While listening to the discussions between the ceo of ccp and the rest on talking in stations recently I couldn’t help but notice that one of the biggest challenges was to get new players to remain within the first 24hrs.
I personally have helped hundreds of players over the 14 years I’ve played eve. In fact it is one of the main things I like to do in the game.
My belief is that the sooner a new player is in a corp with other players around the same starting point as they are the better off they are. New players tend to want to figure things out on their own to an extent. When they join larger more organized groups they are handed exactly what to train for and why. This suits some people but the vast majority I’ve met want to mill about with the mechanics and systems in place first.
I believe the biggest thing that would help retention would be to funnel new players into smaller corps up to a cap of 50-100 members and then the auto recruit turns off.
Basically the new player experience should be this.
Basic tutorial -> Player Corp -> Adv. Tutorial Agents
By funneling new players in to new player friendly corps right away it puts them into groups with other new players where they can share their enthusiasm for learning the game. They can make mistakes together and learn the ropes together which builds bonds and encourages camaraderie.
It also helps to increase the ability of new corps to take off and get new members which allows them to do more things more quickly. New corps shouldn’t have to spend 6 months to find 15 people willing to join them that stick around long term. There needs to be a way to filter through all the people who try eve every day to see who is going to stay given the proper incentives and who is not.
The main incentive to stay is camaraderie. It’s about joining a game where within an hr you’ve run the basic tutorial and met your first group of new friends who are as clueless as you so that you can try things together and make mistakes which leads to events that everyone remembers and wants to return to.
Players that enter into these corps can always leave them and join larger entities and larger entities can always create new player corps to help filter people for their larger alliances but the PRIMARY POINT is that new players should be entering into a group together with other new players to learn the game and bond.
A good example of this are groups in mobile games where as new people try the game they are filtered into groups that cap out at 100. The leaders of these groups boot those who are inactive and don’t grow after a day or so and retain those who are interested in continuing to play. By having a larger group of people within a few days they are able to organize and move on to the more complex functions of the game.
This works and allows them to filter through thousands of people a day while retaining those who show enough interest to make their first purchase. Just please don’t get as bad with microtransactions as these games are because their recruitment system is literally the only good thing about them.
A useful function of this tool would be that a corp would have to designate a limited number of members who act as recruiters and only when those players are on and only when they enable it will members be funneled into their corp. This would prevent the corp from swelling up while leadership was away and unable to help.
As an real world example. The other week I sent out 3000 mails to everyone in the rookie help channel. Out of that 3000 mails i got about 50 people to join the channel who came and went. Out of those about 10 joined and out of those 2 have been consistently active and participating in fleets.
If instead of having to send out thousands of mails new players were funneled into my corp directly and other new corps they could ask questions there receive responses and help while meeting people such as myself who are ready to give isk and invites to fleets to do things. While this is how it would help me personally it would also make it a lot easier on everyone who is trying to grow their corp and get it off the ground and would also serve the new players by directing them to people who are personally specifying that they are willing to help new players.