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What I Learned From a Weekend of Rookie Chat

 Dhonray Fernandez > im so lost...

The above is from Rookie chat as I write this. That has been a very common theme for the last two days.

To recap what has been going on, on Friday, CCP released Eve's latest trailer which has been quite the sensation. In less then 48 hours it saw over a million views. Articles have flown everywhere. I'm sure it was a mixture of the media bomb a game company sets out and the fact that the trailer is amazing and just saturated gaming communities all over the place. Reddit has been on fire. People are flocking to Eve and that is not just the random squeals of a fangirl.

Now with all of these people interested in Eve we need to get them to stay. Peaks like this happen whenever we make it to the news. Most try it and then leave. Well, this time the newbie supporting community has come out in arms. It was a CTA to rookie assistance. The main page of /r/eve is newbie advice. CCP has done a CTA it seems with developers flooding rookie chat. The ISD has been out in force and players are making alts just to answer questions. Eve Uni has thrown together a huge program of classes to help people. It has been amazing. Brave is absorbing people by the hundred, corporations are opening their doors and loosening their restrictions.

 Stepside Riraille > Hoiy shit people are helpful in Eve.  My first day ;)

By, Sunday afternoon I was exhausted. Rookie chat moves at such a pace that its like running and yelling into a train pulling out of the station full of newbies going, "Weeee! How do we use the train!" as CCP, ISD, and players chased after them on foot trying to explain about brakes, energy, mass, and momentum, and horse power.

It is fucking adorable and absolutely refreshing. I know that some people hate rookie chat and I've never understood why. Its a nonstop train of enthusiastic players wanting to learn the game. Answering questions is like catch and release. You throw it into a pool of hungry maws and hopefully it feeds them.

                             Octo Mandias > thank you all, i love you and i love this game

What I have learned:

  • People just get lost in space. They are not understanding that they can interact with the objects in space.
  • Windows need to be pinned or something when they start. They are accidentally closing and minimizing them and losing them.
  • The mission where they make a shuttle confuses them if they have to move the shuttle.
  • The industry interface acts a bit wonky at times and locks down blue prints.
  • Rookie missions do get bugged.
  • Petitioning with F12 is not clear.
  • Double clicking in space still needs to be a thing.
  • The asterid belts are depleted which confuses people. We need more rocks or more belts or something.
  • The academy mission Aura gives people confuses them because they think the station is the mission object
  • Something needs to make the wallet more clear
  • CCP Rise's test people where more curious then some we are helping
  • Some people just log in and ask for help if its all not clear while ignoring the Aura prompts
  • Their starting overview needs to be a bit better
  • People really don't read
  • The whole gate jumping concept does not click for some as quickly as it should and they get stuck and lost
Jester Tsero > hey guys my mission is to mine minerals but when i right click and warp to an astroid belt i don't see any asteroids....
  • Really the empty belts are a thing
One of the biggest ones is that there needs to be an ISIS type menu for skills. A skill tree that shows them all and how they branch out to each other. People are struggling to find skills. I know I used the groups section of the market window a lot but that seems to be a big hurdle for many.

There is some trolling but remarkably little. Some frustrated yellers when they cannot figure out a mechanic. But, with the army of helper players in there we're working through most problems and getting people sorted and settled. The ability to high light someones name is a life saver for keeping the discussions organized. Some just find it to fast and to hectic and they want more one on one help. I find it amusing because it means we've convinced them that they will receive help from other players with game basics.

Ore sites are super popular. You tube tutorials for scanning are useful. There was a very offended two day old player that found a data site in low sec and got killed by a member of goonswarm right after they got nine million ISK in loot out of it. I'm not perfect. I forgot trials had a 24 hour skill queue limit. Also, some people don't like the attempt to break things down into plain language and scold and use technical language. I don't worry about it overly much.
[04:30:25] seedy Obliterator > so would any of you say ths game is pay to win?
[04:31:47] Sierra Devore > seedy Obliterator EVE isn't pay to win, because while you can get ingame currency for RL money via PLEX you can't buy any actual advantage over other players. There's no items that can only be gained through paying that are better than normal ones.
[04:32:23] seedy Obliterator > thanks for the help
[04:32:49] seedy Obliterator > who are you guys and why do you help others?
[04:33:01] Lixeti Hekki > seedy Obliterator we just feel like it :)
[04:33:06] Kazak Vuld > seedy Obliterator Because they need help.  More newbies makes the game better.
[04:33:26] seedy Obliterator > This is a different community to what im used to
[04:34:12] Kazak Vuld > seedy Obliterator For a bunch of bastards that like you scam and kill each other, we're not to bad.
[04:35:20] Leon Cursed > seedy Obliterator The tight packed EvE comunity is always at new players service to help them understand a tricky but emence fun game, Take guidance from them, Learn and above all, have Fun


  1. Helping newbies is essential to the game!
    Thanks everyonewho helped!
    I myself stick around in help chat the month of the year i joined and help people.


  2. I've only used Rookie Chat a few times when I was brand new (roughly a year ago). In all those occasions, my questions, perhaps more subtle than "how to do X" were fast buried by other conversations without being noticed.

    Later I found that asking in my NPC corp, or in EVE-UNI chat would have better chance of getting an answer.

    I like the way you pull people into private chat to reduce Rookie Chat traffic, although doing that for every single player is likely impossible. Perhaps CCP can support multiple Rookie Chat channels and spread the volunteers around.

  3. Mh...
    First, you don't need to create an alt account to enter rookie-chat, just ask someone to drag&drop-link the rookie-channel and whichever account clicks on that link will find himself in the rookie-channel (even if you are >30 days).

    Second, what a shame CCP closed down the language channels. But maybe EvE is english only as the new trailer suggests... whatever, since trolls who ruled the old language channels are still homeless you'll find many of them in the remaining non-english help channels... which are unmoderated 23/7. Those channels are hostile space for new players as many of the most active players willing to help new players day by day unsubed (thanks CCP community management - they did a perfect job driving them out of the game!).
    As far as I can tell: The german help channel didn't see many of those new players, again, it might be because the trailer is english only.

    Maybe I find the time to create another trailer with random chat situations in the official help channels where new players get bashed and trolled and call it "This is EVE, too!"

    1. Wow U a little madbro? I guess haters just gonna hate... whatta waste of recycled electrons though...

    2. You wouldn't say the same if yours was one of the 31 language communities gutted off by CCP's lack of balls to tackle the Russian harrassment on the Ukrainian chat channel.

      Also helping your newbros is very difficult when they don't speak one of the master race languages and so can't figure where or to whom ask their doubts....

  4. The newbie influx is huge. I got TiDi in rookie constellations for "no reason". Uitra (caldari newbie system) beaten Jita!!! in ship losses:

    Actually, we don't need more belts. What we need is empty belts having no icons on the overview.

    1. Perhaps but empty belts still spawn NPCs to hunt.

  5. I loved helping out newbies in the Rookie Help channel when I made my 3rd account and would gladly continue helping out.

    Sadly, I can't. Yes, I've read Sams 'trick' above but 1) who the hell should I ask to drag&drop the link?! I don't know any Rookies until I meet them in the channel in the first place! 2) it smells like an exploit of sorts - wouldn't want to get banned for wanting to help out!

    Sugar, could you PLEASE ask CCP to take away this useless 30-day age limit? If anyone behaves badly, the ISDs can simply ban them from the channel, no?

    1. Channel-ID of Rookie Chat is "1".
      Type (or copy/paste) the following code into Windows Notepad and copy&paste it from there to your ingame Notepad (you should get a link ingame)
      Now please remove every " didn't want to create a link here - or error messages that I'm not allowed to post links in comments.
      Hit the link and welcome to the Rookie Chat.
      I used this after B-R to help, as long as you focus on helping and avoid trolling/spamming you shouldn't kicked!

    2. Cool, works perfectly, thanks!

    3. Hey Sams, today you saved a newbie's prophecy+implants.

      He was stuck in a wormhole without probes, and since the highsec system he jumped from was only 19j from where I live in lowsec, and I had to participate in a totally boring work conference call, I went to show him the exit.

  6. "The asterid belts are depleted which confuses people. We need more rocks or more belts or something."

    Are these belts being depleted by hungry newbies or veteran multiboxers who want to mine under the implicit safety of starter system rules?

    Either way, I think that CCP should consider removing 'real' ore and minerals from these systems and the tutorial missions themselves, instead replacing it with new mission ore/minerals with uncompetitive NPC buy orders. The belts would never have to run out and the mineral/ore info could list exactly which systems it can be mined in, helping newbies who have been blown off-course.

    1. Exactly what I was about to suggest. +1 to "training ore" belts.

    2. The asteroid belts were never depleted when I started out. The rookie systems have never been rebalanced to account for the fact that the Venture utterly owns the old mining frigates in terms of both yield and storage.

    3. One worry with fake stuff is teaching them about the real stuff.

    4. They are still taught the process of mining, refining and manufacturing. The only thing they aren't taught is that Veldspar refines into Tritanium.

      On the other hand, they don't log in a few hours before downtime and get incredibly confused because they can't find any asteroids in the asteroid belts.

  7. There's a great reason for hisec wardecs - people who run Orca fleets in rookie systems.

    1. You do know you don't have to be within the same corporation to use Orca boost? It's a fleet boost. Good luck wardecing those barges, exhumer and the Orca while they are in a NPC corporation! Or good luck ganking the Orca in a 1.0 system. Whatever you prefer.

    2. What you underestimate is the number of miners and orca boosters who don't know that or are too stubborn to take advantage of it.

  8. Yet Eve Offline shows a peak of 43,053 in the past 24 hours, a far cry from the 50K plus we used to get on Sundays. CCP is really going to have to retain a big chunk of this surge of new players, because it sure seems a lot of the older base is not logging on anymore. Let's see what the late December /early January numbers show regarding that player retention once they encounter the griefers of CODE, et al.

    1. Code seems to have bigger problems right now.... *coughs* Marmites *coughs*

  9. Then go tell them deal how to deal with the "griefers". Like it's so difficult to avoid being ganked while mining in hisec.

  10. Rookie help is ok but when I was new I found the place where I consistently got the most useful help, more detailed answers and the best advice was my starter corps channel.

    I kind of lucked out in that my first character was in SAK (School of Applied Knowledge). Since then I've characters in many different starter corps, several of the others are pretty good too, but imo the most helpful of them all is still SAK.

  11. You can petition using F12? TIL! (I always hit escape and fumbled around until I found a likely button and clicked it... all handful of times I've needed to petition stuff)

  12. I would donate to a code. Like group that shot anything bigger than a venture mining in rookie systems.

  13. My corp is doing our small part... we kill all noobs who wander in our hole and then convo, send ISK and see if they are open, most are, to discussing this great game we play... most nights lately we always have a noob or 2 in comms...

    Gives em a feel for how a small wormhole corp lives and plays... good stuff all around.

    And Sugar...
    "Crazy... I mean like, so many positive waves... maybe we can't lose, you're on!"

    1. How about this: Don't kill them, but do everything else you have described.

  14. The last time I was in a rookie system (over 12 months back) it contained various riff-raff who; were can-baiting, scanning down newbies to intercede in their tutorials and spamming scam contracts. I don't suppose CCP will be taking a more aggressive stance against idiots that target new players?

    Solutions for the lack of ores in the newbie systems, is that the tutorial missions each have a individual deadspace belt. Then have continuous grav-sites which will auto-spawn low-end ores - (for the fun factor) add Incursion level rats programmed to target the mining barges of experienced players.

    Since the Sisters arc is suggested by the tutorial, do you know Sugar if this is to be looked at? ie maybe not direct the influx of newbies into yet more PvE content. But towards player/community driven content?

    1. Well today they did a whole dev post sending people to player resources and answering some basic questions. There has been a big push to join a corp and the suggestions are flying in rookie chat to get people working with other people.

      I'm adding the belt stuff to my summit topic list.

    2. I have an even better idea: Player/Community driven PvE content!
      Ann spawns a site which is encountered by Brian who sells the rewards to Charlie who triggers an event for Danny and Emma who bring Brian with them...

  15. So now we've got this massive influx of new players all conditioned to expect helpful and useful advice from their fellow players in chat channels.

    How long do you think it will be before they get hit with massive scams, and fall for them because all of their other interactions had such positive outcomes?

    EVE players can be some of the best helpers, but also some of the biggest jerks; I fully expect this to happen.

    1. years ago I ran a training group in another game.

      the motto was "Newbie School: Turning Newbies into Targets since 1998"

    2. Reddit and even Rookie chat discusses scamming and trust issues as well. Its not all blind love. :)

  16. For whatever reason, CCP doesn't automatically add new players to the Help channel. They are instead dumped into Rookie Help and Rookie Chat, whose existence makes about as much sense as a blind seeing eye dog. Once the excitement over helping new players dies down, it will go back to being its usual cesspit of misinformation and trolling.

    All of the bugs and problems with the New Player Experience were repeatedly and exhaustively reported when it was first released, including the fact that it was archaic and violated every tenet of good tutorial design. And CCP has been studiously refusing to properly improve the NPE in any way since its release. The problem is that CCP doesn't really give a damn about new players. Every few years, CCP will go into panic mode about player retention. It will jury-rig some half-finished brand new systems, then spend a year or so patting itself on the back and loudly announcing how much it cares about new players. This is merely another start of that same cycle.

  17. "hey guys my mission is to mine minerals but when i right click and warp to an astroid belt i don't see any asteroids...."
    sorry if this is covered already, I'm skimming tonight...

    the overview doesn't default to asteroids showing - empty belts might be a thing (fixable in noob systems?) but it might just be not having the preset mining tab enabled

    I'll read a bit and come back tomorrow if there's some input I can give


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