Item descriptions and attributes needs a big update

One of the biggest problems EVE has is that it is very hard for new players to get into. A game should of course be challenging but challenging in the right way. Like the fact that it’s big, there are lots of things to learn and master.
But access to the information that makes you learn the game shouldn’t in my mind be limited.

On that note, one of the big problems is Item descriptions and attributes since this is a feature that new players will interact with almost imminently when they start playing and start collecting different items.

  1. Item Descriptions.

Many descriptions are unfortunately not descriptions. They are either written as lore or a mix between lore and a small “hint” of what an item actually is used for. Lore is interesting and many love it but it should not be mixed in with the item description, it should have its own LORE-TAB or “background story” tab. The description should be clear, straight forward and tell the player exactly what the item does (is used for).

Example: Triglavian Survey Database (but there are thousands of item descriptions like this)

"Initial analysis of this database indicates it contains a significant quantity of data generated from regular surveys of Abyssal Deadspace by the Triglavian Collective. Undoubtedly, the Triglavians have gathered a vast amount of information on abyssal environments. This data is likely to be vital to their mastery of the shifting depths of the Abyss.

Full recovery and deciphering of the data require specialist skills and equipment, but the possibilities for exploiting the information lend value to any databases recovered intact from Abyssal Deadspace. It is likely that this database will command a good price on the market from a buyer willing and able to make use of its contents."

Now, as a new player, having received this item after your first abyssal run. There is no way to know that CONCORD is in need of this item and that you can sell it to them in their stations for 100.000 isk.

Triglavian Survey Base Description should just say:

Triglavian survey database contains valuable data to CONCORD about Triglavian activity.
This item can be sold to CONCORD in their stations throughout new Eden for 100.000 ISK per unit.

(LINK) Concord stations (which take the player to an overview of concord stations)

This is how clear a description should be. Short. Clear, and tells the player exactly what they need to know. You need to both tell players that CONCORD is an NPC corp, that they have stations in New Eden where they can go to and where players might find these stations.

  1. Attributes of an item

For this example, I will take a simple item that new players will encounter almost imminently.
125mm Railgun l

Some attributes might be self-explanatory like “rate of fire” or “reload” but most of the attributes on this item are impossible for a new player to understand without a proper mouse over the description or link to an explanation.

Good examples are: Accuracy falloff, turret tracking, signature resolution, and optimal range.
Most new players seeing this won’t have any clue what it means and there is no in-game way of getting that knowledge which makes players leave the game to go look for answers. While they are away from the game, they are easily distracted and will in many cases start doing other things. Especially if they are very new since they don’t have a strong bond to the game at that point.

This is why most social media platforms set up their platforms in such a way so that users stay on the platform as much as possible. Because as soon as a user leaves, if only for a few minutes, the chances that they will find something else to do increases exponentially.

I’ve made this point many times here on the forums but it’s important to repeat this:

It is so so vital to have more clear information in-game and not rely upon 3rd party tools for everything because this will keep players more engaged with the actual game and not make them leave and get distracted by other things.

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I agree, a little more info and also better tutorials would not be wrong.
A good example is EvE Echoes, where all relevant skills that affect the item/ship are linked in the item/ship info.

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You want short and clear descriptions? Then look at the Attributes and the Traits tab. The description is for fluff, not for hard facts.

This already exists in the description by virtue of the “View Market Details” button.

If you look at the item in the example I gave. Triglavian Survey Database. There is no information about what the item does or what it is used for under Attributes either and there are only two tabs. Description and Attributes. Attributes only list volume and mass.
Of course, not all items have this little information but I’ve seen far too many to make me worried about new player retention which is by far EVE online biggest problem.

The description should say exactly to the point what an item does and what it’s used for. All information should be there because in most other games this is where you’d find it. So that’s what players are going to be used to.

View market details will, of course, show you places where the item is bought and sold but for a new player checking the market for the first time, there are so many problems they can run into.

For example, they put up the Triglavian survey database as a sell order. Thinking that someone will buy it for over 100.000 isk which will never happen (you see hundreds of these orders in every region) .

Also, there are many regions where CONCORD stations don’t exist. So a player in those regions wouldn’t have any idea that there are other regions where the item could be sold or that Concord wants this item.

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Doesn’t certificates cover that?

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I could definitely see the need to clarify some item descriptions, albeit not the ones you focused on.

I mean…come on, the Moros description was written back with drones were still its primary weapon…

Completely agree. Tiericide is (was?) a step in the right direction with a unified naming system but the descriptions could do with the same kind of ground up rewrite. The ones with lore in them are often unfortunately either bland and boring or confusing. There are lots of exceptions but the inconsistency is another part of the problem. It would be a huge task but a few dedicated writers could make a massive difference to the new player experience. It’s very common for new players to click around and read everything - that’s how I usually begin exploring a game - but with Eve it’s very offputting. You’re just presented with either blank boxes, walls of uninspiring waffle or simple one and two line sentences. This game actually has rather interesting, unique lore with lots of character however it isn’t presented in game at all.