EVE University graduate. Drama Llama. Covert operations pilot. Poetic Stanziel has been very active in the blogging community bringing views from seasoned high-sec pilots, we please to share his stories and views on current Eve Online events and invite you to read more stories from his Poetic Discourse blog.
Poetic Discourse: The Road to New Player Retention
I have a friend at work, mostly plays theme park MMOs, grew bored with World of Warcraft after a few years of playing, and recently grew bored with Star Wars: The Old Republic, after several months of playing.
He knows I play EVE. I’ve talked about it, the politics and drama happening, from time to time. He always seemed interested, yet wary. The lawlessness of the game, even in areas with law. The scale of the game, “Guilds with over 5000 members?!” Corporations, I had to correct him.
Now he wants something different. He’s read that the learning curve for EVE is steep. Incredibly steep. He’s seen the learning curve graph. He wanted some advice on how best to learn EVE without become lost and ultimately frustrated.
Some folks think I’m 100% against EVE University. Not the case. When it comes to the fundamentals of the game, they do a great job. It’s just everything after the fundamentals that they attempt that I have reservations with.
This is the advice I gave to him. A six-week program that will teach him every fundamental, allowing him to move into the game with all the basic skills, and the desire to utilize and expand upon them properly.
- Do the newbie tutorials, all of them, except do not join Faction Warfare at the end of the advanced combat stream.
- Join EVE University for six weeks. No more, no less. You’ll learn bad habits should you stay longer, and you run the risk of getting sucked into the super-carebear mindset that permeates most of the organization.
- While waiting to be accepted into EVE University, start the Blood-Stained Stars epic mission arc.
- Once you’ve been accepted into the University, apply for a mentor. You may get a great one. You will likely get a dud. You’ll be able to tell which is which, simply by how they communicate with you.
- Set-up your overview to University standards. It’s a good solid set-up for the beginner. You’ll also learn how to set it up for your own needs down the road.
- There is no six.
- Join the University’s Mumble server. Politely ask questions while you’re playing. You can learn a lot chatting, asking questions and listening. Confused by a class or a UI element, or something that just happened to you in-game? Ask on Mumble. There are a tonne of helpful people on the Mumble server. You’ll come to know Seamus Donohue quite well there. He’s long-winded, but very knowledgeable and always eager to help.
- Take every class available, especially anything labeled as 101: Missions 101, Clones 101, Directional Scanner 101, Aggression 101, Combat Mechanics 101, Gunnery 101, EVE Concepts: Tanking, Shield Tanking 101, Armor Tanking 101, Drones 101, Missiles 101, Gallente Ships 101, Minmatar Ships 101, Amarr Ships 101, Caldari Ships 101, Skirmishing 101, Solo PvP 101, Roaming 101, Scouting 101, Bookmarking 101, Fleets 101, Fleets 102, Wormholes 101, Nullsec 101, Lowsec 101. If a class isn’t on the current schedule, then head to the class library to listen to a recording.
- Learn how to operate your ships. Do security missions while learning the fundamentals.
- Once you’ve completed the fleet courses and you’ve been in the University for two to three weeks, head to their lowsec camp. Join roams, both blob and small-gang. Learn fleeting fundamentals, the command structure, some of the language involved (much is standardized, but many corporations have their own peculiarities.)
- Keep your head low while in the Uni. Don’t attract negative attention. Some of the officers and directors (like any player organization lead by people who don’t have the skills to lead in real-life) love pointing out obscure rules and power-tripping on those who break them. Like any bureaucracy, the University has rules upon rules upon rules. (They may have space hamsters in the sub-levels of their POS churning out new rules daily.)
- Ignore the fear-mongerers; those that will tell you how dangerous lowsec and nullsec are, and warn you from ever going there. (Which leads to the next point.)
- Ignore those who fear losing ships. Do not get caught up in the theme park MMO idea that you must keep upgrading. Every ship class is vaiable, always, for as long as you play. The number one thing you must learn is that everything you buy, you’ve bought it to be destroyed at some point.
- As a corollary to the point preceding: don’t get attached to things. If you’re not attached to your stuff, you’ll enjoy EVE that much more. (This alone deserves its own post soon.)
- Do not participate in any of the University’s Shoot the Officer events. These are simple e-peen affairs where the directors let the newbies fawn over them.” OMG! You own a Gila and a Flycatcher? You must be rich! Is that how you fit those ships? Cool!”
- Do not participate in any large fleets run by Silentbrick. These will ultimately fail, be exceptionally lengthy, and you’ll wish you’d have gone and done anything else.
- The one director you should get to know is Darian Reymont. His attitude towards the game should be the future of EVE University (should Kelduum ever give up the reins.)
- After your six weeks are up, head to a corporation in lowsec, nullsec, or wormhole space where you can take the fundamentals you’ve learned and apply them properly.
The best chance for keeping with the game is through this suggested path. Six weeks to being hooked on EVE.
There are other training organizations, such as TEST Alliance and Goonswarm, but they are brutal on their recruits. If you prefer a gentler introduction to the game, then I strongly suggest EVE University for six weeks. That is their strength, teaching the fundamentals. Spend longer than six weeks in the University and you’re getting less of a game education and experience than if you’d moved on elsewhere to corporations more experienced with particular regions and areas of the game.
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