In the last few years, a lot has happened when it came to attracting new players to EVE Online. Meanwhile, the entry into New Eden is easier than ever before. However, one crucial building block is still missing in my opinion…
The new player experience can be the best in the world. If newbies just aren’t picked up and taken by the hand, they just drop out of the game these days. That’s a fact, and it’s largely because not only is the range of other games much greater, but those other games are also much more accessible than our beloved EVE Online.
One way to keep “new players” in the game is to give them a kind of mentor for a longer time to the hand.
A few years ago there was already once such a program. At that time, the friendship program was structured a bit differently and was not based on skill points, but on PLEX. If the recruited player upgraded his test account, the inviting player got a PLEX – the only currency a veteran is interested in, because even though he has enough ISK, a little more ISK or PLEX is just better.
The special factor at that time was the nature of the test accounts. They only worked for 14 days. Afterwards the Rubel had to roll. The recruiting player was therefore responsible for ensuring that the new player really activated his account at the end of the trial period. This was the only way to get the reward. Today’s alpha accounts are used to breed players with on-off relationships. To play you can now log in whenever you want. You no longer have to pay to play EVE Online. Even Free Skillpoints aren’t much of an incentive there.
Eve Online needs a mentoring program
In my opinion, EVE needs a mentoring program that catches players right after the career and SOE missions. Those who have made it to that point should usually be motivated enough to dig deeper into the area they are interested in.
A good way to do this is to pair these players with experienced players who can help in the particular areas the newbie has chosen to get started.
Theoretically, this should actually take over a corporation. After all, there are the so-called “beginner-friendly” Corporations. But here the problem is that not individuals, but several must feel responsible. And we know from everyday life how it ends when a T.E.A.M. is at work. Also, suddenly being “exposed” to a larger group of people does not benefit everyone.
Mentors should accompany players for at least a month and be available as a continuous point of contact. That sounds like a lot of work, and actually bears no relation to all the conceivable rewards one might get for doing so. BUT – and this is perhaps the most important thing – the social aspect of EVE plays an enormous role. Of course someone can show me how to mine, or explain how to survive in the Abyss or scanning. Having someone to take me to the community fleets, to familiarize me with EVE terminology and the ever-present HTFU, that can’t outweigh an ISK donation.
So how should we best support newbies?
The “How can I earn ISK as a newbie in EVE ONLINE?” – Problem
I think the most important question is the form of support. Personally, I find it much more valuable to get important tips on the game and help with the “How can I as a beginner…” problem than to get my butt pummeled with countless ships and one ISK donation after another.
Quasi both I have live witnessed when I discovered ClockHQ on Twitch about a quarter of a year ago, which has started very fresh with EVE.
In addition to helpful tips and explanations of what you should better leave in EVE, there were also viewers who have thrown around in a joyful spending mood quite generously with ISK and even ships.
I asked ClockHQ very topically how he felt about his first steps in EVE with these two forms of support:
So in chat I was offered a lot of help. The donations of ISK were of course helpful to buy faster – better stuff with ISK, although of course it should be “bragged” about as well.
The help in the chat about the gamemechanics were very helpful, at least from the people who were serious about it.
From this statement, two important points crystallize for me:
a)ISK Donations are always welcome. Also well recognized: Anyone who brags about their ISK and great ships to newbies will also be identified relatively quickly as a phony and may not have that much to offer. Who wants to look at other people’s e-penises on a daily basis.
b) Help on game mechanics are valued just as much, but only if they help in the situation at hand. Preemptively warning about something CAN protect a beginner from making a serious mistake, but usually won’t help someone who hasn’t been in such a situation at least once. Here it is important to create the right link between experience and learning experience.
So the balance is important. Less is sometimes more and the joy and motivation greater when newbies have worked out their first billion themselves. The perceived credibility with which someone offers his help is just as convincing as a friendly smile, a welcome with open arms.
But because we are also EVE players we should also not hesitate to answer the one or the other newbie a “HTFU” and only then say what he can do better next time. Hach…education is so hard…
By the way, if you are an Alpha player yourself and have read this far, I can recommend you to join the Mailing list DEUComm or drop by the Discord, where many EVE players are just dying to answer your questions
Do we need a mentorship program for EVE? How can we as veterans get the countless alpha players more involved in the game?