About Kshal Aideron
I started playing Eve Online at the end of January 2020. That’s right, I’m only about 1 year and 4 months old at the time that I’m writing this text. This isn’t the most remarkable thing about a player in Eve. What is remarkable is at 1.4 years of playing I’m a scout, dictor pilot, FC (both pvp and incursions), CEO of Eve Rookies and someone dedicated to bettering the rookie player experience.
The 3rd Time is a Charm
This isn’t the first time I’ve ever installed Eve Online. I tried twice before, but the new player experience in 2015 was non-existent and when they added a tutorial 2-3 years later, it wasn’t much better. The first time around I never managed to get undocked, the second time I got undocked but floated aimlessly through space until something or someone came by and blew me up.
At that point I swore I’d never bother playing again. But wouldn’t you know, the new developer my client hired happened to play Eve. I made the mistake of introducing the Dev to my husband (who started in 2015 and never stopped) and he joined the same Null alliance and they did things together. I got the joy of having to listen about ratting this and fleet that at home AND at work. What do they say, if you can’t beat them, join them?
For the third and final time I loaded up Eve, made a new character (without the million SP, doh!) and was pleasantly surprised by a slightly better tutorial. Not too long after I started getting nagged by Aura, my husband walked in and saw I was actually playing. Little did he know a monster had been created.
Streaming My New Player Experience
In the real world I am an internet marketing professional. While watching other Eve players on Twitch, I noticed that there weren’t any new players (at that time). I didn’t know who would want to watch a 40 year old woman fumble her way through an information dump of a video game, but I was playing anyways. Why not stream my rookie experience as well?
Pretty quickly I observed 2 things. Experienced Eve players seem to be attracted to new players like flies to honey. They seem to love to let new players know how much they know about the game. I also noticed that as a player, I was actually taking their tutorage to heart and learning to play. Even 1.4 years later, if there’s something I don’t know, I can count on my Twitch chat telling me the answer.
But, keep this part of my story in mind because it’ll be important for later.
Learning About the NPSI Community
About a month into the game, my husband and my developer friend had moved from the blue doughnut in NullSec to live in HighSec with me. I was determined to be a solo player, never joining a corporation. I didn’t want to be told I had to be part of so many corp ops, or fleet up only to stand down without ever really undocking. That didn’t sound like fun to me. But I was intrigued by the pvp aspect of the game, especially after someone from CODE got my poor little venture.
Around this time, I ran into an interview a content creator named Jin’taan did with Greygal of Redemption Road.
Greygal is the CEO of the corporation Redemption Road and once a month, around the middle of the month, she gets all the new players she can find to come out to Berta at 8pm Eve. She puts them in Suicide Catalysts, gives a “pvp fleet 101” so everyone has some sort of clue what they’re doing, then heads out into NullSec to get blown up in the most interesting ways. So, it was close to the middle of the month and I went out to Berta, got my free Catalyst and got blown up by a smart bombing battleship. It was tons of fun.
I learned that Redemption Road is a group that is part of the NPSI (not purple shoot it) community that puts on public roams every Sunday. If Greygal wasn’t doing her rookie roam, someone else was doing a public fleet. From there, I learned about FUN Inc, another corp in Eve that did public NPSI roams.
Somehow at about 1.5 months into the game I found myself scouting for Redemption Road and flying pretty regularly with FUN Inc. About 3 months into the game I got brave enough and started scouting for FUN as well and I finally gave in and joined the corporation. I found home with some very good people.
Becoming an Eve Online Public Help Desk
In between flying public NPSI fleets, I was also streaming level 4 missions and other PVE activity. Something I noticed is I was getting an awful lot of brand new players stopping in to ask questions. Then it dawned on me what was happening… the learning curve is so high and the guides/videos of Eve are usually long, new players have started using streamers as a “help desk.” Especially small Eve streamers since we don’t tend to have a busy chat.
This is when I switched gears a bit and threw up a “new player friendly” tag in my stream titles. I was being used as a help desk ANYWAYS, so why not advertise it. Not only is it a great marketing tactic to get stream views, but it performs a public service for the game. Little did I know how quickly this was going to spin out of control.
FCing at Only 6 Months Into the Game
Since I FC, people assume I’ve been playing Eve Online for a very long time. Spoiler, it’s still only been 1.4 years at the time of writing this. However, at about 5.5 months my dear husband threw me under a bus in corp and mentioned to the CEO I was thinking about FCing.
You see, I was one of the first public raid leaders in a game almost as old as Eve. An expansion for Everquest came out that required people to get flags. However, only the elite raiding guilds had the flags and they were all requiring these flags to join their guild. This was effectively preventing casual players from accessing this raid content and that kind of pissed me off. So I did something about it, I went on our server’s forum and told people to show up at a certain date and time to try a public raid… lets just say, I was not unpopular.
This is why the public NPSI fleets appeal to me so much. I kind of get that feeling I had when I was a public raid leader in Everquest, you never know what you’re going to get in the raid or in this case, in fleet. So I took up the challenge of FCing and took a few corp fleets out and found myself tagged as FC in corp.
The Birth of the FUNny Newbros
Stay tuned for the next portion of the Kshal Aideron creation story.