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EVE New Citizens Q&A

 
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Trying to explain EvE to a new player

Author
Kilrayn
Caldari Provisions
#1 - 2013-01-18 05:14:50 UTC
I'm not a new player, but I felt this forum would be most apropriate.

I just spent about 30-40 minutes talking with a new player having trouble with the tutorials. Long story short (I will do my best to explain if asked), she was having trouble figuring out what to do in Eve after the tutorials (and had some problems running the last combat tut, but we helped her there) and I tried to explain to her that eve is an open world, and you can basically do what you want. She didnt seem to understand what i was trying to say and left convo seeminlgy lost as to what to do next.

I think the major issue, though I don't disagree with it, is that Eve being as open as it is, leaves new players at a loss. I don't think that's Eve's fault (we love an open game and the sandbox), but I am wondering how we can introduce other gamers into this world without basically telling them 'tough stuff, get used to it'.

I don't like the idea of 'newbie space' where you play eve without all its mechanics, that's sort of lying to new players, but I can't deny how hard it is for a new player to grasp Eve in a few days.

This is not a rant post at all, but just an attempt to start (or continue) some discussion on how to get gamers more used to the Eve universe, and I feel new player information is invaluable for this topic.

"Music is a mysterious thing. Sometimes it makes people remember things they do not expect. Many thoughts, feelings, memories... things almost forgotten... Regardless of whether the listener desires to remember or not." - Citan Uzuki, Xenogears

Lyrah Okkus
24th Imperial Crusade
Amarr Empire
#2 - 2013-01-18 05:58:19 UTC
Probably just say "You're on your own from here, kiddo." Maybe on some sort've epilogue agent after the tutorials that tells a bit about this and that.
Kilrayn
Caldari Provisions
#3 - 2013-01-18 06:06:16 UTC  |  Edited by: Kilrayn
Yeah, I know there isnt a definate answer for this, just hoping to get some ideas and conversation going, with including the new players. Games (and any business for that matter) won't survive without getting new customers interested. I am happy to see a post that doesnt just ignore the idea though, many thanks.

Edit: Keep the ideas coming. That's the only way to figure out a complicated issue. Ideas, thought, and debate.

"Music is a mysterious thing. Sometimes it makes people remember things they do not expect. Many thoughts, feelings, memories... things almost forgotten... Regardless of whether the listener desires to remember or not." - Citan Uzuki, Xenogears

Maire Gheren
Imperial Shipment
Amarr Empire
#4 - 2013-01-18 07:01:26 UTC
There isn't a lot TO do about it. It's really unfortunate that it is felt to be necessary that people need to be TOLD to go out and play without being led by the nose.
Comto Aldent
Safe break
#5 - 2013-01-18 13:17:09 UTC
Personally, I enjoyed coming to an open world as vast as Eve's. If anything we're focused, all the new players would flock to that vice spreading out.
Bow'en
Solutum
#6 - 2013-01-18 14:24:35 UTC
Experiment. While we all like to think about how focused we are with what we are doing next, the truth is that because Eve offers so much, encourage your friend to train Racial Frig to 4 and then experiment with Mining, Exploration, Small Gang PVP/FW, PVE, Manufacturing, etc.

I always recommend new players "waste" their first month or so trying things before they start to think about direction.
Vincent R'lyeh
Screaming Hayabusa
Neo-Bushido Movement
#7 - 2013-01-18 14:27:03 UTC
Just point them in the direction of the Sisters of Eve Epic Arc then fade into the shadows......Pirate

I have deliberately developed an air of cynicism that I originally intended to make me appear somewhat louche and caddish but actually comes across as irritable hostility combined with the unspoken threat of sudden violence.....

Eternal Montage
Myriad Sequence
#8 - 2013-01-18 14:54:41 UTC  |  Edited by: Eternal Montage
I think the thing that seems to make eve work is the people playing it. I wouldn't still be playing today if I didn't have someone take me under their wing early on. I try to pay it forward by blowing up noobs and then teaching them what they did wrong, and in many cases, bringing them on an adventure. Eve is tough to get into but if someone brings you on some sort of mission or exploration run or pvp run or something and you catch a glimpse of what this game really is, than you won't be going anywhere after that.

People don't understand right off the bat that the storyline is embedded in real choices and actions. They expect it to unfold through missions or some sort of linear story and when that doesn't come they give up because the monotony of missioning doesn't hold them. You have to show new players that they have to sort of come up with an idea and go out and test it, and tweak it, and perfect it and farm it. This applies to PVP and PVE. You show the new player that if you do this, this and this; THIS will happen. And once the new player sees that, they will begin to come up with their own ideas and experiments and they'll have a reason to come back and log in each day.

I think the real problem, if there is a problem, is that many old players don't do this. Perhaps not everyone is cut out for teaching, but if we're talking about new player retention, than mentoring is absolutely essential. The newbies that slip through the cracks are the ones that couldn't grasp it and never had someone come along and say "look, it's not too hard... just try this."

I think the solution to the problem isn't adding in game mechanics that guide the new player. I think it's things like RvB and Eve Uni. It's actual human beings that enjoy teaching and seeing the wonder in a new players eye when they see their first blue explosion or get their first kill or find their first mag site or mine their first chunk or steal their first salvage or kill their first sleeper or whatever. Point is, once the new player has that first big experience that hooks them, they become EXTREMELY loyal to the game. Our job as veteran players is to hone in on the newbies with potential, and reveal to them what Eve actually is, because they undoubtedly have some pretext that needs to be ameliorated.

Edit: And to the OP, the player you speak of might not have been cut out for Eve, not everyone is. I wouldn't beat yourself up over it, you did the right thing in trying to help them. I'd move on and find a new protege. There are plenty of noobs out there that need your wisdom and patience.
Fractal Muse
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#9 - 2013-01-18 15:24:31 UTC
Kilrayn, you have pointed out the fundamental flaw in the new player experience.

The tutorials are directed gameplay that lead to more directed gameplay. At no time in the tutorials is there an explanation of what EVE is outside of the missioning system. When one finishes the tutorials the agents helpfully point you to another mission.

While the tutorials are actually quite good (I recently redid them) they fall down when it comes to teaching new players how to think independently.

This is something that CCP needs to address if they want to bump up the player retention numbers. Some of the tutorial missions need to be made more open ended and offer multiple paths of accomplishing much like how EVE actually is.

In the meantime, taking a new player under one's wing and guiding them through the initial period is one of the better ways of helping players stay in the game.
Minmatar Citizen160812
The LGBT Last Supper
#10 - 2013-01-18 15:27:15 UTC
Vincent R'lyeh wrote:
Just point them in the direction of the Sisters of Eve Epic Arc then fade into the shadows......Pirate



That's exactly what I do when I get a newb that asks the same damn questions a million times like I'm playing to create content for them.

What am I supposed to do here?
Well, ya can come stalk some low sec explorers with me tonight.

Ok, what am I supposed to do?
Go to X system and link the locals for me.

Ok, then what do I do?
Did you read the guides I sent you?
No, can't you just show me.

**Links the page for story arcs and closes convo**




Ovv Topik
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#11 - 2013-01-18 15:56:03 UTC
I think these types of noobs tend to get to the end of the tutorials, and say: “well this sucks!”, and disappear.

They just don’t get it.

I don’t ever remember thinking I don’t know what to do next. It was always a case of out of the 20 odd things I wanted to try, which order should I do them in from the skill Q point of view.

9 months in, I’m not even half way through the list, and on 2 accounts.

There is at least 1 noob a week on here saying “What do I do next?”

We can only patiently say “whatever you like.” and either they get it or they don’t.

"Nicknack, I'm in a shoe in space, on my computer, in my house, with a cup of coffee, in't that something." - Fly Safe PopPaddi. o7

Lost Greybeard
Drunken Yordles
#12 - 2013-01-18 16:23:55 UTC
Well, the first thing to note is that it's entirely possible that the rookie you're talking to _gets_ it, and just doesn't _like_ it. The MMO style of game in general and the heavily player-reliant content model in particular sometimes just aren't someone's cup of quafe. People are allowed to not like things we like, and not obligated to play on if they find they don't like it.

As far as the "what is the game about" general questions, I usually tend to stick to these points:
-- Player actions have an impact on the game world (mining/manufacturing and isk gathering alter markets, pvp combat drives markets and alters both de facto and actual ownership of territory).
-- Someone always has a motivation to undermine you, either for direct personal profit or indirect personal profit (indirect being "you're a miner, and the more miners there are the less money my own miner alts/buddies can make on the market")
-- Scale is open-ended, so your effective game size and population are determined by what you choose to do (3-4 systems and 5 or 6 player encounters a week for mission runners, 30 or 40 systems and hundreds of player encounters a week for a pvp gang scout, the inside of one station and a mini-game for a trader)
-- If you have something you want to try, given some time you can usually find a way to do it and a target to try it on.


If the question is more "what should I be doing", I skip the high-concept stuff and give specific recommendations for template activities that eventually lead to the more creative stuff:
-- Try doing various starter activities: mining(ugh), missions(eh), maybe some exploration or getting blown up in low-sec
-- Talk to people: keep the rookie help window open, talk in local, PM people that kill you to talk about how they killed you or what your weaknesses were, etc. Make friends and/or enemies, and be willing to interact with people that don't end up being either.
-- Once you have some idea of what you like doing, or after two weeks following the tutorials, whichever comes first, look for a corporation that either does that or doesn't mind you doing that. Having regular people to chat with makes life much more interesting, even if they're kinda dicks sometimes.
Jacen Thrawn
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#13 - 2013-01-18 16:24:14 UTC
My own experience of eve is mainly focused on tripping up into game-play..
Example being, I first started years ago, doing the Tutorials (I don't think I finished them as I saw a Tristan undock and thought.. I want that....)
So I tried to find the easiest way to make isk (Mining)
I started in a mining in the started frigate, then the Navitas... while mining, started chatting to other random miners in lower ships, I ended up joining their corp of starters for the sake of conversation while I saved isk for the sake of saving isk...
After a short while, the corp was wardecced and everyone lost everything, so I left that corp and wondered how to combat such a thing, I joined another mining corp that did missions aswell, as such I started running missions in my lovely Tristan.
Now I'm looking at F/W in Vindicators/Navy Megas on a break from Null Sec...

Perhaps you should ask them what drew them to Eve, what they want to do.
I had a thing for the Nyx a while ago which led me up the Domi Drone boat route, which lead to null sec defense in Remote Rep Domis and Sentries... just find the motivation for them, give a pointer or 2 and the rest will either unravel or not..
Lovely Dumplings
My Little Pony Appreciation Corporation
#14 - 2013-01-18 16:46:45 UTC
I hate to phrase it like this, but a big part of the problem is "zone" mentality. See, in other MMOGs, you're given your tutorial missions, which lead to a "starter" area, which slowly ramp you into your race's "big city", with more and more missions and such to do opening up between. These MMOs have conditioned many people to not adventure TOO far in front of their quest chain, because the "mobs' will kill you back.

EVE is different. It hands you all the info in the first tutorial quests, then...it's over. People are expecting another little "nudge" along, that they don't get. Some find out about the SoE arc, but that's just another "quest chain".

EVE appeals to people like me due to it's open-endedness. I don't feel constrained to certain "zones" starting out. I was the one running around the map borders in other MMOGs, just to see what was coming up next. There just aren't as many players like me, vs. "directed play" folks.

www.minerbumping.com

highonpop
KarmaFleet
Goonswarm Federation
#15 - 2013-01-18 17:01:40 UTC
I once tried getting a friend to switch from WOW to EVE


He had the same issue, he kept asking me what he was supposed to do next. I kept telling him it was up to him, and would help him run missions.

He couldn't grasp the openness of the eve world and thought missions where the end game because he was used to doing high level raids in WOW as end-game and thought eve was just the same way and got bored with it.

I could never get him to understand that the only reason I was running missions with him was to get him some ISK without having to mine.

FC, what do?

Darius Brinn
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#16 - 2013-01-18 17:28:19 UTC
highonpop wrote:
I once tried getting a friend to switch from WOW to EVE


He had the same issue, he kept asking me what he was supposed to do next. I kept telling him it was up to him, and would help him run missions.

He couldn't grasp the openness of the eve world and thought missions where the end game because he was used to doing high level raids in WOW as end-game and thought eve was just the same way and got bored with it.

I could never get him to understand that the only reason I was running missions with him was to get him some ISK without having to mine.


I had the same experience. Exactly the same. My friend was too used to having EVERYTHING put in front of him that he couldn't cope with the idea of exploring something completely different, or trying weird game mechanics.

I've seen a lot of WoW clones coming and going, flopping and fading, and EvE goes on. Because it's not a WoW competitor, nor WoW in space. It's radically different.

I remember my first steps in EvE, in January 2008, and from the first day I knew I was in for a long ride. I remember mining in the Navitas I had to build myself in the tutorial, and I remember a player (who is still active today) giving me five million Isk to fit my first Catalyst and buy skillbooks. I thought he was crazy rich, giving me enough for a ship that would have taken me hours to farm for on my own...

I have that person in my contacts. I also added the player who murdered that Catalyst the first time I set my foot on Low sec. One of the most wonderful things that could happen to me in EvE would be to meet him again.

So, it's magic like that. This game makes you create your own content, in your head and around you.
Eternal Montage
Myriad Sequence
#17 - 2013-01-18 18:17:22 UTC
It sounds like everyone is singing the same tune. Some players fail to grasp the sandbox because they've already been conditioned by the linear questing architecture of games like WOW. I don't think the problem is eve the problem is the mentality of many newcomers. We just need to teach as many new players as possible how to fit this idea of the sandbox into their heads. Some players won't get it though and that's not your fault and it's not Eve's fault, it's just the way it is. I used to be one of those people, I came back to eve 3 times over the course of the last ten years before I finally grasped it.
Barakach
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#18 - 2013-01-18 18:19:07 UTC
I'm kind of in that "I'm a newb" boat. I've been researching potential paths to take in EvE.

I'm thinking of joining the EvE Uni for some good hand-holding and learning how to work in a group. I'm playing EvE so I can play with others, but I don't want to hold anyone back or make stupid mistakes. I need a learning environment that is a little more professional than "sucks to be you".
Eternal Montage
Myriad Sequence
#19 - 2013-01-18 18:23:39 UTC
Barakach wrote:
I'm kind of in that "I'm a newb" boat. I've been researching potential paths to take in EvE.

I'm thinking of joining the EvE Uni for some good hand-holding and learning how to work in a group. I'm playing EvE so I can play with others, but I don't want to hold anyone back or make stupid mistakes. I need a learning environment that is a little more professional than "sucks to be you".


I have a lot of respect for both RvB and Eve Uni. I highly recommend either. Amazing way to get involved in the game. Also, I regularly mentor new players. If you ever want any degree of guidance feel free to convo me. I'd be down to bring you on an adventure as well.
Lashenadeeka
Science and Trade Institute
Caldari State
#20 - 2013-01-18 18:47:30 UTC  |  Edited by: Lashenadeeka
The thing about EVE is for that those of us who have met with success to succeed, we have trampled countless lesser players in our paths to get there, in one way or another. Not everyone will be, or can be good at EVE and enjoy the game, and this is necessary to preserve the environment that we "winners" enjoy so much. In short - in an open ended sandbox game like this there MUST be losers if there are to be winners. Enjoyment will ALWAYS come at the expense of another in some way.
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