|Adventures of an EVE Online Newb||
I got my friend to sign up for EVE after playing for a bit. The restrictions were annoying the heck out of him so he might as well sign up for a month and see just how much he likes it. Anyway, I used a buddy invite to sign him up and as a reward I got a PLEX. PLEX is a Pilot License Extension that gives you 30 days of EVE online when you redeem. What's special about them is that you can sell them on the market in EVE and the price I sold mine at was over 400 million ISKs. Thanks to my friend, I finally don't have to worry about struggling to get up to 1 billion ISKs.
After my friend finished some tutorial missions, we jumped through to Decon, a system with a security level of 0.4. We wanted to do some quick mining and it looked like a safe enough system. I was flying an Iteron (the cheapest Gallente Industrial) and my friend was flying a Navitas (a Gallente Frigate). The Navitas is made for mining and I had enough cargoholds on my Iteron to hold enough volume to make the trip to the system worthwhile. Unfortunately, a few minutes after we started mining, we had two players warp to our asteroid belt and threaten to blow up our ships. They blew up the Navitas, and almost blew my ship up but while they were negotiating the ransom with me, I ejected from the ship and left the area. Luckily an Iteron costs only 200,000 ISK and it was empty (since we had just started mining) so it wasn't a loss. The pirates were asking for 30 or 50 million ISKs which is a ridiculous amount of money. Maybe if they had waited 20 minutes when we had a cargohold full of precious minerals we would have been way more willing to pay that amount. As it is, we just jumped back a few systems and grabbed new ships.
Low-Risk Low-Security Mining Strategy
After that little set back, we decided to come up with a strategy for low-risk mining in low-security space. Mining is only worthwhile if you can mine massive amounts of minerals. Thus you need a lot of cargohold space. Either you have the cargohold space on your own ship, which results in lower mining yield if you're using an Iteron (for example), or in your buddy's ship, which makes it a juicy target when a pirate notices it.
Our first idea was to use a larger ship to defend a jet-can. The miner would jet-can his minerals, the defender would watch the jet-can and when it was time to go, the miner would grab an Iteron and move the minerals to a station or out of the system with the defender watching them. This strategy could work if you have many defenders or a ship that can outgun 2-3 pirates. However, we're newbies and don't have the skills or the DPS to be able to do that and we couldn't find enough buddies on corporate chat to help us out.
Our next idea was to have both of us flying in Navitas and mining. We would warp back and forth between a station and the mining area and drop off minerals that way. This is a very time-consuming method but I think it is also the safest. Keep yourself aligned to the station, and when an enemy warps in, you can warp out quickly.
Our final and most promising idea was to use two ships with almost identical cargohold capacity. One person will keep mining and jet-canning whatever they mine while the other will transport whatever is in the jet-can. It's okay for the cargohold capacity to be slightly larger, maybe 15% larger but that's it. The advantages of this strategy are that the miner just keeps mining and doesn't have to warp in our out of the system; there is very little left in a jet-can that is worth stealing; the transporter is only moving small amounts of ore which makes it less worthwhile to blow up (ransom would be set ridiculously low, the amount of ore lost is small); and both the miner and transporter can quickly warp around. I guess this is what's called a Division of Labour?
The experience of playing with another newbie gave me some ideas. My friend complained about different aspects of EVE but what all these complaints had in common was that they all increased the learning curve of the game. In contrast to EVE, World Of Warcraft quickly runs you through the character creation and each quest explains exactly what you have to do. There have been times where the EVE mission descriptions weren't specific enough, sometimes I wasn't sure if I had to destroy everything in an area or just pick something up from that area, and other times I didn't know if I had to click "complete mission" when I was at the station I delivered something to.
There was also no easy way to figure out what to do next. To be able to fit a ship for maximum DPS, we had to look through several types of items in the market, try to find an item that was close enough to pick up, find the skill books we were missing, then go and pick those up. It results in a lot of running around and it's hard to tell what a good fit is without downloading an EVE fitting tool.
So I think I might set up a newbie guide...it would be an assembly of information from the EVE Wiki. It would cover the first few basic ships you will use, how to get to level 2+ missions, how to mine, the roles in a fleet, etc. Basically everything to get a newb up and running within 24 hours of starting to play. Instead of spending a few weeks trying to understand the most basic aspects of EVE, I want any buddy I invite to play to be able to get to level 2 missions within a day.
The guide might contain some checklists for different professions. I know that CCP, the developers of EVE, have tried to make it easier to get people started through certificates that outline the basic skills they need, but it doesn't feel like it's enough.