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blankseplocked Good luck and good bye - constructive comments
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Posted - 2003.07.06 07:19:00 - [1]

Well, EVE is impressive in so many ways. But there are some fundamental omissions that are likely to seperate the majority of your potential audience from the game.

- Please schedule some dev time for a review and revamp of the player tutorial. I would strongly suggest you limit each page to one or two paragraphs. "Learn" and "Do" paragraphs. Learn paragraphs explain to the user. "Do" paragraphs are instructing the player to do something, and possibly waiting for them to do it.

Don't be afraid to have multiple "learn" pages rather than putting lots of paragraphs on one page requiring the user to scroll.

Also add an index to it so that if you break pace you can skip or reverse as neccessary. The trigger system has the nasty effect of making it impossible to backstep if you get ahead of your self, cutting you out of the tutorial.

Currently most of the tutorial pages require you to scroll, and they frequently tell you "do this" in the first few lines of text, which skips you on to the next page, or requires you to keep switching windows. Its confusing and distracting.

- Please add a "restart tutorial" option.

- Please consider adding a texel adjustment slider to the first time run process; I imagine you've lost a lot of players who couldn't read the text in the first place to find out how to fix it. Don't print the instructions as text, use an image ;-)

- I strongly suggest you "idiot box" the first hour of play of the game after the tutorial. Get a few first-time players to go thru the tutorial and the first hour of play after under observation - have someone who hasn't played the game sit and take notes on the problems, issues, confusions that the players encounter. If you could clean up the first hour, getting into the game would be a lot easier.

- Many, many space games have failed for one simple issue: "empty air". There are many hard core space-simmers who will gladly just watch the stars go past.

For me, most of my eve play time was spent filling time while the autopilot flew me around. Then, when I arrived at the far end, I crammed all my action into a sudden burst and made mistakes.

While the player is in space, they are probably planning ahead. It is beyond belief that their onboard computer wouldn't assist with this.

a/ They will be planing their next few trips. Provide a "trip planner" system which allows a player to pre-define a route between two points, that they can later recall and have the auto-pilot fly.

b/ Todolist and notepad. The game needs both of these. So you can keep tabs on what you were doing and what you want to be doing.

c/ Why can't I review market data, even if its out of date, from my ship? Didn't I download copies before leaving the station?

You really need to consider making the market available from space in some fashion.

- "Items" and "Cargo". Its far, far too easy to misunderstand the difference between these two windows because they are so alike. Little sucks more than being an hour into this game, thinking you have loaded up with your first mission cargo, having sat and waited in eager anticipation as your autopilot flew you the 3 jumps to mission's end, docking and finding nothing happens. If you're smart enough to think of clicking on assets, you realize you left them behind. Otherwise you probably give up.

The tutorial and tutorial hand-off are one of the most important aspects of an MMORPG. Most players, if they can't find their feet, won't bother with anything beyond. "Simmers", the sort of people likely to want to play EVE, will battle on through if they've been grounded first - the relative successes of FOFT and X Online prove that.

Sadly, 5 hours of EVE was enough to persuade me this is not the MMO Space Game I've been waiting for - yet, anyway.

Technically and visually I was very impressed with the game, some of the problems and features you have overcome are quite impressive. Unfortunately, the feeling I got in my short attempt to get past the basics was of a big space sim with not a lot in it.

Hope my feedback/comments prove useful and the game goes from strength to strength.

- Oliver Smith

Edited by: Ysii on 06/07/2003 07:19:34

Heretic Army
Posted - 2003.07.06 07:58:00 - [2]

Seems like you figured it out quicker than most people.

The game is very "newbie" unfriendly. In every other MMORPG, a new player will pretty much know where he should go, where he should start, but in EVE it's not as clear cut.

Yes, it's a player-driven world, but there needs to be direction for the new players to get them ready for the real game. EVE has none.


Lexington Cabot
Brutor Tribe
Posted - 2003.07.06 09:45:00 - [3]

Cmon, he didn't 'figure it out', he quit after only five hours.

The tutorial is like two hours, and you learn how to mine, get introduced to your agent, target and blow up stuff, etc. Oh and when your done you got some isk's. Not a lot, but a start. And you also get introduced to your next agent. I use everything the tutorial taught me in the game on a daily basis.

So that leaves three more hours. I didn't have the hang of the game after that long either. It's been a week now and I'm just getting comfy with the controls. So to give up after this short a time is a waste.

It will take anyone months to learn all the nuances of this game so how can someone expect to be taught everything in a tutorial that only last a couple of hours?

I'm sorry but saying your quitting after just five hours blows all credibility in my book.

Sebiestor Tribe
Posted - 2003.07.06 10:00:00 - [4]

And keep trying this game has allot but you need to learn how it works I started when there where no agents and no newby tutorial I thought this is so diffecult I will never learn it but went further and now I am flying in a cruiser.

Posted - 2003.07.06 11:14:00 - [5]

Lexington, I did say "constructive comments" and I didn't feel that simply airing my reasons for not choosing to play the game would be constructive. So I simply posted my observations on issues I feel will be interfering with target-audience players converting into ongoing subscribers. Based on my experience as a professional developer and a game developer.

For myself, I went thru the tutorial 2 and a half times. The first 3 attempts failed due to bugs. And then I *played* for 5 hours. I would have played for less, but I'd taken on a player mission and wanted to see it through to the end to ensure the guy got his goods.

The reason I gave up there was a sense of that feeling you get when you are 3 chapters into a book and you "accidentally" read the last page.

There was nothing compelling to lead me, as a green eve-player, to get from tutorial to end game. Heck, the tutorial includes a 20 minute autopilot segment (just waiting for the autopilot to reach its destination).

As a green player, you are rushed through character creation, introduced only briefly to the principles of what you are selecting. There's no story presented. Then you're in your ship and its not long before you are on autopilot, twiddling your thumbs.

Nothing really links you in to the Eve universe or history. It's all - for me - a bit too open ended.

It's not my personal cup of tea, but I don't claim to speak for anyone else on *that* point. I see potential missed in Eve not because it doesn't float *my* boat.

It can be very easy to say "give it a chance", but with so many games asking for a chance, gamers are becoming pickier and pickier. If the game has to have its hand held to get you thru the tutorial, your expectation for game play is going to be so low as to make it not worth proceeding with the tutorial.

And I didn't fault the information in the tutorial, I faulted the way in which it is presented:

Instead of [Page 1: Press this][Page 2: You pressed this and blah blah blah] they have [Page 1: Press this and when you've pressed this blah blah blah and more stuff and heres a picture of you pressing this blah blah blah]; if I accidentally target the asteroid on step 1, I lose all the tutorial steps preceeding it because targetting the asteroid is a trigger which changes the browser location rather than advancing it, so you can't go back a step by clicking back.

(I've reported all these bugs seperately, btw).

Edited by: Ysii on 06/07/2003 11:15:19

River Deep
Posted - 2003.07.06 11:40:00 - [6]

This is assuming, of course, that the tutorial functions properly for a new player. In my case, I spent two hours trying to get the tutorial back after it just stopped progressing after 15 minutes. Perhaps offline tutorials similar to what Subspace had would be a good idea.

I agree that the trigger system is asking for trouble in the first place. EVE is, however, a vast world - and part of that overwhelming feeling mixed with my knowledge of what I had learned on these boards prior to purchasing the game probably helped me get through the first confusing hours. It is well worth struggling in the beginning, at least.

Posted - 2003.07.06 12:09:00 - [7]

Hopefully the dev team will read this and take notes, I have to say I agree with what has been said, my first character lost the tutorial after about 2 minutes and I had no way of knowing what to do.

If not changing the tutorial from a trigger system, then atleast enabling it ti be reactivated would be a great help, I myself ended up rolling a second character to work my way through the tutorial, but even then ended up playing without completing the tutorial due to not being guided into the station to speak with the agent.

From memory you get an email with your agent introducing himself, but it doesn't state that you need to contact him to continue your lessons (or does it? was 3am when I read it :o)

Having worked my way through (even without the tutorail) the game really does get better, but different people have different learning curves and I agree that the intial tutorial would benefit from a few tweaks as mentioned above.

Shadow Company
Posted - 2003.07.06 15:41:00 - [8]

I agree with pretty much all of Ysii's points. I got pretty much the whole tutorial (although couldn't work out how I was supposed to find the system I was told to go to - had to ask nicely on the corp channel), but Eve isn't exactly an easy game to get into. Very unforgiving too - I've already wasted 46k isk buying things I didn't need (specifically a Caldari Frigate skill that I already had, but thought I had to buy again to train, and an extra mining laser that I couldn't fit) and I've only been playing two days.

Posted - 2003.07.06 18:15:00 - [9]

Seems only 5 hours is too short to judge.

I mean you bought the game, you got a month free..why quit after playing for a 1/6 of a day?

I had similar experiences of bafflement in my first 2 days, but then i met a few guys who took me group mining, and netted me 300K in an hour, i bought my 1st Rifter, and they took me to some 0.6 systems and i learnt to fight, after a few hours of the 3 of us fighting i was pretty happy, i then began buying ships low, selling high, i bought an Indy shortly after, hired 2 guys to fill her up of omber for me, and gave them a decent split.

For me the fun is with going out hunting with a group of friends at a similar level, hoping to get some good drops, having to run like hell from the PC Pirates.

I too wasted over 200K on equipment i was no where near ready (Skill Wise) to use, but hey, thats life, i managed to sell it on without losing much of it, there *IS* a learning curve, but there is a decent help channel, and i have found asking questions in the corp window when you join, you will nearly always gets people answering you, offering to come help you out etc. Obviously if you play this game without wanting to get involved with other people, you will find it hard learning everything from the tutorials.

Like i said, you cannot judge a MMORPG in only 5 hours play. You seem determined to leave, and determined you know the i hope you find a more fulfilling MMORPG to play :)

Edited by: Nirvy on 06/07/2003 18:18:28

Lexington Cabot
Brutor Tribe
Posted - 2003.07.07 10:06:00 - [10]

If i wasn't being constructive, I would have told you to stop whining or crying and quit already. I disagreed with you and stated why.

Granted, there are tutorial bugs but this is a multiplayer game with the easy ability to contact people or ask questions in the chat channels. And to group up with. The whole point of the game is to play with others.

And you are just starting out so your gonna be a noob. I am as well.

Why does this game's success in your mind depend on the tutorial? It won't teach you where the best smuggling routes are or how to be a good fighter in your player run corporation for example.

The tutorial won't teach you how to have fun in the game. That's all I'm saying.

But like someone else said already, you did pay for a free month. Why not at least get what you paid for. Forget about the tutorial. Jump in the pool and get your feet wet. :)

Sato Kayim
Infinitus Odium
The Church.
Posted - 2003.07.07 13:34:00 - [11]

Why don't people get this games concepts?

It's all about player interaction. Get involved. Join a corp that interacts with other corps. Wars, politics, building, taking systems etc etc. Then decide. Definately not after 5 hours! *LOL*

Jai Resyk
Liberty Inc
Posted - 2003.07.07 14:57:00 - [12]

A good thread, and I have to agree with many of the points Ysii has made. I bought Eve early, and have been playing solidly for many weeks now. For me - the game is many brief but brilliant moments sprinkled amongst long periods of very little. This is enough for me, and I will continue to play - but I can see that many will be put off it.

One of the most serious issues, one raised by Ysii is the utter boredom of travelling and mining. Most will end up doing large amounts of both. The game devs have made a beautiful game, but there needs to be much more involvement during these periods than simply staring at the Help Channel. I'd love to see floating wrecks, meteors, perhaps black holes that are open briefly but capable of throwing you very long distances (and being two way of course!), roaming NPC trading ships perhaps (jovian?), slave/illicit drugs ships to be approached and traded with, gravity/light anomalies to confuse sensors, lone roids tumbling through space.. and so on. Eve has already given me a feeling for the scale of space, now it needs to give me the majesty and the mystery.

Also, in an environment with warp/jumpgate tech - it is inconceivable that the Market is unavailable when flying, or any of the Station functions for that matter. Why can I not train a skill when away from a station? It makes no sense at all and just serves to frustrate.

Posted - 2003.07.07 17:21:00 - [13]

Ysii has some very very valid points Lex.

I develop software also, and I do agree that the start is very fundamental. Fortunately, it sounds like a lot of us have played MMOG's before, but try to picture it from the new-to-MMOG-persons point of view.

It does fail to inform you where the help channel is, and how to join it. Exploring the NeoCom you might figure it out, but likewise the approach is sound. Why do you think the likes of Microsoft keep making their newer versions of Windows "Made for idiots" and not like the more experienced of us like them, and we spend hours tailoring them back to the point where we have more control. The majority of people are indeed new, and should be eased into these games gently. They are completely different to most other games, and that is vital information for everyone.

Well-done Ysii, I thought that was a very honest yet fair set of comments. You might want to email this link to PANN. She is a customer relations manager I think, she might like the read. It is honest fair feedback. :)

I think if you come back to the game in 6 months time you might see things have more content, and more things to do. But you are mostly right as you stated, pressently there isn't a lot to do in some cases, or what there is to do is massively dull/boring. Perhaps when the rest of the skills are on the market, and everyone has the same crack at it that everyone else has, and they have player made stations, and there are wars going on, it might provide more of a draw to explore/find out.

Lexington Cabot
Brutor Tribe
Posted - 2003.07.07 19:25:00 - [14]

Hey, I'm not saying he doesn't have any points, and I never did. But to give up on the game because the tutorial isn't functioning well? Cmon. I played UO and my tutorial was "Welcome to UO. Here's 100 gold, pick your newbie reward, have fun."

They tell you about the help panel in the manual. On page 38. The icon for it is a life preserver and when you mouse over it a little box that says "help" appears. Cmon, you don't have to be a genius to figure it out. Even someone new to an MMO is not new to a PC game. They probably have played something with an advanced interface before. This interface is that much more difficult to figure out then say Sim City 3000 that has to come with a 400 page manual?

And as I have said the chat window is right there for you to use, and unlike other games, you don't need to enter a special command to talk. Just type and hit enter. Then the fun of the game begins.

Dark Design
Posted - 2003.07.07 20:26:00 - [15]

It sounds to me that you need a more linear type of game, something EVE definetly is not.

If you go through the agent missions, they will pretty much explain the basic of the game. To give up after only 5 hours would be like giving up playing a FPS after you got the second gun and realized you didn't have any ammo in it.

This is, I think, the most open ended game I have ever encountered. The problem with a game this non-linear is what was described in the first post, no sense of direction for the new player.

It takes time and you have to work at it for the first few weeks while you get used to it. Joining a CORP can help immensely as they can show you the ropes.

Lexington Cabot
Brutor Tribe
Posted - 2003.07.07 22:23:00 - [16]

talk about open ended!! That's the best part of this game.

Hehe my problem is I can't decide what to do first. I want to explore, and be a pirate, and be a fighter in a corp fighting wars. Oh gosh but then what about smuggling or running my own corp. Arg too little time!!!

Basic Tritanium Mining North
Posted - 2003.07.08 00:40:00 - [17]

This game is perhaps the hardest game I've played when it commes to figuring out really fun things to do. Some of the things I have done in the game has been some of the highlights of my gaming career. This is very important to understand, you have to think a little (a lot) about what you want to do in the game. Yes the tutorial was not functioning good, but really if you give up this easy it will be impossible to have fun in the game.

Generally the most interesting things is when you do as much as possible with a lot of people. You say that you look much at the help channel, well talk to people in the game instead. I always talk with friends I met, or people I have traded with, much more interesting and often possibilities appear.
Some of the fun things to do in the game:

- fight real or computer people. Can be really interesting if you are a small group and work together. The better ship you have the more complex the fighting get.

- Build things. To get the correct minerals and begin building and researching things as well as transporting them to the best markets. And talking to people and trying to sell or trade with them. Mining is also more interesting if you need specific minerals

- Trade, try to figure out the market and buy low sell high. Also a good idea to buy from the trade channel at good prices and selling for hinger. Perhaps you can find a good spot where lots of travelers need specific items and are willing to pay overprice.

- Help or get helped by experienced players. I've have met people that work as fighter trainers in their corp. Great fun to follow them while they protect you.

- Just figuring out all the enormous among of items and weapons and skills is interesting in itself. To plan the skill strategies can also be very rewarding.

- Exploring can be fairly interesting to gather information, but perhaps not that much fun when it comes to finding interesting sights.

Oh, well that's just a few tips. But please don't sit alone in a field mining and doing nothing else. You will be bored and there are far more interesting things to do.
If you have any questions or want to team up on operations feel free to send me a mail at any time.

Director of IMC


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