A year ago I took a swing at playing EVE Online based on entries I was reading from one of my favorite blogs (Mystic Worlds). I started up a trial account, but in all honesty I found EVE to be very complicated and really spent only a few days in game trying things out before I abandoned my account and headed back to WoW. It wasn't that EVE is beyond a new player to start in now, but rather that I wasn't willing to do the research necessary to understand just what was going on, and what I needed to do in the game to get anywhere.
Recently I had been thinking about giving EVE another go and I restarted my account back up yesterday morning. This time however, I have been doing a great deal of reading. EVE is a completely open game, which is something I haven't really experienced since my days in Star Wars Galaxies (SWG) from 2002-2005. But SWG was more simplistic than EVE, with extremely limited linear options open to any character. Not so in EVE Online, where there are literally dozens and dozens of paths--none of which is linear--available to a character. That complication both attracts me to EVE and dismays me at the same time. You create your character, but really have little idea of just what you want to do. Or rather have little information about what you really can do in EVE, and there is the crux of the problem for new players like me.
Even if you had a general idea of what you wanted to do, be it PVP, or miner, manufacturer, or what have you; how would you get there from the starter area? I haven't completed all the available tutorials yet but I certainly haven't found enough information that is terribly helpful in mapping out the various skills one would have to learn to be of any use. Some skills are rather obvious. If you want to be a miner, obviously mining skill is of great use, but what isn't so obvious is the ancillary skills that one needs in order to get the most of of a ship and mining operations. I'm still digging through all of that myself.
So there I was yesterday with a newly reopened account. There was my original character from a year ago (a Minmator) though I really didn't remember enough about the game to really do anything with him. So I created a new toon (a Gallente) and started working through the starter missions. Made some good money (about 850k ISK) in one day after expenses and a few purchases. Probably made close to 1 mil ISK including all that. But I then decided that what I really want to do is accumulate some serious money as I go along, and that, I think, requires mining. And that is what I have been doing all day. I bought myself a Destroyer that has a much larger cargo hold than either of my two Frigates, and have been running mining trips to one of the asteroid fields all day. While I embark of the training required to boost my mining skills and abilities will take over the next few days, I'll continue mining with my sub-optimal ship and equipment now and run some missions to make extra money and have some fun along the side.
By the weekend I should have a ship--although smaller--and equipment that is actually better at mining. From there I'll work up to a Cruiser that is optimized for mining. And from there I'll work up to a Battleship, which I can use to Mine and get into some serious PVE or PVP. I should be making enough money by this time in my training that I expect I can afford a real mining vessel. I'll decide where to go from there once I'm there.
TLDR, EVE is a game for people that do not necessarily want immediate gratification. EVE Online is a game that requires someone to make long term plans and realize rewards over weeks or months. It's a completely non-linear game which has a fairly steep learning curve, and features player created content foremost, with limited developer content to fill in holes.
Here's to my next million ISK!