This is something that gets me going really. I can blather on about old-Eve for hours, just ask anyone that’s been in a channel with me for more than an hour or so. I intend to do a whole series of retrospective blog entries regarding this sort of thing, but I figure that needs its own blog entry to describe it, and this can be to answer the question posed by Arukemos on his First Contact blog entry.
My first contact with Eve, was in the May 2003 edition of PCFormat in the UK. It was a preview of the game, since it hadn’t quite launched at the time the magazine went to press. Its actually quite fortunate that I read it – I didn’t have a subscription and I picked the magazine up towards the end of the month – a few more days and I would have missed the preview entirely, and who knows what would have happened!
Up until then, I had been playing Ultima Online for around three years. I liked the sounds of Eve, because for a long time I had been looking for a spiritual successor to the Elite games that I enjoyed so much many years beforehand. The character creation looked awesome too!
Had to pay off some things before I could buy the game, and it arrived on the 5th June 2003. I waited until after work to set it all up. I read the manual very carefully, having already been informed that the game had a steep learning curve I wanted to be sure I knew all I needed to know before plunging in at the deep end. That was probably the last time I read any manual before playing a game. The information was mostly wrong just one month after release. Of course, I laugh about it now.
Knowing little about skills and such, I made a Ni-Kunni, and dumped as many points as I could into Empathy/Social skills, figuring this would make my life easier for negotiating prices with brokers and the like. Wrong! As we all know, that’s not how the skills system in Eve works. Whether it was like that in beta or not, you’ll have to ask someone else – I’m not that much of a grizzled veteran.
After playing with the char gen for a good 20 minutes, I logged in and did the tutorial mission – yeah, that’s right – there was one tutorial mission. We had the usual drone tells you how to lock things, mine a roid, shoot another drone bit. After that it was: refine the ore, sell the minerals, take this piece of paper to the next system. Right, sod off, you’re on your own now.
I know of a few people that didn’t know how to train skills for the first few days, because it didn’t say anywhere, and the podding mechanic was much much less harsh than the manual made out: The manual made out that the better the grade of clone, the less likely you would lose skills, with the elite clone giving you a 5% chance of losing an undefined number of skillpoints (it may have been defined, but I lost my original game boxes somewhere /cry)… Harsh as fook.
Anyway, rambling now.
Which ever Amarr school corp it was, there was about 12 people in there at peek time. Yes, a whole dozen. Nice peeps, but very quiet. Made friends with a couple of them and we helped each other out mining ourselves into better frigates, and then industrials (see ancient picture).
The next day, a friend started playing, but rolled a Brutor. Primarily to shoot stuff, since it made out that high perception would mean more pewpew – indirectly, that much was true – and their school corp was bustling. About 40-50 people at peek times, and very lively. In retrospect, it was because that was the Republic Military School, and I was in the industry/whatever Amarr school of nobody-wants-to-mine. I ended up re-rolling Minmatar, with a greater sense of how the game worked (so I could balance my attributes better), and never looked back.
Due to the cascading nature of our interactions and their impact on New Eden, should I have joined the Amarr military corporation, the chances are quite high that I would have stayed there, and a whole lot of stuff would never have happened… But that, children, is a story for another time.