I would like to share with you my experience of having stared EVE online two times, first in 2017 but left quickly after feeling alone and un-immersed among NPC missions and other players who were only enemies and not a single team mates to cooperate with, and why I now absolutely is loving EVE when I came back for another try in 2019. I wish to do that to underline one thing in regards to the new player experience I learned that may help EVE in general.
I know I know, there are millions of these posts, but please hear me out if you have the time. In 2017 I left a game I had been playing for about 3 years. I had gotten interested in EVE after hearing the voice-coms from great EVE battles and the tales of the great stakes at play, unapologetic nature of the game rules, the hands of style by CCP, and all that good stuff. This all was very much the case in the game I left to come to EVE, but maybe a step up the ladder in EVE, which exited me! However, as it turned out there was one more big difference between the game I left and EVE which I did not anticipate and which eventually caused me to get “dragged” back to the old game. You my say its a contradiction, but I would like to argue that EVE is at the same time both extremely well and extremely poorly build around the “Friendship” and “Group” factor. Let me explain.
You hear people say things like “The friendship bonds you have to your EVE buddies are stronger than in any other games”. I can nether agree or disagree to such claim, I surely hope this is true though! However, after my first month of playing in 2017, the only friends I made were the NPC agents and the book marks in the asteroid belts, and I did not see any rate of change for the better on the horizon. Now you my say that it’s up to every man to take charge of his faith and go out and actively seek out a group or corp to play with. And I would maybe had pushed through a few more weeks of mining asteroids and speaking to NPCs until I found a corp if it was not for the strong friendship bonds that I (and likely others have felt this too) had already built in other games before, and the friends in that other game kept pleading me to come back to them. Arguable EVE was the much better game, and EVE people are renowned for their friendly, welcoming and helpful nature … but for a solo newcomer like me that aspect seemed lost in the void.
So now, what do I have to contribute? The other game I left to try EVE, and then eventually went back to in 2017 I believe have one mechanic that pulls in new solo newcomers like me imminently and do so hard already after the first two weeks. Member count are of crucial importance, and when a new serious player without former affiliation to the established powers enters the game you are not only head-hunted by very competent and convincing recruiters who want to convince you to come to their specific group, but you are also directly placed into one player team of about 20 - 100 members. You are directly faced with the leaderships directions, hits of what is expected of you, and the necessary guidance to learn the game. The question I have in my head, and that I cannot get over, is … why does not EVE do this?
So what was different now when I came back to EVE in 2019? Why do I love this game and have a very bright view on keep investing into EVE this time? The reason is simply that I joined an Corp before even logging back into my old account. And just like that, I traded lonely conversations with NPC agents and book marks in asteroid belts for real human interactions with corp members and learning and doing exploration.
So the question I have in my head still is, why do EVE let you pick between 4 NPC factions upon creation really? I guess we have all heard the saying “Join a corp as soon as you can”, or “The player retention rate is much higher among players who join a Corp”. Why is not EVE facilitate choosing a player led faction/corp upon start rather/besides the 4 NPC factions. If there is one thing I wish changed it was this … thank you for reading.