For the duration of the weekend, the opportunity to try out the world’s most complex and brutal sci-fi MMO is available for a steal. In addition to the standard 14-day free trial (21 days if you use a buddy invite), the Steam Sale package includes 75% off the following month of subscription time.
That’s plenty of time to find your feet and discover your calling in New Eden. Whether it’s as a combat pilot, a manufacturer, an explorer, or a new niche you carve for yourself, with a bit of knowledge and commitment, it’s quite possible to find ways to gain an income sufficient to pay subsequent subscriptions with in-game currency.
You could be looking at $5 for a lifetime subscription to EVE Online.
[Edit: The yearly EVE eSports Alliance Tournament has a 30-day free trial associated with it. This cannot be used in conjunction with the Steam offer, but will still be active after the Steam offer has expired, so is worth considering.]
The Steam offer includes the Amarr Exploration Starter Pack, which encourages new players to dive into the content delivered by the newest free expansion, Odyssey.
“Launch your dreams for galactic conquest faster and easier with an Amarr Explorer Starter Pack that includes the fast and reliable Sarum Magnate frigate, complete exploration equipment set to kit out your ship, a dozen critical skill books, Prototype Cerebral Accelerator skill booster, and 30 days of game time.”
I ran through the Steam Exploration Starter Pack sign-up process and found it a little confusing, but here’s how I managed it:
- Once you’ve purchased your Steam Starter Pack, Steam will begin downloading the EVE client in the traditional way.
- When Steam has finished downloading, launching EVE Online through Steam results in the game launcher downloading a further 1GB+ of data. Meanwhile, there is no obvious way to sign in using your Steam account (this only becomes apparent after the final data download is complete).
- Only after all downloading is completed can you sign into your new EVE account via the Steam platform.
- The introductory cinematic will play before you arrive at character creation, which subsequently leads straight to the client.
- In order to obtain your free gifts, you must have a character created for them to be received by. Once the first character has been created (you can have up to three per account), press ‘ESC’ to open the in-game utility window and select the ‘Redeem Items’ button.
Alternatively, an option to redeem items is always offered at the character selection screen, as below:
Note: Some of the equipment and skillbooks supplied in the starter pack are a little redundant given that a new player may well find his or her character avatar already knows the skills and the vital early tutorials also provide many of these items as rewards.
This redundancy is presumably to ensure that even tutorial skippers have quick access to the essentials.
Belt & Braces
Some advice for those who do take the plunge:
- Use the in-game help channels.
- Always be learning a skill (and use your Prototype Cerebral Accelerator – it will only work on new accounts).
- EVE is deep and complex, don’t be afraid of research.
- Read First Steps in EVE Online.
Let us know how you get on. If there is an interest, perhaps it might even be worth setting up a GameSkinny corp.