Saturday, March 31, 2012

[Eve Online] A Comedy of Errors

I must be the worst Eve Online player in the world.

With all the chatter about Eve Online lately, and being a bit bored, I decided to give Eve a whirl. Ironically, two hours after subscribing, my Pandaria beta invite arrived. I did try Eve a couple of years ago, but basically gave up after 5 minutes with the interface. This time I resolved that I would make it further in, and at least get to a different system.

The initial tutorial went mostly well, until I got to a mission requiring me to take some documents to another system three jumps away, that had some new agents. I made it to the destination system, and then realized that I didn't have the documents in my cargo hold.  So I had to go all the way back.

When I got back, I just could not figure out how to transfer goods from the station to my cargo hold.[1] After numerous clicking I accidentally clicked the "Quit Mission" button on the Tutorial Agent.[2]

Doing that reset the tutorial missions back to the very beginning. Nonplussed, I set out to do them again. The first mission involves you flying out and picking up a new ship. I did that, and exchanged my slightly-geared ship for a completely new ship. However, the next mission involved shooting pirates. When I did the mission the first time, I got a gun and some ammo. This time, the tutorial insisted that I had already gotten the gun. Which was true, except the gun was mounted on the other ship that I had left out in deep space.

So faced with a mission that involved killing pirates and no gun, I decamped to the new system three jumps away, hoping that one of the agents there had a mission I could do to earn some ISK to buy a gun.

Luckily, one of the agents had an introductory mining mission. She gave me a newbie mining laser and sent me out. Eventually I figured out how to find asteroids. Eve has an interesting relationship between the gameworld and UI. 90% of objects in space can be accessed through the UI. Which is fine and dandy until you need something like asteroids which don't appear on the UI.

But eventually I got that figured out, and mined 1000 units of Concentrated Veldspar and headed back to the station. On the station, I could not finish the mission. After scrutinizing the mission log, it turned out that the Agent wanted 1000 units of Veldspar, not Concentrated Veldspar. Apparently there were two different types of asteroids out there. So I unloaded the Concentrated Veldspar and headed back out, this time to seach the asteroids until I found regular Veldspar. I found some eventually, mined it, and returned back to the station.

And this time, I simply could not figure out how to complete the quest. I think, and I may be wrong, that I was supposed to mine in a specific spot, instead of any random asteroid belt. After much frustration, I clicked the Quit Mission button, hoping it would reset.[2]  Instead of resetting, the agent simply went silent and does not offer missions anymore.

I finally managed to do another mission, got some ISK and bought a gun and some ammo. Then I bought more ammo after I jumped into space and could not load the gun, and realized the first ammo was the wrong type.

Finally though, I was able to return to the original tutorial system, complete the tutorial missions and get back to the new system successfully. It only took me two days. Clearly I'm ready for null-sec.

[1] Though I did eventually figure out a way to load cargo, I'm probably missing something, as this seems like quite a complicated process for something that is done a lot. I imagined you open a window with the station items, then open a window with the cargo hold, and drag and drop. Or possibly an option in the context-sensitive right-click menu. Dragging and dropping onto a tab of a window seems ugly to me.

[2] This is the biggest lesson I've learned so far in Eve. Never click a Quit Mission or Refuse Mission button. Everything goes badly if you do that.


  1. If you are interested in continuing to play EVE-Online, I highly suggest you to apply to EVE-University corporation.

    Also email me your EVE character's name to and I can give you a helping hand if you are interested.

  2. Well, I don't think you're the worst. I'd say you're at the same level Linedan from Achtung Panzercow was at.

  3. And that wasn't a knock on Lin, either; because I doubt either of you are the worst at EVE Online.

  4. This was hilarious. By the way I did half of these mistakes too. Try and learn. UI is the biggest enemy in eve, defeat it and you'll be ready!

  5. Applying to EVE University if you want to try out the game more is probably a good idea.

    Especially since they just changed their recruitment policies to remove the huge bottleneck of in-depth interviews with every applicant.

    On the day I probably would've gotten my interview. After 3 weeks of waiting for it. I'm such a lucky guy! ;)

  6. To understand where your items are you must remember that they will pretty much only ever be in 2 places. In a cargohold of a ship or in a station. When you travel between stations you leave whatever you had in the station behind in that station.

    As for missions read carefully what they want you to do. If it doesn't make sense you are probably screwing it up. Generally it makes sure you have what you need for the objectives. Gevlon suggested, on his blog, that people replay the tutorial to be confident on the UI as they progress further in EvE, which is probably a good idea.

  7. It is very easy to stuff up in the beginner tutorials. I had my own litany of failures - especailly including leaving stuff at the station then jumping 3 systems - to have to go back and get it again.

    The one I liked best was during the initial aura tutorials : Here - have a repair module - you will need it. Here is how to fit it. Oh look - you don't have the skill, and as this is your first toon - you don't have the ISK to buy the skill either.

    But I am getting there.

  8. Just remember you can always ask in chat for help, there are help channels and there is also a dedicated rookie channel and you will get an answer to every question.
    Btw, to put items in your cargo you simply open a window with the station items, then open a window with the cargo hold, and drag and drop ;)

  9. Ssal, maybe I'm missing something, but both the station items and cargo holds open in the same window, just on different tabs. That means you can only see one of them at a time. Transferring items requires dragging the item to the tab of the other window.

    If there's a way to get the two holds to open in completely different windows, I'd love to know how.

  10. The windows stack by default, which is annoying, but you can drag the tab from one and turn it into its own window to move things around.

    The EVE UI is just one of the aspects of the game that seems to delight in punching new players in the face.

  11. I gave Eve whirl myself. Its not fun for me. I don't like the agents giving up you think in the beginning. I don't like the boring space travel. I get it :its complex and involved. I don't like the tiny menus and the game just turns me off.

  12. Hey, i've been a long time reader of your blog which i find much more fun than actually playing WoW.

    Eve is hard, but totally worth it. Last night i was in a fleet of 1400 people, assigned to a stealth bomber squad working deep in enemy territory.

    As was said above, stick with it, join eve-uni and post your character name so i can send you some ISK.

  13. I think your experience makes you a valued Beta tester. Should the EVE team had used your story when making the game, none would have to go throught this after years of being released...

    So, grats for the MoP invite, go do it a better expansion, you!

  14. The same exact thing happened to me. It took me hours to figure out how to fix it. I ended up sending a message to a GM or whatever they are called in Eve and they sent me some starter weapons.

    Frustrating game. I wanted to give it a real shot, but it was just frustrating to play.

  15. ...and frustrating is not good enough these days. If you want to attract people to your game, make tutorials that do what they are supposed to do - teach people how to play. This isn't 1980.