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Jumping back through the EVE Gate – Returning to EVE Online

EVE Online Causality

Anyone who has been following this blog since it was established as ISKMogul in 2015 will remember that this site got its start before that as a repository of news, opinions and experiences in CCP’s EVE Online. Over time, mostly as I drifted away from being engaged with EVE personally, I quit regularly writing about the game and transitioned to other areas for the site. Now, I feel the itch once again to be blazing across the stars of New Eden, and this time I’m going to share my successes, failures and moments of wonder with all of you.

And while this doesn’t mean the site will return to being a site dedicated entirely to EVE Online again, I’ll strive to make this a regular column. I really just want to write about this glorious and often insane spaceship game once again, and that’s what I’m going to do. The first few entries will serve as a sort-of “look back” at my experiences in EVE up to this point. This first foray will cover my initial jumps into New Eden, and Part 2 will cover my first actual experience with the game beyond dipping my toes into the chaotic waters.

So without further ado, let’s jump back through the EVE Gate, and back into New Eden.

My Journey So Far

Where do I begin?

That’s always the hardest part of a story like this isn’t it? I suppose I’ll start with my initial journeys into EVE Online. And maybe talk a bit about what I started to love about this game.

As Andrew Groen put it in Empires of EVE:

EVE Online, a virtual universe set in the far future, in a cluster of stars called New Eden. It’s a world of lasers and spaceships and human beings making real sacrifices for the advancement of their organizations. It was released to the public in 2003, and survives to this day as the only video game ever made where ambition, subterfuge, betrayal, and the unity of thousands of individuals are integral gameplay mechanics.

I think it’s easy to see why I and so many other gamers fell in love with this game over the years.The appeal of interesting social interactions and the development of interpersonal conflict has always interested me in some way. Even before I became interested in Sociology and Psychology on an academic level, I always wondered what made people tick, why they made the choices they did. And it always seemed to me that I was looking for a way to “gamify” that exploration of the human experience I so wanted to undertake. I think it’s that thought process that really drew me to EVE, and thinking back, if I had really leaned into that, I probably would have had a much different initial experience. But being a dumb teenager, I probably just thought, “OOOH! SPACESHIPS!” at the time.

With that in mind, let’s talk about my first experiences with the game.

Looking back into my transaction history, I see the date I made my first account was January 24th 2008. Look at that, completely unintentionally I’m jumping back into the game near the anniversary of first playing. Anyway, back to the story.

The year was 2008 and try as I might, I can’t remember where I first heard about EVE Online. Maybe I saw a trailer online, or read about it on some long-dead forum, I’m not entirely sure. I do remember reading the Empyrean Age novel by Tony Gonzales around that time, although I’m fairly sure that was later, possibly in 2009. But whatever piqued my interest, I decided to give the game a shot. I quickly grabbed some sub time and jumped in.

I don’t remember much about that first few months. I remember being in awe of just zipping around HighSec and feeling completely vulnerable as I viewed every ship I passed with suspicion. I was just a helpless newbro who tried to take on one of the most complex MMOs at the time all on his own.

Thinking back now I remember a few interesting moments. My first actual player interaction came when I randomly targeted one of the ships and was about to open fire on it in some garbage fit Cruiser I was flying in, then the player PM’d me and said something to the effect of “I’d hate to see your ship get CONCORD’d.” I ended up joining a random corporation that player was a member of. And no, before you ask, that corp didn’t go anywhere. It was very much a fit for the archetype of a bad HighSec corporation. One which invites new players but then leaves them to their own devices. Take this as a lesson, don’t follow my example.

In fact, being left to my own devices was probably how I ended up mining in an Iteron, something I distinctly remember doing. This was back in the days before dedicated Industrial Ships were a thing. That means I was probably AFK-mining crappy ores in an Iteron Mark III or something similar. I even resorted to mining in a Cruiser at one point. It was not fun times.

You have to remember, this was a time before training queues were even in the game. Players had to “play Skill Queue Online”, or log in and manually add each skill to be trained, then wait out the time it took to train one skill before adding a new one. So the new player experience was much tougher. There was no widespread EVE presence on social media, no well-known centralized in-game and out-of-game resources that everyone referenced, none of that. Perhaps that means I could be forgiven for how terrible I was at the game, but maybe not.

And just as an example to show how badly I misunderstood the game and did not bother to learn the mechanics, here is the fit of the first ship I ever lost. Yes that same Cruiser I used to mine, I lost wandering blindly into LowSec. And just as a bonus bit of idiocy, I had a cargohold full of skillbooks that I was carrying around, most likely to sell in another station, at least I think.

First EVE Online Fit

Yes, you need some bleach for your eyes.

Taking a Break

From that point on, I kind of lost interest in the game due to life getting in the way. I had begun attending college in the preceding months and EVE took a backseat. I apparently jumped back in a couple of times in 2009 and 2010, although there’s really nothing to say about those instances, as I seem to have not renewed my subscription past the initial 60 days of gametime.

Fast-forward to 2014 and my first serious attempt at playing EVE Online. Actually, I think that’s the perfect place for us to pick up next time. Because my first real experiences with EVE throughout that year deserve their own story. And just as a teaser, next time I’m going to talk about my experience with NullSec, politics and massive wars in that period.

So if you want to hear about NullSec politics, personal drama and other space-based nonsense, be sure to check back soon.

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ISKMogul is a growing video game publication that got its start covering EVE Online, and has since expanded to cover a large number of topics and niches within the purview of gaming.