EVE Online Diary #1


posted 9/19/2006 by Randy Kalista
other articles by Randy Kalista
One Page Platforms: PC
2006.09.09 23:52
Dear Sever: Thank you for your interest in the Card Sharks. Please review the offer that we have sent you and let us know what you think.
Anthony Ebon
King of Spades
The Card Sharks
Joining a guild is a socially-gratifying milestone in any massively-multiplayer game. And being approached by a corporate headhunter for the Card Sharks (not their real name) is the very tasty icing on a very gratifying first week in the EVE Online universe.
The universe’s tension level is quartered between four strands of the human race, fluxing between boiling and freezing beneath fluctuating conditions of open and cold warfare. But enemy lines aren’t as clearly delineated as “orcs vs. humans” or any other elementary black and white distinctions. Ideologies and loyalties are drawn in the sand, open borders allow pirates and privateers alike to soar across invisible socio-political boundaries, and the only-slightly regulated PvP tucks in 800-thread count bedsheets of eminent danger over the entire galaxy. Sleep tight.
This MMO, like all MMOs, opens on the character creation screen. Four races beckon your $14.95 a month: The holy crusading Amarr Empire, the rebellious underdog Minmatar Republic, the freedom flag-waving Gallente Federation, and the strictly-business Caldari State. Contingent upon your choice, three separate bloodlines further comprise each race.
On the character creation screen, ability scores are firmly established (with slight variations marking each race) and character portraits grin or grimace with a player’s telltale intentions and aspirations as a “good” or “bad” guy. Your character portrait is frozen in time after you hit the Go button. Slid into the upper-left section of the user interface is your lovely mug staring back at you for the remainder of your time in EVE. You will never leave your ship for a stroll along the promenade since -- and there are game-enhancing scientific papers written on this -- you’re a “pod capsuleer” with hoses and implants affixed to your embryonic fluid-floating body (a la the Matrix) inside of your active ship. Your inert photo is decidedly cold and impersonal. Much like space.
Conforming to the cold, calculating mood I was in, I opted for the Caldari, a state built upon the ice cube ethics of corporate capitalism and rocksteady soldier codes. Of the three Caldari bloodlines I select the Asian-themed and scientifically specializing Achura, trying not to pronounce it ACK-yoo-ruh, like the car (Acura).  
Choosing an occupation on the last screen from broad-based fields like ‘fighter’ and ‘miner’ (but also delving into less immediately obvious titles like ‘manager’ and ‘commander’) invests more skill points into certain areas from the beginning, and you’ll only be made aware of those point investments after you initialize your character. (A ‘custom’ career is the default setting, so again, there’s no need to get one-tracked in your profession.
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