Is the 'pond' too deep?

Last Friday I had a chance to fly with a character new to EvE, with some good friends.  One thing that amazed me was the sheer amount of explanation that a new player must absorb. We chatted for 3 hours before we felt he was ready to roll for a fleet that I led through low sec space.  We did not encounter any targets but it was excellent training.

A new player in our alliance also needed some help and I spent about 40 minutes before an op helping him setup his overview and walking through the ins and outs of our Alliance.  Am I a leader in the Alliance? Hardly that, I am a good soldier and follow my orders as best I can, but, I want the guys with me to be able to operate at the highest level possible.

It is no secret that I have kind of a soft spot for new players, and I tend to try to help them as much as I can.  If I help them , when I need it they might be able to help me…

A great example is our alliance mate ‘Cosner’. Cosner had been on a few operations in his Heavy Interdictor, and it was obvious to me he was still learning how ‘sys-k’ operates and how his Onyx operates.  Yet, without his help, we might not have been able to ‘pin down’ the titan in 6QBH.  This is a great example of a relatively new guy to the alliance that did a kick ass job.

For those who used to ask…why do you DD proof your ships?  Cosner (and many of our battleships)  took 2 DD’s and still they were able to fight. This is a prime example of why a highly skilled pilot is so critical to success.  It takes quite a few skills at a high level to be able to put down effective firepower and tank 2 DD’s…

Which leads me to my question…is EvE in it’s current state,  just a bit too deep?  Perhaps it is just a realization that the game always WAS expansive and just how expansive is reminded when you have to walk someone through the basics of setting up the overview….

After two sessions ( actually 3) of helping these new players I have determined that there is only so much they can actually grasp before the mind just shuts down.  That being the case I know some groups of players have developed player guides for new players, or those older players that are just coning back.

Any thoughts?

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~ by Manasiv5 on August 25, 2009.

18 Responses to “Is the 'pond' too deep?”

  1. Would not say the pond is too deep. You simply get thrown in the middle of an ocean. New player experience needs a lot more hands-on experience, should cover low and nulsec and the game needs work on user-friendlyness. Some unneeded annoying mechanics could do with revision as well. While progress has been made I wish ccp would realize sometimes you just need to accept something is not working and replacing it from the ground up is the better fix.

  2. heh never had an apple IIe but as a gamer from the x286 x386 days I hear ya. EvE is not my first MMO eithe,r it is actually my 5th or 6th…all the others (even AoC) have gone the way of the condor as well. The invention/production side always appealed to me, but as you hint, is extremely complicated complex reactions make my head hurt..so I opted for combat instead.

  3. I'm in agreement with some of the other posters. EVE is big and deep and difficult. But that is a plus. Better to struggle and learn rather than get bored with shallow sameness. Part of the reason EVE is successful if because its harshness and complexity mean it occupies it own niche and those attributes are appreciated by enough people for the game to be a success.

    Recent changes has eased the new player experience a little and it is not too hard to get into basic mining or mission running. From there you can expand outwards as your knowledge grows. Just hope you are mature enough to bounce back after doing something you didn't know was a mistake. I still remember the first time I was ganked because I naively followed a mission into losec.

    There is lots of good web resource, mission guides, ship fittings, exploration tutorials etc, but you have to know to go looking for it. Evelopedia is a start, but it would be helpful if they included some more of that stuff in the tutorial, or even just a link to a wiki page with basic stuff like: learn salvaging, check the mission guides, train learning skills, read some fitting guides, stay out of losec.

    I second Jamenta's prayer that CCP don't dumb down EVE. I may get them a few more WoW players, but would lose them a lot of loyal subscribers who appreciate something different.

  4. I am a long time computer gamer (Apple IIe anybody?), but EvE is only my second MMO and I was referred to it by the corp…er guild leader in the other – Age of Conan. AoC is now on life-support and I've since quit due to the whole grind mechanic. EvE plays much more like an alternate life and as a mentor in real life, I also immediately took to helping newer players adjust to New Eden's quirks. I have downloaded, printed, read and re-read four binders full of gameplay data for EvE. However, there are areas in this game I will never understand nor will pursue, e.g. invention and production stuff. The pool is not just deep, it's very, very broad.

  5. I don’t think eve is too deep, although I do think it needs a level of commitment that isn’t required by other games, which I like and is probable the reason people keep coming back. Funnily enough a friend of mine tried eve last month and after a 4 hour explanation of game play the most important part of the conversation was the last 30 minutes in which I described whilst you can undock and do what you want, just shooting the first thing you see wont be a good idea.

  6. I'm a very new player to EVE, so this topic definitely hits home for me. Your friend is lucky that he has you willing to take time for 3 hours to explain things. I listen to every EVE podcast their is. I read the guides. I read the blogs. I even blog myself. But even with 4 months of all of that, I STILL struggle daily to grasp some of the very things most veterans seem to take for granted. And often, it's not a simple matter of asking…because most of the things I'm not aware of are things I'd never know to ask in the first place.

    It's stressed everywhere that "corp is everything" when it comes to new player experiences. But, for example, it has taken me 4 months to finally find a corp truly willing to help (and yes I went for EVE Uni first, but they are war dec'd for weeks at a time…docking is not the way to spend your first few weeks). If you don't know where to look, trying to find a decent corp is GRUESOME. I can't stress that enough. I'm finally happy where I am, though. I glad to say.

    However, all frustrations (and i've had plenty of them) aside, it is absolutely EVE's depth that keeps me coming back for more. The thought that I know someday—maybe a year or two from now—I'll look back on comments like this and laugh at how little I knew, is the ultimate pay off. I just hope I get a sense of that sooner rather than later.

    Overall, is it a question of whether EVE as a whole is too deep? No. It's a question of throwing new players right into the deep end with not even a life jacket to keep them afloat. Often I find myself saying in my head, "Come on EVE, give me something to hold onto here.."

    Thanks for bringing the topic up Manasi.

  7. (Cont)
    The skill set training also provides a kind of controlled gateway to Eve complexity. Another subtlety built into the sandbox. So you want to fly a BS rightaway? Nope. First learn the ropes with Frigates and other ships. That alone you can spend months on. Then graduate to the bigger ships, the bigger load-outs, and the extra capabilities such as cloaking and hi-end droning etc.

    I for one hope that CCP avoids the tremendous pressure to dumb down their MMO for profit. But it appears as if they know that already … and surprise, DUST 514 draws in the console crowd without (hopefully) sacrificing the PC smart-ass crowd. We'll see.

  8. I also think think that there are some subtleties built into the Eve design, so granted, you are in a wide-open sandbox, but you do start off in an the easier part of the sandbox in Hi-Sec, and complexity increases mostly over time. Not everything is thrown at you at once. That's part of the beauty of Eve … as you realize there is a lot you can learn, no need to learn it all at once.

    The gradual and likely travels of an Eve player will likely start off in Hi-Sec, then move into low-sec/militia training and then end up either in w-hole or null-sec for the most gains and open ranged play.

  9. I'm with Kazaji on this. I like Eve for its depth and complexity. You can keep it simple (high sec, missions, mining, and the like) or go into it in a bigger way. Eve's expansions give you different ways to turn, and if you're reasonably new (I'm 1.5 years in) there is so many options available it's hard to choose one. I'm finding I'm falling behind the curve (due to limited playing time), but I think that's OK because it means there will continue to be plenty of play options for me going forward. I can't see getting bored any time soon, and that's great.

    Although it can be tough trying to learn things in Eve, I find that the lack of formal documentation encourages people to interact to learn new stuff. People like me seek out people like you who are willing to coach a bit to help others get better at the game. I think that encourages the social aspect of the game to some degree and helps build a player community that is active and healthy.

  10. I had no previous MMO experience before entering Eve, so for a long time I thought it was my lack of experience that was bothering me, but indeed, Eve isn't easy. Yet, if I, without much prior knowledge, can manage to hold on to Eve, so can others I'd say.

  11. Before Eve I was not really a gamer. Sure I would play the occasional console game and finish it or get bored with it. I enjoyed PC games once in awhile, but the price tag and the minimal reward I received never really justified it for me.

    Ten years ago there was a free 2D Multiplayer game called Subspace. This game I really enjoyed playing! There was something about the direct interaction with other people that affected your tactics and how you attempted to kill others. I remember the first time I solo killed a 7 man turret and lived, now that was cause for celebration! However, the game never progressed enough for me, and eventually I got bored with it.

    I've looked at the MMO's over the years, even tried a couple, but they were grind grind grind. There was typically an extensive player guide that told me exactly how to do X in order to obtain Y. If there wasn't a guide figuring out was usually trivial. Then Spring 2008 I overheard someone talking about Eve Online at a coffeeshop, and I thought I'd give it a try. I thought it sounded like a 3D Subspace. I was wrong.

    My first week of playing my mind boggled at the size of the universe. At the sheer amount of things to do, choices to make, and wrong places to go. I set in to learn as much about the game as I could, and I did a damn fine job at that. However, over a year of playing later with my learning pace well slowed down, there is still so much more to learn. I will never know it all about Eve, and I don't intend on trying. Instead now I focus on having fun with the people I fly with – since that is ultimately what Eve Online is all about for me.

    Squizz C.

  12. This depth is exactly what sets EVE apart from other MMO's. There are no guides that can fully cover every aspect of the game. Players are simply thrown into the universe, and they must learn the ropes, or die trying.

    While this may be a turnoff for some people, the ones that are able to grasp the concept and succeed are the players we want in our corps. The game does us a favour by weeding out the bad players right from the start, and only allows the dedicated to continue playing.

    EVE is a harsh world, not only because of the playerbase, but the game mechanics themselves. The current depth is what keeps the game interesting, and sets it apart from other, simpler MMO's.

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