out on a date. You really need to experience it yourself to begin understanding and appreciating what it is you can and cannot do.
In the short time he has played, a lot of what he has experienced is not what he expected. He began expecting to play a miner who traveled the universe in search of exotic minerals in unknown space. Of course, there is less traveling and exploring for the EVE miner and a lot more being efficient and learning how to be safe.
So instead he decided to try running missions. He bought a PLEX, sold it for 590 million ISK, and purchased a Caldari Navi Issue Osprey. For the level 1 missions he was running, the ship was far beyond sufficient. So after having run missions for a while, someone suggested he run the Sisters of EVE Epic arc.
Falling prey to the common misconception many newer players had, he thought “Wait a minute! Maybe I should get myself a bigger ship! Bigger ship means bigger launchers. Bigger launchers mean bigger missiles. Bigger missiles means quick kills.” With this 'great' thought process, he got himself a Caldari Navy Issue Drake.
And as with many such “bigger is better” decisions, he lost his Navy Drake on its first voyage to a group of pirates.
Though he describes that as a “somewhat upsetting experience” and a “blunder”, it made him realize one of the great things EVE offers; the constant fear of loss. Other games don't really penalize you for deaths or failures, at least not to the extent EVE does. It is a game where you can really lose a lot of your hard earned money, assets, time, and pride simply because you chose a bad strategy, made a mistake, were incompetent, or (like Kudabeybe) became complacent.
But it is also one of the biggest draws EVE has, and Kudabeybe finds it no different. There are so many little adventures, lessons, and headaches that he's gone through that he cannot just summarize it simply.
Kudabeybe has been recording and releasing a video for each day of his experience in EVE Online. It has covered everything from the creation of a character to his first steps in the universe to the loss of his first steps and beyond.
He uses Open Broadcaster Software to capture game-play, mainly because it allows him to customize the capture rate. Audacity is used along with it to capture his voice, using a CoolerMaster CM Storm that also allows him to experience EVE's wonderful audio in 5.1 surround sound.
Once a gaming session is done, he cleans up his voice using Audacity's noise removal function. He then uses Blender's VSE to compose the final video. When he does this, he wants to show the end-user almost everything that happened in the session. But in order to keep the flow and excitement, he accelerates some parts of the video and overlays an exciting song published through a creative commons license that he gets through freemusicarchives.org.
The average session requires him about 1.5 hours to finish editing and another hour to complete animation/rendering using Blender, though the longest session took about 3 hours to edit and 2 to render. Then, of course, he takes several hours to upload the video to YouTube.
He does not have a favorite video. Why? Because he is not creating them for himself. He wants others to see what a new player goes through. That was the goal of these videos from the start.
But there is a video he has watched the most. The above mentioned video where he loses his Navy Drake has been watched again and again. He says he simply had to watch it! When it happened, he didn't fully understand what was going on. But now he has watched it over 30 times and now knows what went on that led to his 220 million ISK loss.
He was also surprised that he received a large and well-composed in-game mail regarding the video from another players. The mail as very detailed and explained to him what he should and shouldn't have done. Kudabeybe was very appreciative of someone reaching out to offer advice when under no obligations to do so.
Plus, his brother and nephew (his gaming partners) both had a nice long laugh about it.
But what has Kudabeybe learned in his experiences so far that he'd want to share with other new players? There are a lot of things!
He wants people to know that they will lose ships! He's only lost two so far, the much-mentioned Navy Drake and a standard Magnate. You will also lose money! He's lost about 5 million ISK over a bad trade and another 20 million ISK on a market blunder. He feels like it was a setup, which leads to his next lesson...
Don't trust anyone until you can really trust them. There are cams, thieves, pirates, and rude people. Much like you wouldn't trust someone you just met in real life, you shouldn't trust someone immediately in EVE. You don't know their intentions. You start off as an acquaintance, then become friends as you spend more time together. Then you're introduced to their friends and the cycle repeats.
PLEX is a double edged sword. As a new player, there is a tendency to buy a PLEX to jump-start your career. While it gets you around 600 million ISK on the market, all this money can fool you. A lot of things are suddenly within your reach and you get psyched into purchasing them. You put yourself on a high pedestal and when you fall, you fall hard and lose big.
But on the other side, the ISK is a great way to begin your career by giving you more time to experience all the potential careers and activities that you can do in EVE. He recommends keeping 500 million stored away for safe keeping and go crazy with 100 million. Buy all the skill books and mold the training regiment for your character. But just remember to not buy anything too expensive when “having fun”. He recommends keeping a single ship around 3-4 million ISK to mess around with and mitigate any losses.
Tied in to that loss, when you're in space, you're in constant danger. When you're in a station, you are safe to relax and enjoy the coffee sitting next to you. Quoting the common saying “Don't fly what you can't afford to lose”, he emphasizes don't take a PLEX into space if you don't want to lose it, don't take an item into space if you don't want to lose it, and don't take a ship into space if you don't want to lose it!
Of course, it's also important to have a goal and plan your excursions into space. Don't undock without a route; you don't want to be floating around in space figuring out where you want to go via the starmap. There's no telling when someone might spot you and decide to have some “fun” with you.
He also suggests new players figure out a money making path early on in game and spend time on making ISK. Without income, you can't keep doing all those activities. Many players will have a mix of activities they do to get income. Remember, it's a game that you need to enjoy! If you get bored with mining, go get your probes and soar through space finding anomalies. Or get your cruiser and blast away some slave traders. Or get your cargo hauler and trade some slaves!
Kudabeybe currently has been exploring the universe, running combat sites, an activity he heartily recommends.
And, of course, he reminds people that you don't necessarily have to follow and real life social rules when you play! He has yet to find a game that allows players the freedom to be so bad!
The Future and Beyond
Kudabeybe isn't sure what the future holds. He is sold on EVE Online, but isn't quite sure if anyone is sold on the video series yet. But he is determined to complete it and he is sure he'll know his full future plans for the series once he completes it on the 30th day. He also has a plan for something else, but he doesn't want any details beyond that leaked just yet...
Outside of EVE, Kudabeybe holds a BSc in Computing with a focus toward graphics design and UI development. He currently teaches at a local college. While it was originally a part time position, he found he enjoyed it and finds it rewarding to help others learn and motivate them to excel in life. So we may have a future guide-creator in the making!
He enjoys gaming, modeling, photography, and sketching. He likes the notion of reading books, though he spends far too little time doing it. He loves to build and fix stuff, though he sometimes breaks it too! He also loves to make his family and close friends laugh.
His video series is quite entertaining so far! He's nearing the end, so now's a great chance to catch up and see how he's progressed so far and then witness the final legs of his first 30 days in EVE!