EVE’s Ivory Tower

While its not in my nature to bash players or corporations in EVE, there was a tweet tonight by a fellow pilot that has dug up some very harsh emotions. I swore that I would keep this to myself until a day that I could figure out how I should deal with this in game. Tonight I have made the decision that players need to know exactly what “The Ivory Tower of Eve” really is.

For those of you that did not know, I spent about a year in “Eve University”. When I found them I thought what could be better? A university for a game that is so deep, so intense that it takes years to master and even then you never really master it. It was only after a few short months that I began to think, “What could be worse than this?”

Now while I know that everyone has there own opinion, I am going to share mine about Eve University and my experiences. Lets start with what I see as the positives.

1. The forums are literally a plethora of knowledge just waiting to be absorbed. Tons of MP3’s, walk through’s, etc.

2. Classes are abundant, well when they run them, when they aren’t wardec’d….
3. There are some good pilots and some very good people in the UNI, just too bad most are low on the totem pole.

Now on to my observations and experiences while in the University, all of which were bad BTW.
When I first “got accepted” into the UNI there were more than a few classes I was immediately interested in. I posted up on the forums that I would attend a few and started getting ready to learn. Before the classes ever took place the UNI got wardec’d, they shut down all classes, all mining op’s, mission running, basically anything any new player could do in game. If you broke these rules you would immediately be removed from the UNI as was explained to me by my recruiter. This seemed odd seeing as the UNI was there for NEW players, for us to learn and have fun. I was then told we could not undock unless we were in a fleet led by and experienced fleet leader. Do you know how much fun it is to sit in a station trying to get into a fleet only to get passed up for a “more experienced player” or even better for a fleet to never get started? How do you get to be a more experienced player if you cant get into a fleet because of the more experienced players? It is obviously a very vicious cycle.

They do give you an option to be dropped out of corp during wartime so that you can do as you please, however it was my experience that you would be out of the corp for very extended periods considering they were wardec’d back to back about 3 or 4 times. This caused me to eventually take a leave of absence from the game. I left for about 4 months and when I came back, that’s right, wardec’d. So I played the waiting game again, trying to find fleets, trying to get experience in EVE which was the reason I joined the UNI. I finally was taken out on a fleet op, if that is what you really want to call it. We undocked, too many ships to count, warped to a POS and literally sat there inside the POS for about an hour or so, watching the 1 enemy pilot that was camping us. Then we warped back to a station where we docked up. Tons of experience and fun, let me tell you…

I decided to try to make the best of it and started asking questions in corp chat to try to gain some knowledge. Some times, depending on who was online, my questions were answered in a friendly manner. However on more than one occasion I was told by “instructors” that I should learn to read and check the forums, no that is not an exaggeration. So this is how you teach your new pilots? Pilots who are very green and just want to experience a game like no other. Its amazing that more people don’t quit EVE after joining a University such as this.

I had taken more than one leave from EVE, started trying to create new characters so that I could have fun. Finally deciding that I had too much invested in Denovin Zyrinax, I logged him in and prepared to quit the UNI. While I was waiting for the 24 hour period to tick away I decided to move all my assets around a bit. I had things scattered everywhere and wanted to be as far away from EVE-UNI’s home system as possible. I decided to move about 20 jumps away from them, honestly don’t remember which system at this point.

I grabbed my badger and started hitting all the stations that I had assets in and moving them to my new “home”. I made about 2 clean runs and was just heading back with my 3rd when my phone rang. It was my older sister, she informed me that my stepmother was just rushed to the hospital and passed away before she arrived. I was sitting at my desk and glanced at my monitor seen i was sitting on top of a gate. At this point I was trying to make arrangements to leave and be with family so I told her I was OMW and hung up. Just as I looked up and was about to warp to a station I started getting shot. It was all over in about 5 seconds, my ship was gone, all my assets gone. Directly after I was podded, and a chat request came through. It was Azmodeus Valar, informing me that I broke the Universities policy and was blown up because of it. Apparently they were wardec’d and I failed to check that out since I was done with them.

I pretty much informed Azmodeus of the things that happened to me in RL, not so much for pity but more because I was still trying to deal with those feelings and well she chatted me and was there. After being told pretty much that she didn’t care about it, all she cared was that she was doing her job for the UNI, I went off. She then informed me that I could petition a member of the UNI, a player I didn’t remember, to get my assets back and be reinstated to the UNI. I told her I didn’t want in the UNI and cussed her out. Told her it was explained to me that if you broke wartime rules you would be kicked from the UNI not podded. I am sure I wasn’t nice at this point and was being rude in many ways I’m sure. She ended the conversation and immediately following I received the eve-mail stating I had been removed from the corp and could petition to get reinstated. I replied with a big old FUCK YOU and your corp and logged.

So you are probably thinking what did I stay on for if I had an emergency, to be honest it didn’t feel as if I were sitting there for long, Id say that all of it happened rather quickly and I was out the door. My point is not for people reading to take pity on me for RL problems or for being podded in EVE, I know the dangers and I know its a game. My point is that even if RL didn’t happen that day, even if I didn’t lose someone very dear to me, what happened was morally wrong. What happened was that a corp that is put on a pedestal, a corp that is supposed to nurture new players and make them stronger via training and experience does not do its job. My point is that information that was laid out at the time of recruitment, information stating that when wartime rules are broken you will at the worst be removed from the UNI is misleading, when you get podded for another UNI “ranking” members enjoyment. Corporations, even if they are a “school” of sorts should stick together.

I guess this is my way of trying to point out exactly how many new players are treated when joining a UNI of any kind in game. I have read and heard too many bad experience stories to think that EVE-UNI or any UNI should be placed on a pedestal or be viewed as “The Ivory Tower of EVE” Now I am sure there will be some people that read this are affiliated in some way with EVE-UNI or other UNI’s and see things differently. I am sure I will get flamed at some point, all I can say to that is this. These are my views of my personal experience inside EVE-UNI and my opinions so FLAME ON…..

Fly wreck less o7

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