One comment I often see related to EVE is that a new player was never able to find a Corp to join, and so only played the game for X amount of time and quit because he got bored, or because he could never figure out some of the games controls/concepts and quit in frustration. Unless you loaded up the game with the intention to hate it, what excuse do people have for not joining EVE University?
One can argue that EVE-U is not for everyone, and I would agree. But joining it, trying it, and finding it’s not to your liking is much further down the road than simply quitting the game because you never found a Corp. Same goes for the whole “I never figured it out” aspect; EVE-U is designed exactly for that, and does a pretty remarkable job in teaching you everything you might want to know about the game. And EVE-U is not some newly initiated project that might go poof tomorrow; it’s been around longer than most MMOs, and has refined what it does down to a science. The fact that you will be a joining a huge, always active, very helpful Corp in EVE is basically a best case scenario, right? If you quit the game after experiencing that, clearly it was not the game for you (and it’s not for many), but again that’s very different than the issues mentioned above.
This also somewhat relates to the topic of community perception that is going around EVE blogs. While EVE certainly has its fair share of villains, and their stories always draw lots of attention, it’s tough to argue the community as a whole is all bad when you have something like EVE-U around. How many MMO communities have something similar, and if they do, how does that establishment stack up against what EVE-U offers?
To me the perception issue boils down to two separate factors. One factor is outside reporting; if you base your assumption only on the media-reported ‘highlights’ of EVE (mega scams, null-sec wars), you might be tricked into believe that the entire game is only about that, and that everyone playing is either scamming right now, or planning to scam as soon as possible.
The other factor is EVE bittervets reporting on only what they see immediately around them. If they are in a ‘hardcore’ PvP Corp that has refined its combat doctrine over the years, and considers combat efficiency ‘srsbsns’, of course they won’t be real friendly to new players or show tolerance for them. And if that Corp only fights and really interacts with others like them, it’s easy to believe that what you see around you is what happens in all of New Eden.
But both factors show only a limited view of EVE as a whole. If it’s a direction that interests you, either the scamming or the ‘hardcore’ PvP, EVE offers that. But it also offers a lot more. EVE-U is an example, as are the countless high-sec, low-sec, or WH Corps. If the activity is at all possible in EVE, there is a Corp that is doing it, and more often than not, they will be willing to accept someone who is committed to that playstyle.
You might still get ganked/scammed/killed IRL while doing it, but then that’s why EVE is so great.