Monday, April 6, 2015

Starting an Alt: Surrender

Eve is a game, in many ways, about patience.  The really lucrative industry jobs takes weeks or months to complete.  Acquiring kills can require a lot of effort and preparation – not only in understanding and applying proper ship fitting, but also flying around and finding someone willing to fight you.  Mining is a slow business requiring significant hours of investment… with few ways to speed up the process (unlike finding surprise drops from faction rats, for instance).

And skill training advances regardless of in-game activity, meaning that training Advanced Weapon Upgrades V is going to take the better part of a month whether you log in and spend hours playing or simply afk train.

In August of last year, I started an effort to create an alt from scratch.  My goal was to train a new character with all the core, fitting, armor, shield, drone, base gunnery, and base missile skills a person would need to step into any ship and weapon type effectively.  I laid out a long-term skill plan.  And it was a good one.  I’ve been training that character for the past seven months.

Or at least I was until this week, when I sold that character and cheated.

Starting a character from scratch is hard business.  To do it correctly – maximizing your attributes to train skills in an efficient way – means not being able to use that character for quite some time.  I admit, I cheated a little… I ended up leapfrogging to train him for exploration (data and relic sites) first, then shifted to train him into a Tengu to help augment isk-making when RP left for Goonswarm.  Then, near the end, I started training him as a booster alt.

But patience is not one of my virtues, particularly in a video game with a monthly subscription.  I’m the guy who wants to undock and kill people.  I want CCP to make it possible to buy an entire ship fitting in one click (if you can multi-sell, why not multi-buy?).  I want to reduce the time sink related to “resetting” without reducing the pain of losing a ship or the time needed to earn isk.

I started this new character full of hope.  His name was A Pale Rider.  During the long months of not using him for anything, I nourished myself on thoughts of naming all of his ships, “A Pale Horse” and charging into a system to cause mayhem.  There’s nothing quite like being killed by Death…

But March saw the CFC deploy to Delve (come on, you knew it wasn’t going to stay in Fountain, right?) for the 3rd time since I joined the coalition.  My urge to “do my part” kept Talvorian down there pretty much all the time.  But that meant I really couldn’t take part in the small gang action I really enjoyed.  Clone jump timers can be tricky sometimes (“Okay, I need to be in Delve for the timer on Tuesday, but I want to do some low roaming on Monday, but the enemy may not form up on Tuesday, and I don’t want to sit around away from lowsec if nothing’s happening in null…” etc. etc.).

So, I sold A Pale Rider for a modest profit, putting an end to my “Starting an Alt” efforts with an abject failure.  The simple fact is that it’s much easier and more efficient to purchase a character than it is to start one from scratch.  I did it once with Talvorian, again with Valeria, and I’m not keen to train AWU V or Minmatar Battlecruiser V or the prereqs for Command Ships again… ever.

So, you can consider this a change to my official stance on starting an alt.  Sure, you can do it, but more likely, you can earn enough isk to buy a great character in less time than it takes to train one from scratch.  Yeah, you have to manage the baggage that comes with it (corp history, name, faction standings, sec status, remap availability), but that’s still less hassle than starting from scratch.

I got a great character, over 70 million sp with everything I’m looking for (just a little work in Navigation and Missiles needed).  And now, I can be in both places at once, happy murdering Talvorian’s sec status while still doing my part for the alliance and coalition that is so profitable for my corp and myself.  And to top it off, the character had 1.3 bil worth of assets locked up in old contracts that had never been claimed.

Priorities shift, particularly when patience is involved.  Yes, patience is important in Eve, but so is adaptation.  When our assets no longer meet our goals, it’s either time to change those goals or change those assets.  Otherwise, you’re just wasting time.  So while this plan was a failure, it was still an educational one.

In that sense, maybe it was a success after all?


  1. "Yeah, you have to manage the baggage that comes with it (corp history, name, faction standings, sec status, remap availability), but that’s still less hassle than starting from scratch."

    You and I simply do not see eye to eye here... I assume to you toons are just that, toons... sorta like pants you put on, or mebbe a toon is like a ship you can buy and just 'use'...

    For me, my toons are, well... people. Not items or assets... and their 'baggage' is important to me... for instance (and I hope you will forgive me this, it is not at all personal but...) I would never, under any circumstances buy or fly a toon that had been in goons... or had been a mission griefer or a noob killer or a scammer or corp spai or any of a number of other forms of game play I find abhorrent, and there are a number of corp or alliance affiliations I simply do not want to ever have show up as part of 'my' history...

    When "I" log into a toon it is ME... not just some 'pair of pants' I can wear and use... it represents me and who I am and what I stand for and how I play... mebbe that is a bit of RP... I really don't see it that way so much as I never want anyone to search on my 'name' and see things in 'my' history that I know I would never do...

    Hence I will never buy a toon nor will I ever sell one I have rolled... all the toon's I fly or will even fly are ME and have been skilled from the cradle by me.

    1. I can respect that. I have two classes of characters... ones I'm invested in and ones that are merely useful. I'll never sell Talvorian or Valeria, but all others are there for their usefulness.

      As to the Goons opinion, while I understand that, when I got into null, all the alliances I was interested in were CFC because that's where the USTZ alliances were. You had the DRF which was EVERYWHERE, NC. (who I perceived as Euro), Evoke and Ewoks who were German, and some Eastern European guys.

      To players at large, the CFC are the "bad guys", but to the USTZ, they ARE the coalition to belong to. Mind you, this was before WH space existed, so all that gameplay wasn't an option yet.