Thursday, February 23, 2012

BB #33 Left Adrift in Space

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."

Blargle, yeah that's how this post started. I know I want to write stuff in here, but that was the first thing that came out.
Are those Lasers on your Merlin?
Now more on topic;

I think that we could add the following to greatly improve the new player experience and leave them less "in-the-wind" after the tutorials are completed.

1. The first good step a player should take is to get out of the damn NPC corp as fast as possible. Even if the players end up in corps that aren't really what they want to do, they will make friends, gain confidence and have an audience, a mostly captive audience, to ask each of the one million questions they have about the game. Perhaps what is needed to facilitate this is for CCP to add Corp recruitment tutorial IE "This is how you find your first corp" Making it optional, or have them join to their first corp through the tutorial just to get a taste of the corp recruitment interface, and get them exposed to other active corps and people quickly. This would be a whole new tutorial as it is not covered in the NPE at all.

2. Provide further guidance at the end of the second line tutorial missions, perhaps something like "If you enjoyed this type of this go talk to XXX security agent, or XXX distribution agent or whatever for the appropriate agent type. I think this would be pretty straight forward and send players towards other "like" and nearby agents. For that matter provide more tutorials for game features, ie exact scanning tutorials, not the really basic stuff they have out there now. Or maybe d-scanner tutorials or instructions. This is really just a logical extension of the current tutorials, linking them back into "regular" missions and gameplay by giving the player a next step to take into Eve.

3. Skill tree suggestions in conjunction with #2. IE: If they liked scanning and WH, link the skills they should look at getting, what level they should get those skills to, and warn them about sleeper damage. Just overall provide a basic guideline of skills they should try to focus on to head down the path that interests them, be it PvP or PvE combat, mining, exploration, hauling, or WHATEVER. Give some guidelines in game so that the new player isn't just dropped off at that point and expected to know or learn the ideal skills all for themselves. This would be brand new content, but not terribly difficult to drum up, in fact a ton of blogs already have suggested skills posts that would be great templates to start generating from.

4. Give an advanced PvP tutorial, create a special NPC just for this tutorial. Make it similar to a sleeper frigate, give it sleeper frigate AI, and a 100% chance to web and scram. Teach things in video form like transversal, tackle, optimal range vs falloff. make the advanced PvP tutorial difficult, force new players to die, provide a fully fit high-end frigate just for the mission. Give the player that ship at the outset of the mission and take it back afterwards. Eve if it is a "close, but not quite" simulation of PvP, at least introduce the basics. The would be the truly new and probably difficult addition, it would require a new type of NPC, using of sleeper AI in regular space, and a high difficulty and loss of ships for the player just to get them started in PvP. Even if that start is PvE in nature.

5. Auto-populate the "saved" fittings of new pilots with some "decent" starter fits. name them appropriately, IE for the Caldari line, give a merlin PvE fit, and PvP fit pre-saved, also the same for the Kestrel and Condor, even if they are jus tthe idea of basic tackle, use all tech one, unnamed mods, but have it there ready for the new player. So they can go use these basic setups as a baseline to build new fits off of. They don't even have to be 100 percent correct, but at least something close would be nice. Mining fits for the Bantam, etc etc. Just having some examples is key to letting new players focus on other things at the get go instead of "how do I fit this ship." Instead they can look at the skills suggested in #3 and the baseline fits and be able to try the things they want to. This would just be adding some fits to the tool already in place, just an extra thing that gets initially installed. Easy to remove in game if you are done with/past the starter fits, but it ties in well with #3 to help point players in the right direction initially.

Other bantererz:
Blog Banter: The Capsuleer Experience by Gilbert Hamilton @ Diary of a Garbageman

Improved Mini - BWAHAHAHAH Just Kidding PvP Tutorial by Corelin @ Haberdashers Run Amok

Blog Banter 33 - NPE by Lockefox @ Hell's Librarians

The First Five Minutes by Marc Scaurus @ MALEFACTOR

I Heart Newbies Too by Shalee Lianne @ Living a Lie

"The Capsuleer Experience" by Evehermit @ Evehermit's Blog

Pain by blastradius1 @ Blastrad's Tales

Blog Banter 33 by Drackarn @ Sand, Cider and Spaceships

The Capsuleer Experience by Kody Gloval @ Electronics Evangelist

The Capsuleer Experience by Ender Black @ Pod Goo

That Universe is Mine? by Emergent Patroller

Keeping the (New) Newbies by Ugleb @ Ugleb's Journal

Capsuleer is the Key Word by Mabrick @ Mabrick's Mumblings

Give the new guy a friend by Jac @ Dying in Lowsec (One Hauler at a Time)

More Options by Grimmash @ Warp to Zero

Needs More Cut Scenes by Orea at Notes from New Eden

The Capsuleer Experience by Urziel99 @ Urziel's EVE Chronicle

"So How Was it For you?" by TurAmarth ElRandir @ A CARBON Based Life

The Capsuleer Experience by The Scientist @ A Scientist's Life in Eve

The Capsuleer Experience by Crash @ Obfuscated Reality

How I Became a Capsuleer by Kat Robspierre @ Chasing ISK

Left Adrift in Space by Logan Fyerite @ Eve Opportunist


  1. Very nice suggestions. Especially the one with default fittings for newbies is brilliant. Those could be implemented in the NPC Corp "Corporation fittings". Then you can show the new players how to get fittings from there and save them private.

    A proper skill plan is the alpha and omega to get the people in what ever they want to do. If they start training frig to V before they can fit a tank thats ridiculous. With the nice skill queue system you can line up the proper skills to have them ready next evening you come to play after a hard day of work and have plenty of shine stuff to play around with.

    To some degree that is done with the certification system but I'm not sure how much that is used.

    1. The skill plan suggestions really are key. The certificate system is nice, BUT doesn't really do a great job of lending to teaching newer players. It just adds another layer of involvement and understanding, not to mention having to dig through the certificates, and then copy out the skills referenced in the certs. And then write them down somewhere to train them.

      Just a easy reference guideline of skills would make such a huge difference. I like the idea of adding baseline fittings to the newbie corp saved fittings, I hadn't really thought about that integration, although it might provide encouragement to stay in the newbie corps to retain access to those fittings, or at least a reliance on those fittings.

      Thanks for the comment Chanina.

  2. Yeah, it's a tricky balance between informing the rookie and overwhelming them with information. Perhaps with Aura popping up to give context-sensitive info would work (like the paperclip in MS Office), rather than just rattling through a list of stuff from the outset. In any case, the way the information is delivered could be more intelligent.

    I'm also a big fan of the idea of bastard hard missions.