The wrong way

Talvorian Dex wrote a post on the Target Caller blog giving an overview of what Newbies should know about EVE.

Point 6 was that there was no right way to play EVE, but there was a wrong way. The wrong way was to try to do it solo.

I shouldn’t really argue this point since my very own blog byline is “Focused on playing EVE the wrong way”, but I think this view can catch out and ostracise a small but otherwise viable group of players.

So for those who want or need to fall into the dreaded category of solo EVE players, here are some thoughts.

. The argument that EVE is an MMO so you shouldn’t play solo makes no sense. It is impossible to play EVE in total isolation from your fellow players. The moment you undock – someone else has the opportunity to interact with you. When you mine or rat or do exploration, you are competing for resources against other players. When you do almost anything on the market, you are interacting with other players. You are part of this MMO if you fly solo or in a 20,000 man coalition.

. Not everyone is suited to being a member of an EVE Player corporation. You may not find the social aspects of the game comfortable or enjoyable, or you might not be able to meet the requirements of the type of Corporation you would find value in. If your EVE time is restricted, you might not appreciate having your training time, ISK expenditures, and in game activities dictated to by others.

. While not all aspects of the game are open to you flying solo, most are. The Executive Producer of EVE (CCP Seagull) has stated numerous times that she supports varied and interesting solo and small group play styles.

. Statistically you are less likely to stick around playing EVE solo than in a player corporation. It doesn’t mean it is impossible, it just means you have to work harder at the game. There are many well-known and successful solo EVE players.

So there is a place for you here.

Once here I think there are three key aspects of being a successful solo player in EVE.

. First, embrace the fact that while you might fly solo, you are not playing the game alone.

. Second, be aware of the community. Follow CCP on Facebook and Twitter, read the DEV blogs, find yourself a number of Fan sites to read, and if your fortitude is strong enough, follow the News sites or forums. I can’t see how you would last long term in the game if you did not keep yourself informed about what was going on. It makes the game much richer.

. Third, maintain a long and ever updated list of goals and things to do in game. The previous suggestion helps you do that. Aimlessness kills your EVE experience.

I think it is as simple as that.

6 thoughts on “The wrong way

  1. I vacillate between group/corp and “semi-solo” play, and find merit in both. Nothing beats flying in a fleet operation with 200 of your closest corp-mates. But I also enjoy solo mining and mission-running and exploration from time to time. It certainly is possible to play EVE Online as a solitary experience, but I think it loses much of its appeal without someone to share that experience with. One could say that you could live Real Life as a hermit, isolated from others, but most of us opt instead for some degree of human relationship. So it goes with EVE Online – I think it is far more unlikely that a player will drop the game if they find friends in the game to interact with. I know that is what has happened to me.

  2. It is indeed unfortunate the ‘loud’ still presume to tell us how we cannot possibly enjoy ourselves without their constant teamspeak babble. I assume it’s in the nature of things those dulled by, or scared of, listening in to their own thoughts have no notion of solitude; only loneliness.

    While among a, quite literally, like-minded subset Dex might be correct, this is not all playerdom, Sir.

    Group-think, schedules, and extrinsic constraints: not play.

  3. Hi, EVEHermit. I just wanted to leave you a comment to say how much this blog has inspired my own gameplay and enjoyment of EVE. Although I am a member of an active corporation, I spend a lot of my play time solo and working on my own projects. Your consistent good writing and thoughtful, balance approach encouraged me recently to set up my own EVE blog (, and walk a little way in your own footsteps. Thank you, for your inspiring voice in the community.

  4. First off, let me apologize for not responding sooner. I have you in my dashboard on, but for some reason, I didn’t see this one until I was reading through some of your more recent posts. Great posting!

    I completely agree with you that players can absolutely play and enjoy Eve solo. My comments were coming from a place more focused on the types of play that benefits the gameworld. The whole lynchpin of “the players are the content” is in creating a bunch of connections and interactions that trigger experiences for others, as well as for ourselves. With declining subscription counts, I feel CCP needs to try to encourage as many players as possible into interactive play, to make the most of that player base.

    But that’s “encourage”. I enjoy solo play as well.

    Great opinion and great response! I didn’t mean to exclude people, but rather to persuade them to create lots of effects on the play of others! Don’t stop doing what you’re doing!

    • I read your post, its comments, your follow ups and posts since. I have no particular disagreements with where you are coming from. I just used that singular point to remind people that there is a place for solo pilots, but to push the line that there is a difference between flying solo and playing solo. If everyone played solo, EVE would not work.

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