Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Quote of the week: Goodbye sweet newbie

Quote of the week honors goes to this post from Low Sec Lifestyle: Goodbye Sweet Newbie:
I do not understand why people prey on the newest of characters. I don't mean alts. I don't mean newbies that wander into wormholes and low sec. I mean the ones who sit on the rookie station in a ship with a can and offer duels or try to get them to steal. I mean the ones pulling week old characters asking questions and looking for a corp out of rookie chat and getting them to come where they can kill them.
Because they can. And because it's low risk. And because it generates kill mails. And because it causes tears. And because EVE players like low risk kill mails and tears.

The full piece is worth your time. Go give it a read.

47 comments:

  1. Today I unsubscribed my two accounts.
    CCP wants everybody in null sec. In null sec are massive, controlling corporations where nobody has a chance. CCP does not acknowledge the solo player.
    In addition the conversation in local disgusts me with its racist, homophobic, and misogynistic remarks. You might permit it, I certainly don't.
    And last but not least, the game is not fun anymore. Hopefully Star Citizen will be better at least it does have a solo part a la Wing commander.

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    1. In nullsec are massive corporations where everybody has a chance.
      I am a Junior FC; I have been given the opportunity to lead up to 100-man fleets, by simply applying to a program.
      Nullsec gives evrybody a chance; it's up to you to recognize it and seize it.

      Delete
    2. ...where everybody has a chance / to lead up to 100-man fleets / by simply applying to / someone else's / program.

      Yes, once accepted to a corp that is in an Alliance that is part of one of the 7 Sov Nullsec Coalitions, then you have a chance to play the game... by their rules. If you don't believe me, join one and if there break a few 'rules' and see what it's like to be kicked, and alone, docked up inna station deep in Sov Null... try it, see if you can get your POD out much less ANY of your ships.

      But yes, if you desire to and are lucky enough to join through one of the external (to the game) community forums such as Something Awful, Reddit, etc. you may get to... "...play under a cradle-to-grave system where they are reimbursed for all PvP losses, with ...bitter veterans shoveling massive amounts of ISK into the wallets of newbies.

      Ref: https://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/Goonswarm_Federation
      Ref: http://www.tentonhammer.com/eve/spymaster/75

      Now, I don't know about you, but I have no desire whatsoever to be "handled" under such a 'cradle-to-grave system' as that. I want, as so many others do, to play the game MY WAY, beholden or indebted to NO ONE but myself and possibly, at most a few close friends.

      "Nullsec" gives no one anything... The Lords of Nullsec giveth, and if pissed, they quickly taketh away.

      Delete
    3. Not every nullsec entity permits or tolerates bigoted behavior.

      Delete
    4. "Not every nullsec entity permits or tolerates bigoted behavior."

      Not so sure about that, how else would you classify the general, entrenched and promoted attitude towards anyone that doesn't want to play the Sov Null game.

      It was this contempt for LowSec and HighSec players that helped to open my eyes to the sad and stagnant reality of Sov NullSec in the first place.

      On the whole I've associated with a much less bigoted and much more sociable crowd since relocating to LowSec.

      Delete
    5. "Not so sure about that, how else would you classify the general, entrenched and promoted attitude towards anyone that doesn't want to play the Sov Null game."

      I'm sorry, but trolls on the forums and in the General Discussion part of it do not represent the opinion of the large majority of 0.0 players.

      Delete
    6. On the conversation in local, I'd be much more likely to keep my accounts active if CCP ever got around to implementing an optional chat filter.

      The game draws me in, but it's the players that keep pushing me away.

      Delete
    7. @Zadorra Go check out Starmade and/or Space Engineers. They are space games and truly sandbox, not theme park-but-sandbox-claim-to-bes like Eve. You design nd build your own ships, weapons and stations. Make them move or not, build any type of ship you can imagine. Create guilds/clans, start wars, claim space, mine planets and roids, fight pirates and their stations, give the pirates bigger and better ships for more of a challenge, create your own shops to buy and sell resources. They re both doing things right now that Eve has promised to do for years, and they are both in alpha. Starmade is like Minecraft in space, and Space Engineers has a little cleaner graphics. Already there are lots of ex-Eve players in them doing all the things they wanted to in Eve, but couldn't. Best part? Lots of pvp if you want, but no assholes.

      Same goes for Robocraft. It's Minecraft meets WOT.

      Delete
  2. CCP and EVE need a place where players can build sand castles, without fearing that at a whim, at a moment, those sand castles will be torn down by a guy with a desire for tears.

    Right now, the only 'sand castle' is nullsec conquest, and that's broken and bloated beyond all measure.

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    1. That would kill EVE once the players flocked on such safest content. The few people who cope with EVE's shortcomings as a game (to name a few: pointlessly complex, time intensive, unfun) do so from the knowledge that there's no better content. If something in EVE didn't sucked, all the content that sucks would be abandoned and the game would die.

      On the other hand, a game that sucks so badly that drives new players away faster than they log in will also die...

      But then, it's not as if this game was a masterpiece incepted by some viking Sid Meier, is it? EVE is a one trick pony made by a bunch of inexpert icelandic software developers who struck gold. And as all one trick ponies, its routine eventually will grow old and stale.

      Delete
    2. That's the thing. I don't think it needs to be -perfectly safe,- but the threshold for tear extraction needs to be higher. Right now, HS is basically overrun with gankers, wardeccers (who do it for tears and easy kills, not because they have a stake in it), and scammers.

      Further, this isn't about high economic yield-- I'd say it's something that is more about giving players a chance to go, "I made a thing!" and revel in their success, to feel as if it's uniquely theirs. Consider Jester's post comparing Kerbal industry v. EVE industry. In Kerbal Space Program, building things is -fun,- because it's chaotic and finicky and there are major milestones! In EVE, building things is-- well, just sort of meh.

      Delete
    3. Long, long time ago, I suggested that empire stargates were replaced with player-built stargates, which would take massive investment and would allow the players to write their names on the records of their building. Being undestructable and of no profit, it would be just a pro-bono concept so players could leave a permanent footprint.

      The idea somehow floated around for like two years until it landed at Reykjavik and became "Alliance-built Nullsec stargates to Nullsec 2.0".

      Another idea I had was that some *new* PvE content should require PvP fits so gankers were up to a nasty surprise each now and then.

      The idea also landed at Reykjavik eventually and it became "it's absurd to have specialyzed PvE and PvP fits, so let's find a way to remove the need for PvE fits to use *the existing* PvE".

      My reading of this is that there's a pool of "good ideas", and when someone CCP eventually thinks of them, they just get them all wrong...

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    4. @ AnonymousApril 25, 2014 at 2:17 AM

      The words "build" & "undestructable" (indestructible is what I assume you mean) should never be uttered together with regards to EvE. Your idea is atrocious. As for the PvE content requiring PvP modules (scram, web etc.) - that's been floating around EvE as long as I have (almost 7yrs). If you're not a game designer already, keep it that way.

      Delete
    5. Titanomachy is indestructible and so is the wreck of Steve. Apparently CCP loves terrible ideas.

      Delete
  3. It's a great post, and from someone particularly qualified to speak on that topic. Like I said in the comment thread on her post, she's a one-woman player retention program. I'm hoping like hell she makes CSM, because I think her passion for the game and her ability to consider more play styles than just her own will make her a great voice for the community.

    I'd differ with one thing you said, Jester. SOME players like low risk kill mails and tears. Not all of us.

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    1. "I'd differ with one thing you said, Jester. SOME players like low risk kill mails and tears. Not all of us."

      It's starting to sound, at least to me that it's "more players than is healthy" like low-risk killmails and tears. I don't know whether any amount >0 is more than is healthy, unfortunately. I do know that, for example, Niarja and Uedama have developed oversized reputations because they are good hunting grounds, and yet it's not like every freighter that goes through there spontaneously combusts. A similar thing seems to have happened with newbies, but there are enough stories (sort of like there are enough Niarja killmails) to give the reputation a good chance to feel like reality... and we know that we aren't gaining net players as far as we can tell.

      Delete
    2. It is a very good post, one that touches on a core issue within EVE. I too hop Sugar makes it. I voted for her as I did for Ripard, on the basis that i believed he would be a Rep for ALL playstyles in EVE; large group, small gang, solo and casual… PvP, PvE & Market/Industry… I know Sugar is running as primarily a Lowsec Rep, but I believe she also gives great credence and importance to ALL playstyles.

      I thought Ripard did... once. I'm now saddened that this seems not to be true, as he has clearly stated he feels Nullsec gameplay should be the best gameplay in EVE... quote, ...null-sec should have better income for EVERYTHING than high-sec. It should be better for EVERYTHING than high-sec."

      Ref: http://jestertrek.blogspot.com/2014/04/differentiation.html?showComment=1398181055208#c3915344047291382950

      I could not more strongly disagree... ‘Income’ (Reward) should be tied to Risk, not to the System Security Status. Why? because the players are the 'Risk' inherent in EVE.

      Due to power and success of the large Null Coalitions, actual 'Risk' is no longer equated to Sec Stat, it is tied directly to the player activities such as Ice Interdictions, Burn Jitas, Hulkageddons, War Decs, Ganking, Suicide Roams, etc., etc. ... I say it again, WE are the Risk, not the space we fly in.

      Take a long look at the ‘Ship Kills in 24hr’ map of all New Eden daily over any week or better over any month... aside from one-off, ends-at-downtime events such as the great Nullsec Battles that garner so much attention... where is the largest regular day-to-day 'cloud' of ships kills? Nullsec? Lowsec?

      Nope... that standard-every-gods-damned-day huge red/yellow blob of ships destroyed is in the "safest" space in EVE... Hisec. But poor old nullsec NEEDS to have the best ores and sites and moon goo and more and MORE ISK because it's soooo dangewus.... right.

      Well... at least he is not running again…. and Sugar got my vote.

      Delete
    3. I agree with you, TurAmarth, but I believe the issue should be fixed by making null-sec riskier. But I seem to have lost that battle, at least for now.

      Delete
    4. But given that you have lost that battle to increase risk, why are you in favor of heaping on the rewards?

      Delete
    5. There is a theory that to attract a healthy population of hunters, you need well nourished prey. Providence or w-space or faction warfare is usually held up here: the risk to reward for the PvE is good enough (because of the isk, nrds, or whatever) that the bears will bother in numbers. Enough numbers to support a bunch of wolves without the bears as a whole giving up.

      Hisec exemplifies this. Huge, huge numbers of kills, constantly, showing a strong population of hunters, yet I've played for five years and never been ganked in high.

      If null space PvE was 'worth' daytrip raiding like sleeper sites or lowsec exploration, or could support a whole bunch of pve grunts, it'd be a much better place to roam.

      Delete
    6. There is a theory that trying to describe social structures in terms of the theory of evolution is an example of the pseudo-scientific nonsense known as 'social Darwinism'.

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    7. For me the issue in HiSec while running PVE is that my ship fit is completely non-PVP. I have tried to run level 4 PVE missions with a PVP ship - and it is a disaster. So either, the missions need to be updated to drive players to use PVP fits (so we have a chance against the *gangsta* that drops in uninvited to *help* us) or I'm doing something horribly wrong.

      Delete
    8. So given that the risk isn't there in sov null, how can you possibly support giving it a benefit on the vague hope that someday it will actually be riskier? It's nonsense.

      The logical thing to do would be to say that you don't support any buffs to sov null until it is fixed. But you seem fine with them going ahead. It's fairly confusing.

      Delete
    9. Some like it a lot, and there are few if any checks on their behavior.

      Delete
    10. "So given that the risk isn't there in sov null, how can you possibly support giving it a benefit on the vague hope that someday it will actually be riskier? It's nonsense.

      The logical thing to do would be to say that you don't support any buffs to sov null until it is fixed. But you seem fine with them going ahead. It's fairly confusing."'

      This. A thousand times this. Jester, the CSM dropped the ball on this one. CCP does not have a good track record of following through on promised changes, let alone changes that are just expected to eventually happen. Buffs like this to null should never have been allowed without the corresponding fixes to sov to increase true risk being in place FIRST.

      Delete
  4. The obsession with tears is because it's the most reliable metric of victory in often unclear clashes ( http://hspew.blogspot.ca/2014/03/eve-winning-and-tears.html?m=1 ).

    However, the community has embraced it to an absurd degree, and we are losing players before they had a chance to understand the beauty of Eve (and to htfu). We are strangling our own. It's nice to hear that not everyone is obsessed with it.

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    1. Losing players? Not on balance...but what we *are* doing is running off any more newbros than we feel like taking under our wings at any given time. The legendary cold, harsh universe of EVE may be great fun for harvesters of tears, but ensures that the player base doesn't grow...thereby ensuring that CCP won't find it worth devoting resources to major development.

      The company takes pride in that. Consciously or not, CCP seems to like having a built-in excuse not to develop the game in any major way.

      No, the game that *we* build out by bring in and retaining new players with our custom content and good fellowship would look a little different, and that frightens the HTFUppers. Perhaps even the ones with "CCP" in their names.

      Delete
  5. When pulled out like that the fact that I did not say "some" eve players will stand out of context against the rest of the post. Ahh well. Lessons learned.

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    1. Hee! I honestly hadn't looked at it or intended it that way, but you're right. I've gotten into trouble a time or three by other people doing that to me...

      Delete
  6. They should put the difference in age of the main character on the account of the aggressor and victim on Killmails. Maybe it would shame people into going after more interesting targets. Nah probably not.

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  7. I wonder if I could give you a task, Jester?

    At the end of the linked article the writer suggests that her friend fill out the exit survey so that CCP can have his statistics. When I filled it out, I left with the feeling that CCP doesn't care one whit that you are quitting.

    Could you talk to CCP to see if they even read those exit surveys and if they do, does it alter their game design priorities?

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    1. So this.

      I cancelled my SWTOR account 1 month after the game came out because I experienced nothing but technical problems. I couldn't even play and with no feedback from EA until my free month expired, I cancelled and had to fill out an exit survey. In that survey I told them exactly what went wrong and exactly how I was displeased with their lack of response to my issue. Not 3 days later, I get an email from customer service doing their best to try to get me back. I didn 't until F2P launched, because, well, if you don't care enough to retain me, why would I go back after?

      But at least they did read my exit survey and tried to do something.

      I can't help but wonder, after reading that interview Unifex gave after he was let go, if the 'we know what's better for our customers than they do' attitude he found when he arrived after the Summer of Rage hasn't returned in spades?

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  8. Someone(tm) should make an Eve recruiting/headhunting/dating/matchmaking agency. Make a business out of pairing capsuleers with the right corps. I feel a lot of options are already out there, but it's a jungle of information and most newer players won't that what they want/need, IS available.

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  9. It's because gamers like tears. This crap is not exclusive to EVE or EVE players, it's everywhere. Ditto for the misogyny, racism, homophobia, etc. It doesn't make for a pleasant scene, but it's not just EVE.

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    1. I've put major time into a couple of MMOs. *Some* gamers like tears.

      In most MMOs the haters are not consistently empowered by the game mechanics and in most MMOs misogyny, racism, homophobia etc are banned by the TOS and the bans, to at least some extent, attract sanctions from the GMs.

      Example of silly game mechanics. Try ramming a small ship at maximum speed into a big one in rl. The big ship may take damage, even catastrophic damage, but a small mass is not going to alter the velocity of a large mass and the small ship is not going to survive the encounter.

      Example of silly mechanics. You pod someone. Your own pod is then invulnerable and will be protracted by Concord. You lose your cheap ship. You keep your implants and your skill points. I don't object to ganking, Eve would be boring without it. I object only to CCP's incomprehensible habit of gankcuddling because it detracts from the reality of the game and the level of player retention.

      CCP is great at ship design. That is not the same as game design.

      Delete
    2. *Enough* gamers like tears to make most online games a rather ugly place. From what I've seen, there's no special empowerment going on in EVE. It's simply a PvP game. CCP's ToS/EULA are like any other ToS/EULA. GM inaction with regard to violations is also common across the board. At least you can expect an occasional gank in a FFA PvP game; getting ganked, corpse-camped, and teabagged into a logoff after specifically rolling on a PvE server is a whole 'nother story.

      Speaking of silly game mechanics, imagine the tears if all ships took damage on contact and smaller ships got destroyed outright. I'm not much for tear extraction, but I'd re-sub just to watch the hilarity at Jita undock... from a safe distance, of course. In combination with GMs now strictly enforcing CCP's "no harassment" policy, Red Frog would get banned overnight :)

      Delete
    3. I'd think even CCP could manage some solution to the really, really, really difficult case you mention. If you can think of a good reason for tiny masses to alter the velocity of large masses, I'm sure the rest of us would love to know.

      CCP doesn't (yet) provide flying monkeys to help bumping, but they certainly do whatever they can to assist the 'I'll get you my pretty' drivel that passes for the metagame.

      Delete
  10. And they can do it because CCP doesn't empower the new players with sandbox information. The tutorials teach you how to fit and fly your ship (on a basic level), but tells you nothing about the sandbox. When you finish the career agents, you'll be (somewhat) ready to be a solo miner, missioner or hacking site runner, but you won't know about trade hubs, player alliances, awoxing, wardecs, lowsec gatecamps, suicide ganking, NOTHING!

    The career agents should teach you these aspects. Yes, you should get a hauling mission with the suggestion to fit tank to your hauler and take 2 runs instead of fitting all cargo. Guristas will attempt to gank you, if you fit cargo, you die and lose the mission collateral. An NPC from the starter corporation should awox you to make you remember that joining a player corp without knowing them is asking for trouble. Sanshas should also ask for duels and Blood Raiders should be famous for suspect baiting.

    By the way the worst EVE players aren't the ones who sit on the rookie chat and recruit noobs for awoxing. The worst griefers are writing guides and blogposts about new players should join player corps because the "fun" is there. CCP could make it clear that if you don't know other players out of game, you should play solo until you learn the in-game politics. There should be a huge warning box on corporate joining:

    UNLESS YOU ABSOLUTELY TRUST THESE PLAYERS, YOU SHOULD NOT JOIN THIS CORPORATION. IF THEY ARE MALICIOUS, THEY CAN KILL AND ROB YOU AND MOST PEOPLE WHO RECRUIT IN EVE ARE MALICIOUS. You should take time to know the EVE politics and understand the corps you'd join.

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    1. Why do CCP need to spend their time creating content that teaches the same lessons players do? What does it need to be a Guristas ship ganking your hauler and who is going to learn that players will do the same from that? Your period of botlike ganking showed that some people won't learn or listen even after the fact.

      You're still too obsessed with theme park features like that and the desire to play an MMO solo. It's better a new player joins a corp so they can learn by doing and from other players while they don't have a lot to lose.

      Delete
    2. Because the players are doing a shit job teaching newbies anything. For every solid, well-run, "new player friendly" highsec corp, there are probably ten terrible ones that provide nothing for newbies except a chat room and wardecs. And new players have no way of telling which is which until it's too late. At least knowing from the NPE that awoxing is a thing that can happen will give new players a clue about it, and maybe raise a red flag or two when the "new player friendly" corp trolling for recruits doesn't ask for their API.

      Delete
    3. lessons by players? it is just a pity that some believe in order to learn CPR you should be having a heart attack. then gleefully call noob when the student dies. (ie player quits after losing their ship or corp awoxed)

      Delete
  11. None of this would be an issue if the parts involved had better things to do. Regretfully, this would require to be able to play EVE in different ways, which is completely off bounds.

    CCP is pushing the game into one direction (go nullsec or go away) and there is no real way to adress that.

    Of course, many of us think that such a move means that EVE will leave behind many players, which currently are not being replaced, nor have any realistic chance to be replaced. As players never left this game because nullsec sucked, so making it the best place to be is not going to improve retention.

    Either CCP is in denial of why does people leave or they are aware but can't do anything about it, or more likely they just are intoxicated by insider blindness.

    Because, it is totally impossible that the following facts were related, right?:

    - hisec is the most accessible part of the game
    - hisec sucks
    - hisec doesn't haves "endgame" content
    - hisec sucks
    - hisec is where most of the players are
    - hisec sucks
    - hisec players leave in hordes
    - hisec sucks
    - hisec player retention sucks
    - hisec sucks

    Totally unrelated. There is no way in which hisec was the real issue with player retention, oh no. Players leave because, FAI, they can't do industry in nullsec...

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  12. It's often said, that it's about information to fit right, not to be scammed etc. Now I actually have that information which lets me avoid those things for the most part.

    But I still don't enjoy really being part of a community which thinks that these things are ok. It's even the other way round: The more I learn about these things the more I feel I should quit because it's just a sad state of a "community". So I will probably say goodbye soon, too.











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    1. Yep. I love the ships, playing around with fits, blowing up other players in good fights, the idea of running an industrial/moon mining empire and making ISK.

      But the behavior of some of the other players, with their "tear extracting" and gif in local posting... it's pretty lame.

      My urges to pack everything up and unsub (which I have a few times in my eight years playing Eve), almost always are trigged by dumb ass behavior.

      Delete
  13. as long as the vocal of the player base continue with the mind set of Eve being some exclusive club of "hard core" play and the NPE continues to belt feed new players into the realm of psychotics - expect no change. Trebor once mention human tutorials instead of A and Ali's platform was raised over the tomb of the fallen newbie. I see that neither offering amounted to anything.

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    1. Well if the game fails, it will be entirely their own fault. Marketing must have told them that the most reliable source of new customers were prisons and mental hospitals. How else is it that the dregs of this world are allowed or passively encouraged to make as many peoples life as miserable as possible? The only reason I hold on is that they thankfully have stayed out of wormholes, and hopefully will be too stupid to discover the new space promised, for a while.

      PvP yes please, ganking griefing gatecamps tear extraction and all the other crap no thanks. Keep the scum out and keep your customers and game alive. Don't? Well new games coming.

      Delete
  14. or it's because there's no way to differentiate between a "new player" and an "alt" and in a game with permanent loss... i'm not going to gamble on "it might be a clueless adorable newbie".

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