This is a collection of short in-character fiction pieces about Awakened Industries, a group of capsuleers and their crews living in the enigmatic and dangerous regions of Wormhole Space in EVE Online. None of the protagonists are actual characters or corporations in-game. All similarities with persons fictional or real are possibly coincidental and only sometimes intentional. - Emergent Patroller

For an introduction to this blog refer to this link. You may also want to check out the guide for new readers

: The stories on this blog contain mature themes involving sexuality and violence and are not suitable for minors or sensitive people.

19 Feb 2012

Blog Banter 33 - That Universe is Mine?

So, a new Blog Banter came up. The assignment this time is:

"We invite you to pour your heart (or guts) out and tell us what you think is good or bad with the current new player experience and what you think could be done about the problems."

At first I didn't really feel like writing about that, but after reading a few pieces I got inspired.

So, I am not playing that long, but the NPE has changed significantly in some ways. It is still lacking in others, though. The RP immersion entry points have been improved, mostly by changing the website. It now features lots of shiny content to introduce you to the game, albeit that I do not quite understand what the star map is doing there. It mostly distracts and confuses, and that's coming from someone who actually knows what all the data you get to see there means.

The tutorials have been streamlined and - despite some teething problems - are a bit better than they used to be. Space and everything in it looks fabulous, so it is actually great fun to just fly around and look at things (I did that a lot back when I started, and again after Crucible came out)

What bugs me about the way things are set up now, is the lack of hands-on information on gameplay, and the aspects of EVE that are not RP related. I am an RTFM sort of person, i.e. I like to gather as much information on a subject as I can before I start something. So when I started playing EVE, I did my research, and I found a lot of helpful guides written by players that were directly linked from the main page's articles. Now you first have to find out that you need to open the 'EVE Websites' menu and go to the EVElopedia.

Reading guides on pirating and griefing, which I found after two or three links down the line, were what saved me from getting scammed, canflipped, suicide ganked or otherwise victimized in the first weeks of playing. A new player these days will probably not find that crucial information just as easily.

One other thing that I remember from my starting days was, that I gained a lot of very valuable experience from doing the Sisters of Eve arc. Back then I started as Gallente, so Arnon was not far away. For Caldari it is also not a particularly long trip. If you start as Amarr or Minmatar it's a different piece of cake. If I may propose something simple, I'd say put a Sisters of Eve agent somewhere close to all the starter systems, not just Sister Alitura in Arnon.

I was really paranoid back then, so I accepted no help from anyone and rejected all offers by corporations to join them for about a month. Also I am the sort of person who does not like being in a position where I can't take care of myself independently, so I learned through tedious trial-and-error rather than fluttering my lashes at someone and say "Pretty please, help me with this mission." I loved being nice to others though, because I felt there wasn't enough of that to go around in the game.

My first big eye opener came, when I found out that some skillbooks are really cheap in Lisbaetanne and I started shipping them to Oursulaert. Some pirate eventually caught me, and when he convoed me he went from offering ransom to telling me a lot about lowsec and what I should pay attention to. Later we went ratting in some belt and I got to be the "clueless noob bait" drawing victims for him. He even gave me a share from the loot.

There were nice people in EVE in places you wouldn't expect.

So where was I going with all this?

There is a wide gap between what EVE looks like, and what actually goes on in the game. That gap has - in my opinion - become even wider due to the restructuring of the website, the great visual content and the nicer tutorials. I would like CCP to put links to Evelopedia guides back in the text of the main page and provide more entry points to the SoE arc, because it has more learning experiences than level 1 missions.

Maybe people would also get inspired by links to approved fan-sites which have further informative content available. The community around EVE is very rich, and I would venture to say, that CCP would benefit from referring to it. The right choices will have to be made, though. I can see how many people will be put off by the extremely low-brow trolling and macho posturing that is prevalent on many sites, but there are many examples of good contributors new players could benefit from greatly.

Also, I really like the idea about offering more pointers to the in-game community (i.e. newbie friendly corps) as proposed by this author

Edit: After reading this post I have to say I changed my opinion. Facilitating new players to form their own corporations and do stuff together is much more empowering.

In the end, I do think it takes a certain kind of individual to make that universe your own if you are not directly ending up in a big alliance by extension of your account with one online cesspool or other.

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