Hi - new player here, circa 3 months in, loving the game, but sharing with you the top thing that I have found most difficult in terms of learning how to get going in the game / new player retention:
Finding a ship and fitting it with mods that are actually available in the station.
I’m not really looking for tips here - I’ve now learned about community fittings, external websites listing fittings, import/export, rookie help chat, etc, but I’m sharing my experience from the past few months as something that could have made me give up at an early stage.
Even now, navigating the market (outside of the main trade hubs) to work out what fit I can scrabble together really takes too long to be enjoyable. This was especially true before I actually worked out what all the different mods do.
For example, if I fancy setting a low sec station as my home and jumping into whatever frigates fits are available - to run out and practice dying at the hands of the local pirates - it involves so very many clicks. exploring the market.
Here are some suggestions:
‘Suggested available fits’ filter that calculates some simple fits along the lines of each of the core career paths, but based on the modules that are available to buy in the station or system.
On the Buy All screen, have an extra button on that will swap out unavailable mods for Closest Match in Station, Closest Match in System. It could look for anything listed in the Variations tab.
Allow traders to set up sell orders for fully fitted ships, so a player wanting to get back into the action quickly can jump into a popular build for their chosen activity.
The idea of giving traders an opportunity to target specific interest markets is a nice idea. e.g. I’ve started supplying Domain’s popular routes with exploring + scanning equipment, but people wouldn’t know unless they went into each module or group menu in the market.
Those are called contracts and are already possible, you can search for contracts for ship type to see if there are any listed in your region or all regions.
However, if you are planning on setting a lowsec system as your home system, it’s a lot more efficient and cost effective to just purchase X amount of ships/fits from a trade hub and have them shipped to either the lowsec system, or the closest highsec (closest highsec will be a lot cheaper in hauling costs).
Absolutely not. This would undermine the player driven market and the need for logistics, both of which are extremely important components of the game.
Two, a buy all button looking for closest available match wouldn’t work because of fitting concerns and skill requirements.
Three, as has already been pointed out, players can already sell fully fitted ships using the contract system. This is usually only done by large corps and alliances with doctrine fits, however, as there’s usually just too much variety in the fits/ships that people like to fly.
Four, it’s amazing how many people assert that something that is important to them is “top thing” interfering with new players’ enjoyment of the game.
P.S. The casualization of Eve is the top thing interfering with new players enjoying the game. And I know I’m right because all my friends agree with me.
So, I would like to provide a couple points and perspectives for why things are the way they are:
New players typically discover and use meta (2-4) modules in their fits in lieu of T2, due to skills. Meta modules in this range don’t actually come from industrialists, but ratters. So if you compare a meta-fit ship versus it’s T2 equivalent, they’re actually being supplied by very different category of player.
Logistics is always a problem, but it’s harder on newbies that don’t have access to scout alts or cloaky transport options. Unfortunately this means either congregating around trade hubs, flying hulls out one by one, or using T1 transport – the last one being risky in Lowsec.
Actual newbie fits in demand – if an industrialist/ratter wanted to supply them – can be so wild and varied between modules or even within meta level for the same module. Depends very much on a newbie’s fitting skills. So it makes stocking the market very hard. Similar reason for contracts, a supplier would either over-provide modules so any newbie can use it (but waste money on crap they don’t need) or dictate the fit for a newbie exactly (which they may not want or may not be able to fly).
There are botique / on demand sort of industrialists but that’s usually for high-cost ships that sink a billion or more worth of raw materials, not newbie ships.
Thanks for those of you posting constructive replies.
I think my low sec example, and my suggestion No.3 are a poor distraction from the core point I was making - which is about tacking the learning curve of a new player struggling to work out what is available in a station or system that could be fit to whatever ship they have managed to find and afford.
Even flattening the market navigation so it just shows all available items that match your filters (rather than nested amongst multiple subfolders) would help. That way you swiftly establish that there are no suitable mods in a station and can try somewhere else.
I’m not looking for playing tips here (tho I appreciate the points about contracts, thank you).
It seems Eve is keen to retain new players so thought I’d share my personal experience. Maybe I’m alone. Maybe I’m not.
If you disagree with my suggestions or think they wouldn’t work - what might you change instead?
I have some clarifying questions, or questions I’d like to solicit your opinion on:
I seem to recall an option in the regional market menu to filter based on availability. So on the left the navigational tree will only have stuff that is guaranteed to be listed. Is that helpful, insufficient, or not at all helpful?
I’m trying to tease out the core barrier here… is the core problem that not all modules are available for a fit? As in, you can buy all the modules and hull at a station, except for 1 key module, and that’s a jump (or more) over, so it’s annoying? Or is it that the process of navigating the market while also fiddling with a fit in non-hubs is extremely difficult tedious back and forth in general?
Is the fact that the regional market window shows orders everywhere in the region helpful at all for planning a route to scrounge the modules and fit together? Or too much work? Both?
Do you remote-buy items and find that useful? I can’t remember if this is a skill or not.
I’ve played long enough that the fitting and market back-and-forth research is thoroughly Stockholm syndrome’d to me, so it’s interesting to hear a different opinion.
It took me a bit of time to discover this, but it certainly made it easier. So highlighting this to new players through the New Player Exp would help. My starting point was always the fittings screen rather than the regional market screen because I was overwhelmed with the lists and submenus in the market.
I think this is really it. It’s okay once you know what all the modules do, but until then you are relying on the community fits and others suggested in Rookie Help channel or websites like Workbench. But… it’s not obvious that if AfterBurner I is not available in station, then the compact version might be (and how to find that).
Here’s a scenario that reflects what I might have experienced a few months ago:
I’m new, I’ve done some exploring/hacking and now want to try security missions. I look up the nearest security agent and end up in a station some distance from a main trade hub. I now realise I need a different ship. I need to find a suitable ship and fit it with suitable modules and charges - but I don’t really know all the ships yet or the modules or the charges, so I look at the community fittings (which I used when buying my explorer fitting), but when I go Buy All, nothing is available. I try all the different fits until I see that there is a suitable T1 frigate available, but hardly any of the suggested modules for that fit. I look up the market details for some of those modules and they are a mixture of jumps away in different stations. But what I don’t know is that there are alternative modules in the station that are actually available and fittable OR that modules for a different type of fit are available. I don’t yet grasp how to navigate between the fittings screen and the regional market categories to find alternative modules that do the same job and are actually available to buy (and this is very time consuming if you haven’t developed the muscle memory…).
So what do I do? Spend an hour or two reading info screens and scrabbling together what should be a simple fit, or just head all the way back to a trade hub? It seems an unnecessary choice facing a new player who may have run out of time to run the mission. They didn’t realise that assembling a ship in non-hub space is itself a pre-mission mission.
The fitting/sourcing does get more enjoyable as you start to learn what they all do, but I’d rather learn by having them on my ship and flying with them than by clicking through endless info screens with statistics that I don’t yet understand.
I think it’s fine and right that not all modules are available, and yes regional market and remote buying are both very helpful if you’ve only got a module or two left to source. I found it bewildering trying to source multiple modules (and in some cases even a ship) to put together a basic ship fit.
This is unrealistic however I was thinking about very similar feature when (multi)fitting. Often I have fit with t1 or some meta module and I don’t have that module in my current station but I have two different meta replacements. In this situation I cannot use multifitting feature and have to fit the ship manually from scratch (afaik). Would be really nice if I could choose replacement for those modules that are missing based on currently available variants of those modules in item hangar.
Creating a fitting copy with that module then makes fitting list too confusing and I already ran out of the corp fittings limit thanks to this anyway.
I have backsitted a lot of newbies when they didn’t know anything at all
It is not easy making them click on the right icons, dragging and dropping the modules on the fitting window, checking the cargo for ammo, then they don’t know which modules will amplify their damage and so on.
Then they don’t know where to buy anything, they open the market and have no idea why the item do not exist in the station they are in.
What if? The solution was creating 1 new system for each faction. then lock new toons in there for tutorials the most most basic tutorials, feed them fitted ships, modules, everything a good academy could offer.
Then only let them get out the system by dying in a specific place, once the newbro dies there all the assets in that system will get trashed… then proceed to the AIR Career.
Or you could skip that and go right away to the AIR Career Agents.