The new PVP toon I created last weekend is the first new character I’ve created in EVE since I created my original two in 2008. I can’t really say I remember all that much about the new character experience that was in place then, but I remember enough to know that CCP has made quite a few improvements to it in the intervening two years. I still think there could be many additional improvements to the new character experience however the new system that guides you from one agent to another and gives you skill books, ships, and fittings throughout your missions is very welcome. I didn’t run any missions on my hauler, but I did on my original character. I remember getting a couple of new ships through mission rewards, to which I quickly upgraded (from Velator to Atron to Incursus) but I don’t remember getting many skill books or fittings. And I certainly don’t remember getting a gentle push to complete missions in other career paths than I thought I wanted to take. I understand they were there and I could have run them, but remember, we’re talking about new players and in my mind it just was never an option.
On my new PVP character I’ve also gotten two ship upgrades (from Ibis to Condor to Merlin) but I’ve also gotten more than 12 skill books and quite a few fittings like Cargohold Expander I’s, Statis Webifier I, Small Armor Repairer I, 75mm Gatling Rail I, and a few other odds and ends. And I haven’t completed all that many missions yet as I’ve spent far more time in hanger learning the “learning” skills than anything else. In fact I think I’ve only completed one 10-mission arc, and completed 5 missions of another 10-mission arc. The missions end up giving you everything you need to fit a ship with starter fittings, so you really shouldn’t need to buy anything except ammunition for a while after you create a character. And the missions also give you the skill books you’ll need to learn new skills that might become important to you at some point.
The new character experience puts you in proximity to agents from each of the career categories, which is quite nice because it allows you, at a very early stage, to experience bits of each career path there is to experience in EVE. If you’re a completely new player this could be quite instrumental in helping you decide which career path to take for your character. But whichever that is, you should complete the mission arcs for each of the, if for no other reason than for the ISK, fittings, skill books, and ships. Even though I’ve already decided my new character will be a PVP character I’m completing all the mission arcs myself. I’ve made over 2 million ISK thus far running the odd mission here and there when I’d simply be sitting in the hanger doing nothing at all.
Once you complete a mission arc the agent recommends you to a Sister of Eve agent in a near by system where you can begin working on the “epic mission arc” CCP introduced last year. I never did any of those missions when I was playing last year but I fully intend to see what it’s all about as soon as I complete all of the agent arcs in the starter system. And I’m going to do that in style in my brand new Rifter that I purchased yesterday. It’ll be another 7 days before I can fit everything and have enough of the starter skills to operate it well enough, and in the mean time I’ll kick around in my Merlin and mine on my industrial characters.