Time to revisit EVE and set down my thoughts.
Currently I am in a one-man corporation in a quiet high-sec system, training to run a mining cruiser. I mine, rat in highsec, both in belts and in the sansha bunkers of my home system. I take quick jaunts into lowsec space to rat there as well. I used to try to explore there, but solo exploration is too vulnerable to pirates as it requires for me at least some considerable time scanning. I find that I enjoy doing this, because it feels very much like a solo period of building skills and assets, and I have control over my time and risk.
I’ve briefly tried pvp, both solo and group. I’m not crazy about it, because to be effective in group requires raid-like dedication, and solo pvp is very skill and ship dependent. It also, at least in high and lowsec, is pointless. EVE talks a big game about politics and rivalries in nullsec, but in low and empire it’s more often than not bored pirates or suicide gankers, with no real method to the madness behind the lulz.
I like it, but not really for any of the strengths it is supposed to have. The community is bipolar-helpful on onehand, but all too willing to snark and grief on the other. Newbies more often than not solo most of their new career. Most of the recruitment corporations are tiny 4-12 man operations that may barely last a few weeks, and most of the good ones except for tutorial ones like eve university or red vs blue tend to put enough requirements to dissuade newbies. A lot of systems are empty or underused.
I think I will keep it, but it’s more in a tinkering, exploring sense than any of the PvP or social aspects that keep getting pushed as distinctly EVE. EVE is an odd game in that to have the most fun they expect you to rely on other players, yet the game also encourages betraying and near-griefing each other.