By now you've made your character and done the tutorial missions. The next important tools in your EVE toolbox are what I like to call "The Big 3." These are:
You will want to start using EVEMon right away. EVEMon is a skill planner. There are a LOT of skills in EVE, and without a tool like this, it can get a little overwhelming. Many tools in EVE have prerequisites—skills you need to know at a certain level before you can learn the new skill. EVEMon makes planning your skills easy.
The guides are pretty self-explanatory, and EVEMon is easy enough to figure out on your own if you’re savvy. I will just point out a few things. There are three basic ways I use to add skills to my training plan.
1) Adding a particular skill. Once you’ve opened a training plan (or created a new one), you can go to the Skill Browser tab to enter a specific skill. You can either type in the name of the skill in the search field (the one with the binoculars), or you can find it in the skill trees. When you click on a skill, it will give you a description of the skill, and it will show you all the prerequisites in a tree format. To add the skill to your plan, right click on it, select Plan To… and pick the level you want to train it too.
2) Adding a certificate. Certificates are a great feature in EVE and an easy way to figure out which skills you need to learn. A certificate I recommend for every player to use as a starting point is Core Competancy Basic. To add skills by certificates, go to the Certificates tab in the Skill Planner window. Find the certificate you want, right-click on it, select Plan To… and pick the level you want. EVEMon will add all the appropriate skills to your Plan Queue.
3) Adding requisite skills for a ship. Go to the Ship Browser tab in the Skill Planner window. Find the ship you want to fly. Once you’ve selected a ship, you’ll see two relevant areas on the bottom right of the screen: Recommended Certificates and Required Skills. You can add each skill/certificate individually in each area by right clicking on them, or you can add all the skills or all the certificates at once by clicking the relevant Add All To Plan button (you have to click both buttons to add all the skills and certificates). The Required Skills are the minimum skills you need to fly that ship. However, I recommend training the Recommended Certificates as well, or you won’t do much good in that ship.
Attribute Remapping. EVEMon also helps you with your attribute remapping. EVE allows you to remap (redistribute) your attributes twice in the first year you play, and once per year thereafter. This will optimize your training time. To get EVEMon’s suggested attributes, click the button at the top of your screen that says Optimize Attributes. Then click the button that says Attributes that would be best for the first year of this plan. EVEMon will give you the best attributes for that plan. You will then have to go into the game and remap the attributes. You can do that from your character sheet.
A word of advice about remapping: Don’t worry about this until you’ve got a good idea what you want to do in EVE (or at least want you want to do for the first year).
EFT (EVE Fitting Tool)
This tool helps you to fit your ships. With EFT you can experiment with different fits and see how they work without having to buy a bunch of expensive modules in game. The tool wills show you your ship’s hit points, dps (damage per second), volley damage, and much more.
On the Battleclinic website you can find fits that other people have come up with for your ship. People are able to vote fits up or down. Browse the fits, and make sure to read the comments. You can learn a lot here. Just a word of advice: just because a fit has a high rating (a lot of positive votes) doesn’t mean it’s the fit for you. Feel free to experiment.
You can export fits from this page directly to EFT. Above the loadout, you will see a horizontal row of “buttons”. The first on the left is Browse, followed by Create, My Loadouts, etc. Click on the one that says EFT Export. You will get a pop-up with the fit in a text format. Highlight the text and hit Control+C (or right-click and select copy from the contextual menu) to copy the text to your clipboard. Now load EFT. It will ask you if you want to import the fit.
In addition to the Battleclinic, you can find some great fits on EVE University’s pages. (I actually prefer many of their fits to the Battleclinic ones.) They have a guide for each race, giving all the ships by class in a very well-organized format. Not only do they give multiple fits for each ship (PvE, PvP, etc.), but they also give advice on how to use the ship with each particular fit. Check them out, you’ll be glad you did.
EVEMon, EFT and Battleclinic work together to enrich your experience in EVE (and make it a hell of a lot easier!). Play with them and have fun. I hope you find this guide useful.