Ok guys. Ive played a lot of MMO's, and I have been addicted to Eve for a good year now. This is how eve is.
The safe area is "empire space" policed by NPC's to protect against most PVP. (Even though, u can get griefed occasionaly, if your stupid). 75% of Eve systems are 0.0 security. (Open PVP). These systems are claimed by corporations (guilds) and alliances (alliances of...guilds/corporations). Moons can support structures (Small starbases), safe havens with protective guns. Used so corps and alliances can make a "home" in 0.0 space. There is also a bigger structures "outposts" which can be built after months of hard work from hundreds of people. But I wont get into detail. The point is, the Eve universe is built by the players! Wars come and go, alliances are made and broken. Empires are destroyed, and Player Pirates look for easy prey, chased off by the big alliances when a large fleet arrives!
You never leave your ship. Your character creation requires making a portrait and whatnot, but u play as a ship. There are 100's of ships to choose from, with thousands of modules to fit on a ship. There are no "classes" what you fit on your ship be it tank, damage, or electronic warefare (think status effects) is your class. You can train to fly different ships, and fit different modules. Ships range from the smallest frigate, to capital ships that make large bosses in most MMO's look like a small insect. All, which you can fly! In time.
Training in Eve takes time, not grind. Training is done while you are online or off. You set a skill, and it goes. Some skills take 15 minutes. Some take a week or two. A few take months. Races dont matter, you can choose to learn anything! While some races of character start with certain skills, you can switch to a different races ship anytime you want! (obviously starting from the lowest level ships and modules). You never lose training, u can fly multiple races ships and keep the skills for all of them. Once its learned, its learned.
The Grind in Eve comes from making money. Big ships take BIG money. Some Capital ships take hundreds of people to fund and build. You can make money by Grinding NPC's in astroid belts, grabbing loot and making "bounties" off the NPC's (basically free money for killing them). You can mine minerals from Astroids. You can Build Items from minerals (if you train to do so) and make profit on the market. The ENTIRE eve economy is player run and controled. Some corporations even control price because of their production ammount, and prices of items can change based on what the players do.
Making Money is Eve's Worst Grind, and sometimes the worst part about eve. Losing a ship in PVP can sometimes be hurtful. However if your smart......
PVP is AMAZING. The reason to play Eve. I want you to know one thing about this game! The PVP will make your hands shake, your heart pound, And after the dust settles, you will be an Eve addict.
PVP can range from Solo (risky), small gangs (10-15 people) patrolling, to some battles that have been recorded of 300 vs 300. I have personally experienced 100 v 100. It is INTENSE. Billions in game money can be lost in minutes. Fleets decimated from 100 to 30 people in one engagment. But dont worry, you dont have to have the best ship, and the most skillpoints to be in these battles. As you grow in eve, so does your fleet. Small ships are easy to replace, and become better as you skill up. You can chose to bring out the "big guns" for the big battles. And on a day to day basis never risk anything that will hurt you, or set you back.
Eve is not for everyone. It does not hold your hand, it lets you lose in a sandbox. If you like to control your world. And make your enemies pay! (Im not talking about a Graveyard trek!) Eve is for you.