EVE Online Interview: Learning from the Prospector Pack, teaching PVP and new players


EVE online The development team is no stranger to controversy. When in late March a group of prominent players got together to protest the release of the Prospector’s Pack, which sold a fully-equipped mining barge to players, CCP Games recognized the very real issues players had raised and pulled the pack from the Sale.

It was interesting because much of the fear around RMT sales in EVE Online seems to have intensified since Korean MMO giant Pearl Abyss acquired CCP Games a few years ago. One aspect that CCP Games has consistently pushed back on, however, is that the Pearl Abyss specter isn’t actually the case. CCP pulled the pack from sale and vowed to take player feedback more into these decisions in the future. According to creative director Bergur Finnbogasson, the reason for the Prospector’s Pack was simple: to help new players.

“[T]he original intention of [Prospector’s] Pack is designed to help new players find their place in New Eden,” Bergur said in an interview with MMORPG last week. “And as everyone knows, getting a new ship for the first time is a big, daunting task. And that was something we tested a few years ago with a destroyer pack, where we basically allowed players to buy a fully equipped ship to go out and do something a little bit more complicated than just one Corvette to fly.”

Bergur specifically mentions the hurdles new players have to overcome in order to learn how to get a new ship, customize a ship, and understand these basics EVE Online. Part of the new experience for new players teaches new capsuleers the basics of these concepts, but it can still be daunting for a new player to really know where to start when the training wheels are off. This is where the Prospector Pack came in, CCP believes, to give new players a head start, so to speak.

“It was a big hurdle for new players to actually find the ship, train to find all the modules, customize it, figure out the right system, fly to Jita, and try to get all the right modules and the CPU power grid Find. These things are great once you start understanding the basics of the game and get down a bit further. But on day one, day two, day three – it’s an enormously daunting task.

“So the idea was, ‘Can we soften this blow? Can we smooth out this experience by allowing players to purchase a fully outfitted ship?’ On the speculation that we’re selling ships to everyone? No. The idea here is that this is a new player-centric feature that tries to help players get into the playstyles that we identified as good and healthy and exciting things for players to do early on.”

Bergur points to data CCP saw after the destroyer pack the company sold to players a while ago. According to Bergur, it helped players who bought the pack “get a taste” of the new ship, set goals, and achieve something specific for players to aim for.

Bergur also mentions that selling a pack like this is just part of an overall plan the team needs to make so that these packs are powered by the in-game economy and aren’t just an outlier injecting into the world outside of the current system will. It ties into the idea of ​​getting new players into fully-equipped, ready-to-go ships built by veterans.

“One of the things that we’ve talked about for so long is how we can actually get these packs to feed off of the in-game economy,” Bergur continued. “We’ve been thinking about this idea for a long time; made by veterans for new players. There are a lot of really exciting possibilities that we can do with something like this. First and foremost, we can put players into finished ships faster, get them [quickly] Doing things so they can set goals. But we can also start teaching them interesting things, like the opportunity to teach players about the player-driven economy. Teach players that every ship was created by someone.”

How the team plans to tie these types of packages to the in-game economy has yet to be worked out, but it’s an interesting thought to ponder, especially given that much of the dismay these types of sales through CCP bypass the ongoing one Player-run economy of New Eden.

“The idea here is basically everything, the shared content of these packs comes from the community,” continued Bergur. “It’s not made out of nothing.”

But although the reaction was strong, CCP was not upset by the public protest – on the contrary, according to brand manager Saemunder Hermannson.

“Apathy is EVEs worst enemy,” Hermannsson said in an interview. “Not people with a passion for EVE and protest or say how they feel. It was really good to get that reaction. I like to see people getting excited about this and we made our statement, we took action and we follow with an improved version that is much more effective than the previous version.”

Passion is something that defines the EVE Community, be it the passion for creating the best propaganda during a war, the state of PvP, industry and more. Familiarizing new pilots with New Eden and its ways is also an area where many capsuleers are stepping up to help as well. At the end of March, the Stay Frosty PvP Free For All event took place, during which the corporation delivered fully equipped frigates to players who wanted to try out PvP without risking their own ISK.

It’s always been a popular event, and this year it was even more so when it broke several in-game records. According to CCP Games, this year’s event set the record for the highest number of single-system lowsec kills, beating last year’s FFA. This event has also become the 4thth bloodiest single system event in EVE Online Story.

The 19thth March (the day of the FFA) also set the record for most PvP kills in the entire lowsec space EVE Onlinewhich surpassed the previous bloodiest day in May 2013.

CCP Games also hosted their own PvP events to coincide with Rixx Javix’s player-run event, and according to community developer Bergur Theodórsson, this could happen more frequently as CCP’s events team plans them. The team is also exploring ways to continue promoting player events in the future.

“In terms of actual numbers, we broke [the record for] the biggest fight in lowsec,” said Theodórsson. “It was super cool, and we [are] right now on the drawing board. How can we do this again? How can we do more of this? Because so much stuff happens EVE comes from the players just doing it, so we try to find ways to add value to these events when they put all that time and effort into creating such a big event.”

“It was a fantastic event,” added Finnbogason. “It’s great when we get the community involved, when we give the community more control. […][T]That’s the stuff that makes EVE possible, more ingenious than other things.”

During Rixx Javix’s Free For All event, CCP hosted adjacent events such as the Frigtae 2v2 PvP Abyssal Proving Grounds. Personally, I like the idea of ​​neighboring events like this that fit the weekend vibe. If you’re 99 jumps away from the system hosting the FFA but want to get some killmails, a neighboring event like this can go a long way in scratching that itch.

It also leads to a larger problem the team is still grappling with: how to teach these concepts to new players in an organic and non-intrusive way? Events like Free For All are designed to help new players learn PvP in an environment that doesn’t involve the risk that often discourages players from engaging in PvP. But how can CCP replicate this, teach this in a way that keeps players rather than kicking them out of the client and onto the next game?

EVEs Creative Director compares it to training. You don’t just start by diving straight into the toughest workout routine, you might start with curls to build muscle. To teach PvP, Finnbogason mentions how to approach it – you might not be able to teach these basics on day one, but you can teach the precursors needed to be able to tackle PvP when a player is ready.

“There are great ways to teach players what it means to be in a fleet. How do you work in a fleet? What role does a Logi play in an escape? [How] do we teach players about overheating? [We need] to teach those players those core skills that you need to have before you start thinking about PvP. Ultimately, the best teachers fight with others, and those others tell you what happened.

“So what are the steps that we can take to get people to that moment, to get people to that place where they feel safe, and people are like, ‘Oh shit, these guys got those competencies to take that next step.’ So that’s a very big conversation that we’re having right now.”

However, getting people there won’t be easy – something the team understands and is constantly working towards a solution. Educating players and making them understand why certain passes are flown or why some players might excel more than others, a bit like chess, according to Theodórsson. To learn from players swapping ammo or introducing a different ship type depending on the hull they are targeting, players will learn through repetition – and a community ready to let players know when a killmail is sent.

But ultimately as EVE On-line is headed towards Fanfest in the near term, but with New Eden’s third decade on the horizon, it’s something the team wants to resolve so new players can grab one of the most compelling reasons to play EVE. EVE Online Interview: Learning from the Prospector Pack, teaching PVP and new players

Fry Electronics Team

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