I have received a lot of great advice since joining Eve, and almost all of it can be boiled down to one core concept… you MUST plan ahead.
In World of Warcraft, or nearly every other theme park MMO, you can basically stumble blindly through the world, make mistake after mistake and your character will progress towards endgame, no matter how badly you play. Eve is much less forgiving. It is theoretically possible to play the game for months and be in the same or worse shape at the end than you were. Sure, you have more Skill Points, but skills without direction are meaningless, and a plan without ISK is worthless. Sure, after six months you can fly a Battleship, but you have no ISK to buy one, and you don’t have the support skills to fit one.
I mentioned before that I have two accounts now. My first Pilot is skilling directly to a beginner Incursion Fit Hurricane. The Hurricane is a Minmatar Battlecruiser, with enough firepower and resist/ shield support skills to survive in the Incursion fleet. If you are unfamiliar with Eve and Incursions, think PvE Raid encounter. This is a good beginner plan for me, since each encounter will net me around 10,000,000 ISK, allow me to fly with my Corp Mates in fleet and give me invaluable experience that will be necessary to survive and contribute to the Sleeper sites in Wormhole Space. Our Corp is doing Incursion sites roughly 2-3 times per week and finishing 5-10 sites per night, so that is 100-300,000,000 ISK per week right there. Not too shabby for a total Eve noob after just a three-week skill plan.
My second account is a miner. In Eve, the entire economy is rooted in two primary factors… PvP and Mining. Null Sec Alliances (Guild Conglomerates) war with each other constantly, and have a massive appetite for new ships. This drives demand for goods at the very core. There are other significant factors, but none so significant. On the other end, Miners harvest all of the materials necessary to feed the PvP beast. Of course, there are refiners, manufacturing chains and traders involved in the process, but the fundamental building block, is the Miner.
In the economic meta-game I prefer to pick roles that are consistent and predictable, rather than exploit niche roles that fluctuate or change on regular basis. I also live by a very simple principle… find your niche, and master it. The smaller your focus, the better.
Thus my Miner is on a very strict plan that first allows me to fly the Caldari Osprey, an intro Cruiser with strong Mining Laser bonuses. Next I will get the Retriever mining barge, the Hulk and finally the Orca, picking up all the “Perfect Miner” skills along the way. I have seen reports that suggest a skilled and efficient miner in the safety of Empire Space can earn 30-50,000,000 ISK/hour… After we move into Wormhole Space, it is a surefire plan to earn billions with a capital B.
So my advice to you, should you decide to try Eve? You need two things right away…
1) A noob friendly Corp, that wants to help you develop. INQ-E has given me more advice and knowledge in five days than I could have learned on my own in five months. In Eve, knowledge is money, and money is power.
2) You need a plan.