Last Updated on 2023-08-04 by Kshal Aideron
My name is Kshal Aideron and I started playing Eve Online near the end of January 2020. Compared to other players who are content creators, FCs (fleet commanders), or CEOs of large groups, I’m a relative newbie.
In my short time playing this game we all love, I’ve managed to accomplish the following:
- started pvping my first week of Eve
- started streaming the game my first week of Eve
- flew in my first pvp fleet 1 month into Eve
- played scout for a pvp fleet 2 months into Eve
- became a FC for the NPSI community 8 months into Eve
- started this website 1 year into Eve
- started making YouTube tutorials 1 year into Eve
- started Eve Rookies Incursions 1.3 years into Eve
- ran for CSM17 2 years into Eve (eliminated at spot #20)
- will be giving a player presentation at FanFest 2023 3 years into Eve
- running for CSM18 3 years into Eve
I may be “young” within the game, however, I don’t believe anyone can say I’m not accomplished or driven!
In the Very Beginning
January 2020 wasn’t the first time installing Eve Online. In fact, it wasn’t even the second time. It was the third and final time I decided to try it out.
Rage Uninstalling Eve Online
My first experience with Eve was in 2015. Some friends of mine were playing and wanted my husband to come play with them. So we installed the game and made characters. And ISD (Interstellar Services Department) contacted my husband, got him started and gave him some ships and other stuff. After about 2 hours I still hadn’t figured out how to undock.
If you’ve ever been on a newbro fleet with me, you’d think I have infinite patience. I can tell you, I wasn’t having it with Eve, got pissed and uninstalled the game.
Rage Uninstalling the Game a Second Time
At some point, my husband had told me that Eve had introduced the alpha account. This made Eve free to play (the first time I had to subscribe monthly) up to a certain point. He also mentioned they added a bit of a tutorial to get new players started.
Off I went to install the game for a second time. I made my character and this time I managed to get undocked! However, the “tutorial” was incredibly unclear on where I needed to go and what I needed to do. So instead I floated aimlessly in space until something came by and blew me up.
Eve Online got uninstalled a second time.
Third Time Was Apparently a Charm
In 2019 a programmer started working for my main client. We started chatting about video games which lead to a discussion about MMO’s. He started bragging about playing “the hardest MMO out there.” I just looked at him and said, “Let me guess, spreadsheets in space?” He looked at me and asked if I played.
I laughed and told him I tried twice and rage uninstalled it twice and left it at that.
Unfortunately, he started telling me all about Eve at the office. When I got home my husband told me all about what he was doing in Eve. The Youtube account that my husband and I shared had Eve Online content creators. I couldn’t get away from Eve.
At some point I introduced the programmer and my husband foolishly thinking if they had each other, I’d be left out of it. Nope. They joined a corp together out in Null and now I got to hear about their shared experiences on a weekly basis.
Honestly, it was only a matter of time that I’d try Eve again. This is one of those “if you can’t beat them, join them situations.” I installed Eve only to find the tutorial in January 2020 to be enough to get me to the career missions. I don’t think my husband expected what would eventually come of this success.
Becoming an Eve Content Creator on Day 1
During the course of my career (scroll to the bottom of the page to read more about what I do for work) I’ve worked with a lot of social media. The two things I didn’t have a lot of experience in was Twitch and YouTube.
I had started watching some of the Eve streamers and noticed that there weren’t any new players (at the time). So one of the main reasons I started playing Eve was to have a game to try streaming. I didn’t think anyone would want to watch a 40 year old woman play Eve, but funny enough within the month I had at least 10 regular viewers.
Then something happened that would ultimately shape my eventual “Eve Career.” New players started coming to my stream to ask questions.
2020 New Player Experience Sucked
The New Player Experience (NPE) was in a much better state in 2020 than it was in 2015 or 2018. However, there was still a lot of basic information being left out of the tutorial, bugs in the career missions and a literal dumping of the poor newb into the huge sea of New Eden when the last career mission was done.
This meant that new players had to go outside of the game to try to find tutorials, videos or real time help in the form of streamers. I figured out because I never had more than a handful of viewers at any given time, brand new players would jump into my chat to ask questions. They knew that they could get near 1:1 attention vs. big streamers with a few hundred people in their chat. Luckily I had vets in my chat who could answer the questions I didn’t yet know how to answer.
Because of my career in marketing, I realized that this was a way to set myself apart from other streamers. Advertise my stream as being newbro friendly and focusing on beginning game play.
Starting Eve Rookies and YouTube Eve Tutorials
A year into Eve, I was sick and tired of people not updating their blogs and website tutorials. I was also irritated by tutorial videos that took 20 minutes to explain a 30 second concept.
I found that the domain everookies.com was available so I jumped on it and started this website. I also started making quick Eve tutorial videos which focused on getting to the meat of the info. A video was between 30 seconds and on average 1 minute long (there are a few longer ones now).
By this point in my Eve career, I was pretty invested in helping new players.
High Sec PVE Experience
The first month of Eve Online was mostly High Sec PVE. Since I enjoyed shooting rats in the career missions, I decided to immediately start progressing in the combat missions.
About 2 weeks into the game, my husband and my programmer friend decided to move out of Null and live in High Sec with me. This ensued in hilarity as both guys managed to get themselves concorded by not turning their safety to green.
Below is a video I made when my friend got Concorded. Sadly, I wasn’t recording when it happened to my husband. Twice. In Rattlesnakes.
About a year and some months later I’d start a High Sec incursion community aimed at rookie and alpha players, but more about that later.
PVPing in Eve Online
In nearly every MMO I’ve played I’ve gone the PVP route. With Eve being a PVP game, it only took me a week to get into my first PVP ship. A little t1 frigate called an Incursus. My husband bought me about 20 of them and told me to go to Tama.
While I didn’t win any of the solo matches I fought in, I did notice as I went through the ships that every bout I’d get more damage onto the opponent. However, I really didn’t understand tackle, transversal and all of that good stuff. That is, until I fell into the NPSI community.
Not Purple Shoot It
The NPSI community is made up of various groups who put on public fleets for anyone who cares to come. It’s the same idea as pickup raids in other MMO’s.
My first encounter with NPSI was a month after I started playing. A content creator by the name of Jin’taan did an interview with GreyGal, the CEO of Redemption Road. Every month, about the middle of the month, she would gather up all of the new players she could find and lead them out on a newbro roam into null sec. She gave us a free destroyer, did a PVP 101 and then lead us to our eventual death.
It was roughly a month and a half into Eve that I went out with GreyGal. I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about half of the time but my first pvp encounter was with a smart bombing Praxis. We engage, we blew up, we laughed, we shipped back up and went out again.
There was another FC from Redemption Road that did weekly fleets. Since I had such a good time with GreyGal I decided to go out with this FC as well. Still had no idea what I was doing (not that anyone could understand his accent!) but every week I started understanding how to tackle in my little Incursus and eventually started getting on kills instead of dying. Needless to say, by this time I was smitten with NPSI PVP.
Scouting at 2 Months Old
I still don’t know how I ended up scouting for the Redemption Road roams, but it happened! Actually, I was going to go do one of the story arcs that took you to NPC null. The recommendation was to go out in a Malediction. So I skilled into interceptors and found out they’re FAST! Redemption Road roams staged out of Berta so if I forgot a jump clone, the interceptor got me there quick.
Except there was this one time that the FC saw me in the interceptor and moved me to the skirmish squad in the fleet window. I still remember the creeping panic when I saw this. I remember asking in a rather high pitched voice WHY was he putting me there. He told me all I had to do was jump into a system and tell him what I saw. The other scout would actually go hunt. Ok, I could do that…
And I did. I scouted for fleets until I eventually became a FC.
Joining Fun Inc After Swearing I’d Stay Solo
A few months after I started flying with Redemption Road, someone suggested that I start flying with another group called FUN Inc. A lot of their pilots came to support RR (they both were born out of Agony Unleashed) so joining a FUN fleet was a very small step.
After several fleets I got the courage to try scouting for them as well. Every Sunday I flew with Redemption and during the week I flew with FUN.
When I started playing I had resolved to stay a solo pilot. However, we all know that Eve is better with friends and it has a way of sucking you in. At around six months into the game I found myself applying to FUN.
The Dive into FCing
At 8 months into the game, I started FCing both for FUN Inc as well as Redemption Road. I’m not exactly sure how I found myself in the FC seat. Destiny? Or my husband throwing me under the bus due to my raid leader experience in a game we met in? Either way, when the CEO of FUN asked for people to step up and FC, I quickly found out I loved it.
Back in the days when I played a game that’s as old as Eve (EverQuest), I had started the first public raid
My First Public Fleet as FC
Before I found myself as an official FC, I had taken out a few little Enyo roams with corp members. Even though our public fleets can get quite large, we’re a fairly small corp. So it was 7 or 8 Enyos hunting null.
So for my first publicly posted fleet, I decided to stick with Enyos. I was expecting maybe 10 people. Who wanted to go out with a 8 month old FC? Well, about 40 pilots. As I saw people join mumble and Xup, the panic started to slowly build and the pressure was on. However, I tried to remember the golden FC tip I was given.
“No matter what you do, make a decision. Even if it’s the wrong decision. If you don’t, others will and confuse everyone.”
This really is the best advice to new and would be FCs. We went out, killed several billion in isk and I haven’t looked back.
Birth of the FUNny Newbro Fleets
My streams were aimed at new players and I was streaming my public fleets. One of the things I never do is delay my streams. It’s hard to answer questions in the moment when you’re delayed. Wouldn’t you know, I started finding players who have never pvp’d showing up to my fleets.
A corp mate whom also flew with Redemption Road and I started talking one night. We noticed the new players and the time we were spending answering questions in fleet. Since the RR newbro roam was only once a month, why not do our own on Wednesdays? There was obviously a need for it.
After a discussion on doctrine and how we’d do it, we posted our first fleet called the FUNny Newbro Roam. In the beginning it was a thrasher fleet but after a few months we went with kitchen sink dessies and down. That’s what it’s been ever since.
We fly every other Wednesday at 18:30 (summer) and 19:00 (winter) and leave from Jita. If there are players who’ve never pvp’d in a fleet, we’ll do a fleet 101 to explain how to fly together and the common FC fleet commands. Then we head out into null and find things to kill!
Today every fleet I FC has handouts available as well as SRP. There’s no time like the present to try pvp, especially if you’re not blowing up your own assets!
The Birth of Eve Rookies – Public Fleet Community
Before getting into the birth of Eve Rookies Incursions, I have a confession to make. This isn’t the first community I ever built with “public raiding” so to speak. Here’s a small tidbit about what I’ve done before.
Building a Public Raiding Community in Everquest
Back in the days when I played a game that’s as old as Eve (EverQuest), I had started the first public raid group on my server. SOE had just released a new expansion with raid zones. In order to progress, you had to become flagged to get to the next zone. The big raiding guilds would help flag potential recruits but the casuals were kind of left outside in the cold.
I disliked the elitism so I said screw it. I went and looked up the mechanics of the events that got the flags people needed to either join guilds or progress. Then I posted the event (for those who doubt scheduling ahead works, it even worked in the early 2000’s for non-Eve raids. Just sayin…). I didn’t think anyone was going to show up but I got enough people to complete the event. As time went on I was setting up and leading 75 person raids (without voice comms) on a weekly basis. I was also training new raid leaders to be able to do it themselves.
Trying to Get a Public Incursion Community Started at 8 Months into the Game
In the fall of 2020, Princess Abbie (or DiscoDelboy on Twitch) had found me. He had decided my platform aimed at newbros would be perfect for his new project Nova Prospects Incursions.
Incursions are end game PVE content. There’s several different types of incursion sites but only two are really ran by incursion players. Vanguards, which are a 13 man “dungeon” and Head Quarters which take a fleet of 40. NPI was aimed to focus on the Vanguards because they’re much less intense and the barrier of entry could be made a lot lower for new players.
Unfortunately, we were only able to run a few fleets under NPI. At the time, the 3 Head Quarter groups were vying to pop MOM (the mother ship, i.e. end boss) first. When MOM goes down, the entire incursion goes down and then respawns elsewhere a day or two later. Because both Abbie and I were FCs for our respective NPSI groups, we just couldn’t establish a consistent schedule. We really had no choice but to put the idea of the newbro friendly incursions on ice.
Rebranding NPI into Eve Rookies Incursions
Around February of 2021, the established incursion community agreed to take turns popping MOM. This was the perfect time to try to revive the rookie friendly incursions and rebrand it under Eve Rookies Incursions.
It took the financial help and donations of several different players (not to mention lots of large skill injectors to get Kshal into the booster ship), but we were able to get up and running. The idea of Eve Rookies Incursions is a pilot doesn’t have to invest in their own battleship. If they’re only interested in finding out if they even like this type of PVE play, they can borrow a Praxis for a refundable deposit of 250m.
The great thing about the Praxis is it’s incredibly new player friendly. Unlike the other battleships, there’s no battleship skills needed! If a player has been playing for a few months already, they most likely have the core skills to fly the ship and only need to invest into the large blaster. If they want to create an alpha skilled specifically for the blaster praxis, they can use the 1 million skill points and only have to wait about 3 weeks.
In the mean time, while their skills are cooking, they can come scout sites for us! Our scouts typically walk away with over 100m for the 2 hours plus tips from the fleet!
Eve Rookies at 2 Years Old
In March 2023, Eve Rookies turned 2 years old. We’re no longer “just” an incursion community, thought that continues to be the most popular fleet. Towards the end of 2021 I had someone approach me wanting to run FOB (forward base) fleets off our platform. Then we started running level 4 missions. That bled into mining and wormhole ratting. Of course there’s also PVP.
It’s become my mission to find more FCs to help run the fleets we currently have going and bring more groups in that run public fleets! If you run public fleets and would like infrastructure for scheduling fleets and help with ships, send an Eve mail to Kshal Aideron and lets talk!
As of August 1st we’ve flown over 552 fleets as a community in the past 2 years! That’s an outstanding accomplishment if you ask me!
Running for CSM17
Running for CSM17 was an experience. At the time I knew what the CSM was and working with new players, I really wanted to be able to represent them. This also was going to be my most major hurdle. I’m trying to represent a portion of the player population who:
- Have no clue what the CSM is
- Are most likely Alpha
So I had to convince the older population of the game I was worthy of their vote. Apparently I did something right in my campaign because at the end of the day I made it to #20 before being eliminated!
However, my loss wasn’t really a loss. It was a win for my community because people found their way to Eve Rookies and started flying with us. And of course, the elimination didn’t stop me from my apparent mission in Eve. Trying to help new players over the major hurdle of starting Eve.
The Past Year
Looking back over the past year, my Eve life has been managing a community that feels like it’s a snowball rolling down the mountain side. The Eve Rookies discord went from around 300 members at the time of CSM17 and we’re sitting on almost 1700.
We added more fleets to our public fleet roster as well.
- mining fleets of all sorts (wh, low, hs and now null)
- wormhole ratting fleets
- event fleets (while we were still getting events)
- an advanced incursion fleet
Of course I’m spending time talking to other groups who put on public fleets. Hopefully we’ll be getting some abyssal frigate fleets fired up as well as some homefront. If I ever get spare time, I’d also love to get some faction warfare corps going for people to join with alts so we can go out and give that a go.
I haven’t been streaming as much in this past year. Aside from having some upgrade drama with my computer (if you decide to do duel 4k monitors, make sure your PC can handle it!) I’ve just been too busy. Especially since I’ve been putting time into this website as well as Youtube content.
At the end of the day, I’ve been doing what I had been doing before CSM17. Working to try to get new players into fleets anyway I can.
Looking to the Future
Besides running for CSM18, I’ve also been chosen to present at FanFest 2023. I’m super stoked because I get to present along with two great people. Keacte, who is not only the CEO of FUN Inc but also the creator of the NPSI calendar and Sin Alarma who’s a Bombers Bar FC and creator of Eve Down Under. We’re going to be talking about our favorite topic, community
As I mentioned above, I’m also working on getting homefront fleets going and those abyssal fleets. I’ve also been working on a buyback program. If everything goes right, it’ll create the foundation for a hauling program where those with dreams of space trucking can give it a go. More about that later, it’s a lot of work!
So this brings us to the present. CSM18.
My platform is almost the same. New player experience is still there as well as community building. What’s changed is game accessibility.
When I created Eve Rookies, I wanted it to be accessible to everyone. If a player struggles to read the fleet write ups, we do newbro speeches. If a player has a hard time listening, we’ll type out things in fleet chat. If players have a hard time keeping up we’ll wait for them. However, over time I learned of one of our players who uses an assistive device to play Eve.
For those who have to use assistive devices to move their mouse or clicks, something like the Q click for aligning and manual piloting is impossible. I’d love to explore with the community the sticking points (like Q click to align or manual pilot) in Eve that make life in New Eden more difficult. There has to be some quick, easy low hanging fruit that can make things easier for all abilities and bring greater accessibility to an already difficult game.
And of course, communities and community building is a big topic this year. As an open community I’ve run into a lot of problems making sure everyone is able to access group assets. For example, in order for FCs to do handouts, they have to have an alt in corp. However, I have pilots who refuse to create a second account and they’re certainly not interested in omega in order to have their main and corp alt on at the same time. I’m 100% sure this isn’t a problem only Eve Rookies shares. So I’d like to advocate to tools that help all communities across New Eden.
Like last year, I won’t promise to effect any change. Though I after seeing CSM17 credited with some changes, I’m cautiously optimistic that I can be part of some change for the better. And of course, try to make sure changes to the new player experience is for the better.
Kshal Aideron in Real Life
Hi, my name is Petra. I’m from the great Northwest USA but today I live in the Netherlands. In fact, I’m a duel national!
What I Do for Work
I’ve built a career out of digital marketing and becoming a SEO expert. I also have vast knowledge building platforms that allow third parties to sell things such as digital content or even physical items. I worked freelance since 2014 and help clients with building, managing and marketing their platforms.
What I Do when Not Playing Eve Online
When I’m not working or traveling (those duel passports come in handy!) I love both table top, board and computer gaming.
I try to make time for fitness activities be it cycling, kayaking or just lifting in the gym. I have a deep love for hiking, but I live in the Netherlands. It’s as flat as the last state I lived in, Florida. Walking over a bridge is probably the most altitude I get unless I drive over 2 hours!
Music wise I tend to listen to EBM, Industrial, Goth and some metal. You can usually find me at a show at least once a month since live music is life itself. There’s nothing like being among fellow fans dancing your heart out!
Oh, I also love theme parks. I actually have a little side project that I started called Theme Park Freaks which gives details of the parks and attractions I visit as well as reviews. Marketing and SEO professionals are kind of like programmers. We find doing this type of thing fun!