How to start an Alt in EVE Online

Update: I’ve posted an updated version of the post below. You can find it here.

Well it seems my Alt-itus has gotten the better of me. I’ve decided that Freddy needs a good buddy to help him out in New Eden and to allow myself a little more flexibility in the training department.

I’ve read that nearly every veteran player has at least 2 accounts, some with upwards of 8 or more, crazy! I think the need and help of another Capsuleer in space, plus the enjoyment of playing two characters simultaneously, is too great for me not to try, especially since I am currently only a solo player.

I’m worried that having an Alt sounds like a good thing for now, but then their usefulness fades and you’re left with another account that your paying for each month with no real need. I’ve followed Wilhelm’s account of his Alt Reynaldo Fabulous over on The Ancient Gaming Noob and unfortunately Reynaldo didn’t end up making the cut in the end for that very reason. I guess I’ll just have to try it out for myself.

My main motivation is to help Freddy as he mines away in space. I would love a hauler so that I don’t have to continually swap out my Retriever for my Badger II every 30 minutes or so. This is by far the biggest efficiency killer of my current setup. It would also be nice to have a salvager right there along side me as I run missions without having to go back to base and pick up my Destroyer for salvage duty. This would greatly speed things up in that aspect as well.

So as I began looking at how to properly setup a new EVE Alt I figured I’d write down what I discovered. Hopefully this will help anyone else who might also be interested and highlight the issues I expereienced.

1) If you currently have a paid subscription you can get a pretty good deal by using the EVE Bring in a Buddy program. You do this by logging into your account on the EVE Onling website and then emailing yourself a link for a 21-day free trial (the standard free-trial is only 14 days long). If you eventually subscribe with this trial account, your original account gets 30 days of free play time.
Using the 21 days is a great way to get your learning and core skillsets up to par. The problem is that you cannot play a trial account and a paid account at the same time on the same computer. Add that to the fact that trial accounts cannot use contracts, it becomes difficult to set up your Alt with all the necessary skillbooks and ISK from your main character without getting another player involved or having to use two computers.

2) Read this great guide for getting a new Alts’ Learning and Core skills up to par so that they have basic competency in a good number of areas. There is also this good article which offers the best Learning skill training schedule. It will take about 7 to 10 days to get everything in the acceptable range, but it’s time well spent.

3) Hauling skills cannot be trained on trial accounts. My first thought was to spend the few hours necessary to get my Alt trained in Caldari Industrial I so he could immediately begin hauling for me, but as I discovered you cannot train this skill on trial accounts, so just FYI. There are a few other skills out there with the same restrictions, but I don’t remember what they are off the top of my head.

4) An EVE account must be active for 72 hours before you can request a Limited API key. I originally wanted to create my Alt and get a few good skill path options laid out in EVEMon before decided on ‘The One’, but I then discovered that I had to wait 3 days before I could get access to an API key and thus EVEMon’s functionality. Again, just FYI.

5) Go through all the tutorials and initial career path missions. This is a great way to get some free skillsbooks, gear, ships, ISK and standing, plus it only takes a couple hours at most. This only applies if you need the help of free skills and gear, if your main character can bank roll your Alt, then don’t bother unless you want the small amount of standing the missions offer.

The point that I am not quite clear over is what happens when you decide to purchase your account half way through your trial period. Do you immediately begin paying for your subscription or does CCP let your trial period finish before billing you? If it is the latter, then you can easily avoid nearly all the problems I pointed out above by simply signing up for the trial and them immediately purchasing your new account. If it’s the latter, then I’d simply queue up all the Learning and Core skills you can in 21 days and wait till the very end to subscribe, the more free play time the better.

These thoughts are coming from a very new player himself (me), so please take everything with a grain of salt as I’m sure there are many other better/different ways to go about starting a new Alt in EVE. I simply wanted to write about my experiences as they were so fresh in my mind from creating Chief Gibbs a couple days ago.

Please let me know what you think is important in starting a new EVE Alt and pass along any more good articles covering the subject. Thanks in advance!


Well it finally happened…

For the first time I’ve been killed by another player. Now, I knew this day was coming, I just wish I would have handled the experience better. On the other hand, it was a great way to learn and get accustomed to what lay ahead.

I’m sure many of you veteran players and pirates will laugh yourself silly at my mistake, but it is what it is.

I was happily jet can mining in a 1.0 sec system, a new player system at that, in a lonely belt with only a few asteroids left. I looked away for a second and a red Merlin pilot had appeared and was sitting right next to me. Sure enough, a large stack of Dense Veldspar disappeared and he started moving away, slowly.

Here is where I made my mistake. A stake of Dense Veldspar which I could replace in about 5 minutes, turned into catastrophe. I figured ‘Hey, he’s only in a Merlin, plus I’ve never actually engaged another player before, let’s see what happens.’ Wrong wrong wrong.

I sicked my drones on him and he happily warp scrambled and webbed me, then picked off my drones one by one. I knew I was done for. I was hoping he wouldn’t pop my pod, so I eventually ejected and warped off quickly. Bye bye trusty little mining Retriever.

So that’s no biggie, yes dumb, but nothing compared to what I did next. I had my salvaging destroyer parked at the station so I figured I’d return and see what kind of damage I could do. Why did I do this you ask? Again, I’m a true newb in every sense of the word. Anyhow, I returned and lasted even a shorter amount of time than I had originally.

I was checking out the Battle Clinic loadouts for PvP/Pirate Merlins and found that even though it’s a Frigate class ship, it can still be fit pretty well to handle things like Destroyers and even a few Cruisers.

So I’m happily out around 20 million ISK with all the T2 mining laser, T2 extenders, salvagers and tractor beams . *facepalm* A pretty expensive lesson I guess, but again I knew it was coming. It has to happen to everyone at some point and in the end I’m just glad for the experience.

Lost in Space

I’m sorry I haven’t written much lately. It seemed I had my grand plan all mapped out and was just slowing moving along, happily mining the belts I could and not much else. Well, over the past week things have taken a slight, alright a major, detour.

But let’s back up a little first. So I began the week as usual, just mining away raising my mining and refining skills so that I could better sell my High Sec Veldspar in Jita. I knew that my faction standing affected how much ore I was able to take away from each refining process. Since I haven’t run missions in awhile and not much of them anyways I was sitting at nearly the max 5% tax rate. So I decided I’d try out my new Caracal mission running ship and see how she fared.

I have (had) been trying to joing a very solid corporation and to show my commitment I packed up all my spacely belongings and made the 20+ jumps into Gallente space to be closer to their base of High Sec operations. Now being originally Caldari my Gallente standing was in the negative, even with all my Social skills that I had trained early on. So I only had a single level II, low quality agent to use, and yet no matter how many missions I ran, my Gallente standing didn’t move at all…it even went down! Ugh. So I did a little research and uncovered the COSMOS agents that were released a few years back. These are story-line agents with chained missions and great rewards in both items, blueprints and standing. So I ventured even deeper into Gallente space to seek out these elusive COSMOS individuals. Sure enough, after running through a few chains of level I missions my Gallente standing raised….0.0325%…great. Needless to say this wasn’t quite going as planned.

My Caracal Crusier was suited for level II missions and I wasn’t about to crawl up the Gallente standing ladder gaining a fraction of a percentage for 4 or more missions. Couple that with the fact that my application didn’t quite work out, I am after all a little to green for most established corps, and I was back on the move. I backup up all my junk…again, and headed the 20+ jumps back to more familiar territory.

When I ended up back in ‘The Forge’ I was still itching to try out some level II mission running. My mining had already been on the back burner and I could now actually run some decent missions. It didn’t help the fact that all my queued skills require nearly two weeks to complete, and they are all mining related. Again, I do love mining, but it can certainly be a lonely undertaking. Mission running is much more exciting with its instant gratification and the majority of the blogs I follow offer wonderful accounts of combat, fleet battles and gang warfare…much more ‘Hollywood’ than my poor Retriever Mining Barge could ever offer. So I decided to make a change.

I started training some none-mining, none-week long training time skills, to make my more combat ready. I’ve been ready a great blog about a new player, similar to myself, starting out on a stealth bomber career. He’s documenting his account from the very beginning and he’s doing a bang up job of it too. You can check out his stealth project here. This definitely piqued my interest and I found that I was only about few weeks away from flying a stealth bomber myself. So I queued up several of the requisite skills and off I went.

As I progressed even further down this dark, combat hole I got side-tracked yet again. Being that I was fresh off running some Gallente COSMOS missions, I figured I’d check out the Caldari version of them. They had fairly decent story-lines and it was definitely something new that had far greater standing gains than just normal mission running.

Once I located the system the agent resided in, again using Ombeve’s amazing 2D maps, I started in on the level I offerings. I made it through the majority of them in short order and was onto level II’s. When I got to the second part of a mission chain I was required to use a warp gate that was only suitable for smaller ships, my Cruiser was not allowed. Given my previous success with destroyers on a level II missions I wasn’t feeling that enthusiastic about the whole situation, but I thought hey this time might be different. Ugh.

I promptly returned to the gate in my trusty Cormorant Destroyer the ‘Black Rabbit V’ (The V being how many of that ship type I’ve been through in the past). I hadn’t lost a ship in nearly a month, so I wasn’t quite as sharp as I should have been. As soon as I warped in I lit the cans after aligning to a local space port. I almost made it away…almost. Needless to say I didn’t take my shiny new ‘Black Rabbit VI’ back there to retrieve my stuff.

After sulking around a little bit I ended up in a deadspace room on a different mission path that was the hub for big collection of other mission types, thus it was pretty crowded in there, both in pirates and other players. Somehow I ended up aggro’ing the whole place (I’m still scratching my head on that one) but I was lucky enough to warp out of there with a wee bit of structure left, otherwise I would have been onto number VII after barely getting her off the lot.

When I returned I noticed that the majority of other players were either destroyed or long gone…save one. There was this one capsuleer that had the entirety of the room locked onto him blasting away…and he was just motoring on by like it was a Sunday afternoon drive. Eventually the pirates were dispatched and I was able to pick my jaw up off the floor. The very polite and helpful pilot, sadiest I believe, started a conversation with me to see how I was doing. I told him how amazed I was with his tank clinic he was putting on. He said he was flying his Passive Tanking Drake. He gave me some pointers on what was all involved and even helped me finish up my mission. I thanked him profusely for his help as he was moving on and started my flow simmer on what it would take to fly one of these tanking behemoths myself.

Now, I’d read about the Drake before, but never actually seen it in action. I was immensely impressed and had to see how far off I was from flying one myself. Amazingly I had trained up enough already to be able to fly one, but just as quickly as I was elated I was let down realizing that my shield skills were sorely lacking. Regardless, I was only about 4 days away from flying a fairly decently equipped passive tanking Drake, this says nothing about affording one however. I’m just over half way there now and have started the process of saving up to afford one.

I know you’re only supposed to fly something you can afford to lose, and unfortunately if I purchased my Drake today with all its equipment I’d be dead broke. I’ve looked into a number of ways to remedy this. I’ve found some decently cheap blueprints of certain items and rigs that I could save a bundle with, so I may go that route. But again if I lose this baby I’d pretty much be up  crick without a paddle. So I’m back to mining full time now.

It seems I’ve gotten myself stuck in one of my ramblings again so I better quit while I’m ahead, or at least still awake. My skills have gone from mining specific, to all over the board. I’ve settled on shield skills now (resists, upgrades, etc.) and will hopefully move on to stealth bombers next.

I’ll keep you posted!

Keep on truckin’

So it’s been a fairly slow few days for me in Eve. I’ve found a good amount of time to play, but for the most part I spend it sitting in an asteroid belt. It’s a great way to keep the bank account growing as I wait for my Hulk.

Yet I decided I should try running a few missions to increase my standings and security status. Unfortunately for me I’m currently in Gallante space and the majority of my good Agents are back in Caldari space. Regardless I decided to give it a shot.

I just recently purchased my first combat cruiser, a Caracal. I fitted her with a decent loadout found on BattleClinic and headed out to my only level II Agent in the system, quality -17.

My first experience with a level II mission was a great one. It was a simple ‘seek & destroy’ type, heavy on the destroy. When all was said and done it had taken me a good part of half an hour to clear the pirates, roughly 40 of them. My Caracal, ‘Hammer I’, performed marvelously! With barely a scratch on her I decided to pick up the pieces and then head back to retrieve my salvaging Destroyer.

The entire experience netted me just shy of 750k ISK, not included the salvage, which was heavy. Pretty good for about an hours worth of work. Nothing compared to what I can generate when I’m solely focused on mining, but still good. Plus it was a helluva lot more fun!

As I’ve been examining my training path (there’s lots to think about while you mine on endlessly) I’ve discovered that I’m roughly 30 days from my mining Hulk.

Mining Hulk Training

Mining Hulk Training

I’m also about 30 days away from flying a stealth bomber.

Stealth Bomber Training

Stealth Bomber Training

Since I’ve been attempting to join a very good Corporation as of late, if they feel I’d be more useful to them flying a bomber than flying a Hulk, it will be easy for me to switch over.

Either way it’s pretty much more of the same. I’ll continue to suck on those asteroids and hopefully get distracted from time to time. Feel free to say Hi if you’re flying by…

My Own Personal Asteroid Belt

I have been in the process of packing up shop and moving out of Jita, in the hopes of joining my first real Corporation! *fingers crossed* So the past couple of nights have been all about logistics and not much else. I was eventually able to pack everything up into my Badger II Hauler and everything I couldn’t fit I sold on the market. Not the best, but considering my destination was 17 jumps away, I didn’t really want to make continued round-trips.

Once I finally arrived I began familiarizing myself with the surrounding constellations. I was looking for a good spot to setup my mining operation. With the help of Ombeve’s amazing 2D EvE Maps I was able to find a great spot in short order. I then realized that I was in Gallante space and my personal standing wasn’t that great, so I decided to pick up two ships to help rectify the situation: a mission running Caracal Cruiser and a salvaging Cormorant Destroyer.

My first mission was easy enough, seek and destroy. It was over in around 5 minutes. As I was warping between rooms I noticed some asteroid belts floating nearby inside each room. Now, I’ve seen these in the past and I’ve read about people mining their missions, but it never really dawned on me before how amazing this setup could be. Since I’ve been mining my arse off the past week I figured I would try mining the asteroid belts before turning in the missions requirements.


I was under the impression that these mini-asteroid belts were full of tiny rocks with little substance, boy was I wrong! As the screen shot below will attest, I basically had three of my own private asteroid belts sitting inside my mission rooms.

Personal Asteroid Belt

Personal Asteroid Belt

I spent the next three hours basically AFK mining with little fear of trouble. I realize someone with enough time and patience could rain on my parade, but I doubt that is too much of a problem.

So, even though I had good intentions of running missions all night and improving my Gallante standing, I was inevitably sidetracked by those damned floating space rocks. Now if only I could fly a Hulk!

Eve in Review: July 2009

I’ve read many posts which summarize their past monthly accomplishments in their game of choice. I like the concept and I’ll be jumping on the bandwagon more for personal reference than anything else. Being able to see, as this blog grows and ages, what I was up to in months/years past is very appealing. I don’t currently have much to contribute , but you have to start somewhere I guess.

July was a fairly straightforward month as Eve goes. I wish it was easier to see all the skills I’ve trained in the past 30 days, but Eve only tracks a certain number. The majority of my time was spent training up towards a mining Hulk, thus lots of Industry, Science and Spaceship Command skills. This was my earlier posted skills chart and here is my current chart:

July 2009 Skills Chart

July 2009 Skills Chart

Not too much has changed, but you can only train so much in a month I guess.

Early in the month I was away for 12 days on vacation to St. Lucia. While I was away I began training Caldari Frigate V, simply because I had no other skills that would be training the entire time I was away. Needless to say I stopped that training when I got back, so of the original 16 day training, I still have 3 days left. I wonder if I’ll ever go back and complete that training…is it worth it anyone?

When I returned I really wanted to focus my efforts on mining. As I stated previously, I had given it a quick pass early in my Eve career, but not enough to truly understand it. Thus I promptly worked my way up to a mining Crusier, an Osprey. I was only in that ship for a few days as Mining Barge III concluded and I was quickly sucking on asteroids in a stip mining Retriever. That is where I presently sit as I wait patiently for my Hulk and Mining V so I can equip modulated Strip Miner II’s with Veldspar crystals. I am quite a ways away still, roughly 5-6 weeks of training, but I’ve been really enjoying my mining experience so far and it’s actually made me quite a bit of ISK.

With my earnings I have been able to purchase the +3 implants for every attribute except Charisma. They run 11 million ISK each and I still have 40 million left in the bank. They have been a Godsend since they’ve already saved me nearly 8 days of training in Astrogeology V and Mining Barge V. I’ve been able to purchase a nice hauler and outfit her with all the extras to make my job of hauling Tritanium to Jita that much easier.

Being that I’ve been mainly floating in space sucking on asteroids I can’t say I’ve travelled any place new lately. As per an earlier post, here is my ‘Places I’ve Been” meme:

Places Ive Been

Places I've Been

Not much different. I suspect I will only start exploring new quadrants of New Eden when (if) I ever join a nice Corporation.

So that’s it for July 2009, not too exciting. I can safely say that I’m well on my way to a solid mining career and I’ve enjoyed it very much. August should be mostly the same, more mining with a few upgrades here and there. Bring on the summer!

Station Docking Port

Station Docking Port