My name is Kshal Aideron and I’m a newbro. Yes, that’s correct. I’ve only been playing for a little over 2 years. I’m sure you’re thinking, “WTF? What makes this lady qualified to be a CSM?”
Ask yourself, who’s better to petition on behalf of new players than a new player? Especially a new player who tried playing twice before and rage quit each time because the tutorial was a hot mess at the time?
I’m not a bitter vet (quite yet), but I’ve accomplished a lot in my short time in New Eden.
Kshal was born in early 2020. The only reason I tried Eve a third time was because my husband and a friend at work played. You know what they say, if you can’t beat them, join them. I just refused to move out to Null to play with them.
Over the years, I watched my husband (and later my friend) play from the sidelines. I saw and heard their frustrations and decided that I didn’t want to play like that.
I didn’t like the concept of “blues.” I want to go out and shoot whomever I want, whenever I want, however I want. I figured I’d go solo until I found the NPSI (not purple, shoot it) community near the end of my first 30 days of playing.
While I was having fun flying NPSI fleets, I was also streaming Eve. At the time I started Eve, I was the only new player streaming. As a marketing professional, I thought that creating content and promoting it would be a fun experiment. Little did I know that I would become the Eve help desk for other new players.
Being a small time streamer means that frustrated new players would show up in my chat to ask questions. My chat was slow and I’d be able to spare them the attention they needed. When I realized what was happening, how I played Eve changed. Instead of playing as a new player, I was playing to help other new players.
This, of course, isn’t where my Eve story ends. Now we need to talk about the birth of a thriving public community.
In January 2021, I created www.everookies.com. This website was meant to be a place for new players to find articles and tutorials to help them along. When March rolled around, I was asked to try to revive a failed project from the previous year involving a newbro friendly incursion fleet. The project was revived as Eve Rookies Incursions.
Incursions are endgame PVE content. To get involved it costs a lot of SP (those battleship skills HURT), isk, and time commitment due to incursions moving around New Eden. Needless to say, the barrier of entry is quite high.
While the two main public groups allow newbros (or starters), it still takes an investment to just try incursions. Can you imagine trying them and then hate doing them? The goal of Eve Rookies Incursions is to allow a player to try incursions at a much lower level and with the lowest commitment possible.
The pilot just needs to be able to get into our basic Praxis and get themselves to where we’re staging. They don’t even need to buy a ship! Just show up and borrow one of ours!
With the help of the wonderful people who believed in this idea, I managed to put together an entire fleet of ships that could run the Vanguards and started advertising. At first we struggled to fill one fleet of 13 pilots once a week. However, over time we added time slots to our schedule.
Today we have over 500 pilots on our Discord server, 3 full FCs, 4 FCs in training and we’re getting ready to cover US time zones as well! All of this has been accomplished while staying open to new players and inclusive to all that wants to join. Who could possibly think someone with only 2 years in this game could pull off something like this?
So, Kshal. What is your area of expertise in Eve?
New player experience: one of the things that comes out of my mouth a lot is, “If I have to do the tutorial missions or career agent missions one more time I might go crazy.” I don’t know how many accounts I have at this point in various stages of “beginning” due to getting ideas for a video tutorial or article for Eve Rookies.
I am intimately in tune with the new player experience and I can start listing off in my sleep the things that I think CCP has gotten right and what new players still get confused about.
Here’s the thing. My stream is aimed at new players so they can watch me do something and ask questions. I understand what confuses them. I FC newbro roams frequently so I get first hand knowledge of what concepts of PVP are easy or hard.
I also run a lot of PVE fleets via Eve Rookies to try to get new players into a community so I hear their frustrations with the game. And of course I play as a new alpha account so I can see what is feasible and what isn’t. Without new players, we wouldn’t have content so it’s important to understand their view point to keep them in the game!
Community development: while I can’t say that I’m an expert on developing every type of community in Eve, I’d have to say I know a little something about developing PUBLIC communities (If anyone remembers Everquest, I set up the first public raiding community on my server).
This is honestly why I love the NPSI community and haven’t thought about leaving. It’s welcoming to everyone regardless of who you are, who you know, your age, experience, or affiliation. The NPSI concept has been the base of Eve Rookies along with welcoming anyone who just wants to fly with good people.
Highsec game play: I know, I know. I think some people would be surprised that as an avid PVPer I’d list this as an area of expertise. However, very few newbros go from the tutorial straight into low or null pvp. They fly missions, do anomalies, abyssals, or mine. There are some who find their way to high sec incursions but regardless, they tend to spend their first few months in high sec.
And because I know someone will question my stance on ganking. No, it shouldn’t be taken out of the game. However, I think something needs to change to make it MEAN something. A loss of security status isn’t enough.
Content creation: I’m not a big Eve content creator. If I told you I’m called Gamergrrls on Twitch or Youtube, chances are most of you would ask, “Who?” My audience is small and very targeted at new players.
Once you’ve seen one newbro roam, level 4 mission, or incursion site run you’ve seen them all. However, I do it because helping those one or two new players feel a little less overwhelmed and frustrated is well worth the small audience. So my content is niche and specifically targets new players from day 1 until around month 4 or 5.
Why in the world am I applying for CSM?
Once again, why not? I may only be 2 years old in the game but I have a perspective older players have lost or have become skewed. I represent an audience who historically has either had no representation in the CSM or very little.
Look, I can’t and won’t promise to make any grand changes. It just won’t happen. Others have tried before me and failed. However, what I can promise is:
- To listen and bring community issues to light where I can
- Make sure that my CSM activities are centered around new players and community
- To stay impartial (I mean, I literally have no blues)
- To lend my real life marketing expertise and knowledge where I can
- To be as transparent as I’m legally allowed (I’m a content creator, I WANT people to know what I’m doing as CSM!!!)
And there you have it. If you’d like the complete rundown of my Eve Story, you can read about it here. Otherwise, start asking questions!