I dabble in a lot of things in EvE across multiple characters. Katia, however, is my main and always will be because of my love for exploring and sailing dangerous seas. My next New Eden Explorer guest is no stranger to the same philosophy with the exception that he doesn’t just dabble, he fully dives in and masters each area all the while sharing his experiences via his blog, EVE Lost and Found. Sven Viko VIkolander is an explorer, trader, hauler, PvPer, and I’m sure is in other areas I’m not aware of. I simply admire his goals which you can read on his blog – one of which, visiting every system in New Eden, is one that I fully appreciate.
Personally, it seems to me that successful long term EvE players are ones who have multiple characters specializing in specific careers. That way, if you become bored in one area, you can switch up and do something else for a while. Sven has found that to be true and I can’t think of too many bloggers that share all of their experiences in a single location. It makes sense for blog to be focused, but I like reading about a single players multi-character experience because that seems to accurately reflect a typical EvE player.
Oh, one last thing, Sven mentions his favorite ship the Confessor and just a little over a week ago he lost his first one (not his first ship ever, but his first Confessor, the first ship he had really grown attached to). Ouch! I hated reading that, because I know it means my time is coming… ack!
Be sure to check out EVE Lost and Found, there’s some really great tips across multiple careers to be found there.
What attracted you to EVE Online and how long have you played?
I first started EVE a little over 3 years ago on a whim, and immediately wished I had started sooner. From my days playing early MMOs, I had always wanted a game with real risk and the possibility of meaningful loss. EVE also suited me as a highly long-term game that rewarded knowledge at least as much as skills and items. Even though EVE is a time sink of epic proportions, it is also surprisingly well suited to “career” or “grown up” schedules than many other multiplayer games, which might help explain why many older individuals are attracted to EVE.
How would you describe your characters career path?
Like many players, I got hooked on many different activities in EVE largely through the community. I read blogs about all things EVE Online from the start and my list of goals in game—or at least things I wanted to try—grew exponentially, to the point that I soon wanted to try a bit of everything, and that’s where I still am today. From my early days on, I wanted to PVP, primarily solo, but I knew it would be a long road to not being terrible, but it has been a blast learning. In my first days in game, for instance, I heard about the “Not Red Don’t Shoot” policy in Providence, and I tried (and failed) to move there and live on my own. Sugar Kyle started her blog on low sec living right around the time I started playing, and that got me hooked on living in dangerous low security space. After dying to some very helpful pirates—another common experience—I joined Red Versus Blue to learn the basics of PVP. I stayed much longer than I expected—over a year, joining back up occasionally for their insanely fun free for all events—but in the meantime I found the exploration videos of JonnyPew and others on youtube. So, I created an alt and moved into an isolated area of low sec. That’s when I became obsessed with exploration almost as much as PVP, and decided to start blogging about both.
More recently, I’ve been branching out, trying new forms of PVP, getting into market trading and industry, but I still see myself in that learning phase of the game. My issue is that I enjoy everything I’ve tried and end up spending much more time in it than I expect, so even after 3+ years the majority of the game still “unknown” to me, including null sec and wormholes for the most part!
What attracted you to explore New Eden? What is your goal and have you achieved it? If not, are you still working towards your goal, do plan to continue, or what are you currently doing?
Exploring to me is much more than running exploration sites and making isk, and much more about exploring new areas, new regions, and meeting new people. The exploration and scanning systems are simply a good means to those ends. The goals I have are personal, and in some sense “completionist.” I am in the process of visiting every system in game, living in new regions in the process, joining lots of different groups, and PVPing in just about every ship and in just about every way/style.
What is the name of your favorite ship that you enjoy flying the most while exploring? Why is it your favorite? Would you mind sharing your fit?
My preferred exploration ship has changed over the years, and I’ve used and enjoyed almost all of the them. For a while, and maybe still, the Stratios was my favorite, but now, I’m in love with the new T3 destroyers. The Confessor can do almost everything incredibly well, particularly PVP at the frigate and destroyer level, but it is also great in PVE roles. There are a lot of decent fits for the Confessor, but two modules are key to its exploration role as I fly it:
First, the Expanded Probe Launcher for using combat probes. T3 destroyers get a rare probe launcher fitting reduction, allowing them to use combat probes on almost any standard PVP or PVE setup. The expanded probe launcher allows you to scan down cosmic signatures, of course, and the Confessor can easily manage many of the lower end combat sites. The huge cargo bay on the ship opens up the possibility for carrying a mobile depot from which you can refit in space for specific sites, such as data/relic sites. However, the expanded launcher also lets you scan down POSes, mobile structures, drones, and of course other players, which opens up a new world of exploring. Some days you can find me out in my Confessor scanning down mobile structures; other days I’m out collecting drones left in a system; other days I am scanning down POSes and being nosy investigating them. And of course I’m often on the lookout for players I can probe down and…meet!
Second, a 10mn afterburner. The limitation of T3 destroyers as exploration ships is that they cannot fit covert ops cloaks, but a 10mn afterburner (combined with the speed bonuses in propulsion mode) is one of the best survival tools in game.
During your research and travels, what has been the most interesting fact, amazing sight, or other aspect of New Eden that surprised you?
I think it has been the way players and groups shape the places they live. Starting out in game, all the systems might seem relatively similar, but overtime you learn that it is the people—individuals and groups—who shape them. When a major group like Brave Newbies Inc. moves into an area, it completely changes the “game” in that system/region, but this happens even with individual players who can make their “mark” on a system. This is one of the best ways that EVE is a sandbox and unique among games available.
What have you learned or what advice would you give to someone interested in exploring New Eden?
My advice would depend on whether the player is interested in exploration primarily for making isk, or as a more general way of playing the game. To the former players, especially new pilots, I suggest they check out the great youtube videos and blogs about exploration to get a feel for how to find and run sites effectively, and to try and join a good corporation with experienced explorers. For players interested in exploration more generally: take risks! Go to dangerous places and try new things and meet new people.
Do you have a favorite image that you wouldn’t mind me posting and sharing from your explorations?