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NPE - Some thoughts on new player experience

Author
Mai Ling Ravencroft
Duragon Pioneer Group
#1 - 2016-03-04 00:34:20 UTC
Some thoughts on how to help new players. Break the NPE into a few broad based areas.

Offer training in areas that the new player can choose from, like Industry, Resource Gathering, Exploration, Mercenary (aka combat missions) and Transport work.

Each area should have a few levels of tasks, from basic to advanced. They could even have some things like WH mining, gas harvesting and incursion style missions.

The missions should go beyond just glancing over the basics, and touch on some of the complexities of the game.

Rather than just having a player have to build a ship, for the industry tree, and then cause the player to get mad when they either can't afford the items that are mined in low/null, or get mad cause they loose their first mining ship to a low/null pirate. Rather have the player build something like a shuttle, that uses a 1 run BPC, that comes from the agent, and they have to buy materials that are common to hsec. This way they are not disheartened the first day they play.

As the level of the training goes up, have the new pilots fly NPC granted ships, something like rookie style cruisers and BS. Give them a taste for higher end combat. Make these ships something like current rookie frigs, in that they honestly can't compete properly with even T1 models but to a new player they feel like the real thing. The key to this is to tune the missions and ships to have a cruiser and BS level fight, but honestly it is just cause the NPC enemy and the rookie ships are both tuned down to low dmg and such.

The purpose here is to give new players a goal. Let them get a glance at the bigger toys that take more time to earn.

Also after completing an entire training course, have rewards for each category. Also, have a bonus reward for completing the final mission in each category, with an optional objective, something that isn't a give me, but rather takes a bit of effort. This bonus reward could be something like a skill boost in that area of training, but once earned, can't be repeated or earned again.

Finally, integrate into the training trees something that hampers the new player. Make sure it is something that happens in game, like having a transport training tree run into a "NPC" gate camp, or having a mining mission be jumped by "NPCs" that mimic getting ganked. Bring in a feel for how the game truly is, but then also finish the missions in a way that shows how you can always recover if you try to.

I have met many gamers who have either played Eve, or heard of it. And the vast majority of them comment how Eve is a game of theft and scams. They see Eve as a play where the new players are prey for the vets and you never have a chance to grow before you are eaten. This may be true, but when you first start the game, it doesn't seem like it is something that can happen until it hits you over the head. Having the NPE teach you a bit about it, and also teach you how to understand your surrounding though, just might make the game seem a little less of a brick wall to pass through and open them up to see what those of us who play see. A world that is dark as the space it is in, but also a world that has plenty of room to take advantage of and mold.
Terrah Chain
Space Isolation
#2 - 2016-03-04 20:32:41 UTC  |  Edited by: Terrah Chain
So, what I am getting from your suggestion, is something like Level 2 Career missions. A continuation from the ones we have now, but with greater depth, information, and closer to what they will encounter once out on their own.

I think there is room in the game for this step of progression, mostly for those not getting into the social aspects of the game right away. For many, once you have done the already existing career missions, you have the tools in hand to at least get out on your own, and hopefully get into a good corp. It is then the other players that give you the next level of training.

Have you done all the career missions? Because some of what you suggest are already included. For instance there is a mission were you get BPC to build a T1 frigate (or something like that) and can buy or mine the materials in high sec.

I personally don't get very social in new games until I feel like I know what I am talking about, and a L2 career mission set would have been a perfect next step for me. But I survived and learned, and still play the game.

Since this game does encourage the social aspects as well, I can see there being a call to better aid new players finding good corps to join instead of extending the NPE. Maybe having a new player friendly ranking given to corps, and then directing new players there.
Wimzy Chent-Shi
Garoun Investment Bank
Gallente Federation
#3 - 2016-03-06 08:23:06 UTC  |  Edited by: Wimzy Chent-Shi
Every corporation that is openly newbro friendly gets wardecced for easy kills, NPC corp chat is full of masterbaiters, trolls and such.
Making it clearer for peeps that there are 12 career agent stations that will get their pockets full with starting cash for completing repetitive tasks, which essentially is what awaits them in the rest of the game, would be a nice and easy way to start, but does a newbro really want to do all that again and again.... again*11 - it is efficient, but they want to progress somehow, they want to have a bigger ship do something new.
Opportunities are somewhat meh, since they are pretty "achievement-ish" while offering no reward making newbros run around doing things expecting a cookie.

Come get some cancer @ my blog !

"This clash of opinions is like cutting onions. We are creating something here, that's productive, ...and then there is also salt." -Wimzy 2016