Otto Bismarck
Otto Bismarck

Eve Online can and has been described as possibly one of the meanest, cruelest and most unforgiving MMO’s out there. There is no real new player starting area, no excluding veteran players from newbie areas, or even really preventing any form of PvP. This coupled with the scams of every form from ISK doubling to recruitment scamming, Eve Online is a tough environment. But why do people keep coming back?

Answer: The people and the community.

I will draw examples from my own personal experiences here to provide examples of why I keep coming back. ‘Otto Bismarck’ was born in June of 2003 – way back when EVE was in it’s infancy. Long before titans and capital ships, before even Tech II items (Well maybe not that far back). The game was so much larger in those days without jump drives or wide spread logistics. However I digress…

“We are family, you cannot break us”

The first two years of my Eve life, I’ll admit it; I was a miner. I loved to mine. I came to Eve with some friends from Star Wars: Galaxies and we all mined together and it was heaps of fun. We hung out on Ventrilo and talked total crap all day long! In the beginning of 2005, my CEO turned out to be a less then honourable internet spaceship captain and essentially stole all my stuff. I was a trusting teenager and, “Oh well, lesson learnt”.

I left that group and played in an NPC Corporation but mined with some friends in low sec with everything I had. A single Apocalypse battleship,  a Covetor mining barge and Iteron Mk V (The best hauler back then). I took to watching a whole heap of YouTube videos of various Eve goings on, from PvP to missions, and I came across a group of people, who had ‘the coolest’ videos on YouTube – Body Count Inc. who were part of an Alliance called Mercenary Coalition. They had the most glamourous videos of shooting people in the face and exploding people everywhere.

I took a gamble. I went to the description of their corporation and it said something g along the lines of “For Recruitment: Contact Latex Mistress”. Who is this Latex Mistress? I sent him an Eve Mail and he got back to me, and I remember thinking ‘How cool must I be to get a reply from these awesome PvPers?’

The mails went back and forth and I eventually got an invitation to speak with a few of their corp members and it was a bit of an interview to see if I was cool. At the conclusion, I was invited to participate in their main form of getting to know each other before joining… “The Grill” was essentially speed dating for Eve Online where every member of the corporation would hit you with questions on their forums, ranging from, “what is the best PvP setup for a battleship?” to “have you got any pets?”

After a week and what was a mammoth effort to get everyone’s questions answered, I was offered a spot in their corporation. From day one, I was welcomed into the corporation as a full member with the same access as everyone else. This corporation defined the type of Eve Player that I would become, and I personally consider it a turning point from being ‘a dude who plays Eve’ to an ‘Eve Player’. I am not entirely sure when this became their corp motto, however I feel that it still applies today, “We are family, you cannot break us”. This was so true about this corporation. Every facet of the game we did together, helped each other. They taught me how to PvP in all different formats of the game. They paid for my first dreadnaught skills and a vast majority of my ships back then.  I was then bestowed a monster of immeasurable power. I had what I estimate was one of the first ten Motherships (Supercarriers now) in game, and I practically ‘Mom Bombed’ everything that I could tackle. At one point I had at least 40 people camped in a station with an Eos with a cyno.

Time passed, things changed and I was offered the opportunity to join one of the most notorious pirate corporations in the game back then called The Establishment. This was an even smaller group of highly focused pirates who would pretty much burn everything in their paths. Famed for the 360 degree roam (start at 12 o’clock and PvP your way around the entire Eve Universe. Only stopping for more ammo or to drop loot off). I think I made it all the way around once without dieing. Once again, a small group of tight knit players working towards a common goal.

“No matter what happens, everything in Eve is opportunity for something to happen”

During my time in The Establishment and Body Count Inc. I made friends along the way. Be that people who I had shot, saved, ransomed, or just had dealings with. Dianabolic, the current CEO of Reikoku and one of the Directors of Band of Brothers (booo BoB!), suggested that I throw an alt into RKK and just randomly come and PvP in the defense of Delve. I took him up on his offer in early 2008. It’s now early 2015 and I am a Director in Reikoku. I spent some time in other places, but nowhere feels like home, except in Reikoku.

The three greatest corporations that I have been in during my twelve years of playing (in no particular order sorry Seleene, Angel and RKK CEO’s), Body Count Inc, Reikoku and The Establishment.  Why? The community, the people, the support (for both in and out of game) and the journey along the way.

“…but Otto, I am a three day old noob and no one will take me!”

True. Most of the corporations that I started in no longer exist, and the ones that do may not take you. One of my favorite sayings for Eve to anyone is “No matter what happens, everything in Eve is opportunity for something to happen”. This also being said, there are so many amazing communities out there which not only WANT you, but will give you almost everything that your heart desires. Be that content, ships and skills, or somewhere to find some new friends and call home.

The highlights of communities that you can join are:

  • Eve University
  • RvB
  • Brave Newbies
  • Karma Fleet
  • Affirmative Alliance
  • Spectre Fleet

The thing which keeps me coming back to this amazing game/community is the people. If you join or begin to associate with some of these groups, it will open doors to join some amazing communities. In 2005, I had essentially nothing with no marketable or noteworthy achievements. Do not ever let anyone make you feel ‘not good enough’. Do some research and approach the group that best fits your needs, dreams, and play style – and make it happen.

If they don’t want you in their little community, don’t feel disheartened. They are the ones missing out. Move on and find the next amazing community that fits the way you want to play Eve Online.

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So how do you go about joining a corporation? Firstly, one of the things which you need to decide is what do you want to do in Eve? Once YOU have decided what YOU want to do, then begin to do some research. One of they key points which I want people to take away from this article, is that in Eve knowledge is key. Find out about what a corporation does by either finding their public channels (in their preferred communication method), speaking to their current members about what they do and how you can fit into their community. Find out about their recruitment process, their standards and what they expect from their members. Recently I was part of a Teamspeak Interview of a potential new member and he called my corporation “Reidoku” several times. It doesn’t send a shining image of yourself if you don’t seem informed and swtiched on.

Well my friends, this has been a great trip down memory lane for me. I still keep in contact with pretty much all of the people who I have been in corporations with, a lot of them have moved on and we use other communication methods. I am especially excited for my trip to FanFest this year and finally get to meet so many of my internet spaceship bros, in person and go to one ‘Stag Party’ for someone I have known for the better part of 10 years through Eve.

Be Bold Spaceship Pilots! Dream for the Stars, because you never might know when you might get to touch one.

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