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Getting More Players Through Their First Two Months

First post
Author
Praxis Astra
0.0 Axis Fleet
Stealth Syndicate
#1 - 2012-10-03 14:29:56 UTC  |  Edited by: Praxis Astra
So I've been running a training corp since I was 4 months into the game. You lose about 8 in 10 of the new players.

The little game I've been playing is how to make sure the people we want joining us here don't slip away because of the tedium of having a character who only has the skill points to run missions. This is a real issue in my organization.

For example I had one of my most motivated new players, a promising young man we are carefully moving up the rungs say to me the other day, "I had my first moment of boredom playing EVE yesterday." What's keeping him in the game? Not running missions for an NPC corps. That's not what kept me in the game. What kept me in the game was the metagame. Running corporations, teaching other newbies, learning security. What kept me in the game for that first 2-4 million skill points was my new friends who played EVE. More to the point, what kept me in the game was what the other players provided me with. What CCP provided me with--as someone who didn't like mission running--for that period was mostly potential. Even as a month old player I at least dimly understood that building my first starbase was a bit more than a month or two away, for example.

I want a bigger New Eden. But I have my prejudices. I like people who can play for the long term. But these people are often bored to tears during the time when pretty much all they can do on skill points alone is run missions and scrabble for ISK. (I say this knowing that not everyone wants to buy PLEX and that's as it should be.)

There's the stuff we players have relatively little control over For example getting rid of learning skills. I'm finally going to admit that CCP did the right thing by getting rid of the learning skills. As much as I loved having all of mine up to 5, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. We leave to CCP taking out ads for EVE online. Etc.

So where do we greedy players step in? Where we stand to gain the most, with the people in their first month of playing. A group that is widely ignored, both to the detriment of New Eden at large and our various alliances and corporations. And this is somewhere I think we experienced players are missing a trick because we are too busy watching the skill points and not watching (or at least, listening to) the players behind the skill points. Fantasy versus reality. Nagging little details.

Most of the people who never make it past their trial accounts are people who decide that they don't want to play EVE, at which point our business with them is done. Almost none of the people who aren't going to play EVE will ever even speak to you. All you ever have to do is clean them out of your corp, say, once a month based on the last time they logged on. That's hardly a cost at all.

Where you and I as current inhabitants of New Eden stand to gain is by accepting everyone, even trial accounts, now we are that much more likely to gather in that smaller but critical group of people who just need to hear a friendly voice to explain to them, "There's not much you can do right now in the game." This how a trainer in the first corp I was a member of with my first character in my first month put it to me when I asked him why I kept getting killed whenever I tried anything but mission running. Suddenly the light bulb lit. It was my expectations, my timeline that was off. Not my playing ability. So I asked if I could do any volunteer work to help run the corp. I was told that there was nothing someone with my skill points could do to help run the corp. Now, as someone who had spent much of his adult life running volunteer organizations in the real world, I immediately understood that this was just not true and started to lose interest in the group I was with.

Part of your recruitment pipeline is that the CEO or officers or trainers need to talk to each and every one of the new players you get into voice comms. Make sure these people get stuff to do in addition to running missions or you run the risk of losing the most driven and talented gamers whose interests will range far wider than the limits of their skillpoints. These guys will be among the most loyal, long term and obsessive members of your corp and alliance.

I started as a recruiter shortly after starting to play EVE. My career as an EVE recruiter has been a way of blindly groping to recreate a situation that existed for about 20 days during the Spring of 2010. We were getting a minimum of 15 new applicants a day while we were in hi sec. It stopped when we left for Geminate. I've never seen anything like it before or since. I'm still mystified as to what it was I could have done to cause this because since then I went on to recreate everything I was doing and still haven't been able to get to anything quite like that. New players. Old players. Everything in between.

But I have been able to get good results enough to where we are able to keep our training corp at about 100 active members.

LINK TO COMPLETE ARTICLE

http://heartsandmindsalliance.org/index.php?option=com_kunena&func=view&catid=4&id=93717&Itemid=232

ARTICLE CONTINUED IN FIRST REPLY

Praxis Astra Master of Assassins and Punctuality http://heartsandmindsalliance.org

Praxis Astra
0.0 Axis Fleet
Stealth Syndicate
#2 - 2012-10-03 14:33:51 UTC  |  Edited by: Praxis Astra
CONTINUED FROM ARTICLE ABOVE

Step 1 Your media presence

First, unless you have something unique to offer, you do not need a website. The EVE universe is littered with unused and unnecessary websites that do nothing but make the people stuck with their upkeep resent the fact that nobody uses them. Unless you are a very large organization indeed everything you ever wanted to do with a website can be done with your corporate and alliance bulletins, ingame mailing list, the EVE Online forums, and EVElopedia.

The basics:

Wherever possible make sure your stuff is linked together. I like to include links to our website; to our Dotlan stats; to our listing in the forums and EVElopedia.

EVE Online Forums. You want your listing in the corp recruitment area.

EVElopedia. Make an article about your corporation using the template they provide. For the more obsessive, don't forget articles about your favorite officers and members.

Killboards if PvP is your thing you want links your killboard stats in all your ads.

Corporation Ads: The latest system, where any corp is allowed three ads at a time in three broad areas of the game is not ideal but you want those ads running at all times.

Offices in Newbie Systems: There are 19 systems throughout hi sec where you find the tutorial agents. Offices in the newbie systems seem to have variable results but if you have a good corp description etc and if you follow up with some recruiting activity in them you will get at least a steady trickle. I always make sure I have offices in these systems because new players actually look at them.

EVE Educational Organizations: If you train new players you want your corp on this list. Its the button on the launcher that says "Player Organizations: Helpful corps in game. You can search for the article in EVElopedia with "educational organizations." if its not showing on the launcher that day.

Step 2: Recruiters and recruits.

Get your recruiters into the newbie systems. You can do this with alts quite effectively. You drop and drag links to your corp into local chat and start bantering. Invite everyone in local to your public channel. for an example of a public channel see our Vomitorium Emporium.

Your public channel

Your public channel should be stocked with all your members possible and make it mandatory for recruiters and officers. Do yourself the favor of having only one public channel for everything. If you think you need a channel just for recruiting all I can say is ask yourself what would be more enticing to you, an empty channel or a channel with plenty of members chattering including recruiters who know how to draw them immediately into the group even before they join? Your public channel should have all the necessary links, Skillpoint and other requirements, names of recruiters, notices of players getting awards, KOS notices, voice comm info, etc.

By inviting people into your public channel you are pre selecting for an audience receptive to meeting new people. This is so important its easy to overlook. The people who do not want to chat with new people who are not interested either do not accept the invite or they leave. The people are left are a "captive audience" who have given you the first go ahead to interact without which any efforts are almost certainly waste. Let your members know before you are inviting new people for them to have fun bantering with and they will help you just by being their usual wiseass selves. We make our public channel really public. You don't have to join anything. (Someone recently "complained" that he got invited there a year and a half ago and hasn't been able to get out of it since [while not joining my corp the whole time] and I've always felt it was one of the greatest compliments anyone's given me in the game.)

You job is to move them from local to the public channel, to your corp, to voice comms, and finally to your roster of people who have assignments or at least are showing up on a semi regular basis to stuff.

Step 3: Its up to them but...

Rank and file member? Major contributor? Officer? Executor of their own mighty empire that makes me regret ever writing this? But its up to us to make sure they know what their options are including playing the metagame, right from the start. And its up to us if we want a brand new trickle of high quality recruits coming in; imprinting on us and our little tribe like baby ducks imprinted on Konrad Lorenz. And let me say, there's few things more satisfying than seeing the cheeping fuzzy little chick grow up to the kind of fellow predator who keeps you very aware of where everyone is in the room!

Step 4: The Secret Evil Plan

So why would this matter to me? Because as fun as EVE is now, it would be even more fun with more players. And as fun as recruitment is, its even more fun when you are getting ever better at finding just the right people. Oh, and part of the SEP is then I get to report results to the EVE community at large. And this is the best recruitment pipeline I've made so far.

Praxis Astra Master of Assassins and Punctuality http://heartsandmindsalliance.org

Tragedy
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#3 - 2012-10-03 15:01:43 UTC
Tldr. Stop teaching newbs to pve, get into the real game. They can be fast tackle in the new t1 intys at a day old.
James 315
Experimental Fun Times Corp RELOADED
CODE.
#4 - 2012-10-03 15:07:49 UTC
Yeah, PvE will put off any new player. I try to help new players get into other, more interesting areas of the game. Smile
Aless Benetek
Perkone
Caldari State
#5 - 2012-10-03 15:11:19 UTC
Good topic - I think having more players is good, but I have heard folks say 30-50k players online is enough, if we had 10 times that amount (World of Tanks has >500k on a single shard), then it would be chaos, too crowded, etc.

For me, and I hear many players - Eve is a game that takes several attempts before it sticks. You REALLY want to enjoy the game but....

I think I tried and quit 4 times over 2 year period before this last time.

One key I believe to making someone's probability of staying is getting them on voice chat ASAP!

Also make an effort to get them to talk - take em in private room during training, ops, etc.

The old "my mic is broke" usually means they feel akward.

Now, this is hard in majority of Corps as there are only 1-5 active players on voice chat.

Sucks when you log in and no one is in TeamSpeak AND you are doing boring missions/mining.

If you develop a sense of community on Voice, folks will log into Voice to chat/listen even if they are playing other games.

Speaking of other games, second piece of advice - if you can....get a second monitor (worst case use alt-tab) and find you a second game that you like (Minecraft, WoT, LoL, etc.) and play that to supplement Eve. Run 5 missions, take a break and do a few battlegrounds, then back to Eve.

Another piece of advice - give newbs FREE T1 Tackle Frigates and take em on roams/ganks. They have fun, learn pvp mechanics, die, get new FREE ship, rinse and repeat.

Anyway...just some thoughts...good luck!



Irya Boone
The Scope
#6 - 2012-10-03 15:36:25 UTC
To have more people in the game :

make the frigate and destroyers ( maybe cruiser ) joystick playable.
Increase the Pve side of the game More pockets various missions ( raids ? Big MotherF ship in L4 must be 20 to kill it etc etc )
Create a real tutorial ( makes sheets to explain people :
PvP /frigate/caldari/Xship == you have to train all this skills to be efficient etc etc create patterns and explain it to newbs like eve University did ( The gallente basic guide is awesome... but an ingame tuto on it will be greater.

More events line incursions make it more agressive == Destructions of Pos, of stations in 0.6 and below
And improve the insurance policy ( full reimboursement of ships and modules for player between 1day and 200 days old.

Rethink the mining mechanics make it sport to mine ( orbiting asteroids , so you ll have to run after your roids , avoid some of them when they come on you ( like in space movies ...)

And Abordeable structures ( and improvement between incarna and DUST .. ( talk about it later )

Make The game more interactive With real space feature like rename systems With real stellar system names ( my dream)

And send the lore and ideas to some US series maker ....

CCP it's time to remove Off Grid Boost and Put Them on Killmail too, add Logi on killmails .... Open that damn door !!

you shall all bow and pray BoB

Jim Era
#7 - 2012-10-03 15:42:52 UTC
I found being a new player, that PvP was more boring than PvE.
Tackling isn't so fun.

Wat™

Dinsdale Pirannha
Pirannha Corp
#8 - 2012-10-03 15:48:47 UTC
James 315 wrote:
Yeah, PvE will put off any new player. I try to help new players get into other, more interesting areas of the game. Smile


Of course, PVE is evil...so precisely how does the new player pay for his ships that he loses in the "more interesting areas of the game"?

Oh I know, he buys plexes, from the rich null bears.
Heribeck Weathers
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#9 - 2012-10-03 16:32:01 UTC
About 2 weeks ago i killed a Minner minning in low sec, I convoed him afterward and had a lovely conversation, he was a resonable man and didnt curse me out or threaten to get revenge. The next day i got a mail from him askign if i can give him some pointers at learnign pvp. I not only offered him advice, i offered to take him under my wing. I gave him some pvp lessons, gave him some decent training fits, and helped him with his skill plan. Last night he joined me and a small armor BC in a fight in an armor thrasher and we kicked the butt of a larger fleet. He did die, but he told me it was the best time he ever had in eve.

Yes that was a nice recap of how i made a noob enjoy eve, but to get to the main point of how to keep people interested in eve is to mentor new players when ever we can, big alainces and shut up and follow orders just isent good enough. Also as some people said, gettign into the thick of it in eve and not babying them in high sec is a good way to make eve exciting.
Tysinger
Shoulda Checked Local
Break-A-Wish Foundation
#10 - 2012-10-03 16:43:40 UTC
Irya Boone wrote:
To have more people in the game :

make the frigate and destroyers ( maybe cruiser ) joystick playable.
Increase the Pve side of the game More pockets various missions ( raids ? Big MotherF ship in L4 must be 20 to kill it etc etc )
Create a real tutorial ( makes sheets to explain people :
PvP /frigate/caldari/Xship == you have to train all this skills to be efficient etc etc create patterns and explain it to newbs like eve University did ( The gallente basic guide is awesome... but an ingame tuto on it will be greater.

More events line incursions make it more agressive == Destructions of Pos, of stations in 0.6 and below
And improve the insurance policy ( full reimboursement of ships and modules for player between 1day and 200 days old.

Rethink the mining mechanics make it sport to mine ( orbiting asteroids , so you ll have to run after your roids , avoid some of them when they come on you ( like in space movies ...)

And Abordeable structures ( and improvement between incarna and DUST .. ( talk about it later )

Make The game more interactive With real space feature like rename systems With real stellar system names ( my dream)

And send the lore and ideas to some US series maker ....



You should prob go back to WoW
Sarah Schneider
Native Freshfood
Minmatar Republic
#11 - 2012-10-03 18:29:42 UTC
Irya Boone wrote:
To have more people in the game :

make the frigate and destroyers ( maybe cruiser ) joystick playable.

Uh?

Irya Boone wrote:
Increase the Pve side of the game More pockets various missions ( raids ? Big MotherF ship in L4 must be 20 to kill it etc etc )

You seriously think that new players care about in-depth content? they barely knows what skills to train next. Players can only run L4s properly when they gone through at least a few weeks into the game, if not months, at that point they already have decided to "play" and subscribe.

Irya Boone wrote:
Create a real tutorial ( makes sheets to explain people :
PvP /frigate/caldari/Xship == you have to train all this skills to be efficient etc etc create patterns and explain it to newbs like eve University did ( The gallente basic guide is awesome... but an ingame tuto on it will be greater.

Not a bad idea, but idk about how to actually stuff this into the existing tutorial without making it worse.

Irya Boone wrote:
More events line incursions make it more agressive == Destructions of Pos, of stations in 0.6 and below
And improve the insurance policy ( full reimboursement of ships and modules for player between 1day and 200 days old.

Rethink the mining mechanics make it sport to mine ( orbiting asteroids , so you ll have to run after your roids , avoid some of them when they come on you ( like in space movies ...)

And Abordeable structures ( and improvement between incarna and DUST .. ( talk about it later )

Make The game more interactive With real space feature like rename systems With real stellar system names ( my dream)

And send the lore and ideas to some US series maker ....

New players don't care about all of these, heck, I'm pretty sure most if not all of players who's just start trying out the game even knows what a POS is. Most of those stuff you mentioned are what you want, not what supposed to attract new players.

"I'd rather have other players get shot by other players than not interacting with others" -CCP Soundwave

Gorn Arming
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#12 - 2012-10-03 19:08:18 UTC
If you don't get new players into PvP quickly, they're going to leave. PvE in EVE just plain sucks.
Imports Plus
Doomheim
#13 - 2012-10-03 19:12:05 UTC
James 315 wrote:
Yeah, PvE will put off any new player. I try to help new players get into other, more interesting areas of the game. Smile


James 315 and his crusade or RVB are the best options for Eve-born high sec newbies.
MadMuppet
Critical Mass Inc
#14 - 2012-10-03 22:11:17 UTC
The problem with PVE and PVP is that they are two almost entirely different paths to follow. Anybody gearing up for PVE is going to find that it does little to prepare them for PVP and vise-versa. The talk of changing missions to have the AI and ships act more like PVP will hopefully address this issue, because right now it is Apples to 80486.

This message brought to you by Experience(tm). When common sense fails you, experience will come to the rescue. Experience(tm) from the makers of CONCORD.

"If you are part of the problem, you will be nerfed." -MadMuppet

Idris Helion
Doomheim
#15 - 2012-10-03 22:16:56 UTC
Tragedy wrote:
Tldr. Stop teaching newbs to pve, get into the real game. They can be fast tackle in the new t1 intys at a day old.


Yeah, because nothing is more fun for a noob than getting killed so some higher-skilled player can get a cheap killmail.

This is stupid advice, and I wish people would stop giving it.
Idris Helion
Doomheim
#16 - 2012-10-03 22:22:10 UTC
Probably the hardest thing to learn about EVE as a noob is the modules and fitting system. It took me forever to figure out what the difference between t1/meta/t2/faction modules was, and where and when to use which version. What the tutorial desperately needs is a in-depth "Fitting boot camp" that does nothing but focus on how to fit ships for various tasks: PVP, PVE, hauling, scanning, etc.
Touval Lysander
Zero Wine
#17 - 2012-10-03 22:30:47 UTC
Heribeck Weathers wrote:
About 2 weeks ago i killed a Minner minning in low sec..........

........if i can give him some pointers at learnign pvp.


lol. Just lol.


"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us...very hard to explain why you're mad, even if you're not mad..."

Jaison Savrin
Be Nice Inc.
Prismatic Legion
#18 - 2012-10-03 22:31:46 UTC  |  Edited by: Jaison Savrin
Contrary to what alot of the people in this thread are saying Eve didn't stick for me until I got to a point that I could solo L4s. It wasn't because of the L4s themselves, I do enjoy them, but because at around that level of skill points is when you really start to feel flexible in ship choices and play styles. That is how it felt to me.

I think a lot of keeping new players in a corp or in Eve in general is just to interact with them. Whether you're PvPing, PVEing, Mining, Exploring, etc. You need to make them feel like they have something to contribute. Give them a Dessie to come pop frigates in your L4, give them an Industrial to haul your minerals, give them a fast frigate to tackle or even just distract people in PvP, or any number of other things. These things aren't necessarily vital but when you feel useful it is only natural to want to know how you can be more useful. After they have a taste for something you can help them figure out how to reach their goals. Plus there are some very useful things that don't take much training and will always be useful.


Edit: Also, when it comes to PvP you have to make sure that losing ships is fun on some level; even a good laugh. If you yell and scream and curse and throw hissy fits every time something doesn't go your way you'll probably put off a lot of people very quickly. If I had been put right into PvP with someone like that I would have never stayed with Eve. Honestly, I am not a PvP type anyway but luckily my intro to PvP was with a group of people who just wanted to have fun and kill time. While I still don't PvP voluntarily very often I also do not connect negative emotions to it immediately. That helped me immensely when it came to sticking with Eve.
Hypercake Mix
#19 - 2012-10-03 22:41:12 UTC
It's... complicated. They need to learn to fit their ship without being afraid of losing their ship, and fly that ship without being jealous of other ships. All that without overexposing PvE and the Market window. Too many people let ISK run their game experience.

... Honestly, I think the tutorial should start them in some unreachable space that ends with them getting podded with their clone in one of the current rookie systems. And be exclusive to fresh new characters.
Derek Wiildstar
Aliastra
Gallente Federation
#20 - 2012-10-03 22:49:04 UTC
MadMuppet wrote:
The problem with PVE and PVP is that they are two almost entirely different paths to follow. Anybody gearing up for PVE is going to find that it does little to prepare them for PVP and vise-versa. The talk of changing missions to have the AI and ships act more like PVP will hopefully address this issue, because right now it is Apples to 80486.


I found this to be very true. I spent my first 3 months of eve doing missions, mining, and getting killed by can flippers. I was told by my corp not to fight can flips or undock during war because it would hurt our K/D ratio. I knew nothing about PvP because nothing I was doing successfully in game had anything to do with PvP. I came pretty close to quitting eve. It seemed like I was always training up for something and never getting to the point where I could fight.

Best thing I ever did was join the Rifterlings and FW. 10 minutes after I joined I had a cheaply fit out rifter from the corp bank and I was roaming with a small gang of frigs in FW space. I sucked donkey balls, but I actually started to get kills. I gained confidence by flying very cheaply fit frigs in large groups of other cheaply fit frigs and not caring about the K/D ratio. Best of all I didn't have to worry about the cost of the ships and I was encouraged to charge anything we ran into. Learn by dying should be our motto.

My advice for a new players is to join a Faction Warfare corp that's newbie friendly(FWeddit, Rifterlings, ect) and fit up a frig from the corp hanger and start fighting. Fly nothing but cheep ships in PvP till you develop your PvE skills enough to support more expensive ships. Fly with people who want to have a good time and are laid back. Don't be afraid to die. Learn by doing.

Any good game has the following hook: Easy to get into, complex enough to keep you playing for years. Eve fails in the easy to get into aspect when it comes to PvP. I hope they continue to build up and work on the FW system and try to get new players to head right into it. I think in the long term that might be the best way to grow eve.
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