Extended New Player Experience

Reasoning behind this:
I am not overly familiar with the current tutorial and New Player Experience (NPE) but i have the impression that it does a great job for what it’s set up to do. I think at the moment the focus is entirely on teaching basic ship commands like warp, orbit, fire,… and then sends the new players on the way to run missions or other PVE activities and that is totally appropriate. I believe however that EVE is a hardcore PVP game with a big social aspect at its core. So in this post i will make a proposal on how to expose new players early to the real EVE without them feeling helpless or forced to fight players that have the advantage of years worth of skill points, ISK and experience.

THE ENPE
Starting point:
After finishing the standard NPE with the tutorial and so on most players should have a basic understanding of the games mechanics but would be unsure where to find a PVP environment to get started. This is where the ENPE picks up. The player will be contacted by an agent offering an intense training class with no risk of personal assets or ISK but real PVP experience.

Red Pill moment:
In case the player chooses to give it a try which i hope many will it will put him/her into a matchmaking pool whenever he/she is docked in an NPC Station (not sure at this point if the locations should be limited, probably not much). When a match is found the player will have a minute to accept or decline the match. It’s important to note that i am NOT proposing a general matchmaking system for EVE as i think it would destroy the PVP culture! This is an extended but also limited new player experience only.
STAGE 1:
Player gets matched with another Player and both players will be in a very simple EHP + AB fit Ibis with a civilian railgun. There should be a very simple introduction to the fitting with explanation on what module does what exactly. cough And maybe an option to import a better overview suited for PVP cough. The influence of the players in stage 1 is very limited but it should ensure a certain success rate and will make the player familiar with the process.

Game engineering challenges:
Before we go over to the next steps i would like to bring up some challenges here and that i’m aware that some of them might even be impossible to implement. I have some experience in game engineering as i studied it for a while and i know that contrary to popular believe a matchmaking system isn’t easy to create especially when your game wasn’t originally designed to have one. Another challenge would be the arena itself but i assume the basis for it is already there from abyssal arenas. It might be necessary to explore alternative approaches to the matchmaking and maybe even the arena mechanics in this thread. One possibility would be the handing out of “keys” for a type of plex maybe.
STAGE 2:
After winning 2 matches in STAGE 1 the player will get to the next stage. This time the ship is an Ibis with a different fit. Active tanked for example. It would teach a little bit of cap management.
STAGE 3:
Ibis with active tank and named gun for different ammo types. Increases complexity a little bit.
NEXT STEPS
As a reward it should be enough to just let the winner of the fight keep his/her ship. After the Ibis it should ofc have a natural progression that the player can see from the beginning to have some sort of goal and maybe it splits into the two lines of the different weapon systems. Ibis -> Merlin -> Cormorant -> Moa or Ibis -> Kestrel -> Corax -> Caracal for example. Each ship with a set of different fits and maybe an option to choose from two or three fits in the end. I don’t want to take up too much space with details like that however.
THE SOCIAL PART
After successfully making it through the final STAGE of at least one line the player would be asked again if he would like to get matched. This time however it is not 1on1 but 2on2. This part would be the most important of it all i believe. As someone from CCP mentioned in one of the presentations new players that are being shot at have a higher chance of sticking with the game. I am sure players that are being shot at together with another player have an even higher chance then. As everyone will get matched with another random player for each match the chances are good that the players will have a little bit of a bonding experience at least. This is what eve is about really. At the end one of them knows another pilot and they might start a corp together or he/she knows someone in a bigger corp somewhere and they join together or they might go separate ways but simply share their experience over time.

Feedback
Any thoughtful feedback is welcome as i hope to improve this concept over time.

39 Likes

Very well thought out and well written post! I like the idea of introducing PvP to new players as part of the New Player Experience. Even CCP seems to acknowledge that Player-Player interactions is what draws people into the game, so it’s strange the NPE seems to focus on solo PvE activities.

Matchmaking is an interesting idea but I know most of the EVE community would say “it’s not EVE”. It would also be very strange to have an entire matchmaking system only for new players and nobody else. It teaches people a system that doesn’t exist.

Right now the game relies on experienced players teaching and mentoring new players. Why can’t CCP have their own in-game intro to topics not covered in the NPE, like Faction Warfare or flying in a fleet or even explaining basic PvP fits (why use a MWD over an AB?). Or they could do more to make joining up with a group as easy as possible.

4 Likes

While I have my own lengthy extension to the NPE and everything associated with pacing the player through the “basics” of EVE, it’s not a bad progression path and could see it being a thing.

Me personally I would prefer using the existing environment rather than instancing things out, as a way of keeping the player aware that what they do all happens within this same instance of space in the system.

2 Likes

Terrible. Well written but terrible.

This is just a version of instanced PvP for new players.

All this will teach new players is WOW style no risk PvP, then they will complain and quit even faster or come to the forums demanding that the no risk PvP be made global.

And the bottom line is you don’t learn PvP by being given a fit with no real understanding of why. You learn by LOSING and figuring out from that what works and what doesn’t work.

Edit: 16 likes and 4 responses, either a record or OP padding with alts.

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It’s sad you took the time to think about that and write that post.
For it will have ZERO effect. They don’t care.

Or, a third option. Others just generally agree with what is being said.

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I tend to disagree. And even though the idea itself might never get into the game i wanted to atleast show an option for what could be a way to show new players pvp early on. Maybe one of the devs goes “this doesnt work but…” :slight_smile:

1 Like

The best way to learn PvP in EVE has always been the same tried and true method, go out in some PvP activity FW, RvB or the like and play till you loose 10 ships.

But in reality it is not about learning, those who desire too and have the aptitude/attitude will.

The real problem is losing. Many gamers lack the emotional fortitude IRL to lose. They get upset and it “ruins” their day.

Skill number one in EVE PvP is the ability to lose gracefully, gf and get another ship.

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Your attitude is as far from constructive as can be. I shouldnt even answer this but here we go:

Does it matter what you call it? I dont get the point.

I clearly stated that it needs to be limited. You should treat it as a one-time thing (whenever you complete the normal NPE you can participate in this). This also makes it a little harder for recruiters or trolls/dickheads to manipulate stuff.

There are tons of different ways to learn it. And nobody is forced to do it this way. However if they so choose to the fit will be explained before the match starts of course (like i said in the post…). I didn’t want to put too many details or options in there to not confuse people but yeah giving people options in the end totally makes sense.

I linked it to my friends with the info to only upvote if they liked it. But yeah people like to instantly accuse me of shady business nowaydays i guess :S

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Pretending there were not additional comments; obvious.

Clearly not.

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The problem is less about losing and more the misconception that their character is the ship and not the pod. This is especially true for those that buy that expensive ship they were saving for to make more isk and can’t replace.

Put on top of the belief that they can’t PVP unless they take a month to train up a specific collection of skills to fly certain ships and you get a low retention rate.

This is why they should go right out in a reaper or what have you and do it. They even have novice ship plexes in FW.

Waiting for skills that give them a false expectation to win and a ship they cannot afford to lose is the beginning of the end.

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Neither of you are ever going to convince eachother so stop trying. You’ve said your opinions.

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It’s a 13 post thread, you should post this comment in the AFK Cloaking thread :rofl: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Lold :smiley: sry guys just get crazy deja vu on this forum.

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I really like the idea of pairing new players with other new players. The idea of cohorts is intrinsic in collegiate and military training programs to bond new incoming members together toward a common goal. Obviously, this being the internet, there’s the constant running risk of being paired with a complete troll or mouthbreathing fool that turns you off of the concept of multiplayer and that’s where I think the difficulty lies. How do you tie in the new player experience while curating it against fools?

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Cal

It’s EVE - it’s not practical to exclude experienced players from an NPE, so a PVP NPE can’t be made perfectly fair. On the other hand it can’t possibly be as bad as just playing EVE as a new player.

If there were a relatively small number of standardized ships and modules (so the total number of encounters isn’t too large), they’d all be documented after a while. This might not be good in the context of “real” balanced PVP combat (to the limited extent it actually happens), but IMO it would be very useful for rookies.

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A comment about the usual “bittervet narrative”: vets have no idea how much of a hassle it is to get started with PvP. They cannot possibly “relive” the experience of a new player, because they know too much. This is why the whole narrative is so obviously wrong.

It bumps into the usual EVE problems:

  • There’s no natural interaction between experienced players and rookies (excepting a few that are set up for the purpose “Magic Bus Mike”, R vs B, EVE Uni). The two Corps don’t suit everyone though - largely (but not entirely) due to the “trust problem”.
  • There’s far too much to learn, and rookies start off too poor to waste even small ships, so they’re indirectly channeled into earning ISK. This is really stupid, but weirdly, the “bittervet narrative” likes keeping new players underpaid for their time.

The old ways (driving rookies away from EVE as a form of entertainment for vets) never worked well.

This suggestion would be much better.
And it doesn’t have to be anywhere near perfectly implemented to be much better.

4 Likes

I think everyone expects idiots to some degree. The solution is simple. You get matched often enough to have a very high chance atleast one of guys is a good dude.

Great comment! Everyone says when you’re learning PvP expect to lose 20 ships. A really basic PvP T1 Frigate is going to cost maybe 3mil ISK. 20 of those is 60mil ISK. Do you know how tough it is for a new player to earn 60mil when they know nothing about the game?

Automatically the focus shifts from “I’m going to go out and lose some ships in the name of fun!” to “I’m going to find the safest way to grind ISK” which inevitably leads to high sec mining, ratting, mission running, etc. All these “safe” activities are both boring and low paying, but more risky activities will usually lead to losses which are very hard for new players to cover.

This creates an uphill grind for new players until they reach a point where they have enough disposable ISK to lose “learning”. I know my in-game experience turned around once I got lucky a few times in exploration. I ended up with 300mil ISK and have been spending it now on PvP in FW. It’s great! But it cost me at least 100mil to get started.

Of course the difficulty here is giving new players free stuff isn’t a great idea (because of alts). And adding in an easy safe way to grind ISK quick also isn’t a good idea (bots). The only real solution I can think of is new player corps that loan new people stuff during the learning phase.

2 Likes