Field trip!

Player organisations – clans, guilds, whatever you’re used to – are ‘corporations’ in EVE. (Which tells you a lot about the game, really.) The corp I’m in at the moment is EVE University, an organisation set up by experienced players to train new players. For free. As an act of charity. If EVE’s learning curve is a near-vertical mountain face covered in hidden crevasses and sudden avalanches (and oh, it is, it is), E-UNI are the group of experienced climbers who saunter over while you’re staring at it in blinking horrified awe, to lend you maps, give you climbing lessons, offer to show you the route they’ve been using for years, hold impromptu Q&As on best crampon techniques, and hey, were you wondering how to get all your oxygen tanks up there? Here’s a free yak. E-UNI might well be the only thing in this game that seems too good to be true and yet isn’t a scam, and I can’t rate them highly enough.

Yesterday, the uni took a field trip to the EVE Gate. This was an awesome experience of a) galactic sightseeing; b) being part of a fleet; and c) specifically, being part of a massive fleet made up of enthusiastic bloodthirsty newbies zooming around in T1 frigates through low security space, kept in line by a very patient fleet commander (thanks, Brakoo).


This is a little bit of that fleet, with my Rifter in the foreground. I wub my Rifter. They’re small ships, don’t require much training to fly, and are handy enough that some people stick with them for advanced PVP activities.


And this is what the fleet looks like from a bit further back, gathering at the first jump gate. Our name is Legion, for we are many. We are also, at this point, getting overexcited about the possibility of running into pirates in lowsec, in a combination of “wow, it’ll suck to replace all these implants if I get blown up” and “I hear they have a Thanatos out there waiting for us CAN WE SHOOT IT CAN WE SHOOT IT PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE?” (Answer: no.) The ‘they’ in question would be miscellaneous pirate fleets who knew we were coming and wanted some easy kills from clueless newbies. EXCITEMENT!


32 jumps later, this was our first stop: the black monolith in the Dead End system. We only saw one pirate the whole way, and he was moving through in a shuttle, so nobody got shot. Good luck? Good timing? Good choice of a battle fleet of experienced E-UNI members breaking up gatecamps and clearing a safe path for us? Yeah, my money’s on option c) there. Thanks, guys :)


The obelisk is pretty impressive up close. We orbited going ‘oooo’ for a while.


And then, after about five seconds, we worked out that you could warp scramble it, webify it, and shoot it. (Warb scrambling and webifying are used on enemies to stop them getting away; yeah, that inanimate black rectangle was going NOWHERE with us around, believe me.) The monolith was totally immune to our puny efforts.


The EVE gate was pretty impressive. (It’s traditional to anchor a small container out there, which is what’s going on at the bottom right of the screen.) Our Fleet Commander wanted a group photo, so this is everyone gathering around to mug at the camera in traditional school-photo way. (Entirely incidental: at my primary school, our photographer used to try to get people to smile by telling us to “say Manchester United!” I’m sure this would have worked in some times and places, but his was near Manchester in the 1980s, when United were the sell-out it’s-not-even-about-the-football-these-days-tsch team of the moment, and supporting them would get you seriously mocked on the playground. There was some high-quality scowling on those school photos, I tell you.)


Impromptu conga line.

And after accidentally horrifying some passing pilots who saw the whole fleet suddenly appear next to us at the gate (the comments in #local were both unrepeatable and hilarious), it was time to go home…


And we even got storytime before bed.


3 Responses to “Field trip!”

  1. April 26, 2010 at 11:56 am

    OOOO When I finish the tuts I am going to look those guys up. Sounds like fun!

  2. June 2, 2010 at 7:34 am

    Have heard so many great things about Eve Uni. Didn’t get to join them on my main since I joined a small non alliance Corp. I may join them on a alt I’m looking to make a project out of though.

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A new EVE Online player comes to term with spreadsheets, spaceships and the steepest learning curve in MMO history. (SPACESHIPS, you guys!)


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