Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Last Updated on 2024-07-09 by Kshal Aideron

Three years ago there was a wild idea to make a small group that helped new players get into incursions by starting with Vanguards. We’d use the Praxis, as it has no battleship skills and is fairly quick for a new player to skill into. Especially if they put their 1 million skill points towards the Blaster Praxis fit. And, of course, new players wouldn’t have to buy the ship. We’d have handouts available.

Praxis the Eve Rookies Mascot

When we put together out ISK to buy our first stash of ships, I was told where ever I advertised that I’d ultimately fail. The incursion community was already full or that nobody would be interested in this concept. Well, maybe you didn’t think a community like this was wanted, or even needed. However, the rest of Eve apparently thought differently.

Here’s to 3 years of Eve Rookies with over 2k members, 741 fleets logged, introducing almost 1300 new people to a fleet activity and giving a home to 41 FCs and JFCs.

How the Madness All Started

Eve Online is one of those really strange games. The imagination really is the limit on what you can do, especially since Eve has very few rules in the TOS and allows 3rd party tools and sites to be developed. There have been banks, bounty hunters, and heists galore.

Loads of players who set forth seeking riches and glory have found it. Then there’s players like me. When I started playing Eve, I didn’t even want to join a corporation. Trust me when I say that I really didn’t see all of this coming.

Trying to Get an Incursion Group Started

In a nutshell, I was roped into trying this concept once before Eve Rookies. However, there was a problem with keeping the focuses up and because we couldn’t schedule our fleets (which has become a cornerstone on how we operate), we had to stop. I thought that was the end of this project, but the Eve community had a different idea.

Five months after the first try, the incursion community came to an agreement to keep the incursion focuses up as long as possible. Someone who had heard about the previous project came to me and told me that I had to try the project again. He thought that it could really work, especially because I now had a perfect brand to market it under – Eve Rookies.

Begrudgingly I agreed and roped my husband, a real life friend and a number of Eve friends into helping me set up Eve Rookies Incursions. We got our first stash of ships, which included several Praxis that we could hand out to new pilots, and went off and posted the first fleet everywhere an Eve player may look.

We were told by the community that our idea would ultimately fail…

The Birth of Eve Rookies Incursions

One of the secrets to the success of Eve Rookies is making friends. Almost immediately after founding Eve Rookies, we joined Eve LinkNet. This is a coalition of different corporations that have either joined SICO (Silent Company), or are a partner corporation within the community. Eve Rookies was invited to take over the incursion SIG and each week LinkNet members could come and try out incursions.

In the beginning, we could only pull together enough people to run one fleet a week. However, after a few months of getting kicked out of the fleet I pinged by a new incursion FC, I decided to try to start up a fleet on another day. It took a few months, but yet another new incursion FC took over that time slot. Then there was the third spot, and a fourth…I’m sure you see where this is going.

At the end of the first year, we were regularly flying 4 days a week with almost the max amount of pilots in each fleet. We were also officially recognized as part of the incursion community by Eve University when they put us in their wiki entry.

In year one, we ran 88 fleets and introduced incursions to a little over 88 pilots!

Year Two – Not a One Trick Pony Anymore

Towards the end of year one, I had someone approach me about running FOBs (forward bases) through Eve Rookies. He really liked the community and hoped he could get some interest to run a fleet once a week. At the same time, I started posting level 4 Sisters of Eve mission fleets.

Eve Rookies also managed to double its size during the CSM 17 campaigning and elections due to the fact that I ran. The end result of the influx of new players was the fact we were able to run our first double incursion fleet. Yes, we had around 30 players show up one night for some Sansha shooting fun!

It was also at this point that I was able to throw a rule out the window for my FCs. When we started standing up different types of fleets, since we were competing for the same players we’d try not to schedule on the same day. Or, within 2 hours of another Eve Rookies fleet. With the influx of people and the start of varying interests, this rule became obsolete.

At the end of year two, Eve Rookies:

  • ran 213 incursion fleets
  • 15 mission fleets
  • 18 FOB fleets
  • 14 pvp fleets through FUN Inc
  • introduced 303 pilots to incursions
  • players introduced to missions unknown
  • had 38 new to FOB players come out
  • pvp pilots unknown for this year
  • hit the 1,000 member on Discord milestone

Year Three – Becoming a Coalition Within a Coalition

Somewhere in the start of year 3, I was informed that Eve Rookies now had a mining wing. One of my leadership tried to set something up in year 2 but there wasn’t enough interest. Suddenly, there was interest and the Eve Rookies mining fleets have been insanely popular.

For anyone who truly knows me, they’re going to know that wormholes and I aren’t best friends. If the chain is scanned down, I can navigate to my destination. But don’t ask me to probe. I rather provide the platform that allows the wormhole enthusiasts to meet and mingle with other wormhole enthusiasts!

The CEO of our mining and industry wing wasn’t sitting still. While running fleets, he was also connecting with other groups to find someone to help with wormhole ratting fleets. Year 3 of Eve Rookies saw the first wormhole ratting fleets and boy are they popular.

Also, with our own wormhole, we managed to put together an operation to defend the hole. Watching this wing of Eve Rookies grow has been quite cool!

And of course, lets not forget the Homefront Operations that launched in summer 2023. I’ll admit, I’ve been incredibly slow to get Homefronts rolling. Thankfully, a few of the FCs took matters into their own hands and if there aren’t any other fleets running will ping a Homefront fleet!

CSM Elections and FanFest 2023

Then in late summer to early fall we had the CSM 18 elections. Once again, I entered the arena and ran for a seat on the CSM. Where in the previous election I made it to spot 20, for CSM18 I ended up in spot 18. Still not in the first 10, but it was still a step forward AND it was clear that people were noticing myself and Eve Rookies.

At FanFest 2023 I was chosen along with Keacte (CEO of FUN Inc) and Sin Alarma (Bombers Bar FC and runs Eve Down Under) to do a 3 player presentation on Community. I was also asked to sit on an Alliance Leader panel and got to do an interview focusing on what I was doing with Eve Rookies and new players.

Of course, what was incredibly gratifying was having players that heard about Eve Rookies via the presentations and panels come out and try a fleet. Also, based on the feedback form we ask players to fill out, it was clear running for CSM also brought players in to fly with us. Of course the cherry on top was being chosen by CCP for one of the 2 extra spots on the CSM.

For the first time ever, new players would have 2 CSM representing them.

The End of FOBs (for now)

Unfortunately, August 2023 saw the last two Eve Rookies FOB fleets. We ran in Solitude and a multi-boxer that lived out there decided to start running the FOBs. Since we were only running once a week, we tried opening diplomatic channels with the individual to see if we could work something out so the fleets could run. Obviously, the answer was no.

So, for now, the FOB chapter of Eve Rookies has been closed. However, if there’s ever the day the multi-boxer has a change of heart or wins Eve, we’ll be ready to go. We still have all the handouts (and my Drake) out there after all!

Welcoming a Trig Hunting Group and Faction Warfare

As 2023 came to a close, I was approached by the Hateless Gaming group who wanted to partner with Eve Rookies to get more people out to their Trig Hunting fleets. Don’t worry, there will be an official announcement about this soon (as well as a page here on the website).

And finally, as the 3rd year of Eve Rookies comes to a close, we stuck our toe into faction warfare. We’ve only done a few fleets, but it’s been popular and I’m 100% sure there will be more in year 4!

2023 Secret Sansha

The third year of Eve Rookies also saw our first Secret Sansha! 11 players joined the fun and there were some pretty awesome gifts that were purchased and handed out by Mz. Sansha Claws. Word has it that she can’t wait until the 2024 Secret Sansha.

Maybe to tide her over there should be Secret Sansha in July? Hmmm…

Eve Rookies FCs Get Paid to Run Fleets

At the time of this article, I have 30 players who donate their time to Eve Rookies to help run fleets for the players of New Eden. I also have 11 JFCs (junior FCs) who are donating their time learning how to run the different fleets so they can get their wings and run fleets by themselves.

My FCs and JFCs are the reason I haven’t managed to burn myself out trying to run the organization that Eve Rookies has become. It’s because of the time they generously donate, while often not taking payouts themselves in order to fit one or two more players into the fleet, that I wanted to start paying them for every fleet they run.

Eve Rookies is currently paying 100m to each full FC (regardless of the type of fleets they fly) and 50m to the JFCs who come out to practice and learn. In January I paid out 3.9 billion ISK and in February 3.3 billion. Needless to say, I’m grateful to these players. Each and every one of them have helped shape this community.

3 Years of Eve Rookies Wrap-up

So wow, here we are. 3 years of Eve Rookies on the books. In year 3 we managed:

  • 233 incursion fleets with 349 new players checking them out
  • 17 FOB fleets with 23 players new to the activity
  • 11 mission fleets with 7 new players (only started counting new players in 2024)
  • 61 mining fleets with 125 new players (nope, not popular fleets at all)
  • 28 ratting fleets with 47 new players
  • 17 homefronts with 24 new players
  • 34 pvp fleets with 220 new to pvp players

Likely for year 4 we’ll have to separate our faction warfare fleets out of the normal NPSI pvp fleets!

What’s Next for Eve Rookies?

Something I’ve learned from being CEO of a community like Eve Rookies. Opportunities present themselves from the most unlikely places. At this point there’s not a lot that’s off the board (aside from going to Null and getting SOV, doesn’t work with an open community like ours).

  • I’d like to start connecting with other open groups who would like a platform to operate off of. Eve Rookies has the infrastructure, they have the FCs, lets partner!
  • I’d like to start doing new player outreach. We proofed a program where we go and mine in a career mission system and invite players into fleet to get boosts and offer to buy their ore at Jita price. It worked well, now we just need to actually run it.
  • I have an idea for a hauler program so that new players who have a space trucker fantasy can try it out first.
  • I also have an idea to create an alt corporation in each faction. Then we’d rotate through our alts doing faction warfare. This way someone who is in faction warfare can join us at least once a month.

And of course I have the desire to see the average number of fleets undocked a month move up. My goal for 2024 is to see the average hit 50 a month instead of the current 35!

If you’re interested in FCing for Eve Rookies, or your group is interested in running public fleets through us, you can find me on the Eve Rookies Discord or send an Eve Mail to Kshal Aideron in game.

Here’s to yet another year of Eve Rookies!

By Kshal Aideron

Eve main: Kshal Aideron Corp: FUN Inc NPSI community FC and newbro queen

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