Like mana from Valhalla (yes I know I’m mixing my religious metaphors), the latest Dev Blog by CCP Legion asks questions which make for perfect Blog Bantering. To quote him “…we want to make the first days, weeks and months in EVE enjoyable and not just something ‘you have to plough through in order to get to the good stuff’” and the newly formed Player Experience team will focus on “…where and why people lose interest in EVE…”.
“We invite you to pour your heart (or guts) out and tell us what you think is good or bad with the current new player experience and what you think could be done about the problems.”
I’ve iterated on this point before, but I believe it bears repeating.
Eve loses many of the right type of new players, not through the complexity of gameplay, not through the lack of good tutorial (this could be better), not through the lack of levelling and standard MMO achievement markers like it, but through the presence in the game of arseholes.
If a new player is lost through the other aforementioned things, chances are that player was never going to stay anyway. Short of changing the game completely into something much more generic, childish and dull, Eve has no capacity to retain these kinds of people. Long may that be so; WOW, SWTOR and LOTRO await them with open arms.
So, newly formed Player Experience Team, you want to know “…where and why people lose interest in EVE…”; here’s your answer – your problem is arseholes.
What kind of arsehole am I talking about? I mean, there are so many arseholes in Eve it’s not funny. Suicide gankers, corp thieves, can flippers, ninja’s, scammers, high sec war deccers, botters, RMT’ers, Goons, the list seems endless. All these kinds of people get joy from the game of Eve by relieving someone else of theirs.
Yet, these arseholes are a necessary part of the very fabric of the Eve universe, they make it what it is; and I, for one, want them there. Take them from the game and it would be altered irrevocably and become something other, something lesser.
All this is of no great detriment to the new Eve player who is the right kind of player. He (or she) will take a bad experience from one of these kinds of arseholes on the chin. Sure, they’ll rage, may even go missing for a few days; but they’ll stay in the game.
There is, however, a particular kind of arsehole out there that you need to remove, or at least remove their ability to do what they do.
This next bit is vitally important, Player Experience Team, you really need to do this.
Get yourself to one of the starter systems – errrrmmmm … you do actually play Eve, riiiiight? Oh good, that’s a relief. I thought for a minute you were taking the attitude that a University degree was of some kind of value as opposed to having experience in the actual product you’re trying to improve, hehe, silly me.
So, when you’re in a starter system, go sit outside the station for a minute. See that ship sitting next to the yellow can there? Yeah, that’s the one. It’ll usually be a Gila, or a Sliepnir, or a Damnation or something like that. His name is probably Captain Uberdipshit, or something along those lines.
In the words of the American mechanic: THERE’S YA PROBLEM! – THERE is “…where and why people lose interest in EVE…”.
See the way another three year old toon is asking newbies to “help me with a mission, I’m stuck”?
THERE’S YA PROBLEM!
Now, fly out to an asteroid belt where the newbie miners are getting their first taste of real tedium. See the 2005 guy just about to can flip that 3 hour old char?
THERE’S YA PROBLEM!
There is a special kind of arsehole in Eve, the real dirty kind. They’re not very well, mentally speaking. They are ruining the new player experience of people who may not necessarily be the wrong type of person at all. They are doing it on a daily basis, with virtual impunity and loving every minute of it.
By denying people the chance to have just a week or so of game experience without the sudden mind jarring experience of being ganked, these creatures are drastically reducing the amount of potentially long term players getting through to a point where they are ready to enter New Eden proper.
I’m not sure this is going to penetrate the beauracracy, putting it all like this. Okay, let’s put this in terms that the folks who matter at CCP are bound to understand:
THEY’RE COSTING YOU MONEY!!!
There, that should have stopped the accountant staring down his secretary’s blouse for a minute or two.
That’s right, my little bean counter. The money you get from the real griefers who target brand new players does not balance against the loss of potentially long term subs from all the prospective players they are removing from the game; just so they can have a few lulz before Mom tells them it’s bed time.
So, what can you do to ensure you get that bonus and keep the secretary in low cut tops this year, Player Experience Team?
Put in place some kind of mechanic that denies an experienced player the ability to grief a brand new player up to a certain predefined point in game time.
There have been plenty of potential cures for this aired in previous blog banters and other blog posts – you do read player blogs, riiiiight? … Oh good, I thought you were maybe, like, “what the hell would they know, they only play the game every day”, and that would be a really, really stupid attitude, you know, hehe.
Now, doubtless some will argue that Darwinism is why they do what they do. Fine, if they are happy to behave like monkeys, bully for them.
Just a little point on that though.
Eve was most undeniably created, it did not evolve from computer goo after a power spike. Anyone who wants to argue that point, I’m sure CCP’s legal department will happily see you in court.
Therefore, Player Experience Team, you have special, creative power.
I suggest you use it, before you end up in amongst the next 20%.
TL;DR – EVE-griefers=GP gain>GP loss=achieved KPI’s=happy Hilmar>GFC.
it’s all in the mind, you know.