EVE: Op, op and away…

RIXX shared a great EVE Online blogpost today, it ended:

‘Eve, more than any other game I’ve ever played, reflects back real life. Your experience in Eve will only get better if you put in the work to make it better. No matter where you are, or what you enjoy doing.

Go on. You better get busy.’

I get where you’re coming from RIXX and I basically agree.

Work hard, play hard, have fun, even better if having fun while working hard, right?


I won’t be flying off into the sunset just yet!

EVE is a sandbox, you get to build what you want to play with in your sandbox. If you want to play with lots of different toys you will need to build them first. I sense and I could be wrong that there is quite a large group of EVE players that are very driven and love the hands off approach that EVE Online give them. EVE online is a game that requires time and effort to ‘succeed’ in, that success is measured in the players own personal goals.

I am quite new to EVE Online and on one hand ‘I am loving it’ and on the other ‘I am annoyed by it!’ It is not a lifestyle, or a way of life it is a GAME and a rather strange one in that it expects its players to do most of the hardwork of finding out what to do, yeah it’s so open in possibilities that how could the designers explain all the ins and outs…

But this really feeds into my amazement of how poorly treated us NOOBS are by the game… we have a FREE 30 day trial which in itself is generous but what to do from day 1 is mind bogglingly unclear… if you arrived on EVE Online’s doorstep after seeing one of their ads I am pretty sure you were expecting something a bit more active, or put it mildly FUN!

Instead new players are left floating with a half-hearted ‘Opportunity’ system which to be frank SUCKS, I really tried to use this to base my introduction to the GAME and I game up in complete frustration… I was spending more time reading more guides and watching more YOUTUBE vids than playing…

‘Welcome to EVE and now please visit YOUTUBE’

Is this an example of clever out of game yet ingame marketing that is completely invisible!

Online research pushed me in the direction of the career agents missions and as many point out these are disjointed and repetitive, generous and yet sometimes tight, confusing and yet sometimes too obvious, and basically a FUCKING MESS! (Something is missing – aha AURA was ripped out of it[see below…)]

“Welcome new player now I have hooked you into my game by confusing the fuck out of ya!”

And EVE is planning to get rid of the career agents and replace with an expanded Opportunity system: the DEV LOG was pointed out in Rookie chat and I read it ingame…


I do like the ingame browser!



And an amazing response from: Natya Mebelle

Natya MebelleCenter for Advanced StudiesGallente FederationLikes received: 253 #57– 2015-04-26 13:19:01 UTC1I will not dive into those mind-science things or the love or hate for “achievements” or anything like that because the problems are much more fundamental, and I would like to keep this short because I could rant on about this for pages and pages.I’ve been making trial accounts every now and then over many years now to test the changes on new player experience and was also helping out a little in the related starter corp chat, and afterwards sending my feedback to CCP. Now I have a permanent place for helping new players on a second account amidst the wonderful veterans of CAS, and based from what I see there and the questions answered, I see opportunities are more damaging than the other NPE. Your three statistics in that devblog are EXTREMELY vague.1.     More likely to have killed an NPC? This is super vague. One of the the things you ever do in the regular NPE is actually killing a pirate ship. Are you claiming that people drop out of the game BEFORE they even get there with the “old” NPE? 

2.     More likely to have used the market? I have two counter statistics for you: 100% of people asking for reimbursement for a skillbook they bought which they didn’t need have done so because of opportunities. Why? Because the “old” NPE does not ASK to use the market. Players learn that with career agents. So this is a flawed statistic. And it’s actually a pretty bad example, because it means that 25% of people using the opportunities did not even GET to use the market.

3.     100% more likely to have mined? Are you kidding me? The “old” NPE does not even FEATURE mining until you get to career agents. What does that statistic have to do with anything?

You are really pushing vague numbers here to make your opportunity system look good. But hey, I can ignore that, let me get to less assumptions but more useful things:

My opinion is you should not expand the opportunities beyond ANYTHING than the first look into the game, before you do the career agents. The moment you bring in opportunities OUTSIDE the first look and learning the ropes, you open the entire can of worms for mindless achievement hunting which makes people burn out more often than not. If you need to rely on achievement hunting to keep players in the game, then you are automatically agreeing the content of your game and it’s availability is not up to par.

There should be NO rewards for opportunities. The actual reward is dipping your toe into the water and going to somewhere else to learn more: Career agents, helpful corporations, or just going straight into space and learn all the things yourself.

Some of your opportunities are flat out STUPID forceful handholding devices. “Add a contact”. Why are you forcing socialization upon players? I see nothing but confusion and annoyance from people who are “target” of such a mindless task. Allow people to make contacts when THEY want. Not because they feel compelled to complete achievements.

The biggest problem with your New Player Experience never was the up-front Tutorial.

I actually rank that one as the least of 3 problems. Problem number 2 was the time-waste factor and redundancy of career agent missions which repeated the same parts for no reason while still lacking on other very important topics and mechanics.
But the BIGGEST problem is that you don’t have anything that grabs the immediate attention, immersion and “WANT” of a player to keep going.
You HAD this, a long time ago. You HAD this awesome attention grab.

Her name was Aura

Evelopia wrote:

Early trials with AIs specifically designed to deal with pod pilots were resounding failures.
Capsuleers responded much better to the voice.
Whenever I tell new players about the old tutorial, where Aura was talking to you, and was telling the story how Aura was funny, hilarious and even wicked at times, they unanimously agree to want to have something like that.
Do you remember how Aura was talking about Implants and mentioned how a player has 10 implant slots and casually dropping how she had about three million (or something) implant slots?
Do you remember how Aura pondered to become a musician when her needs as complementary AI are no longer needed?
Do you remember how Aura laughs at the player as they get pod killed?
I do. And I miss it every time.

Aura had personality, was fun and useful. Now she is nothing but an icon with text. People do not even CONNECT Aura to the voice every time they hear “warp drive active”. Isn’t that sad? To me, it’s like Aura is the guide that is always around, the watchful sentinel that is always there when space is cold and lonely. But I only know that because I’ve been long enough in the game to have EXPERIENCED it.

If you want your new player experience to be more interactive, intuitive, immersing AND useful, you need to play your top card again.
I understand how the voice-over lines have been cut down and not been replaced due to the huge amount of changes you did and how you continually scrapped and rebuild text. But guess what? That should not have stopped you from re-recording the lines.

Oh and;

Evelopia wrote:

Though additional voice and personality skins have since been developed, Aura remains popular almost beyond measure, being found in nearly ever capsuleer ship active today. Every so often, Excena needs to record new lines as the AI is updated, giving her a steady source of pay and powerful fans.
Except this is not true. Instead of expanding, we’re losing her voice and nothing to mention of any voice SKINS. (see what I did there?).

Bringing content is not enough. You need to bring the connection between the player and the world. Just one other example for this; your nice youtube scope news are wasted to a large number of players because they do not see or access them ingame. Scope news on billboards. Imagine that.


I have persevered…why? I am mature enough to realize that this game requires work and effort on my part to ‘succeed’, I was already prepared for the cliff(s) of uncertainty that I would be thrown off in EVE Online (It doesn’t make them any more FUN…), I know other much more successful EVE players through their documented exploits and I realize there is a rich vein of GAMING to be mined here… I just need to run that gauntlet of pain that a new player to EVE Online must run to get there…

But wait a fucking minute! I am going to keep playing EVE Online and I want others to play with, I want the game itself to succeed, I want the company to generate revenue from it, be financially stable even profitable: I want EVE Online to grow with me…develop with me…improve as I improve, work with me!

If you advertise the game as you are doing and treat new players like you are doing there will come a time of reckoning… I want the game to survive but I would not torture a friend with an invitation to come and join me, they can make those kinds of silly, painful decisions themselves!

I will continue onwards for now, at least another 30 days of bite-sized EVE Online, a casual playstyle it does not really encourage, is it worth an injection of hard earned (almost hyper inflationary) cold Argentinian pesos, converted to dollars at exorbitant cost? NO not yet.

I will keep blogging my adventures and findings, my silly kaleided screenshots will be shared, I will keep sharing some of the amazing EVE Online resources I stumble upon(YOUTUBE plug again) created by the many individuals working really hard at this game (and having FUN doing so!) as well as interacting with the EVE blogging community…

An opportunity for all to enjoy…


EVE Online Opportunity Status: ACTIVE, Nanotoxin administered and transneural burning scanner activated… life can be a vicious circle…

but what comes around goes around…

and around and around…
and around…


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