A major strength of the sci-fi massively multiplayer online game EVE Online is that there are no classes and certainly no professions that a player is locked into. EVE's professions are freeform, but this can lead to new players being unsure about what to do (or be) in the game. The title's developer CCP Games is attempting to remedy this. One of the resources that complements EVE Online's New Player Experience in the Apocrypha expansion is the "EVE Careers Guide", which introduces new players to the gameplay possibilities in New Eden. It's largely put together by Benilopax of Warp Drive Active: Industry podcast fame and Richie Shoemaker (aka "Zapatero"), the Editor of E-ON -- the official magazine of EVE Online -- who we've interviewed at Massively in the past. The EVE Careers Guide is a PDF file with interactive links throughout to navigate between sections, providing a comprehensive look at the game for rookie pilots.
Zapatero welcomes new players to EVE Online, explaining the game in broad terms: "Many have found their own path in EVE by taking turns that are wildly divergent from what its makers envisaged. EVE is about relationships, prejudices, trust, greed and creativity more than it's about spaceships, trade and combat. New Eden is a very human universe, and with almost 300,000 people making up the population, it's a very dynamic one. Yes, it's harsh and uncompromising, frustrating and callous, but it's also illuminating in scope, vast in stature and utterly unique."
The Guide is broken down into a few key sections:
- Admin: an explanation of the corporate and alliance (guild) cornerstone upon which EVE is built, and the roles players can assume within these organizations.
- Combat: explains the types of roles a player can take on, either flying solo or as part of a fleet. (Massively columnist Brendan Drain, aka Nyphur, is mentioned under Defense Specialist.)
- ISD: the ways that players can get involved with improving aspects of the game with the Interstellar Services Department volunteer group.
- Resource: a look at the various science and industry professions that EVE players can explore.
- Service: a look at some of the paths less traveled in New Eden, shedding some light on the directions players have taken in relation to EVE in the past, ranging from Cartographer to Diplomat.
- E-ON: the EVE Careers Guide also has selected articles from among E-ON's back issues, as well as a complete index of all E-ON issue content since the publication began.
Massively spoke very briefly with Zapatero about the EVE Careers Guide today. He fully appreciates that in a game as open as EVE Online, where players can continually redefine what they do in the setting, there's always potential for careers other than what the guide has covered so far. He mentioned that readers who would like to see different career possibilities represented in a future guide (to accompany the next EVE expansion) can write to E-ON at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can download the EVE Careers Guide from the game's official site. It's a free download and no login is required. The file is a hefty 54 mb and loaded with info about EVE Online, fully clickable throughout.