EVE Online aiming to become less newbie-terrifying

Much like Dwarf Fortress, space MMO EVE Online can be an absolute treat to hear tales from but an absolute pig to get into yourself. As part of its renewed commitment to Internet spaceships, CCP is working to make it less intimidating to new players.

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Much like Dwarf Fortress, space MMO EVE Online can be an absolute treat to hear tales from, but an absolute pig to get into yourself. As part of its renewed commitment to its community after the ill-fated 'Incarna' update, developer CCP has formed an internal team to try to make EVE less intimidating to new players.

The four-person 'Player Experience team' is to "focus on making EVE more accessible to players without dumbing down the game."

"The main area for us is naturally the tutorial and everything around it," one of its members explains in a blog post. "But we will also be focusing on what happens before a player logs in and after the player completes the tutorials and wishes to explore the universe during their first few months in New Eden."

First on the schedule for the Player Experience team is looking at why new players drop EVE, poring over statistics, surveys and focus groups, as well as soliciting the community for ideas.

Right now, the game's tutorial and opening missions give a brief and dry overview of controlling your ship and various types of missions, but side-steps arguably the real meat and potatoes of EVE--player vs. player corporate warfare and shenanigans.

We aim to teach new players how to play EVE in a way which is gripping, exciting, clear and most importantly FUN. We want players to have increased social interaction with the community and corporations in the beginning. We wish to give new players more direction and the understanding of what they can become, and guide them towards that goal. We want to give the players a chance to experience the coolness of EVE even in the beginning and make them understand all the potential within the game.

CCP has also relaunched the EVE website with a snazzy new look that's more welcoming to new players, replacing an old text-heavy affair plastered with talk baffling to non-players. There's also a spiffy new trailer featuring a sexy space-lady, which presumably will lure people in too:

Given the possible influx of more casually-oriented gamers from Dust 514, a PS3 spin-off action game, CCP has a lot to gain from making EVE a more accessible experience.

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  • reply
    February 17, 2012 3:00 PM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, EVE Online aiming to become less newbie-terrifying.

    Much like Dwarf Fortress, space MMO EVE Online can be an absolute treat to hear tales from but an absolute pig to get into yourself. As part of its renewed commitment to Internet spaceships, CCP is working to make it less intimidating to new players.

    • reply
      February 17, 2012 4:09 PM

      Make youtube video tutorials for the various aspects of the game, better than a programmed ingame tutorial and cheaper and easier to make!

      Also skill training needs to have some of the hard-waits taken out. Having to train for some things is overkill. Like the removal of learning skills, do more of that for other skills. Removing learning skills didn't dumb down the game. Removing other skill won't dumb down the game.

      Actually, completely removing and reworking what is probably the worst conceived character progression system of all time would not dumb down the game. It is a huge barrier of entry in that it outright blocks you from performing even the most basic roles. The new players aren't the problem, CCP.

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        February 17, 2012 8:07 PM

        I heavily agree with this, but they're not going to consider scrapping the skill system when so many players are already quite invested in it, especially through the trading of player characters going on.

        With that said, they REALLY need to do something to make mining and missioning (the two easiest things for a new player to get into) a LOT more engaging, as the way they are right now, they are both not even remotely indicative of later gameplay options and utterly boring in and of themselves.

        And as someone who does not have the time or dedication to join a corp for PvP, I would greatly appreciate some actual work in the missioning department.

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          February 18, 2012 2:11 AM

          to make mining more gripping would be to fix the economics of it. You gain so much material from other means that mining is pointless outside of ice (smelting drone goo which is in ready supply in the drone region and smelting random mission loot are the two main ones). And ice's problem is the overly long duration of each ice mining cycle. If named stuff didn't give much minerals, that would help a small bit, but not completely as drone goo would need to be reworked as well. I dunno if they should just change them into badge type loot instead or what, but the current setup destroys mining. Drone region + dyspro moons = you are so god damn golden on materials and cash it isn't funny.

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        February 18, 2012 2:10 AM

        Scrap the skill system? Glad you're not in charge.

    • reply
      February 17, 2012 8:15 PM

      Did you ever play EVE, Alice?

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        February 18, 2012 2:05 AM

        she has a few times actually. Never got far, but has tried.

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          February 18, 2012 2:43 AM

          Mm, I've played a few months of EVE in one-month bursts. I never know a way into the PvP side, and the PvE is only fun for a while.

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            February 19, 2012 10:44 AM

            The PvE is terrible. The way into PvP is to just do it. You really need to join a corp and play with other people though.

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      February 17, 2012 8:16 PM

      They've been trying to making it more newbie-friendly for the past 7 years. What more can they do?

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        February 17, 2012 8:18 PM

        free titans for everyone. and they work in high sec! and can be docked!

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        February 17, 2012 8:22 PM

        hahahaha seriously. the original training... oh man. it was like 4-6 hours just to BARELY learn to play

        :D

        loved my time in EvE :D

        VIVA GOONSWARM

      • reply
        February 17, 2012 8:28 PM

        Add the fun.

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      February 18, 2012 3:54 AM

      How? Make it first-person? Not even sure this is possible.

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      February 18, 2012 4:07 PM

      And a little too late.

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      February 18, 2012 8:50 PM

      My dream space game would be EVE meets X3, but neither one wants be the other. Im just not a PvP person and EVE PvE gets tiresome rather fast, I would jizz in my pants for X3 combat in the EVE universe.

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      February 19, 2012 7:10 PM

      Hmm, I'm not sure this is possible, Eve is inherently stupidly comples, every aspect of the gameplay has been tweaked and mdfified over the years.
      1. Make a newbie training ground that is actaully, really, 100% safe, not "eve safe" but really safe.
      2.Make it extrremely clear what playing in Eve is like...a prison colony. The gurads are next to useless at doing anything but beating up a players current ship, which is probably a tier 1 battleship insured fo 90% of its value. There are no familys to protect, no love, no loyalty beyond what is most immediately expedient, no courage, no honour. Players wil kill your newbie pod because "that's eve for you"
      4. Make the kill board integral to the game, or scrap it.
      5. Make everything needed to play the game accessible WITHIHN the game, having to have a dozen external applications, websites, and spreadsheets open just to play a game properly is absurd.
      6. actually forget it, none of this would work.

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