New/Returning player Point of view/feedback

Not quite the right category I’m sure, but it’ll have to do.

I used to play the game quite a bit (3 accounts) way back in 2006-2009, I’ve just re-subbed for 3 months to see what has changed.

There is a whole lot of polarizing things in Eve online, from the very heavy focus on grind to the rather brutal nature of the game itself, that said the part that I believe is the most punishing and brings the least value to the game itself is the excessive skill training requirements.

Now before any veterans out there freak out, I don’t believe that removing the whole skill system is viable or even desirable, however there are little things that could be omitted that would improve the new player experience without really having much of an impact on veteran players.

It’s really the little things:
Mechanics 5, Drones 5, Capacitor management 5, CPU/Powergrid management 5, Gunnery 5, Missile launcher operation 5, Navigation 5, Industry 5

And so on, the list is quite extensive; Anyhow what do most of those skills have in common? Most players who’ve been around for a bit have them, new players don’t and it all adds up to a significant road block for new players.

It doesn’t really matter what profession people chose, pick any half decent mining ship, mission ship, wormhole ship ETC ETC, you’re looking at weeks if not months spent on skills that everyone else likely already has. Given that the average new player doesn’t stick around that long anyways, you can probably see the problem.

Just picture this… you invite a friend to start playing EVE… he/she gets all excited pays for omega, installs the game… “So when do we get to play the game together?” Uhhh… well… I guess you could salvage my missions… or haul ore… maybe we could mine and you could make peanuts while I make millions… (Heck… the ISK from mining with MAX skills is already pretty abysmal, god forbid doing so on a fresh character in a venture.)

Imagine the disappointment of getting all excited to play a new game and then being told… yeah the shiny ship you saw and liked… well thats 60 days of skills… minimum… you’ll still suck with it, and thats on the off chance that you can grind the ISK for it by then. How many new players will stick around? well… we have the numbers for that and to say that the numbers aren’t great would be an understatement.

I personally have just short 52 million SP, most of the skills that I’d recommend removing or simply giving to new players have already been trained, so this change would do absolutely nothing for me. Despite having 52M SP there’s a bunch of things I want to do that are still stuck behind months of skill training, I can only imagine how much more frustrating this would be on a fresh character.

IMO the basic support skills should just be baked into all characters, and MAYBE give them a head start in their chosen race by including S/M/L Weapon skills and ship skills to 3

I just felt the need to rant about this one thing because it just seems so patently absurd that nothing has been done about this in the 10 years I’ve been absent from the game. New players are the lifeblood of any MMO, and really the skill system as it stands basically strangles that source of new blood.

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Why do people want to run to the end of the game? Are you the sort of person that turns to the last page in a book first?

What is wrong with it taking time to develop and customise your character to the goals you have?

It is part of the challenge of the game, which skill do I want to train next? Do I want to push to Amarr battleship or do I branch out and go to Gallente destroyers?

Running to the end spoils the story.

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The viewpoint that I see here is that older players can just shred newer players and that there is possibly more benefits for older players than newer.

Just my opinion I don’t know for sure

maybe you just need to join the right group of noob friendly that are out there. this game honestly is about the people, more than the mechanics.
if the mechanics of the game are what brings people here then no one would still be here because spaghetti code.
look to groups like eve uni, horde, brave, karmafleet etc
we all have to start somewhere. I wouldnt have been here for more than 10 years if it wasnt for the people.
but rushing to jumping into big ships right away is not the way to do it. this isnt a pay 2 win game. you have to learn how to play - all the mechanics, how to plan skill queues properly, what to train first.
just jumping into a dominix without understanding why things work the way they do is not how this goes.
patience my young padawan, is a virtue.

I get the distinct impression that people think I’m talking about removing the skill system from the game; I certainly am not, no one is going to be “skipping to the end of the book”, they could however not be stuck drooling on the cover for quite so long, might bump up player retention. I’m also not looking for any advice about the game here, I have 52M SP I’ve been at this for a while, I’ve done the whole corp/alliance thing in the past (For years) and don’t find a compelling reason to do it again right now, this is just feedback that I’ve gotten from people who tried the game and generally dropped it very early.

One example of a redundant skill is Spaceship Command, I think most players won’t even be able to tell you what the skill does without checking it first, it is however a pre-requisite to other things, so its basically just a speed bump on the way to content.

Training spaceship command just doesn’t feel like a meaningful decision, it’s just something that is imposed on you and takes 4ish days away from you actually progressing towards content, it’s skills like this that I personally believe hurt the new player experience.

Definitely agree new player retention is related to the skill gated content. Opening up the entire skill tree to alpha for training would be great insofar as unlocking ships - allowing players to have a good experience to keep them around.

A major nerf can be baked in so that even if the skills are maxxed out to level 5, alpha players only receive level 0 worth of bonuses. The levels are effectively “ghost” levels. Modules would still be gated by skills. So you get to enjoy flying the ships as alpha, but not necessarily use it fully. Alpha account titan? Sure, but no doomsday, and no capital modules.

To prevent abuse, upgrading to omega doesn’t immediately gain you full access to the skills. Skills trained under alpha will have banked exp for accelerated training for just the trained skills. So to fully reap the benefit of upgrading, you need to stick around for the accelerated training.

WoW and a vast number of asian RPG’s use this proven tactic of rested/banked exp successfully to bring players back.