Choosing a corporation in EVE Online

Danny Centauri Corporation change

Every corporation in New Eden is defined not only by the activities it carries out but also by the area of space in which it is located and how the culture is moulded by the corporation and alliance leadership. Quite often it’s not the what a corp does, or where it does it, that becomes a problem but how and why they do it. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of accepting recruitment as a one way grilling process of security checks and thorough questioning but it’s vital that if you’re going to find a corporation to thrive in that you make recruitment a two way process.

I speak from personal experience having just left Infernal Octopus a lowsec alliance based in Airidia and vicious defenders of their space scoring them some quite nice killmails over the years. As a very capital heavy small alliance they enjoy beating any newcomers in the area into submission. Back in 2013 when I had loads of time for EVE this was perfect and although they are primarily a Russian alliance it worked well and at times I was multiboxing half a dozen dreads in fleet enjoying defending the local moon operations.

There were aspects I didn’t like too especially when it comes to ship fittings. Far too often extreme range was preferred with very little in the way of brawling. Additionally they really didn’t like losses so every fleet fit was tanked like crazy and there were more than a few fits where a 1600 plate or two could be exchanged for heat sinks with little to no detriment to the fit as we always flew with logistics and the extra buffer was of relatively low benefit compared to the potential benefits of extra DPS. Still I tried my best to keep in line with their fits and soon gave in trying to convince them to change.

I tried to help and discuss fits with the CEO and alliance leader but was stone walled with my CEO simply explaining this is how Russian alliances run it’s effectively ‘my way or the highway’. They are a great bunch of guys but it was a bit of a culture clash with one all powerful voice in the alliance dominating the playstyle not suiting how I enjoy to play. These guys must have been doing something right as they held the region and are running upwards of 100 POS whilst keeping fleet participation high. Ultimately for me the slight clash in play style was too much and left me with a few doubts as to my future in the alliance.

When I came back to the game in May 2014 after a break since September I soon realised with reduced EVE hours things wouldn’t work. Russians seem to play very late even compared to US players so after a couple of weeks I started hunting for US/UK time zone corporations and alliances.

Not wanting to fail at corporation selection again I decided to write down my selection criteria:

  • Focus on industry
    – With Kronos and Crius coming up this is where I wanted to dedicate my time as it should be more enjoyable and dynamic.
  • UK and US time zone
    – I’m a late evening player so normally pick up the end of the UK tz and start of the US I’d prefer to have at least people to talk to ingame all this time.
  • Easy access gameplay
    – I’d started to play EVE less like chess and more like a shooter wanting to get in game play for a hour or two and leave. Long gone are the days of 4 hours stalking a pilot half way across New Eden my freetime, and partner, just simply don’t allow it.
  • Ocassional PvP
    - I trained carrier and dread pilots for a reason and it wasn’t to spin them in station, I originally started in null sec and then became a mercenary in high sec. Some PvP action every few weeks keeps me sane.
  • Freedom of playstyle
    - I really did enjoy my time in Infernal Octopus but didn’t want the same awkward discussions with leadership over fittings and annoying feeling that I could help things change but was in a position where I was left powerless to do so.

From these base criteria I decided the characteristics of the corporation and alliance I wanted to join the above 5 points translated to:

  • Industry corporation with heavy manufacturing aspirations
  • If there wasn’t a recruiter online when I was then I wasn’t applying
  • Highsec based in area where it’s easy to buy and sell materials and products
  • Someone who is big enough to attract war decs, being hunted is fun
  • A corp or alliance that champions middle management

To help me search I used Google, ingame recruitment adverts and the EVE Online forums. Not only was I looking for corporations actively recruiting I was also looking for active individuals in the community who were willing to be highly involved and share knowledge. If these individuals were not CEOs then all the better especially if their corporation descriptions or recruitment adverts promoted them. This behaviour of championing your directors and middle management shows a CEO willing to accept they aren’t master of all and capable of delegating responsibilities whilst making best use of their skills to provide support in key areas.

Personally I think due to equal part luck and research I came across Manu Fortius a medium sized corporation in a small highsec alliance who ticked all the boxes. Manu Fortius is the home of a popular industry blogger Vexed Nova a director in his corporation responsible for industry. They are based in Gallente space near Dodixie meaning easy trade and had struggled with war decs recently as their growth had attracted attention at a point in time where there teeth weren’t as well developed as their industry skills.

Not only was this somewhere I could help develop the industry side of the corporation and inject resources to help them succeed but it’s also somewhere that I could contribute to PvP activities helping them to avoid bad losses and patiently take down a few of their aggressors to act as a deterrent against future war decs.

Excited by the opportunity I added all of their recruiters to my watch list and waited eagerly for a couple of days whilst I got used to their play routines, by the time I applied I knew when they were active and that they should be a good fit to where my playstyle was going. All that was left was to ask different people in corporation the same questions to check that they are a honest bunch who give the same answers as each other openly admitting strengths and weaknesses of both the corporation and alliance.

The rest is simple really if a corporation is a good fit for you then it’s likely they’ll see you as a good fit too and it’s simply a case of answering a few questions and handing over full APIs for security. This should be the easiest part of finding a new home, it’s really worth that extra time to research and find a corporation that matches your playstyle and expectations. Today is my first day in Manu Fortius and I’m glad to be there, as I settle in expect to see some articles about how a small corporations industry can take the next step forwards and how I’m working to help Vexed make that happen in Manu Fortius.