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First of all, let me clarify that I am mostly a theme-park MMO player. Not because I need rails or hand-holding, but because most sandboxes do not offer any real, actual content. (I'm looking at you, Fallen Earth)
I've played EVE off and on for several years and, it finally clicked for me. It's Tradewars. (Here's the Wikipedia for everybody under 30) The whole point of the game is to collect as much money as possible- preferably by taking from other players.
After a year off, I decided to come back again (waiting for Wildstar to fix its raiding) and have been really enjoying it. Having a couple of pilots over 15M SP helps, and knowing almost what the hell I'm doing does too, but its the attitude. This game is meant for people to grief or gank you. It's going to happen. I wasn't back for more than an hour- moving all of my possessions through high- sec to my new corps base and I got podded- in 0.7 sec. It was very much a "Welcome back to EVE, Motherfucker!" moment. I recently had another character's cargo jacked- because he didn't like my name. That's EVE.
If you're going to play, you need patience to start. Money won't even help that much. You can get all the ISK in the game and buy all the skill books and ships you want and won't be able to do much of any goddamn thing for at least a month. (It takes 25 Days to Train from nothing to a freighter, an Exhumer, or a Battleship- pick your poison)
You will get jacked. It's part of the game. You will get jacked for stupid reasons. Either go do it back to them, pay it forward, join a corp that has muscle, or put bounties on your killers. Those are your options. But, getting frustrated over it won't do you any good.
The game really is about money. You can haul other people's crap for money, do speculative trading, manufacturing, mining/harvesting, exploring, or hijacking other people doing any of the aforementioned activities. The good news is, that you can buy in game time from CCP and then sell it on the Marker for LOTS of money- it's not a bad to fund some ventures or get those ships you just spend 25 days training for. But either way, you'll need to spend time training for them and learning how to play.
Which brings me to the most important part. The learning curve: It's ridiculous, but there's lots of help. People in Eve University or general help are actually pretty helpful and about 80% of the players will tell you the truth 80% of the time.
But, if you really want to get a feel for what the game is truly about and why it really is great, read these articles from Cracked.com:
The 6 Most Spectacular Dick Moves in Online Gaming History
Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-6-most-spectacular-dick-moves-in-online-gaming-history/#ixzz3BCMMoLEl
The 5 Biggest Dick Moves in Online Gaming History (Part 5)
Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-5-biggest-dick-moves-in-online-gaming-history-part-5/#ixzz3BCMYxfQ3
The 7 Most Elaborate Dick Moves in Online Gaming History
Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-7-most-elaborate-dick-moves-in-online-gaming-history_p6/#ixzz3BCNoizp3
A witty saying proves nothing.