My 14 day trial experiment in Eve Online has come to an end. I fell well short of my goal to make enough ISK to purchase a PLEX, but that does not mean it is impossible. In this article I will share what I learned, and how I would do things differently with the knowledge I gained.
What Didn’t Work
I know for sure what doesn’t work when trying to make enough ISK to buy a PLEX in 14 days: mining and trade running. This is because of the trial limitations on which ships you can use. You can’t use any of the good mining ships, nor any of the ships with large cargoholds. Too much of your time is wasted traveling to and from space stations to unload your meager amount of cargo.
What Did Work
What was working really well (at least until I ran into strong enemies that destroyed my ship on day 5), was running missions. This is because I was getting 100,000 to 300,000 ISK for each mission I completed, a bounty of 8,000 to 15,000 ISK for each pirate ship I destroyed in the mission, and all of the items I could sell that I got by looting and salvaging the wrecks.
What I Would Have Done Differently
If I were to attempt this experiment again, I would definitely do things differently. The first thing I would do differently would be to pick Gallente as my character’s race instead of Caldari. The Gallente ships are better suited for combat, whereas the Caldari ships are generally better for mining.
The skills I would train would be much different than what I did the first time. I would train Salvaging (more loot=more money), Drones (more damage), and Negotiation (more money from missions) as soon as possible. I would not bother training any rigging skills (I wasted well over 12 million ISK just to boost the size of my cargohold), the Marketing skill (I wasted over 3 million ISK on this skill, not knowing that it was pretty much useless), or any mining skills.
I would focus on running missions for the most part, as that seemed to be the best way to earn ISK. It was also much more interesting and engaging than mining, which got to be quite boring pretty quickly.
While I fell well short of my goal, I still believe it is possible. It just requires a different strategy than what I chose to use. For those willing to attempt the same experiment, I would make sure that you have plenty of time set aside for the length of the trial. It will require at least 8-12 hours a day, every day, if you want to have a realistic shot at making enough ISK to buy a PLEX in 14 days. I was not able to spend this much time every day of the trial, which played a large part in my failure.
One way to make the challenge easier would be to find someone with an active Eve Online account that could give you a 21 day trial pass. An extra 7 days would take some of the pressure off, and you wouldn’t have to play as many hours every day. If all else fails, you can always pay for one month after the 14 day trial ends. It would be very easy to make the required ISK in 44 days, plus you would be supporting the developers of this fun game.