There is not a great deal of advantage to be had by staying in a NPC corporation. Only that your corp cannot be at war. Otherwise joining a player corp has many advantages. First is the tax rate is often lower than a NPC corp (11%). This will affect you for mission rewards and bounties. The next benefit is the people in the corp. If you have chosen well, your new corp mates will be very supportive as you start your career. Its for this reason that I recommend that new player don't form their own corp straight away. Join a older corp and draw on the experience of the other members. It will also give you ideas you can incorporate into your corp when you eventually found it.
An important point about being in a player corp is that you can "attack" members of your own corp without any penalties. This allows for corps to stage matches for training and sport. It also avoids accidents when working together in missions, complexes or other ops.
When you go looking for a corp to join you must ask a lot of questions. The wrong corp could spoil your Eve experience. Also remember that people will try to scam you occasionally so get as much info as you can. Never pay money to join a corp and only give out your API information if you know exactly what that will do.
The Corporation Window now has a Corporation search feature. This allows you to punch in your requirements and preferences and search for corps that match. This includes a basic time zone matcher. Be aware that there are other ways to search for corps. You can find corps in the forums or by asking in local. Quality of the results varies though.
The Corp that will best suit you is one with many members that are active at the same time as you, does the things you want to do and has the same attitude as you. Here is a list of things you should ask any corp you are thinking of joining:
- What language does the corp use?
- What does the corp do?
- How many members are online when you are?
- What is the corp's attitude towards various grey areas in Eve such as piracy and scamming? You'll find some corps feel strongly about these matters.
- Check to see if there are incentive and assistance schemes that some corps offer new players.
- Determine what rights and responsibilities you will have in the corp.
- Find out where the corp is based and where they tend to gather.
- Some corps have entry requirements like minimum skills or standings and you should check these.
- If you want to do research and invention later in your career you should ask about corp access to POS (Player Owned Starbase) and whether you'd be allowed to use them.
- If you want to get a Jump Clone (spare bodies) you should ask if the corp has access to them.
- Query the corp on what NPC corporations it has high standings with as these will probably be the corps you will work for if you do missions.
- If you love forums then find out if the corp has its own forum.
- Ask about Voice communication setups. Some corps will use the game's provided system while others will use third party software.
- PvP corps will often have a killboard where you can track your victories and losses against other players. Some will require a minimum number of kills per month.
Once in a corp you will be given roles and/or titles. These determine what you are allowed to do with the corp facilities. The most important one is access to the corp hangars at the various offices. Don't expect to get this straight away. Most corps have a trial period while the directors get to know you. Corp theft is a serious problem in Eve and trust is a valuable commodity. Consider this fact to if you are ever tempted to steal. Corps often contact old corps and find out what they can about a new recruit. This means your reputation as a trustworthy pilot is important. Be sure to realise that in order to do manufacturing or research jobs at a corp POS or for the corp, you will need access to one division of the corp wallet. This means that the CEO and Directors will need to trust you before you can do this. Expect to wait a while before you are permitted these rights.
To join a corporation, Use the People and Places to find the corp or get the info on a pilot in the corp and click on the corp badge. At the bottom of the corp info screen is an “Apply to Join” button. Put a little effort into the email you are sending to the corp senior members as it may affect your entry. You then have to wait for the corp to accept or reject your application. You will need to dock for the change of corp to take affect.
Make an effort to get involved in corp activities. Treat them the same way you would an outing with your friends in the real world. You will find that you will eventually call your corp mates friends. Furthermore, you will get enjoyment out of the activities and a sense of achievement that is independent of your skills. There are also some activities that are dangerous to try alone (such as PvP, wormholes and Incursions) and you will need your corp mates then.
You will probably get a fair bit out of being in the corp. From money to free ships and equipment. You should make an effort to give something back. This is recognised by the CEO and helps towards your reputation. Sometimes its just man hours that is needed such as an escort for the supplies shipment or moving some ships to market. CEOs often have a lot of work to make a corporation vibrant. They will remember you if you help them. Some rare corps even reward actively helpful members with shares or extra privileges.