EVE Evolved: The Industrial-Sized Knowledgebase

The EVE Evolved column has been home to dozens of in-depth guides on various aspects of EVE Online. Over the past two years, I've written multi-part guides to many industrial and PvP-oriented topics. On the topic of research and development, we've covered tech 1 research, invention, reverse engineering and five top tips for researchers. Perhaps more useful was the three part series on trading, which first covered the basics before delving into advanced trading strategies and a few useful tips. Other guides which have proven popular among newer players included our three-part guide to mission-running, and the recent three-page guide to exploration.

Members of the EVE community regularly produce new guides and tools to help players make the most of their time in New Eden. This week, EVE player Laci surprised the EVE community with the release of an impressive new guide aimed at new players and industralists. The comprehensive 416-page Industrial-Sized Knowledgebase (or ISK for short) covers practically everything a new player could want to know about the game. Until now, the guide had been available only in Hungarian. After intensive translation and design work, the full guide has been released in English.

In this week's EVE Evolved, I take a look at this impressive guide and ask its creator Laci a few questions about it.

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Occasionally, a new guide or tool comes out for EVE that really impresses players. Industrialists all over EVE will be familiar with Halada's very professional mining guide, which is almost certainly the best mining guide out there. Laci's new Industrial-Sized Knowledgebase has a similarly professional visual style and organisation. The most impressive thing about this guide is how absolutely comprehensive it is, covering practically every industrial topic there is. Topics covered in great detail include the basics of EVE for new players, ship-fitting, mining, mission-running, planetary interaction, manufacturing, research and development, trading, player-owned structures, exploration and living in nullsec.

Although much of the guide is basic, it's absolutely perfect for new players or people who are just getting into EVE. Older players will still find it to be a very useful reference source, with pages of tables and formulae supplementing the text. The guide is intended to function as a black book for industrialists, providing a single searchable document containing the answer to any question you might have. The table of contents is well-laid out, with each entry being a handy link to the selected page. For those interested in further reading on a topic, the "Useful links" section starting on page 395 even gives links to other websites and community resources. Overall, I'm extremely impressed with what Laci and the other contributors to the guide have managed to accomplish.

Massively: How did you get started creating this massive guide? Did you ever think it would end up at over 400 pages?

Laci: The whole concept began in 2006. At that time I felt a great need for a few auxiliary tables, including cargo capacity of the ships or a table about the refining efficiency on stations with various equipment or facilities. Then I shared these finished aids with the Hungarian EVE community. Later, I translated some other shorts to Hungarian and compiled these with a translation of The Complete Miner's Guide by Halada. After that, I rewrote it a bit, and then with the Hungarian edition I entered into the hall of the guide writers.

One patch after another I ventured deeper into the EVE universe. I gained more and more experiences; I read many guides and spent a lot of time on Singularity (the test-server). The combinations of these experiences led me to the base concept of the ISK and to its first release. Every update contained some new materials. I was inspired also by articles of several Hungarian authors, who are listed in the contributors section.

You've published the guide for free. What do you think of the many people trying to sell their guides for cash, when there are similar guides out there for free?

I think it is natural for asking money for your work, but remember, there is a noticeable fight between the supporters of non-profit software organizations and the software industry in the world of computers. The free version is just better in some cases. I was not inspired by money when I wrote ISK; my intention was to help with it. Although it contains a lot of information, there are many other articles or guides which are free to use. My main goal was to help the rookies, and usually they are not able to donate.

Visually, the guide looks very professional. How did you get involved with the designer and how long did compiling the final document take?

Mermalior was the author and designer of a webpage at which I found articles and the inspiration for a few chapters. He is a designer in the real world, so I asked him if he could help me with some graphic elements for the ISK 1.0. Fortunately, his answer was positive, and he did a quality job with the cover and the interior design. He also designed our webpage. The Hungarian release (ISK 2.0) gave us the design concept, so for the English release we "only" had to translate, check and lay out the whole book. It is an ever-growing guide, with a lot of new inserts, so it's hard to tell how much time it consumed. The second release of the Hungarian version took five months and the English translation took three additional months on top of that. Unfortunately, the release date was very close because a man has only one 10-year acquaintance-anniversary with his wife. This is responsible for some very annoying mistake that we left in the English version accidentally.

Can you tell us a little about all the people who have worked on or contributed to the final guide?

The translation has been made by a handful of enthusiasts, who are all gamers of some sort. These people are listed as contributors near the end of the guide. In the first round, Lewyrus checked and proofread the book. The second round's proofreaders were WereBarbie and CaptPerseus. Because the ISK was a purposely fan-project, the second proofreaders deemed it necessary to translate major parts of the book again to make the final release more professional.

The translation team received rewards of EVE game time cards from our sponsors, who are also listed near the end of the guide. This guide has a lot of authors as the work of many contributors is in it, and I would like to say thanks to them. I would like to mention Halada's guide, as it was the main inspiration for one chapter in the ISK.

How popular was the guide among the Hungarian EVE players? Do you expect it will be as well-received by English-speaking players?

The book is very popular among the Hungarian readers; it is considered compulsory reading for players. Many among them helped me by sending bug reports and also helping to make it more complete version by version. I received plenty of advice, corrections, ideas and articles for inclusion in the guide. I hope that our collective work earns everyone's approval, and that we could improve the players' library with politics-free, useful auxiliary material.

What are your plans for future work on the guide?

In the short term, there are corrections of mistakes to be made, and further improvements are on the to-do list. I deem it necessary to edit and correct some parts, but naturally the list of the parts waiting for improvement is not short. As I mentioned earlier, the guide will be expanded patch by patch to keep it up to date. When I was talking to Mermalior, the idea of a PvP guide came up. It turned out that they are already working on it, and he has offered to let me join the work.

Thanks for talking with us, Laci!

Thanks for the interview. Fly safe!

Brendan "Nyphur" Drain is an early veteran of EVE Online and writer of the weekly EVE Evolved column here at massively.com. The column covers anything and everything relating to EVE Online, from in-depth guides to speculative opinion pieces. If you have an idea for a column post or guide or just want to message him, send an e-mail to brendan@massively.com

This article was originally published on Massively.