The rush of excitement when you're called for your interview is like I imagine it must be to win the lottery (I don't get out much!) and after a few questions and checks (which I can't go into for corp security reasons) you're either accepted or politely requested to seek a home elsewhere.
Thankfully I was welcomed into the hallowed halls and handed my prospectus. In some respects it's a bit like arriving at Hogwarts (yes yes I've already admitted I should get out more). You've sailed the river of the queue and made it to the other side where you see a little bit more of the iceberg that is E-Uni. In the spirit of the Corp you're not left hanging following enrolment. It would be easy to say 'well done you're in' and then leave you to it but with the welcome of many other students ringing in your ears your Neocom flashes and a wealth of information begins to be shared. None of this is particularly sensitive and can be discussed. You're provided with links to the Uni Wiki which is publicly available but also other channel details and advice on how to attend classes. The calendar is also public and on this you can see an outline of planned lectures.
Attending classes is very easy indeed and it's really pertinent here to offer my grateful thanks to all those teachers who, like the recruiting officers, give their own game time freely to help other students by putting on classes in subjects which interest them. There are all sorts of things from 'Tackling 101' to 'Mining Boss 101' - if you can think of it then there's probably a class on it. Lessons are on Teamspeak but there is always an option to ask questions for clarity and some very useful discussions can also fall out of this interactivity.
It was during one of these classes - A Hauling 101 I think when I was trying to work out how to move the minerals I'd had refined to Hek without it taking a week in my Bestower - that I heard about the Uni mentor scheme. This is an initiative whereby new students (or old!) are paired up with a more experienced member on a shared time zone and interest basis. When I heard about this I immediately applied. I was still struggling to a degree with several parts of the game and was willing to try anything that may help me get my head straight on these areas.
Within a matter of days I was introduced to my mentor, Haxxi, by the scheme manager. Haxxi made contact a short time later and to be fair I'm sure that without him I wouldn't be at the stage I'm at now. With the patience of a saint he's explained to me the ins and outs of mining yield - that involved me doing some maths which I've avoided for years! - and also the uses of Eve-Fitting Tool to help me to be sure that I won't be able to fit the best modules because my skills are so damn poor instead of buying them first and then finding out which had been the case up until then. Any questions I've had he's managed to answer and when I persist in mixing shield and armour tank he doesn't give up! I think they've just made him assistant mentor scheme manager and I like to think that in some way that's in recognition for the extremely tough job he's had, and continues to have, with me.
Another great thing about E-Uni is that it can be all things to all people. For miners like myself it offers a really friendly team spirit to mining ops where we can get together and chip rocks whilst swapping advice and stories. If one day you wake up and fancy the odd PvP experience then, as a member of E-Uni, you can also enroll in the Ivy League Navy. The navy runs ops at all times and offers various trips to different locations all with the intent of shooting people instead of rocks. I have taken advantage of the recruiting call to the Navy and I'm sure some subsequent posts will cover my experiences within its ranks.
Now a member of the Uni and having decided that Mining was what I really wanted to make my niche in New Eden I was interested in how I could get onto some mining operations. Within the Wiki it's made clear that whatever you fly you can join the ops and its a straight profit split based on your time spent mining (or hauling). There were however no ops appearing on the Forum which meant I couldn't plan my time in Eve and although there were plenty of ad hoc ops they never seemed to be at the right time for me. So, what to do? Well, on the forums I saw that Uni was advertising for Assistant Mining Managers. Despite being new to the Corp and the game I thought it made perfect sense for me to have a look at that post. All I wanted to do was mine. I'd set up my skill queues to fly an Orca with boosts and that's no fun, or use, alone! I thought that if I was going to be mining anyway then I may as well run the ops for others who may want to join in. To that end I contacted the mining management and was very lucky indeed to be accepted into the role of an Assistant Mining Manager. I then realised I didn't know how to run a fleet...
No panic - I looked up the Fleet 101 class and listened to the recording. That gave me the information around which skills I'd need to look at in order to pass on the boosts - 'Leadership Five' and Wing Command - the list of needed skills just kept getting longer but I was now at the point in the game when putting a three week skill into the queue no longer felt like a kid waiting for Christmas on Boxing Day.
On the day of my first operation I took to the field in two Retrievers and a Bestower (a big mistake). I quickly discovered that you can't run the op AND three toons. My miner toons just sat there for the most part with lasers off whilst I shot back and forth with the hauler. I didn't understand how people could mine so fast! The saving grace was that there were no boosts as my skills weren't up there yet so I didn't have to worry about me having people dancing round the hierarchy like drunken square dancers trying to get those green ticks on the boost (like I still do now!) Another error was not noting down a name correctly - again my mentor came to the rescue by introducing me to chat logs and the day was saved.
My next post will cover a mining operation we had on 5 Jan in Aldrat. It was interesting for me as it was the first time I'd tried to run as booster and sole hauler. Some interesting lessons picked up along the way and great fun as always.
Until then, Fly safe o7