One thing that shocked me about EVE Online is how expertly they have integrated young crafters into the metagame. In most MMO, items produced by a low level crafter is beyond worthless for high levels. These items are often of no value to veteran players. So, without an influx of new players this part of the economy fails utterly.
EVE Online/CCP created a system that thrives regardless. A few weeks ago I discovered Tech II items (items employed by vets) require their Tech I equivalents. So, let's say you are crafting a Tech II Helios covert ops ship. This tech 2 item requires the Hull of a Mavalas Tech I item. This means that the Tech II crafter will have to rely on products produced by low level crafters to create their item
Additionally, CCP seems to have applied this in all other areas of gameplay. For instance, even when you use your faction (loyalty points) to upgrade ammo to Faction quality you must buy the item from the market first. Then you hand this over to the NPC to upgrade for you.
I really thought this was a pretty interesting feature. I never realized this before but I guess I have always been a crafter. But because most MMO are so funneled I never really had the opportunity to fully explore my industrial side. I admit, it can be a bit boring if you have to hop in a hauler and jump a lot of gates to bring an item to a trade hub. But I enjoy the satisfaction of turning on my computer, log in to EVEMon, and seeing how much ISK I made through my efforts :)
I've been playing the game for awhile now but it pleased me greatly when I decided to drastically change my focus and start crafting that my items found a rich market to enjoy. I had to overcome some hurdles to get here though. I used to do a lot of my crafting in Empire and even though I now have a low quality Level 4 agent I found gathering all the resources somewhat tedious. It could take almost an hour to salvage all those little ships alone and I rarely came across Megacyte
So after growing frustrated with Empire I decided to pack my bags and move my operation to nullsec. So now I spend a little time killing Sansha rats and get consistent loot from those guys that reprocesses down to a wealth of ores. I've found it quite easy to stay alive in 0.0 through the careful use of my Local and Intel chat windows. So I make sure I watch out for pirates. And when they do come, I quickly POS up (safespot) and then grab my Recon ship and help provide Intel.
I usually accumulate over 5,000m3 of loot in bout a day or so. I then grab my Hauler and take this to a local station where I get great yield from reprocessing
My dilemma is that there are so many fun routes to explore: Trading, PVP, Hauling, Ratting. Right there we are looking at months of training time if I want to become the best. I've also started Exploration as well.
I only wish this time-based training could be sped up more but I guess they did what they had to do. I'm having a lot of fun though and everyday is a new experience where something new happens. Everyday is a struggle to survive out here- one wrong move and you can lose a lot of ISK. But that's what keeps my heart pumping and keeps everything dynamic and fun for me