Among all the massively multiplayer online games on the market, EVE Online is perhaps the most complex game running, which is part of the title's appeal. The learning curve has, in the past, dissuaded some MMO gamers from really digging in to EVE, but that curve has been getting a bit less steep as the tutorial improves. The Apocrypha expansion's New Player Experience also aims to make those first weeks in New Eden easier. That said, the best resource available to new EVE players is the game's playerbase itself. It's always best to learn from others and when possible, with others. That's one of the unique things about EVE -- players form corporations for various purposes, one of which is to provide schools or academies where various facets of the game are taught by experienced players. Players can learn alongside others who share similar interests.

You want to learn the ropes of the game? You can join EVE University and take part in their organized classes or listen to speakers on various topics in New Eden. Want to learn how to kick ass in PvP? Take a class at Agony Unleashed and they'll turn you into a killer in no time. But EVE University and the other training-focused corps tend to focus on the more 'legitimate' aspects of the game. But what if you want a training course that lets you learn about and become part of New Eden's criminal society? There are options.
We've known for a while that some of the pirate corps and alliances intermittently offer training to players who want to lead a life of crime. Veto Corp, for instance, periodically opens the Veto Academy doors to players who want to learn the ways of piracy, but we've wondered if there are other such initiatives in EVE. It turns out there are; in the future players will also be able to learn piracy at the newly re-opened Black Rabbits Academy, operated by underworld player alliance The Guristas Associates.

We only got word of this today and the Q1/09 class already seems to be fully enrolled, but it's good to know that something like this exists in EVE, and The Black Rabbits Academy will offer training throughout the year. A player named H Lecter has taken up the reigns of The Black Rabbits Academy and had this to say on his alliance's motives for running a piracy school:

"What is so special about this Academy, I hear you ask? Well, unlike many other 'Academies' in New Eden, this one is not a recruitment and selection center for our Alliance. Of course there is the option, to switch to one of the other TGA corporations after graduation, but it is not our explicit goal. Students who consider themselves sufficiently educated can go their own ways if they like, even joining one of the many rivaling pirate corporations, or opening their own."

H Lecter added, "We wanted to do something very similar to EVE University, which is doing a lot for new pilots, but limits its efforts to law abiding citizens. We are not earning any ISK on this project and our only reward is the gratefulness of our members and the fun we have together."

We picked up on the existence of The Black Rabbits Academy through an Interstellar Correspondents (EVE's player volunteer news reporters) article by ISD Deacon York, which explains a bit more about what is being taught. Quoting H Lecter, York writes: "Training will consist of 'everything that is required to be successful hunting down and killing a target in low security and null security space.' More specifically, classes on scanning, ship fitting, ship to ship combat and lectures by several 'notorious' pirates will be offered. The training will reach its culmination when a student can successfully exhibit 'discipline, good skills at scouting, and a healthy amount of kills, including solo kills against bigger ships." Check out both the Interstellar Correspondents report and The Black Rabbits Academy announcement for more on learning to be a pirate in EVE Online.

This article was originally published on Massively.