Four days into my EVE trial and I have a crisp 1,000,000 isk in my wallet. My exuberant joy at such unexpected affluence is tempered somewhat from reading Van Hemlock's blog where he mentions that he earns about 30 million in a single 1.5 hour combat mission. Ah well, wealth in an MMOPRG is always relative.
I am especially pleased that none of my cash to date has come from the boring drudgery of asteroid mining. I hope to avoid mining for the duration of my EVE career if I can. I see myself more as an independent pilot struggling to make enough isk to keep his flying rust bucket in star ship fuel. I've made a few profitable trades but most of my earnings to date come from missions and the bounty on npc pirates that inevitably crop up during them.
Speaking of missions I have already had a fairly rude awakening. I had read that level 1 missions were designed to be completed in a frigate so after breezing through the tutorial and follow on ten part training mission I went off and signed up for my first "proper" level 1 mission - something about killing several waves of Angel pirates. Off I headed to the instance only to find myself sitting in a pod five minutes later wondering where it all went wrong.
The angels come in big bunches ranging from moderate threat level Gislii Thugs to very high threat level Gislii Hunters and Impalers. Attempting to get in close and carve them up with gattling gun fire from my slasher proved suicidal. I switched to a Breacher and tried to hold the angels at a distance while I pounded them with long range missile fire. This approach was a bit more successful but unfortunately they also have missiles and other long range weapons and eventually they wore me down. Finally I hit on the somewhat cowardly tactic of using drones from a Probe frigate to thin them out while I stand off at a safe distance. Those drones are slippery buggers and they generally manage to stay alive long enough to take out a couple of enemy frigates. Once the numbers are thinned sufficiently I can fly in close and mop up the survivors with gattling gun fire. It is fairly slow progress. It takes careful positioning and pulling to keep the numbers manageable and I have had a few close escapes. I also have to make frequenct trips back to base to stock up on drones. Happily the starter drones I am using are cheap and the bounty on the pirates more than covers the cost of drones.
EDIT - Thanks to Van Hemlocks timely advice I am happy to say that I am no longer sacrificing drones with wild abandon. I used his suggested tactics to complete another instance of the mission that caused me so much grief earlier and no drones were harmed in the process. Following VH's advice I let the mobs target me before using my afterburner enhanced speed to stand off at a safe distance while my drones went to work. I also swapped my gatling guns for a canon which allowed me to contribute with potshots from long distance. The trickiest bit is lining up the mobs correctly before a pull to ensure that you don't get pushed into another group while standing off.