Recruitment Updates and New Player Experience

So it has finally after 13 years of EVE dawned on me what makes the game so great. I had this realization while watching the newest trailer at fanfest.

When you play a game such as WoW or just about any other MMO or even any other game for that matter you do so usually while playing through a narrative of some kind. For example in WoW new players and old alike go through the same quest givers run the same quests and achieve the same status as the millions who previously did the same exact things.

In EVE the PVE content is pretty much standard among all players as well aka shoot this rock get this mineral, shoot this rat get this bounty, run this mission save the damsel for the billionth time.

However what makes EVE unique is that for example if you weren’t there when the first conquerable station was taken in 3BK-07 then well you weren’t there. If you missed the Territorial expansions of the original grand alliances then you don’t get to experience it and even for those who were there doing anything else will never be the same as that first trek. This unique aspect of EVE aka the ability to create a narrative all unto your self as a player is both its success and its problem.

The success of it is that people who join EVE take risks and are rewarded with encounters that are unique to their experience and thus they stick around.

The problem is that when many people join EVE this is not what they are expecting as this is not a game like any other. They run the tutorial which now provides the standard narrative like any other mmo in order to teach the basics and then they are gently pushed into various content of the game by career agents. However this content is static, finite and ultimately not unique.

This is why people complain about saving the damsel for the billionth time and why they complain that mining is too boring. It is because they are nested in the idea that the game’s content itself is what is supposed to be fun and to a limited extent it is but once they achieve their goals related to the NPC content they’ve engaged with they hit a wall.

Any experienced player knows this and many will say that is why its important to do a variety of things. However that is an uncommon trait in people and is why most people when they go to say a restaurant they order the same things every time and love it until they go there to eat every single day for weeks or months on end.

To this end I believe that part of the solution to player retention and the NPE is to remove NPC corps. Not because they shelter haulers or the logistics networks of anyone with half a brain to have a 3rd party alt to move things but because by forcing a new player to join a player corp upon completion of the basic intro tutorial or career agents it puts them into the position of determining a unique story for themselves that will be unlike what others who are starting out experience.

Will the corp they join be friendly? Will they be a group that is not so friendly? There are literally hundreds of ways this could turn out for the new player but that is the point. Good bad whatever it doesn’t matter as long as the player is required to make a decision that could determine their future and thus start their own narrative within EVE.


  1. Update the Career Agents so that they play out like the intro tutorial and can be ran in any system. This would allow new players to run them with their new corp members if they choose so that more experienced players can help them without traveling all the way to rookie systems. Thus allowing new players to get into null, low or wh space right out of the box where others who are willing to help can do so without living in rookie systems where there is no isk to be had.

  2. Refine the corp recruitment tool and make it the final part of the character creation process. Give the new player the option to either join -
    A: Rookie Friendly Corp
    B: Create a New Corp

Option A :
With option A the rookie would see a selection of Rookie Friendly corps only aka those who are willing to help them with their first weeks in EVE. Corps that are shown should be limited to those with less than 100 members. The reason for this is that it would be a great way to help new corps who would like to grow their communities. Larger corps/alliance could always create new rookie friendly corps to get in on helping rookies as well but it would mainly help the new corps who really do want to grow. This tool would help to prevent what we see now with hundreds if not thousands of 20-40 man corps that started out with people who really wanted to accomplish something only to slowly die out because not enough people are ever on to work towards what they want to achieve.

Option B:
With B the new player could create a corp right out of the box and even set it up as a rookie friendly corp allowing them to recruit other new players like themselves and work together to learn the game. With corp management lvl 1 they would be limited to only taking in 10 new people and this would prevent them from taking on too many potential new players should the corp fail and everyone decide to leave the game. It would also allow the player to play solo should they choose to do so. The only issue here is for those who are already in NPC corps due to wanting purely to avoid war decs. However I would argue that given it is considered an exploit to disband a corp and reform a new one simply to avoid wars that the behavior of remaining in a NPC corp should be viewed in the same light. Those who are in npc corps purely for logistics work can always form individual corps to haul with and while this could lead to thousands of 1 man hauler corps that should be ok as it would make it extremely difficult for high sec war dec groups to war dec them all. Meaning that while a hauler corp might get war dec’d the odds are it wont be or at least not too often due to the sheer number of them. Not to mention that with the ability to have more than one if one alt corp is at war a player can simply use another.

What I’ve posted here is by no means a completed idea but hopefully it should provide a bit of direction. What needs to happen to EVE is more intercorp / alliance conflict and the only way to stimulate this is to make it much much much much more easy for new and existing players to create and grow new corps.

I like the idea of this. Doing tutorials anywhere. Kind of like the existing opportunity feature but with the ui of the new tutorial.

This would exclude people like eve university, rvb, karma and horde who you definitely want to recommend to new players.

The problem with this is you’re trying to make a ‘one size fits all’ npe. But that’s just too simplistic when it comes to eve. Especially by restricting the visible corps to <100 members. Most small corps simply don’t have the resources or infrastructure to support new players. And some new players want to get into bigger fights.

Helping corps grow is not the same as helping new players. In fact you will hurt the npe by putting new players in crap corps with crap leadership. More on that in a bit.

Obvious alarm bells. Running a non-■■■■ corp requires a certain amount of knowledge and experience. What is a wardec? How do roles work? Do we need an office? Where’s a good home? Who can access corp assets?

It is not recommended that new players start corps. We shouldn’t have the game offer new players the option of starting a new corp.

It’s not an exploit. There was some confusion around this a long time ago, but it’s explicitly not an exploit.

I believe the opposite. I look around and i see a lot of new corps. Ive been in and out of the exact type of corps you’re talking about because i like to keep a character or two in casual corps where i can help new players. The trouble is, they are always run by inexperienced players who cannot support their members (or worse they are farming their members for isk and easy decs with alts) or provide them with fun and who (just as you describe) have the wrong idea about eve. I always end up taking most of the workload on and my ‘casual’ character takes up all my time and energy. There are hundreds if not thousands of corps like this. It’s not a case that new players are unable to start a new corp. It’s actually TOO easy to start a new corp and pretend that you’re something you’re not.

Take a look at the current corp adverts and see how they sell themselves. How many corps can you find that have a handful of members but say their timezone is 24 hours? How many say they operate in all areas of space but actually mean just hi-sec? And how many say they pvp but don’t? And the amount of times a corp consists of one guy, his alts and the inactive members he hasn’t kicked…

^^^^^THIS is the problem with the npe. Crap corps lead by crap people pretending to be something they aren’t. New players cannot reliably use the in game tools to find corps. It’s always better to use out of game tools. Unfortunately the kind of tools a new player doesn’t know about.

Tldr sorta,

This is where i would start looking for ways to improve the npe. Help new players find good corps by preventing false adverts. Log activities on adverts (it’s gonna happen on a player basis) and/or show a corps in game kill mails.

If you’re worried about intel, make it optional. Corps can hide or show info based on recruitment needs. And potential recruits can see which corps show genuine information and which ones hide it.

And social corps!

Maybe use a pre selected fill in the bubble corp set up chart with limitations based on that players stats?

Like if the player wants to set up a a corp, they need to be at least 3?..6? months old…Maybe. (Partial and stand alone idea)

If they want to tick off the operates in hi, low and null, they need to have been active in those arias for a specified amount of time, that month? last 2-3 months?

Input an auto kick feature to kick players from a corp if they have not been active for more than the corp owners set time length.

Make the maintenance cost of a corp dependable upon the members, EG: if the players who joined the corp are not generating enough revenue (In the form of taxes) to meat the corp maintenance cost (The founder can not just pay for the maintenance fee out of his own pocket for beyond the first 1-3? months).

So if the founder is not guiding his corp members to success then his corp is more likely to fail and be disbanded and deleted.
With a 1-3 month cool down before another corp can be established.

(Would be nice to have an option to become a private citizen of an empire or empires with good enough standings to receive protection from war decks in that empire you have the necessary positive ratings to receive there navy’s protection from. EG: You have the necessary positive standings to Amarr empire, you get war decked, concord won’t protect/avenge you…But the Amarr navy will! >;)
Unless they are bribed to look the other way. (Like concord)
But the higher your standings with the empire the more exponentially expensive it is to bribe them to look the other way.
This could allow for a distinction to be made, between war decking… and bribery of officials.
You could bribe the Amarr navy to look the other way for an individual target or an entire corp (exponentially more expensive to do the higher the empire ratings and/or number of people with positive ratings in the corp.

Allowing individuals who have navy protection to have some recourse.

You would reeeeeally have a surprise as a war decker if one of the people you attacked who was a part of a corp you war decked on the edge of Amarr space held out for a while after you agroed them and suddenly… The Amarr NAVY to the rescue!
Like some “Precinct 13” sh**!
Obviously the empire standings of the attacker would take a hit as normal with or without out a war deck going on for attacking an individual they had not bribed the navy to not care about for a time.
Thus solving some serious issues of the war deck mechanic that get the most complaints and gives credence to empire standings.

New players and corps can have an additional layer of recourse and thus breathing room from the mass war deck corps.

Social corps can exist in this context.
It will open up opportunity for CCP to add story content for those that want it.
It will not stop suicide gankings, letting people continue to enjoy the uniquely EVE experience.
War decks will have to be given more thought than, they are small and week. (Hit button) War deck.
It will eliminate masses of tiny failed corps.
It will help corps keep a clean roster.
It would eliminate the need for NPC corps as you could just be a solo private citizen.

All the yes!

I would argue that the larger corps/alliances you mention could always create rookie corps to do this in fact if they wanted to retain the api checks under this system they would have to as you wouldn’t be able to check api’s before the recruit joined your corp. you’d simply be opening your corp up to have new players join it immediately.

You wouldn’t want new players waiting around for 2-3+ days for people to clear their api’s thus those who do them would have to create corps specifically to take in new recruits.

With regards to crap corps it is my belief that many fall in to idleness because as anyone who has done recruitment knows it is exceedingly difficult to do.

As an example I created 12 alts to put into all career agent systems to send mails out 2-3 times a week. That is literally hundreds of mails and out of those in a week i might get 20-30 responses out of those maybe 10 will join and from those 1-2 will stick around for more than a month. Its literally like sifting through sand to find gems.

Having a system where players can immediately get into corps filled with other new players where they can learn from each other and share information is a great draw for many new players.

Many people do not want to be told this fit or that fit is the ideal or you must fly this ship to show up to ops etc. they want to make mistakes and figure it out on their own to some degree.

What I am suggesting would also benefit the larger corps/alliances because those players who make it through the sifting process of going through the smaller corps and decide they want to be part of something bigger will already know that they want to stick around for a while and it would be no more difficult to find the larger groups than it is today.

Glad you mentioned this because I remembered it from way back when and wasn’t sure on it’s application today. So now I know.

I would whole heartedly disagree. Part of the fun of EVE is figuring things out and there is no better teacher than hard learned experience and in many cases that is what new players want. A solid example of this is WiNGSPAN Delivery Services where the guy started out with nothing but the goal of flying a bomber. If he’d joined a larger group and been told every step of the way that he was doing things wrong and was stupid for doing things the way he did then potentially we would not have their group within the eve community today.

One of the reasons people quit eve is because they feel there is no way they can ever catch up and that is because all the ships and ways to do things are largely optimized and there is little wiggle room most especially for larger established groups when it comes to changing things up.

This is very demoralizing to new players who want to come up with new ideas even if they are bad ones. If they are bad then they should be given the chance to learn the hard way like many did before them not shouted down by a wiki or people with a decade of experience. Either way should they fail then it would not be due to lack of manpower but because they lacked the ability to learn from their mistakes.

Right and how many of those corps would be more successful if the ceo woke up one day and had 50 new rookie recruits with 10 or more in the corp channel looking to do something? Instead of sending mails or convos the CEO could focus on helping them through the tutorials or moving them to wherever they operated etc.

It would be more motivation for those who want to try their hand at leading if they actually have people to lead rather than spending the 1-3 hrs they have on hand 3-5 days a week trying to recruit people.

If you asked many of these smaller corps what happens I’m sure you’d find that they get a few good people and then something comes up in RL they step away for a day or two and come back to find their new members are gone only to find a few more people and the same process occurs over and over. If only the people who left had stayed a bit longer they would have a solid group.

Those who leave often do so because no one was on when their on not merely because the ceo disappeared for a few days. If rookies were filled in to rookie friendly corps till they capped at 100 members they would have a small community to work with on whatever their mutual goals were and should the ceo need a few days away to tend to family or work it would be less of an issue because there are more people to work with other than just the ceo.

In addition to all this what would happen if all these now rich players in EVE with literally billions upon billions of isk and experience suddenly realized that they have enough isk to support their own small army of frigate-Cruiser welding rookies and not only that but they don’t have to bother with recruiting them and can instead focus on the fun things while their corp fills with new players. I can answer that for you WAR… war is what would happen and thank God for that.

Your forcing people to create alts and separate them between corps. Some groups recruit hundreds of players per month. Are they going to have to keep creating new corps and new alts to stay visible? This is gonna be a huge pain in the arse to manage. It’s a ■■■■ ton of work with little pay off and isolates players. It’s not going to happen.

You are simply off base. New players only playing with new players don’t stick around (unless they have existing ties outside the game). These are the type of players you’re worried about. They are confused by eve, have no direction and are surrounded by sharks. The players more likely to stick around are under the wings of vets. These players have support, protection and are given direction.

This is eve uni, rvb, horde and karma. They are full of new players but are run by vets. They are by far the best corps for retaining players.

Your fascination with putting small groups of new players together in isolation is what is already happening. Look around. It’s not working.

Before you go any further with this, try out the corps I’ve mentioned. They aren’t what you think they are.

Recommended fits with srp are not the same as forcing people to fly a certain way and not every fleet is a super serious sov fight. There’s a lot of flexibility.

There is literally no evidence to support this will happen. You are just dreaming now. With 80% of new players leaving in the first month (the majority seeming to be in noob corps like you want), how are they going to last through the ‘sifting process’.

Very few players get engaged by the game when left to their own devices.

This is the exception. Not the rule. , thousands of people join eve each year. How many wingspans do we have?

Compare that to how many people stick around after joining one of the 4 mentioned groups.

Think about how there’s nothing stopping people learning the game by themselves right now. Wingspans can do their thing. But what you want to do is to funnel people into this playstyle and obscure places like eve uni. This is a very VERY bad idea.

Not as many as you think because of bad leadership.

They’re looking for something to do, but the new player running the show doesn’t know what there is to do, how do anything or how to make it fun.

The vast majority will just run missions and mine. And people will think ‘this is eve?’

I feel these are too restrictive.

A vet can create an alt and want to start a corp. He has the knowledge and the experience and shouldn’t have to wait. Forcing corps to have targets will make them feel like a job and autokicking members will result in people being kicked by accident.

My main gripe with the op is his idea that the way forward is to put new players in small corps run by other new players. This describes 90% of high sec corps right now and its not working.

This is where either you learn or you leave. The NPC stuff isn’t the content. It’s the enabler. Once you’ve hit this “wall” is where you really begin being tested.

And then you want to remove their enabler. The original point of choice.

I would rather just eliminate the free corp creation than this.

this is just dumb. it in no way helps new players and only further risks hurting them. smaller/newer corps tend to be less equipped and in many cases just bad at helping new players.

over all only part of this i agree with is letting you do career missions anyplace

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