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Monday, November 19, 2012

The Secret of my "Success" - for new players to consider.

According to EVE HQ, I have actively played EVE Online for 95 days, 22 hours and 27 minutes total. That averages out to just over 1.18 hours a session. It really isn't all that much, but I've have logged on a total of 1950 times to date. There have been 1702 days since I first interfaced with a ship. I have played practically every day since I joined up - especially my first year.

What's more, I am not one of those types who log into EVE and watches a movie or a football game at the same time. When I play, I am playing. That is what I have chosen to do with that hour or so. I try and get the most out of it.

I'll also add that I played for 365 days before I lost my first ship (a Hulk, my first Hulk in fact.) to PvP. Actually, I lost it due to stupidity, complacency and greed but I've already blogged about that so I'll skip it. You can read about the incident here if you like. The reason I mention it again is I think that's a long time for a noob to go without running afoul of other players.

I don't mention all this "just because." There is a reason why I went so long, logging in every day, without getting into trouble. Here are the key behaviors that allowed me to learn EVE Online without getting turned off by the utter harshness it can deal out.
  1. Mind your own damn business! - This is number one for a good reason. If you mind your own business, you will avoid the majority of noob-killing scams out there. By minding your own business, they can't lure you in.
  2. T.A.N.S.T.A.A.F.L. - Thank you Robert Heinlein. If you don't know this stands for "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch" you've lead a sheltered life. Take this acronym to heart. There is no free ammo in a can. There is no "leaving Eve and giving away all my ISK" philanthropist.
  3. Paranoia will not destroy you but griefers will. - Be paranoid the entire time you are in space. Constantly evaluate what the other players around you are doing. If a war ship shows up in your belt and does not immediately start mining (something of the past there I think, may not happen today) then they are up to no good. If they approach, dock up. You are always better safe than sorry.
  4. Don't give them what they want. - Stay away from those that are acting out. If you are bumped, ignore it. They can't hurt you just bumping you. They want a reaction. The only reaction you should give them is to move to another belt if necessary. If they follow you, move again. If they follow you a third time, petition against them for harassment if you like but say nothing. Do not egg them on by mouthing off  because that is what they want.
  5. Don't talk trash. - Humility is a shield booster. They may not need a reason to shoot you, but you shouldn't give them one either. Be smart, keep your opinions and retorts to yourself.
  6. Stay in an NPC corporation. - the taxes are not nearly as high as replacing your best mining barge. Put up with the taxes. Avoid war declarations at all costs. 
  7. Don't sell your last barge. - Avoid the temptation to fund your new barge with the sell price of your last barge. Keep your last barge as a backup and don't strip it. When I lost my Hulk, I still had my Covetor fully fitted and waiting. How much worse would it have been to not only lose my best ship, but then to have to buy a new one and all its fittings to replace it? You should always have at least one backup ship.
  8. Stay in high-sec. - At least until you know what you want to do and can take care of yourself. 
This is how I stayed safe. This is how I managed to go a year before losing a ship. To date, that is my most expensive ship loss. Minimizing that type of revenue drain is key to being a successful industrialists. You'll take enough risk on the market, don't take those you don't need to.

That all said, this is oriented toward a lone-wolf miner play style. You may not want to be a lone-wolf miner. I can't really help you with that unfortunately. You only get to be a noob once and I spent my time chewing on 'roids and avoiding trouble.

However, there is something I can do. If you are reading this blog and are over a year old, consider using the comments below to list the things that helped you most during your first year. I'll do a simple compilation and put a perma-link on Mabrick's Mumblings to it. Maybe we can help future noobs that way. Deal?

Fly Careful


  1. OK I'll bite...
    In so far as my personal experience went, unlike Mab I wanted to see what all the pew was about, but not until I was ready(ish). I spent my first month running the tutorials and, like Mab said, learning to try to avoid the obvious dangers. Same as Mab, keep your mind on your own business and don't fly what you can't afford to lose.

    Ignore local chat in any hub and use it ONLY for info, IE: # of pilots insystem; are any orange or red? etc. If missioning and a ninja salvager lands and starts working your wrecks under NO circumstances respond in ANY way to taunts or trolling in local, or to being ripped off... as CONCORD (IE CCP) does not think stealing salvage from a wreck from a ship YOU killed is a criminal act, ignore them and switch locations or put up with it like it's weather...

    Pirates, scammers, gankers ARE weather in EVE... expect Thrasher showers mixed with Tornadoes and dress and act appropriately.

    My first pew loss was a Rifter when I was travelling to get a book I had bought, by mistake, in lowsec. I did not realize I was IN low and the guys camping the gate killed me "…cause I was there".

    Funny though, the guy felt so bad when he realized how noob I was that he bought me a new Rifter and gave me safe passage in their system... LOL I still talk to him every now and again... =]

    That was 697 days ago... 1 month to the day from when I joined EvE and in just 3 days, on Nov 23rd I will have been ingame 2 full years. I have had total losses, ship & pod, of 113 and I have killed (last blow) 8 ships and 2 pods… mebbe I’m not a good reference for how to avoid loss in EvE… =]

  2. I really, really hope this post is a troll. I cannot emphasize enough how bad these guidelines will be for making EVE actually worth playing in any capacity.

    1. For the gankers!
      If everyone would keep these rules, people would have trouble ganking newbies.

    2. Buncha whiney pvpbears...

      YES Mab has been playing like this for 4 years... and enjoying it as much if not more, than you do YOUR preferred gameplay. EvE is a SANDBOX and not everyone wants to spent their time kicking sand in the other kids faces, and not everyone wants to have sand kicked in their face by immature aggressive kids who want them to play the way they want.

      Iam Widdershins, helenakhan, Trebron Znieh... HTFU that others enjoy EvE in way you cannot comprehend.

    3. Tur - I was questioning Widdershin's and Tebron's blanket statements NOT Mabrick's post...

  3. THAT is how you play EVE? Seriously? Why are you playing then? Can't get any more boring, can it? If you actually enjoy mining, then I haven't said anything.

  4. I would have to echo your comments Mabrick - I played pretty much a solo PvE / Mission runner with a little bit of everything on the side.

    I would agree with what your saying about keeping your ships - as a mission runner its always good to have a backup plan and knowing that if your L4 ship got shot down then you could have a backup L4 ship or at worse case have a L3 ship ready for you to go back to if you had no other choice.

    Some bits of advice from me:

    1) Turn OFF the 'auto re-target' option. As a mission runner I would often encounter griefers who just wanted me to take the first shot at them. A common tactic would be to target you; but one of the default options is to automatically target them back! This could mean that in the middle of a busy PvE fight someone would target you hoping that you didn't notice them as another player and open fire on them.

    2) Move your gear and ships with your agents. I always found that having one 'home base' a real pain when it came to mission running as I would have to fly to the agent, get a mission, fly BACK to get my hardners and then fly to the mission. After it was done I would have to do the same in reverse with the loot.

    I found it much easier to take a indy ship with modules, ammo and ships relevent to the agent and keep it there. Then take a shuttle or pod between agents / stations. This means that all the equipment for the ships and missions are all in one place and also give you the convience of picking the type of mission or agent you want without having to haul everything around.

  5. I took to a *slightly* different set of rules during my first year:

    1. Mind someone else's business! – EVE only offers you so many asteroids, so many missions and so many blueprints before they all start looking the same. If you start minding someone else's business, though, you're living off EVE's greatest and most varied resource: other people!

    2. N.A.T.I. - Thank you Tchell Dahhn. If you don't know, this stands for “Not Anchored? Take It!” Many people like to measure their efficiency by weighing gains against effort. The more of that effort you can let someone else put in, the more efficient you are.

    3. Always bet on stupid. - Someone who's angry, dumb or uninformed enough to shoot you is also likely to have a terrible fit. If they rush you, don't get worried: set a close orbit and get stuck in. Only one in ten will actually put up a noticeable fight. You are always better sorry than safe.

    4. Don't give them what they want. Stay on top of those who are acting out. If they lock you, lock them back. If they blue their wrecks, loot them all. If they start shooting wrecks, make them shoot every last one of them. Egg them on by dropping a taunt-can.

    5. Don't trash talk. - Silence is golden. Act like you don't give a damn about what the mission runner is doing and gleefully keep stealing his stuff.

    6. Get in a ninja corporation. - Having other people around you is fantastic, not only in a tactical sense but especially for the social aspect of it. Nothing beats a good round of applause to celebrate your latest kill.

    7. Don't be afraid to lose a ship. A few hours salvaging will buy you a new one. A good shiny faction-fit kill with a juicy ransom will buy you a small armada.

    8. Stay in high-sec. - At least until your fourth beer.

    Fly it like you stole it.

    1. Another pvpbear... but one who can walk the walk and talk the talk. I salute you! This is so much better than whining and "Can't get any more boring..." and "For whom?"

  6. 1) Try various things in the early going. You may be surprised at what sort of careers sing to you.

    2) Pick a "fallback" career, and set aside equipment and working capital so you can turn to it if your chosen career goes completely to worms. (For example, if you've found your niche in incursions only to have them nerfed into the pavement in the next patch, or if someone invades the wormhole you've got a stake in and wipes out all your WH holdings...)

    3) If you stumble across some people doing something that looks interesting, check their bios and their corporate info; they may be looking for new people. That's how I found my first corporation.

  7. Join eve university, but don't drink the koolaid. Learn from them about how to fly ships, get good training plans and get some experience in fleets, missions, mining and wars. Then leave, lose ships in low sec. Get podded jumping into null, explore a wormhole just because you can.

    Find friends, not people playing the way you have been playing, but people playing the way you want to play. If you're a mission runner but want to pvp or wh or pirate, join a pvp or wh or pirate corp, don't join with mission runners and put off doing what you want to do.

    How do you find the right corp? You join their public channel and chat with people while you mission/mine/pvp/trade. Ask them what newbie ships they let people bring, and train to fly them decently.

    For some reason the fact that there are t2 ships and t2 fittings makes people reluctant to do cool things when they're new. I started playing eve 9 months ago. I went from mining to a c3 to a c5 to a c6. You can, anyone can. You don't have to contribute as much as a 4 year bitter vet, as long as you contribute, keep your trap shut and pay attention, many corps will be happy to have you.

    Fly t1 tackle, or t2 scan ships and scout. Fly a brick tanked drake and bait fights out for your corp. Fly a hauler and help out on mining ops, or a scout ship and keep the miners safe. If you move into a wormhole and you can't fly a t3 or a good site ship train to a drake and a scan ship. You don't need all the fancy scanning skills, just astro 3 or 4, a few of the support skills and a t1 scanning ship with faction probes. Be the guy that logs on and scans everything down, people will love you for it.

    Don't wait for the future, the best thing about eve is that you can do what you want to do NOW*, not next year.

    *Or at least in a couple days.

  8. I was never really a miner even though I actually wanted to become an industrialist when I started. I can understand where Mabrick is coming from despite not sharing his playstyle.

    I myself have never ever lost a ship that I could have avoided losing . I lost a few ships that I would rather have kept flying, but in those cases it was because I took a risk that was beyond what I could actually achieve like fighting a gatecamp of six professional pirates solo, or springing a bait trap in wormhole space.

    What I agree mostly with is the message of 2,3.4, 5 and 7. For me 7 was always more about my last solid PVE isk making ship rather than my last mining barge, but that one is indeed crucial. If your income stream breaks, that is harsh, and except if you are with a big alliance that replaces your ship for you, you need a ship to generate income in a non-pvp way, because PVP simply always carries the risk of losing ships without getting a similar amount back.


Be civil, be responsible and most of all be kind. I will not tolerate poor form. There will be no James Hooks here. We are all better than that.