Attracting new players

First of all I would like to say that I believe the most important problem that CCP can solve is retaining more new players, and at this stage in the games life I think it is the only way the game can keep going. While I do not have problems with moneytisation, I think too much pressure on the existing player base to spend money will only start to push them away and will eventually kill the game off. There is only a certain amount of money to get out of the existing player base and it is not a long term strategy to focus on that as a means to keep the game alive. There are already good options to spend money and opportunities for those who want to spend a lot of money can, there are no more good ways in which new moneytisation can be introduced unless it’s a gimmick really. This means the extra money has to come from new player subs, and in the long run sub money will provide far more income than extra moneytisation for existing players ever can. Hence this should be the number one priority for CCP going forward.

Now for a potential and rather radical idea which may tap into a new audience, Walking in stations.

Now I know this has been attempted in the past and it didn’t happen because of technical issues or something, however I think the idea needs to be taken seriously again. Why? I have played a number of MMO’s now and as we all know community is the most vital part of them. Community is what keeps players around more than the game itself and one of the side effects of this is it attracts a type of player, the roleplayer. Roleplayers are very good for an MMO to have because they don’t particularly care about game play that much, things can be unbalanced and these players don’t care because they make their own fun, which means they are very easy players to retain. These players want to feel immersed within the world and interact with other players, and the ability for these players to do that in EVE I think this is what EVE is lacking. The game itself is an ideal candidate for creating an immersive experience through interacting with players in stations. Imagine being able to attend corp and alliance meetings in a meeting room, or visiting agents to get mission briefs, walking into your hangar for the first time and seeing your ship, hanging out in a community area, visiting corp offices to apply for them etc etc, there is so much potential for world building which both new and old players would greatly appreciate. Roleplayers in all types are also quite common so I don’t not believe it is a niche apart from hardcore roleplaying.

One of the other good things about having walking in stations in game is that the new players could start off within a station and be introduced to concepts by NPC’s, and be able to walk around to find game features such as the market and missions etc. I think this is a much more exciting way to learn about the game if it can be done.

I get there are issues which make this idea difficult to implement, however I really do think this is the way in which CCP can legitimately attract the new audience it needs. Tweaking the new player experience to make the game more user friendly just isn’t going to cut it really in my eyes. If the idea is impossible then I hope at least the thinking behind the idea can be useful as a new angle for attracting new players.

This was removed because almost no one used it and it caused too many problems each patch just 2 years ago. Why would re-introducing it be any different now?

I’m not sure why you are equating captain’s quarters to having a full station to explore? Captain’s quarters was a small room with no ability to interact with anything.

You’re leaving out that

  1. There was crap all to do in there
  2. The performance was utter crap
  3. Every time you docked in a citadel, captains quarters were disabled and you had to manually re-enable them again. You do that maybe once or twice and if you really enjoy them maybe thrice, but not any more than that.

So the choice was between citadels or captains quarters. Your graph shows how that turned out.

Play Warframe and you’ll get a bit of a feel for how this goes. Warframe initially jsut had you in a ship by yourself. They then introduced clan dojos where you could land an interact with your clan, it was nice for meetings but otherwise seldom used. They then created station where some interaction with NPCs and trading was focused. Again, nice to see other players outside of missions, but not a ton of interaction. They then release planets where you could roam around together for long periods of time and it started to feel more mainstream MMO, but doesn’t at the same time.

The main point is, it’s a lot of development time and maintenance work for something that may or may not be used. To make it work it’d have to have an in game fee associated with it to pay for that additional team and you have to have enough people in the same location to feel constantly populated. You could have an option in stations to transfer you consciousness to a clone at the pleasure hub or something. Anyone that wants to use this feature has to pay to maintain that clone and that way all players spawn from anywhere in the galaxy to the same physical location. When done chitchatting you transfer your consciousness back to one of your other clones.

I get what you are saying and it is a risk, but it’s also a risk to not take risks because then CCP has to rely on the existing player base not to shrink. Unless fozzie sov disappears then the existing player base will shrink. I also don’t think Warframe is a good example. Warframe is more of a casual pick up and play game. Players play that game for the action game play and aren’t really looking to be immersed, and it’s hard to be when you play a faceless character and you are just identified by a suit which is not unique. EVE is different in the sense that the game play is more player interaction focused and there is room for proper character development, I think a much more fair comparison would be to WoW and ESO. These games have many players interested in immersive game play.

I could be wrong about this sure, however I think it has a better chance of attracting a new audience than the new invasion stuff for instance. I’m not saying invasions are bad by the way, but it seems like a variation of game play which exists already, and we know most new players aren’t interested in the existing game play.

I’d actually argue the exact opposite sadly. In Eve you’re a profile pic, some text, and a grey/purple/green/red symbol. In a game like warframe there is at least another character standing next to you and nowadays a customized avatar inside the suit that can come out. In eve it’s actually a detriment to combat to zoom in to even see the beautiful ships and effects in game.

Don’t get me wrong I think a properly done avatar roam aspect would do wonders for the social side of the game. However, the game has a LOT of content and issues that need work first. If it takes away from the budgeting for those things, it’s a solid no go.

Do new players care about these issues though? I think focusing on trying to fix everything only has very little return on investment. It would be great for us already playing for sure, however the longer the game exists the more players will leave, even if the game is perfect. If new players are not coming in then who will be left? CCP need to take the risks while they are still bringing in a lot of money. We have seen them take risks in the past by trying to develop auxiliary games but I hope they still have the capacity to take risks and that whatever they do, they choose to take the risk on EVE.

Honestly, as a “new player attraction” this would be a horrible feature. Lets face it, the new player interaction from a social standpoint is pretty god awful until you have a group you start frequenting. Unless CCP dedicated serious and stringent moderation resources this feature would be a 3-D version of Rookie Chat to a new player.

Features to keep players around would be things that bridge the absolute chasm of learning curve in the game. UI revamps and the recent Trig invasion content are assisting with that.

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I don’t actually believe the learning curve is that much of an issue any more, the game is pretty easy to pick up and do something with. I think it’s actually a big fail to misinterpret the issue as a steep learning curve. The real issue is EVE is a very slow game in comparison to other games. Adding more slow game play is just more of the same thing that did not succeed in retaining new players before. The game has had plenty of revamps and extra content added over the past few years, but has it brought in those new players?

Finding player’s in cities and towns is how every other MMO works. You could make the same statement about any other MMO as being a 3D chat room. But when you boil it down like that you miss the essence of what having that environment does for the game. In EVE the only thing you have is a list of players that are in the same system and a chat window. You may see ships flying around occasionally but you never really get close to anyone unless you have joined an organisation and are playing in the same fleet. I think EVE could be much more than that.

You’re still talking about effectively creating an entirely new game within EVE which is gonna be a huge waste of development time, resources and money. Plus, the engine is old as heck and it would make more sense for CCP to just create a separate game on a new engine.

I think this idea is really missing any kind of evidence or support to even suggest why it would actually work the way OP is claim. It’s a lot of thinking and feeling, but I don’t see any actual hard numbers or even a “I did a quick survey of 100 people”.

Until OP can actually provided some kind of evidence to show why this would actually boost new player numbers, I think we can safely assume this is just his own cry for his personal role play kink in eve and not actually a suggestion aimed at getting more new players.

It’s only a waste of it doesn’t work.

It’s a suggestion, I’m not going to do a large amount of work for free just to provide evidence. CCP are capable of doing a much better job of that if they like the idea. I do not need to do anything.

I am not a roleplayer. However I do observe what goes on in other games. There are a lot of people that subscribe to WoW and ESO just for the immersion. Look how hyped people were about Star Citizen, they were even hyped about the idea of walking in stations when it was going to be a thing.

There is lots of evidence that there is an appetite for that gameplay. EVE isn’t missing complexity, it’s not missing content, but yet it’s not getting new players. What it is missing though is world-building. In order to get the new players it is going to take a big change and a lot of development. I don’t believe that messing around with the UI is going to make a difference.

Hmm, well if this is the stance you’ll take. My suggestion is that CCP doesn’t listen to your suggestion. :slight_smile:

That’s your right of course but it’s not a stance, it’s just how it is. It’s a bit silly to expect a player to do useful market research for a suggestion.

The basic question is whether CCP’s limited development resources are better invested in the spaceship game or in avatar gameplay. CCP has chosen to invest in the existing game and I agree with them.

There are lots of things that can be done to cleanup the UX and UI to make them more intuitive and more consistent - greatly enhancing the new player experience (and the veteran player experience for that matter). This is a long, slow process but we’re seeing progress.

While I believe more could be done to encourage new players to join a corporation - the wardec changes are a big step in the right direction as is recent emphasis on group PVE content.

I would like to see more effort invested in economic balance and a change in incentives for sovereign Nullsec to discourage large alliances and encourage balkanization. Other than that, we may not be moving as quickly as some would like but I believe we’re moving in a good direction.

How about retaining the ones they’ve already got. That seems like a pretty important problem at the moment.

The problem with this is even if you have a perfect game, you will not retain your existing players forever, they will leave eventually. This means the only thing that can happen is the player base shrinks, it can never grow. New players therefore need to be brought in to replace those players and also to grow the game if it is too last for another 10 or 20 years.

Return on investment should be the thought process behind allocating resources. CCP is already getting money from it’s existing players and there is enough moneytisation streams that I doubt there is much more money to be squeezed out of existing players.

Small things are not going to bring in a new audience, that’s fantasy land. UI revamps are small changes because thegame essentially stays the same, and the game is not attractive to new players.

I think there is a lot of encouragement and help for new players already, I don’t think there is anything that can be done that will suddenly inflate new player retention. In high sec it isn’t even necessary to join a corp anyway, there is plenty of solo game play, the game play is just too slow for new players to keep them interested.

Yes I would like to see that too, but it’s not about what we want. A new player doesn’t care about any of this. I’ll still be playing this game if nothing changes for a while anyway, as will many others, so the return on investment is low. I would love to see more new players coming in and high sec revived, because the trade hubs are dying a slow death currently, that’s a big indicator of where the game is going if new players are not thought about.