Monday, November 24, 2014

All Hands On Deck

I originally intended to publish a bittervet tinged post today, but something amazing emerged from EVE Down Under Friday.  CCP's latest video, "This Is EVE", debuted in Sydney and already has over 1.2 million views in less than 72 hours.

Not only did the video spread quickly onto gaming sites like Massively and PC Gamer, but new players started to flood into New Eden, curious about the game.

The Spike In New Characters Created
Once people started noticing, everyone, CCP and players alike, leapt into action.  CCP held another series of new player training sessions on Saturday from 1600-2100 EVE time covering "Orientation and the UI", "Skills", and "Ships and Fittings".  EVE University, in an event publicized on the EVE launcher, followed up with a super lecture session running from 2100 EVE to 0745 EVE time on the 24th featuring a roam FC'd by Pandemic Legion's Apothne.  Having Apothne, a commentator for Alliance Tournament XII, FC a fleet was a good move as it showed that a new player can get into a fleet like those shown in the trailer.

Another hopeful sign were the reports of Brave Newbies visiting the new player systems looking for recruits.  Since Brave Newbies was mentioned in the trailer, the new players enticed into EVE were probably excited that they would get a chance to experience what they saw in the trailer right away.

I also heard reports of veteran players starting up alt accounts to join the Rookie Chat Channel to answer questions.  On the CSM front, I know that CCP Manifest performed some dev magic to allow Sugar Kyle into the rookie chat channel on her main on Saturday and that Steve Ronuken and I believe Mike Azariah spent considerable time helping new players over the weekend  (I'm sure I'll hear if I left anyone out).  By Sunday, I heard that new players were sometimes getting answers from four players when they asked questions.

People were popping up all over the place offering advice.  CCP Manifest streamed a play through of the new player experience Saturday night/Sunday morning and such luminaries as video maker JonnyPew (Sir Livingston in the trailer), Ashterothi of the Hydrostatic Podcast, and Crossing Zebra's and's Hendrick Tallardar showed up to offer help.

The EVE community has a reputation as a group that will scam and kill new players without a second thought.  But EVE is a game that in many ways is owned by the players and the community wants to see the game grow and thrive.  When an event occurs that brings a flood of new players into the game, whether it's a large battle like B-R5RB or a trailer like "This Is EVE", a large segment of the player base turns out to welcome the new players and try to help them overcome the game's steep learning curve.  I've never really seen that in other games and is one of the things I think makes EVE Online a special game.

Additional content:

I've seen a couple of things posted on Twitter that fit in with this post.  First, Blackhuey created a Google document titled "Newbies Are Awesome 101 or: why people who say that newbies can't compete with vets in Eve Online are pants-on-head retarded."  Well-known pirate, artist, and EVE blogger Rixx Javix tweeted the following video on what it is like to be an EVE player.


  1. That is great that so many people are helping out with this surge of new players. The more that help, the better. However, it only takes a tiny percentage of assholes / sociopaths to ruin the game for so many. I am talking about the griefers like Code (goons) and all the scammers out there. Bottom line, only 43K people logged on at peak yesterday, which is far less than the 50K we used to get on . CCP needs to retain a lot of these new players, and unless they get rid of the sociopaths, we will be looking at January numbers wondering where all the new players went.

  2. Gnihi... Dev magic :D
    Rookie Channel
    Just copy/paste it into your ingame Notepad to make it a link et voila - enter the Rookie Chat with whatever charakter you want.
    As long as you focus on helping new players and don't troll/derp around the ISD won't throw you out.

  3. Since 1 August EVE's PCU has stayed pretty much in a band between 37 and 44 thousand. The lone exception is the Sunday after Phoebe was released when it hit 48 thousand. Yesterday's PCU matched that of the previous Sunday, thus ending a string of losses for the Sundays following Phoebe.

    It's good to see EVE attracting some new blood (again). I hope the retention is better this time around than it was after BR- when a month later all the new trial accounts stopped playing. Will it be enough? I think CCP needs to do more. A lot more.

  4. We must be looking at different information, because the PCU Tuesday though Friday of last week was under 37K.

    Also, is it fair to judge Phoebe when for the last two weeks it's been competing against the launch of the new WoW expansion? I don't think so. If the ACU doesn't drop too much, I'd call that a win.

  5. Greygal did the same: after the Agony roam she went into a career agent system and offered a free mini roam to the locals. Two were interested and were taken on a quick roam through low- and null-sec. They had fun, returned the next day for the Affrmative roam, and one of them has now joined GG's corp.

  6. This is one of the most positive things that has happened in the playerbase and one of the best series of expansions CCP has ever had and you just gota shit all over it... Dear gods just shut up already ok? Get in rookie help, give advise and HELP make it better FFS instead of whining and moaning... or YOU are part of the problem, not the solution.

  7. Oh boy. First off, there are a whole lot more than binary answers. Even Eve is not that black and white. That tripe about being part of the solution or problem is silly.

    It is clear that CCP is finally running scared and the inmates are no longer running the asylum. But while CCP are making changes they should have made years ago, until they destroy the sicko's like Code, new players will not stick around.

  8. Really? Running scared huh? Uh... no.

    and I quote CCP Seagull –

    “For the record. This (Incarna) as so many years ago and we have done so much work to reach now. I, as the executive producer, am in a risk taking mode. But, in the new way that we work. Not just random things. We need to be bolder. We should be able to get over our trauma of Incarna. We need to own our game and be courageous with it. I think our players want that of us.”

    and... in response to lost subs due to the changes CCP is making;

    We absolutely expect there to be a reduction... We think that the balance this change is bringing will be good and bring other people to the game or back that will compensate.


    We have avoided changes for fear that changes are bad. But we want an interesting and viability world for as many people as possible so we have to make things change even if some things won't be liked.

    No... I have no idea what game you are playing, but I am playing a game where the devs are no longer afraid of their customers... And your personal hated of players like the members of CODE, is just that... your problem. And plenty of new players are sticking around... cause there are a helluva lot more players like me and my gang, than like them... or, thank the gods... like you.

  9. First off, the changes to the queue mean people no longer need to long in as often. Multiply the removal of the 24 hour limitation by the hundreds and thousands of accounts and there will be a noticeable difference to the ACU.

    Combine that CCP actively targetting bot behaviours and the 23x7 harvesting... well again, you're going to have a measurable impact.

    In fact, if you've been keeping a eye on Doltan over time, you will see the metrics now far more reflect real world population use, declining much more at the NZ/AU TZ and curving back up for EU and US.

    Secondly, and I'd like to point to the Rixx Jarvix interview he gave on the Hydrostatic Podcast (HP13) where he states that in the FFAs they endeavor to make them as reasonably grief free as possible. Not completely however, as this removes emergent game play and something that makes EvE essentially EvE.

    tl;dr - If EvE were totally safe all of the time, it wouldn't be EvE...

  10. Vincent, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

    Your attitude is pessimistic and what you are doing is "white anting". Your negativity will reflect in your comments to rookies. The best thing you can do for the game is just keep your mouth shut.

    If you actually want to help, make sure rookies get to hear about EVE University, Brave Newbies, Agony Unleashed, or any other newbie-friendly corporations that you know of. Remind them that EVE is designed to be a multiplayer PvP game, and that they will have much more fun in a team than solo.

    But can you please quit the "EVE is dying, and there are bad apples in the barrel" doomsaying for a few weeks?

  11. Unfortunately, I have to agree with Viince.

    A dozen of my friends decided to try EVE this weekend after I emailed a link to the new trailer. Two got scammed, three got ganked in starter systems while doing the NPE (which I believe is still against the rules), five joined various corps and got screwed in some fashion by their new corpmates - including one who joined E-UNI. Needless to say, they quit and were not too complementary in their remarks back to me about their EVE experience.

    The two who survived were diddling with designing their toons, so they didn't actually make it out into space nor interact with any other players.

  12. It seems like the EVE community has gotten better about playing an active role in new player retention, in whatever ways they can. E.G. Monday night SirSqueebles, one of the most popular eve streamers, led a public roam with quite a few new players, teaching the basics of small fleet PVP as he went along. It was decent fun though would have been a lot better if the server pop at the time was not in the low 20s.

  13. Hello your blog is sharing great information on this topic, we are providing Thanks for sharing this information.

  14. ...and we are to believe that all that happened in less than three days?

    I think that you're a jinx and just doomed your friends from the point when you linked them to the trial.

  15. On a related note, another friend, who has been playing for about 3 months, recently quit.

    He was interested in trading on the EVE market, which he heard was the best simulation of the MMO games. However, he said that there are too many players using market bots to automatically update their buy/sell orders, 23.5/7. He is retired, and was able to log on at various times of the day and night, every day, for several weeks, to change his orders and watch their responses. He is a former computer crimes investigator and rather methodical.

    Naturally, he reported the suspected players to CCP, but apparently nothing was done and the bots continue to run. He said that unless he was also willing to cheat, there was no possible way to compete.

    Noizy has posted about these bots in the past, but it doesn't look like CCP is doing much about them, unless they are related to RMT activites.

  16. for a few weeks...or just effing ever?

  17. I believe in setting small, attainable goals, to help people get a sense of achieving something. We can work up to "be nice to people" as a life rule later.

  18. Yea... ok, ok... it's just... he's such a HORRID little man... =\

  19. What if he is just in pain from a lifetime of being rebuffed and ridiculed and needs some love and appreciation?

  20. I am obviously copy/pasting wrong. All that link does is open up an ingame browser window complaining of an invalid URL :(

  21. I'm sorry, there is a typo... joinChannel instead of joinchannel - you need to capitalize the "C"
    I try to edit my first comment, thanks for your feedback!

  22. oh noes... are we hugging nao???

  23. Larry,
    Neither this post nor Sugar Kyle's make any statements to the effect that ALL EVE players have gone all fappy in the head and wanna spend all the day in rookie help huggin' newbies...

    Our game is still the same game, and the players are still as ornery as ever, and yea... some percentage are gonna get ganked and scammed... it's EVE...

    BUT this time a FAR greater number of newbies than ever before actually got helped by a a lot of older players who normally don't go as far out of their way for noobs... and THAT is simply AMAZING!


    Sorry about the warp scrambler, it just flips on for no reason when I am feeling happy.