Basic Character Creation
After you've gotten the client running, the first thing you'll need to do is make a character. This guide should help you do that intelligently.
The most important thing you should have in mind when creating a character is that your choice of race, bloodline etc. will only affect a couple of starting skills, your portrait, and nothing more. Any character can learn any skill given enough time.
Players from other MMOs tend to think that your character creation choices will set your playing style or roles in stone, when it couldn't be farther from the truth in EVE. Your race, bloodline etc. will have no effect on you beyond the first few hours of play.
TL;DR Any race can fly any ship and follow any career, they are all nearly identical and the only thing separating them is your choice of portrait.
If you don't want to read this whole article, here's the lowdown: Try to think of a good name as it is permanent.
- (Warning about names: In big fleet actions with 100+ ships on each side, fleet commanders often pick primary and secondary targets in alphabetical or sometimes reverse alphabetical order. Try not to make characters with names starting from A-E or V-Z.)
Pick a race and portrait you like the appearance of. Combat characters should restat primarily for Perception followed by Intelligence. Find out which race of ships you like best and focus your training around them.
Do those things and you won't go too far wrong. That said, the guide below should give you a bunch of information not immediately obvious from the Character Creation screens. Reading it will help make sure you make the character you actually want instead of the one you just thought you wanted.
If you want a specific information on the skills given to each character and alternative restat suggestions, see Recommended Base Stat Builds.
the first dicision you must make is your character's race. In the short term, this determines what sorts of ships you can fly in the first hours of play. Remember that in Eve, there is never a penalty for training to use another race's ships or equipment, and you're free to train anything that you've met the pre-requisites for. When deciding which race of ships you wish to use it helps to know a little about each, since each race’s ships have a slightly different play style and required skill set.
Races and Ships
Every race's ships offer general themes, such as the Gallente's large drone bays, or the Minmatar's small, fast ships, but within each race, ships in the same class can also offer a wide vareity of utility. The Caldari's Osprey mining cruiser for example, is radically different from the Moa sniping cruiser, even though they are both Caldari and require the same Caldari Cruiser skill to be trained before use. Merely flying one race's ships will not limit your ability to experiment with ship fittings.
Remember, choosing a race does not set in stone what you will do in Eve or what you can fly \xE2\x80\x93 it’s perfectly possible to make an Amarr character who specializes in Drones, or a laser-loving Gallente, or a Minmatar who flies a Caldari Electronic Warfare (EW) platform, or what have you. You are not limited to any particular class or race of ship.
Amarr ships are gunned with Lasers, while their primary defense is to armor tank. In a fight, remember to keep an eye on your ships capacitor level. Fun, somewhat one-dimensional though; great if you like a tough ship, and you only have to train a comparatively small number of skills to be good at it. The drawback of Amarr ships is that they lack versatility, and are generally limited to one damage type. That said, Amarr is currently the favored race of fleet operations due to the strength of the Amarr Battleships.
Use Railguns and missiles offensively, and shield tanking and electronic warfare for defense. They also get the longest-range gunnery options of any race. They're a good choice if you like long-range sniping combat, or if you like support roles and/or combat denial of enemy fleets. Also the best race for PvE isk making in general, though Amarr works just as well in our home (against Blood Raider NPCs)
Their ships are known for featuring Drone Bays, while also borrowing features from other races. Offensivly, most of their ships make heavy use of [Drones| drones], and the powergrid available on some of their ships is more suited to Blasters. Most Gallente ships favor Armor tanking. Generally regarded as the weakest of the racial options for ships at the present time due to the weakness of blasters and the ineffectiveness of drones in big fleet battles.
Minmatar ships tend to be fast and can feature either very short range or very long range, slow firing, heavy damage projectile weapons, but low general defenses. Can either armor tank or shield tank depending on the ship. Flying these ships well means training a wide variety of support skills, but once you have all the skills, they're very dangerous on the battlefield. They have some of the strongest small, fast ships.
Race and Roleplaying
Some people choose their initial race for Roleplay reasons, for unlike most MMOs, EVE has a very large and detailed background that contributes to a very vibrant-- if marginalized-- role play community. The race/heritage choice screen upon character creation has much better descriptions of each races' background, but here is a brief description of what each race means to the roleplayer.
Religious fundamentalists who consider the other races to be their rightful slaves. Imperialistic, arrogant, dominating; the Amarr are the largest and oldest empire and most populous race in EVE. Slavery is legal and alcohol is banned in Amarr space, and a heavy class based system keeps everybody in a perpetual hierarchy. At one point the Amarr even grew arrogant enough to attempt an assault upon the mysterious Jove empire, but were quickly humiliated with a total defeat, allowing the Minmatar slave race to free themselves and leaving the Amarr currently weak enough to be forced upon an uneasy truce with their one-time slaves.
Amarr ships are streamlined, goldenrod, and have cruel sounding names. In Star Trek lore, they generally look reminiscent of Romulan combined with Cardassian ships.
An oligarchy of numerous corporations united under a single state-run corporate empire. The Caldari praise efficiency and utility over everything else, caring nothing for such wasteful concepts as "art" or "looks" in their designs. The Caldari once hailed from the same home system as the Gallente, but their drastic differences in cultures have at one point caused the two to war. Eventually brought to a stalemate, an unease truce eventually settled upon, with the unfortunate agreement of the Caldari being forced to leave their home world and resettle to the north... something the Caldari have never forgiven nor will forget.
Caldari ships look like they were made for function over any sort of form, even lacking any sort of paint job; they are of the duct-tape-and-cardboard asthetic, but most of them are as efficient as can be.
The democracy-loving entertainers, producers, artists and innovators... but also very much semi-libertarians of the EVE galaxy. The Gallente admire the Minmatar for their freedom loving ways and agitate against the Caldari and Amarr for their rigid systems of authority. The Gallente actually elect their leaders and make choices as a Republic, unlike the other races. Gallente ships are the exact opposite of Caldari: form over function. They have all sorts of bizarre almost alien-looking designs, with the general sort of black and green color scheme of the Alliance ships from Firefly. Besides their bizarre look, Gallente ships would probably fit in well with the Federation from Star Trek--all around good at everything thrown their way.
Tribes of freed slaves who rebelled against their Amarr overlords in the past and set up an uneasy truce with the other empires. Many Minmatar are still renegades and continue to wage war on the Amarr in retribution for centuries of abuse. Many of the disjointed tribes are composed of nomadic traders and merchants. The closest allies of the Minmatar are the Gallente, who respect their desire for freedom and self-governance. Minmatar ships look pieced together from scraps found at junkyard only also held together with string and duct-tape. Their ships have a dark blood-red steel look reminiscent of Reaver ships from Firefly.
Choosing a Bloodline
Each race is further subdivided into “bloodlines,\xE2\x80\x9D or what are sometimes referred to as subraces. Each race has three bloodlines, two older ones that came on release with EVE and the newer Asian bloodlines that have been recently released.
Picking a bloodline has a large influence on the looks of your character, so take a look at each one to see what appearances are available.
Next you'll pick your character's gender. We hope you don't need this explained. It doesn't make any direct in-game difference what your character's gender is.
Picking Your Ancestry
Next you will be asked to select an ancestry, also known as a bloodline's heritage. (In Eve, you can choose your relatives!) These are all flavor text and have no effect on your character; you cannot even view your character's heritage later in-game. These are bloodline specific, such as Gallente Intaki having heritages of 'Artist' or 'Reborn.' Pick whichever one you want.
Next you'll see two screens that let you pick your character's prior career and career specialization. Once again this is flavor text and has no effect on your character, so pick whatever sounds best to you.
Once you've made the first choice, you'll see two possible Specializations. These are going to vary a little by race, but as before has no effect on your character, choose any.
Picking a Portrait
After you pick race and bloodline, you’ll go to a character portrait screen. Feel free to spend a few minutes picking a face you like-- feel free to read this very excellent guide to professional portrait making.
Be warned: there is an annoying bug with spending too long of time making a portrait! If you spend over three to five minutes editing your portrait, the login server will idle you off, and when you go to submit your portrait it will disconnect you! A simple solution to this is to every few minutes go forward a step to the portrait confirmation screen, and then type in a name-- which can be anything and does not have to be final. When you enter your name it will 'refresh' your status on the server, resetting the idle meter, from which you can simply go back two steps to continue working on your portrait.
Choosing a Name
After you decide you like your portrait, you will be asked to enter a name. Your name is permanent, and case sensitive! There is no way to change your character name at a later date short of completely restarting with a new character. This goes for capitalization and so forth as well -- Eve will reproduce your name exactly as you type it, with or without capitals. It will not autocapitalize the first letter, etc.. So if you forget to capitalize your name, it will remain like that forever.
I say this because I know quite a few people who have been playing for two years or more, and they have horrible names they wish they could change, but they can't without losing those months or even years of training. Probably the best known example of this is Goonfleet member "Buttpipe." Apparently, the name seemed like a good idea to him at the time. Now, months later, he's still stuck with "Buttpipe" as his handle, despite his daily GM pleas for a change. Don't be a Buttpipe. Pick something you'll like down the road.
Take this advice only if you're positive you want a dumb name: pick a name that is as unpronounceable and unspellable as possible, and that begins with a letter in the middle of the alphabet. This makes it less likely you will be targeted in a group engagement, as you have a really awkward name to call out over teamspeak, and you will never be on top of the FCs overview which will always be sorted by name. Use a random name generator if you can't think of a name with these attributes. The downside to this is obviously that nobody on our side will be able to pronounce your name either, and its just not cool.
Attributes and Skill Training
Eve features five character attributes:
Attributes do not affect anything that you do actively in game - that's up to your skills - but your character attributes do affect how quickly you can train these skills. Every trainable skill in Eve features a Primary attribute and a Secondary attribute. Roughly speaking, each point in a primary attribute will save you an hour of training every day, while each point in a secondary skill will save you half-an-hour every day.
Certain skill categories share a theme of requiring certain attributes. Gunnery, missile, and ship piloting skills rely primarily on Perception, while Drone-related skills rely heavily on Memory, and most ship outfitting skills (very important!) rely on Intelligence. Many of the “late game\xE2\x80\x9D skills that take the longest time to train -- such as skills for piloting Capital Ships and advanced weapon skills -- rely heavily on Perception.
Memory is important for learning, science, industrial, and drone skills, but it's generally not as important if you're looking to dive right into action.
Finally, the Charisma attribute affects trade skills, corporation management, wing command, or how your character "interact" with NPCs (for example, if you plan to run a lot of missions). Charisma is generally neglected, since most players won't train more than a few levels of trade skills or a minumum of mission-buffing skills. Charisma is useful for a few specialist builds -- leadership and trade and the like -- but most players consider it the least desirable, as these specialist skill categories take up less than 10% of all of the skills in game (the only combat-related paths that emphasize Charisma are the Command Ships paths and the Leadership Skills).
Generally you should allocate points to the five attributes based on this rough list of descending game-mechanics importance: Perception, Intelligence, Willpower,Memory, and Charisma, these attributes will affect how quickly you train various skills.
Remember that as a new player, you have two attribute restats available. Take advantage of that by buffing the attributes that affect your learning skills. Once you've used your available restats, you will gain a new restat every year following your last restat.
Want to learn more about how skill training works in eve? Click (here).
Train Learning Skills
The Learning category features nine skills that will increase your character's attributes and therefore your training speed directly. It's a very common practice to focus your early training on these skills, as they will affect how quickly you train skills for the rest of your eve career.
It's not necessary, or recommended, to complete these right away; if you do, you'll train a lot of skills at light speed, but for your efforts you'll probably burn out without ever undocking. Train them between skills you'll use more often, or while you're away.
Specific Recommended Builds
If all of the above was too much for you, then simply refer to the link that has been repeated various times on in this article: Recommended Base Stat Builds. This contains more specific information on the tangible differences of each character build.
Note that since every account can have 3 characters on it, you might want to have one PvP pilot, one production pilot, and one "whatever" pilot-- just remember only one character per account can be training at once!
Some people like having lots of alts, others just have one main character. Suit yourself, and have fun! For more information on alts and playing with multiple accounts at once, please refer to the article here.