The CCP euphemism for it is apparently “…the vast sophistication that is EVE Online.”
But people who have played the game know what they really mean. EVE Online has a hellishly steep learning curve.
The game explains itself poorly, hides critical information from you, and after a meager tutorial (which is still vastly improved from when I started!) sends you off with a “Good luck storming the castle!” You are on your own after that.
CCP has at times been quite proud of this state of affairs in a “we meant to do that” sort of way. HTFU and all that. But there has also been an ongoing attempt to file down some of the more egregious things making the game incomprehensible to new players. With Retribution, for example, we got visible timers and useful hover help information about ship modules.
I still can’t tell you how much ammunition a given weapon holds without loading it, but at least I don’t have to go to a third party utility to determine critical information like range any more.
In the end though, when a new player comes out of the tutorial and is faced with the… um… vast sophistication of New Eden, life is pretty grim if they don’t have friends or some other support group to get them going. You can probably run a PvE mission from an agent, or mine a little ore, but if you want to fit out a ship and get into PvP… well, how do you get started down that path alone?
One of the great success points for the Goons is not just that they have a community from which to recruit, but that they have a path to get people up to speed and people committed to supporting new players. Here is a skill plan. Here are some skills. Here is a newbie ship, don’t worry about losing it, we’ll give you another one. Here is a channel to ask newbie questions. There is a regular “WTF Fleet Ops” class to make them feel like they are contributing by actually training them for an important role in fleets. And if they are “lucky” enough to get into a DBRB fleet they’ll get some campfire stories about Goon history in EVE and probably a pile of ISK thrown at them.
All of which gives the new player the confidence and security in the game to go out and get blown up in new and hilarious ways.
Well, CCP is going to try to give the new player introduction a bit more meat. According to a recent Dev Blog, they are going to hold New Player Training Sessions to introduce players to some of the finer aspects of the game which the tutorial does not cover well. Or at all.
The initial schedule posted for this covers PvP combat and is timed as part of the run up to the Rubicon expansion, which will no doubt invalidate something that was taught during the sessions, which in and of itself is a lesson about the game and what happens with expansions. But if anything needs better coverage, it is PvP basics.
Track: Player vs Player Combat
- October 15, 17:00 UTC – Modules
- October 17, 17:00 UTC – Fitting Your Ship
- October 22, 17:00 UTC – Earning ISK
- October 24, 17:00 UTC – The Overview and UI
- October 29, 17:00 UTC – Piloting Your Ship
- October 31, 17:00 UTC – Skills
- November 5, 17:00 UTC – Crimewatch (Featuring live demonstrations)
- November 7, 17:00 UTC – Combat Basics
- November 12, 17:00 UTC – Teamwork
- November 16, 17:00 UTC – PVP Fleet
- November 18, 17:00 UTC – Progression: What’s Next?
This looks like a good start as it has the potential to cover what is really a huge gap in the tutorial. You can join the sessions in-game. Or, if you are at work like I am during every single one of the Tuesday/Thursday sessions, they will be recorded for later play back.
I look forward to seeing what CCP has to offer on this front, as well as how the old pros in the community respond to the advice given.