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A Friend is joining EVE but not because of the Tutorial.

First post First post
Author
Kyle Yanowski
Quality Assurance
#1 - 2012-08-31 17:41:56 UTC
'll come right out and say it: The New Tutorial revamp is still coming up rather short. The following post will illustrate why this is a truth, how it was tested, and (hopefully) a way on how to fix this problem that is dampening the growth of our game and community. But first, some background. (If you don't want to read the text, skip to the bullets)


Four days ago, I convinced my childhood friend to give EVE Online a try. We had grown up together, played the same games, went to the same school and parties; eventually we grew up and apart. He got married, I went into the Army ( then got married), He had a kid, and then I had a kid, so on and so forth. Keeping in touch was never really an issue, however, Eventually the phone calls died away as they naturally do. We all have busy lives after all. Along with the phone calls though, and sadly, his brother passed away and left him in a bad state. Out of the blue, I received a phone call from his wife with the news. I immediately called him to offer my condolences and catch up on the last few years of life. Eventually the conversation drifted to video games and how he wanted to get back into "WoW". Well, stifling a chuckle and realizing he was still in a vulnerable state, I began to tell him about EVE online. He had heard of the game, but only from the peripherals. The stories I had mentioned intrigued him, so he was receptive when I sent him the buddy program invitation. The next day, when the wives were satisfied and the children were in bed, we fired up the game and met in high sec.

I let Funkydil Mikakka (Believe it or not, the first part of that horrendous name has some sentimental value) try the tutorial out for an hour. Funky, being an original Ultima Online pioneer and veteran of just about every MMO out there, I assumed his experience coupled with the tutorial revamp would be enough to get him to commit. A half an hour into the session I get a text message from him: "This is stupid, I'm in the middle of no where, and I have no idea what I'm supposed to do, I want to punch the screen."


I text him back and tell him to accept the fleet invitation and I walk him through getting up on EVE voice (yes, pilots do use EVE voice) and proceed to talk him off of the ledge. The following were lessons learned from the Tutorial based on a member that I can only assume is the TARGET MARKET that CCP is trying to penetrate (30 year old intelligent male, wife, kids, established job, avid video game player and si-fi fan; slightly nerdy).

1. The tutorial does fail to de-program new players, or in economist speak, break a new player from an anchor. A new player does not mean that they are entirely new to the video game world, Si-FI, or even MMOs. It does mean that they are coming into the game with what behavioral economists label an anchor. The anchor they bring into the game could be World of Warcraft, or Ultima Online, or Hello Kitty online. It doesn't matter really, but they come into the game with an anchor to compare EVE Online too. They also arrive in EVE Online with some assumptions about the genre; after all, many of us have been playing online games since Dark Fall Online (TEN!) or Meridian 59, or even DWANGO if you lived in the Dallas area in the early 90's. The assumptions could include the apprehension about attributes and how they affect the performance in game. The association of ships and modules with green, blue, and purple gear and the risk aversion of losing such gear in a universe where anything goes. The bottom line is that Funky was confused during character creation, confused with the UI, and confused with the structure of missions. So confused, he was ready to give up an quit.


Solution: The EVE target market consists of new players with anchors to previously played games. To use an example that Dan Ariely used in the book "Predictably Irrational" Star Bucks was successful of breaking a customers anchor to the $1 cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee by creating an atmosphere of an upscale, world cafe, unlike any Donut Shop on the corner. Starbucks changed the drink sizes from mall, medium, and large and created different sizes: tall, venti, grande, etc; essentially the same volume as a Dunkin Donuts coffee. Because we are human, we could drop our anchor to the $1 coffee and pay $3.50 for the same size at Star Bucks, feel good about it, and set a new anchor; all because Star Bucks created an "experience". Like Star Bucks breaking the $1 coffee anchor, The EVE tutorial needs to break a new players experience from that anchor, and the only way to do that is to create an experience so enticing, and so engaging, that a new player will forget about the WoW interface, or the Guild War statistics, and be immersed in a world unlike anything they had ever experienced. A fleet battle for instance...

Host of the High Drag Eve Online Podcast ( http://highdrag.wordpress.com). Director of Aideron Robotics.

Kyle Yanowski
Quality Assurance
#2 - 2012-08-31 17:42:09 UTC
2. The Tutorial explains the EVE Market, but doesn't go into detail about the gears of the economy. Most MMO gamers have never experienced a market and economy like EVEs; that's funny considering that the EVE economy is a small reflection of the real world we all live in. Suffice to say, it doesn't resemble a wow market, it doesn't explain that the vast majority of products on the market are made from minerals mined by players, hauled to select locations by players, manufactured by players, priced by players, and restocked by players. That some regions are more rich than others, and that richness can invite piracy or war. That war is good for the economy, and that losing that ship is good for you, the new player (at least initially). PVP, PVE, or not, EVE is about the Market and Economy, and the tutorial fails to explain this new players.


Solution: A video, a quick economics lesson, in the spirit of the "butterfly effect" trailer. Again, the tutorial needs to de-program a new player from what they think of MMO markets and economies. Maybe the tutorial won't make an economist out of the new player, but it should explain the basics of Buying, Selling, and give a taste of how grand and player driven the economy is compared to even the biggest MMOs. Oh. And it should explain the mechanic of PLEX, and how a player can play the game without paying real world currency.


3. The tutorial fails at teaching the new player about the biggest aspect of EVE online: the community, and the social aspect of the game. The tutorial is disconnected, cold, and quite literally, silent on the subject. What makes EVE great? Evenews24, Themittani, Eve chronicles, Fly reckless, Red vs. Blue, Eve University, FANFEST! ATX! Clear Skies, Burn Jita, Hulkageddon, low sec roams, Somer Blink and, *ehem* haiku contests. But the tutorial fails to show the player why he or she should stick with the game. Even the solo aspect isn't touched on. To it all back to the original point, the tutorial does not succeed in breaking any anchors, or informing the new player why EVE is great. And. It. Is. Great. And VAST. And always changing.

Solution: Add a human element to the tutorial; my meaning is not to give AURA voiceover work, but give an outline to volunteers and the tools to allow those volunteers to to teach EVE online to new players directly, over voice, in a fleet, right from the onset. Give new players a button to call for a live volunteer to explain just what in the hell is going on. Of course, I am certain, CCP would have a stack of applications for volunteers that would be more than willing to assist a new capsuleers journey into EVE. CCP already has volunteers for just such a thing, EVE University, RvB, Agony; the volunteers are just disconnected from the tutorial.. the one hook that has a chance to keep a new player in game.


I should note that solution 3 solves all issues with the tutorial. It is also in the spirit of what EVE is about. Funkydil is sticking with the game, not because a floating button told him to "warp to X". Not because he is my friend (although that may bea small part of it). He is sticking around because I spent a few hours last night telling him anecdotes about the game, and explaining the mechanics that the tutorial failed to do. I also broke his anchor with WoW, by just showing him what EVE Online is: a social experience.

If creating this volunteer program is a possibility, or if anyone else is interested, mail me in game. If you would like to help Funkydil stay in game, send him a message with your story or a story. Every bit helps.
Cheers. o/

Host of the High Drag Eve Online Podcast ( http://highdrag.wordpress.com). Director of Aideron Robotics.

James 315
Experimental Fun Times Corp RELOADED
CODE.
#3 - 2012-08-31 18:01:54 UTC
Let's be honest, there's no way to make a tutorial that can even begin to get someone up the learning cliff that is EVE. All you can hope to do is show them around the interface a little so they can navigate in space and press a few buttons. Beyond that, you're looking at an endless tutorial that no one will ever complete... At some point you need to operate with a group of people to help you learn. Smile

Thank goodness for groups like Goons and TEST who do such good work teaching new players the ropes! Cool
No More Heroes
Sanctuary of Shadows
Snuffed Out
#4 - 2012-08-31 18:04:50 UTC
I skipped the tutorial. All I needed was the goonwiki and alliance help chan. Smile

.

Jaques Cousteau Gemulus
Doomheim
#5 - 2012-08-31 18:07:46 UTC
Kyle Yanowski wrote:
'll come right out and say it: The New Tutorial revamp is still coming up rather short. The following post will illustrate why this is a truth, how it was tested, and (hopefully) a way on how to fix this problem that is dampening the growth of our game and community. But first, some background. (If you don't want to read the text, skip to the bullets)


Four days ago, I convinced my childhood friend to give EVE Online a try. We had grown up together, played the same games, went to the same school and parties; eventually we grew up and apart. He got married, I went into the Army ( then got married), He had a kid, and then I had a kid, so on and so forth. Keeping in touch was never really an issue, however, Eventually the phone calls died away as they naturally do. We all have busy lives after all. Along with the phone calls though, and sadly, his brother passed away and left him in a bad state. Out of the blue, I received a phone call from his wife with the news. I immediately called him to offer my condolences and catch up on the last few years of life. Eventually the conversation drifted to video games and how he wanted to get back into "WoW". Well, stifling a chuckle and realizing he was still in a vulnerable state, I began to tell him about EVE online. He had heard of the game, but only from the peripherals. The stories I had mentioned intrigued him, so he was receptive when I sent him the buddy program invitation. The next day, when the wives were satisfied and the children were in bed, we fired up the game and met in high sec.

I let Funkydil Mikakka (Believe it or not, the first part of that horrendous name has some sentimental value) try the tutorial out for an hour. Funky, being an original Ultima Online pioneer and veteran of just about every MMO out there, I assumed his experience coupled with the tutorial revamp would be enough to get him to commit. A half an hour into the session I get a text message from him: "This is stupid, I'm in the middle of no where, and I have no idea what I'm supposed to do, I want to punch the screen."


I text him back and tell him to accept the fleet invitation and I walk him through getting up on EVE voice (yes, pilots do use EVE voice) and proceed to talk him off of the ledge. The following were lessons learned from the Tutorial based on a member that I can only assume is the TARGET MARKET that CCP is trying to penetrate (30 year old intelligent male, wife, kids, established job, avid video game player and si-fi fan; slightly nerdy).

1. The tutorial does fail to de-program new players, or in economist speak, break a new player from an anchor. A new player does not mean that they are entirely new to the video game world, Si-FI, or even MMOs. It does mean that they are coming into the game with what behavioral economists label an anchor. The anchor they bring into the game could be World of Warcraft, or Ultima Online, or Hello Kitty online. It doesn't matter really, but they come into the game with an anchor to compare EVE Online too. They also arrive in EVE Online with some assumptions about the genre; after all, many of us have been playing online games since Dark Fall Online (TEN!) or Meridian 59, or even DWANGO if you lived in the Dallas area in the early 90's. The assumptions could include the apprehension about attributes and how they affect the performance in game. The association of ships and modules with green, blue, and purple gear and the risk aversion of losing such gear in a universe where anything goes. The bottom line is that Funky was confused during character creation, confused with the UI, and confused with the structure of missions. So confused, he was ready to give up an quit.


Solution: The EVE target market consists of new players with anchors to previously played games. To use an example that Dan Ariely used in the book "Predictably Irrational" Star Bucks was successful of breaking a customers anchor to the $1 cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee by creating an atmosphere of an upscale, world cafe, unlike any Donut Shop on the corner. Starbucks changed the drink sizes from mall, medium, and large and created different sizes: tall, venti, grande, etc; essentially the same volume as a Dunkin Donuts coffee. Because we are human, we could drop our anchor to the $1 coffee and pay $3.50 for the same size at Star Bucks, feel good about it, and set a new anchor; all because Star Bucks created an "experience". Like Star Bucks breaking the $1 coffee anchor, The EVE tutorial needs to break a new players experience from that anchor, and the only way to do that is to create an experience so enticing, and so engaging, that a new player will forget about the WoW interface, or the Guild War statistics, and be immersed in a world unlike anything they had ever experienced. A fleet battle for instance...



Our upcoming laser show....and the battle...

On a more serious note: well put!
FloppieTheBanjoClown
Arcana Noctis
Shoot First.
#6 - 2012-08-31 18:20:33 UTC
I agree that the tutorials leave a lot to be desired. I need to set up a buddy account some time just to go through the tutorials and provide some criticism. As an occasional writer of documentation,

CCP has said they aren't adding audio tracks for tutorials due to changing nature of the game. They don't want people getting mired up in small word changes between the tutorial text and the recorded audio, and I understand that. Still, I have to agree with the OP that they could definitely use SOME video introductions to the metagame.

A 5-10 minute video could cover:

- Mining minerals (a nod to the noob miner and a quick montage of exhumer fleets with an Orca and a Rorqual transforming)
- Refining
- Blueprints and research
- Manufacturing
- Transportation (T1 haulers, cloaky haulers, freighters)
- Piracy - ganking and lowsec
- Market transactions

This would just be a general overview of how all these things connect and form the larger picture of Eve. You know, the miner supplies the manufacturer who uses blueprints from the researcher to build goods that the hauler delivers to the marketer whose wares are bought by both the miner and the pirate who is hunting miners.

Another video explaining the empires, faction warfare, and the differences between highsec, lowesec, nullsec, and w-space would be good as well.

Founding member of the Belligerent Undesirables movement.

Paul Oliver
Doomheim
#7 - 2012-08-31 18:21:43 UTC  |  Edited by: Paul Oliver
Kyle Yanowski wrote:
To use an example that Dan Ariely used in the book "Predictably Irrational" Star Bucks was successful of breaking a customers anchor to the $1 cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee by creating an atmosphere of an upscale, world cafe, unlike any Donut Shop on the corner. Starbucks changed the drink sizes from mall, medium, and large and created different sizes: tall, venti, grande, etc; essentially the same volume as a Dunkin Donuts coffee. Because we are human, we could drop our anchor to the $1 coffee and pay $3.50 for the same size at Star Bucks, feel good about it, and set a new anchor; all because Star Bucks created an "experience".
Vex you and your yuppie swill, long live the $1 cup of blue collar coffee and a $2 bear claw to go with it. No offense but it's folks like OP with their talk of de-programming and economics that kind of turn me OFF of EVE, as if this whole game were just some economist training sim and the scifi universe is simply a means to an end. I enjoy EVE because it provides a vast universe to be explored and experienced with others from all over the planet, not to tally up my billable hours on a spreadsheet that shows some isk/hr ratio. People who bring "wall street speak" into the equation leave a real sour taste.

As for the tutorials, yea they do kind of leave one hanging sometimes, but I think that in itself, that kind of problem solving, is part of EVE.
Its good to be [Gallente](http://dl.eve-files.com/media/1209/QEQlJ.jpg).
FloppieTheBanjoClown
Arcana Noctis
Shoot First.
#8 - 2012-08-31 18:23:31 UTC
James 315 wrote:
Let's be honest, there's no way to make a tutorial that can even begin to get someone up the learning cliff that is EVE. All you can hope to do is show them around the interface a little so they can navigate in space and press a few buttons. Beyond that, you're looking at an endless tutorial that no one will ever complete... At some point you need to operate with a group of people to help you learn. Smile

Thank goodness for groups like Goons and TEST who do such good work teaching new players the ropes! Cool


I started alongside some friends, and we stumbled through starting the game without the help of more experienced players. In a way, it was a lot of fun discovering things that were old hat to others.

We didn't have the burden of our expectations being influenced by other MMOs, though. Unlike the OP, none of us had significant experience with such things when we joined. I'm proud to say that Eve is the only MMO I've ever played.

Founding member of the Belligerent Undesirables movement.

Solstice Project
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#9 - 2012-08-31 18:30:04 UTC
The tutorials should introduce people into being BAD guys,
but they don't have to be if they don't want to ...
Karl Planck
Perkone
Caldari State
#10 - 2012-08-31 18:35:34 UTC
yea this is a pretty good breakdown

I has all the eve inactivity

Paul Oliver
Doomheim
#11 - 2012-08-31 18:38:20 UTC
Solstice Project wrote:
The tutorials should introduce people into being BAD guys,
but they don't have to be if they don't want to ...

I recall one such mission in the tutorial that sent me up against a lone pirate who gave the choice of fighting or joining him... I totally kicked his arse Twisted
Its good to be [Gallente](http://dl.eve-files.com/media/1209/QEQlJ.jpg).
Mara Pahrdi
The Order of Anoyia
#12 - 2012-08-31 19:33:15 UTC  |  Edited by: Mara Pahrdi
EVE probably does require a little more dedication to get into initially compared to vanilla WoW, granted. But it was far easier to die to NPCs even in starter regions in WoW back then, than it is to loose a rookie ship to high sec NPCs in EVE.

The EVE tutorials are by no means hard or difficult. It's just really time consuming to learn the loads of game mechanics. Especially early on.

The tutorial itself is not the problem. It's the time you have to dedicate to get through it and all the stuff to read up. If you're limited in play time, the time restrictions on early missions are frustrating. They really should get rid of these until you finished the first batch of career stuff.

Remove standings and insurance.

Lord Ryan
True Xero
#13 - 2012-08-31 19:34:46 UTC
Would even get started. Just stay away.

Do not assume anything above this line was typed by me. Nerf the Truth, it's inconvenient.

Brooks Puuntai
Solar Nexus.
#14 - 2012-08-31 19:36:00 UTC
Instance off new players, and create a mini crash coarse into Eve mechanics, full of Pvp, manufacturing and market. This ofc would have little to no effect on the rest of Eve.

CCP's Motto: If it isn't broken, break it. If it is broken, ignore it. Improving NPE / Dynamic New Eden

Kyle Yanowski
Quality Assurance
#15 - 2012-08-31 20:31:01 UTC
Paul Oliver wrote:
Kyle Yanowski wrote:
To use an example that Dan Ariely used in the book "Predictably Irrational" Star Bucks was successful of breaking a customers anchor to the $1 cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee by creating an atmosphere of an upscale, world cafe, unlike any Donut Shop on the corner. Starbucks changed the drink sizes from mall, medium, and large and created different sizes: tall, venti, grande, etc; essentially the same volume as a Dunkin Donuts coffee. Because we are human, we could drop our anchor to the $1 coffee and pay $3.50 for the same size at Star Bucks, feel good about it, and set a new anchor; all because Star Bucks created an "experience".
Vex you and your yuppie swill, long live the $1 cup of blue collar coffee and a $2 bear claw to go with it. No offense but it's folks like OP with their talk of de-programming and economics that kind of turn me OFF of EVE, as if this whole game were just some economist training sim and the scifi universe is simply a means to an end. I enjoy EVE because it provides a vast universe to be explored and experienced with others from all over the planet, not to tally up my billable hours on a spreadsheet that shows some isk/hr ratio. People who bring "wall street speak" into the equation leave a real sour taste.

As for the tutorials, yea they do kind of leave one hanging sometimes, but I think that in itself, that kind of problem solving, is part of EVE.


Ouch. I'm not an economist, but I have to use some economist language to convey a point.

Host of the High Drag Eve Online Podcast ( http://highdrag.wordpress.com). Director of Aideron Robotics.

Paul Oliver
Doomheim
#16 - 2012-08-31 22:33:57 UTC  |  Edited by: Paul Oliver
Kyle Yanowski wrote:
Paul Oliver wrote:
Kyle Yanowski wrote:
To use an example that Dan Ariely used in the book "Predictably Irrational" Star Bucks was successful of breaking a customers anchor to the $1 cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee by creating an atmosphere of an upscale, world cafe, unlike any Donut Shop on the corner. Starbucks changed the drink sizes from mall, medium, and large and created different sizes: tall, venti, grande, etc; essentially the same volume as a Dunkin Donuts coffee. Because we are human, we could drop our anchor to the $1 coffee and pay $3.50 for the same size at Star Bucks, feel good about it, and set a new anchor; all because Star Bucks created an "experience".
Vex you and your yuppie swill, long live the $1 cup of blue collar coffee and a $2 bear claw to go with it. No offense but it's folks like OP with their talk of de-programming and economics that kind of turn me OFF of EVE, as if this whole game were just some economist training sim and the scifi universe is simply a means to an end. I enjoy EVE because it provides a vast universe to be explored and experienced with others from all over the planet, not to tally up my billable hours on a spreadsheet that shows some isk/hr ratio. People who bring "wall street speak" into the equation leave a real sour taste.

As for the tutorials, yea they do kind of leave one hanging sometimes, but I think that in itself, that kind of problem solving, is part of EVE.


Ouch. I'm not an economist, but I have to use some economist language to convey a point.

Aye maybe I was a LITTLE too harsh (just a little) but you did riff on the Dunkin' Donuts, sorry.
Its good to be [Gallente](http://dl.eve-files.com/media/1209/QEQlJ.jpg).
non judgement
Without Fear
Flying Burning Ships Alliance
#17 - 2012-08-31 22:53:17 UTC
CCP Sisyphus
C C P
C C P Alliance
#18 - 2012-08-31 22:54:39 UTC
Nothing is perfect, and yes, the tutorial is an improvement on the last one, but still has room to get better :)
I will have a proper read through and think about the comments in here on monday.

But thanks for the input! :)

CCP Sisyphus | Team TriLambda | Team Klang | @CCP_Sisyphus

Xercodo
Cruor Angelicus
#19 - 2012-08-31 22:56:00 UTC
What I recommend is that the tutorial be broken from the linear style and made into just as free form as the game is. Each button on the neocom and 'E' Menu should have a right click option that gives you a drop down that let you pick form a series of video tutorials related to that object.

For instance, the Market window could have video a tutorial about using the market interface itself and setting up filters, another about the economy as a whole.

The Sci and Indy window can have a video about understanding the functions you have available like manufacture, research and invention, talk about the filters and the difference between public and private facilities

The wallet can have a video about what each column means and pointing out the [r] in journal entries and telling them what it means.

The overview can certainly use a tutorial of its own, not much to explain here.... hehe

The fitting screen can have one too.

Character sheet certainly can use one for much more than just training skills

Each of these interface tutorials can then have special generic topic and career tutorials, the market, wallet and character sheet can talk about markeetering, the fitting window and character sheet can talk about combat, the corp window can talk about wars and POSes

Turn the entire interface itself into a wiki that links back to itself an explains everything

The only standlone tutorials that should be shown to you right off the bat are ones about using camera, navigating ship around, and especially a mention of the menu icon, that thing at the top left of many windows that looks like stacked bars.

Even the chat channels window should have its own tutorial, point out the font size changers, the display modes, the ability to join voice and reload MOTDs and of course how to join channels. And the chat window tutorial could be a perfect segway into part of the community aspect.

The Drake is a Lie

Inxentas Ultramar
Ultramar Independent Contracting
#20 - 2012-08-31 23:02:58 UTC  |  Edited by: Inxentas Ultramar
As a well anchored 30 year old male I must note, that the anchor of the OP where video games are concerned must have drifted off at some point. Back in the day we had games that required mental effort and input to beat. Eve is like those games. No the insta-gratification drivel WoW, other MMO's, and console games have left your friend seemingly a tad complacent with, it does not supply candy in exchange for repeated mouse clicks. Maybe this didn't correlate with his expectations?

EvE needs no more tutorial then sheer curiousity... "what does this button do?". Thats how we learned to play a game back then, and the same still applies to EvE. Wanting to know what the button does, the balls to actually press it, and the patience to see what happens next. That can be something you easily lose of the course of the years.
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