The 17-year history of Eve Online is written by the pilots that traverse its 7,000 solar systems. Some roll up their sleeves and get down to work mining resources they can sell at nearby space stations. Others may take up the profession of piracy and lay in wait for them, standing by for the ideal moment to pounce on any ill-protected cargo. Regardless of their professions, though, Eve pilots have found they’ve developed skills and friendships in Eve Online that have made an impact in their everyday lives. It’s one of the many things that keeps them around.
The sprawling space MMO is set among a dangerous, dystopian star cluster called New Eden. It’s a place in the tight grip of mega-corporations and the myriad factions they serve and then corrupt. As you set out for the first time, you’ll be put in the role of a highly trained, augmented and immortal pilot viewed as a demigod. They’re known as Capsuleers, but it’s up to you to decide what kind of pilot you want to be. You can adopt a more economical approach to life and play as a trader or manufacturer, running the rule over New Eden’s player-controlled market. If you’d rather focus on combat, you can play as a pirate or front-line fighter for the alliances. Don’t feel restricted, though, as you can freely jump from one profession to the other.
The endless avenues of player expression and the ability to shape New Eden’s future can be daunting at first, but you don’t have to do it alone as Eve Online is something best learnt in the company of others. There are numerous factions such as the Amarr, Caldari, and Gallente alongside player-run corporations like the Brave Collective and Karmafleet – organisations that are particularly welcoming to new players. And best of all, developing skills among friends in these and other groups is leading players to excel in real life.
It’s something that developer CCP Games is calling the ‘Eve Effect’, and it’s certainly not limited to veterans of the game. There are many ways you can quickly benefit from playing Eve Online yourself.
The opportunity to learn from your mistakes
If you’re going to traverse space, you’re going to need a spaceship. While they can be bought and traded, you’ll eventually want to create one that you can call your own. Taking the time to fully outfit a ship can help you craft a vessel that caters to your needs, whether that be combat, hauling cargo, or another specialism. Thanks to a new community fitting tool, finding the right parts to do that are easier than ever.
On that note, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face in Eve is losing your first ship. Because of the number of hours you’ll put into your space vessel, it’s going to sting. You may feel a sense of loss for the ship itself, or the cargo that someone may have swiped from you.
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Posted by PCGamesN on Friday, September 11, 2020
Failure is, though, a chance for growth and it’s no different here. Lots of Eve pilots mark their first loss as the inspiration they need to learn the game to the point where disappointment won’t strike again. While that low can come from everywhere, it can lead to a high if you learn from it.
“The first time I realised this game was for me and I would stick around was when a group depended on me for an important task,” one player says.
It can be a hard lesson to learn for sure, but the benefits are immeasurable.
“EVE taught me patience,” another player explains. “I run production for a carpentry business. A lot of what I do requires patience, focus, and presence of mind to not get hurt.”
They arrive at this positive revelation in part because of the help they receive from other players and CCP. Which brings us to…
The opportunity to make deep and lasting friendships
Not everyone responds to their first defeat in the same way, though, and that’s ok. While New Eden may sound like a lawless place, its many pilots are often keen to help you learn and fit in.
Back in 2019 CCP Games asked its players to describe what two things summed them up as a player. Around 44% of them described themselves as helpers, with further research showing that they have a higher engagement rate with the game as opposed to someone who would call themselves a competitor.
“I’ve been able to pull myself out of a very dark hole because there were people there to help me,” an Eve player explains. “I realise not everyone had that opportunity. I’m in a place where I want to help and give back now.”
It’s a typical story in New Eden for players to best another and then reach out to explain what just happened after it becomes apparent that they are new. Even if they don’t, CCP also keeps an eye on encounters in New Eden and the devs themselves will often reach out to offer advice, and in some cases give back a portion of what you have lost.
Such altruism from all parties helps bring a sense of balance to the new-player experience in Eve, as those who need support to push on will usually receive it. It’s not surprising, then, that when pilots were asked in April 2019 if they’d made a new friend in Eve Online, 73% of them said yes. Following on from that, they were then asked if that friendship was meaningful, with 65% saying that it was.
“Eve is a game, but the friendships and their impacts on your life are real,” another pilot enthuses. “I’m holding off my wedding until I can fly [my corp-mate] and his family over to the states from The Netherlands to be my best man.”
The opportunity to learn more transferable skills
Usually, the hardest part of anything is starting, so the good news here is that once you’ve found your rhythm in New Eden, you’ll pick up heaps of transferable skills.
CCP Games spoke to 759 players in November 2019 and found that 56% of them are using skills they’re picking up from playing Eve Online in their everyday lives.
Over a third say that they’re more confident with Excel and spreadsheets, and many feel they have a significantly better grasp of logistics and market economics. Playing as a trader or manufacturer allows you to simulate the day-to-day pressure of making business decisions. And exposure to these kinds of recognisable tasks naturally leads to confidence through familiarity.
“Actually, I unironically used Eve to land my current job as a business comptroller in one of the biggest construction companies in the world,” one pilot shares. “They asked me for examples of leadership – FC and corp/ alliance leadership for the past nine years – and wanted to know how familiar I was with Excel. My nickname at work is now ‘the Excel Guru’.”
Players also reveal that they feel more empowered in social situations. Around 20% of players believe they are developing leadership skills, while 8% think that they have a better appreciation for teamwork. One player explains that they found plenty of similarities between managing a group of Eve players and staff at a company, as both involve inspiring people towards completing a shared goal.
“What is the difference between managing a giant alliance and managing people at a real company?” they query. “You’re still managing people to complete a given goal. Virtual or real, the premise of the experience doesn’t change, as the people in both environments are real.”
The opportunity to be Inspired
Picking up Eve Online and becoming more successful in real life may sound like a tall order, but plenty have done it already, so there are lots of stories to inspire confidence.
One Eve player who started up a successful business sat down with Kotaku and went as far to say “if you’re playing Eve Online you /basically/ already have an MBA”. He later explained to the BBC that Eve Online’s economy is driven by real market principles. As an example, building a spaceship requires raw material from someone else who has the profession of a miner. You have to consider manufacturing costs, too, alongside the fluctuating prices of commodities based on demand and haulage distance. (Of course, if this sounds a bit much, there’s plenty of help on offer here, too.)
The principles of running a successful virtual business are nothing new for Eve Online stalwarts, but one Eve pilot became the owner of a /real/ book shop in England. He runs it with a friend he met in the game – not only are the two confident in their book keeping abilities, but they’re confident in their friendship, too.
If you’d like to try Eve Online for yourself, you can play it for free right now. There’s a subscription version, too, that features faster skill training alongside access to all of the best ships. However you choose to start, all that’s left to do now is start your journey and write your own story.
All of the images in this feature were created by Eve Online players. Click the link to see more.