Friday, February 17, 2012

Blog Banter 33: The Capsuleer Experience

Like mana from Valhalla (yes I know I'm mixing my religious metaphors), the latest Dev Blog by CCP Legion asks questions which make for perfect Blog Bantering. To quote him "...we want to make the first days, weeks and months in EVE enjoyable and not just something ‘you have to plough through in order to get to the good stuff’" and the newly formed Player Experience team will focus on "...where and why people lose interest in EVE...".

"We invite you to pour your heart (or guts) out and tell us what you think is good or bad with the current new player experience and what you think could be done about the problems."

Wow. It's been nearly 4-years since I did the tutorials! Lets have a loot at them now.... WTF!?!?! Where did all these come from?

Had a quick look at number 13 for the Caldari. Doesn't mention ANYTHING about cloaking devices and warp core stabilisers on Drake class battlecrusiers so pretty misses the point on how the Caldari fit their ships!

Anyway I had a quick look through and the NPE of 2012 is much different when I went through it last and climbed the infamous learning cliff.

So how do we make the NPE even better.

Eve is a unique game. Whilst you can catch up to my skills in a frigate class ship, it's going to take you probably best part of a year. Getting all your fitting skills (Electronics and Engineering) and the relevant ship and weapons skills to level five will take a while. You cannot grind XP you cannot power level. You just have to wait. Therefore the NPE is something ‘you have to plough through in order to get to the good stuff’. I very much doubt there is a way to get new players into the "good stuff" right away.

But it acceptable to tell new players this?

"Hi guys, welcome to the game. Oh by the way the PvP in this game is truly epic, but you'll be crap at it for the next year or so but please stick with it."

So what can we do? Probably nothing. It's the way the game works, you need patience. No quick wins here. You go into low-sec as a newb, you will die horribly. I found this and tried PvP many times and went back to carebearing before I had the skills to enjoy PvP.


We cannot hide it, we all know it, Eve is full of nasty bar-stewards. Can flippers, scammers, fraudsters and general nasty people. There are "norms" in there and nice helpful people, but generally we have a lot of griefers.

I once used the analogy of a a first date to explain griefers....

Woman - So what do you do for fun?
Man - You know those sand sculptures people do on the beach...
Woman - Oh wow! You make them?
Man - No. I wait until someone has just finished one then I run in and kick it down.
Woman - WHAT? Why would you do that?
Man - Their tears are fantastic. They get really upset and they almost cry. It's epic.
Woman - Erm.... I just remembered I left the iron on. Be right back! /flee

In real life people would be appalled by this behaviour. In Eve, it's common place. But we don't mention it to new players. We don't want to put them off. How do we warn people about these issues and how not to get caught by the can flippers?

Lol Fits

The new tutorials appear to show you how to physically fit your ship, but not how to really fit your ship. Back in my first days I'd take a ship and fit some big guns for big enemies, small guns from small enemies and make your classic newb lol fit.

We need to show new players how to properly fit a ship rather than the normal way of people sticking random things on a hull because it "sounded a good idea".

I did a quick search for fitting a ship on YouTube and looked at the first one from the results. Player made guides like this are what new players need...

EDIT - Literally within the hour after posting this blog..... 9 day toon in Caldari Militia with THIS fit -

The Solutions

There are a few things we could do to improve the NPE.
  • The whole game needs better explanation. ISK: The Ultimate Guide to Eve Online should be required reading for all new players. It's a great resource but under used.
  • Explain to new players that they need to wait for PvP and rushing in will result in death, despondency and a loss of ISK. Promote the role of "tackler", perhaps the fastest PvP role to train for.
  • Show how to fit a ship. Proper weapons layout, proper tank. Doesn't need to be detailed. Chose the right sized module for the ship, armour tank an armour ship, shield tank a shield ship and never, ever hull tank (even if you are a real man).
  • Explain the popular griefing tactics (can flipping) and scams in game and how the mechanics work.
  • Do more to get newbs to join a corporation, get on voice comms and learn from the vets. I would guess those players getting into a player corp early last longer than those who stay in a NPC corp simply because in a player corp you can learn from people.

The Conclusion

We have a big problem here. Eve Online is not about instant gratification. With Eve Online you need to invest time and patience to get anywhere. Of all the MMOG I've played Eve appears to have the oldest player base I've seen. Most in my corp are 30-something with wives and kids. Why? Because there isn't the instant gratification that comes with many games and therefore younger players tend not to stick with it.

We need new blood in the game. We need to make the NPE better. But we must not change the fundamentals of Eve to get there.


  1. good point
    no suggestion
    i m still a noob miself

    1. I think most of us are newbs in some area of the game.

      But in the last two day's I've popped ships piloted by characters that are days old who are flying around low sec.

      It's not good for their health. But how do we address it? I don't know either.

  2. In your closing statement, you mention not changing the fundamentals, but what exactly are those? Reading through all of the banters for the summary, the definition of "fundamentals" seems to vary. The dichotomy seems to be centred around the opposing fundamentals of an open-world sandbox allowing all play-styles and an aggressive and compulsory PvP environment. These two fundamentals are not happy bed-fellows.

    To preserve the rookie game experience and allow less PvP-aware MMO players time to adjust, those fundamentals might have to bend a little.