So, here is what I think is the actual reason why most new players quit after playing the new player experiance:

It’s skills and skillpoints, pure and simple.

Eve is not the only game with a complex ui. it’s not the only game with a complex damage system. it’s not the only game with a complex module system.

And I suspect most people who try eve online are willing adapt to losing your ship every time you die.

No, the first hard brick wall that most new players hit when they try eve online is the skills. It’s not just the absurd number of skills that’s daunting, it’s the absurd amout of time it takes for them to train.

Training a skill to level 5 can take a week to a month. That’s 15 dollars down the drain, puttering around doing nothing of significance, for a month while you wait for your skillpoints to accumulate.

Of course, you’re told to only train skills up to 3, but for some skills you absolutely have to get them to 5, so that’s a month’s worth of sub time down the drain.

So what are you doing while you wait for your skills to train up? if you’re not quitting, you’re either flying around in a frigate doing missions for shoddy pay, flying around in a mining frigate mining ore for shoddy pay, or if you’re lucky, you’ve found a corp, and that corp will tell you what to do… for shoddy pay.

And while all that’s going on, while the months crawl by and your skill points slowly accumulate, you’re thinking to yourself… why am I playing this shitty game that doesn’t actually let you play the game until you’ve invested a few years of sub time to it?

If there there were no skill points to worry about, the only inpediment to players flying the ships they want to fly would be isk, and new players would have more of a reason to stick around, as that inpediment would be much smaller, and one they could close much faster.

And once they got the ships, they’d be able fly them just as well as anyone else, and the inpediment to flying it well would be their actual skill in manipulating the game’s UI.

The simple truth is, Eve is an incremental game with an economy simulator attached. However, nobody comes to Eve for the incremental game, they come for the economy simulator, only to find that they have to hurry up and wait for the incremental game’s points to go up before they can actually play in the economy simulator.

In truth, the only reason why Eve Online is still alive today is because it was released in 2003.

If Eve tried to come out today, it would be dead on arrival, with most reivews giving it a score of 3/10: Neat economy simulator hidden under an obnoxiously bad incremetal game.


Have you been conducting exit surveys or something? Or is this pure speculation on your part?

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You can start playing EVE as soon as you undock.
The fact you think it takes years of training to play the game is in your head, and is not fact.
Much like people who think end game raids should be available to day 1 players.


Funny story: EXP Grinder games get the same evaluation. Grinding for EXP is even worse than the passive, always running training of EVE because you must play to gain EXP and you must play specific activities to gain EXP. You cannot do anything else if you have to gain EXP in a certain field to help your buddies or get necessary equipment to clear a stage or something. And if you want to or have to switch gear to something better or different, you have to repeat this grind for EXP from almost 0 again. And when you don’t play you will not gain EXP.

In EVE, you always gain EXP, whether you play or not, whether you do an activity or not. You can do whatever you want and your EXP keeps ticking up As soon as people start to understand this massive advantage over grind based games, they should understand that EVE’s progression system is superior. Maybe subjectively slower, but objectively and in general better because it gives you all the freedoms in the world to do what you want while you train things to become better at the things or completely unrelated things. Instead of focusing on farming EXPoints, you can focus on becoming better at soft-skills in the game.



@I_boole_Laentauka It sounds like you want instant gratification in Eve. I personally feel it would be bad for the game, the community and for the company running it.

The time spent training for something has advantages. It gives a goal. And most important it gives people the chance to learn how to play the game - learn the game mechanics and how to do stuff. Explore other parts of the game.

If they have to work for the isk to get the items (as you said) then what is wrong with training during the same time?

I agree with @Zhalyd_Lyehin that Eve’s skill training based on time has advantages (and is better in my opinion also) over the normal exp grind in many other games.

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It’s experiance.

When i first played eve and realized how long it would take to train skills, i did a simple calculation in my head and realized it would be years before I could fly the ships i was the most interested in.

That’s when I quit for the first time. I quit twice after making that calculation.

Oh sure you can play the game, but you can’t play it the way you want to play, not for years and years.

it’s not the same actually, most of those types of games are of a much narrower focus, and the xp grind usually only lasts a month, at most. In eve it lasts for years, and it can be years before you can play the game you want to play it.

You don’t gain the freedom to do what you want until you’ve invested at least a few months sub time into the game. And even then, you can’t do it very well until you’ve invested a few years into the game.

BTW, this is comeing from the standpoint of a new players. Every new player makes the same basic calculation: how many subscriptions do i have to invest in this game before i’m at least competitive?

It doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not, most players will think it will take years.

And from an old players perspective: the only reason why they would defend the skill system is not because it’s actually a good system, it’s because of the sunk cost fallacy, they’ve already invested in the system, so they’re more likely to think it’s a good system when really it’s not.

No, instant gratification would be giving all new players a billion isk as soon as they log in.

I agree that people should still work to get the best ships, but the only barrier to that should be isk, not skillpoints.

Also, I don’t believe that waiting for skillpoints to tick up serves any goal, it only makes you feel fustrated and annoyed when you already have the isk to fly a ship, but you can’t because you dont’ have the skills for it yet.

There can be no goal that’s served by that.

In regards to xp, I would say that an economy simulator doesn’t need xp, just isk.

The skillpoint system is an anchor weighing Eve Online down, and the only way i see it growing again is if it casts off that anchor.

You also can’t end game raid as soon as you start a game.
‘Can’t play it the way you want to play’ is just in your head.
You can do whatever playstyle you want, because flying a particular ship is not a playstyle, ships are ammunition.

No, but as I’ve said, games with eng game raids have a much narrower focus, it only takes at most a month to get to max level. In eve it can take months to years to train to a level compairable with established characters.

Months yes, years no. What is your actual point? Why would I decide not playing a game which promises to entertain me for years / forever instead of a few months only?

We veterans are here for years, not because we still have skills to train, we are here because we like playing EvE, and often the skillpoints we use everyday are only a fraction of the total which can be trained in a few months. I ran out of useful (for me) stuff to train a few years ago.

Finally you say ISK should be the only barrier … you know in fact it is? You can buy as many skillpoints as you want at day 1 with ISK.

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Right, but…

For most new players, they don’t know that. All they know is that for the first few months of the game, they basically have to wait for that skillpoint ticker to go up.

Once they realize the time investment involved, they just decide it’s not worth it, and leave. I made that choice myself a few times. For most people, it’s just not worth the time or money invested.

You don’t have that kind of isk at day one. To be able to do that, you basically have to buy a ton of plex, and who the hell wants to invest that much money into a game they’ve just started playing?

My point is: new players don’t want to have to deal with the skillpoint system. they just don’t.

Eve is dying, everyone knows it. More people are investing in extra accounts, but very little new players are actually interested in sticking with the game.

Concurrent player activity has been going down for years from a peak of 60k, and ccp doesn’t post sub counts anymore.

I believe that the only way that Eve can start growing again is by clearing the cruff: in this case, the skillpoint system.

As I said before, players don’t come for the skillpoint system, they come for the economy simulator.

The sooner CCP and bitter vets start realizing that, the sooner eve will start growing again.

That’s my belief.

Edit: also, an economy simulator doenst need an xp system. all it needs is currency, resources, products, and services. That’s it.

Why so? Where does this wrong perception come from? I can’t follow here because I never felt that way. I was too busy trying stuff out, learning, making ISK and getting my standings up, running missions, etc. to worry about skillpoints much in my first months of EvE.

Just because I have a perception that’s different from yours, doesn’t it’s wrong.

And I know this because I EXPERIENCED IT! I tried and quit eve twice. It was only with the third attempt that i managed to stick with it. I’ve said this before.

I hit that skillpoint wall in the first hour of trying eve both times, the first time way back in 2007, the second time in 2009. I didn’t try again until 2015.

IN ADDITION: CCP themselves said that the vast majority of new players quit when first trying out the game. Considering the reasons why I quit, I can see why they would.

Now, for the third time: an economy simulator doesn’t need an xp system. In fact I would say an xp system like the skillbook system is detrimental, as it limits what products people can use, and therefore limits what products they’re willing to invest in.

IN THE LONG RUN: the skillpoint system does more harm than good, as it’s both not necessary, and is overly cumbersome.

The ONLY reason why anyone would defend it is because they’ve already invested time and money into it, and are affected by the sunk cost fallacy.

Admit it, you once saw a ship that you had the isk to buy, but you couldn’t fly cause you didn’t have the skillpoints for it. When you realized this, you must have felt at least a but fustrated or annoyed.

Wouldn’t everything be easier if we just didn’t have deal with this clumbersome and annoy skillpoint system? Hmm.

Name one way you’ve actually benefited from it in-game. Just one. I’ll wait.

As others said, that you feel you have to wait before playing the game is just in your head, it’s objectively not true. You may not be able to do what you ever dreamed with perfect skills at day one, but are you a one-trick pony?

I’m going to vacation or I’m not able to play for some time, and when I come back the game has unlocked a few more things? Where else can I have this?

Why would I want to be forced to play a game in a certain way just to unlock stuff? A big advantage of EvE is you can do / learn one thing why you train another you want to try next.

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Damn I really hate to mention this as I despise everything about them but it is now part of Eve so…
You can buy SP/XP with isk - Skill Injectors. Can get you into many ships in a matter of hours.
So realistically, all you need is isk to “advance” the SP/XP system. Don’t know of many games where you can do that.

If the skill system wasn’t there, you’d have access to the things you unlocked before you went on vaction.

You would still have to learn how to manipulate Eve’s complex systems even if the skill system wasn’t there, and you’d have more freedom to choose. I wouldn’t exactly call it a one trick pony.

I want to make something clear: I’m not saying the skill system needs to be changed, i’m saying it needs to be removed.

Players would still have to learn how to play the game if the skill system wasn’t there. they’d still have to learn how to manipulate the games different systems if the skill system wasn’t there.

The main difference is: they’d have the freedom to choose right away instead of having to wait.

if you want to do invention, you have to train 16 different skills just to be effective, and that’s not including racial specialist skills.

Without the skilling system, the only barrier to doing invention would be isk, and real person skill at manipulating the system.

And that’s just invention.

To do trade properly you have to train a multitude of skills all aimed at reducing broker fees.

To fly a titan you bought off the market you have to train skills for six months.

if you lose a strategic Cruiser, you also lose some the skills needed to fly that ship, and how is that fair?

As far as I can tell, the skill point system is purely detrimental. It’s cruff weighing the game down, and the only way Eve can grow again is if it clears the cruff.

Yes, but they’re sold at outragously expensive markups, so the only way to cut the training cycle short is to invest in plex, and what new player that’s only just started the game is gonna invest that much money?

Honestly, the skillpoint system is more trouble than it’s worth, and it’s in CCP’s best interest to remove it if they want to increase player retention.

OP just imagine if you came some years earlier when learning skills were still a thing and you had to train them for months or something just to can train other skills efficiently afterwards. :wink:

The only thing the ‘Learning Skills’ group did was increase your characters attribute stats which gave faster skill training times. They weren’t actually needed to train skills.

Personally I think Alpha accounts should automatically come with all Alpha skills already trained up, then if players want to advance further in the game then they need to purchase a sub.

Some time ago CCP thought the same thing. They multiplied starting SP ten times and gave you instant access to competitive equipment that you didn’t have before. They gave you skill injectors that are more effective for low SP characters and free SP via the tutorial AND daily logins.

You used to have to train special skills that had no purpose other than to increase your training speed to match what is automatically given to you today. And you used to lose SP everytime you were podded unless you paid to insure your clone.

There has never been a stronger start for new players than now. And new player retention went DOWN.

Lack of SP being the reason for poor retention has been explored to death. The answer was a resounding no. Instead, quicker training created more problems than it solved.

Use the time to learn how the game works. Try different things to see what you enjoy and what you want to do. Ships are a tool, a means to an end, they are not the goal itself.


I’v spent weeks in Albion leveling up my one out of 5 different fire staffs and I am still nowhere near the best levels for it. And there are 4 more firestaffs that I have to level. And then the same for all the other staffs, for swords, bows and so on. Not to mention all the farming grind to gain material and processing EXP. There is nothing positive about the grind that the passive SP training in EVE over time can’t do better.

After you trained XYZ Frigate I, you have already a number of different frigates available to you to do all sorts of things. Get another race’s Frigate I and you can use more than double the number of ships due to pirate and navy and other faction frigates available to you. With those frigates you can do PVE, explore, PVP, haul, trade, scout and if you are really hardcore, even mine if you want to. That’s only a few hours in if you take weapon and support skills into account. That is a lot of freedom. And after a day, you have the prerequisites to go to destroyers already, which opens up even more freedom.

In a SP grind base, you are locked into the gear that you started out grinding EXP for. Switching is much harder because you’d have to start grinding with lowest tier gear again.

You can be competitive right away under the right circumstances with the right knowledge:

Kills like these show that huge SP numbers are not necessary to get kills. And if you are not good enough on your own, fly with other people:

There are ways around all sorts of problems in EVE and you have all the freedoms in the world to do all kinds of things

The real problem is not lack of training speed. The problem is lack of imagination, perseverance, drive to find out information and the will to use information given by other people.

I have not paused playing EVE once in over 10 years. I have hit several roadblocks and just started training for the things that I needed to train for, and in the meantime I have compensated for my lack of SP with other tools or tried to help my group in other ways. If contemporary new players can’t do that or are not willing to do that, they have no place in EVE. Period. No amount of catering to their flimsiness will make them stay longer or stick forever. They are just not matching with EVE.


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Nowhere did I claim you needed them to train skills, I wrote you needed them to can train efficiently afterwards.

Not sure about the start with alpha skills fully trained.

On one hand it would cater to the impatient, which is not necessarily a good thing for at least two reasons: 1) it will water down EVE 2) it will allow people to get into more expensive ships and modules sooner when they usually can not afford to lose them much more than later once they established themselves thus would hurt new players much more than if to have them work at a slower pace slowly building up their skills and wealth thus only having access to stuff they can easier replace.

On the other hand it will let new players get access to more stuff and things to do and fulfill more roles in a corp / fleet / alliance or even as solo players thus more flexibility and allow to participate in more things which of course surely is a benefit.

So it can be a double edged sword that can go either way, probably depending on circumstances and playstyles so somewhat the same as now and at the same time a major difference as well for the individual. So not sure.

Probably there are other factors too as well which I’ve not thought of but others might bring up so just a quick assessment on my part noting the fact it is not a black and white situation with only benefits even if people can access more stuff.