EVE Careers 101
This is a syllabus for a class provided by EVE University. This section contains information about this class and its contents. General Information includes materials to create a proper class listing on the EVE University forum. Additional resources and teaching tips are listed under Notes for the Teacher.
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[color=#FFFF00][b][size=200]EvE Careers 101[/size][/b][/color] [img] http://i757.photobucket.com/albums/xx216/ScoopIrish/CareersSign.jpg[/img] One of the first lessons that every new capsuleer learns is: InterStellar Kredits (ISK) run the universe. Without money, you cannot buy ships, equipment, trade goods, and just about everything else one needs to thrive - or survive * Instructor: [b]Teacher Name[/b] * When: Day 20xx.xx.xx xx:xx EVE Time * Location: Docked up safely in a station [b]Class overview[/b] * Developing a career plan: What will you be when you grow up? * Selecting an ISK-earning specialty (or a few) ** Industrial Careers ** Business Careers ** Exploration Careers ** Military Careers ** Outlaw Careers ** Metagame Careers * Q&A [b]Student requirements[/b] * Mumble registration and access - make sure you have Mumble sorted out and operational well before the class begins. Use this guide for set-up: [url=http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Mumble]Mumble[/url] * Access to the Class.E-UNI in-game chat channel [b]Questions?[/b] Ask here in this thread.
Image for class listing: http://i757.photobucket.com/albums/xx216/ScoopIrish/CareersSign.jpg
One of the first lessons that every new capsuleer learns is: InterStellar Kredits (ISK) run the universe. Without money, you cannot buy ships, equipment, trade goods, and just about everything else one needs to thrive - or survive. In EVE, perhaps more than any other online multiplayer game, "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch".
So, one of the first questions that every new EVE player asks is: How do I make ISK?
Fortunately, there are many ways to earn ISK in EVE. This introductory class intends to describe some of the typical options that many EVE players pursue, and to provide some helpful guidance about which ISK-earning careers might be the best fit for their personality and playing style.
- Course title: EVE Careers 101: an Introduction to Making ISK in New Eden
- Duration: About 90 minutes, depending on Q&A duration
- Location: Docked up safely in a station anywhere
- Developing a career plan: What will you be when you grow up?
- Selecting an ISK-earning specialty (or a few)
- Industrial Careers
- Business Careers
- Exploration Careers
- Military Careers
- Outlaw Careers
- Metagame Careers
- Mumble registration and access - make sure you have Mumble sorted out and operational well before the class begins. Use this guide for set-up: http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Mumble
- Access to the Class.E-UNI in-game chat channel
This class is lecture and Q&A only, with no practical exercises.
Notes for the teacher
- Class.E-UNI chat channel, to receive questions and post relevant links
While this syllabus is fairly detailed, teachers should not just recite this document. Make sure to read it thoroughly, use its structure as a guide for the structure of your class, but make it your own - feel free to insert your own insights and experiences as you cover the key points.
Welcome to this class, an Introduction to EVE Careers, or more accurately, How to Earn ISK in EVE.
(The teacher should briefly introduce him/her self, experience in the game, and general character background.)
So, you've joined the wonderful world of EVE Online - congratulations! It doesn't take long for new players to realize that New Eden does not present you with the keys to survival on a silver platter. After providing a noob ship, a short tutorial, and some helpful starter missions, EVE kicks players into the harsh environment of space to fend for themselves. This is one of the aspects of the EVE sandbox that is both thrilling and frightening, at the same time.
One of the first lessons that every EVE pilot learns is: InterStellar Kredits (ISK) run the universe. Without money, you cannot buy ships, equipment, trade goods, and just about everything else one needs to thrive - or survive. In EVE, perhaps more than any other online multiplayer game, "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch".
So, one of the first questions that every new EVE player asks is: how do I make ISK? After some experience and education, that question generally becomes: how do I make the most ISK with the least effort in the shortest time?
Fortunately, there are many ways to earn ISK in EVE. This class intends to describe some of the typical options that many EVE players pursue, and to provide some helpful guidance about selecting the ISK-earning careers that are the best fit for your personality and playing style.
- This class will be a straightforward lecture, running about an hour or so.
- Please configure your Mumble settings for "Push to Talk" if you have not already done so.
- Feel free to ask any questions in the Class.E-UNI chat channel as we proceed - I will try to answer your questions as they come during the class.
- There are no practical exercises for this class, so I recommend that you dock up safely somewhere to listen and watch the chat.
- At the end, we'll open Mumble for any further questions or general discussion.
- Syllabus for this class, for future reference: http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/EVE_Careers_101
Developing a Career Plan
There are two ways to start making ISK in EVE:
- Dive into whatever money-making opportunity happens to come your way
- Have a plan for selecting the best money-making activities for you
While option 1 can be fun, and should be pursued from time to time by anyone that plays EVE, it can lead you down some frustrating paths. This class will focus on a more structured and logical approach to finding the best ISK-making options for you.
Do the starter career mission tracks
Once you've established your character or alt, you should play all five of the career agents mission tracks - each track consists of about 10 missions.
- Industry missions cover the basics of mining, refining and manufacturing of goods. Industrial tycoons can create enormous wealth in the EVE universe, but not without a lot of strong competition. Mining is a popular way to make money, too. But manufacturing tends not to generate any real profits until you have learned some highly advanced skills and invested heavily in blueprints. You'll get a free Venture mining frigate for completing the industry starter missions.
- Business missions introduce players to EVE's open and comprehensive market system. With good trading skills, EVE players can earn substantial ISK without ever undocking from a station. You can also earn a good income from hauling goods between trade hubs, buying low in one location and then selling high in another. The business missions reward you with a basic industrial ship for free.
- Military missions cover the most obvious way of playing EVE - shooting stuff for loot and salvage. Initially, you have the skills to fly a frigate of your race. You'll be awarded a good Tech I combat frigate for selecting the military starter missions.
- Exploration missions cover the discovery of valuable sites in EVE space - wormholes, deadspace pockets, and undiscovered archeology sites, among others. These missions show you how to use the scanner and probes, and how to identify and exploit the sites you discover.
- Advanced Military missions will introduce you to the finer details of EVE combat. These missions are more difficult than those of in the Military career track, and as a result, these should be taken after the other track is completed. This more advanced track will teach you how to assist others in order to overcome a threat, as well as the effects of the various weapon damage types. Once finished, you will have all the basic knowledge required to dive head first into the ever-raging war between the factions of EVE Online.
To access these career mission tracks, press the F12 key, then select "Show Career Agents" - this will show you the nearest new player school location where the starter missions are based. Please note that the closest starter mission hub may not match your particular racial faction. If that is important to you, you should travel to the faction space for which you want to do these missions.
These introductory missions are entirely optional, but highly recommended because they provide essential skillbooks, some good Tech I ships and some initial capital, for a relatively low investment in time. The starter missions also teach you the basics of the principal career options for making money in EVE. And, they also provide some decent raises in your standings with the faction for whom you do these missions - in fact, they are a good place to start even for veteran players who want to repair their standings with a particular faction, as the starter career agents will not refuse you, no matter how bad your standings may be with their faction.
Some excellent walkthroughs of all the career agent missions can be found in Seamus Donohue's series on "How to Survive EVE": http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB9A647F3121DFC21
Once the Career Agents missions are completed, you will have about 26 skillbooks (some of them duplicates), about 8-10 ships, a collection of Tech I and Civilian modules, and about 4 million ISK.
Do the starter epic arc
After completing the five career agents missions, you will be pointed towards the first epic mission arc of EVE, "The Blood-Stained Stars".
- While a definite challenge for a new player, this 50-mission arc provides some substantial rewards: skillbooks, modules, ships and enough starting ISK to afford your first cruiser.
- The arc takes you all over the safe empire space and you can freely branch off to do other things, returning to the arc later as you choose.
- You may re-do this epic arc once every three months - this is useful because depending on what choices you make, you can earn a substantial faction standing increase with any one of the four major racial factions (Gallente, Caldari, Minmatar, or Amarr).
- Seamus Donohue's excellent video overview on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2C4F8D9B337870FC&feature=plcp
A plan for your career plan
Once you've been introduced to some of the basics of EVE, and have sampled the starter career mission tracks, you now know enough to begin optimizing your character for one or more ISK-making specialties. It's generally best, at least initially, to get very good at one kind of ISK-generating activity, rather than be not-so-great at a lot of different money-earning ventures. The essential steps for developing your ISK-earning career plan are as follows:
- First, consider what kind of player you are in terms of risk tolerance. Are you thrilled at the idea of losing a ship in the heat of combat? Or does that repulse you? EVE provides a spectrum of activities that range from relatively low risk to outrageously dangerous. How much risk can you tolerate and still find it fun?
- Next, create a concept in your mind of what you want to do in EVE, which is consistent with your level of risk tolerance. Don't limit yourself. Make this anything you can imagine, no matter how unlikely or outlandish.
- Do some Level 1 (and later, more advanced level) missions until you have enough resources to begin doing what you thought of in Step 1.
- Begin to execute your idea from Step 1.
- If the idea isn't profitable enough by itself to sustain itself initially, supplement with occasional mission running.
- Keep developing your idea, evolve it, and figure out ways to make it self-sustaining.
- If your idea is ultimately not self-sustaining, think of a different concept, and go to Step 2.
Though this approach seems obvious, very few EVE players actually plan their character's career development in this way. Instead, they try things as they become available, which provides a lot of variety but not any development of expertise (except in a very long run). Or, they get in a rut and start doing the same thing over and over, and eventually lose interest. If mining isn't your thing, don't do it just to earn ISK - try something else. But first, think, develop a plan, start executing the plan, refine the plan as necessary, and then either build on the plan or start over. This approach will produce the best results - in EVE, or in real life!
Picking an ISK-earning specialty (or a few)
So, what are some ways for making ISK in EVE? The huge sandbox of EVE provides many, many options here. Here are some of the most popular career choices, ranked roughly from lowest to highest risk.
Industrialists are people that specialize in making things, moving them around, and earning ISK for their labors:
- Perhaps the easiest and lowest risk way to make an honest wage in EVE, mining is simply extracting and selling ore or refined minerals. To be a miner, you only need some basic ship piloting skills, mining skills, refining skills, a suitable ship, and some mining lasers. Travel to one of the many asteroid belts in a system, point your lasers at a 'roid, gather ore, bring it to a station, refine it, sell it - then repeat.
- The upside to mining is that it produces a fairly predictable income stream, with little (but not zero) risk, especially in high security (0.5 and above) space.
- The main disadvantage is that mining is highly repetitive and boring, as asteroids generally do not fight back! You also have to be on guard for can flippers and gankers - players who prey on miners, especially those who have gone "AFK" (away from keyboard) and aren't paying close attention.
- The career path for a mining specialist is long - highly advanced miners using Tech 2 exhumers can easily generate 10 million or more in ISK with an hour of effort (depending on market prices and what is being mined). Well organized mining teams, with Orca support - http://wiki.eveonline.com/wiki/Orca - and skilled mining foremen - http://wiki.eveonline.com/wiki/Mining_Foreman - can produce even higher returns.
- A general guide to mining can be found on the UNIWiki: http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Mining
- If you are interested in becoming a miner, check out the Amarr Mining Campus, a group of mining enthusiasts in EVE University. This group conducts regular mining fleet operations: http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/AMC
- Also a relatively low-risk way to earn ISK, haulers buy low in one location, and sell high in another. To become a hauler, you only need an industrial ship and suitable command skills.
- Moving goods around in high security space is fairly safe, but hauling in low sec or 0.0 can be extremely risky - and also extremely rewarding. Beware of common piracy havens.
- Haulers can also execute player courier contracts on the open market.
- A low-risk hauler moving non-player corporation goods can earn about 3-5 million in ISK per hour - Using EVE-Central to haul profitably - executing courier contracts or moving goods in low-sec or null sec are potentially an order of magnitude more lucrative, if you don't lose your ship.
- The career for a hauler can be fairly long, starting with simple industrial ships, then eventually moving to blockade runners and huge freighters. A useful introductory guide for aspiring haulers can be found here - Hauling.
- By the way, a miner/hauler combination can be an extremely powerful duo, and as a result, it's one of the most common main/alt character combos for players who can afford multiple in-game accounts.
- Almost everything in the EVE universe - ships, modules, ammo, etc. - is created by players, for their own use, or more frequently, for sale to other players. Building items and charging for the value-add can be a very lucrative way to generate ISK.
- Unfortunately, this career option is one of the hardest for new players to generate large amounts of ISK from, as it is extremely competitive. In addition, many miner/manufacturers undercharge because they do not include the value of the minerals they collected - they tend to think of ore they mined as "free" - so, many common Tech I items have very low profit margins, if any at all.
- However, for those who develop a high degree of manufacturing skills, and who can amass sufficient capital to purchase and research blueprint originals (BPOs), this can be a lucrative long-term career - Manufacturing.
- Through research, players can also improve the efficiency of blueprints to reduce manufacturing costs. Because they improve production efficiency and reduce manufacturing time, researched blueprints are valuable to manufacturers - and therefore are another potential source of income - Research.
- All advanced items in EVE, of the Tech II variety, are made possible by the efforts of players who conduct invention - Invention - on lower-tech items. The capabilities of Tech 2 items keep them in high demand, so invention can be a rewarding source of ISK for players with more advanced skills.
- Players can also work with dedicated research agents to "farm" valuable datacores, used in invention - though this is not nearly as lucrative as it was before the Inferno expansion, which reduced rewards from this form of passive income - Datacore Farming.
- Another semi-passive income source, Planetary interaction, EVE provides yet another way to create items of value for sale. The investments in skills and in ISK needed for planetary interaction are not as great as for high-level manufacturing, but the potential rewards are likewise more limited - Planetary Interaction.
While Industrialists specialize in making and moving things, Businesspeople earn ISK by investing capital, liquidity and talents in corporations, markets and infrastructure, and earning returns from their investment.
- Market Trader
- The dynamic and comprehensive player-driven market in EVE provides multiple opportunities for players to earn ISK, without even owning a ship or leaving a station! By investing in trade skills, and with a bit of starting capital (at least 1M ISK or more recommended to start), players can purchase goods on the market, and then sell them at higher prices.
- By providing liquidity to the markets, traders can make a good return, although this requires some investigation of market opportunities and vigilance in monitoring your market orders. If you've ever fantasized about making it big as a Wall Street speculator, becoming an EVE trader might be for you. There are several good recorded classes on this topic in the UNI library: Station Trading 101 and 102 are where you should begin: Eve University Class Library
- Corporate Executive
- Become your own CEO! By developing Corporate Management skills, players can found their own corporations, recruit other players, and earn ISK from a salary drawn from taxes and fees.
- At a more advanced level, you can also create a player owned structure (POS) to host valuable research facilities, or you could join an alliance and negotiate for implementing a lucrative moon mining POS. Creative corporate CEO's can even "go public" and sell their company stock to other players, for shares of future earnings.
- The entry requirements for starting an EVE corporation are quite low, and since non-player corporations (NPCs) now charge an 11% tax on bounties and mission rewards, starting a small corp of your own might be an attractive option.
- Becoming a big-time corporate CEO, however, requires some advanced skills, and a great amount of capital - either yours or someone else's - and so, this career option usually comes later in most players' EVE experience, if ever.
- Standings Pusher
- Do you have high standings with a faction corporation? Those standings are valuable to player corporations, many of which will pay you for access to them. Mining corporations need high NPC standings for tax-free "perfect" refining, for example. All corporations need some high standings for access to jump clone manufacturing.
- By focusing your mission-running on selected corporations and developing your social skills, you can then market your standings to the highest bidder.
Explorers are people that find things, and then make money on what they find. They come in a couple of varieties:
- Searching wormholes and hidden space for valuable sites, then selling the items that you discover, can be a very productive way to generate ISK - and a lot of fun, too.
- UniWiki resources on Exploration: Exploration
- To become an explorer, players must invest in several specialty skills (Astrometrics, Salvaging, Archeology and Hacking), some dedicated equipment (for example: probe launcher, codebreaker modules) and a suitable ship with bonuses for astrometric modules. You must also become an expert at probing - Smurfprime's Probing Guide.
- Many explorers prefer to make their fortunes in wormholes, where highly valuable relics, gas clouds, and mining sites can be found. However, wormholes are dangerous, because there is no way to know if anyone else is in system with you (that is, Local does not list who is there), there is no CONCORD protection, and there are powerful non-player enemies there called Sleepers which are adept at blowing newer players up. If you are interested in making your fortunes in wormholes, find experienced explorers to team up with, to show you how to survive and thrive there. You can find these by hanging out in the Exploration.E-UNI chat channel.
- EVE is a place of constant combat, and as a result, there are a lot of wrecked ships left behind after every battle. Finding, collecting and selling items from wrecks can be a great way for players to earn ISK. http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Guide_To_Salvaging Many items collected from wrecks are used to produce specialized rigs for ships, and so there is always a strong demand for these items.
- To become a successful salvager, players must develop salvaging skills (of course), and also sufficient command, electronics and engineering skills to use tractor beams and the salvager module.
- It is also useful to acquire a destroyer ship and convert it into a dedicated salvage vessel - with their large number of high slots and fairly large cargo bay, destroyers are perfect for this task. Later on, after you've earned enough ISK, you can acquire a Noctis - a ship with special salvaging bonuses.
- You can peruse asteroid belts for wrecks, of course, but the best way to earn a salvage income is to join a mission team and clean up any resulting wrecks, then split the resulting revenue with your teammates.
Military specialists earn their income from becoming very, very good at one thing: blowing stuff up. Since EVE is a universe populated by players interested in developing their power and influence, there is always a demand for military might.
- Mission Runner
- One of the first ways that every player makes ISK in EVE is by executing assigned missions assigned by agents in non-player corporations - Missions, or by running through deadspace complexes - DED complexes, either solo or in teams. You can find fellow mission runners in the UNI by hanging out in Missions.E-UNI in-game chat.
- To earn real ISK as a mission-runner, players must invest in larger ships and develop the skills to fly them, so that they can earn access to higher level agents, higher level missions and the much higher levels of rewards that come with them.
- Invaluable resources for finding agents and missions include EVE Survival http://www.eve-survival.org, EVE-Agents http://eve-agents.com/ and Grismar's Guide http://eve.grismar.net/wikka.php?wakka=AgentMissions.
- Incursions are a relatively new form of mission-running, designed to be conducted in groups with well-fitted ships. They are very lucrative, and earning about 20-40 million ISK per hour as a member of a good Incursion team is common. However, you need to be part of a good PvP team, with excellent (and expensive) ships and fittings. As a result, many players wait until they can fly good battlecruiser fits before trying Incursions. Check the Incursions.E-UNI chat channel if you are interested in teaming up with UNIs in an Incursion team.
- More info on Incursions here: Incursions
- The UNI Library also includes several very useful recorded classes on successful mission running and Incursions.
- Hunting and killing NPC pirates (a.k.a. "rats") can earn some ISK. But frankly, this is not the most lucrative way to earn money in EVE. Still, as a supplemental source of income, ratting can be fun, and a great way to refine some combat skills.
- To be a ratter, players only need to develop some combat skills and have a suitably outfitted fighting ship. High-sec rats are relatively easy to kill, and they spawn most frequently in asteroid belts - low-sec rats are a little tougher, but ratting in low-sec space is riskier because real-player pirates, who are infinitely more dangerous, also lurk there. The most lucrative and challenging rats are in null security space, and it is common for ratters to flourish there, using some well-established combat practices: Ratting 101.
- If you are interested in ratting in null sec space, consider joining the UNI's Nullsec Campus: Nullsec Campus.
- If you can develop very high levels of combat skills, you can make a decent living by hiring your guns out to corporations that can use you for fighting pirates or war targets. Mercenaries are typically hired by large corporations who want something done without their name being all over it. A mercenary could also be a hired guard for miners, an extra hand in a full scale war, or an escort through low sec areas, among other duties.
- If you are serious about being a gun for hire, joining a dedicated mercenary corporation is a good idea, as the one thing you need more than anything else as a "merc" is contacts.
- Bounty Hunter
- In the Retribution update, the EVE bounty system was completely revised. Players may now take out bounties on anyone, and they can make ISK by destroying the ships of pilots who have bounties on them.
- Serious bounty hunters can hunt down specific targets using locator agents http://www.eve-wiki.net/index.php?title=Locator_agent
- While pretending to be Boba Fett sounds like an exciting option, it is difficult to execute. Bounty hunters must have high combat skills, a powerful ship, and a bit of luck. For this reason, most bounty hunting, when it occurs, is usually a venture of opportunity, rather than of planning.
- Faction Warfare Pilot
- If you like player versus player combat, consider joining one of the four racial militias and getting into faction warfare. This provides ongoing conflict as you fight for the dominance of one of the four major races in New Eden.
- Faction warfare can be lucrative, as success is rewarded with low prices on expensive faction items in loyalty stores, and on datacores which are valued as critical elements in the invention process.
- Guide to factional warfare: http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Factional_Warfare
- WARNING THESE CAREERS WILL LEAD TO EXPLUSION FROM EVE-UNI**
In the EVE sandbox, there are people who play nice and pursue honorable careers - and then there are those who do not. Both styles of play are allowed. In fact, EVE is one place where crime does indeed pay - and pretty well, too.
- Can Flipper
- Perhaps the easiest entry-level way to get into a life of crime in EVE is to simply steal from miners who are "jetcanning", where miners jettison their collected ore into unsecured cargo containers, for retrieval later. Can flippers only have to get within 2,500 meters of a jetcan, then grab the contents.
- Miners are generally in weaker ships, with poor defenses or weapons, and there is usually little they can do to stop this theft. Further, if the miner fights back, then the can flipper may simply destroy the miner, and then loot the poor victim.
- Starting with the Retribution update, can flipping is now much more dangerous, because it triggers a criminal flag on the flipper - which means that anyone can attack and destroy the flipper without fear of CONCORD.
- For more on can flipping: Can Flipping
- Ninja Salvager
- Like the can flipper, the ninja salvager feeds off the labors of others - in this case, they are stealing wrecks from combat mission runners.
- To be a ninja salvager, you need good ship piloting skills, essential salvaging skills, and scanning skills. You must be able to scan down and locate other players' mission rooms.
- Ninja salvagers warp into other players' missions and start to loot and salvage the wrecks there. Since most mission-runners outfit their ships for PvE, a PvP-fitted ninja should also be able to take out the mission runner, if they aggress them.
- A good introductory guide to ninja salvaging: Ninja Salvaging and Stealing
- Do you like the idea of combat for personal profit? Then the life of a pirate might be for you. Pirates specialize in player-versus-player (PvP) skills, so that they can attack and pillage players (mostly haulers) in low security space, or capture them and ransom their ship or pod for money. http://www.eve-online-fan.co.uk/piracy-guide/
- Successful pirates must also have good scanning and probing skills, and the best ones hunt in packs. Joining a piracy corporation is therefore an attractive option for the aspiring space buccaneer.
- If you are interested in doing combat with pirates in low sec, consider joining the UNI's Low Sec Campus: Low-Sec Campus
- If you have ever fantasized about being a high-stakes confidence man, EVE provides you with lots of options for becoming a professional scammer - tricking players into giving you ISK or luring them into traps for profit.
- Some of these scams are simple - mislabeling contracts on the market and selling items for far more then they are worth, for example. But some are far more elaborate and dangerous - issuing an attractive courier contract into low-sec or null-sec space, for example, for the sole purpose of tricking a hauler into an ambush.
- Another form of scam is the corporate raider, who gains entry into a corporation, earns a director level position, and then uses that position to steal everything - including the corporation itself!
- Suicide Ganker
- If you initiate an unprovoked attack on a ship in high-security space (0.5 or higher), then CONCORD will destroy your ship. But losing a ship might be a small price to pay if you pick the right target - a nice fat freighter or a faction ship laden with high priced modules, for example. By working with teammates, who can loot the victim after your suicide attack, you can earn enormous rewards.
- To be a ganker, you must develop good CONCORD security status, so that you can gain entry into the optimal high-sec systems. This means that gankers spend much of their time running missions and ratting to improve their standing, then "cash in" their security status with a well-planned gank.
- An excellent explanation of the dynamics of suicide ganking can be found in a recorded class in the UNI library, called "The Dark Side of EVE".
- Drug Dealer
- There are illegal substance abusers in the EVE universe - and this includes many pilots. Booster drugs can temporarily increase certain capabilities, and though the stronger versions are illegal in Empire space, they are very much in demand. And where there are buyers, there is a market - one that a disreputable drug dealer can fill, and for decent profit, at moderate risk.
- For a thorough explanation of the drug trade, listen to this class in the EVE recorded library: http://dl.eve-files.com/media/1006/UNI-Boosters.mp3
Most MMOs frown on providing out-of-game services for in-game payment. Allowing any exceptions is seen as a slippery slope that ends with real money trading of in-game currency. EVE Online broke this convention by allowing players to exchange a very specific list of things for ISK. These include forum signature art, graphic and website design, website hosting and voice communications server rental. If you have graphic artist talent, or technical support ability, you can earn ISK for your EVE characters by providing these services to other EVE players.
While CCP does not allow trading of in-game items for real-world money, it does allow trading of real-world money for in-game ISK, within certain limits. Pilot License Extensions (PLEX), which can be used to pay for game time in 30-day increments, can be purchased from CCP and then sold in the in-game market to other players. http://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/30_days_Concord_Pilot_License_Extension
You can also trade EVE characters for ISK, if you follow CCP's rules: http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=1108250 While trading experienced characters can be potentially very lucrative, by doing so you are obviously losing a significant investment in time and skill points in the game. But if you have an well-developed character that no longer serves you well, trading that character for ISK is an option. Note: you may not offer to transfer characters except your own, or act as a "broker" or intermediary (for compensation or otherwise) for anyone wishing to transfer or obtain characters - doing so is a violation of the CCP End-User License Agreement (EULA). http://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/EULA
Playing EVE for Free
If you can consistently generate nearly 600 million ISK per month, you can play EVE for free. PLEX are available in-game for about 600 million or so - perhaps a bit higher or lower depending on market fluctuations. By putting together a portfolio of profitable activities, you can develop enough ISK-producing ventures to fund your EVE career.
The advice in this class represents most, but not all, of the potential career options in EVE. If you want a few more ideas, download this EVE career guide from CCP: CCP EVE Careers Guide - or check out this summary chart: EVE career chart.
To earn ISK, you don't have to be that smart - you only have to have a good imagination, and the will to use it. With more ISK, you can afford to do more things in the game, get those bigger ships and stronger modules, and have more fun! So, don't hesitate - finish your starter career missions, gather some initial capital, develop a career plan, and dive in!
Let's open the floor to some questions and discussion now.