Everything old is new again

I’ve got three weeks off; the longest contiguous period of leave I’ve had in more than 18 years. Invariably that meant I had to spend the preceding three weeks doing double my normal work load – to cover for the time when I wouldn’t be around to do it.

Annual leave seems to be a bit of a crock in that way.

Be that as it may, the consequence of this and the general busyness of Christmas has seen my EVE time hamstrung.

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Oh yeah, this place.  I haven’t seen it in years

In my few spare moments I worked my way through the new player career agent missions with my scanning alt – Exploration, Military, Advanced Military, Industry and Business. The information and progression has improved greatly over what I remember when I first joined the game, and you end up with a hanger full of ship hulls and supplies that give you a good starting point.

There is a “but” though, and I am not sure I can describe it properly.

There are obvious things that could be improved:

. I’m not sure some of the steps required to progress through the missions would be clear to newer players.

. The source of advice can be a bit disjointed – you speak with the agent who gives you tips, then Aura pipes up with a Tutorial, then later a Sub-Agent in space might tell you something, or it might just come up in a pop-up window. It doesn’t always feel cohesive.

. The order of some of the tips could be changed. I’d have liked to have Salvaging shown earlier for example.

. There could be more tips on using the interface, and the places where you can configure the client.

. I thinking the on screen tracking should be set off by default. It could get disconcerting and confusing for a newer player, and it is not immediately obvious for them to work out how to turn it off.

. I am not sure about the pacing of the lessons. You are flooded with quite an amazing array of information – to the point where I could see it just ending up being confusing. When I first started out I spent days just working out how to mine and slowly improve my yield and methods. Now you have the basics within 5 minutes before you move on to the next topic. Mining alone could handle 20+ mission steps, which each one adding a small element to your education, from ship types, range, survey scanning, Meta levels and yield upgrades.

. There were people griefing new players every other time I visited the starting system. It wasn’t being done as obnoxiously as I have seen before, but I wouldn’t like to think of how many people never get past the trial period because of such parasites.

Less obvious areas I suspect need to be improved:

. It took a while for me to put my finger on this – but it seemed the Tutorials were written by people who have been playing the game for years. I could understand and follow them because I also have been playing the game for years. I am not sure it would follow the most logical path taken by a new player however.

. At times during the tutorials I would stop and think wow, the visuals of this game would look great to a new player. I did not at any point think to myself that wow – a new player would think this is so much fun.

I know it is vague, but I came away from the effort feeling that the mechanics of the game were being explained better, but not in the way that would attract and retain more people.  It should be more fun.

I did find it very amusing to see how difficult it is to kill a 4,500 ISK rat in a barely trained pilot. The 7,500 ISK rats required some skillful management of range and transversal. All those skill points do make a difference!

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Some wow factor when I first undocked and followed the tutorial on zooming in and out.

Oh, one last thing. I made a 50 odd jump round trip in my Orca yesterday, the first time since the warp speed changes. Oh hell.

2 thoughts on “Everything old is new again

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