Eve Online is a science fiction space MMORPG that was released in 2003, and it is still alive and doing well. Back in November of 2008 the developers introduced the PLEX (short for Pilot License EXtension), an in-game item that extends your subscription time by 30 days. The cool part is that it can be bought with the in-game currency, for approximately 330 million ISK (short for Interstellar Kredits).
Eve Online currently offers a free 14 day trial for people to check out the game and see if they like it. The experiment I have undertaken is simple – to see if it is possible to make enough in-game money during a 14 day trial to pay for a PLEX. From the research I have done, I believe it will be tough, yet still in the realm of possibility to accomplish this monumental task. My plan is to do a mix of missions and mining to generate the necessary amount of ISK.
I spent my first day in Eve Online learning how everything works. I did the complete tutorial mission line for Industry and a portion of the Business mission line, which gave me a lot of good skill books, money, and equipment. I did a little bit of mining, but at this point missions are much better money. Once I have all the necessary skills and equipment to improve my mining yield, I will be able to make much more money in less time.
The skill system in this game is different than other MMORPGs. You can only train one skill at a time, but it is completely passive and you will always be learning a skill even when you are offline.
On my second day in Eve Online, I finished up the Business tutorial mission line and then did all of the Military tutorial mission line. To upgrade into a much better ship for mining, I needed to train skills that took well over a day of training time. While I waited for these skills to train, I mined and did missions to make sure that I would have enough money to buy the new ship. I also checked out the Planetary Interaction, which was added in the last expansion. It was a little hard to figure out at first, but is quite easy to do once you learn how everything works. The income potential of Planetary Interaction is very high, but it is limited during the trial because some of the skills can not be trained by a trial account. If I am successful with my experiment, I am interested in seeing how much ISK could be made with the Planetary Interaction skills.
I finally have the skills needed to use my new ship, and it is so much better than my old one. It can hold more than twice as much cargo as my old ship, plus there is room for an extra mining laser. There are still a few upgrades I need to get before I can mine at max efficiency, but I am still able to make a lot more money with mining than I could with my old ship.
I’d estimate that I’ve made well over 10 million ISK without much trouble in the first 3 days playing Eve Online . I’ve invested it all back into skill books and equipment to raise my income potential even more. At this early stage it looks like I will be able to successfully earn enough for a PLEX in 14 days, although it will not be easy.