New Players and You: Part One

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Yup, we have a very effective recruitment policy and teaching environment. It doesn't hurt that were a warm friendly bunch either.
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When I started playing EvE this last spring, my corporation shoved me into a rifter, got me involved in gas cloud site clearing and harvesting, showed me the basics of PI, had me run items around Fountain in a Mammoth for a bit, guided me through defensive roams with Ella Meer, sat me on an asteroid in a belt to prove to me how mind-numbing mining really is, had me pick up target broadcasting for a Drake fleet, started theorycrafting in our military threads and EFT, demonstrated probing and exploration, and flew around with me in anomalies for gags.I learned for myself what I liked, and I was essentially forced to see just how large a game EvE really is.The default new player experience gives the players choice. Choice to do industrial/courrier tutorials, choice to do military tutorials, choice to see how industry works, and so forth. As un-EvE as this is about to sound, this availability of choice is wrong.New players ~need~ to set up a PI planet at least once. They ~need~ to probe down a cosmic anomaly. They ~need~ to use a jump bridge, kill a pirate, duel each other, tackle ships in an imaginary, scripted NPC fleet, change their overview, shoot a rock, use drones, run several missions, bombard a planet, and make a Burst. You can do all of these in the current tutorials, but the problem is that the new player is given shit for context and can too quickly believe s/he's found his or her niche and end up never actually playing EvE (see: the majority of highsec). All of this ~needs~ to come through the context of a story.An experience akin to a single player campaign might provide both a story and set of goals to give the player the necessary context for lasting learning to take place. All too often, questions from new players follow a template: "I remember doing X once, but it was awhile ago and I don't remember." Performing actions by reading from a list provides little long-term learning when compared actually applying a process to solve a problem. An extended, obligatory tutorial experience authored by a team of experienced single-player sci-fi game designers can be fun and educational at the same time. Imagine actually waking up in a station hospital after receiving your capsule interface implants. Imagine going through a rags-to-riches story that doesn't just spoon-feed fighting and fitting and industry step-by-step, but has you apply this book learning in small bites to small problems. Problems in which, through a story, the player might actually feel engaged. Problems that tell the rather rich yet ignored history of the four factions, hydrostatic capsule technology, and even player alliance history in a learning environment.In the world of Boy Scouts, such learning is called the EDGE method: Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, Enable (insert comments about Boy Scouts here). Jokes aside, it's actually one of the most effective teaching methods I've ever used, and it's picking up popularity in public schools. The skinny is this: different modes of teaching lead to different levels of material retention. A dull voice on an audio tape tends to result in 10-15% audience information retention at best, audio-visual demonstrations 50%, and hands-on activities upwards of 70-80%. When you ask a student to teach or apply new knowledge in a project, mastery of the material manifests.Example: teaching a newbro how to optimize a destroyer fit. A smart teacher will explain powergrid, cpu, and the function of basic tackle, prop, gun, tank, and damage modules--Explain. A basic vocabulary has been established. Next, the teacher links a few EFT fits or shares his screen in Skype, talking about where example fits are great, where others have problems, and where still more belong in ALOD--Demonstrate. The teacher might at this point watch the newbro create a few destroyer fits, offering suggestions at bottlenecks or tough decisions--Guide. Finally, wise Teacher asks the student to solve a specific, fun problem: Optimize a Catalyst for maximum damage in a hurry. Do well, and we'll go blow up some carebears in highsec.Try to tell me the newbro doesn't understand fittings after that.Case in point: World of Warcraft. Before you tell me to die in a fire, think about the leveling experience within. Players are provided an extremely limited interface and set of capabilities when just starting out; the majority of buttons on the screen are hidden for awhile (of course, veterans can choose to jump right in to full interfaces). At a painstakingly slow pace, layers of complexity and abilities are added and options broadened; by the time halfway-intelligent players reach their character's top level, they actually intuit remarkably complex mathematical choices in different scenarios (raiding in large groups, small group mechanics, turn-and-flee, etc) at the drop of a hat. By this point, spreadsheets only serve to fine-tune choices within very narrow gain margins. In my (long past) experience, even idiots can leave the solo campaign leveling process with decent understandings of complicated mechanics; the foundations for advanced learning are in place.My comparison between EvE and WoW is giving me nausea and a tension headache. That said, there is a reason WoW is considered much more newbie friendly, and I don't think it all has to do with the permanency of loss in EvE. There is a difference between game difficulty and UI difficulty.Such an undertaking will never happen. I'm aware of it. I can't shake the notion, however, that TheMittani.com's ALOD series would see far fewer absolute shitfits -- different gun types across all high slots, armor and shield hardened Proteii, and buffer/active tanked, or plex-purchased Nightmares and Golems -- if players were forced to not just absorb but apply Aura's (the blue-faced tutorial AI) book learning.Introducing players to all of the minigames of EvE -- mining, pvp, pve, PI, trucking, industry, sales -- while introducing them to the difficult decisions within them can do nothing but foster more knowledgeable new players. More addicted new players.To corps and alliances that spend unhealthy amounts of their free time creating this experience for new players out of thin air, I salute you. You are the reason CCP hasn't died ~yet~.
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I'm about 6 months old in EvE... and at this point, I feel as though I understand the game, I just don't know how to apply all that understanding yet - my corp recently moved to sov ( joined a 0.0 corp based in Synd) but people like those mentioned above are what allowed me to be where I am today - it's give-and-take on EvE, finding people to help you climb the learning cliff do exist, and can be found if you look hard enough, and are incredibly helpful; the noob needs to learn to climb that cliff him/herself though! In the end, you're right - I'm getting my first Rokh in 2 days - full t2 but guns - big milestone for me, or any new player.
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EVE is at risk of becoming like a care home. When it first opens it is filled with sprightly 60 somethings. After twenty years of doing business however it is full of dozing 80 years olds, and new customers want to consider going in there.
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EVE threw you into a rookie ship with a civilian gun versus two hostile drones and said, in no uncertain terms, “good luck.”Well shiiiiiieeet, it's been so long I forgot that happened at all, like the part when they throw you at a starbase and expect you to give up and die.
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First friggin reply is longer than the article itself. Jesus dude
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Please start writing for themittani.com
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Well said sir! Somebody hire this writer.
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Long time ago in a galaxy far-far away. When the grass was greener and the light was brighter. There was a game called Project IGI. It didn't have saves. It dropped you near a base and gave you an objective. Triggered an alarm? Well, congratulations, you have annoying endlessly respawning guards on your head. And that's the easy part. The difficult part is when you trigger an alarm and after good several 30 minute tries (no saves!) you finally get to your objective only to see an omniscient instapopping tank guarding it. Maybe continuing after that alarm was a bad idea?The game was hard. My first playthrough took me about 2 weeks on easy. My last playthrough took me 3 days on hard when I could play the game with eyes closed. Because I replayed it 5 times. Even though it was difficult. Even though it was sometimes practically mocking the player throwing a wild tank or heli on him out of nowhere. Even though it had no saves, omniscient enemies that could track and kill you through a wooden wall or react to you popping up in their line of sight so fast you had to jump out with your crosshair pre-aligned at their head. Even though certain levels took me several hours and endless tries to complete. It was one of the most entertaining games I've ever played. And then it had a sequel. With saves. And linear level design. I dropped it on the 5th level or so. Out of boredom. Since then there was no game that had me want to replay it 5 times in a row while having neither character customization, nor multiple paths or endings. Hell, I probably played Deus EX: HR fewer times.A game is not a movie. It's not a hamburger. A game is an evolutionary mechanism that makes animals enjoy learning things and mastering skills. Doing what you're told to, copypasting EFT loadouts, endlessly clicking "Next" is not learning. Being granted half a billion isk, a shiny new battleship and a sterile environment is not mastering skills. It's doing things without thinking, it's achieving goals you didn't set for yourself by means you didn't really have an active part in. It's doing a bot's job. It makes a game into an IRC server with a shiny background and a monthly subscription. Actually learning how the game works and using this knowledge to succeed in it with your own strength is what the game is about. If you make the learning part as easy and painless as possible, you remove the best part of the game.When mommy and daddy say to the little happy n00b they want him to become an aspiring tengu pilot so he should study hard the ways of macross missile massacre and rock-solid shield and forget about those silly flying bricks and playing house with little brainless critters because he has a bright F1 blobfest future in front of him, and those silly frenchie faggots will end up in belts and semi-afk lvl4 missions and mommy and daddy will be disappoint big time. So when they do it, they are robbing the poor little n00b of his happy childhood full of adventures and mysteries. And when the poor little n00b grows up, the magic is suddenly gone, and he's a vet. Because now he can do things he hates with a smile. And during long winter nights he will go out to forums and write how evil CCP should fix a thing here and add a feature there, his inner n00b, beaten into submission, whispering from the corner of his subconscious, longing for the thrill of exploring the unknown. But when the feature comes, the poor old vet will wait till the others figured out all the tricks and tips and risks and profits, wrote a guide, created optimal loadouts. Then he will try it out. It will leave a bland taste in his mouth. And he will move on, catering to the guidelines and expectations of his socially effective surroundings. And one day, laying on a pile of officer modules he did never fit (because hurr ALOD), among the ships he never welped (because durr neutrals in local, everyone get in the forcefield), covered by the blanket of isks he never spent, he will silently stop subscribing.So when you see a n00b, don't bury him under a pile of isk. Don't give him a ship. Don't say to him "fit this because it's the propah way". Point him to a book about game mechanics instead. Let him make his choices. Because making choices and taking responsibility for the choices you made is wonderful. It's being alive.
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This is a great response, and it leads up to what I thought would be a suggestion on New Player Tutorial revamping ideas. If the Tutorial system actually put a player into a Hulk temporarily and taught them how mining is, put them into a battleship and let them shoot another battleship, gave them planet to PI with, or any other part of eve for the matter, players would actually get to experience what the game has to offer without playing for years.
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lol "Once upon a time, EVE threw you into a rookie ship with a civilian gun versus two hostile drones and said, in no uncertain terms, “good luck.” " been there done that !. The biggest Tip I can give to new players is : dont subscribe directly ... get as many trial accounts as you need to understand the game and when you think you know the basics and you feel ready . get your final account going and start playing the game ( join a corporation , make friends ) ! getting blown up and learning stuff the hard way is part of the game , it doesn't matter how good or how old your char is . sooner or later shit will happen to you and it will teach you something. If you are not into that you should stick with World of Warcraft. Learning to swim by getting thrown into deep water . Is the best way to learn it.
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When I started EVE together with three friends, I remained with them in our own new-founded newbie corporation and I never asked any veteran for help. I just read every guide I could find and tried everything out myself. Sure we made mistakes and paid for them, like getting smoked out of our fail-fitted POS by a russian blob. So next time we did better.I have no use for newbies who expect to be taken by the hand. All the information is already out there, go and get it yourself like I did. Why should I spend my time to do for them what they can do themselves?
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CCP don't want to make game easy. So the best teacher must not be New Player Tutorial. It can be only Player. This will bring players more close.
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"Where, then, are these knowledgeable veterans who come bearing gifts of ISK and wisdom?"DeeDeeReddit.
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Whenever I hear the word "newbro", I think of http://youtu.be/96b7Jk5xCTQ?hd...Watch it, from time to time. You'll become a better person.
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I was recently recruited in to FA by an IRL friend and my corp has been doing just this, very helpful and Im loving it out here in Fade
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Tell me and I'll forget. Show me and I'll remember. Involve me and I'll understand.That said, one benefit of having a terrible learning curve, is it keeps most of the idiots and children out of the game.
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:shobon:
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May I join your corp?
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The only aspect of your EDGE theory is the fact that there are 3 types of learning, and although EDGE DOES in fact touch on all 3 (visual/hearing/touch), the recipient will always be dominate in one of those traits for learning, not all 3. Beyond, that, I'm a huge, repeat; HUGE, fan of this article as I am fairly new myself, and being left to my own devices I have had to learn by trial by error/asking questions/researching google or vet given links/tutorials. And of course paranoia is developed early on by those corps that are recruiting ammo for their corpse cannons as you touched on. Shame really. So it becomes necessary to go into E-Uni to find that shelter (as someone not brought into eve by a friend/site) because of such escalations to scams, trickery, and all around douchebaggery.Whereas you have quite simply "join us, we are rookie friendly" on any/every bio, you jilt the faithful by costing the ignorant.Wish there were more of you sadleric, or atleast those that showed you the way.
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Because, as this article suggests, you know better than they and want their help. If neither of these applies, then neither does your question.
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Noobs are probably the most important resource that a game can have, they're the future bitter vets when all the current ones have quit or are just skill training and shipspinning. Even though Eve has the reputation of being one of the nastiest MMO's out there, time and time again I see older players responding to calls in local for help with missions, handing out ISK & fitted ships they no longer use, giving sensible advice to well phrased questions & generally taking noobs under their wings. Obviously there are exceptions who thrive on ganking noobs & spreading misinformation but they are in the minority. We were all noobs once, I think the pay it forward approach works well, when I started I was gifted some ISK and a few ships, I've since paid that forward many times as I'm sure many others have.
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It was a Test Friends (feeder alliance) dropout and currently has two members.

THE PROBLEM

“EVE is dying.”

You’ve probably heard that phrase in one form or another throughout your time in EVE, whether you have been playing for only a fraction of the game's history or since beta. EVE has been mocked (or lauded, depending on who you ask) for having “the most difficult learning curve of any game”, a statement popularized by this image. The veterans of EVE know the game as one of the most in-depth and detailed MMO's out there and are reconciled to the fact that it can take years of accumulated knowledge to be competent in their chosen profession. A new player has none of that knowledge to back up their drive to grow or specialize. In a game where there are literally thousands of different items, skills, and ships to keep track of, the tutorials will never be sufficient.

Once upon a time, EVE threw you into a rookie ship with a civilian gun versus two hostile drones and said, in no uncertain terms, “good luck.” It was woefully insufficient to get a new player through his or her first week, much less convince them to buy the game. CCP has taken great strides in improving the tutorials; however, EVE's greatest teaching resource will and always shall be the other players. Where, then, are these knowledgeable veterans who come bearing gifts of ISK and wisdom?

The simplest answer to this question would be “playing the game.” When your alliance is at war with another alliance, another mining corporation is muscling in on your belts, or a shiny new wormhole just popped into existence in your system-of-choice... who has time for people who still can’t seem to find that “overview settings” tab? Of course, this is a generalization of the population as a whole. Many older players are friendly to new players and there are various corporations out there that offer 'new player help'. Some of these 'orientation corporations' are primarily composed of new players headed by a group of old players, while others are the inverse of that setup: a small core of new players surrounded by intelligent and helpful vets. What can the corporations do with new players, though?

THE NEWBIE'S TRUE VALUE

New players won’t fatten the corporation wallet with taxes, nor can they pilot a battleship in a massive fleet. All too often the corporations that deal with the “Real EVE” of alliance warfare, POSes, and gatecamps stick newbies in tackle frigates and tell them “blow up x number of times and then you’ll be ready for a battleship.” There are approved fittings and skill paths, places to go and places to avoid, things to do and things to shoot. It isn’t that these corporations want to force the new players to a proscribed curriculum: the beauty of an in-depth game like EVE is discovering things for yourself. But these corporations don’t have time to talk each individual new player through his or her way of playing EVE or to explain to them why fitting four small armor repairers isn’t as good as fitting just one of an appropriate size. When you lose at EVE, you lose hard: ships are gone for good, modules can be destroyed, cargo can be stolen, and sometimes your only compensation for losing a fight is getting away safely in your pod — if you are so lucky.

Every new player in EVE is playing for their own reasons; the most effective thing you can do for that new player is to help them realize what those reasons are. Don’t recruit a new player and say, “Hey, you love nullsec right? Don’t know what nullsec is? No problem, we’ll show you! Hope you like explosions.” When you contact a new player about your corporation, you shouldn't do it to get one more piece of cannon fodder for your PVP gang or another mining laser on an asteroid; you should do it for EVE. Who knows? If you help a new player find a corporation with people who do the things they want to do, you help ensure a well stocked shooting gallery in the future. Find what makes EVE fun for them and then tell them how to get started with it — that’s the role you should play when recruiting a new player.

[name_1]