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As a result of several threads in these forums, some folks asked if I would be willing to give the new player experience a try to see how it had changed since I first joined EVE back in 2007.
So I decided to give a whirl. Rather than activate one of my accounts I went out and found a 21 day key from the thread in these forums and started totally fresh, so that I wouldn't have an unfair edge.
Within a day or two of starting a GM contacted me to check and see how I was making out with the tutorials, and ask if I had any questions.
I found the tutorials to be most well done, but on occasion I even got a bit confused, mostly because of rushing through the text rather than reading carefully what was written, I think perhaps my previous experience was a hindrence because I thought I already knew something.
Though in reading through rookie chat, others seemed to be confused as well, far more often than I, but again, I'm not sure they were reading carefully. A few even went to so far as to complain that they were frustrated by the need to read so much (the end of every tutorial recommends you do extra reading in the EVE wikipedia, which I skipped in most cased because I actually do know most of what they would be sharing) as they just wanted to jump in and play.
This was frequently met by catcalls in the rookie chat, with player "helpers" berating the new player for whining or asking for assistance on something that was clearly in the tutorial.
This isn't the official volunteers (ISD?) that are in there from time to time, but just players who stay in the channel. For some reason, there's folks who are in there who don't really want to help, they just want to act all indignant and annoyed when a "stupid" question is asked and if I was CCP I'd slap those folks down a bit more aggressively.
In my first week I graduated from the tutorials completing most of the Level 1 Sisters Epic ARC with the exception of the final mission against Dagan. While I was trying to round out my Cruiser skills to take him on I ran into a player advertising in chat that he would help new players kill him.
Aha I thought, no one helps other random people in EVE, must be a scam to get them killed somehow, so I quickly took him up on his offer. And..... he killed Dagan for me while I sat back and collected the rewards. Only payment he asked was permission to salvage the wreck (I got to loot it) and after a nice chat (he also was somewhat new, with only a month experience) we went our separate ways. (he didn't even try to recruit me into a corp or anything)
After the EPIC arc was completed, I decided to take this character down the mining path as I had never done it, so started training mining skills and actually mining with the tutorial venture that I had several of.
I realized the more popular systems would be tough to mine in, but with little effort I found a .5 system not too far off the beaten path that had 15 belts and I am always able to find several of them full of far more rocks than I can ever mine by myself in a session.
Mining is still as boring as I always thought it would be, but the money is pretty nice and it's great for watching TV. Had a few close run ins with npc rats showing up that almost killed me, but I'd warp back with my Tristan and clean them up before returning with my Venture to continue mining.
In fact, while clearing a belt of some npc rats I got two faction drops, one a laser crystal so no big deal, but I got an armor mod that seems to sell for 65M in local markets so it was a nice surprise drop.
Now I didn't run into any players trying to extort me for ISK, but it was going on as I read other players in the rookie chat discussing how there were people in local noting that many people had not paid their permit fees and a couple folks reported getting their mining barges blown up, though one was in a .4 system so no real surprise there.
So at the 2 week mark now I am fleshing out mining and salvaging skills in order to increase my yields and try to move up to a larger mining ship, so for now I'm using my frigate.
I chose Gallente to start, so I'm additionally working to round out all of my drone skills as they go well with a mining career. My trust Tristan does a good job clearing out any rats I come across and I have a Vexor waiting in the wings when the time comes to fly a larger ship.
Overall all I found most players in Rookie chat to be providing useful, helpful advise, and only had a to block a few obnoxious people to keep things helpful.
I did see one person complain he was basically being stalked by some senior member and being ganked wherever he went but he wouldn't tell us what he did to piss that other person off so much that they were willing to suicide gank him repeatedly.
So some of the stories you read here are obviously true, but it is possible for a smart player to stay under the radar and avoid most of the trouble. I did see some rookies posting very obnoxiously, and I could see some of them perhaps rubbing people the wrong way enough for someone to decide to teach them a stern lesson.
I'm going to play out this 3rd week, and I might even decide to continue a sub on this account since I can train up the mining skills which I've never done and it will round out some of my combat skills the other characters have.
In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
"I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon