24 December 2013

New Pilots Rejoice

It has been a long time since I was a new player. I still remember the feeling of being totally lost in a massive universe with no signposts or direction to help me. Back in 2005 there wasn't a Certificates system (now replaced by ISIS) to help me figure out what I should be training. Ultimately I failed to understand EVE and didn't last past my trial. The same happened in 2007 when I tried EVE for a second time. By the time late 2009 swung around the certificate system had appeared and I had guidance what to train. There are other things to consider in my sticking around, but I believe the jump in user-friendliness introduced by the certificate system played no small part.

Click the image to read the guide

Today in the 'Latest Announcements' section of the launcher I noticed a link for something purporting to be a new pilot FAQ. I decided to have a skim through it and see how helpful this would have been for me if it existed back in 2005.

The guide is split into two main sections - "What is EVE" and "What can I do in EVE". The first section gives a brief but decent introduction to the main races of New Eden. It touches very, very briefly on how New Eden was populated by humans in the first place. This first section then goes on to introduce the concepts of skills, clones, system security ratings, the role of Concord, markets, and player corporations. The second section leaps right into PvP and, thankfully, notes that avoiding PvP entirely is not possible. Missioning, Mining, Trading, Exploration and Faction Warfare are all covered in some detail and with no obvious omissions that I could see. The one error I noticed was to do with Ore sites needing scanned down which hasn't been the case since summer 2013. The end of the guide is given over to a very brief couple of pages showing what the UI looks like when docked and when in space, something which could definitely do with more explaination.

All in all this is a decent guide for the newest arrivals to New Eden. Hopefully CCP are going to link this pdf in an email when new players sign up to EVE Online. As far as I could tell it covers all the opportunities and dangers someone may encounter in their first while playing EVE. At 38 pages long it is likely to encounter a lot of "tl;dr" and this could probably be avoided by splitting the single 'New Pilot FAQ' into two separate booklets, one for each of the main sections. If this happened it would hopefully allow CCP to expand on the UI explanation. Hell, the UI could probably do with a several section booklet all of its own.

No doubt people will bitch and whine about CCP dumbing down EVE without ever having read through this guide. They will be wrong. CCP have pitched this exactly right highlighting the opportunities and dangers without really going into too much detail about how to reap the rewards or play in safetly. People who know about the dangers are less likely to quit in frustration when those dangers come to get them.

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