Written by Lucas Spellmeyer
Many people express the feeling that EVE Online imparts upon the player a sense of isolation. This feeling is prominent during the beginning of our careers, overwhelmed and without mentorship. The more experienced of our elite class seem to be in perpetual search of carrion, hunting new blood that they wish to personally welcome into the harsh reality of New Eden. Many pilot’s journeys end here. The birth of a capsuleer is violent and breathtaking, not unlike our own entrance into the world. In much the same way, an infant is thrust into a world of endless possibility, pushed past the threshold, having little hope for survival without guidance. Those who do manage to persist through their infancy have much to be thankful for. Many often point to the people who guided and protected them in their earliest moments as the sole reason they remain at all. Ask any pilot and they will tell you, space may be cold, but it doesn’t have to be lonely.
Between the ongoing conflicts of the Imperium and Legacy Coalition in the far reaches of Null-Sec, the invasion of the Triglavian Collective in empire space and subsequent abolishment of core trade routes, the cluster is thrumming with the kinetic energy of interstellar war. No one has ever been safe in New Eden no matter where they reside but now even those who choose a reserved and quiet life in High-Sec space find themselves called upon to defend the bastion of relative peace they have long thought safeguarded from major disruptions. But, The fall of Niarja bears with it a period of drastic change indeed, a period in which now more than ever the value of allies is paramount.
EDENDOM Allied capsuleers engage Triglavian forces during the invasion of Niarja
I was present when Niarja fell, fighting on the side of civilization as the Amarrians have described it, resulting in the altering of what was once a swift 9 jumps from Jita to Amarr into a much more taxing 40+ jump detour. Residing in the Minmatar Republics, I had first thought that this change to shipping routes would not impact me too heavily. Demoralized I returned home to republic space and over the course of the next few days found myself wondering just what this shake up may mean to me, a relatively new pilot living in the relatively under-populated region of Heimatar. For much of EVE’s history all roads have led to Jita, the undisputed economic powerhouse within the Caldari State, but a time may be fast approaching when this is no longer the case. A time when pilots across the cluster no longer have access to the one stop shop of Jita 4-4 and are instead forced to become more reliant on their immediate neighbors.
Regardless of whether or not this new reality comes to pass, the importance of guidance during the earliest periods of your career cannot be overstated. The creators of EVE Online CCP have spent many years fine tuning the new player experience to find the most fluid way of revealing and explaining the boundless complexities of their trademark MMO. And while they do a good job getting you out and racing around the stars, imparting upon you the knowledge needed to find success in New Eden in a few short tutorials is a near impossibility. The simple fact that a video game not only facilitates but arguably outright requires an institution dedicated to teaching is both daunting and awesome. During my endeavors flying under the banner of both EVE University and the EDENCOM Defense Initiative I have quickly come to understand the most important lesson a new pilot must learn, that allies are critical to your success in EVE.
EVE University is well known for its public classes, extensive wiki and welcoming and open philosophy. First opening its doors in 2004 the university is the longest running and most recognizable training institution in the cluster. Housing thousands of students across multiple campuses throughout different regions of space, there is a place for everyone to find their niche and accelerate their career. Whether you are brand new and want to ease your way into things in the highsec or mining campuses or instead wish to head straight for the frontier of our nullsec campus, you will find like-minded individuals and a support structure to assist you every step of the way. If you are truly stuck you can apply for a mentor, a personal tutor to assist you with whatever you may need. Skill books are reimbursed at the lower tiers, basic vessels supplied and a logistical backbone works tirelessly to haul goods between campuses and trade hubs, which as mentioned previously could become especially important in the near future.
Daily classes, fleets and events are held by talented tutors and fleet commanders. From lowsec roams to joint mining operations there is always something new coming up on the calendar to experience. EVE is what you make of it, the constant drive for content led almost exclusively by your fellow pilots will lead you down paths never expected and to situations that will change your perception of the game and perhaps even alter what you thought was ultimately possible in virtual worlds. New Eden is a place like no other, an epic joint adventure that has persisted for years and shows no sign of slowing down.
Those interested in joining the university are welcome to review this wiki article. Within you will find the full step by step process for applying and once you are accepted you will be greeted with a number of automated in-game mails to assist you with getting started. The degree of care, professionalism and support delivered by the university is something I have not encountered in any other game. You are guided every step of the way and the diligent staff will continually check in to make sure you are progressing to the level that you desire. It may be daunting but there is no better place to start your career in EVE Online.
Before I leave you, I would like to take a quick detour outside of New Eden. Our own world has its own fair share of turmoil at the moment and many of us including myself have been doing our due diligence staying indoors for the greater good and safety of our neighbors and loved ones alike. Some of us are undoubtedly enduring a more intimate and legitimate sense of isolation outside of the space lanes, but there is nothing keeping you docked up in EVE, a vivid canvas of fantastic escapism and worthwhile experiences accessible right from home. Much like many beloved tabletop RPGs EVE online is a cooperative endeavor, a platform from which you can make real memories with real people that will become a part of your life’s story and influence your own character moving forward. Whether you join my fellow students and I at E-Uni or seek your place elsewhere, I would implore you to reach out and find a corporation that suits your ideals and ambitions, because as we all know the most valuable ship in EVE, is friendship. Take care of each other and be safe.
Written by Lucas Spellmeyer