Eve is considered by many to be one of the more complicated games in the MMO industry. By nature, “sandbox” style games are more difficult than “theme-park” style MMOs like World of Warcraft or Everquest, because you are required to learn a playing style rather than follow a pre-determined one. This is a difficulty not only shared by the gamers, but by the developers as well.. with tutorials giving a merely basic understanding of some things you can do, not necessarily all that is involved with living in Eve Online.

The developers at Eve Online have since done much work to Aura, and it is certainly much improved over the days when this was actually true:


The Famous Learning Curve of Eve Online

In addition, Incarna also brought with it Career training tutorials, covering all sorts of common paths that a person could take.

However, the best thing about a sandbox MMO is, nearly anything is possible. And in Eve Online, some have taken it upon themselves to instruct new ones in how Eve Online REALLY works. These corporations (a term used instead of “guilds” or “clans”) are often formed by well experienced players and those who feel a need to give back to the overall Eve Community. These in-game Academies and Universities have proven themselves to be very successful in their operation and valuable to the Eve Online game itself. Here are a couple testimonials:

From Asuri Kinnes of Adhocracy Incorporated on Eve University:
E-U is a great place to get a leg up in game. It’s also a fantastic place to mingle with other (new) eve players – many a new corp has come out of E-U. They do a great job of getting new players over that first hump … – giving them a chance to mingle with other eve players, new and old. Got my first pvp in E-U (that didn’t involve Concord ). Scouted, E-war’d, DPS’d, was a follower and FC’d a few times. First War-Dec (and 2nd, 3rd, 23rd… )…
Having said all that, E-U is / has been / was very much centered on teaching the basics to start out.

From AkJon Ferguson of JC Ferguson and Son Ltd:
Agony‘s Basic class is an awesome introduction to PVP, and their basic class is free if you can’t afford to pay for it.

Bet you didn’t think you’d see that in a game that is more known for its scams, corporate heists, and double-crosses, than its philanthropy.

The most popular example of this is Eve University. The corporation itself has been around since 2004 and currently boasts almost 1800 members. Their website is located here: http://www.eveuniversity.org/. Eve University isn’t just a few guys giving you a couple tips while they do their own thing. It’s a structured program designed by the players to give you a complete feel for all the aspects of Eve Online. These literally range from trading, mining, PVP, Planetary Interaction, and probably the most important of all, the core mechanics of the game.

Another well-known Academy is with Agony Unleashed, who provides PVP classes that encompass both low-sec and 0.0 styles of combat. Their website is here: http://www.agony-unleashed.com/index.php?app=portal. I personally have fought against these guys during the early days of the Post-CVA Providence and have found them to operate quite well.

Still, it isn’t just the kind hearted of Eve that have put together Academies in Eve Online. Some pirate and mercenary outfits have put together their own to help guide new players into their own corps. For example, the well known Noir. Mercenary Group has their Noir. Academy. The infamous pirate corporation VETO used to have a functioning Academy as well for their new hires.
Besides that you have:

Star Frontiers Academy – from Iohet Nolafew: “Star Frontiers Academy [SFAC] is a school, but not a very large one currently. The goal is to train pilots on PvP and all of the ins and outs that PvP entails in EVE, as well as developing a connection and support structure within EVE. We welcome anyone looking to learn about/pursue a PvP lifestyle in EVE. I don’t have any experiences to give you, but many of the pilots in Star Frontiers (the parent corp) today were home grown within SFAC(or using the same principles within SF prior to the creation of SFAC). “

Open University of Celestial Hardship – PVP and 0.0(nullsec) training.

Red Versus Blue – A good place from what I hear to learn about PVP, especially for new players (and for those with limited pocket books). The style of combat between these two corporations (Red Federation and Blue Federation) is rather popular and they have even been part of the Alliance tournaments (reasonably successful too).

There are others as well, some more specifically geared to their styles of combat, some not combat related at all.

But really, why?

Still, there is probably the question in your mind: “Why would YOU want to take classes before flying off to your destiny?” True, you may have years of experience in other MMOs, and in those MMOs to you it might have been pretty easy to pick up the combat and rules and archtypes necessary to win. But this is Eve. The biggest gun doesn’t always win.. even when it does hit. Plus, you don’t really want to look stupid doing the same things these guys did:


And those are just a small.. VERY small sample of the ships people field. If you don’t know WHY those ships are bad.. save yourself time and ship losses and go train at an Academy.

Everybody was new once.. but you shouldn’t stay new.