In this article, I look at some nifty things you can do with your main account's two extra character slots without paying for a second account.
A second account isn't required:
The restriction of one character actively training at any time per account can be bypassed by paying for a second account, giving a second character that you can train at the same time as your main one. Since you can play both simultaneously, people tend to use their second account to help out their main one. The most prominent use is in scouting, where you have the alt account fly the same route as your main character but keep him one jump ahead to give you advance warning of danger. Other examples include a salvager alt for mission-runners or additional mining characters. Alternate characters like this may be something of a handy luxury but they aren't a necessity and a second account is certainly not required. In fact, there are many useful types of alternate character you can create with your existing account's two spare character slots without giving up much training time at all.
By far the most common type of alt is the lowly market slave. Since EVE's markets are mostly focused in a few important trade hubs, it's a good idea to make a character that just sits in those hubs. If you ever need to check the price of something and are away from the region that trade hub is in, you can log into the alt and quickly check. The prime location for a market alt is Jita but alternative hubs include Amarr, Rens, Dodixie, Motsu and Oursulaert. This type of alt is the easiest to make as it requires no skill training, but it can be augmented by including some market skills if you plan to use it to list extra items for sale.
Skills required: None
Training time: None
Jump drives allow capital ships to instantly jump several lightyears at a time but they require another player to generate a cynosural field at the destination point. If you're in a major territorial 0.0 alliance, chances are you'll be expected to have at least one alt capable of generating a cynosural field. Having a cyno-ready alt makes helping your alliance-mates move capital ships a lot easier. It will allow you to set up a field somewhere far from home without moving your main character there. It has the added advantage that if the cyno alt is killed, it will be much cheaper to replace its basic clone than it would be to replace your main character's clone and implants. Although having the alt on a second account would let you move your capital ships yourself, it's handy to have one on your main account for helping friends.
Skills required: Electronics V, Cynosural Field Theory I, Hull Upgrades I
Training time: 14 days
Read on to part 2, where I look at three other things you can do with those extra character slots.