Monday, February 3, 2014

Hug a New-Bro?

Over the last few days it appears CCP are trying to help an influx of new players into the game. Taking a wild stab in the dark, that with every news agency on earth picking up the B-R fight last week, a lot of people are wanting to try Eve this weekend.

CCP have made a massive push this weekend to ease those new players in. You've probably seen that the top 'news story' on the login screen over the weekend was "New to Eve? See here." or something to that effect. Twitter and Facebook have had links to various guides and useful sites and apps posted by Devs and the Community Team. CCP Devs themselves have been out and about in the TQ starter systems, career agent systems and even leading fleets of new players for a bit of a brawl.

All good stuff for the game. We need fresh blood and we need some of these guys to hang around to keep the game going.

CCP Explorer Tweeted on Sunday that we should "Take good care of them."

That triggered a few reply Tweets which include one suggestion to send them towards Faction War. Now I know what the sentiment was - get them in a community, but Faction War isn't right from really green players.

As I understand it, towards the end of the new tutorials it is suggested that the player might want to sign up with the militia and join faction war there and then. Not sure if this is true but it is a bad idea. A VERY bad idea. There is no way that is going to work well for them. A new character that may be only days old (how long do the new tutorials last?) is going to get roflstomped in faction war. I know! I did.

Back in 2008 the player corp I was in used to join Faction War for one weekend a month. I was excited about having a go at Eve PvP. It didn't go well. Now I didn't go solo, it was always part of a fleet, but I kept dying all. the. damn. time. In the end I gave up and would just not log in at all for the 'Faction War Weekends'. I think there are a few reasons for this:-

Ship type:- Faction war used to be kitchen sink fleets back then. T1 frigates tend to get 'primaried' by people ignoring the FC and hoping to get an easy kill. Low SP toons are an easy kill! (which they are)
Skills (Character):- Low SP = Low Tank/Low DPS.
Skills (Player):- No expereince in PvP = Oh dear!

Now I'm pretty much sure people will disagree with me here. But I'll say it anyway. New players in Eve will always struggle in PvP. In fact struggle so much they are liable to give up unless they have massive support. Yes they can fit a T1 frigate as tackle, but if they are the tackle, they are likely to be in front of the fleet and therefore get shot a lot! With low skill points they are going to die more times than not.

This is seen in FW where many old players have created alts to farm LP. The number of ships I alpha is high. Yes, there is a limit to how many SP apply to a single ship. When I'm flying a Kestrel, Amarr Battleship V is not really bringing anything to the party, but still, I still have V's in every skill that counts. Don't believe me? Start an alt, give them a weeks training and then come to Nisuwa!

Dying horribly again and again and again is not fun. How can it be? Yes we all die, but constant dying over and over and over like that without any winning?

The fact is the best way for new players to survive is part of a big fleet where they get lost in the crowd. Faction war generally is not about big fleet fights, its small gang and solo. 12 is a 'big fleet' in many areas of faction war these days (Cal/Gal anyway, not sure about Mini/Amarr). In those size gangs, unless everyone is flying similar ships that newbie is going to die in short order.

Now here we have a big problem. The way Eve works, generally new players are going to get roflstomped in PvP. But Eve's PvE is... well its not really on a par with others in the genre is it? I mean how many times can you save that stupid Damsel before thinking "F*** it, let Zor keep her. If she's so dumb to keep going back there!"

I wonder how many people did it like me? PvE for 7/8 months and then get into PvP? How do we get around this problem that Eve's unique skill system also holds new players back for so long. How do we get around balancing fights in a sandbox environment where a 110m SP character can go up against a 1m SP character? Is it possible without breaking the sandbox? I'm not sure it is.

But if HTFU is no longer the motto, what are we going to do?

The only solution I can see is send them to Brave Newbies for low-sec PvP. The community is what keeps Eve great and getting these new players off the solo track and into the community is key. Also they will be in decent sized fleets with massive support. Sending them blindly to Faction War with its small gangs and solo type PvP is going to be... counter-productive.


  1. with every news agency on earth picking up the B-R fight last week, a lot of people are wanting to try Eve this weekend.

    Right. Check out the new player spike at

  2. For graduates of Sisters: a new class of agent -- a PvP agent.
    This agent queues up capsuleers according to skill point ranges and creates a deadspace battle.
    Obviously, if a capsuleer is training for an Industry career then this type of Agent would not be selected for a mission just as a Security mission might be off the books.

  3. The best advice i could give a newbie is to not join a newbie alliance. I only have 11m sp so my evelife is still newbish. I joind a newbie corp after the tutorial and it was a disaster...blind leading the blind, wot? after we got destroyed by a wardec i joined an alliace led by vets...huge improvement!

  4. I think faction warfare would be fun for some of the new players (maybe older than 1-2 months) if and only if they would have some way of getting money/ships. I have around 7 mil SP and I'm doing FW but its costly (at least for me as i am learning to PVP) and I need from time to time to do other things to get ISK (because i'm not fitting WCS and cloak and afk farm plexes!!). Another problem for the newbie player is that good FW corps/alliances that accept newbies are quite rare and because of that the newbie experience is crappy.
    P.S.: I also hate the concept of K/D ratio and KB (sure i have 20K/80D i am a newbie explorer that wanted to do FW) because some people will laugh at newer players for not being "L33T".

  5. To promote PVP, CCP could change the default 'free-when-you-die' ship from a rookie ship to a pvp-fitted T1 frig.

    Yeah it's a bit against the 'losses are meaningful' principle, but free ships worth 1M or so aren't going to break the game.

    On the other hand, it would greatly encourage newbies to just get out there and fight again and again!

    I'm in FW myself and agree that it can be hard for new players. But in FW a free T1 frig would mean:

    1) Yes, lots of newbies getting slaughtered over and over again (for the joy of the vets, I might add...!) but...

    2) ...also a high probability for them of finding other newbies in plexes with their T1 free ship, thus having even chances to win...

    3) ...all the while having fun, not worrying about ISK or logistics, and learning PVP

    If they like it and want to progress, then yes they would have to start 'playing with the big boys', where losses are meaningful, you got to have ISK making and logistics covered, you have to make friends, learn how to fit your ship, etc.

    1. Afterthoughts, added benefits to that ^ idea:

      - Most 'vets' will be happy to help out the newbies that they just blew up, recruit those with the right attitude, etc.

      - The resulting swarm of newbro PVPers in T1 frigs would take care of the dreaded 'cloaky-stabbed' farmer problem! \o/ for all

  6. TBH as long as the new player doesn't join a 'new player' corp the veteran's should be able to provide enough support in terms of isk/ships etc so they can get out there an have an effect.

    Moreso than in null FW provide plenty of small gang engagements where and new player with only a couple weeks of training can fly a fast kitey frigate with meta 3 fits and a couple of ewar (TD, ECM, SD, TP etc) modules. The key is not to fall into the noob=tackle roles. Tell them to hang back a second as you warp into the plex then get them to warp in and burn off the beacon and start applying their ewar from 20-30km+ This gives them experience in combat but doesn't put them on the 'front lines' so to speak. Then as they get more experience and SP they can move up to more 'direct action' ships.

    my 2 isk worth.