Alpha clone feedback after 10 months+

Hello everyone,
I’m playing as an alpha clone since 2016. 11. 29. and would like to give feedback to CCP about my gaming experience. I hope it helps to make the game better.

It will be a mix of more important and less important things but i think it is better to write everything in one post instead of spamming the forum. I will start with the more important ones and continue with the less important feedback and i will focus on the problems and things i would like to be changed instead of things that are OK.

Since as a new player i can post only 1 photo and 2 links in one post at first i have to cut my feedback into pieces and post the rest of it in replies. I’m sorry for that.

1 - My biggest problem with EVE as a new player:
You promise the pic above and we get the pic below:

The graphics of spaceships are good but the Tactical Overlay is necessary in many situations for obvious reasons. The Overview settings on the right shows the distance of targets but in a 3D world targets can be in different directions and going toward one can increase the distance of other objects so it forces me to set my point of view far from my ship to see which target is where. This results all of the nice graphic designs to be lost to me and the joy of playing eve decrases significantly. There IS good graphic design in the game but it is NOT visible because of the nature of the gameplay. I guess there are pro players who can play zoomed in to ships and enjoy the graphics, but for an alpha clone like me it would be annoying to wobble between targets without spatial awareness.

My solution would be the feature of optional minimap and spyglass windows.

The Minimap window could open a small separate window for Tactical Overlay while in the main screen I could zoom in to my ship or the target.

The Spyglass window could open a small separate window for zoomed in screen of my ship or the target.

Both options would allow me to enjoy the graphics without losing the ability to see the 3D environment around my ship for tactical decisions.
It would be optional and would not change the gaming experience for others not wanting it.

I’m mentioning the surprise and disappointment of watching the same red-yellow-black star system painting everywhere i fly in minmatar space but i think it is something you can not change easily and most of the players are probably fine with this one painting for one faction design or else it would have changed after so many years.

2 - Ceiling effect of alpha limits:
As an alpha clone i have joined a missioning corp and i farm level 3 missions for faction and corporation standing increases.
The limited alpha skills led me to fly a gnosis 95% of the time on the same level 3 mission level.
No matter how you limit the alpha clones, no matter what activity a player favours, there will always be a ceiling and an optimal ship for a specific activity as an alpha clone that can do a specific level of mission/whatever relatively safely without the need to change the fittings or the entire ship. And there is aboslutely no need to experiment after that.

I like missioning but the possibility to fly different type of ships could increase the joy of missioning and reduce the boring effect of flying the same ship over and over again.

Flying lower level missions in smaller ships is not a solution because the difference between the rewards of different mission levels are too big. You punish yourself if you fly a level 2 mission when you could fly level 3s as well.
Farming a different corporation standing where the access of missions is limited to level 1 or 2 missions before reaching level 3 is too short time period and than you are back to the level 3 grind.
The occasional storyline missions can alleviate the monotony of flying the same ship forever but it has too short and small effect.

I have seen in the Las Vegas 2017 Keynote youtube video that you will increase the skill limits for alphas and open up new ship classes to alphas to fly but it leads to a different ceiling and does not change the fact that on a specific skill level you will fly a single ship that is optimal on that level, period.

My solution would be to increase the number of higher level missions with ship class restrictions that forces you to fly smaller ships on higher levels too with more and harder enemies than lower level missions for the same ship class. I’d like to fly smaller ships occasionally without punishing myself with missing bigger loot and the challenge of harder missions.
If it is something the majority of the players refuse it could be an on/off setting to make it optional and not to change the gaming experience for others who does not like this mission feature.

To be continued…

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3 - UI scaling optimization for size is „not good”.
I play on a 1920x1080 screen and the size of the scrolling bar is too narrow.
In the Display and Graphics window you can set the UI scaling level (90-100-110-125 %)
It makes the ENTIRE UI larger or smaller.
If i want to make the scrolling bar wider i have to enlarge the entire UI with icons and windows too which is extremely bad and does not worth the change. So it forces me to use the smaller UI setting and endure the annoyance of narrow scrolling bars.

My solution would be to give a separate option for enlarging the size of scrolling bars ONLY without enlarging icons and windows and the entire UI. It would be a serious quality of life change to me.
It would be optional and would not change the gaming experience for others not wanting it.

4 - UI optimization for color is non existent.
The color of the scrolling bar is grey in front of grey background. I understand the reasons of minimal design. It is cheap and fits the sci-fi genre but in some occasions with that narrow size mentioned above it is really annoying to find the small scrolling box in the long scrolling bar.

It only highlights itself AFTER i have found it.

My solution would be to give the option to increase the contrast of that small scrolling box.
It would be optional and would not change the gaming experience for others not wanting it.

5 - Relogging is clunky.
If i log in and want to relog my second alpha clone i have to log off. It closes the game window and moves me back to the EVE launcher where i have to press play to enter the game and the character select screen again.

My solution would be to give a relog option next to log off that could lead me directly to character select screen.
It would be optional and would not change the gaming experience for others not wanting it.

6 - Lore is not presented well.
There is a rich lore in the game i guess. I say i guess because i only get small fractions of it while i read some of the information of the enemy when the fight is too easy and i want to avoid being bored.
So there are drifters, sleepers and such things. One of them are drones, right? And there are ancient civilizations. Jovians. They exist. Somewhere. And somehow Thukker Mix has positive standings towards them. Don’t know why and how. It is not clear. I mostly face angel cartel pirates anyway…
Now that is the lore knowledge an alpha clone has.
I am sure there is a rich lore but it is not presented to alpha clones in any way and while it is OK to be able to play the game without reading lots of pages of lore i think a lot of fun is lost when you do not understand the lore. Lore is there to make immersion and immersion links the player to the game stronger so there is higher chance that someone will turn an alpha clone into omega and play longer if he feels himself a meaningful part of a complex and rich world. Lore makes emotional bonds to the game. And lore is content too. So there should be more options and alternative ways for an alpha clone and everyone to access lore.
I don’t know how much it costs to create scope news but i liked them and it would be nice to see more videos more often about the news happening around in eve.
Also there are lots of videos already created that could be organized into a history of eve so far link section and a collection of faction introduction videos too.
I don’t have much knowledge to give the best solution here i just mention that i miss most of the lore even after almost a year of gameplay and there is a wide opportunity for CCP to present the already created lore to new players more effectively.

To be continued…

7 - News presentation is „suboptimal”.
In the comment section of Sept 5 This week in EVE post Evocationz Adhera mentioned that “this week in eve” should be emailed to all active accounts because a lot of people don’t open the this week in eve as it is presented now.
CCP Phantom asked:
„Do you know the reason for that? Do they simply not know about it, don’t they care? Are the topics not interesting enough? Too much to read, too spammy?”

90-95% of the time i don’t open the This week in eve. This is why:
I see This week in eve link in the eve launcher when i log in to the game or a few times i see the news popping up in the game itself.
When i sit down to play the game i want to play the game. I don’t want anything to distract my attention or delay my joy of playing.
Reading This week in eve can be interesting but it can not be done next to my gaming activity. So i have to choose whether i read the news or play the actual game. (Exception could be mining but i rarely do that.)
So if i sit down to play i obviously won’t choose reading anything.

On the other hand there is a period of my days when i sit down to read e-mails and news on newsportals.
I am not playing any game during that because i spend my time on reading and focusing on news. That is the aim of that activity and that time period is for that. Now I explain it like i explain to a 5 year old kid because to me it is obvious and i wonder how can it be a question.

To make it more clear:
You like reading interesting news on your mobile phone.
You like making love with your lover.
But you do not open up the news on your mobile phone while falling into the arms of your lover, don’t you? You put down your mobile phone somewhere and don’t care it anymore because your attention is focused on something else.
Now that’s why people do not care the This week in eve link when they sit down to play the game itself.

My solution would be the same Evocationz Adhera mentioned, make it an e-mail.

8 - Music is repetitive and low quality.
I have the option to listen to music on youtube while playing but it lowers the net speed for the game and can cause lag.
It would be nice to listen to the music of the game itself, it could be another emotional bond to the game, but music seems to be the bastard child of game development for CCP.
There are games not mentioning their names which pay lots of money to professional composers to compose game music and to orchestras to play those grandiose masterpieces with choirs singing songs in the background.
Eve music is far from these epic soundtracks.
It feels wrong to listen to an another game’s music while playing eve but for now that’s the best option i have.

My solution would be to create better music for eve…

9 - Slaves can’t be freed.
I am a minmatar and every time i loot amarr slave trader shipwrecks i see slaves in their cargo.
I am not allowed to loot them because it is illegal to hold slaves as minmatar.
I agree with it but why can’t i free them?
Why do i have to leave them behind in a container in the middle of nowhere in deep space?
That is crazy.

My solution would be to have the option in their item menu to free slaves and turn them into tourists or whatever other entity for free as Minmatar and Gallente.

While Amarrs and Caldari could have the option to turn tourists into slaves, as they wish, i don’t care.
It would be optional and would not change the gaming experience (except for the market of slaves and tourists) for others not wanting it.

10 - The gap between alphas and omegas is too big.
You have mentioned it in the 2017 Las Vegas Keynote video and i don’t know all the details about your planned actions on this topic so i mention it at the end of the list because i can be completely wrong here.
To me it is not only about the firepower of ships. It feels pointless to salvage or mine as an alpha clone when an omega can loot items worth tens or hundreds of millions on a single day while an alpha has to farm it for weeks and months depending on the amount of time spent in game.
I know you want to make omega worth the real life money but you should not make solo alpha efforts worthless and symbolic at best because you need the alpha players to stay in game even if they don’t upgrade to omega, right?.. Hard to find the balance between overbuffed or overnerfed alpha clones i guess.
I have also heard in the video that free alpha skill limit will be increased to 5 mill and they also can buy skill injectors to increase skill limit to 20 mill. That is something i haven’t checked yet but on first glance it looks like omegas with alpha alts can buy skill injectors easily with the omega main to boost alpha alts while true alphas without omega mains will not be able to reach 20 mill skill points on their own. Someone who can’t buy plex for gametime can’t buy plex for making isk out of it as well. Farming the amount of isk needed to increase skill limit from 5 to 20 through buying skill injectors is harder than farming the isk to plex an account and than farm isk with less effort on higher skill level as an omega. Maybe i miss details here, i hope so, because it feels like alphas will run after a carrot too far.

One of the best things in EVE:
At the end i’d like to give a positive feedback too. Previously i’ve been playing a game for many years and stopped playing it because the developers went too far on making it more simple for new players, pruning abilities, removing core mechanisms of the gameplay so much that i could not recognize the game i loved anymore.
To me one of the best characteristics of EVE is the complexity of the game. I love that after more than 10 months i still have many things to learn and lots of things to discover. I like that this game is not about „endgame” rather about the journey itself. Please keep the complexity of the game and don’t remove anything, don’t merge items, don’t prune skills or implants, keep it rich and complex.

Now these were my feedbacks. Thanks for reading it!

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Thanks for the feedback.
I agree with all your opinions other than the last one (partly) where I think it is fair for CCP to ask for a subscription for players wanting to train from 5.5 to 20 million SP

While you mention some important points I’m surprised you didn’t mention more!

Why do you think it is that new players don’t often last anywhere near 10 months? What could be done in that crucial first week > 3 month phase to attract new players to the game, specifically the good stuff like the social aspect, organisations of players, comms, videos, and PvP say?

I feel the cost of the game for what it is is cheap at £7.50 a month if you subscribe for a year, after getting a good grasp of the game. Do you feel this is too much or do you have another reason for not subscribing?

What do you think of PLEX and Skins? I personally think they’re good in theory but in practice there are plenty of players who have or earn enough isk that they’ll be able to never pay CCP again and play the game indefinitely, even with multiple accounts. I don’t think that’s fair but am unsure of an easy way to fix it. Surely something can be done.

What do you think of being able to pay in ISK or money for skill injectors, extra training queues in your account, or similar benefits? Omega clones already get a 2x improvement in skill training.

Finally, what do you think of the players who abuse Eve to make money or play for free? The infamous Russian lowsec botters, highsec botters, Real Money Traders, stuff like that? Should more be done to improve on this aspect of Eve? Do you think there’s too much ISK or inflation out there?

(PS these questions are open they’re not just for OP)
(PPS I don’t want to derail the thread so feel free to ignore this post)

Thanks for the reply and the questions. At least someone read the wall of text :slight_smile:
Your questions do not derail the post since it is about alpha feedback.

Yep, me too. I just mentioned i fear it will be a carrot too far for a true alpha clone. I accept it and adapt to it.

Well, this is complicated. No one is a unique snowflake but there are many different reasons for sure.
From my point of view with my limited knowledge there is a big part of the promise-deliver balance in it i’ve mentioned in my first post above.

Also Eve seems to support espionage and thievery and betrayal for more drama. (I’m not sure if corp CEOs has enough corp permission setting tools to prevent things like the recent judgement day or not.)
It results lack of trust towards alpha clones, of course.
It results in many cases the ask for full API or whatever it is for simply joining a corp.
No one likes to be treated as an untrustworthy piece of garbage and why the hell would you accompany someone who doesn’t trust you in the first step?
The lack of trust can poison any relationship in real life. Why would it be different in a game?

Also a lot of players are impatient and want to find the best corp on day 1 and they make a bad decision joining a bad corp (i mean not good for them) without knowing the game, without taking the time to look for a corp that fits their chosen activities and social needs (not everyone wants to be part of a huge, faceless corp where alpha clones are resources or worse), without taking the time to talk to others and look for friends instead of benefits. Finding good people and building up relationships takes time and i think most players just don’t have that patience.

So lack of trust on the omega side and lack of patience on alpha side can be the reason why so many alphas have problems to find friendly corps fitting their needs. I don’t think there is a tool to fix it in one step, because you can not improve real life emotions and can not build the game around alpha clone needs. This is why i haven’t mentioned it in my first post with a funny print screen :slight_smile:

I can’t say much about PVP because atm i’m trying to avoid it and planning to join faction warfare with my 2nd or 3rd alpha clone alt since my first character is in a pve corp. I also read everywhere that even high sec is unsafe and you can be killed everywhere if you undock and don’t fly what you can’t afford to lose… So i take it seriously and don’t fly around HEK in an unfitted Reaper full of plex spamming local: “I just filled my cargo with plex, woohoo!”. OK, i don’t have plex, but imagine it for a moment.
In general i think it is not the alpha clones to be asked for game balance. Omegas have alphas too, CCP developers can try it too. If you think the balance is OK, i accept it and every alphas should. Also if a lot of goose can kill a pig, than it is fine. Alphas can be useful in groups when joining faction warfare and i think that’s it for PVP.

The game is relatively cheap for sure and i don’t think it is too much.
I haven’t subscribed because i prefer cash over net banking and i don’t have an international credit card. If i could buy a game time card for cash in the local game shop i’d buy it for sure. Even if i could transfer the money to CCP directly from the bank i’d go into the bank and make the transfer. But changing my credit card and then use it on the net is something i try to avoid in general. I don’t trust my computer’s firewall that much and i don’t like the ever seeing big brother feeling of the internet that for example results getting a spam mail about Obamacare to my main e-mail address (not the one for EVE) one day after i mention that word in EVE chatting with my corp mate while i live in the EU. Wonderful random coincidence i guess. Well, i guess i’m too oldschool and “obscurantist” (just looked it up in the dictionary). Cash is fine, but not fine enough for this game. Maybe i will check the bank anyway and ask them, how much time and money it takes to get that embossed credit card. Just to play EVE as omega.

I don’t think “never pay CCP” is the proper explanation. They pay, isk, for plex. It has real money equivalent in theory. I know, CCP doesn’t get real money from them this way but others pay real money for the plex to sell it for isk, this is how plex goes into the game and gets traded, isn’t it. I think CCP has total control above plex and that is fair so it is fair if someone can plex himself in game through earning enough isk. As an alpha clone i don’t really care if a veteran buys game time through real money or he gets it for isk. He is the same player to me.

Skins i don’t care. As long as there is no minimap or spyglass option in the game i don’t see them…

I have not stumbled into them so far in EVE so if they exist then i am too rookie to spot them. Ofc all botting accounts should be permanently banned through IP address because in an another game they ruined the gameplay many times to me. But i don’t know what is done here against them and what else should be done so this is why i haven’t mentioned it as a problem. It is something that is out of my horizon. For you this is good feedback because bots don’t ruin the gameplay of alpha clones. Yay! :slight_smile:
Again, alphas have limited knowledge, we are not the ones to be asked about “too much ISK or inflation” because we don’t see the full picture as an old veteran or a developer. It would be disastrous if me or any randomly chosen alpha player would be promoted as major supervisor of market and oracle of market rules. You see the numbers and it is up to you if you introduce money sinks or not. If you want you can make golden projectile so people can shoot each other in style. You can make npc politicians with lore and players supporting one politicians over the other could effect the future lore of the game in practice. The biggest supporter corps and alliances could get symbolic roles and mentions in the news, whatever fancy ego boost without real fight power that changes game balance. I don’t know, i just sit here and brainstorm for 5 mins. Again, it is something not an alpha should do. Omegas see the big picture, ask veterans about core game play balance issues.

Anyway, it was good to think about these questions too but in general they are not that crucial to me as an alpha clone. That is a feedback too :slight_smile:

Spend a full month flying without ever using the tac overlay. Your game experience will improve dramatically and you’ll use the tac overlay only for specific reasons. I rarely use the tac overlay these days.

You play for free. I think the gap between Alphas and omegas is too tight.
Pay or stay in your trial account. In the end omegas pay for you, too.

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I have always thought a picture-in-picture view of your target would do a lot for immersion. What does it look like? What is it doing? Yes I know you can Look At any ship, but as the OP points out, it’s very immersion-breaking to have to choose between close cinematic play and long distance tactical play.

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I think if they made a graphic option to scale up SELECTED (not targeted) subcap ships by 500% (make it a slider from 100 to 1000%) the graphics would be more interesting.

Yes, i pay or stay, yes, omegas pay and maintain the game, you are right sir.

On the other hand, it is a question: Is it OK for CCP and the game if some alphas keep playing as an alpha for a long period or is it better if they leave the game and come back only when they can/will pay for the omega gameplay?
That was the least important feedback but it is a feedback too: If it is a valid gamestyle than it should not feel completely meaningless to salvage or mine as an alpha. I wasn’t asking for titans and stealth bombers. At the end omega should offer meaningful benefits too or else no one would pay for it if an alpha can do the same. The gap should not be too tight for sure!

Yep, a second window with similar zoom in/out option could do wonders to my gaming experience.

Also Minimap/Spyglass are made up names to show the purpose/use of it, not actual name recommendations. It doesn’t matter how we call that second screen at the end.

The best for CCP is a maximal and stable income, so you don’t want too many potential omegas to stay alpha, but you want also many alphas to become omegas AND you want as many omegas as possible staying omega. So perhaps happy alphas as nice prey for omegas are needed and have to be happy too. It’s definitely no easy equation.
But if I play for free, I don’t feel right having high demands.

Giving feedback of feelings is not high demand, sir :smiley: But you are right.

The thing is, with skill extractors, SKINs, clothing, PLEX, etc, CCP can now extract a LOT of value out of Alpha players. Even players who quit after 2 months may spend $10 to $30 just trying some of these services out. That doesn’t sound like much, but multiply it times tens of thousands of people testing out the game, and it starts adding up.


Perhaps it’s because I’m not the youngest, but I’m used to first buy the game and then some addons if I feel the need… :wink:
But perhaps you’re right and these numbers are surprising: How many alphas pay for addons without becoming omega?

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I would like to mention that even without paying $ alpha clones spend their time in the game and it has value.
Their/our effort to participate in the community is content for the omegas too.
Targets to shoot, partners to make business with, friends to chat with, and whatever a human mind can make out of the possibility to interact with an another.
So i don’t see it as i get free content and do nothing in return equation. It is more like an every action has an equal and opposite reaction thing and here taking free content generates same content by the alpha.

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This is exactly how I see CCP making more money on Alphas than most people think. The next generation of gamers are use to instant gratification and are more willing to invest money in freemium games (thanks mostly to smartphones). They also typically have a large turnover, getting board with games in a few months and moving on.Because of this, I can easily see where new players may play Alphas for a few months, but dump a few years worth of subs on injectors, skins, and isk just to feel like they can compete. Then get bored and leave. The PCU will never really change, but CCP would make equivalent income as if it increased dramatically.

On a side note, beware of generalization.
Every generation feels smarter than the one before it and wiser than the next.

I don’t think anyone who can afford “a few years worth of subs on injectors, skins, and isk” would stay alpha. Also making assumptions like alphas are like this or that does not offer any solution for the pointed or suspected negative side of alpha clone gameplay.

As an alpha i had a dead point too during this 10 months when it was a question if i continue playing or not.
It was because:

  1. The enjoyable graphics were hidden, basically covered by the tactical overly practical usage.
  2. I have reached the ceiling of alpha limits and the stale state of gameplay started to turn boring. Varietas delectat. Variety is the spice of life. I guess the second most important reason for many alphas to leave is because they realize they can’t upgrade soon to omega and without it the effect i have described above in my feedback turns on.
  3. My friends here had a break and i didn’t want to leave them for an another corp while i didn’t know when will they come back. I have decided to stay in the game and wait for them and i don’t regret my decision.

So as an alpha i think it is better if we try to figure out solutions that could help CCP to solve the 1. and 2. problem in a way that does not effect omegas negatively. (3. is the social part but CCP can not help it directly.)
I think a second mini screen and more variation on ship restrictions could help a lot and additionally better lore presentation, better music, better UI settings and small things like slave liberation could add up together and make a better result.

Alphas are free, of course they have a limit of what they can easily do.

I’m playing as an alpha too, and I would love to just slide back into my orca and exhumers or T2 ships… but as a free player, I know I’m not contributing nothing to the bottom line.

If you sub, the whole game is open with amazing future and no limit what you could do. Look how far you gotten in a gnosis.

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