Great Thinker or Great Con-Man


Last year at EVE Fanfest, CCP introduced a new member of their team who would fulfill the role of revolutionizing and revamping what was known as the “New Player Experience”, a colloquial name for the tutorial. All in attendance were in awe of CCP Ghost, including myself, and fascinated by his backstory and introduction on stage. For weeks and months, the community eagerly anticipated any details on his project. Podcasts and blog articles circled the EVE-osphere talking about what they thought and many in the media has attempted to gain access to an interview to try and decipher what we could expect from the NPE. Some podcasts were able to snatch him up for a few evasively answered questions, dodgy explanations of his intent of future iterations, and confusing replies to his thoughts on the current success of the first iteration, “Inception”. In his latest interview with the crew of the High Drag Podcast, the same non-answers and ambiguously vague replies were no different than anything else that he has given, including the answer to what his favorite ship in EVE Online was. Simply “the titan”. Not one in particular, just the titan.

CCP Ghost was not an EVE player prior to becoming the producer for the NPE but he does report that he has played a bit since joining the team, however he admits that he tries not to play it very much as he feels it would taint his ability to properly create and develop the NPE. That’s right, the best way to develop or build an engaging storyline to help players stay interested in a game is by NOT playing it yourself. For some fans of the developer, this doesn’t seem to ring any alarm bells to them, nor does the fact that after nearly a year on board he does not have a Twitter handle like every one of his peers do. Countless tweets can be found asking how to get in touch with him and a few posts on the EVE-O forums and Reddit were dug up asking where he was and what he was doing, yet he proclaims the best way to engage with him is via Reddit. Certainly if all of your co-workers engage with its customers on Twitter (or insert any other medium), and you are the lone ranger standing your ground by not following suit, this raises another red flag. Still he is being hailed as the greatest contribution to EVE Online since the invention of, well of EVE. I’m still not buying it.

The closest comparison I have of CCP Ghost is the latest version of Harrison Wells on the TV Series “The Flash”, whom chooses to be called H.G. by the team. H.G. admits that he is not the great thinker like his Earth 1 counterpart but instead is somewhat of a conceptualist who provides the spark of an idea to the people who can complete the plan. Those familiar with this concept might call him a con artist, a person who has tricked or deceived others in believing something that simply isn’t true. CCP Ghost, like H.G., has promised and convinced the developers and community that he was going to change the way we see the NPE and build it in a way that grabs the audience and makes them feel completely engaged in the story with the end result being higher retention rates of new players. Delivered to us with the release of the Ascension update, players were introduced to their capsuleer right smack in the middle of a battle with Circadian Seekers and the Drifter menace. Through this voice guided tour with visuals that pulled the players eyes towards icons they should be clicking, we learn how to do the basics of combat and are handsomely rewarded at the end of this 30 minute to 2 hour adventure.

Why it may have taken some players more time than others is because some of the hiccups in the logic behind the code. If for instance a player moved beyond a step in the progression before the AI caught up, the action would not count and the entire mission would have to be restarted, or the player would have to warp away and back to the beacon. One player that I spoke to in the “rookie help” channel was having one hell of a time trying to figure out why he couldn’t warp back to the beacon when he clicked on the “warp to location” in the Operations Info Panel over and over again once he logged back in after a disconnect on his end. After nearly 15 minutes of dialogue between us and much head scratching on my end we finally determined that before he could warp to that location, he had to undock. That’s right, undock. Nothing in the tutorial dialogue or visual stimuli made it obvious to this Day 1 character that in order to warp to something you had to be out in space. Perhaps a little common sense could come in to play, but if this first set of missions has been designed to be a procedural step by step guide then it is natural to assume that EVERY step would be included in the logic. Finally wrapping up the NPE with the destruction of your little Corvette and an assurance that you have helped your faction push back the Drifter invasion, you are then thrown into the universe of New Eden as us older players remember it with the starter agents and level one missions with no clue on what to do next.

After the NPE, new players are still flooding the help channels with questions like; “How do I mine something”, “as an Alpha can I build a Jove Stargate or go to Jove space”, and “how can I win a system in Faction warfare as an Alpha”. These have all been real questions that I have seen in rookie help. At the end of the day, what has CCP Ghost actually accomplished with this jazzy new NPE? Although it is voice acted, visually appealing, and agreeably stimulating/engaging as far as a story goes, all it has done has increased that two hour play and quit window up to maybe four once the player has been injected into the game that has almost nothing to do with the fun tutorial they just went through. Boys and girls, you’ve just been had. Nothing has changed. CCP was looking for a solution to the abortion that was the tutorial system but all they did was took a turd, gave it a voice, polished it up a little bit, and gave us a nice looking and talking turd as a reward for our patience.

So I ask you dear reader, do you actually believe that CCP Ghost is the savior he has been hailed as and that EVE is that much better because of his contribution? Or have we all been duped into the greatest scam in the history of EVE Online? I for one feel like I have just been awoxed by our developers and the entirety of the community is simply drinking the Quafe.

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  • MacCloud

    soo… you deride CCP Ghost for barely playing Eve whilst being head of the new NPE in a sarcastic toe, insinuating that he obviously should have much more experience in Eve to better develop an engaging narrative and then you belittle the new NPE for taking a few assumptions on what new players should know by citing an example of someone not understanding they need to be undocked to warp somewhere.

    personally i think thats pretty unfair.

    December 18, 2016 at 9:37 AM
    • Kael Decadence MacCloud

      No not at all my friend, there was no deriding him for that. He is the one who said that he felt playing the game would taint his ability to make good NPE content. Sooo… let me ask you this?

      You own and run a brewery. Sales have been slumping and not many people have been buying your beer. You think, “Hey, maybe I should hire someone to be in charge of the ‘New Flavor Experience’ to help me gain a new customer base”. Okay are you with me. So you higher a guy who has tons of experience in advertising and marketing right.

      He promises you and your fans that he is about to deliver a product so revolutionary that it will change the way your beer is drank forever more. However, he doesn’t actually drink beer and doesn’t really know how to make beer. Whats more, is that the beer idea that he came up with, actually isn’t as great as a lot of your customers were expecting. It added some flavor and zing, but… it just wasn’t keeping in line with your product and customers desires.

      Wouldn’t you as a loyal customer of that brewery be pretty darn pissed off and demand answers as to why this guy with no brewing experiences is crapping up your beer?

      December 18, 2016 at 2:54 PM
      • MacCloud Kael Decadence

        hmm well id have to say that analogy is a bit off man. it would hold if CCP Ghost had not really ever played any video games but i highly doubt it. in your analogy itd be like “hmmm this guy has drunk many beers but not ‘our’ beer” and then getting pissed at his marketing strategy of trying to find a niche for your product by keeping his objectivity and ability to compare your beer with other beers.

        “im sorry bro you’re gonna have to go cause unfortunately our cameras caught you drinking a bunch of other beers at a private party you were at”

        you either devote all your time to drinking eve online or you get labelled as not pandering enough to the real ale crowd.

        also i am fairly certain most food and drink critics do know how what they consume is made, but how the process works and actually being experienced in doing it are two distinctly different things.

        Designers of NPE experiences need to keep objectivity.

        December 19, 2016 at 12:31 AM
        • Kael Decadence MacCloud

          I don’t understand how that analogy didn’t make sense to you. I’ll just chalk it up to you not grasping reality and wanting to stay on the Ghost Train where they serve Quafe on tap.

          December 19, 2016 at 4:45 AM
          • MacCloud Kael Decadence

            its not that the analogy didnt make sense to me. Its that the analogy doesnt fit. Plus the analogy feels like its been twisted to try and fit as an example when it clearly does not.

            whether you want to open your views to different perspectives to gain context and insight is up to you but dont discount someone elses objective viewpoint because it doesnt fit your outlook. And definitely dont discount it by claiming im deluded and drinking some kind of ‘coolaid’ cause thats pretty rude and unprofessional.

            December 19, 2016 at 9:41 PM
    • Lekly MacCloud

      I think that example supports his argument perfectly. If CCP Ghost played Eve, then he could come across those kinds of mistakes and dummy-proof things. In addition, if he played, he could know what things veterans will do that also break the NPE.

      CCP Ghost is in a unique situation where he himself is new to the game while having access to veterans players. The issue is that he’s not using these tools and actively tries to avoid them for ‘reasons’.

      December 18, 2016 at 9:28 PM
      • Kael Decadence Lekly

        Exactly. Who knows this game better than anyone? The bitter vets. Why wouldn’t veteran players who have been in this game from day one be selected as consultants on how to make an NPE or improve player retention? Hell, the players would lend their services for a plex or some iskies if CCP asked. I don’t even want to think about what they are paying Ghost for this monstrosity.

        December 19, 2016 at 4:47 AM
  • PewPew

    I agree completely. I think it’s a huge mistake to try to make the tutorial anything other than a representation of what the actual gameplay will be like.

    IMO the best approach would be to put new players into a trap (like a sealed off wormhole system with npc’s guarding the exit) and they have to work as a team to escape. That’s it. You must work as a team or you can’t play the game.

    That would 10,000x better for retention as that is the game, playing with others.

    December 18, 2016 at 10:18 AM
    • Kael Decadence PewPew

      Thank you.

      December 18, 2016 at 2:42 PM
    • Apostophe Noodle PewPew

      Absolutely. The NPE now is like game trailers that use cut-scenes and not actual game play to dazzle buyers. The learning ‘cliff’ is still there with little actual change to it. Players are still just dumped into New Eden with no idea what to do next.

      Also though. entitlement is rampant and how many times I’ve seen people with 3 weeks in the game complain that they can’t do ‘end game’ content, or in a giant MMO, complain they can’t do everything solo.
      Eve doesn’t really allow someone to show up and immediately run the galaxy- unless of course you run an out of game casino- but i digress.

      December 18, 2016 at 3:23 PM
      • This…

        Because, IMHO, in Eve once you get past character creation you are in “end-game”.

        And you don’t beat Eve, you may be able to exist there in some sort of odd balance, but beating Eve is not possible It just changes, too much, too fast.

        This is not WoW or LoTRO or any other traditional MMO. Different beast altogether. And it is not possible to be “max level” in a weekend after the new expansion comes out.

        How many other games give you the flexibility of this sandbox. I’ve been a care bear miner, mission runner, lived in a wormhole, fought a few wars (won a few, lost a few), so much to do, so little SP’s. 🙂

        Off to Rookie chat to lend support.

        December 18, 2016 at 3:43 PM
        • Kael Decadence NWRogue

          Excellent point. Please consider joining my Project: EVE an Hour

          December 18, 2016 at 3:52 PM
      • Londala Pox Apostophe Noodle

        EVE is so different from most other games out there. The only people that become power players are the ones that are good at real life. You get points for being predatory and being charismatic, and many people just want to be in a strict power fantasy where they can’t feel any lows. Well, that means you can’t feel any highs either. You’re stuck on a never-ending, slightly-changing treadmill. In EVE you have to step away from the Skinner Box and actually be good at something, which is not the entertainment mainstream gamers are looking for.

        December 18, 2016 at 3:46 PM
        • Apostophe Noodle Londala Pox

          You’re spot on. That’s why I don’t really go too hard on new players with wholly unrealistic expectations of Eve. Their expectations stem from pretty much every other game experience so it’s just what they have come to know. I only get snooty about it when those people then demand Eve change to be like those other games.
          I’ve said many times too many people aren’t interested in PLAYING a game, only in BEATING a game. To each his own I guess, but leaning too heavily in either direction makes for a bad game overall. Except I think that with FTP and trial type gamers expect a game to be as casual as their support of it (free), and recoil from that game requiring real effort or time.
          In that regard, I think FTP models shoot themselves in the foot. You appeal to the least interested and most casual players. Who wants to put in the heroic levels of time and effort into a game that you have literally no investment in? I honestly think that when people have to pay even some small pittance for a thing, they tend to be more tolerant of expending time and effort on that thing. It’s why there is a million free phone app games…the moment you hit the slightest frustration with one, you just jump to something else.

          December 20, 2016 at 4:01 PM
      • Kael Decadence Apostophe Noodle

        Yeah for sure. I came across a guy in rookie help who was wanting to know how he could take a system for faction warfare. 100% alpha, just a few days old. Im not even joking. They come in seeing all this attractive stuff they read in the news about the game, and don’t realize that they can’t even do 90% of it.

        December 18, 2016 at 3:51 PM
        • Apostophe Noodle Kael Decadence

          Well, they can do that 90%….but not alone.
          And there again is where CCP fails. Eve stands right now in a limbo between single player game and MMO. It does neither as well as it could. It’s biggest selling point is massive multiplayer combat, but almost every other piece of content is almost exclusively single player oriented (except Incursions).
          Everyone (even CCP) shouts to play with others, fleet up, join a corp….but the NPE is what? A single player experience. Almost 100% of the PvE content after the NPE is what? Single player experience.
          Little wonder then that so many people that try PvP do so solo, get crushed, quit and go back to high sec care bearing. One of the biggest hurdles to PvP isn’t isk or proper ships- it’s breaking the social barrier it takes to participate.
          Yet that participation is exactly how to get to all the content Eve offers. It’s a terrible system that shoots itself in the foot at every opportunity.

          December 20, 2016 at 4:12 PM
    • Ganthrithor PewPew

      There’s something I’d like you to try. It’s a game. It’s called, “The Maze.” If you can find the stargate in it, maybe you can be free.

      December 19, 2016 at 12:51 AM
      • Kael Decadence Ganthrithor

        I like the Westworld reference. Fitting.

        December 19, 2016 at 4:37 AM
  • Sasha Nemtsov

    I agree with a previous commentator that the tone of the article is a tad belligerent, but it no doubt reflects his sincerely and strongly held opinions. Nothing wrong with that.

    As to the content, I’ve yet to try the new NPE, but from what I’ve heard it’s an improvement on the previous one. Undoubtedly, it can be improved further, and I hope that CCP is monitoring feedback as assiduously as the author. We need an NPE which genuinely prepares capsuleers for the future.

    And CCP Ghost? He’s surely as welcome as anyone to submit a rebuttal to the INN; indeed, I look forward to seeing such a contribution!

    December 18, 2016 at 10:47 AM
    • Kael Decadence Sasha Nemtsov

      Thank you and yes you are right, my tone is intended to be very strong. I very much think that the mark has been missed. I have recruited several IRL friends into this game that keep coming to me day after day in the past few weeks because there is so much about the first steps of the game that they still just don’t get. That shouldn’t happen. We were promised something big, and delivered something small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

      December 18, 2016 at 2:44 PM
      • Borat Guereen Kael Decadence

        Just a note. Keep the tone. Political correctness does not bring to good places, and stiffle real debates.

        December 18, 2016 at 6:02 PM
        • Kael Decadence Borat Guereen

          Great success Borat. Thank you.

          December 19, 2016 at 4:39 AM
        • Dirk MacGirk Borat Guereen

          Can keep the tone. Bitching about the NPE and player retention and missed opportunities and well, just about anything related to EVE, is a longtime side job for a good many people. The tone isn’t the issue. The pointed words directly at a specific person, rather than the issue itself, was my issue. Some day people will learn, there is no easy path into this game. They aren;t going to tell people to join Horde or Karma or Brave or EVE Uni. They aren;t going to tell people “our game is hard, you should find a mentor”. So in many ways, we’ll always be a little bit F’d by the fact that no introduction to the game will ever be comprehensive enough.

          December 19, 2016 at 9:43 PM
          • Kael Decadence Dirk MacGirk

            I have a solid idea that I am working up on paper. Trust me my man. Wait for it.

            December 22, 2016 at 2:27 PM
  • ER0X

    Its not unfair to suggest that CCP Ghost has under delivered on this particular project. However with that said I don’t agree with the writer when he sites technical/programming issues as one of two main thrusts behind the critique. Anyone can clearly see this is not necessarily CCP Ghosts field and therefore must defer to consultation from his team on what is or isn’t achievable in short order. Quite frankly its an oversight on the part of the development team as a whole either via communication error or simply planning incompetence.

    On the other hand it could be argued that CCP Ghost, with his credentials, should be aware of the differences between direct and linear (sequential) access and their respective interaction costs. The writer does indeed make this point and I can agree with it.

    I don’t agree with the writers other argument nor do I think it is at all necessary for CCP Ghost to have “played the game” in order to create an immersive new player experience of which technical issues, linear/sequential restrictions aside I feel has on the most part presented an interesting, immersive and interactive experience.

    Where I do agree with the writer is in the failure of this NPE to bridge and transition from NPE to general EVE population. In the modern climate I feel this is a crucial step in the process and needs to be signposted. Whether this has been overlooked or is in the process of being redesigned is not exactly clear and therefore we have no option other than to wait and see if it is tackled as future iterations roll out. If NOT then I would have to conclude that other than having a glossy sticking plaster applied the problem remains the same.

    December 18, 2016 at 12:24 PM
    • Kael Decadence ER0X

      I appreciate your thought and candor in commenting. I agree that he isn’t all to blame, but he is the mastermind behind this project. You may have missed however in his interview where he legitimately expressed that he felt that playing the game would ruin his ability to develop the NPE. Does that make sense at all to you from a players perspective?

      December 18, 2016 at 2:46 PM
      • Sasha Nemtsov Kael Decadence

        I should mention that several folks have made the journey from player to DEV/GM – and the results have been, well, mixed….

        December 18, 2016 at 2:57 PM
        • Duramora Sasha Nemtsov

          True- but they’re still playing the game.

          I feel that figuring out what keeps people playing is essential- I’m not sure you can do that without playing the game- or ask everyone who still logs in after 1 year of playtime (chosen arbitrarily). I haven’t seen (or can’t remember seeing) any survey about my NPE… so what other way can he gather the data?

          December 18, 2016 at 11:55 PM
    • Caleb Ayrania ER0X

      I think I agree mostly with ER0X here, however I do believ the writers critique and anger is very warranted. Someone as competent as Ghost should have been a lot better at gathering the right information and people, to execute his “plan”. I do believe that a lot of the fandom and messianic hopes have played a great part in the percieved “failure”.. I only wonder why he did not go and grab 5 or so oldies for a bit of a proper introduction to the subtleties of the game..

      December 18, 2016 at 6:35 PM
  • NWRogue

    That is a pretty accurate description of the state of the NPE, not sure about how CCP got there though. Nothing about the NPE teaches a new player about the ‘real’ Eve, except basic combat concepts (locking, orbiting) but even those lessons would best be described as useless. How many of you stop your ship immediately after a kill? How many of you use autopilot (even in high-sec)?

    And while it may provide some backstory (there’s a reach) on the Drifter’s, nothing in the NPE shows you anything about what Eve is like, it would be nice to have a bit more about how the agents work and why it is a very good idea to complete those missions before being dumped on their doorstep.

    I’ve done the NPE a few times as i’m an old pilot coming back for more and the tutorial agents let me brush up a bit. And the only good thing I see about the NPE is that you have more SP’s when you start the mission agents. The rest, well, just drop me on the tutorial mission agents doorstep because the NPE did nothing but frustrate me. Or at least give people an option to skip it, but still get the SP’s, because starting an alt is a pain now. I got the NPE stuck so bad I had to delete the character and start again (hint, do NOT get in front of the NPE and kill the second rat before you are told too, f’r was shooting at me, no one shoots at me and does not get shot back at).

    Fly safe. o7

    December 18, 2016 at 2:19 PM
    • Kael Decadence NWRogue

      Thank you for your response. Yeah, doing the NPE as a vet or new player, if you get too far ahead of the AI, you will get frustrated by the fact that you have to start it all over again.

      December 18, 2016 at 2:48 PM
  • Apostophe Noodle

    I have to give it up to the players. By and large the players have gotten behind new player initiatives. The established players are doing everything they can to help CCP when CCP clearly has no clue as to retaining players.
    So many public fleets, vets in the help channels, vets trying to organize everything from mission running fleets to low sec PvP roams.
    And all of it is far more effective than CCP itself.

    Why the hell doesn’t CCP undock ships and lead newb fleets? Yeah, they did that a couple years ago and got everyone killed– but it got them out of high sec and into fleets. It brought the promise of CCP led live events……that were immediately abandoned after the care bears cried at being slaughtered in null sec.

    Instead of learning a lesson and improving the live events, they were completely abandoned. When was the last time devs flew around in Jove ships for players to dogpile for rare KMs?
    Yet that last live event was attended by metric shit tons of people willing to at least be led into PvP. It showed that given the ability to do ‘F1 Monkey’ PvP, many more players were willing to at least give it a go. The hope being some stayed with it and became more skilled than spamming F1.

    Instead we get free SP and a shiny but ineffective NPE. Way to go, CCP.

    December 18, 2016 at 3:35 PM
    • Kael Decadence Apostophe Noodle

      “Instead we get free SP and a shiny but ineffective NPE.”

      Yes, this is what Im trying to get across. You want NPE? Get it from the players who KNOW THE GAME!!!

      December 18, 2016 at 3:54 PM
  • jasperwillem

    The speech from CCP Ghost did nothing for me. Never understood what all the excitement was about.

    December 18, 2016 at 8:17 PM
    • Kael Decadence jasperwillem

      Everything he says has much ado about nothing.

      December 19, 2016 at 4:39 AM
  • Lekly

    I had a problem where I rescued the survivors from the ships before I was prompted to and then I couldn’t move forward with the NPE. I ended up having to opt to skip the whole thing after about an hour of troubleshooting and getting nowhere.

    December 18, 2016 at 9:24 PM
  • TigerXtrm

    This is the exact impression CCP Ghost left on me after seeing him talk a grand total of 2 times. Once during his introduction speech and then later on the o7 show. Both times he spewed a lot of words without actually saying anything. And apparently only very select persons can see through this kind of charade. Then in later dev blogs he did it again, writing an entire essay to which the conclusion was… nothing.

    He’s the type of guy who bluffs his way into a job, bluffs his way through that job and then one day makes a quiet exit. On that note one has to wonder how much he actually contributed to the NPE, because it isn’t like they built some revolutionary new way to teach. It incorporates only things any freshman gets taught behavioral studies. Repeating things 3 times makes people remember them more easily. Holy shit what a new way of thinking.

    December 18, 2016 at 9:37 PM
    • Kael Decadence TigerXtrm

      Its like one bad episode of Seinfeld. Just a bunch of fluff.

      December 19, 2016 at 4:41 AM
  • Bill Bones

    Well, CCP Ghost is not a EVE player. He is not a software developer. He is a crime investigator with a hobby for how does human mind work, and who somehow shifted from chasing criminals to trying to improve EVE’s NPE experience with some esentials on how does human mind work. He was hired by CCP Seagull and sees this career change as a challenge.

    I think of him as a consultant. He’s not responsible for the code working properly. He’s not responsible for what should the players learn or don’t. His job is to ensure that the NPE is appealing and retains players. The exact tutorial aspects are not his responsiblity because, hey, he’s not playing the game. Which means he doesn’t haves a bias on it. He doesn’t loves nor hates this or that aspect, so he does not shoehorn his pet ideas into the NPE. Deciding what should the players learn and in what order is somebody else’s job.

    He’s responsible for the concept, not the execution of it.

    As such, I think he got it wrong by leading the players through a completely false experience without telling them that what they’re doing is not EVE Online. He picked the wrong kind of story. And then he’s working with CCP, that company where everybody is always an amateur learning to do their job as they do it…

    December 18, 2016 at 11:23 PM
    • Kael Decadence Bill Bones

      I agree that he is more of a consultant. We all know he is not a programmer. From what I gather of your thoughts, you agree with me that he is more of a “Hype Man” than anything else in this.

      December 19, 2016 at 4:42 AM
  • Sidrat Flush

    I wouldn’t actually know where to start in teaching new players how to navigate the intricacies of Eve Online.

    Designing a tutorial for everyone would be like convincing everyone and their grandmother that your own overview settings are the best ever and no one has to do their own ever again.

    Of course Starting and ending the tutorial in a station in a pod, would probably be a good thing.

    The worst thing any tutorial can do is to give a false impression of the game itself. A tutorial that can demonstrate how awesome and awful it is to play as a group, in a corp in high sec, low sec, null sec or wormhole space comes with it’s own set of benefits and penalties, and there’s nothing any tutorial can do to bring realization and understanding of the depth that Eve offers.

    When I’m asked for advice by people who’ve never played Eve (before Karmafleet) was to speak to everyone, listen to and try out the advice for yourself (not everyone can cope with an armour tank) and when you can use the test server for specific stuff. Finally it’s a marathon with no real finish line so take your time and have fun with the people you fly with (and against.)

    December 19, 2016 at 4:14 AM
  • Dirk MacGirk

    This feels a little harsh, even to me. I mean, singling the guy out as a fraud or a con man is a little over the top for simply saying you don’t think the new tutorial system isn’t all you had hoped for. I mean, this isn’t quite Greyscale-level Phoebe jump hammer or the Affordable Sov Act, aka FozzieSov.

    For the record, the NPE isn’t just the tutorial. The NPE technically goes beyond the initial tutorial, and that is where we really begin to lose people. The new tutorial probably does need some tweaks so players don’t get lost or frustrated. But it has to be better than what was there before. I’m just not sure it warrants a dev call out.

    On another note, was this edgy news, unafraid of pulling punches? Or just a rant?

    December 19, 2016 at 4:34 PM
    • Caleb Ayrania Dirk MacGirk

      +1 for affordable SOV. 🙂 I think it was important to let someone scream a bit about this topic, since a lot of emperors new clothes applauding have been the most prevalent response to CCP Ghost and the Inception NPE tutorial. Its harsh, but I was major underwhelmed by the result. It is basically making the tutorial voice acted and 60 minutes or so longer, whithout any real “effect”.. I think there is potential in the idea of “articificially” holding players a few more hours, but the focus should be to point them to the rest of the playerbase, so they dont end up clicking the little x in the upper right corner. EVE retention is tied to understanding the sandbox and figuring out its ALL other players, and it MATTERs what you do now and forever in a historical sense. That is the eyeopener and what CCP needs to SELL to a new player. As Mittani keeps saying as a solo game EVE is the worst thing you will ever find.

      December 19, 2016 at 6:14 PM
      • Dirk MacGirk Caleb Ayrania

        Then stick to those issues. CCP didn’t create the myth of CCP Ghost. The rah rah cheerleader crowd did. But regardless, no one man is to blame and no one man, or woman, is the savior. Singling out devs as con artists probably isn’t the path to a solution. But I get people want clicks

        December 19, 2016 at 9:37 PM
        • Kael Decadence Dirk MacGirk

          I don’t need clicks. I felt strongly about my opinion and wrote an opinion piece. Take it or leave it, it’s just how I felt.

          December 20, 2016 at 2:18 AM
          • Dirk MacGirk Kael Decadence

            clickboi 😛

            December 20, 2016 at 6:32 AM
          • Kael Decadence Dirk MacGirk

            Only for you baby.

            December 22, 2016 at 2:28 PM
    • To the writer… Yes I was aware of that statement and of your argument.

      Again though I don’t think its entirely necessary to have played the game.

      What is absolutely certain though and this ties into both Dirks points made in his posts too. It not unfair or unreasonable to argue that the project has not yet delivered ALL of its remit. I don’t think CCP Ghost is solely responsible. However as the head or face of the NPE department he needs to know exactly where the NPE ends and the game begins. At that point he can ease the transition from the NPE, story driven narrative (sequential, movie esque), to the freewill driven player population (direct, Eve universe sandbox) and comfortably discuss the vision when presented by a questioning public. For example the NPE needs to include the career agents in addition to introducing new players to the concept of ‘a freewill’ within the EVE sandbox because content, NPC or other, is not a spoon fed levelling experience in the way it is in other games.

      It has to be said… though mucking around in high security areas is also a variety of game play many indulge in its not necessarily my cup of java although I have and still do use it when I need to. This freewill concept is a rather alien idea to most gamers. On that note I don’t agree that its not possible for a new player to do any of the things the article or indeed posters here have mentioned simply because they are new. It is entirely possible for a new player to imagine and realise being the leader of the largest most powerful Alliance in the game. That however is beyond the scope of the new player experience and therefore needs a disciplined if not persistent approach from the player themselves rather than having any real limitations placed on them by the game new player or not (alpha clone restrictions aside).

      A classic example of not embracing this freewill fully or rather not dreaming big enough is displayed within the article body itself by the writer (a question perhaps the writer may wrestle with). When your new friend asked you ‘how can I win a system in Faction warfare as an Alpha?’ rather than say 90% of content they cant do it may have been helpful to describe how these things are normally achieved instead of just dismissing it out of hand, at which point they can decide for themselves how best to approach the task or whether they want to attempt it at all considering one possible angle might be more difficult to implement due to Alpha clones being restricted to corporation management lvl 1.


      No its not important. Its only important that a system is set up to assist new players transition from spoon fed content to the harsh sandbox environment of the Eve Online persistent universe. After which is only restricted by the discovery and release through the potential of their own imaginings and brain power.

      December 20, 2016 at 2:17 AM
      • Kael Decadence ER0X

        I 100% agree with you. And when I am asked questions, especially like the one you mention, I either tell them the answer or point them where to find the answer. I would under no circumstances tell a new player simply “Sorry you can’t do that noob, get rekt.” Thats not the right answer. And if you knew about the side project I’m running, you would know that that is not my MO.

        I agree thought that there isn’t one set way of teaching everything EVE has to offer. We all know it. Its TOO complex to tackle in a “tutorial”, which is why we have help channels, corps, how to videos on youtube, and the like. But I have an idea. Give me a few days and you will see. I promise.

        December 22, 2016 at 2:31 PM
  • Zerpico

    Great thought provoking article, followed by an interesting discussion. +1 to everyone

    Things tend to get complicated on a discussion. The question is, what the “shock and awe” approach of the new player experience accomplishes? My opinion is that it increases engagement and retention compared to the avarage 15 min drop rate we had before. This goes in hand with his intro speech at fan-fest so technical bugs aside mission accomplished for CCPGhost.

    So where it fail? in teaching mechanics and interaction with other players? Perhaps in introducing the real EVE game play. This are things that someone that haven’t played the game cant deliver. Is this his fault? I think not. Is this what the game needed for newbies?

    December 20, 2016 at 10:37 PM
    • Kael Decadence Zerpico

      I wouldn’t really say mission accomplished until CCP can confirm that doing this removed that 2 hour window of quitting the game. At the very least if they can say it at the very least made it a larger window before newbs quit. But then again, can you say its from the NPE itself, or from the fact that the game is now essentially free? Hard to get a metric like that pinned down.

      I have an idea that I will present in an article soon that may be something that would help new players learn more gooder. (Yes I know that’s not proper grammer. In before grammar Nazis correct me.)

      December 22, 2016 at 2:26 PM
  • potosubs

    I don’t understand what were you expecting. Talking from the perspective of a totally new player (me) I found the tutorial to be awesome. I think the problems you describe are for people that have some experience already in game. Because what the hell is “Jove” and why do I care?(at this point at least, I guess) I don’t remember all the details now since I started like a month ago, but I do remember being guided every step during the tutorial. And right after that, after dying at the end to finally understand what is all about was astonishing yes, but awesome nonetheless. After that I was guided exactly to the place where those “intro” agents allowed me to try more things, learn basic ways to earn credits and get several ships for free.
    Am I engaged? Yes!!

    December 21, 2016 at 7:15 PM