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First off a little background...
Due to my friends at work who all played EVE I was getting headaches listening to their discussions which seemingly would never end. I do admit, it did sound interesting, but after doing research the last thing I wanted to do was pay $14 for yet another MMORPG.
I do confess, EVE has the best websites for any MMORPG, incredible and useful magazines and other goodies in their store, and the graphics look gorgeous. However, after much arm twisting I tried EVE for the first time last year.
Immediately, i was overwhelmed in its vastness....yes, it was spit and polished and had the look and feel beyond most MMOs. The tutorial was "ok"....but I could not help but feel that I was 6 years behind the rest of the playerbase and would never catch up in my lifetime. Thus, despite the depth and the fact this was a MMORPG that you could really really WRAP yourself around and get immersed to great depths...I found the space combat lackluster and the mission grind not to my liking. This after 3 months of play.
Well...as time went on, I began to think there was something wrong with me...there were millions of players and I could not fathom how some has played for 6 years +. My coworkers were rich had cool ships and having a blast....what was wrong with me?
This weekend I decided to TRY once again, and the first thing that happened was I used my trial account instead of my normal account and wasted $14 on an account with no character! Thus, I had to start from scratch....BUT..this was a blessing in disguise.
As I started over again with my new character, I dreaded the apsect as i do in all MMOs of fighting over the same ground twice. I was going to skip the tutorial, but then figured what the heck....it looked a bit different, and I had forgot alot and learned some new things I blew off the first time in my attempt to LEVEL QUICKLY and CATCH UP.
The 2nd big event was I screwed something up and hosed the tutorial and could not get back to where I was...thus, in utter frustration I said screw it, and just blasted off into low sec space to meet my death and be done with this game forever and grinding missions.
Thus, i did something I never ever did in an MMOPRG...I shunned the missions, shunned the storyline, shunned everything except total unbridled travel and exploration. I was amazed...i saw things I didnt know were in the game, I learned more this way than any tutorial about how to play the game. How to pick skills spec my ship etc etc. as I embarked upon a course of total freedom. I attacked whatever I wanted and avoided what could kill me. I looted wrecks, flipped cans, played cat and mouse with other players as my PvP flag went up. I specced my ship to be a total speedster, with jamming, great armor, big cargo and other goodies and abandoned the age old MMORPG style of mission mission fight fight die die grind.
I made alot of money by hitting low sec and even a GREAT playerbase that will help you out with any question you have and even money without asking. I am having a blast being a rogue who shun the norm and does what he wants. SCREW MISSIONS, SCREW LINEAR STORY PROGRESSION...BAH! I do what I want when I want and how I want. The adrenaline rush of hitting low sec and playing cat and mouse with pirates who are much more powerful than me, and looting their victims wrecks for stuff I could never afford to buy is awesome! And the resulting exploration in my quest for finding "gem wrecks" has shown me the beauty of this games graphics and universe. I take my time, I am methodical, thinking, cunning....
I relax in my quarters and access the features there, plan....execute....
As a result, the secret IMHO to enjoying this game is as follows:
1) Accept the fact from the start you will not be leveling quickly and joining people who have been playing 6+ years.
2) Get off the beaten track after you do the tutorial, and do what you want...anything..its in open world
3) Take your time, get immersed, dont worry about what others are doing.
4) IMPORTANT, use the game feature of training skills 24/7..this game trains your skill while you are offline, online, online and alt tabbing out to surf the web or play another game LOL
5) Pick your skills carefully, and pick smart...dont pick EVERYTHING...pick what you want your ship to be, in my case a fast ship with tons fo defense and large cargo.
6) Ask players questions, they are very helpful.
7) Explore explore explore...
8) Take your time to experiment and read thats the best way to learn, just do it.
9) Increase the font size LOL
10) AND LASTLY do not treat this like every other MMORPG or you will feel like you are in every other MMORPG, do what you want, even if that means not doing the story or missions...think creatively..thats the beauty and secret of this game, it rewards the innovative, creative, open minded player....if you want linear and hand holding then this game is not for you.
As a result, in one weekend my skills were already to level 3 and almost 4 and couldnt stop playing.