Stage One: WonderEach new thing that happens in Eve comes as a surprise. Ships types that you've never heard of attack your ship as you wander into lowsec. Turns out a Rapier isn't a frigate. You start to absorb information at an incredible rate from blogs, podcasts, and the Eve Uni wiki. In the middle of the day you think of a idea, and cannot wait to get to a computer to EFT-warrior it out. Advanced Weapons Upgrade 5 taunts at you.
You wonder just how far you are in over your head.
Stage Two: AddictedYou log into Eve several times a week, looking to undock and find some action. Your hands shake as you watch the dials of your imaginary spaceship HUD swing back and forth between the attacks of another player and the repairs of your ship or an ally. When you hear "Warp Drive Activated" you sink back with a sigh or pound at your desk, according to your nature.
Don't worry, this is considered "normal."
Stage Three: DockedYou log in, but rarely undock. You update your skill queue, and work your will upon the markets, piling up great stacks of ISKies in between posting to /r/Eve or your other Eve media of choice. You scoff at the poors who run missions or explore to get their wealth, as you know that the reins of the great economic engine of Eve run through your hands. You remind any other space nerd who will listen that there is such a thing as "market PVP."
If you're really advanced, you can up this to "podcast PVP" and still not undock.
Stage Four: UnsubbedTechnically you're not a player of the game. Technicalities are for close-minded people who couldn't think their way out of a discarded Amazon box left out in the rain. Your presence is known in the meta with every clever comment you make and devastatingly dank meme you craft. Some may call you bittervet, but that's only because they are naive and cannot see that Eve is dying and that CCP is filled with fools.
At the highest level of this step, it is said that you can control entire empires by force of will.
Stage Five: Winning EveThere are some people who say there is some nirvana, some peaceful place, where even the winds of the meta cannot be heard. You do not hear the scream of the low hull warning in your sleep, nor do you dream of the tears of those who have fallen before you. There is no lure of Fanfest, Eve Vegas, or Eve Down Under.
Rest in Peace, our brother and sister capsuleers.