Here are some points I made up on the fly elsewhere for people wanting to get into EVE RP but not knowing how to start. These are not hard and fast rules, more like things that have worked for other people. (EDIT: This has been edited a lot since the first post based on feedback. Further suggestions welcome! You can find me eg on the RIP Discord.)
So how does one get into RP?
If you already have RPing friends, ask them how to get involved with whatever they are up to. If you do not, find some, eg on the OOC Discord linked above, by joining an RP organization, or finding some people in your current alliance interested in setting up an RP SIG.
Other than that or if you do not feel ready to join anyone yet: this is EVE so we are all in space with long-range communication implants in our heads. The least hassle way to start roleplay is to just join some RP / in-character channels that are also comms channels in-character. Start chatting to other pilots while you go about your normal EVE business - which can, and in most RPers opinion should, be practically always taken as happening in-character. The Summit and Intergalactic Summit are two channels you can use for that, but there are others (the difference between those two is that one is player-ran and the other CCP owned). There is a (not exclusive) list of some other in-character channels on the RiP Discord.
The https://forums.eveonline.com/c/fiction-portal/igs often has invitations for public roleplaying events you can also join. To events advertised publicly, everyone is welcome unless stated otherwise.
RP rookie help point #1: If you are new to EVE, start from playing someone who is a new capsuleer pilot. If you are an established player who has been so focused on other aspects of the game they have not paid attention to RP, start by playing a pilot who has been doing whatever you have been doing, and has not been paying much attention to news etc. Don’t try to make yourself into anything bigger in the beginning, and before you get more familiar with the lore, make smaller rather than bigger stories. The lore, the game engine and the MMOG format pose restrictions for what is possible and easy to play that are not self-evident on a first glance, even for an experienced RPer in other mediums.
RP Rookie help point #2: Seek out other roleplayers out-of-character as soon as you know you’re interested. Come to the ingame channels “Out of Character” or “OOC” and/or the roleplayers’ OOC Discord and/or and/or the faction-specific roleplayer Discords and/or Discords and in-game channels of various RP organizations, introduce yourself, and tell people you wanna get into RP. You can ask feedback on your background and story ideas. You can also ask people to point it out to you in a nice manner if you make lore mistakes. (A lot of people will do it in a not nice way without being asked - ignore them.) Consider writing a little bit of your character to the EVE RP Wiki, for others (including story staff) to look you up. Join ingame channels “The Summit” and/or “Intergalactic Summit” for general in-character chat.
RP Rookie help point #3: You can make up a backstory (who your character was before they became a capsuleer etc) to begin with if that is fun for you, but you do not have to. You can also just make stuff up as you go. Decide your homeplanet when it first comes up, invent background when someone asks about it. But for the love of gods, write this stuff down. You will thank yourself 10 years from now. (Ask me how I know…)
RP Rookie help point #4: EVE lore is confusing af. Some crucial bits of it is behind paywall. It will take a long time to piece things together. This is normal. Don’t panic. Google is your friend, as are out of character contacts with other players. Even people with years of EVE RP behind them ask each other pointers for what other characters are talking about all the time. Also, eventually, you probably will ask “what’s that?” about something that would be self-evident to your character. It’s fine. We’ve pretty much all done it some time or another. Don’t fret, move on.
Rookie help point #5: EVE is a big game. There are multiple different ways to roleplay. You don’t have to go full-out in the beginning - or ever. Some people don’t RP in the game itself at all, but they write fiction and/or opinion pieces to the Intergalactic Summit about what happened to them in the game. Some people stay in character all the time, except when explicitly out of character on OOC forums/channels. Some people’s RP is very low key - their characters talk about ingame matters much the same way as their players do, and most of the time you cannot tell which one or maybe both the speaker is. Some people like theatrical, dramatic stuff. Some people only roleplay things that are not modeled by the game engine - characters’ private lives, planetside events. Some people only roleplay things that are in the game engine - mining, trading, fighting. Some people do many things, or a little bit of everything. Experiment with styles, and don’t let anyone tell you that their way is THE way.
RP Rookie help point #6 : You do not have the obligation to entertain. Just because someone directs some words at you does not mean you have to respond, or accept their ideas as fact. If at any point RP (even RP you started ) goes to places or themes you don’t want to play, you can stop. While you can (and it is often helpful to) explain to whoever you played with why you want to stop / back off and what level of interaction you would be comfortable with, you also do not have to do that in order to back off.
RP Rookie help point #7 : There is a fairly important piece of beginner information related to capsuleer training and selection process in EVE Source that is not referenced to on the lore site. It basically states the following:
- Capsuleer candidates are rare: only 14 percent of those applying get past pre-screening (part of which is just genetic compatibility) and of those who start only 1 in 20 finishes training.
- Training can be expensive, so you need either a suitable background, a scholarship, or a sponsor of some sort.
- Capsuleer training takes around 5 years, 1-2 years for preliminary book-learning, 2 years or so for the necessary and “grueling” physical orientation (implants go in, lots of exercise, presumably to grow the correct neural pathways or whatever), 2 years of actual capsuleer piloting stuffs
- In the end of the training, capsuleers are expected to die and be re-cloned once; this is not a physical requirement but a final test of whether you can take it.
This is written post-capsuleer launch and prior to Alpha clones. Presumably requirements can have been different in the early years of capsuleering, and presumably alpha clones speed up the process considerably.
(If this seems convoluted or does not fit into what you have already established in play, don’t fret and just gloss over it in play. You won’t be the only one.)
RP Rookie help point #8 : At the time of writing this, @CCP_Delegate_Zero is the CCP dev in charge of lore and storylines and all that jazz and @ISD_Thalack_Dalhar is… um… the ISD volunteer head honcho something or other (EDIT: actually ISD Team Lead for New Eden Correspondents, see below) and the main contact point for story/lore related things in EVE. Both have been known to respond to players who contact them for story/lore related things, but both have also been known not to. EVE is a big game and there’s a lot of our players. There are no official instructions on how to contact these people and about what, and there are absolutely no guarantees of “GM” input for anything. It is always best to plan your stories so that they do not depend on GM input, dev interaction, or cause major lore changes.
RP Rookie help point #9 : While it is kind of hard to find via the official site, there actually are pretty frequent in-character news updates from CCP / ISD. You can find those on EVE Online World News and find some character reactions on the Intergalactic Summit . CCP has also gotten back to the habit of running some events in the game with CCP event NPC actor characters and the new “diamond” AI NPC ships. There’s usually no particular announcement of these, but they can happen as part of world news or as response to player-organized events. Sometimes, but not nearly always, CCP streams them on their Twitch.
RP Rookie help point #10: A lot of RP in eve happens on chat channels that are also chat channels IC, like the Summits (think “Discord for capsuleers”). There are also channels that are used for physical locations, and to RP parties and other events. Lasarioina Raske has written an excellent guide on how to get into such social event RP.
Welcome to the show.