I am one of those people who downloaded Eve to check it out after reading about the terrible things that happen there. It seemed to be right up my alley. I started playing directly after Crucible was launched. It was launched the 29th of November and I started to play December 1st. That means, in my world Attack Battlecruisers have always existed. It also means that I was on board for the change to the item management windows. This was a huge moment, where CCP changed the entire way that we move things around. It also did not go as well as expected and they released it with a lot of usability lacking. That happened because what players do with the interface and what the developers expect them to do often vary. Eventually, this was rectified and the new interface with its trees and ability to move things was born.
I like it and slowly my use of it has increased. When the POS change came in that allowed us to move things between POS modules from anywhere within the force field I really came into full appreciation of the tree. It was not until I started managing the store that I honestly came to use, and then love, the filter window.
Yesterday, I commented on some of the things that I saw seeing doing the tutorials again. I've received a lot of good discussion. At one point, Sarah Flinnley comments on the UI as the biggest hurdle for new players.
Third time I try Eve I go at it KNOWING the the UI sucked. But wanted to play a space MMO I tough it out and start learning....I thought about this. My first reaction was, "Well I use it just fine," but I realized that no. I do not. I didn't know, for instance, that you could group guns for a while. I didn't know that you could activate modules by using F keys for who knows how long. I didn't even realize that there were short cuts to use the overview and do things like jump. Because of that, I have a hybrid usage of short cuts, button clicks, and the right menu that I am embarrassed to show other people because I know is not optimal but it is optimal for me.
Obviously, the user interface was a problem for me. It seems to be one that I conquered without realizing it. I was enthralled with Eve. I had no problems using the Market interface and buying skillbooks. That is something I often see Rookies struggling with at first. In my mind there are always markets or shops so just go and find it. Yet, I didn't understand about selling thing to buy orders for months after I started. I figured out my asset window quickly and learned the rule, "When in doubt, Right click." But, I have to learn the fleet window which is still mostly shrouded in poorly documented mystery to me.
My knee jerk reaction was just a matter of comfort and habit. Sarah Flinnley is correct that the UI leaves a lot to be desired. This is something that CCP also has noticed. Or, so I believe.
One part of doing the tutorials was using the radial menu. I have not used the radial menu since it was implemented. That is because I am comfortable with what I currently do. Instead of introducing the radial menu and nerfing the other menus, CCP introduced both. That stopped the older player from being alienated and unable to do anything (anyone remember our irritation over the undock button being moved for Odyssey?) while giving the newer player a more intuitive means to do things. And yes, I do mean more intuitive and I wouldn't have said that if I hadn't sat there while Aura showed me the radial menu.
Like many, young and bold dinosaurs (unlike the bitter crusty ones :P) I have a hard time replacing what works quite well with me with something that may work better. The tutorial gave me a more relaxed way to learn the radial menu. To my amusement, I don't trust it yet. The pictures don't reassure me like words do that I am going to jump. For my Venture going off in yellow glory to mine Veldspar to make a cap booster (that is another issue post on its own) using the radial menu is new and interesting and I am willing to experiment where I am not with my jump freighter or in combat. But, for a new pilot, it is what they will know best and it is a better more game expected way to interact.
Similarly, the discovery scanner. Outside of the issues many currently hold for it, the concept of it as a more visual in game view without having to switch to a special viewpoint is an indication of where CCP wants to go with the interaction the users have with the game. More visual. More audio. More intuitive. I wonder if some of the UI changes are missed by experienced players simply due to our ingrained habits that cause us to flow with the older UI.
The UI. Is it alone the problem or is it also a mixture of the current tutorials? Are we sniffing up the wrong tree by trying to mold the new player experience into a boarder, more truthful representation of Eve? And perhaps, we need to rethink what we consider the new player experience and redefine it into something that suites Eve without integrating the current one.
Also, I really, really feel that not integrating the new player experience and station services into the Captain's Quarters as intractable stuff (as it is in Dust) is a major, major miss on interacting with new players.