Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Blog Banter 33: “The Capsuleer Experience…”

or~  So, How Was It For You?

Like manna 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."


Some background may be in order…

My Experience may be somewhat non-standard… I was 50 years old when I joined EVE. I started ‘gaming’ in the modern computer based, on-line, multi-player sense via DOOM v1. Hence, my primary gaming interest has always been FPS’s. My son is my CEO and our partner is a RL inactive duty Marine corpmate of my son. One last thing, I am a voraciously avid reader…mostly Sci-Fi and military history & fiction.

I also tried many of the MMO’s when they first came out… even gave a few a second try a few years later… nope, no go. They ALL bored me to tears. I just could not get ‘into’ them like I could a good FPS. I dunt know why. The ONLY fantasy stories I have ever truly enjoyed was the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and is still the only one, so WoW and all its variants are not for me. And no, I dunt wanna “be” Frodo or Gandalf either.

EVE Subjectively…

OK, so my son shows me EVE one evening just before Thanksgiving 2010... it takes something like fifteen minutes before I am totally and completely hooked. I start an account, my son sends me 10M ISK as seed money and I run through the tutorials which are… well, IMHO they gave you just the very basics of click ‘this’ to do ‘that’. Then I did Sister Alitura’s SOE Epic Arc missions in Arnon as do all new players. After that… well, for me it was just fine. I stayed in Arnon for a while just enjoying having a spaceship of very my own and the freedom that came with that.

During this period I wanted to do something easy, something you can do solo and still make ‘some’ ISK if not great ISK… so I solo ratted in 0.5 systems. I learned very early how to avoid can/wreck flippers, by simply ignoring them. I learned anything under a 0.5 was DEADLY, and to avoid losec until I was moar confident and better skilled.

Everything of any real depth that I learned came from extensive online reading. I read player guides, I read blogs and yes, even from Battleclinic, etc. I googled EVERYTHING first. I read at least several returns and followed links on a googled subject and then tested, cautiously, what I had learned thereby.

End product for me was that my experience as a noob was fantastic. Yes, I lost a ship or two early on to noob mistakes. Even got killed and podded upon not warping away letting my jump cloak break when I did not realize I was in a 0.4 system.

EVE Objectively…

OK, so with that in mind, what do I feel needs changing…

First: New & Improved Tutorials…
1. I believe the Tutorial System that currently exists is fully capable of preparing a new pilot for EVE.
2. I do not believe that it does a good job of it as it stands presently.

I also do not believe it would be too great a stretch to make it a lot better. Start as it is now with the basics. Ship handling; fitting and using mods, simple missions and on up to the Epic Arc which is a kind of Graduation Mission for most New Players. This gives you the basics and prepares you for dealing with Agents and NPCs, as stated above… but they do nothing to prepare you for "Player Interaction".

So? Add a layer of missions, either before or after the Epic Arc which include, what I call a “PvPAI” [Player vs. Player AI] type of missions to teach the basics of what to expect from Player Interaction.

PvPAI Training:
These missions would be standard missions but with a twist, and a SUBSTATIAL reward... say a fully fitted ship/full set of basic implants/50M ISK or some such:

(1) At the beginning of the missions the New Player is given a “Dire Warning”, that “There are pirates that have been preying on our pilots, beware.” Before they can accept the mission they must read through a discussion of pirates, gankers, ninjas and can/wreck flipping and their tactics and motives.

(2) The missions should be standard missions except that they will also have a “Pirate” NPC (with the Sleeper L6 AI) in ships types AND fits normally used by gankers, mission ninja’s, can & wreck flippers and griefers. These NPCs should copy the actions and fighting style as much as possible of real players the new player will run into, “out in the black”.

(3) The New Player should LOSE a ship (or even two) in these missions first (possibly an agent provided ship then their own), before experiencing it for real if possible leaving out podkilling. However that should be clearly discussed IE Aura says, "Pilot, you were lucky to escape with your POD intact, the Pirates of New Eden often PODkill... bla bla bla).

(4) These missions will be in closed rooms
that ONLY the New Player can access, he will not be able bring fleet members or ANYONE else in with him and (IE one time use single entrant accelgate key) these rooms will NOT be scannable by anyone else. IE The New Player will have ultimate protection but ONLY for the missions that make up this PvPAI training.

(5) These missions will ONLY be available only ONCE and ONLY to a 'New Account' who finishes ALL the tutorials, as an inducement to actually DO them all. The missions and their rewards will be mentioned at startup (with a 'disable' switch) and referenced often by Aura and in the tutorials as the new player works his way through them.

Second: Noob Griefers…
[Caveat: I have no issue with griefers, gankers, pirates and any players who prefer NCPvP ( Nonconsensual PvP) in general.]

The only other thing I personally feel should be looked at is New Player Griefers. By this I mean players who focus on the newest players for NCPvP, especially those who seek to kill and podkill new players “because they are noobs”. I do not know the statistics or how CCP would track this, but I am sure it would be possible to determine if a player was going after the newest players specifically to cause them as much trouble as possible. There are those who do so and do it proudly. I know this is already a bannable offense… but everyone knows it is unenforced. CCP does not want to lose existing players by pissing them off by ‘nerfing’ their gameplay.

“EVE is harsh, it is just a game.” I agree EVE is harsh, I was first killed and podded when I had been ingame only one month, my first kill and my first podkill was a new player in an unarmed ship. But I “did not know” it was a new player and I was not actively seeking out new players. Someone had come into our wormhole and was mining, we defended our W-space. A bit later, I wrote to the player I had killed, discussed the engagement and sent 1Mil ISK in recompense, out of a sense of decency and in the hope to not put the player off on being a part of EVE. Many griefers actively want the new players to Rage Quit, for them it is a ‘win’ to drive someone away from playing EVE.

I feel this should be moar actively protected against, at least until the char has been ingame, say one to two weeks. Long enough to at least have a feel for how things work beyond the tutorials.

EVE may be harsh, but all societies protect thier young, do they not?

Fly Safe and see you in the Sky  =/|)=


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  1. Nice writing and some ideas i really like. But the font of your blog is quite hard to read in some cases.

    Some additional protection for new players would be nice. there is no need to protect them beyond high sec. if they decide to go to low / 0.0 / W- Space there is no need for protection and it could get exploited if it were. But getting ganked by someone who can afford thousands destroyers and just feels good by killing "children" is someone I don't need in this game.

  2. Thanx, and that decides it. I wanted a font other than the ubiquitous Arial or Time New Roman that are so commonplace online… I really like the font I have been using, but I agree it is time for a change.

    I agree that there is no need to protect anyone outside of (1) Hisec and (2) for moar than, at most, the first two weeks in game.

    EVE “is” harsh, it is part and parcel of the fabric of EVE that you play in a sandbox that IS NOT safe, ever, anywhere, and I do not ever want to see that changed. In EVE, childhood should last until you complete the Tutorials and I can best sum up my belief in the line…

    “Societies protect their children. Adults are expected to protect themselves.”

    On the noob griefers, I ONLY have an issue with those who specifically use grief play against the new players. Those who desire to make a new player Rage Quit in response to being attacked by a higher skilled player.

    I was lucky… I came into the game with a basic distrust in the motives of others. This saved me many times. Then, as I spent moar time ingame I saw I was right in this when I saw other new players get taken advantage of, scammed and killed.

  3. This font is much better. Thanks ;-)

    I've been a noob twice. I started for a few month in the late 2005 but got distracted buy other games and left.

    When i created my new identity and started eve again i already knew who i will ask for assistance and landed in a nice and friendly academy from that corp. Yes it should be the society which protects the children but currently it is hard for it to do it even if they want. The promising newcomer you just taken into your corp gets ganked and looses a lot. I could compensate his loses with the money i have but i can't form up a gang with the veterans in corp and take him with me to hunt those who killed him.

    I like the possibility of ganking and i understand that some enjoy that very much. But they would surely will have more fights if the hole corp/alliance they just ganked one member of can fight that particular pilot in all empire.

    I've seen the idea of predefined fittings for some frigates to give the new players some clue where to start and what to skill. Sounds like good idea to me.

    Another idea jumps to mind, the game i played before eve had a mentor system for new players. It wasn't that good implemented but the general idea was good. I would like to see a player rating from new player for new players where those who joined corps recently can vote for or against the corp they joined to help others in this decision.

  4. Really glad you like it I do too, but, actually same font, just BIGGER is all... LOL.

    Agree, hard to protect new playes, but they need to learn about PvP same as the tutorials teach PvE. PLus I like your idea of some preset fittings with the why and how and basic Skilling.

  5. Suggested improvements to the tutorial missions certainly seems to be a popular theme for this banter, as does the griefer culture. I suspect the missions will be easier to rectify, policing the noob-griefers is quite tough I would imagine. Punative measures and reparations would be too little too late in many cases and removing the mechanic entirely will cause an outcry. It's a very delicate issue.


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