How to Make Industry Easier for New Players

Summary / TLDR
Replicating features found in 3rd party industry tools into the EVE industry UI would help new industrialists tremendously. EVE industry requires significant investment by the player to internalize a highly complex ecosystem of dynamic relationships which is something that cannot be avoided, however making it easier in game to develop this knowledge would help greatly.

Motivation

This post is a response to the Twitch stream by Oz_Eve on March 3rd, 2021. Link below:

It is a great talk, I highly recommend to watch it.

A comment was made around 1:22:00 by @CCP_Rattati that new players have a very rough time starting out in industry. This is true, seasoned industry players have spent an enormous amount of effort to understand the nuances of market behavior. Breaking into EVE industry with zero prior knowledge is a hard journey; however, I would argue the reward is worth the effort.

I completely disagree with the comment that new players cannot compete on margins, the market has 1000s of viable items that new players could start manufacturing profitably and I have the data to show it. However this knowledge has taken years of effort to accumulate and internalize, so this post will outline suggestions to make it easier for new players to gain this knowledge.

Foundational Theory

For an EVE industrialist to be successful they need to be able to do the following (simplified list):

  • Scan for and rank opportunities
  • Determine location(s) for acquiring resources, production, and sale
  • Acquire assets required for production
  • Manage and transport assets

Industry in EVE has three fundamental characteristics that one must either optimize or compromise for when they develop industry processes. When selecting a contractor in real life, a common phrase is “Pick two: Cheap, Fast, High quality”. For EVE industry you can only fully optimize for two of the following: High profits, Low effort, and Low risk. More commonly every player’s preferred process is some compromise of these characteristics.

Problems & Suggestions

  1. No reliable way to compare opportunity value of multiple items in game. The industry window does a pretty good job in providing players guidance on single item profitability. (Though having to scan 2 tooltips for revenue and cost variables with no easy way to read an estimated profit aggregation is not great.) Currently, a player requires a 3rd party tool to compare multiple items within a single view. Much like how players can compare module stats, industry players need a way in game to compare aggregates of item sale value, input cost, taxes, etc. Being able to rank the relative opportunity value of comparable items to manufacture is the most useful feature that 3rd party tool can provide to industrialists.

IndustryWindow

  1. Finding a manufacturing location is very challenging. A player should be able to filter by structure type, rig bonus type, and desired index (< x).

FacilityWindow

  1. Without 3rd party tools it is very time consuming for players to understand price trends of products and inputs to gauge if spot price (or the EVE client’s suggested price) can be considered a reliable estimate for profitability after production has started. Add visuals, like simple arrows/line curves, that provide indication if the product or input cost dynamics. Common examples are found on brokerage sites comparing multiple similar equities. Add variable/visual for displaying the weighted cost value of an input relative to the total. From the gif below we can see the light neutron blaster price is flat, and that mexallon is the majority of the cost and is in price decline, knowing this the builder can adjust strategy to anticipate further decline or call a bottom. Being able to see these statistics without busting out a spreadsheet provides critical information when planning procurement strategies. A market depth visualization that works with the history chart would be super awesome graph porn.

MarketTrends

  1. Reprocessing skills take too long to train. The opportunity cost is too great when comparing to the fun (and financial) value of other skills. To justify the expense, one really has to really diehard and be operating at a large scale to spend over a year to max out these skills. Not to mention more skills just keep getting added…

  2. Add into the new player industry experience lessons on time value and opportunity cost. Sadly 3rd party tools or a better EVE industry UI cannot teach players how to think. There are countless examples of players learning real life skills from solving problems in EVE. Acquiring mastery through a video game and applying it out of game is a highly rewarding experience. For myself personally I get much joy from using EVE as the sandbox to develop real life skills, this relationship is what has kept me “playing” for over a decade. We do not know what we do not know, not everyone walks into EVE with a science and business background. I am speculating here, but I believe small nudges/examples covering market/business theory topics provided in game on concepts like the two above could go a long way in helping more industry players find success.

5 Likes

This would only work if the player could set the price source manually instead of only seeing CCP’s universe average price for items for the calculations. Since CCP does not allow that even int he Industry window, calculations are inaccurate and would be still for such a comparison feature.

That should, if at all, absolutely not happen in tool tips. The industry window is already overburdened with tool tips that interfere with its functionality and usability. However, they could do it with an expandable sidebar akin to the Fitting window.

Is that even relevant? A good industrialist will know that buying the minerals on the market and transporting them to the location of production is cheaper than buying ores, transporting them, reprocessing them and then building. Relying on ores means that you have to have a reprocessing facility, which needs to be a rigged Athanor at least to gain the optimal amount of minerals from your bought ore. That limits you to certain places for production or means even more cost for transportation to your actual production place.

1 Like

The only thing I might add to the last part of your statement is that most of the industrialists I’ve known are also dedicated miners.
That would reduce the expenditure from buying minerals or ore, and relegate it to time cost. Of course, there are holes in available ore with easy and low risk access, so there will probably be some market movement in that regard.
As for finding a place to reprocess for max gains, that was addressed in his previous point for adding the ability to refine searches for accessable structures.

Neocom > utilities > structure browser

Doesn’t tell you if it’s rigged for your needs.

I watched it. I think it’s a very interesting talk, not least of all because @CCP_Rattati virtually squirms on the spot when they’re discussing the Hypernet/gambling issue.

I don’t like gambling, either in RL or in EVE, because I see how it can have really destructive and catastrophic consequences for some. In many ways, to me (at least in RL) it’s akin to drug dealing. I literally don’t understand how some companies get away with the aggressive way they advertise it to lure (vulnerable) people in.

I am okay with the concept of a raffle though and so on this basis I should probably be okay with the Hypernet. I do feel for @CCP_Rattati though because the internal politics within CCP on the rights and wrongs of this must be utterly complex and fascinating … not that we’ll ever know of course. LOL

Aside of this, the bits of the interview that stood out for me were …

- Changes to Orca and Rorquals
@CCP_Rattati suggested that CCP are looking to move these ships back into a more fleet boosting role. I wonder if this means that the whole mining with Orcas and augmented drones thing is all coming to an end?

- Pay to Win/Play
I liked the fact that he said that he doesn’t like Pay-To-Play as a thing and that the company culture loathes it. It was also reassuring to hear that, as an approach, CCP looks to help players rather than exploit them. To me this is a sustainable and beneficial approach and one that (hopefully) means the future of EVE looks good.

- New players
I think what was said about new players was very interesting.

The fact that some (most?) newbies worry about being mocked by others in EVE for their lack of knowledge is a pretty damming commentary on the behaviour of some people in our community.

In terms of the lack of guidance for new players, I think this is a thing, but my gut feeling says that the way to deal with this is to build the community. Good, newbie friendly corporations do exist¹ and maybe they should be supported and helped.

How about an apprentice pilot scheme?

Any corporation that takes on and retains a newbie¹ get paid a monthly Apprentice Pilot Fee (essentially free money into the corp bank account²) for a duration of say, three years³ or for as long as they retain the newbie as part of their corporation (whichever is the shorter).

What this would do is to create a dynamic that would see corporations that are supportive, friendly and helpful towards newbies, and importantly who do stuff that makes them want to keep being a member of the corporation and keep playing EVE, rewarded.

Obviously corporations that had condescending, negative, dismissive or mocking attitudes to newbies* would miss out on this.

Some notes on the above
1 . By newbie I mean in effect any player (not character) that has less than three years experience of playing EVE Online.

2 . The Apprentice Pilot Fee would also positively effect the economy because corporations would look to actively spend this fee on obtaining stuff suitable for the newbies - skills books, ships, modules, etc.

Corps that just used it as free money for other stuff ultimately, wouldn’t retain the newbies. Once most corps realised that a good way to retain newbies was to offer them something tangible and of benefit, the standard would be set and newbies who didn’t get appropriate stuff, would leave and go elsewhere.

Not only would this be beneficial to the overall community but it’d help with player retention too because players who feel supported and helped into the game are more likely to keep playing

3 . I did think of writing one year here but, given that EVE is a long game, game, three years seems about right to me for a player to make the journey from apprentice to journeyman.

:mouse:

*For what it’s worth, my corporation is more than happy to embrace new players and we’re always looking to help others out who are starting to play. To us, community is a core part of why we play at all.

I’m utterly mystified as to how some players develop what are, sometimes pretty nasty, attitudes to newbies - we were all there once, right?

We may feel smug now (and freely accept that sometimes this includes me) but once, I knew nothing at all. I got to where I am now because some people were kind enough to help me out and teach me. Whenever my corp takes a newbie under my/our metaphorical wing I try to remember my own experiences and play it forward.

This is the way.

3 Likes

I liked the idea somebody had in general of replacing meta loot drops with fixed stat mutaplasmids so to increase demand for T1 items.

I like what you’re trying to accomplish with this, but don’t think this is a good way to do so.

For example with your idea, I could create a new corporation, make a couple dozen new characters, invite these ‘newbies’ into the corp and enjoy the free ISK for three years.

Not really @Gerard_Amatin. I did place a note at the end of the explanation of the scheme (which you may have missed)

The key thing with the Apprentice Pilot Fee is that it would be payable based on the player that a corporation attracts to it not on the character/s that that player is fielding.

EG:

If a newbie with one character set up (and I’d suggest that this’d be the vast majority of newbies) approaches and joins Corporation X, the corporation gets one Apprentice Pilot Fee for a duration of say, three years or for as long as they retain the newbie as part of their corporation (whichever is the shorter ).

If another newbie with 33 alts approach and joins the same corp, they’re still going to only get one fee because it’s raison d’être is to help retain people in the game, not characters.

The other thing I should have said about this is that the fee is payable based on the point where the newbie starts playing, not the birth of the character that they use in the game.

Is that clearer?

:mouse:

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I fully support your idea!

The problem is that it’s impossible to tell the difference between a new character of an old player or a new character of a new player if both are made on a new account.

TLDR: the payment is made for each real life person in a corp, not the number of characters.

. . .

The point I was making is that the Apprentice Pilot Fee payment is tied to the account, not to the character. This way the scheme is about attracting and retaining real life players into the game rather than people who have loads of characters on each account.

Admittedly, if someone did have three accounts say, and all their characters were in one corp, the corp would get a payment for each account, but I think that’s not going to be such an enormous issue that it outweighs the benefits that would be felt elsewhere by corps attracting and retaining players.

As far as older players setting up an additional account (so that they corp gets an Apprentice Pilot Fee payment) goes, you’re right that there’s no simple way to differentiate between these (although CCP could for example look at the account details to check, this might work), but again I think the benefits of the Apprentice Pilot Fee outweigh the downsides.

Either way, I didn’t envisage the amount that the Apprentice Pilot Fee would be as so large to make setting up an account something people would do to work the system. It’s just a little amount of money to encourage people top take a more proactive view on newbies really.

I hope that all makes sense.

:mouse:

It makes sense, but that’s what I was thinking about already: new accounts, not new characters.

It’s free and easy to make new accounts, I’ve got a couple myself and that’s without financial incentive like your proposed free ISK.

People will create new accounts for this if you pay them for it.

Fair comment, but maybe it comes down to CCP watching things like email addresses then? Or alternatively maybe the payment is only for new Omega accounts?

:mouse:

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