Friday, January 22, 2010

Hey where did all the newbies go?

I bumped into a wise fellow I've known for a bit in EVE today who has always been a great resource for me as a new player. We chatted a bit about what was going on in our respective EVE lives and the topic of new players quitting far too much came up.

I pondered this a moment in all my EVE experience (4 months! But I’ve been playing online games since there was an internet) and came up with 2 VERY general types of players who quit inside 1 month:

Type 1: This player is the kind who wants instant gratification but is unwilling to do any form of work to get there. (Good riddance to them and their mooching ways I say! They should by an XBOX and play a first person shooter and stay OUT of MY universe!)

Type 2: This player is willing to do the work. Enjoys a good challenge but get to the end of the tutorials and quits after drifting about for a while with no guidance. (These folks can be saved and should. They are what most “Middle aged” EVE players were once until someone showed them the light)


(Here we go down the rabbit hole. For those with short attention spans. Skip the BLUE)

I joined EVE after tutorials were introduced. I did the tutorials for both my current accounts and found them an excellent way to kick start a green player into EVE. At first I had just one account and after I had ran out of tutorials. I found myself in a Tristan in Gallente space with no clue what I was going to do next. Thus I began to drift.

I got me a vexor next and I began to mine. As I mined I ventured out to 0.5 space seeking omber. The vexor got T2 mining lasers and expanded cargo holds and mining laser upgrades. Eventually I could fly a retriever and strip miners. Then T2 strip miners with ore specific crystals. Right around here I joined a player corp. and ended up in Caldari space. I started a second account to haul for my miner and BOOM! The corp. was suddenly at WAR. W T F! I cannot PvP in a retriever and a Hauler. So the hauling account became dedicated to combat. Of course the second I could fly anything with enough teeth to think about taking on a “red” the war was over. Back to mining…

I soon grew tired of the fractured focus off the corp. and ventured out into the world alone. This time I was not drifting. I had a direction. I founded my own corp. shortly after and began manufacturing T1 gear and starting down the road to greater things.

/END STORY (PHEW, So who’s still awake?)

OK now that I’ve told my little story here are the three biggest things I can advise a new player to do to get past the drift:

1: JOIN A BLOODY CORP! NPC corps are not going to do more for you than have you run “take 500 cubic meters of CRAP 6 hops for 20000 ISK!” mission and tax you 10%. Pick a corp. that has a focus you are interested in and apply to join. Look for happy people who you find pleasing to chat with.

2: GET A CLUE! Eve is a HUGE game with so many things you can do that no one can possibly do them all well without some serious time invested. So get googling and reading (The
blog pack
are a great source of EVE intel) and choose a “SKILL” to learn. Tools like EVEMON and EFT can greatly help you set training plans for these skills and fit ships for the tasks before you spend one ISK.

3: FOCUS DAMN IT! Like I said (jackass) EVE is HUGE. Stick with something until it brings you JOY over frustration. Train the “beginner” stage of a skill and the T1 version of the ship to do that task. Then go do it and start to learn that trade! Enjoy that trade! Learn the lessons to make you stronger and faster while you train for the ultimate ship and skills for that trade. I hated scanning, until I actually took the time to do nothing but scan. Now it makes me ISK, I find it fun.

Once you have done the above you should be past the “drift” and heading down the long road to glory. Your time on EVE should be fun (IT’S A BLOODY GAME) and there is no reason that virtually anybody with the desire to invest the time cannot have fun in EVE.

I will add one (well 3) thing(s) to the end, a few suggestions for the developers and influential folks. These two things MIGHT help speed people through the drift and away from the cancel subscription button:

1: Write some more level 1-3 missions and release them every quarter. Heck have a contest for the people who PLAY the game to write a mission line for you. Throw them a few ISK and/or a T-Shirt for their time and we all win.

2: Consider region based jump gates for a fee. If folks have to fly 20 hops and it takes them 30 mins. I bet they would pay ISK to do it in one jump. Perhaps allow folks to build Empire jump gates and make a living. Lord knows I have logged out early when I’ve had to make a 14 jump trip to the next agent in the NPC corp. because my eyes are blood shot from waiting for the flicker of my engines before hitting "JUMP". And don't tell me to use the bloody auto pilot!!!

3: Perhaps introduce a “blood sport” for high sec pilots looking to fight without fear of losing their hard earned ship and there implants. Some kind of arena based deal where folks can take their main account, jump in a clone and “rent” a ship to fight in. Get some combat experience before they hit a warp bubble and get blobbed by ships they have no chance to learning anything from other than “Don’t play in lowsec NOOB!" and the flash of blue. I mean you could even have a whole other side deal with folks being able to bet on the fights. Give Pirates an alternative to ratting to raise their security status but fighting up through the gladiator pits. Which adds some real world charm to the sport for new pilots looking for combat training.



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