EVE Blog Banter #16: Something Smells Fishy

Welcome to the sixteenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by none other than me, CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed tocrazykinux@gmail.com. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

The third Blog Banter of 2010 comes to us from ChainTrap of the Into the unknown with gun and camera EVE Blog. He asks us: “Eve University turns six years old on March 15th; six years spent helping the new pilots of New Eden gain experience and understanding in a supportive environment. EVE is clearly a complicated game, with a ton to learn, so much that you never stop learning. So, the question is; What do you wish that someone had taken the time to tell you when you were first starting out? Or what have you learned in the interim that you’d like to share with the wider Eve community?”

I am most definitely not an EVE Veteran. I’ve only been a Space Cadet for about 10 months now. When I first began my career as a Capsuleer I took many a wrong turn and spent countless hours literally lost in space. I almost became dizzy thinking through this new Blog Banter and what I could potentially say. After all, who can forget this iconic image that so perfectly and succinctly describes EVE Online?

Nonetheless after much thought, and a few Excedrin, I drew a few conclusions that I felt would have best helped me get through those first, few difficult weeks in New Eden.

I’ve categorized my items into the two endlessly clichéd criteria:

  • Give a man a fish – Items that would have immediate, short-term impact for the new player
  • Teach a man to fish – Items whose meaning may not be immediately clear, but offers tremendous long-term benefit

Thus given those two categories, the advice I would bequeath unto New Edeneers would be as follows:

Fish

  1. When in doubt, right-click! – It’s no secret that in order to grasp the UI of EVE you must hold a Doctorate in Quantum Physics. It’s a complex monster that takes awhile to fully understand; EVE is a complex game afterall. Yet the context menus are, for the most part, fairly well organized. All major functions that you need to worry about can usually be found if you right-click on an item. This is a big no-no in traditional UI design methodologies (negative points for no user discovery) but once you know about it, it’s a godsend.
  2. Not-So-Secret Agent Man – It was never fully clear to me what a player Agent truly was. Understanding the levels, qualities, and affiliations would all have been great info to have. But none more important than knowing how to find other Agents! By going to your characters ‘Standings’ tab and inspecting the info of the various factions you can see what Agents belong to said faction and are available to you. You can then chart a course to their home system and station. It was simply never fully mapped out as to why this was important and I would wander aimlessly about doing missions for Agents with no knowledge that increasing standing with an Agent and Faction led to higher mission levels and payouts.
  3. Road-map to the Stars – Skills are obviously a big part of what makes EVE EVE, and your success or struggles nearly always depend on what your current abilities are. Yet there is no clear and easy way to see skill associations or prerequisites and there is minimal guidance as to which skills are important and why. Further complicating the matter is the fact that you cannot easily map out skill plans (this was an even greater problem before the Skill Queue, fortunately for me the queue was available when I started my Capsuleer career) Vital tools like EVEMon should nearly be built directly into the EVE Client. Also, having some basic guidelines would have been a great start (i.e. – Want to blow things up faster? Follow this path young Padawan), similar to what I assume Certificates were probably meant for, but ended up being way to complex to be useful. Thus great guides like the one from Kylania should be front-and-center in new player tutorials.

Fishing Pole

  1. No. Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try – EVE will try your patience. There is no easy way around it, for many players, especially those new to MMO’s, New Eden can be a dark, dangerous place. Again, part of what makes EVE so wonderful is that you can do practically anything, any time, to any one…be it good or bad. You will not find another quality MMO being associated with the words “Rage Quit” as many times as you will with EVE Online, that’s just how it is. Now, I’ve been described as a bulldog at times, endlessly stubborn and tenacious, thus why I think I’ve been able to stick with EVE through all the frustrations. I just feel sorry for all the Labrador Retrievers out there in space since there is little sympathy to be found. You just have to be prepared for it.
  2. Never Enough Learning! – “Learning skills are important”, now that’s an understatement. Understanding how much time will be saved by training those learning skills as high as possible can never be easily appreciated by a new player. Spending 30 or more days to train those skills to an “acceptable” level just ain’t fun, period. Yet if you train them interspersed with other skills as you are just starting out, the benefits will soon become tangible. This is a hard one for new players to accept because EVE can progress so slowly and you simply have to take this advice on faith.
  3. 1 Is The Loneliest Number – Sappy quotes aside, in EVE you need friends. There is so much about EVE that simply cannot be experienced solo, and for that you need a Corporation. Being motivated to find a good group of people can be tough for a new player, there’s just so much other stuff going on. However, this truly needs be one of the first things new players should look into. Thankfully there are a ton of great, friendly Corporations out there, such as EVE University, that exist solely for the purpose of providing help, support and a great community to players. However, finding and understanding what they are all about can be a real challenge initially, I know I struggled with this greatly. So don’t be afraid to reach out and ask people if their Corporation is recruiting. The worst they can say is ‘No’ and the potential upside is huge.

So there you have it, the advice I would have given myself when I was first starting out in EVE Online. Thanks for listening.

This concludes our Blog Banter #16, and now onto your regularly scheduled flight programming…

– Freddy


List of Participants

  1. CrazyKinux: The Three Pillars of Wisdom
  2. The Elitist: Helping the new guy/gal
  3. Hands Off, My Loots: Nothing Needed
  4. Rantuket: Blog Banter 16
  5. EVE Opportunist: Nooby Cluey
  6. Into the Unknown With Gun and Camera: EVE University
  7. Zero Kelvin: We’re the young ones!
  8. I am Keith Neilson: Set Your Destination
  9. Prano’s Journey: Just Like the Very First Time
  10. A Merry Life and a Short One: No Seriously
  11. Yarrbear Tales: Nublet 101
  12. A Mule In EVE: If I only knew
  13. The Planet Risk Show: Dared to be Bold
  14. Diary of a Space Jockey: WTH did I get myself into?!
  15. EVOGANDA: Why?
  16. A Memoir From Space: 16th Blog Banter
  17. Death’s Sweetest Kiss: Who What When Where Why How??
  18. Freebooted: Beyond the Shortcuts
  19. Learning to Fly: Noobing
  20. Caldari Outcast: My First Blog Banter Post!
  21. Roc’s Ramblings: Financial Survival
  22. Diary of a Pod Pilot: Free Knowledge Inside
  23. Nullsec Carebear: I could’ve been less of an idiot
  24. Facepalm’s Ramblings: Something Smells Fishy
  25. Kirith Darkblade: Do you wish to know more?
  26. Autopilot Disabled: I’m still starting…
  27. Finders & Keepers: Relax
  28. Confounded Capsuleer: What have you got to loose?
  29. Clan Oriana: Sixteen
  30. Flashfresh: EVE Blog Banter #16
  31. Rettic’s The Chronofile: You Make EVE
  32. Diary of a Bored Spaceman: Past Imperfect
  33. Chocolate Heaven: Known Unknowns
  34. Victoria Aut Mors: Blog Banter #16
  35. Where the frack is my ship: If I knew then what I know now…
  36. The Lathspell of Mithrandir: Hindsight is 20/20
  37. More to come soon…
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EVE Blog Banter #9: What a new pilot could do without

I’m fairly new to the blogosphere, and I’m also fairly new to EVE Online. Thus this will be my first contribution to the wonderful EVE Blog Banter series sponsored by CrazyKinux. This is the ninth entry in the series, so I have a little catching up to do.

Welcome to the ninth installment of the EVE Blog Banter and its first contest, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banterinvolves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out otherEVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

“Last month Ga’len asked us which game mechanic we would most like to see added to EVE. This month Keith “WebMandrill” Nielson proposes to reverse the question and ask what may be a controversial question: Which game mechanic would you most like to see removed completely from EVE and why? I can see this getting quite heated so lets keep it civil eh?”

As I stated earlier, I’m pretty new to the EVE Online universe of New Eden. Thus my thoughts on the proposed topic of discussion cannot be based on years of EVE experience and won’t take into account the nuances of all things ‘EVE’, yet hopefully will still contribute to the overall dialog.

So after spending a mere 8 weeks in New Eden, what would I take out of the game if I could? I’ve been reading many other wonderful topics already presented, most of which cover things I had no idea even existed in EVE. Clearly there have been some heated opinions on the subject for years, pity i wasn’t there to experience them more myself.

Regardless, there have been a handful of issues I’ve encountered so far. I want to lay out all my thoughts first, before pinning the tail-on-the-donkey at the end. I know this banter isn’t about nit picking and is specifically about what you would remove from the game, but as a new player I don’t have as much to pull from so I’m simply going to list my frustrations and go from there. Here are the things that have annoyed me the most so far:

  • Certain aspects of the UI have been extremely difficult at times, specifically the clunky pinning and docking mechanism, transparency overlay, and unresponsive drag and drop.
  • Information can be buried deep within the tabbing system panes. Some pieces of info should be pulled up higher or given their own category/organization mechanism.
  • The endless floating spam containers
  • In order to apply to a Corporation you must visit a station with one of their offices, yet finding this information is nearly impossible without having to bother one of the corp members directly.
  • The overview can be quite difficult to manage. So many types of information to ‘turn on/turn off’. Could it be possible to have multiple overviews at the same time, displaying their own separate information?

Alright, enough ranting, I’ll get to the point. I think the single most frustrating thing for me as a new player so far has been that characters in my account cannot train simultaneously.

I’m an alt-oholic in other games and I realize how different EVE is in terms of character progression, yet with the huge selection of skills and specializations that EVE has to offer, there is no way to experience them all without either staying in game for years to come or purchasing another account to play.

I’m not saying newer players should be able to do everything at once, or even eventually, but in order to get a good feel for the various pieces of the game it would take months and months of training on a single character to be at a level where you can contribute something of value. Whereas if I could train all three of my account characters at the same time it would vastly lower the time it takes to experience the other areas of EVE, such as industry, combat, science, etc..

Granted such a change would have a large impact on the player ecosystem. The economy would see a large influx of goods into the marketplace since everyone would now have industrialists and traders in their account. The combat pilots would see battles with many more ship types being flown from various factions because everyone would have greater access to them.

Presently many players purchase multiple accounts so they have the ability to run several EVE sessions simultaneously. However I’m sure there are also some that do it because they want to have specialized pilots which they can play sooner rather than later. Waiting for a main character to accumulate all the necessary specialized skills, which would in turn take away from his or her’s current skill focus, is just not something many are willing to do.

Since only one character can log in at any given time it would help lessen the impact such a change would have. I’m sure CCP wants to keep it’s players occupied and continually reaching forward, but as stated many times in the past this limits a new player base from reaching all aspects of the game by requiring several years of dedicated training to a single character. Every expansion further increases this seperation between new and old.

Ultimately I can see why the simultaneous training contraint is present, but I can also see the benefit of removing such a restriction. I believe it would provide new adventures for young and old players alike, since there is just so much to do in New Eden. It would only serve to enhance the player experience of the game we all know and love today.

Thanks for reading!

List of Participants:

  1. Diary of a Space Jockey, Blog Banter: BE GONE!
  2. EVE Newb, (EVE) Remove You
  3. Miner With Fangs, Blog Banter – It’s the Scotch
  4. The Eden Explorer, Blog Banter: The Map! The Map!
  5. The Wandering Druid of Tranquility, “Beacons, beacons, beacons, beacons, beacons, mushroom, MUSHROOM!!!”
  6. Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah, Kill the Rats
  7. Mercspector @ EVE, Scotty
  8. EVE’s Weekend Warrior, EVE Blog Banter #9
  9. A Merry Life and a Short One, Eve Blog Banter #9: Why Won’t You Die?
  10. Into the unknown with gun and camera, Blog Banter – The Hokey Cokey
  11. The Flightless Geek, EVE Blog Banter #9: Remove a Game Mechanic
  12. Sweet Little Bad Girl, Blog Banter 9: Who is Nibbling at My House?
  13. One Man and His Spaceship, Blog Banter 9: What could you do without?
  14. Life in Low Sec, EVE Blog Banter #9: Stop Tarnishing My Halo
  15. Cle Demaari: Citizen, Blog Banter #9: Training for all my men!
  16. A Mule in EVE, He who giveth, also taketh away?
  17. Dense Veldspar, Blog Banter 9
  18. Morphisat’s Blog, Blog Banter #9 – Randomness Be Gone !
  19. Facepalm’s Blog, EVE Blog Banter #9: What a new pilot could do without
  20. Memoires of New Eden, You’re Fired
  21. Kyle Langdon’s Journeys in EVE, EVE Blog Banter #9 Titans? What’s a Titan?
  22. Achernar, The gates! The gates are down!
  23. Speed Fairy, EVE Blog Banter #9: Down with Downtime!
  24. I am Keith Neilson, EVE Blog Banter #9-F**K Da Police
  25. Ripe Lacunae, The UI… Where do I begin… (Eve Blog Banter #9)
  26. Clown Punchers, EvE Blogs: What game mechanic would you get rid of?
  27. Estel Arador Corp Services, You’ve got mail
  28. Epic Slant, Let Mom and Pop Play: EVE Blog Banter #9
  29. Deaf Plasma’s EVE Musings, Blog Banter #9 – Removal of Anchoring Delay of POS modules
  30. Podded Once Again, Blog Banter #9 – Do we really need to go AFK?
  31. Postcards from EVE, 2009.07.02.00.29.06
  32. Harbinger Zero, Blog Banter #9 – War Declarations & Sec Status
  33. Warp Scrammed, Blog Banter 9 – Never Too Fast
  34. Ecaf Ersa (EVE Mag), Can a Tractor Tractor a Can?
  35. Thoughts from an Accidental Minmatar Revolutionary, EVE Blog Banter #9 – Aggression timers, WTs and Stargates
  36. Mike Azariah, I don’t put much stock in it…
  37. Rettic’s Log, Blog Banter: Overview Overload
  38. A Sebiestor Scholar, [OOC] EVE Blog Banter #9: Slaves
  39. Diary of a pod pilot, [OOC] EVE blog banter #9: Because of Falcon
  40. Roc’s Ramblings, Blog Banter #9 – Taking Things Slow
  41. The Gaming-Griefer, EVE Sucks, But I Love It: The Memoir of a Masochist
  42. Letrange’s EVE Blog, Blog Banter #9: Bye Bye Learning Skills
  43. Lyietfinvar, Remove that monopoly
  44. Sceadugenga, Blog Banter #9
  45. Industrialist with Teeth, EVE Blog Banter #9
  46. More articles as they are posted!