Let's talk about options.
CCP Rise discussed an idea he has been kicking around in his spare time of permanent death. He pointed out that it is an idea as old as Eve it is just one that has never been achieved. He also said that how it would be implemented is still a series of ideas or guesses. It, like many things that have been said and will be said, is an idea.
I like the idea of permanent death and I say that as someone who will never, ever use the option. The thing is that I like options. I have also pushed for players that start to have more options in how they start the game. To move back and use another game as an example, I shall use Skyrim. I love Skyrim with all of my heart and soul and when I finally started to use mods for Skyrim I picked mods that did not give me special bonuses but instead gave me more options to live in the game world.
I picked a mod that gave me an alternate start. It threw me out somewhere to the west. I was immediately chased by wolves and dragons. Did I mention that I added a 'more' dragon mod? It made them appear everywhere and try to kill me constantly. Then, I ran through a bandit camp and they chased me to. Off into a snow storm I ran, heading roughly towards my icon with nothing but a stick, a pack of wolves chasing me, and bandits shooting me with arrows.
I loved it. I eventually worked my way to the start of the normal game but it took a while for that to happen. During that time I tripped over all sorts of things in the game environment, I died a few times, and in general I had refreshed a game that I had already put hundreds of hours into.
The idea of things like permanent death or alternate starts in Eve are very much for the people who want to pick them as options. No one has suggested that they will be the only way to play Eve. They would just be another way to play. With new ways to play will come new cultures. What spurred me to write this was a comment that permanent death would make people more risk adverse. I don't agree. In fact, I think that if we opened up more and different pathways for people to enter the game on their own terms we might shed some of unwritten rules that we have now.
Perhaps we have to many bottlenecks for new players. My theory is that if people had more options in how they started the game they'd therefore enter the game with a different mindset. If someone chose to enter with a permanent death mode, they'd behave in a different manner from someone who entered and followed a tutorial string. If another decided to take a 'just start' mode where they were randomly dropped into space and had to figure things out for themselves, they'd develop their knowledge of the game based off of the fact that they started knowing they'd need to go out and learn.
Our current tutorial simply funnels too many people into one mindset. If Eve were a game like many others where there were directions and pathways that a player went on until they reached endgame, that would be fine. But Eve is a game where we need people to decide on their personal destiny rather quickly. Even if they don't know what that is, the fact that they are looking for one is a good start.
While I think the new player start that they are working on will give people a less structured box to learn in, I still believe that including other random methods to start with no goal of assisting the player is good. If someone selects these options they have already made a series of personal decisions. They are also prepared to seek knowledge because they just told the game, "naw, I don't want your starter stuff."
I'm a great believer in options.