What's more, I am not one of those types who log into EVE and watches a movie or a football game at the same time. When I play, I am playing. That is what I have chosen to do with that hour or so. I try and get the most out of it.
I'll also add that I played for 365 days before I lost my first ship (a Hulk, my first Hulk in fact.) to PvP. Actually, I lost it due to stupidity, complacency and greed but I've already blogged about that so I'll skip it. You can read about the incident here if you like. The reason I mention it again is I think that's a long time for a noob to go without running afoul of other players.
I don't mention all this "just because." There is a reason why I went so long, logging in every day, without getting into trouble. Here are the key behaviors that allowed me to learn EVE Online without getting turned off by the utter harshness it can deal out.
- Mind your own damn business! - This is number one for a good reason. If you mind your own business, you will avoid the majority of noob-killing scams out there. By minding your own business, they can't lure you in.
- T.A.N.S.T.A.A.F.L. - Thank you Robert Heinlein. If you don't know this stands for "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch" you've lead a sheltered life. Take this acronym to heart. There is no free ammo in a can. There is no "leaving Eve and giving away all my ISK" philanthropist.
- Paranoia will not destroy you but griefers will. - Be paranoid the entire time you are in space. Constantly evaluate what the other players around you are doing. If a war ship shows up in your belt and does not immediately start mining (something of the past there I think, may not happen today) then they are up to no good. If they approach, dock up. You are always better safe than sorry.
- Don't give them what they want. - Stay away from those that are acting out. If you are bumped, ignore it. They can't hurt you just bumping you. They want a reaction. The only reaction you should give them is to move to another belt if necessary. If they follow you, move again. If they follow you a third time, petition against them for harassment if you like but say nothing. Do not egg them on by mouthing off because that is what they want.
- Don't talk trash. - Humility is a shield booster. They may not need a reason to shoot you, but you shouldn't give them one either. Be smart, keep your opinions and retorts to yourself.
- Stay in an NPC corporation. - the taxes are not nearly as high as replacing your best mining barge. Put up with the taxes. Avoid war declarations at all costs.
- Don't sell your last barge. - Avoid the temptation to fund your new barge with the sell price of your last barge. Keep your last barge as a backup and don't strip it. When I lost my Hulk, I still had my Covetor fully fitted and waiting. How much worse would it have been to not only lose my best ship, but then to have to buy a new one and all its fittings to replace it? You should always have at least one backup ship.
- Stay in high-sec. - At least until you know what you want to do and can take care of yourself.
This is how I stayed safe. This is how I managed to go a year before losing a ship. To date, that is my most expensive ship loss. Minimizing that type of revenue drain is key to being a successful industrialists. You'll take enough risk on the market, don't take those you don't need to.
That all said, this is oriented toward a lone-wolf miner play style. You may not want to be a lone-wolf miner. I can't really help you with that unfortunately. You only get to be a noob once and I spent my time chewing on 'roids and avoiding trouble.
However, there is something I can do. If you are reading this blog and are over a year old, consider using the comments below to list the things that helped you most during your first year. I'll do a simple compilation and put a perma-link on Mabrick's Mumblings to it. Maybe we can help future noobs that way. Deal?