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Marlona Sky, gifted PvPer and extremely well-known and respected poster on the EvE Online official forums, brings us an interesting analysis on educating pilots for competition, making missions more challenging and interesting and how their current shape works against new players taking their first steps in New Eden.

Master Tang – “Pay no attention to Wimp Lo, we purposely trained him wrong… as a joke.”

This line is from a terrible movie which I will not bother repeating here, but it applies to how I feel about high security players. That is not intended in a vicious and hateful way. That is how I feel about uninformed players when they try combat against other pilots who are aware of game mechanics and how to use them to their advantage. Simply put; the engagement was a joke and quickly dismissed as such.

Why the vast difference? One thing EVE Online teaches is while accumulated skill points and wealth does grant distinct advantages, it does not always guarantee a victory. The difference starts off very subtle and rapidly becomes more and more obvious. Both players were grabbed by the hand and shown what to do. The differences are huge. One is prepared to omni-tank their ship, the other is shown to tank against a specific faction. Human vs. Aura and we may think of Aura as a loving and caring hologram, but the truth is she trained you wrong… as a joke.

Ok not as a joke, but because the programmers of the game could not predict the future and see how two distinctly different players being wedged further and further apart the longer they play the game. The tutorial is infinitely better than what the old-time vets endured. I started playing EVE a few months before Red Moon Rising. When I started the tutorial a friend told me I was wasting my time and they quickly showed me the basics of how to pilot my Osprey into war targets outside Jita 4-4. She was a brave vessel and lasted a few minutes, much like most of my ships these days. The point is a player had given me my first bit of advice which was closing the tutorial. All of my knowledge of game mechanics and tactics had come from another player. Not Aura. I consider myself one of the lucky few; I already knew another player before starting the game.

Most new players do not have the luxury of knowing someone who knows game mechanics. In EVE’s early days there was players who did not know what warping was, much less how to do it. So they spent the first few days slow boating around the station and off grid not knowing where they were. The lucky few have established friends ranging from forum communities to real life friends looking for a trusted wing man to help them take over the universe. Or mine asteroid belts the whole day… what was I thinking?! The tutorial now although better, does not gear the average starting player with the right mindset of players versus other players and the excitement that goes along with it. Sure being forcedto lose a ship implying that losing ships is part of the game, but nowhere near what it should be. The tutorial is extremely slow and lacking the excitement needed to bathe the player in the chaotic scenes of space battles we love to talk about at the end of the day.

Way of the Gun

Introducing players to basic game mechanics such as approaching an object and warping are boring. They need to start with pressing the F1 key to fire the gun of a Megathron, taking heavy fire with explosions and ships flying around. Meanwhile Aura is screaming at you to press that F1 key to place rounds of destruction into the hull of a Scorpion that is jamming your other friends in the fleet . As the fight progresses you introduce other aspects of button pressing like activating an armor repair module or micro-warp drive. Most of the mechanics will be handled by Aura and the ship crew for now. Things such as approaching objects, but the point being the player has started by learning the exciting parts of the game first. Not how to approach a mission gate and scooping a book from a cargo container.

Right from the start the player feels important, they are satisfied from pulling the trigger on a big gun and blowing another ship to hell and back. They saved the day. During the tutorial they will be taught in highly likely scenarios they will potentially meet in real PvP. Just from this different take on the tutorial the player is more excited flying spaceships. They are playing and heading down a path towards understanding how engagements are more likely to happen. The new player on the current tutorial is thinking spreadsheets and wondering who’s starter ship they hijacked and why the local channel wont stop scrolling.

Watering the Flower

Venus Flytrap is a flower right? We want flowers with teeth, not daisies. The reinforcing factor that teaches most players to avoid and hate PvP is lack of knowledge through missions. Or specifically as in Wimp Lo’s case, learning the wrong way to fight. Players do fine in the beginning missions and before long, they ask for help with the difficult missions. What is linked? A third-party website that has every possible mission mapped out. From ships to fly, ammo to load, what to tank, what to shoot and when to shoot. Wrapped up with a nice bow on top. Gone is learning from another players help inside the mission. Trying different things to see which works is completely unnecessary now. It is all right there. So much detail and information. Quickly the new player does math and they realize if they follow the guide, no harm will befall them. As long as they follow this road map it will take them around the dark forest, by-pass the troll, grab that stack of money hidden over there and the fastest way out of all danger and risk. Congratulations, you just created another care bear for life guy who will learn only to mission, avoid PvP and most likely be a loner who does the occasional ‘I don’t know you, but I’m waving to be polite anyways.’ high sec dweller.

There needs to be a total and complete revamp of how missions operate. They need to incorporate as many aspects of what combat is like playing against another player and the risks and rewards involved in such things. There are missions that are industrial and science related, but that is something else entirely and deserves its own spotlight. The point is from the very first level one mission they need to be taught to fit their ship on the most common and basic ways they would in real player combat. Activating a warp disruptor, omni-tanking, focusing fire, maintain distance for example. Also try to avoid having them fly the mission alone. As part of the mission they are to meet up with another player at the mission gate. If you must, introduce NPC ships as part of the new players fleet. I’m not saying toss them into some mission with hundreds of NPC ships versus other hundreds of NPC ships and they are stuck in the middle, but you get the idea. The player needs to be continually baptized in likely situations they would find out of high sec. Missions where they are not in a battleship blasting away, but in a logistics ship trying to keep NPC ships alive. Missions where they are a scout or tackle for a fleet and if they don’t learn how to come in at an angle instead of hitting the approach button, they will die and the friendly fleet was never able to get a warp in.

Perhaps by far the most important aspect of this new take on missions is completely and totally random factors. I am not talking about if the Damsel in Distress is in can number three instead of can number one. What we need to see is a cyno going up and hostile ships jumping in during the mission. Perhaps another new players mission has them come into your own mission with the intent to carry out a different goal. The creators of mission guide website did an amazing job, but these new missions should be impossible to half way document. There should be a hundred different options on fifty different aspects of the mission. Sure keep slight themes going on depending on the agent assigning the missions, but they should not be predictable. Zombie pilot blitzing the mission without a care in the world wondering if the next song on EVE Radio will be “Never Gonna Give You Up”, should never be possible. This new style should apply to all variety of mission types. Progressing from the first mission, all the way up to the extremely dangerous level five missions. Into the unknown is critical to being prepared for interaction with other players and adds excitement back into an otherwise boring profession.

Now you have a huge difference in player mindset and interaction between the Daisy player and our new Venus Flytrap player. One is singing “Over the Rainbow” while the other has scary teeth. Ignorance of game mechanics is a huge issue for players new and old. I used to prey on mission runners for a while and while it was rewarding in ISK and humor, it only was successful because I was shown by other players how to fit and fly a ship for player versus player combat while my unfortunate targets only knew how to shoot red crosses and assumed the same tactics would apply against me. Most of the time after the mission runners had died they would ask me how did it happen the way it did. If they were not screaming and acting like a child I spent a good deal of time trying to teach them about the game when it comes to PvP and about half the time if the ship I blew up was not expensive, I fully replaced their ship with mods, ammo and rigs. To top it off I did my best to introduce them to player organizations that I felt they would learn from and or fit in with and learn. Players who made a spectacle in the local channel and or on the forums, I would simply wish them better luck next time and be on my way to the next victim.

Have Ship, Will Travel

While great level four mission hubs create market hubs in or near the same system, they teach mission runners there is no need to travel. After all, why bother? All their needs is here, in system or extremely close. Ships, equipment, local mission runners that you can wave to and all your worldly possessions are neatly stacked and cataloged into one station. You are home, forever. This is terrible! Granted I love the idea of solo play and lone wolf players, but for a MMO game to push new players into wanting to play in a tiny fraction of available systems in the game is a tragedy. I have encountered players who have been playing for months and even years, only fly around to a few key systems. Again in their defense, aside from curiosity they have no real reason to go to other places. Unless of course a better paying agent becomes available after the standings grind and they can eek out a bit more ISK per hour.

So with mission runners tied to agents which never move around, how do we get the player to travel? Simple. The agents will travel. Maybe it is not simple to code, but the idea is simple enough and the impact will be significant. Agents will pack their bags and move to a different location after players have exhausted some missions. How many times can the same chick be captured in the same system over and over? How many times is some invading force going to high jack a star gate to get into a specific system before they realize they need to try a different one? Hopefully you understand my point. After so many completed missions by any player the agent will move. Example being agent Smith moves after two players completed fifty of his missions or fifty players completed a mission each. It makes no difference as long as the job was done by somebody.

Where did they go?

Just like a player should, hopefully, progress to more challenging goals. The agents will seek a new station to base from. Such a place should be a bit more dangerous than the last system. So fulfilling all the needs in a 1.0 system the agent would seek business in a 0.9 system. Spending time there, on to a 0.8 system, so on and so forth. Which leads us to the great barrier of what it means to go from safety (well mostly) to danger and excitement… traveling to a 0.4 station. At this point they are a very different type of player compared to the mission runners we see now. They have a solid understanding of fitting ships. They have core PvP understanding. They know what it takes to travel around the game and most importantly; they most likely have friends that are of the same mindset. They are not the terrified mission runners who shy away from PvP because they know as well as seasoned vets, they will get their ass handed to them. These are bears with teeth. Confident bears who are not afraid of losing a ship, they have lost many before. They are not afraid of your pirate friends, they brought friends too. They are not afraid of your PvP fit ships, they were born and raised in one.

And so the mission runner is now out of Concords protection running missions, fighting off pirates. Perhaps pirating himself to keep the agent around for a longer period for himself to profit from making more friends along the way. By having more players in low sec out in space running missions and fighting other players, we now have vastly more activity in low sec. None of which is the typical activity we see now; a life long pirate gang camping a gate ganking a random noob who accidentally went into low sec because they accidentally went the wrong way. The next ships they see come in are combat ready. Ships that are not afraid of them. Not afraid whereas they know, or at least have a general idea, of what to do.

The agent continues further down in security systems and ends in null space. That is correct. Mission agents in null space and not just NPC null space, player owned stations. At last, a real use for the stations that litter null space with no one bothering to dock. Also some new incentive to control them. Not to be over looked is the ISK and LP involved in these changes. Depending on player activity with the agent, it has made its way from high sec, to low sec and into null sec followed by competent players. Also breathing new life into targets which is not a boring structure. Some agents are content with staying in their space ship and assigning missions regardless who owns the system. So when roaming gangs come and the locals choose to dock/log off and wait till the coast is clear… the roaming gang just might run missions, make cash and speed up the agents departure. If the gang stumbles upon people running missions, no longer will it be with their pants down sporting PvE fits. Their PvE fits are PvP fits.

Which brings me to the end of the agents cycle. After finally having their last mission completed by any player, they will seek out the next Interbus shuttle back to a 1.0 high security system to start the cycle all over again. Initially most of the mission related income will be in high security we see now. What will happen is it will travel across the map slowing more and more as it goes from high security to low security and to most likely spend a good chunk of time in null space due to the majority of players being in high sec. So depending on how fast they burn through the agent missions in each system will depend on how long they stay.

So how does this affect my EVE?

There is a variety of factors this system will change. From having a serious impact on trade hub due to the population fluctuation over New Eden, to war declarations to fight off players from taking missions from agents. A reason to log on a null character to run missions in, wait for it… in null space. Player income which can be taxed and for an alliance, have a bottom to up income. Incentive for players to help and protect said income. With some agents not being restricted to stations it will create a reason to fight invaders instead of ignoring them. Granted agent missions should pay out better the lower the security system is when the mission is completed. By far the most important and positive effect of all the changes is the player mindset. Combat is no longer foreign to them. They have a solid grasp on how to fight and how to connect with other players. Not by just linking them a website on how to blitz missions and make the most ISK per hour possible with little risk. They know what it is like to carry out goals, fight for what they want and enjoy blowing up internet spaceships… even if the spaceship being blown apart is their own.

There will be some skeptics who will proclaim high sec players will never learn PvP, much less like it and want to do it. I have seen many threads on the forums these days demanding nerfs from high security missions all the way to removing all industry related activity if you are in a NPC corporation. All of these demands are crude and barbaric do nothing to address the core issue; bad initial player environment. People are a product of their environment and time. Majority of players spend most of their time learning how to play the game before striving to connect with other players. They need to be excited to log in and learn. It all starts with the tutorial and nurturing them through the missions. The incentive to go to war and fight for an income source in high sec will be controlled by the players and in the process give real desire and knowledge to venture into deeper and darker parts of space seeking fortune and glory. Adding some arbitrary tax on an activity will do nothing to change the game landscape, player knowledge and activity. Players, especially mission runners in high sec, will know the potential income they have available is controlled by other players and more importantly, themselves. Self empowerment is good.

While there will always be players who choose to stay in high sec; it will no longer be because they don’t have the knowledge to survive in other space, but because they want to. I truly believe there is a place in EVE for everyone and where they go, what they do should be based on how they choose to play and nothing to do with lack of knowledge in-game mechanics. Educating players is not dumbing the game down. It is in fact the exact opposite. While it may be funny to watch a new player flail about in frustration because they do not understand what is going on only to quit the game or farm high security missions isolated – the real losers are the rest of us stuck fighting the same group of players over and over all the while wondering if and when someone new will come.

-Marlona Sky

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78 Comments

  1. kevin

    tl;dr:

    December 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm Reply
  2. Goonion

    I have no idea what you are talking about. Most Goon players learned from the tututorial how to PvP and we are now in charge of all of EvE. I actually even make it mandatory to follow lots of parts of the tutorial for my corp in pvp training. Just bacause you need to swap an invuln for a specific hardner does not mean you can't PvP. The carebaers in high sec are not there because they followed the tutorial (If they had followed it they could be in Goons) they are there because they are failed players, failing and trying to farm WHs or failing in alliances like -A-. A large amount of HBC members live in high sec and have never been to null sec, if players have failing mentalities like that, then the tutorial cannot hep them.

    December 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm Reply
    1. Spell Check

      because*

      December 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm Reply
      1. Goonion

        Unless you are going to say something intelligent , please don't post.

        December 27, 2012 at 5:29 am Reply
        1. Something intelligent.

          December 27, 2012 at 6:05 am Reply
          1. EvE

            Wow and no one can make any comments against Goons. Has all of Eve given up to accept Goon Kingship?

            December 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm
        2. Lokitoki81

          something intelligent

          December 27, 2012 at 8:17 am Reply
    2. Goonion

      Guys please dont make any posts about how people like to play in different ways. If you are a looser this is not a stlye of play.

      December 26, 2012 at 6:52 pm Reply
        1. Razoring

          Seems you made a stupid post so Goonion had it edited?

          December 26, 2012 at 11:56 pm Reply
          1. All I told him to do was STFU and GTFO, via the magic that is a Picard image. Meh :)

            December 29, 2012 at 9:56 pm
      1. Lithia Tsanov

        MS, Your first paragraph is dead on. I don't know if I agree with the conclusion though. The sad fact is, most people join alliances. Most alliances have bad, but entertaining, mentors. Some even go as far as to train their members 'wrong', in order to maintain control over them (as a joke).

        While tutorials would solve the scaling issues that mentoring faces, do you really think that your proposal will make a difference? I've run into 6-year self-proclaimed PvP veterans that had no idea what the tactical overlay is… I fear that changing the tutorials may be too little, and far too late.

        December 27, 2012 at 8:02 pm Reply
      2. anon

        learn how to spell loser, loser.

        December 27, 2012 at 10:19 pm Reply
        1. Goonion

          Learn how to write an intelligent response to me looser.

          December 28, 2012 at 11:52 am Reply
          1. NRDS

            Responding to an unintelligent post with intelligence would only provoke more unintelligent responses. Feel free to respond…

            December 29, 2012 at 12:40 am
  3. F1GoonieMaster

    Nothing else needs to be taught other than pressing the "F1" key repeatedly.

    December 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm Reply
  4. DarthNefarius

    Many of your suggestions where carried out in Incursions: the need to omni-tank, traveling from Incursion spawn to spawn across the galaxy, and low sec Incursion sites pay better; yet I don't know how much this helped prepare for PvP'ing

    December 26, 2012 at 5:55 pm Reply
    1. Marlona_Sky

      I know Incursions encourage players to omni-tank and do a bit of traveling, but the few who run them have them completely memorized. They grind them for long periods of time mostly not uttering a word because everyone has the sites memorized. In short there is never any surprises.

      December 26, 2012 at 6:26 pm Reply
      1. Antigoony

        This, and newer players have no place in the big Incursion groups. I came in with a mediocre 4/2 Basilisk with logistics 5, and still got laughed away and ridiculed. One guy tried to help me with my fit, but I still never got into a fleet. I've since given up completely on Incursions, writing it off similar to how I wrote off end-game raiding in WoW as a complete waste of time where neckbeards go to measure their pvepeen.

        Since that day I've made it my goal to be as inclusive as possible in EVE. Its such a fun game, but hardly anyone gets past the first few weeks because its so hard to learn. Every pilot I help make it past the first month is a win for me, even if they're my enemy.

        December 27, 2012 at 9:05 pm Reply
    2. Incursion Bear

      They also scream and kick their feet bemoaning how hard it will be to move all the way to a new incursion when they are not exploding with internal drama.

      December 27, 2012 at 2:56 pm Reply
  5. buggrit

    The OP is perfectly correct. And her methods might double or treble the amount of pvp and pvpers.

    But never a majority, or even 20% of the population. Besides, you NEED them. Without the drones, you get no ships and mods. You must make do with much weaker ships and fits because the level of destruction raised, the production lowered.

    So – let my clients be! :)

    December 26, 2012 at 6:26 pm Reply
  6. NullSecHoBo

    Different people play Eve for different reasons. Finding ways to engage new players in what already exists rather than mixing up stuff all over is probably a better way to spend time and resources..

    December 26, 2012 at 6:33 pm Reply
  7. BlueDoughnutComing

    Eve is the only game I know of where the wolves complain about the sheep getting too fat.

    December 26, 2012 at 7:28 pm Reply
    1. Draco

      True >.<

      December 27, 2012 at 11:12 am Reply
  8. apimp

    The tutorials in eve have nothing to do with eve its self.

    December 26, 2012 at 8:12 pm Reply
  9. Bob

    Wow, this year the bitching has really reached a hi-level of anti-CCP and the games fked complaints. This article is way to long. We all know the tutorials arent that great. They arent totally useless, in fact the non-pvp aspects are good enough I believe.

    As for the PVP tutorials I dont recall them specifically. It should be possible to make decent ones. Covering aspects like fitting, and the tanking types, speed vs active/buffer tank etc. It should also cover things like target selection. Handling Ewar, sniping etc. I dont beleive that right now it would be all that hard for them to craft decent tutorials either.

    Perhaps, ppl should start submitting tutorial ideas for PVP covering what I've mentioned above. As long as ppl only use whats currently available, CCP shouldnt have any real trouble implementing it.

    The T1 rebalancing really provides an ideal opportunity for the new crop of nubes to be shown how much fun PVP can be, and put them off joining the massive blobs. If well crafted tutorials did this, I believe more folks would go looking for better PVP than the blob. Thus turning off the steady supply of new players to alliances like Test/Goons. I hope, they would then start to look towards joining a PVP alliance that encourages well fit fleet fights instead of generic F1 monkey shit.

    December 26, 2012 at 8:22 pm Reply
    1. Goonion

      Bobby boy, big words for a little boy? When last did you reinforce one of our systems? – No I didn't think so.

      December 26, 2012 at 8:26 pm Reply
  10. Shana_Zera

    Um… TL;DR?

    December 26, 2012 at 10:05 pm Reply
  11. Smiling Politely

    Love the agents idea, but it doesn't have to be such a systematic system, even random movement to a new system would keep them fresh.
    And it wasn't a tldr post, it was actually well thought out, also does anyone actually read Goonions post anymore? He needs a new alt coz he. Doesn't even get a rise from me anymore….. Goons, so 2011…

    December 26, 2012 at 11:06 pm Reply
    1. Cale

      I still read them, if only to see how irrelevant he has become in eve. I wonder if he is even in goons, and if so do they all share his failminded opinions?

      December 27, 2012 at 1:06 am Reply
  12. -A- FC

    Tutorial should just finish with well done pilot now go join HBC or CFC…

    Isn't this what you are looking for.. you know more pilots in 0.0 hitting approach and F1. That may be helped with a new tutorial that could help get people out of highsec into your blob.. thats like 'fun' right?

    Fun immersive missions are good on paper and EVE has never had them, maybe a military / trader / science career you have to play through may be fun. Fun that requires you to join up with others. Problem is this is themepark MMO territory, EVE is a sandbox any tutorial or static encounter is going to be a bolt on that will ultimately get old quick regardless of random spawns or whatever. Allot of people who play eve hate tutorials of any kind. In a sandbox we can create our own training and ways to do it (see eve uni) and content (RVB etc).

    Problem is EVE is too easy and too low risk today and every activity has been nerfed to a point of little point little fun little interaction and little profit. I remember when trying to do level 3 missions was difficult solo and level4s were an unforgiving corp activity, not an easy solo one. Corps that formed at this time ultimatly took this teamwork into low sec and 0.0 and created allot of the entities we see today. Why fly together today in high sec today? Mining bonuses? lol.

    December 26, 2012 at 11:26 pm Reply
    1. J.E.

      First post. Troll away.

      I partially agree.

      CCP needs to pull their heads out of the larger corps collective asses and start sponsoring wars. They need to stop being our friends and start fostering war… not only wars we read about (myself being a 0.7 carebear bitch) but ones we see and feel. Part of the issue is that the vast majority of the wars arent affecting highsec at this point. They aren't affecting the resources or the multitude of items on sale. We need wars that will upset and affect the economy and actually create supply and demand. Everyone from lowsec to highsec should be able to feel it, EVE wide, and these wars should spill over into highsec to be both visible and tangible to the carebear collective.

      Now what if CCP was encouraging war more actively, maybe paying rewards for showing no mercy… what if it was happening over a multitude of systems ranging from high sec to null sec… what if nullsec groups were hunting out WH groups… or vice versa… Small gangs are fantastic and all… but I think its time for a no-bullshit go back to the neanderthal days slugfest to create a massive upset, cause realignments, and even put the carebear coalitions on their toes.

      January 5, 2013 at 12:15 am Reply
  13. teething carebear

    Awesome article OP! This for some reason makes me want to join a low-sec or null-sec corp that uses organized fleets for battles. It's high time I break the chains of high-sec space and play the half of the game I haven't seen yet. To all the haters here…there will be a new breed of newbs and they won't be so easy to trick or kill…you mad?

    December 26, 2012 at 11:49 pm Reply
  14. Draco

    Problem with missioning outside high sec is the risk/reward.

    Your average level 4 mission running ships is easily 100s of mil, and it not unheard of for them to be billions. Current level 4 mission tends to pay in tens of mil when you add up salvage/bounties/reward/skills. This mean to afford your mission running ships replacement if it gets blown up, you would need to have successful in dozens and dozens of missions before being blown up to break even.

    Additional a good ship for missioning, tends to be god awful for pvp.

    Your seeing the issues here right, but before you add the line "Well let make the mission pay 100 of mil" you got to consider the risk level is not always the same! Its quiet possible to dominate area of low sec if you putt your mind to it, with something as simple as finding as dead end system and having your buddies gatecamp it while you rake in the isk!

    So here my solution!

    Have missions of very different set up in low sec, have them prize pvp skills and teamwork. Also have typically pay a bit better than level 4s, but more aimed at a battlecruiser level of ship and small gang style of play, rather than the typically solo work of most missions.

    December 27, 2012 at 12:55 am Reply
    1. Sync Vir

      You can do any Level 4 mission in a T2 fit Raven, using anything with a greater price tag falls under personal choice. Even a T2 Drake can solo all level 4s.

      I don't believe level 4s should be moved to losec, but the Risk/Reward argument is not a good enough reason. Too often I see the "my mission ship cost 2b, so the RVR is off." Its simply not true.

      The whole idea of the piece does smack of forcing game style. Totally against sandbox rules. Play how you want, and expect others to do so as well.

      If someone wants to remain in high sec in an npc corp mining and building t1 stuff. Never pvp'ing avoiding wars and using only alts. Then that is there choice and no one should care if they do so.

      If someone wants to make a new gank alt to bug said player, that too is there choice and no one should care about that also. Say for the two players involved. Too often people bring up ideas that will "fix" or "make better" eve. It is fine. you can play however you want, and have been able to for a long time.

      Remember that, and also that this rule is for all not just pvp'ers.

      December 27, 2012 at 5:59 am Reply
      1. Draco

        Issue is to run said missions in a t2 fit raven requires top notch skills… which mean said person likely been doing level 4 missions a fair while without ever leaving there comfort zone of high sec missions. Doing 4 in a drake may also be possible, but it down right slow as hell, and time is isk!

        The fact time is isk is also why you sometimes see insane pirate battleships with office mods and crap tank on ganks of the week, as someone desire to make isk quicker and quicker overtook there wariness of being too tempting for a ganker to pass by >.<

        However level 4s are quiet doable by a group of battlecruisers, quickly and profitably. However you have to be wary of being alphaed. This is why I argue for missions specifically designed for groups in low sec, perhaps with entry requirement that include 3 + ships and objectives that require teamwork and use of pvp tactics.

        December 27, 2012 at 12:06 pm Reply
        1. Sync Vir

          If you can't fly it properly, you should not be flying it at all. As for a slow drake, so? If you want speed fit a 3b tengu. However just because your ship has increased in prices doesn't mean your rewards should as well. Speed is also not a good reason to change mission. Increasing your ship value to get quicker income also falls under personal choice.

          Losec already has missions just for it. FW mission are losec only, have massive rewards and are best done in groups of 3 – 6 players. Some players choose to solo bomber them, but are easily hassled out by a single frig. 3-6 Drakes running FW L4's can pull in a couple bill per player per day at the right levels.

          However these mission come with added risk, such as other players trying to kill you. But they are all doable in pvp fits, reward players in groups more then solo because of the speed, and from time to time bring you a pvp fight as well.

          Mission system in eve is not in a bad place. I just think too many people believe its messed up for misguided reasons.

          More often then not, peoples reasoning for nerfs to highsec is that this will magically get people into losec or null. It won't at all. I think people in losec and null need to learn that some people would rather leave eve then play in there playground.

          If groups of players want to never leave highsec and sit in a 10-30 man high sec corp running level 4s. I fail too see why this matters to anyone outside of there corp. They are paying to mission and run around space together. It might be boring to most other people, but doesn't mean it is to them.

          And time is not isk btw, time is time. Isk is easy enough to make that isk per hour is meaningless. Isk > Need is more important. I need 1.3b for a new loki. So mission, mine, market trade or build till have enough, then go pvp.

          December 28, 2012 at 7:43 am Reply
          1. Draco

            Time is isk, If I only need to spend a hour to make 100 mi in a expensive fit battleship, instead of two in a tech 2 fitted drake, that a hour I've freed up for other stuff other than income generation.

            Then again this is why I'm such a big fan of trade. Take a tech 1 industrial with a 100 mil of trade goods from Jita, sell them for twice that amount in a local market, making me a 100 mil profit for a mere 20 minutes of work (through I have to wait for said profits to to turn up).

            Now if you can make a really big bag of isk in the week from missioning, then you can afford all the stuff you want to pvp in the weekend, rather than getting in the horrible position of realizing the only thing left you can afford in tech 1 frigs at about 6 pm on a Sunday!

            December 28, 2012 at 11:12 am
  15. MMO PvP Vet

    The game's tutorial SHOULD make PvP a viable option to newbies buy the whole article is fail because it wants to the game to steer new players toward something that YOU want them to do. I find it amusing how PvPers berate care bears for being narrow-minded because they don't want to PvP then turn right around & make the erroneous assumption that everyone should eventually want to/pursue it. WRONG.

    Null sec may be YOUR idea of EVE's endgame, but everyone doesn't think like you or want what you want. & no, no one gives a crap how many names they get called or insults you hurl, it's THEIR game, THEIR time, THEIR sub, they can play how they want. You may be baffled that everyone doesn't want to do what YOU want to do, but that's just as ignorant as getting angry because everyone doesn't love spinach, or lacrosse or windsurfing just because YOU do.

    Get over yourselves, your idea is fun IS not & SHOULD not be expected to jibe with everyone else's, if you're mad that there aren't more players PvPing & more would rather mine than pew pew, tough, that's life, deal & stop whining. & this is coming from someone who who has played damn-near every major MMO since Run escape & usually ABHORS PvE in most games, but doesn't enjoy it very much in EVE. I don't & didn't expect every other player to fanatically run BG's, or Arena, or sPvP in my other games, & neither should YOU here. People do what they like, & if you don't like that, so what? That's YOUR problem, NOT theirs. They're not stupid for not enjoying the same things that you do, YOU'RE stupid for expecting them to, then raging when they don't.

    December 27, 2012 at 1:46 am Reply
    1. Marlona_Sky

      Apologies. I should have toned my article down by using less words in all caps.

      December 27, 2012 at 1:56 am Reply
  16. Space Paladin

    I am deliberately posting anonymously. I flew with several large alliances in the past, and they revolted me with their crass racism, sexism and of course, homophobia. Listening to the Goon's Teamspeak was particularly disturbing.
    Worse, the alliance web sites further disgusted me with increasingly disturbing references to mindless violence and contempt of humanity in general and womankind in particular.
    I tried several corps and alliances thinking I just had not found the right one, a place where respect and honor were values over connivance and sneaky play. Unfortunately, I found none.

    So, I formed a corp and I tried to rectify the situation. Every time I would get seven or eight members, someone would deliberately provoke a war with some outside corp or alliance, and then there were to corp hangar thieves, who seem to behave cooperatively until given hangar access then would clear out the hangar.

    I later found out we had been singled out for harassment by a pirate group who we had tried to stand up to. Standing up to another, larger corporation is suicide in Eve, as thousand ex-players can attest by their giving up on Eve.

    So now I run a very small corp, and I play almost exclusively solo because all my friends would rather play a SOCIAL MMO, not and ANTI-SOCIAL MMO. I am not sure why I am still paying for my subscription. Maybe because easy games do not interest me. I keep hoping someone designs a game like Eve, with spaceships, but without the corp/alliance/PvP drama.

    December 27, 2012 at 2:35 am Reply
    1. Lithia Tsanov

      My recommendation would be to free yourself of corps/aliances and fly with one of the many alternative groups in Eve. You will find that they are less interested in the "Let's pretend we have some imaginary social heirarchy" and more interested in winning than most big-aliance members.

      Most big-aliance FC's and leaders strike me as the kind of people with "Assistant manager" jobs at WhiteCastle. Eve is their ego-trip, and anything that counters their ego 'must' have a vagina attached.

      December 27, 2012 at 6:06 pm Reply
    2. Tiye Q

      Unfortunately, what you have described is a huge part of the EVE culture, and it is completely unacceptable. Racism, sexism, and homophobia is so ingrained in EVE, it makes me wonder how the game will survive in the long run. Or possibly EVE has survived this long because of the anonymity of the internet tends to breed this cowardly behavior of the stupefyingly clueless.

      Also, the awoxing, corp theft, and general foolishness that is allowed because of sub-par corp security game mechanics, and the promotion of said actions (by CCP of all entities), does not make life in the sandbox easier.

      In fact 95% of the readers on this site, are part of an entity within EVE, (whether it be a small corp or major alliance) that subscribes to the aforementioned line of thought . The racism, etc, along with corp theft/awoxing, combined with a sub-par PvE and PvP experience, helps to create the culture that we have today in the sandbox.

      EVE culture and the player base is for the most part complete and total garbage. There are only a few pockets of decent, mature players with common sense.

      December 27, 2012 at 9:19 pm Reply
  17. >Opinions

    Article started nice but as I went through the suggestions is became another 'this sandbox should force you to pvp because its how i play it'. Dont get me wrong it has good ideas such as agents moveing, this can help expand players throughout eve BUT bringing the agents into low/null just sounds like another attempt for low/null players trying to abuse the system for easy kills and for an increase of agents for more isk. By all means I like the idea of an agent randomly going to low or null or a null agent going to low/high sec but it should be random and not something that would eventually force players to risk something they dont want to loose to some blobfest of null players.

    TL;DR Good ideas. Too bad it has a nullbabby anti-sandbox agenda.

    December 27, 2012 at 3:04 am Reply
    1. Marlona_Sky

      I promise you there is no anti-sandbox agenda. In no way am I lobbying for some assembly line of mission runners slowly marching in front of my guns or anything like that.

      December 27, 2012 at 8:31 am Reply
      1. Bad Idea Low Sec

        It does have a very good ideas indeed, but I am still against an idea for NPC agent going to low and 0 sec. There are players that don't like the PVPing, and just wanna enjoy the EVE universe where is SAFE of not losing any ship. But I agree with u Marlona_Sky that the eve tutorial isn't helpping at all, the best tutorial,just like u said, can be obtained from the other expirienced or veteran player. I was in the same pocket as a new, I followed the tutorial, lost 2 ships, and didn't had money to do anything else and I quited game for some time, till my urge to have some more fun hasn't awokened again. They do need to make a tutorial more better, and there could've been something like, let's say a corp, or a membership for a guides that wanna do help a newcomer or a newb in the EVE game to show them how to fly, how to ratt, how to do mining, how to do science as everything else in the game. For the profit for those guiders (players) if u have any progress in it, and have reacher some point of level with that newb, as a reward, he should've get payed with, let us say, LP or an iskies, or something that has some fine value anywere in any type of market. Just giving ideas, I hope that u guys understand. But I say AGAIN, trying to get a new player that doesn't know how to fit the ship proparly and doesn't have skill points more then 10mil is useless guys. He will just get killed so many times that he will leave the game, and I'm not saying if he gets pod killed.

        December 27, 2012 at 11:16 am Reply
        1. Marlona_Sky

          Why would they not know how to fit a PvP ship if the tutorial and missions teach and encourage them to fit PvP setups? The idea is that PvP fit ships would be extremely viable for missions. I mentioned that several times in my article. No one would be FORCED into low sec or null space if they absolutely did not want to go. There is a ton of agents in this game. Your favorite agent has gone on a trip into space you don't want to go? Find another.

          Your statement that anyone with less than 10 million skill points is useless in PvP is bullshit. T1 frigates are a solid choice and by no means weak in combat. Just because a new player can not hop in a decked out battleship on day one does not mean they are worthless in combat. There are several roles to be filled and the tackle role is always needed in fights and you guessed it, new players in T1 frigates CAN do that job just fine.

          December 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm Reply
          1. anon

            you don't seem to be really reading the "we appreciate what you're trying to do here, but it's not for everyone" comments. many, many, many players play eve because it's a cool spaceship-flying game, NOT for the pvp. and guess what – that's ok. pvp games aren't for everyone, but the great thing is even non-pvpers fill ultra-critical roles within the game; without them it wouldn't exist.

            December 27, 2012 at 10:22 pm
      2. Deifirtep

        Good article overall.

        Perhaps the easiest way to introduce players to PvP in the short term would be something along the lines of a combat simulator within the game – something where you can test out a ship and fittings against a number of varied opponents that fight more like actual PvPers than predictable NPCs.

        Moving the NPC agents around would be rather interesting. Moving them to and from high sec would be more disruptive than conductive and lets face it – those agents are mostly care-bears themselves. So I can't see them going out to Low or Null sec themselves 😉

        December 28, 2012 at 12:15 am Reply
    2. Goonion

      EvE is only about PvP. The less you do and the less kills you have, the more you are loosing.

      I have no idea what you are talking about. Most Goon players learned from the tututorial how to PvP and we are now in charge of all of EvE. I actually even make it mandatory to follow lots of parts of the tutorial for my corp in pvp training. Just bacause you need to swap an invuln for a specific hardner does not mean you can't PvP. The carebaers in high sec are not there because they followed the tutorial (If they had followed it they could be in Goons) they are there because they are failed players, failing and trying to farm WHs or failing in alliances like -A-. A large amount of HBC members live in high sec and have never been to null sec, if players have failing mentalities like that, then the tutorial cannot hep them.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:10 am Reply
  18. Mr_Gr3y

    Marlona sky is a respectable poster?

    Get fucked.

    December 27, 2012 at 6:12 am Reply
    1. Marlona_Sky

      Aside from the introduction of me, which I of course did not write and thought was amusing as well; do you actually have anything to say about the article itself?

      December 27, 2012 at 8:24 am Reply
      1. Mr_Gr3y

        Too many paragraphs for so little content, but you put a lot of effort into it, you just require refinement.

        Faggot.

        December 27, 2012 at 9:49 am Reply
  19. Lithia Tsanov

    MS, Your first paragraph is dead on. I don't know if I agree with the conclusion though. The sad fact is, most people join alliances. Most alliances have bad, but entertaining, mentors. Some even go as far as to train their members 'wrong', in order to maintain control over them (as a joke).

    While tutorials would solve the scaling issues that mentoring faces, do you really think that your proposal will make a difference? I've run into 6-year self-proclaimed PvP veterans that had no idea what the tactical overlay is… I fear that changing the tutorials may be too little, and far too late.

    December 27, 2012 at 7:37 am Reply
    1. Marlona_Sky

      It goes far beyond the tutorials and dives deep into game wide income source, it's location and showing new and old players valuable information and tactics to survive in a PvP environment. They can of course continue to stay with PvE, but the gap between the two would have a logical bridge between them.

      December 27, 2012 at 8:28 am Reply
      1. Lithia Tsanov

        I still don't know. FW seemed to do a good job of teaching cooperative play (flying with someone else). I have trouble believing that low-sec missions will prepare pilots to fly against someone, most obviously because we already have low/null sec missions, and the current runners do not seem any more able-bodied than their high-sec contemporaries in terms of PvP.

        I'll think on it. Maybe you're right.

        December 27, 2012 at 6:52 pm Reply
        1. Lithia Tsanov

          I've thought it over. Metaphorically speaking, you're putting a gradual incline in the bottom of the pool, rather than having t a floor with a sharp drop into the abyss, in an attempt to assist new water-goers in learning how to swim. I think we should be thinking less about the pool, and more about the swimming lessons.

          Every time I mentor someone who has spent time in an alliance, I have to spend a month undoing the brain damage that has been inflicted upon them by their previous mentors/FCs. Had they been taught correct technique in the first place, my job would be infinitely easier.

          December 28, 2012 at 2:37 am Reply
  20. Green Giant

    “While there will always be players who choose to stay in high sec; it will no longer be because they don’t have the knowledge to survive in other space, but because they want to. ”

    “Because they want to.” I see no need to force players to leave hi-sec, and learn. I think its great you pop runners and talk with them. We need that, but we don’t need CCP to force people into low/null in the name of “learning.” The majority of mission runners that have done it for months do it because they are comfortable with it. They enjoy the farming. They have a sense of accomplishment. They are paying the same Plex each month as we are, so they deserve to be able to have the same free choice to play as they want.

    December 27, 2012 at 9:03 am Reply
  21. Squinty McBlindy

    TL:DR
    "Waaaah I hate carebears and think everyone should PVP from day one waaaaah"

    December 27, 2012 at 6:13 pm Reply
  22. LOL.

    uhm… no someone new should not run a tutorial in a mega. one of the first things the game teaches you is "you are small, be carefull" and thats the lesson you need to learn, so you wont get frustrated at the start.

    having someone do a tutorial in a ship he cant properly fly in the next 8 month is just hillarious.

    December 28, 2012 at 1:23 am Reply
  23. blaaaa

    How can you call 'Kung Pow – Enter the Fist' a terrible movie?!

    "you go that way, i'll go home!"

    December 28, 2012 at 2:54 am Reply
    1. Marlona_Sky

      Haha, I was wondering when someone would mention the movie line. Perhaps I was a bit too harsh on it. :p

      December 28, 2012 at 3:27 am Reply
  24. notadev

    These ideas are reasonable. When I started in ’04 space was really… really… big. Now it’s all documented and allied. The mechanics and (including *drum-role* the pvp aspect) are entirely predictable.

    There’s really not so much that exciting anymore in terms of the unknown, be it thoroughly documented space and pve, or pvp where a pro-fit (see what I did there?) is known or unknown between vet and noob. Seems like Marlona wants more unknown injected into the game, and basic training (tutorials) to push players to experience/seek it out vs find the most recent mission database bible. Incursions, while initially exciting, are map-able and low and behold tactics to exploit them for profit were, also, entirely predictable.

    It really comes down to coding. People talk all day long about this mechanic should be like this, or content like that. It’s not like CCP has an infinite number of staff to make it happen, and having GM’s and support to ensure shit works properly is, historically speaking, not going to happen.

    I’m just not convinced a randomizing factor could be introduced, no matter what the level of game play, that would satisfy that “space is really big and unpredictable” factor. So the only thing you have left is, as the OP points out, the human player factor. If you make the population of players need to travel, explore, and necessitate those things for a continued profit stream then… well humans are predictable in that respect.

    Make players old and new want to move and shake things up. I like it.

    December 28, 2012 at 7:25 am Reply
  25. Someotherguy

    The things the article requires we already have: RvB, Eve University, etc. PvP players can go there and learn all about PvP day one if that’s what they want. If they want carebear training they use Aura. I already recommend RvB and Eve Uni to new players who after a week hate missions and mining. After RvB / Eve Uni they go all over New Eden unless CFC or HBC gets them first.

    Mission already accomplished.

    December 28, 2012 at 3:05 pm Reply
  26. NRDS

    Overall, a very well thought out article. I fear changing that many things in the foundation of the game would be detrimental even if they are needed changes. I don't think there is any way to learn pvp without getting involved in the community, or at least reading one of the many guides available. The only way to learn pvp is to do it and last time I checked griefing people in high sec isn't pvp beyond a gank; even if the person is capable to fight back…to each their own I suppose.
    What I really like about eve is the amount of reward you get by interacting with other players and the community. But some players really like to mine rocks all day, or run missions, without being bothered by others. There definitely is a bit of a problem with people not motivated to go to low/0.0/wormholes to pvp, but for me 0.0 was not about the risk/reward…it was about what I had determine to be my end game. But forcing everyone to have to play the same end game would be very boring….

    December 28, 2012 at 6:17 pm Reply
    1. NRDS

      The *best* way to learn pvp is to do it

      December 28, 2012 at 6:44 pm Reply
    2. Marlona_Sky

      "I fear changing that many things in the foundation of the game would be detrimental even if they are needed changes."

      Why would it be detrimental if it is needed?

      December 28, 2012 at 10:16 pm Reply
      1. NRDS

        "The player needs to be continually baptized in likely situations they would find out of high sec."

        Looking at the map a majority of the activity in EVE is in high sec. You change too much of that and you might just see a mass exodus of players, because numerically people like high sec.

        Maybe improve missions (you could argue they did this with the AI overhaul) to make them more fun and engaging (like they did with the tutorial revamp), but relocation of agents on a constant basis sounds more frustrating than value added.

        The assumption you made in the article is that somehow missions/tutorials can be designed teach a player how to pvp, fit their ships properly, work with others, safely enter low sec, etc. is a dangerous one. Also, the entire player base needs to be considered, not just those of us who intend to PvP.

        December 29, 2012 at 12:13 am Reply
        1. NRDS

          Where I could see use from a pvp style mission system would be an optional path to take in the missions, as it was in the tutorial. Branching out with a PVE and PVP mission agent system, as well as the Trade/Industrial paths. Making it optional to grow teath would prevent a lot of pending carebear disaster.

          The one thing I should mention that I liked in your article was the tanking idea. I can't tell you how many times I talk to someone using a shield booster and an armor repper, or having armor buffer with a shield booster…etc. The tutorial really does fail on the tanking your ship bit.

          December 29, 2012 at 12:29 am Reply
          1. Marlona_Sky

            One of the changes I would like to see is a PvP fit, being a viable, dare I say better, for PvE content. If a mission runner is able to complete the missions they do now in the same time; what would be wrong with that? What would be wrong if they are more engaged to the content during that time? With a PvP fit? If they get the same results or most likely better, why would they care? You agree the tutorial needs to be more educational in regards to PvP aspects of this game, but why bother introducing new players to that content if they never touch it for missions?

            You seem convinced that if the PvE content functioned closer to PvP content (minus the enemy player) it would become a bad thing. What is wrong with Zor warping off because you didn't have a warp disruptor fit?? Granted that player may grind missions for a while to gather wealth and assets before heading into PvP, but they will know that if they don't point the person they are trying to kill there is a good chance they will warp away.

            December 29, 2012 at 6:27 am
          2. NRDS

            I didn't mean to suggest that I thought the entire concept is a bad thing, just that forcing everyone to play that way would be. It would be fine if there was an optional path for the PVP missions, PVE missions, Mining missions, Market missions, Trade missions, Research missions, and Manufacture missions. This would allow the inclusion of PVP training without forcing everyone to travel that path.

            However, to change the mission system to force players into a PVP style play, would only create problems later. Instead of having players unable to PVP, you would have hordes of players unable to PVE.

            December 29, 2012 at 8:31 pm
          3. Marlona_Sky

            "However, to change the mission system to force players into a PVP style play, would only create problems later. Instead of having players unable to PVP, you would have hordes of players unable to PVE."

            I see nothing wrong with all PvE content changing from the ultra boring and predictable style it is now to something that closer resembles the excitement and unpredictability of PvP.

            December 29, 2012 at 8:59 pm
          4. SKBS

            "I see nothing wrong with all PvE content changing from the ultra boring and predictable style it is now to something that closer resembles the excitement and unpredictability of PvP. "

            Exactly – but a lot of people do. You say "excitement and unpredictability" like they go hand in hand. A pair of mutually dependent aspects of game play required for enjoyment. A lot of people just dont see it that way.

            Because Eve is Sandbox there is no universal metric of success. For some its killboards, for some it bank balance, for others its tears. For Chribba its stacks of Veldspar. Most want to meausre their e-dicks in some way – but what scale is on their ruler differs from person to person. Your approach works in your mind because your using YOUR mentality to define what is stimulating and driving for others. Other people just wont (necessarily) engage though. Change the game to something that they dont enjoy – they may just leave. At the moment Eve sandbvox offers a lot of different gameplay styles – start making those unatractive and the game gets more linear, more elitist, more niche – not less so.

            Anyhow – why do you want everyone to PvP? Are there not enough PvPers out there? Is the density of PvPers to Systems not right? There are two ways to change that – get more people into null, or make null smaller. Perhaps look at what ever metric is making you so unsatisfied, and change that metric rather than try to change a few tens of thousands opf peoples gameplay…

            January 1, 2013 at 7:18 pm
          5. NRDS

            Examples: Ratting, Anomolies, Plex's, Wormholes, Incursions. All those things require PVE style play and some teamwork, but it would be silly to try to warp scram in any of those events. To change the mission system to PVP style play means you would have to change the entire game's PVE system, not just missions. It could be fun and challenging, but it has to be optional to the player base that currently enjoys the PVE content.

            Personally I would rather spend more time pvping and less time running missions and anoms But then again blowing up another player that is looking for a fight is my preferred playstyle, not PVE.

            December 29, 2012 at 8:31 pm
  27. real

    Brilliant solution!
    Just one thing though…
    You haven't identified an actual problem which would be solved by your changes to the game.
    The only result would be less players. No one is going to pay for a game, wherein they are forced to join an endless parade of noobs who are lining up to be popped, one by one, by yourself and the others camping the lowsec gates.
    You are irritated by them because they are non conformists. They won't play the way you want and that makes them bad.
    This is the nature of asperger's syndrome. Your inability to control the lives of other people confirms your greatest fear, you are not the beautiful, special, brilliant little center of the universe.
    People behave in Eve much the way they behave in real life. In RL some people run insurance companies that steal over two trillion dollars US from the tax payers while playing a shell game with 27+ trillion in residual real estate valuations. Some mop up puke at the school cafeteria while others tweak out on meth until they loose their sitcom.
    In EVE some people run giant alliances that smoke everybody around them and take their tech. Some run missions all day, and some (the EVE equivalent of puke moppers) hunt the mission runners.
    Just because they refuse to play the game your way doesn't mean that something is wrong with the universe. Maybe you should look at YOUR game style if you are not getting enough satisfaction from it.

    December 30, 2012 at 2:48 am Reply
  28. "How to alienate a huge chunk of your playerbase (highsec-dwelling mission bears) and subsequently making them unsub, thus ruining your game and maybe even your company: 101"

    there, i fixed your title

    don't get me wrong, some of those ideas are really sound, and as a null pvper i too would love to have more people populate nullsec, but the existing highsec-dwelling mission runners will not change. they even cry about the bad sleeper AI introduced on all rats, because it's now "annoyingly hard" to run missions

    December 30, 2012 at 1:18 pm Reply
  29. Nothing was funnier than the long pause after new players follow directions while learning about "Death-cloning" across Tranq and you say, "now, since your clone is set, I need you to leave ship. Undock and self destruct."

    -pause-

    "What?"
    "Undock and self destruct."
    "Won't that kill me?"
    "That's the point."

    January 6, 2013 at 6:53 pm Reply
  30. KamikazeCarebear

    You really want to shake up EVE? Easy. 2 Things.
    1. Rarest moon goos deplete and respawn randomly at other moons across nullsec.
    2. No siege mode for dreads and massive damage buff dreads versus supers.
    Done!

    January 8, 2013 at 7:26 pm Reply

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