Ideas to improve new player experience and retention

Hi capsuleers, CSM and CCP staff.

I have been a EVE player since 2008, I have been around video games and MMORPGs for a long time. Ingame i am the CEO of a small and friendly highsec based corp. We do have some avid pvpers and veteran players so we are not pure carebears. We like to stay in highsec so we can welcome new players, train them, and make new friends.
I have seen a lot of new players leave the game pretty quickly, due to a number of reasons. Over the last few months I put together some notes and I would like to submit some advice.

Please note that this is coming from a desire to increase player adoption and player retention, without breaking the fundamentals of the game. This is therefore going to be focused around Highsec.

The basics behind my ideas are centered around the fact that the new player still brings a subscription, same as the one that veterans pay in null sec. On top of that, a happy new player makes very little isk, therefore is most likely going to buy plex, packs, etc. to boost himself a bit. Also, likely to tell his friends to come and have fun with him in New Eden. In my opinion a happy new player is quite important for the health of the game.
On top of that, the amount of revenue CCP gets from griefers is most likely nothing compared to the revenue loss by not having many more players in the game.

New player experience: Issues reported to me by a number of players over the years.

  1. Highsec mechanics exploits by griefers, gankers make the new player very likely to quit soon.

  2. Lack of meaningful and fun PvE and group PvE content in Highsec compared to other MMOs

  3. Poor new player tutorials and experience - This has been improving a lot in the last few months.

  4. Many players, especially the ones playing EVE, bit older bit more mature, have families, jobs, and other things to do. They might have 20~60 minutes to play. They want to have fun and feel good playing the game they love. It is quite hard to have anything done in a short time in EVE.

So, A few Ideas on how to improve. Most of these would be really what I like to call “Quick Wins” that cost very little and provide really nice improvements:

IMPROVEMENTS - PVE CONTENT

1. Anomalies and exploration . Everybody loves this. It is fun and unpredictable. So, the spawn rate on those is extremely low. It is quite impossible to find decent sites anywhere in highsec. Players spend too much time warping around jumping to find that one site. Abyss is a great success because people can do it as much as they want. So, Improve the spawn rate so that there are always a lot of sites everywhere. It does not hurt anyone, does not hurt the game, and makes new players entertained. Doesn’t have to be all high tier DED. Just let players log in, have their fun. Be happy.

2. Combat missions. Bring in more combat mission types. This is also where new pilots love to see and work towards getting bigger and better ships. There are not enough missions. It gets very repetitive very quickly. Improve LP for the hardest missions.

3. Level 5 security missions. Bring Level 5 missions back to Highsec where they belong. This provides higher tier PvE content for players that do not care at all of PvP. It is not going to happen that PvE casual players bring their expensive PvE Fits in Lowsec where they get hunted, killed, or just waste time waiting for quiet time to do what they love: PvE. Tweak rewards as needed but let players be engaged in group content.

4. Resource wars. Resource wars are awesome! Bring them back. Why nobody did those: 2 main issues:

  • the rewards were insultingly bad.

  • limit faction of empire combat ships able to join the sites was a major issue.

Quick fix:

-Do not limit the faction combat ships to the area of empire highsec. No new player wants or can spend months to train let’s say minmatar ships only because their corporation plays in minmatar space. And what if the corps moves to caldari space? train everything up for caldari race up to battleships and cruise missiles? Extremely unlikely. Limit the class as used to be (frigates, destroyers, etc) but let players bring whatever faction of ship they can fly.

  • Rewards. Rewards are really bad. Change this. And this is where you can differentiate a bit between empire highsec factions. Let players use LP and LP only, to buy something meaningful for their industry. This is called resource wars after all, right? Why not LP can buy some minerals, materials for industry, invention, and so on? It would be great for the indy people to also have some pew pew time for a change.

5. Incursions. Incursion nerf did hurt the PvE players quite a bit. Do whatever is needed to shake things up. ISK/Hour too high? well make all sites harder a bit more random, so that you really need a very good fleet to pull off the HQ sites. smaller or worse groups will have to do VG or Assault sites instead. Do not starve players from their content!

6. Invasions. Make those worthwhile to do for Incursions people. They would love to. Bounty+LP instead of Loot is much better for very large fleets.

IMPROVEMENTS - HIGHSEC SECURITY

Players are getting ganked and griefed in Higsec. And they leave the game. That is a fact.

Personally, I love the thrill of knowing that I could be attacked any time even in High Sec. But new players are not equipped to deal with it. And honestly, most of those gankers are kind of exploiting the game mechanics.

1. Alpha accounts. Remove destroyers, attack battlecruisers and combat battlecruisers from alpha clones. Want to try the game? sure. want 100 alpha accounts to grief people that pay their subscription? not cool.

2. Stealing. Stealing is a criminal act in highsec. No more exploiting the mechanic that one toon shoots and gets killed by concord, and another one takes the billions loot with really no real consequence.

3. Loot. Ships destroyed near gates or stations, get their loot instantly confiscated by concord. It goes in asset safety and player can get it back after some time, paying some fee similar to asset safety.

4. Suspects and Criminals. Players that become suspects and criminals, will have a very long timer that stacks up according to their previous criminal activities. Kill a player in highsec? Sure. get blown off by concord with no chance of escaping. Get a huge security standing penalty, respawn in lowsec. try to make your way to highsec and get shot on sight by concord. Offending player gets a mail from concord. Concord offers to clean their security status, but they need to pay concord an amount of isk equal to killmail value +30% admin fees.

Security status can slowly come back with time. But it should take an X amount of hours depending on value of the kill or loot stolen, not minutes. Logging off will not contribute towards the cooldown. No docking ins NPC stations or Players structures, no taking gates. Want to be badass? go and do it in lowsec and null sec, see how it goes.

  1. Criminal and Suspect timer. Per point 4, it should take an X amount of hours depending on value of the kill or loot stolen, not minutes. Logging off will not contribute towards the cooldown. No docking ins NPC stations or Players structures, no taking gates.

  2. Security Status. Security status should be hard to get back, not 10 minutes belt ratting. Either Pay concord A LOT of isk, more than the value of the killmail per point 4. Or work really hard to get it back. Players get a security standing bonus plus some bounty from concord for shooting suspects and criminals in Highsec.

Thank you for your time!

o7

5 Likes

I thought this was about new players?

4 Likes

…and retention…

Why do you think its bad that the game doesnt support weak gamers as much as other games?

2 Likes

Yes, what has that got to do with retaining new players?

2 Likes

There is a game difficulty total subscriber curve in there somewhere.

Not all new players have any intention to ever leave Hi Sec. I realize that is odd to think of that these days since so many Hi Sec only players have left the game, but it was far more common in the day.

Sorry Im not following.

L5s are new player content?

2 Likes

It could be content for new players who are retained, until the become skilled enough to do such content.

CCP tries to force anyone who wants to develop their character beyond a certain point out of Hi Sec by the lack of such advanced content being available.
So those who don’t have the time for such a commitment simply stop playing.

Edit: For reading comprehension… For the obtuse…
Edit2: …

3 Likes

No, they dont

1 Like

Actually yes, CCP has been trying to get High Sec players to leave it for years.

6 Likes

What you have said may well be correct. But they haven’t forced anyone to go anywhere.

I just dont like it when people say “forced” if they mean “encouraged” or “bribed”

5 Likes

One large mail with ideas and you just pick on the one item you fail to understand? Glad to see you endorse the rest!

Unless you are one of those silly people that think that if one thing is not to their liking, the rest is stupid as well. If so, I am sorry for you.

Yes maybe lvl 5 is not for the new newbies, but it is part of the rest of the content in hi-sec (or it “could be” in hi-sec). With more pve content in hi-sec more people will stay and learn to play in their own pace.

The above ideas might not be all that balanced if introduced all at once, but yes more content in hi-sec (and taking the pvp’er/ganker to low sec AFTER their action) might make hi sec more interesting for the casual player.

3 Likes

Why is that a problem for you?

So yes, you agree that the post isnt about new players but in fact about the OP’s own interests.

1 Like

I thought you laid out the issues very well, and I liked some of your solutions but I did not agree with everything in your post especially the bit about hisec security, in my opinion you are going a bit too far with it, I think there are better ways to deal with it which I have detailed many times on the forums.

-10 do not have docking rights in NPC stations
Do something about loot scooping via a DST

The bumping solution is of course easy to get around with a noob ship, but it is something that the game needed for a long time.

I have not really looked at the amount of players who are using Alpha accounts to gank, my belief is that most gankers are Omega accounts, but that is a belief rather than fact.

But I liked it because you have certainly thought about it and you have the experience of seeing new players leave.

The thing about Trig invasions is that the loot does create a team approach.

@Ramona_McCandless, CCP had a policy to push people out of hisec into what they felt or were told by the CSM was the end game for players. It was an error on their part.

I think what the OP is saying is that this would enable him to generate the content within his group to keep them interested and playing. If you want to read that as in his own interests then you can, but as I was in his shoes a while back I understand exactly where he is coming from.

8 Likes

I don’t know, but you may be assuming too much.

No, go away. High sec should be nerfed into the ground, not the other way around.

1 Like

Im not debating that, but c’mon Dracvlad, you know I dont like the word “forced” when it truly doesnt apply. No one is saying “You must go to low or something bad will happen”. They are saying “If you would like more rewards, go here.”

I agree with you again, in principle. But Im not really sure whats to be achieved here other than to make High the one stop shop, and pretty much complete the deal thats been already happening; create a two tier system where there is only Null and High.

I agree missions are boring and need jazzed up. I agree that the NPE isnt fit for purpose. But I dont see how providing a larger less risky iskfaucet in high, coupled with harsher penalties on what little danger already exists in High will really do anything but solidify the ongoing changes that section the game off into two pretty much distinct and unreconcilable areas, High Null and High Empire.

Just working with what you give me :slight_smile: but I probably do.

LOL…No I dont agree that the post isnt about new players, I just agree that ONE item might not be for the really new players. Seems you cant read. Really feeling sorry for you now.

1 Like