Faces of EVE University: Zun Lurrin

The Faces of EVE University interview series brings you insight into some of the personalities that make up our staff – a group of dedicated Unistas who tirelessly work for the advancement of learning.

Hippla Tsero:
Q: Hello Zun Lurrin, let me start by telling you that I am super excited to do this interview. You are the current Hauling Manager of EVE University and I have noticed with how much passion you speak about Hauling. Tell us a bit about your past EVE experience and how you became Hauling Manager.

Zun Lurrin:
Thank you for asking about Hauling! It is my preferred way to play EVE and I’m glad to share that experience with others.

Having started playing EVE with my son in 2007 (or 2008) this is my 3rd time back to EVE; I think I’ve even passed all the way through the bitter-vet stage now. I’ve done mission running, faction warfare, Sov Null, and mining with no real love for any of them. Other than being a logi pilot, PVP has little interest for me either.

On the other hand, Market PVP was pretty interesting for quite a while and Industry kind of holds my interest (I used to build Carriers & Supers, but mostly do T2 now). In the end, however, Hauling has always been what I’ve come back to. In particular, I like the strategy required to fly a Jump Freighter (the only T2 capital ship in EVE!). There’s planning the route, setting up cynos in hostile space, and then safely executing the plan – that is what has held my interest through all this time.

This time back to EVE, I knew what I didn’t want to do and I’ve always admired EVE University. This was a chance to help a group I’ve known about for a long time and submitted my application, clearly stating that Hauling is what I wanted to do. After some time working with Hofborn and Cheradenine Zakalve, I was invited to be an Officer and eventually Manager. We all stand on the shoulders of our fore-fathers; and those two created an outstanding foundation for the Hauling Department as it exists today!

Hippla Tsero:
Q: Talking of the Hauling Department – can you share some insights with us? How many people are regularly hauling, how do you manage the hauling needs and most importantly, how do Unistas use the services of the Department?

Zun Lurrin: 
Like many alliances in EVE, Uni Hauling is designed to make it easier for corp members to move from place-to-place without having to move their own stuff. Many of us tend to be pack-rats who accumulate so many items that we may stay in a less than desirable location just to avoid moving all that stuff. Or sell it at reduced price and feel discouraged at the whole ‘moving’ process.

Unistas are informed about the Hauling Service during their introduction & orientation, but that can be an overwhelming time. Fortunately, many Corp members help newbros out with how to get started. On average, moving Unista items represents about half of our monthly volume going strictly between Campus HQ’s and Jita. The remaining volume is done on behalf of the University. Fuel for structures, ships for fleets, buyback items, University asset movements, and loot from wars we’ve won are all shipped by University Hauling. There’s at least as much done ‘behind the scenes’ as the activity that’s more visible.

Moving these goods is done by a surprisingly small group of Haulers that varies in number during the year; roughly a dozen Freighter pilots, half as many Jump Freighter pilots, and 4 Officers that keep the spice flowing.

It all starts with a Courier Contract. Our Forum post provides details for how to do that. Contracts are accepted once a Hauler is available to take the shipment. These dedicated folks travel smart to make sure the route is “safe” and may have to dock up or just wait out a gank squad on their way to the destination. Upon delivery, the Courier Contract is completed and the shipper’s items appear in their hangar.

Hippla Tsero:
Q: If a Unista is interested in getting involved in your Department, what would be the best way to get started and what can they expect when joining?

Zun Lurrin: 
Uni Hauling depends upon volunteers who like hauling, or want to find out if they like it. Our first priority is to help those Haulers learn the skills of the trade and provide an opportunity to see how they like it. If they do like it, they get extensive training and insights to be well prepared to expand their horizons and possibly join one of the commercial hauling services such as Red Frog or PushX.

Like those services, we use Freighters and Jump Freighters for all shipments; except WHC where DST’s are used. Most of our pilots start with a non-Uni alt that is a minimally skilled Freighter pilot. While minimal skills is not acceptable for the commercial services, we are a learning organization and we can work within those limitations while pilots expand their skills and knowledge. So, Unistas with a non-Uni alt trained to fly a Freighter are welcome to apply with University Hauling.

New pilots become members of Uni Staff and a Hauling channel in Discord so we can communicate about available shipments and the status of those that are in progress

Hippla Tsero:
Q: It seems like there is a lot to learn when joining the Hauling Department. Could you tell us a bit more about the importance of Hauling in the grand scheme of EVE? What would be a natural next step for Haulers after joining the department?

Zun Lurrin: 
Colonels & Majors worry about tactics, Generals worry about strategy – and Logistics is all about strategy. Hauling is a key component to logistics. If the materials aren’t present at the right place in the right time, the battle has already been lost. Hauling is one of those things that isn’t an obvious issue until someone tries to move all their valuable stuff in a T1 industrial and watches it all get ganked just outside Jita. All of a sudden, shipping in EVE takes on a new meaning. Many folks in Hauling remember an experience just like that.

If we do our job correctly, moving stuff in EVE will look easy. There is actually quite a bit to learn and understand. Not only does one need to learn the game mechanics associated with hauling. Haulers also need to know how gankers operate in various regions of New Eden. Each type of space has its own hazards – all of which makes it quite interesting to be Hauler.

And it is that variety that leads Haulers in different directions. High-sec freighters, wormhole DSTs, null & low-sec jump freighters all have different ways of engaging the Hauler. Again, if we do our teaching job properly, Haulers will move on to one of the commercial services or become part of an alliance logistics group (and there freighters are bridged with Titans! – we don’t do that in the Uni 🙂

Like so many things in EVE, Hauling is a discipline and skill within its own right. As evidenced by the small number of pilots within the group, it is a niche game style. But for those whom it fits just right, it’s the best way to win EVE!

Faces of EVE University: White 0rchid

The Faces of EVE University interview series brings you insight into some of the personalities that make up our staff – a group of dedicated Unistas who tirelessly work for the advancement of learning.

Hideo Date:
White 0rchid, thank you for taking the time to sit down with me and answer some questions. I am sure you are quite busy as the newly appointed head of EVE University’s FC Team.

Q: I want to start off by asking about your journey in EVE. You’ve been a very active alumnus and supporting EVE University for some time now. But how did you start off your EVE career and ended up in the Uni in the first place?

White 0rchid:
I began EVE a long time ago now. My current main was not always White 0rchid. I actually joined up at the start of 2008, pretty much jumped straight into sov null in Fountain, with a corp that was at the time in BRUCE (Brutally Clever Empire). The fleets back then, for me and BRUCE at least, consisted of ships like Cerbs and Ravens at absolute max range. There was no logi.

Following that I retreated to high sec and stopped playing for a while. Over the course of the 5 years that followed I was mostly on and off, exploring, running high sec missions and so on. I briefly joined Enlightened Industries (a corp in goons) in 2011, but after another break from the game, joined EVE Uni in 2013. I was not in corp for long but was active in the community for a year and a half until I rejoined for good at the start of 2015. I learned a bunch in the year and 1 day I was in uni, but as is natural, I needed somewhere to spread my wings a bit and I’ve been in Sniggwaffe (WAFFLES) since February 2016, becoming a director at some point in that journey.

Hideo Date:
Q: As you are an experienced FC obviously I want to know how you ended up becoming one. Do you remember your first time FCing? How was it starting off as a brand new FC?

White 0rchid:
I recall being very nervous running a small fleet chasing some people out of Fountain in 2008, but following that, it was then mostly in my 2015-16 stint in EVE Uni that I FC’d more. I think it’s always quite daunting to FC your first fleet because there can be a lot going on. The key is mostly to start small and work your way up with what you feel comfortable with. There’s no rush and no pressure, and frigates/destroyers/cruisers can all be really fun to fly.

Hideo Date:
Q: In your mind, what makes a good FC?

White 0rchid:
There’s many factors to being a good FC I think. From knowledge of ships and their capabilities, to the different tactics employed while using them, right to being good at controlling a situation under pressure. I think people also overlook another factor, in that you must be fun to fly under. If your fleets aren’t enjoyable then you won’t get much participation. Delegation is also key. Don’t try and do everything yourself but lean on your bros to pass you intel and micro manage other parts of the fleet (recon/scouts etc).

Hideo Date:
Q: The FC team in its current form is a relatively recent addition to the Uni. How did that come about? What is the idea behind the team and how is it structured? (As far as Operational Security (OPSEC) is allowing answers)

White 0rchid:
There have been iterations of fleet command programs in the Uni beforehand, but never one quite as involved as this one. One of my biggest bugbears of EVE Uni in the past was that it could be quite insular and at points echo-chamber like. That stemmed primarily from the churn rate of members. People, once they had achieved all they could in the Uni, would move on elsewhere, expanding their boundaries and taking in what the rest of EVE has to offer. That knowledge was never really passed back into the system though, which led to a slightly less than optimal teaching environment. The aim behind the tier system is to allow some levels of progression (that runs throughout the Uni really) and also some requirements on the members. For instance as a Junior there are really no hard requirements other than try to get involved when you can. But Seniors are expected to always step up to the mark when it’s required (either a war begins or someone picks on a structure).

Hideo Date:
Q: Until you took over, Sabre A, another accomplished alumnus, headed up the team. How was it working with him and how did you end up taking over?

White 0rchid:
Sabre is a good guy, he was instrumental in orchestrating the World War Bee (1) campaign and tactics so has a lot of experience in planning out ops. Since MC split he has been a bit more involved in the Uni again to achieve the previously mentioned goal of feeding knowledge back in. He initially asked me to come in and take over the fittings department, previously responsible for maintaining fits for almost all ships in the game on the wiki. This has over the years, proved to be incredibly difficult with the levels of tiericide that CCP put in place. So the fittings team now is in place to design and tweak internal doctrines and fits for use within the Uni. As for how I ended up taking over, Sabre has some RL commitments that meant his game time was slightly reduced. He is still around working on other projects though.

Hideo Date:
Q: What do you see as your goals for the FC team, how do you intend to shape it?

White 0rchid:
I’ve said this quite a few times to both Laura (EVE Uni CEO till 5 December 2020) and Jilo (CEO since 5 Dec 2020) that my intention is always to try and create an environment that is similar to what players would experience in any other corp. For the FC team that means the planning/running of fleets, designing doctrines, recon, scouting etc. all falls on us. We’ve been given a great deal of autonomy and are almost allowed free reign of how we run the department which has been fantastic. I would say if we continue on this path we’ll end up with some good FCs who are confident enough to take out strat level fleets (editor’s note: strategic operations).

Hideo Date:
Q: So this is specifically of interest to me personally, as I recently got accepted as a junior FC. What are you expecting from FCs in the team at the various stages? 

White 0rchid:
I think I hinted on this earlier, but there are 3 tiers to the team: Junior, FC, and Senior. Juniors have no requirement to run fleets as such, but they are encouraged to participate and take in all they can, with a view to start running fleets themselves. FCs ideally should be supporting the Seniors in the strat fleets, with a view to eventually step up to that position themselves. There is also a requirement that an FC runs one fleet a month, as in many other corps/alliances if you are in the FC team but don’t participate, there is no need for you to be in the team. Seniors take it one step further than FCs and are expected to coordinate and run the strat level operations. So far those have involved destroying war HQs when the Uni is decced, defending structures at their nullsec campus and contesting a Hard Knocks anchoring Astrahus in their wormhole campus.

Hideo Date:
Q: EVE University prides itself with its neutrality, allowing pilots to choose any corporation once they feel they have learned enough and move on from the Uni. You yourself are an active member of WAFFLES. How do those two things go hand in hand?

White 0rchid:
On the topic of moving on, I am the kind of person that will always give honest and truthful advice. I was a recruiter in EVE Uni going back almost 6 years ago now, I then took on that role after joining Waffles which eventually led to becoming a director there. With that I can usually tell whether someone is or isn’t a good fit somewhere. Regardless of my position in Waffles, I will always direct people to the most appropriate place they will fit in.

Hideo Date:
Q: Any closing thoughts you want to share?

White 0rchid:
I think just one main point, really. The Uni has come a very, very long way since I first joined around 7 or 8 years ago now. There was red tape after red tape back then, and that is all slowly but systematically being torn down in favour of simpler systems to both manage and live under. It can only be positive for anyone thinking of joining up. One example I can think of that was touched on earlier, was allowing members who had left to return with alts and pass on the knowledge they had learned elsewhere. Something that was prohibited for a long time.

Faces of EVE University: James Finnan

Interview with James Finnan – Director of Logistics

The Faces of EVE University interview series brings you insight into some of the personalities that make up our staff – a group of dedicated Unistas who tirelessly work for the advancement of learning.

Hippla Tsero:
Q: Hello James Finnan. You returned to EVE Uni a few months back and have taken on quite an important role in the Uni – Director of Logistics. Tell us a bit about your EVE past and why you decided to come back to the Uni?

James Finnan:
I joined the Uni for the first time back when I first started the game. I was boggled by the size of the game and I found myself on the Uni wiki more often than not. So the next logical step was to just join the ingame corporation. In 2015 I left the Uni to join Sabre A with his attempt at restarting Mercenary Coalition (MC).

I struggled with the PvP side of things, as I wasn’t very good at solo or small gang, so I fell backwards into logistics and with the help of my friends CJ and Panda we created the logistics wing of the alliance.

I joined Black Frog with an Alt character to have a steady ISK income and spent my game time moving the entire Alliance across the map several times a month.
Stuff and things and World War Bee happened, I burnt out and went into retirement renting a system in the drone regions with CJ and earning ISK.

In early 2018 I finally left the alliance and game and won EVE. 

Fast forward to 2020 and the pandemic – I got a message from Panda saying that they were all hanging out and mining in Korsiki and wanted me to come along and chill. One thing led to another and we all resubbed and decided to go back to the Uni where the majority of us got our start in EVE. I came back because the Uni has given me so much understanding of this game and most importantly, friends like Panda, CJ and Jubae that have stayed with me since 2015. I wanted to give back and to help where I could.

I do distinctly remember saying “this time round I am not taking on any responsibility in this game”. Obviously I failed.

Hippla Tsero:
Q: I would not call it a failure, but yes, you are now Director of Logistics for the Uni 😉
What exactly do you and your Directorate do on a day-to-day basis?

James Finnan:
My Directorate currently consists of three Departments – Hauling, Production and Reimbursements.

Hauling does exactly what it says on the tin, they move Unistas’ assets to and from trade-hubs and campuses with great speed and also work very closely with production to deliver their goods

Production furnishes our FC team with their defence doctrines, supply ships to FCs in their chosen staging station and support the campuses with contract ships and fuel. 

Reimbursement handles the Ship Replacement Program and the +3 implants program that help all Unistas to get started and to engage in PvP without worrying about the ISK too much.

I have a fantastic team and the managers are second to none at the jobs they have. They work fantastically together and they put anything I have ever done to shame.

Hippla Tsero:
Q: What are some of the major changes you have introduced to the Directorate and why?

James Finnan:
I reorganised the Hauling Department to operate on a system that closely resembles Black Frog and the system we set up in MC. This made everything safer and faster for both pilots and the users.

Other changes would not be fair to attribute to me. I asked that SRP be expanded upon and Pink has done fantastic work there. I asked that campuses use Production more for support and Ariea and his team have knocked it out of the park.

There is something else in the works behind the scene that will be a major change on how we operate logistics. But from the average Unista’s perspective this will go pretty much unnoticed.

Hippla Tsero:
Q: That’s the beauty of Logistics, isn’t it? It is the backbone of the daily operations of the Uni but if things go smoothly, the effort is pretty much invisible. Given this fact, how do you motivate people to join one of your departments (Production, Hauling or Reimbursement)?

James Finnan:
A lot of people find what we do boring or tiresome, and if I am being completely honest, I do too sometimes. But there is a large amount of satisfaction to be had from being the behind-the-scenes support. 

When there has been a large fleet fight and everyone is praising the work done, our FCs are often the first to say that none of it would have happened if the logistics was not there to back it up. 

We may not get shiny killmails and have blingy ships. But a lot of times, we are the reason Unistas were in a place to get those killmails and we delivered that blingy ship. 

So far that and an interest in that particular facet of Eve have been enough of a recruitment tool. 

Hippla Tsero:
Q: Looking into the future – EVE is slowly entering its third decade of existence and the player basis is still going strong. What major changes to EVE would you like to see for the game to continue thriving?

James Finnan:
More regions! They’ve been teased since the prophecy trailer, an honestly amazing trailer! If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out. And I simply want more space to go die in. 

I’d also like some more PvE content similar to the sleeper caches. I saved for my first Rhea running those sites and always had a lot of fun. At least when I wasn’t losing 3 Proteuses a day right in front of the whole Null-Sec Campus.

Hippla Tsero:
Thank you so much JimJams for taking the time to do the interview with us and for all the work that you and your department do behind the scenes. It is much appreciated 🙂

Faces of EVE University: YooJin Moon

The Faces of EVE University interview series brings you insight into some of the personalities that make up our staff – a group of dedicated Unistas who tirelessly work for the advancement of learning.

So who better to kick-off this series than our very own Director of Teaching – YooJin Moon. We asked him a few questions about his past, the current status of teaching EVE Uni and of course about his vision for the future of EVE and the Uni.

Hippla Tsero:
Q: Hello YooJin Moon, you have recently been appointed as the Director of Teaching of EVE University. Tell us a bit about your EVE history and how you got into the Uni. 

YooJin Moon:
I checked EVE out during the early Beta but didn’t stick around at the time.  It was pretty rough but CCP was also attempting to do something never done before so I’m glad they stuck with it.  I came back to it in 2011 and never truly left after that though I’ve had months here and there where I didn’t log in.  I run multiple Omega and Alpha accounts now but rarely multi-box except to have a +1 scout for strategic movements or to double up on a Lvl4/5 mission.  I am on my second run with EVE University.  I was a member in 2012 for about a year and learned alot from a great mentor.  I then left to try my hand at creating my own corp which resulted in a few years of care-bearing and  learning the ropes on industry end-to-end.  Time well spent, but not exactly exciting.  In spring of 2019 I stumbled upon the EVE University Incursion community which was open to alumni.  I ran incursions for a few months and made some great friends and connections which resulted in my rejoining EVE University.  I always wanted to learn PvP so I moved to our LowSec Campus and got busy with solo and small gang stuff.  PvP is still what I most want to improve at and the nuances to being good are vast.  Honestly, I just have a deep passion for this game all around.  It progressed into being a hobby for me a long time ago.  All of my current in-game focus is on EVE University and the Teaching Department.   

Hippla Tsero:
Q: You have quite a complex history with the game. After so many years, you are now the Director of Teaching. Why did you decide to become part of the EVE Uni Directorate?

YooJin Moon:
“Decide” to join the Directorate isn’t exactly how it happened; however, I am quite honored and happy to have been selected. Senior roles tend to be given to pilots who have already engaged elsewhere and have demonstrated trust and responsibility to the corporation and our philosophy.  It is kind of organic in that tasks are given and completed with increasing difficulty and those who continue to pursue more are given chances like this. Being offered a Director’s role for Teaching at EVE University was honestly a bit daunting to ponder.  It doesn’t matter if you like the Uni or no. The fact remains that it is the largest educational organisation in the game, touching almost every aspect of the EVE universe.  I did not take the role without considering that and how I might be responsible for shaping education within EVE for a very large number of players.  We are an organization that offers its classes to the open player base with few exceptions and our events and class schedules can be viewed at http://eveuniversity.org/event/ and https://twitter.com/EVEUniversity respectively.  We also have Public Discord channels where most of this can be seen and conversations with current members and alumni can take place as well as our in-game chat channels.

Hippla Tsero:
Q: With EVE being such an “old” game, how do you know what to focus on when it comes to education? I see a lot of returning players come back to EVE University as well.

YooJin Moon:
It is a constant struggle to evaluate the educational needs of such a large player base so we do tend to focus more on the newer players as a general rule.  To meet their needs we have our series of CORE classes that cover the basic skills needed to play the game effectively and we are right now in transition to incorporate more video, streaming, and other digital media in an effort to make learning more approachable by a wider audience.  We are going to be delivering more practicals (live in-space learning) and joining forces with others like Specter Fleet, Signal Cartel, Ashterothi, and Ashley Traynor to help expose players to the diversity that EVE Online has to offer.  The best thing we can do is to make EVE interesting to as many players as possible and then turn them loose to have their own impact on the game.  

Our membership does mature though at times and we end up with some of the best players in the game returning to us to help teach and make EVE a better place for all.  We also have great relationships with many other corporations and players outside of EVE University as indicated and we try to leverage their knowledge and experiences by bringing them in as Guest Lecturers or sending our members to them to participate in their activities.  In the end, it is the social and community aspect of EVE that keeps people playing and if we can make some of those connections for pilots we’re doing something worthwhile.

Hippla Tsero:
Q: Having a Teaching department seems quite unusual for an MMO. Why do you think EVE players need to be taught the game?

YooJin Moon:
Indeed, although I would say that almost all MMOs have a teaching aspect to them through Guild memberships and socialization.  Most games simply don’t formalize it as we do in EVE Online.  New Eden is vast. Joining a learning organization certainly isn’t a requirement to play and CCP have improved the new player experience dramatically the past couple of years; however, joining a learning corporation in-game like EVE University can make the experience a lot more fun and entertaining.  EVE University has campuses devoted to specific aspects of the game where players can go to play with like minded pilots to have fun and learn from more experienced players.  For example, if you are brand new and don’t know what you want to do our HighSec Campus (HSC) is the best starting campus.  It is also our largest and most active campus so making connections is super easy.  If you have specific interests you can go to the appropriate campus and focus on them (i.e. LowSec Campus (LSC); NullSec Campus (NSC); Wormhole Campus (WHC); Mining Campus (AMC); or several other locations.  Regardless of which campus you choose to participate from, all of our classes are always open to all members and most to the public at large as well.  Many other corporations in the game were started by Unistas heading out into New Eden to leave their marks and that was only possible because of the experiences they had with us.

Hippla Tsero:
Q: Tell us a bit about your department. What it is exactly that teachers do and how do you organise yourself?

YooJin Moon:
Historically the Teaching Department within EVE University is the heart of the corporation.  It is why the University exists.  We provide classes, lectures, practicals, fleets, events, and other avenues to convey information about the game to those who are interested.  The content is good but the organization and administration that supports it has become an inhibitor.  The department has grown to an unwieldy size requiring effort to manage that simply doesn’t add anything to the educational experience of the wider player base…so I’m nuking it and starting over.  

The Teaching Department will adopt a structure similar to our campuses which allows us to leverage other University systems without having to create or manage unique processes from an administrative perspective.  This will make us more efficient and the task of Teaching more accessible to a wider base of knowledgeable players from every corner of New Eden.  No longer will you need to be a member of EVE University to teach here.  We want everyone with knowledge and skills who are willing to follow our policies on family friendliness to share their EVE experience through us.  I am creating a small but dedicated group of Educational Officers who will work with me to create all of the tools and processes that will make teaching with EVE University an easy and hopefully enjoyable experience.  We are testing many of these features currently and they should be announced and available very soon(™). Many of those who were previously on the Teaching staff have chosen not to become officers but remain engaged to assist us with refreshing class content and continuing to provide classes and practicals under the new model.  I can’t quite state this as fact but I am also working on a method to reward all of our go forward teachers with ribbons and medals for reaching specific milestones whether they be a Unista or not.  More to come on that one, but if anyone reading this is interested in sharing their knowledge and skills with other players of EVE Online I ask that you reach out to me directly via in-game email.  I’d love to have you working with us for a single class, a series, an event, fleet practical, story telling, or any other worthwhile subject others might benefit from!  I’ll promise a red tape free experience.

Hippla Tsero:
Q: What do you require of new teachers and how does one join the teaching department?

YooJin Moon:
Anyone teaching for EVE University must be willing to follow our corporate policies for Communications and Voice Communications but these are pretty straight forward items that simply help us to keep our environment family friendly and open to the widest possible audience.  Aside from that, all you need is passion and a demonstrated working knowledge of the subject you would like to teach and we’ll make it happen together.  We can provide voice comms on our Public Mumble; we can do audio recordings, Twitch streams, provide slide templates, create calendar invites, create public awareness, and assist during the class as needed.  Eventually I will have a process (Google Form) to sign up for teaching classes that I can use to track things and automate our ability to provide feedback and potentially rewards.  I’ll also have a video in short order that covers this process so interested parties can check that out without having to engage anyone before deciding to commit.  There will be some change over the next couple of months here so keep your eyes open and be a little flexible as we transition to this new model.  If ever in doubt, just shoot me an in-game email and we’ll go from there.

Hippla Tsero:
Q: Last but not least, is there any tip you would like to give to new EVE players?

YooJin Moon:
The most important tip is to find a group of people in the game that you like socializing with.  Nothing will enhance your EVE Online experience as much as playing it with friends and being on live comms while doing it.  EVE University is a great way to get to know a lot of people in a short period of time and our policies for fair play and treating everyone with respect makes us approachable for the widest audience.  Even if you don’t find something to stay for, I guarantee you’ll make a connection or be pointed in the right direction to find what you want.

The Most Destructive Misconception in EVE Online

Written by Lucas Spellmeyer

As the impact of the latest major conflict in New Eden ripples out into the wider gaming community many new players will inevitably be inspired to get involved in the great space opera that is EVE Online. The last time interstellar war reached these awesome heights was the Bloodbath of B-R5RB in early 2014. I remember it clearly; it was at that very moment that I finally made up my indecisive mind and took the plunge into an MMO I had kept on my periphery for some time. While of course I was overwhelmed by the notorious learning curve and lost in the somewhat directionless void, it was something else, something far more damaging that ended my brief career. A misconception that had at that time already existed for many years and still exists today, the idea that due to how skill points are gained in EVE Online you will never catch up to the hardy release day veterans and hence never be able to truly compete. The feeling that you have missed the ship and there is no way to make up the ground, the galaxy will forever be ruled by the elite few with the dedication and perception to ride the wave to its heights two decades later. I realise now how wrong I was, but more importantly just how truly damaging this misconception is to EVE Online’s continued player growth and retention.

Of course, there are things like cerebral implants to increase your core attributes and in turn allow your new pilot to learn vital skills more quickly, but the veterans have those too. In fact, not only do they have them, but they have the best set of implants which themselves take a full 2 weeks of training to even use, not to mention their prohibitive cost to a new player.

It is understandable many new players come to this conclusion when looking at the mechanics of the game. This problematic misconception has been talked about many times before in forums and on social media but I hope I can do my part to help resolve any confusion surrounding it. The skill point system is the closest thing EVE Online has to a typical MMO “level”. Upon finishing the tutorial, you are told to place skills in your skill queue and these will progress at a steady rate even while you are not online. 

A default Omega (subscription) character gains roughly 30 skill points per minute (1800 per hour) while an Alpha (free to play) character gains half that amount. All skills can be leveled from 1-5 and the higher the skill you train, the longer it takes.

Example: A simple skill like Navigation (influencing the velocity of your ship) requires 250 skill points to level from 0 to 1 but 210,745 skill points from level 4 to 5. 

All skills in EVE also have a training time multiplier which determines the length of time it takes for training to be completed.

Example: Skills with a training time multiplier of x1 like Navigation take roughly 4 (actual real world) days to complete while x3 skill takes 12 days and so on. These skills are fundamental to your participation and enjoyment of the game, they allow you to fly better ships, fly them faster, tank more damage and much more. Hence it does not take one long to come to the misguided conclusion that if you must train these skills at the same pace as everybody else, including the veterans of the early 2000s and you are just now starting your career then how could you ever reach their level?  

To the unfamiliar and uneducated this misconception makes perfect sense; it made enough sense to me that when combined with my utter confusion and frustration with the game itself I gave up entirely after a mere number of days. When I finally returned years later, I had preemptively decided that I did not care about the gap between the veterans and myself, I was determined to make my way in the universe regardless of the underdog status I mistakenly painted on my back.  

This is not an uncommon story when speaking with people who have tried to get into EVE several times and failed to pass the first hurdle. Having finally done so myself I want to provide the insight I have gained from sticking it out regardless of overwhelming doubt.

In short, I have referred to this idea as a misconception because that is exactly what it is, it is wholly incorrect and I want to make it clear why. That veteran player may have 50x the amount of skill points you have after a month of playing but when put on a level playing field, you are equal. To understand this one must first understand how EVE’s mechanics work. Different ships provide the standard roles of the MMO genre such as DPS and healer, among others more unique to EVE (tackler, covert-ops scout etc.). Your character is not confined to one class, you are free to use your skill queue to train into whatever ship (and therefore role) you so desire over time. Each of these roles have skills associated with them which each in turn have a level cap of 5, there are no skills that go beyond this hard cap.

Let’s take the logistics cruiser for an example. This is your classic MMO healer with a Sci-Fi spin, you provide shields and armor to other player’s ships as they take damage in an effort to keep them from exploding. As a new player if you decide this is the role you wish to fill, you can dedicate your training to this and over the course of a few months you can maximize your effectiveness with this particular class of vessel. Starting out you could even choose to fly a logistics frigate to cut your teeth before moving onto larger vessels. The general piloting skills and experience gained by flying your preferred role are even more important than the raw statistical boosts to your chosen ship. This means the first time your capsule merges with a massive Force Auxiliary capital logistics ship you will have already gained the critical experience and knowledge necessary to fly it effectively.

By training the required skills that provide bonuses to the desired ship all the way to level five you have now hit the level cap and are as effective as possible. More importantly, you are as effective as any veteran flying the same ship. It should be mentioned that there is a plethora of support skills that affect many if not all ships, but the bottom line is that when you know what you want to do and put your cybernetically enhanced mind to it, you can be just as effective in fleets or solo as the veteran player.

The only difference between you and veterans now is variety. They may be able to fly a Titan or a Dreadnought class ship but when they hop down into their logistics cruiser, you are equal. They pay the same price, they have the same statistical bonuses and they activate their modules just like the underdog. Give it time (maybe a lot of time) and you too will have access to the wide array of ships which fill common and niche roles from the advanced electronic warfare class frigates to the recently revised supercarrier class vessels. If you are interested in more detailed information on how to optimise the path to your chosen role check out EVE University’s fantastic newly released Pyramid Skill Plan (WIP).

I believe that if you are going to present a problem, you should also do your best to present a solution. I am not a game developer and can only speak from my personal experience as to what might have helped me come to these realisations earlier and helped to ease my early days in New Eden. Over the years CCP have created many fantastic tutorial style videos, this one in particular does a fantastic job of explaining exactly how a new pilot can be just as effective as a veteran. In my opinion it would be extremely beneficial for new players to have these videos and others like it such as the Flight Academy series accessible via an in-game system (ideally The Agency window) rather than having to be found independently outside of the game.

Coming to better understand this misconception has allowed me to foster a healthier outlook and attitude towards my goals and progress. I now know with confidence that in time my skill points will steadily accumulate and I am able to focus instead on what I can directly control such as my personal development and piloting skills. In time the versatility of your skill point allocation into a broad range of different ships and roles will increase and in turn mold you into an ever more valuable asset for your own or your alliance’s endeavours.

Understanding that strength does not come from owning the biggest nor most expensive ship but from knowledge and the ability to identify which ship is best for the job at hand, that is the true path to success and prosperity in New Eden. With this knowledge you can specialise and expand your skillset as you take on the elite at their own game. Gaining that knowledge on your own can be a long and draining journey, but with the right people and organisation the journey itself is fun and rewarding. Within EVE University you will find a community both willing and dedicated to learning and teaching as well as a plethora of resources and an organisational structure filled with staff devoted to make your journey as enjoyable and meaningful as possible. There are endless paths you can take and we are here to help you on your journey. I hope I have been able to provide you the information you require to start your career in EVE Online with the confidence and the understanding that just because you are a new pilot that does not inherently make you the underdog. We at EVE University will help you get the proper start you need to understand the sandbox of New Eden in all its complexity and to close the dreaded skill gap in the most efficient way possible. 

Interview: Hideo Date, FC and Lecturer at EVE University

This interview was originally conducted by Jezaja’s Giant Secure Container in German and has been translated to English by the EVE University Communications team.

Some names in EVE Online stick with you for years. Just like Hideo Date, who I met at some point, unfortunately lost sight of and then suddenly found again. I asked him a few questions about his involvement with EVE University…

Jezaja: How long have you been playing EVE and in what area are you currently active? (PvE, PvP, Industry etc.)

That’s not so easy to answer. In November 2012 I started playing EVE for the first time (through somebody from my old WoW guild, who had been active in RAZOR). Then I was in two German corps for a few months. They were focused on industry and mining, which didn’t really appeal to me. I guess I also did a bit of missioning. But from the start I only had real fun with exploration – which I still really like doing.

Hideo Date, EVE University

Because of my vocational training and studies I had to leave EVE for a longer period of time. But I always kept an eye on its development and followed the news. In 2016, after getting my first job, I returned to EVE. This time I wanted to have more of a purpose rather than just get into any small Corp again. What I appreciated a lot in EVE was the internationally diverse community (in WoW I had played only on German servers). As I had heard many great things about EVE University over the years, it was clear to me that their mission is what I was looking for. Over the following two years after joining EVE Uni, I was increasingly involved in the cooperation. I focused mainly on PvP in various forms and eventually plunged myself into PR work for EVE Uni (later as Manager). After my return I did a bit of Alpha exploration, attended a few mining ops and resumed my path as an FC.

Shameless plug: every Monday 1800 EVE time you can watch my chill fleets live at twitch.tv/hideodate – in case you are part of EVE Uni, you can also join the fleet ingame. 

Now that I opted for Omega again, I will set forth on my journey to complete my long-term project. In the Uni we got several areas of operation and many teams that offer a variety of options to keep oneself busy. I want to fully experience that and show the whole process via stream, videos and blogging. I want to present our wonderful Corp culture, as well as our Cross Campus Initiative to the outside world – and get myself a neat medal while I am at it.

Jezaja: Why did you take a break from EVE? And what brings you back?

RL of course. I was busy with moving and job changes, so I wanted to take a few months off. That sadly turned into two years (it was a pretty unsteady time for me). But I always had it firmly in my mind that I would return at the earliest possible time. My parental leave was a good opportunity to finally come back.

Jezaja: What is your favorite ship in EVE?

If this was part of the one-word-interview, I had to go for the Rifter at the moment: a classic, beautiful design, great ship for basic Solo-, Gang- and fleet-PvP…and all my fleets are currently flown with them. But there are so many (naturally only rusty^^) great ships. I especially like the Stabber and Vagabond hull design wise. Both are great for PvP as well and the Vagabond is even fun to fly in high class abyssals and C3 Sleeper sites (or at least was, haven’t tried that again).

The epic One-Word-Interview 

  • Which faction is the best?


  • What’s your view on PvP?


  • Brawling or Kiting?


  • Triglavian or Edencom?


Jezaja: You ensure that people at EVE University learn more about EVE. How many people are you actually reaching?

Phew, I don’t actually see myself like that. But essentially everyone in the Uni does this. EVE University is not a corporation where a few capsuleers teach others but rather a learning community, where everyone helps each other. I guess you are mainly referring to our classes. By the way: those are free to attend for anyone in New Eden. But that’s obviously just a small part of what pushes learning in the Uni and for the whole community forward. But if there is one person for me to point out as an outstanding individual contributing to EVE University’s mission, it would be our Teaching Director YooJin Moon. I did probe him about this question:

Within the ongoing year we already delivered about 150 classes and on average reached 20 people with each of them. Obviously it’s very much up to the subjects how large the crowd is each class attracts. Some classes are attended by 50+ people, but if only two or three people show up, there is time for one-to-one teaching 😉

Jezaja: How does planning for a lecture work?

It’s not that hard. Our wiki has helpful guidelines for anyone interested to be a lecturer (https://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Guide_to_Teaching_Classes) and you can rely on getting a lot of support from the teaching team, Management as well as logistics, if needed.

If you have some working knowledge about a topic, just put together as many notes as you need (I myself am more on the side of few to none, but I am also used to talking freely in front of RL classes). For the notes you can of course look up respective wiki articles of the topic. We had complete syllabi for some crucial topics in the past, but those are no longer updated and might be a bit dated. It’s vital that you have a solid structure and are prepared for possible questions.
We also have a library of slides that anyone can use and customise to hold the perfect lecture.

Finally the class needs to be planned in the calendar, as well as the forum and should be promoted. We have a dedicated channel on our Discord to ping for classes as well as the in-game “Class (EVE Uni)” channel. In the Comms team we try to stay on top of promoting all classes and public events on the EVE Uni Twitter.

As I said: this is no rocket science. And if you are doing an introductory class you won’t need to be a complete expert on the topic.

That’s why I encourage everyone: even if you are not in EVE Uni and have never taught a class, be daring! We are always on the lookout for guest lecturers who want to talk about their pet subject.

Jezaja: If I am interested in a topic, where can I find the appropriate class?

If you want to be actually in the class, check our calendar and look for the [CLASS] marker. Typically classes are planned a week in advance. To attend the class you should be in the ingame channel “Class (EVE Uni)” as well as on our public mumble.
If you just want to watch, you can also check out the live streams of many lecturers or watch their VODs. You can find out if and where the classes are streamed on the respective forum post. Furthermore you can find recorded classes in our library ).

Jezaja: An important topic is always the NEP (New Player Experience). It has gotten more extensive and a lot better with a double tutorial etc. What are your thoughts on it? Are other concepts, e.g. a mentor program maybe more useful?

If anything has been done to the NEP within the last two years, I can’t comment on it, unfortunately. The wide-ranging update back then, I have found to be very good. Sure, not perfect, but a huge improvement. And I think it’s impossible anyway to create a classic comprehensive tutorial for EVE, it’s just too complex.

Jezaja: What exactly are you envisioning with the mentor program? 

We got one at EVE Uni. But you are probably thinking of something for the whole community for every new player? Would be helpful – having a mentor is very valuable in EVE – but I can say, that it is not easy to organise.

Jezaja: You’ve been playing EVE for quite a while already. I always talk about the fact that the community “back then” somehow was more creative and engaged and community offers were better perceived. Have you noticed a difference between “then” and “now”?

As I described above: I haven’t played EVE actively for that long, so I don’t see myself as particularly competent to answer the question. I also only got to know the German community through a g-fleet meet and you. That’s why I can’t really say anything about the national community.  

Overall I’d tend to slightly disagree with that observation. Maybe the focus of the community has been shifted. Now there are more streamers and more content on YT. Those channels are becoming more and more successful. I am not sure what  other community offers you could refer to. Maybe there were more offers back then? I really couldn’t tell.

Jezaja: Any last words?

I’d be happy if the readers would drop by my stream at twitch.tv/hideodate. Every Monday 1800 EVE time I have a planned fleet, and I also stream whenever else I find some time. When I am playing EVE, I stream it if possible. So the streams are getting more diverse. 

I also recently created a website, where everything concerning my content can be found. I also started a blog there: hideodate.WordPress.com
Concerning social media, I am really only active on Twitter, there you can contact me @hideo_date. And last but not least I also have a YouTube channel on which you can find VODs and highlights from my streams. I also strive to create one original video per month, possibly in conjunction with a blog entry.

And don’t forget to like, comment, subscribe and hit the bell 😉

Eve University Chaos Fleets – Chaotic or Beautifully Disorganised?

Author: Dalarin Brenen

As a NEWBRO to EVE Online, joining a fleet where you know with 100% certainty the future of the ship you are about to undock, is actually quite refreshing.

It will never see another dawn, will never again have the satisfaction of docking, will never again feel the sensation of a new skin touching its hull. In short – it’s doomed.

What is special about the chaos fleets?

I had attended a number of fleets organised by EVE University and found myself embarrassed at my lack of knowledge and inability to keep up, and frustrated at letting the team down.

The Chaos fleet removed all of this anxiety. If I died, no one would be let down and I could simply reship and catch up with the fleet. In fact, if I died, I would probably be celebrated. 

So what are the Chaos fleets?

I have no idea. No one does – that is the point! 

Every single Chaos fleet is different and there is never a defined structure, nor a final goal. Unless the complete obliteration of the fleet can be classified as the final goal. 

What Chaos fleets have in common is that they are organised by experienced Unistas. The Chaos Sisters unstable unit and Danielle en Divalone have created chaos and helped Unistas meet each other in those social fleets for many years.

On the last fleet when asked “What is the objective?”, the answer presented was:
“We are taking our dog for a walk. However the little scamp has actually managed to escape and we need to go find him.” It is very difficult to find a “Retriever” in EVE’s vast universe. 


The actual route had been designed to allow the new players in the fleet to examine several of the tourist attractions found within the vast EVE universe whilst we chased our dog (the Retriever ship) and included the following attractions:

The Eve Gate (New Eden)
It is believed that this Gate was used by the original human colonists until it collapsed trapping many of them in New Eden. I recommend that everyone should read the history of EVE to gain insight into the different factions that we encounter every day in game. This is a historic location and everyone should take time out to visit.

The Black Monolith (Dead End)
Looking like the object from Space Odyssey this massive Smooth black Monolith can be seen in the Dead End system. This is obviously a reference to Space Odyssey and has been included on a number of CCP sponsored sightseeing contests. Definitely worth a visit.

Violent Wormhole (Promised Land, Plant 1)
What appears to be a stable wormhole is in fact a Sansha constructed wormhole and some people say that you can see the Sansha fleet through the wormhole waiting to attack New Eden. You cannot enter this wormhole and no one knows if this content will eventually come to life. But nevertheless this is one eerie wormhole and the danger of the Sansha forces is palpable. I love it.

The Sansha nation was once among the strongest nations in the Eve cluster. Will they ever return?

Hollow Asteroid – Or as we call it – Dani’s Hole (Djimame)
An asteroid in space with a hole that has mysteriously gained the name Dani’s hole in reference to EVE Unis extremely popular member Danielle en Divalone.

And here I find myself, cramming my tiny ship into Dani’s hole with 50 other people. What is going on – fireworks everywhere and more laughter than I can remember in a long time. I don’t know what to make of this and anyone finding this fleet on DSCAN would probably have been scared away by the sheer craziness of it all. Fantastic fun! 

The Molea Cemetery (Molea, Planet 2, Moon 1)
Starting out as a memorial for player toons having died in game. Players would simply drop their corpses at the cemetery as a bit of fun.

Now however, it has become so much more. Now the cemetery is a place to remember players that have passed away in real life and loved ones that players have decided to remember. Thousands upon thousands of containers with loved ones’ names and messages now surround the monument. If you have not visited this monument yet, be prepared for the emotion that comes with it.

An extremely powerful and heart-warming memorial to our loved ones which is now a permanent feature of the game.

Until that evening’s fleet I had not even contemplated visiting tourist attractions in game. How stupid of me.

So what happens when you:

  1. Remove all of the stress from a fleet enabling new players to enjoy an experience without worrying about losing their ships
  2. Turn a PVP Sandbox with the mantra “Do not undock what you cannot afford to lose” into a fun, light hearted journey around some fantastic tourist attractions within Eve Online
  3. Introduce the concept of walking a dog into a Space based MMORPG

Basically you show new players what SANDBOX means and how vast EVE Online is. There is a reason it is called a SANDBOX. You can do whatever you want. You can be whatever you want to be. You can act however you want to act. You can even be a DOG if you want to.

What did I think?
This was by far one of the most enjoyable fleets I have ever attended and it ended exactly as expected. With my ship going out in a blaze of glory. Thank you to the Chaos Sisters for organising these fleets and making them so unique and enjoyable.

If you have never attended a Chaos Fleet – What are you doing?
Join EVE University and prepare for the next Chaos fleet.