Eve trial yet again

So I’ve started another trial. I decided this time I’d do it looking for why, exactly, I keep deciding not to stay.

Interestingly it appears CCP is looking at that question as well in more general terms. So here are my first comments, and I figure I’ll have more later.

First big disappointment deals with character creation. CCP has had one of the better character appearance generators around for a long time. You can spend a LOT of time getting the position of everything just right, setting up for your profile picture, choosing from several pieces of clothing – it’s great.

And it means nothing. It means that you see your character in the base bays, and if they go into captain’s quarters and do nothing but putter around you can see a bit more. But they just walk, and never interact or change clothes or, bleah. The more invested you get the more let down you get to be.

But you get over that, sorta. Because the game is space and spaceships and supporting space ships. So you log on to a tutorial which leads you to more tutorials. And you get lots of gear and lots of money and lots of ships.

But you wind up spending 40 hours or so of play between the career tutorials and the first mission (Sisters of Eve) and you’re just… bored. Because they have massive overlap. They have to because while there are five career tutorials many people will only do a couple – and there are some critical elements that should be passed along regardless.

40 hours of play of which 20 or so is repetitive. And it’s an MMO but with one exception it’s almost all ‘barrens chat’. A designated channel called Rookie Chat filled almost entirely with people asking how to do something – over and over and over. Pop to another channel and see insults and boasts and such.

it’s a problem in all MMOs – you want the players to have the basics but the real pleasure is interacting with others. At the same time EVE prides itself on letting people be almost as bad as they want to be – and many are.

I’m going to try some different things this trial, see if I can see a break point. But the design for the typical newbie is, well, allegedly half the players leave in the first month, and of the half that stays most just follow the PVE pipe that doesn’t really do much – and leave a few months down the road after the same old same old.

More later.

~ by Kirk on May 10, 2014.

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