Choosing your character
Part of a series on
The Eve Client
The first screen you see will be a “race\xE2\x80\x9D selection. This will determine your “base\xE2\x80\x9D statistics and what sorts of ships you fly initially. Since each race’s ships have a slightly different playstyle and required skillset, it helps to know a little about each when picking your race.
Race is a somewhat superficial feature in Eve, as are your character’s looks (although making a goofy or hideous character can cause grief later in your career). Your attributes are really what character creation is all about, and should reflect what you want to do with your character. Choosing the “wrong\xE2\x80\x9D attributes for what you want to do won’t lock you into something you don’t want to do \xE2\x80\x93 every race can train every other race’s ships, for example \xE2\x80\x93 but proper choices at character creation can save you considerable amounts of training time.
Races in Game Terms
Although every race's particular ships have general themes like large capacitors or sizable drone bays, there is considerable variation between ships even within a single race. The 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. Flying one race's ships will not severely limit your ability to experiment with ship fittings.
Amarr focus on laser combat and armor tanking, which means slugging things out and blasting, with a lot of monitoring your ship's energy levels. Fun, somewhat one-dimensional though; great if you like being tough, and you only have to train a comparatively small number of skills to be good at it.
Minmatar fly fast ships with either very short range or very long range, slow firing, heavy damage projectile guns, but low general defenses. Takes a lot of skills to fly these ships well, but once you have all the skills, they're very dangerous on the battlefield.
Caldari are mainly missile users, shield tankers, and electronic warfare users. They also get some of the best racial electronic superiority and tactical combat options. Another great pvp choice if you like support roles or combat denial of enemy fleets.
Gallente are generalists who borrow parts from the other races and add huge drone bays, which function somewhat like "pets" from other MMOs. Gallente ships are known for their versatility and numerous PvP options, be it armor tanking, electronic warfare, or drone barrages.
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 Minmataar who flies a Caldari EW platform, or what have you \xE2\x80\x93 but for most purposes, and at least initially, it will help you to pick a race that leans in the direction you’d like to take your character. Almost everybody will eventually choose to cross train for several racial classes.
Races in Roleplaying Terms
Some people choose their initial race for Roleplay reasons, although roleplaying is very rare in Eve, and will likely result in everyone in Goonswarm calling you a faggot. Here is a brief description of what each race means to the nerdy roleplayer:
Amarr: Religious fundamentalists who consider the other races to be their rightful slaves. Imperialistic, arrogant, domininating; the Amarr are the largest 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.
Minmatar: 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.
Gallente: The democracy-loving entertainers, producers, artists and innovators of the 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.
Caldari: 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 have several times gone to war with the more popular Gallente with whom they used to share the same systems and resources, but have settled in an uneasy truce with them for now.
Choosing a Bloodline
Each race is further subdivided into “bloodlines.\xE2\x80\x9D Each race will have at least two bloodlines, one more combat-leaning and the other more trades oriented; depending on when you’re reading this, there may be new “asian\xE2\x80\x9D bloodlines to pick from as well. Picking a bloodline will determine your base starting attributes, so it’s good to start thinking about those now.
How you allocate points to the five attributes -- Intelligence, Memory, Charisma, Perception and Willpower \xE2\x80\x93 will affect how quickly you train various skills. (More on this later; roughly speaking, each point in an attribute that is “primary\xE2\x80\x9D for a given skill means about an hour’s saved training time, per day, in that skill). For example, gunnery, missile, and ship piloting skills rely primarily on Perception, Drone-related skills rely heavily on Memory, and most ship outfitting skills (very important) rely on Intelligence. Willpower contributes secondarily (half-hour per day per point) to missile, gunnery, and ship piloting skills, and is good to have as well. More generally, Int/Mem tend to be more important for production and money-making characters, and Per/Will tend to be more important for PvP and NPC hunting characters (although Int is important for ship fitting skills, as above). Charisma is sort of the odd-skill-out as everybody simultaneously needs a little Cha, but almost nobody needs a lot of it.
The Caldari Deteis Scientist and Minmatar Sebiestor Rebel paths are widely considered to be “balanced\xE2\x80\x9D between the primary attributes, while something like a Minmatar Brutor Slave Child can be more specialized, and start with as much as 14 Perception. If you’re reading this after the new Asian bloodlines come out, the Caldari Achura Monk may be a good choice for players who want to be well-rounded, while the Amarr Khanid Cyber Knight might be another good choice for combat specialists.
After you pick race and bloodline, you’ll go to a character portrait screen \xE2\x80\x93 have fun \xE2\x80\x93 and then you’ll pick a name for your character. After you enter your selected name, be sure to pick “Custom\xE2\x80\x9D on the little menu labeled “career\xE2\x80\x9D at the bottom right of the screen. If you don’t, you’ll be given a premade character and thrown directly into the game, and the next couple paragraphs of this guide will be worthless to you unless you make another character.
Assigning Optional Points
As is mentioned in the "Bloodlines" section, how you allocate points to the five attributes -- Intelligence, Memory, Charisma, Perception and Willpower \xE2\x80\x93 will affect how quickly you train various skills. (More on this later; roughly speaking, each point in an attribute that is “primary\xE2\x80\x9D for a given skill means about an hour’s saved training time, per day, in that skill). For example, gunnery, missile, and ship piloting skills rely primarily on Perception, Drone-related skills rely heavily on Memory, and most ship outfitting skills (very important) rely on Intelligence. Willpower contributes secondarily (half-hour per day per point) to missile, gunnery, and ship piloting skills, and is good to have as well. More generally, Int/Mem tend to be more important for production and money-making characters, and Per/Will tend to be more important for PvP and NPC hunting characters (although Int is important for ship fitting skills, as above). Charisma is sort of the odd-skill-out as everybody simultaneously needs a little Cha, but almost nobody needs a lot of it.
The next few choices will set you with some additional attribute points and starting skills. You’ll get to assign five points as you will. For combat characters, I’d advise putting three into Perception and two into Intelligence, but you may want to buff up a low stat or specialize in something \xE2\x80\x93 now’s the time to make that call. Then you’ll get a “select ancestry\xE2\x80\x9D screen, which will be race and bloodline specific (this is the part where you pick “Tinker\xE2\x80\x9D or “Slave Child\xE2\x80\x9D or “Scientist\xE2\x80\x9D or whatever). Pick the one that maximizes the attributes you want \xE2\x80\x93 for combat characters, this is probably Intelligence and Perception, but Willpower and Memory can be very useful as well.
Unless you plan on specializing in leadership skills (gang bonuses, corporate governance skills), charisma is by far the least important stat, and should be one of your lowest. It is arguable that willpower is also a second-banana skill since it's mostly a secondary skill, although people who focus on flying lots of shiptypes might want more willpower than memory.
In the end you will likely spread your character out over a number of different areas, requiring at least some balance of your stats.
After that will come a couple of screens of character history selections (careers); these will only affect your starting skills. The Military School -> Operations -> Command -> Captain’s Training path will always begin you with Frigate IV of the race you belong to. Names of the actual military schools vary by race but they're pretty obvious. This path saves you as much as five days of training time by giving you your racial Frigate IV skill right off the bat, which will also let you train for a cruiser immediately.
Choose a "Custom" career and take the following path when making the character:
Military School --> Operations --> Command --> Captain Training
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\xE2\x80\x9D pilot. Some people like having lots of alts, others just have one main character. Suit yourself, and have fun!
What's an alt?
An "alt" is usually a secondary character, often with a different focus than your "main", or primary, character. Some people may choose to have a main that focuses on combat and an alt that focuses on production or some other industrial pursuit, such as mining. One thing to bear in mind about alts on the same account is that only one character can train a skill at a time (more about this in the Skills section), so you're not going to be able to have a stable of alts that are training for production while your main trains for piloting. However, some people purchase multiple accounts to get around this...
Two accounts at the same time!
Some people choose to purchase two or more accounts so that they can have multiple characters training at the same time. These are often people who are heavily into production, mining, or some other type of trade, but it can be for other purposes as well. Additional accounts are going to be an additional expense, so you'd have to decide if it's worth it to you. Initially, one account should be plenty.