“Is CCP doing anything about the NPE?” That has been a common question and one that I have said yes in answer. I have pointed out CCP Rise’s talks at Fanfest 2014 and Eve Vegas 2014. I have noted that we have not only a NPE focused team but also a retention team known as Team Homegrown who is a new construction that the CSM met at the Winter Summit. Also Rhea had fixes to the Tutorials which contained a lot of information and problems as reported by Steve, Mike and I after the release of ‘This is Eve.’
What I’ve had to sit on (the opportunity system) has been released in the most recent dev blog written by CCP Rise for Team Pirate Unicorns. I like this system. While it is partially an achievement-based system it is a bit more free form than that. The goal is to feed information to the player as they come upon new experiences instead of having them separated from the experience in a bunch of mission text.
The old tutorial missions are still there and still accessible. They just won't be the default 'Okay welcome to Eve come run missions to play the game' that they currently are. The opportunity system does not yet give a player everything they need to start the game. It may, and probably will eventually. I’m not a fan of the “do a trick and get a cookie” method because the first and last time that happens is with the tutorial missions. But, it still has a place and integration with that place will take some time.
One of my favorite parts about this system is the potential for growth. I have supported a ‘second tier’ tutorial system idea for a while. The goal being to do something like jump into a system that has a low sec gate and receive information on it if you have never before been to low sec in an attempt to create awareness. This system will allow exactly that type of growth and spread and then maybe something integrated into corporations.
There are also several changes to how characters enter the game. No more starting in the captain’s quarters and walking around. Instead they will start in space in a ship with some action. I felt that undocking in a pod to warp to a ship to board it in space was rather far from any type of game reality and I am glad to see it gone. The forum thread is interesting with CCP Rise giving some insight into the testing that has been done and the results of looking into some of the things that players believe drive away newbies.
A Note: CCP Fozzie did some rebalancing of civilian modules. From the twitch stream “I did a light balance pass on the civilian weapons in Tiamat.” He discussed this on a stream this weekend where someone was testing the new Opportunities system.
While Fanfest is around the corner things are only picking up steam in confluence. I'm getting rather excited. We’re already getting a good look into the March release. People have asked about POS and Sov and yes we are active about them and there is a lot of discussion happening.
On the topic of POS, Corbexx and I are going to hold another soundboard for POS next week. We should have a post up by Sunday evening for signups in the CSM section of the forums. It will be Thursday evening, Eve time. The other recordings from previous sessions have been moved to CSM9.org (Thank you, Steve Ronuken!) . For anyone unfamilar with what these are, the soundboards were developed by Corbexx. They are small informal chats with players from various parts of the game about a focused topic in front of a dev. Corbexx and I moderate while the players discuss and work through the topic. It is part of our goal to connect the developers plans and goals with the players wants, needs, and expectations. They have been very productive and we hope to continue these into CSMX.
The Diplomatic Shuttle
The answer when asked, “Is CCP going to do anything to promote the election this year?” started off as "I hope so" and moved to "Yes". The hard part was not sharing the plans. The commemorative shuttle was discussed back in September. The 10th term is a fantastic point for a commemorative item.
I have heard some question and suggestion about it being something received once a player votes. I was absolutely against putting it behind any type of voting wall. Voting just to get a goody is wrong. If it is to celebrate the CSM everyone gets one without restrictions. The CSM doesn't only support its voters. I take the CSM process seriously and I feel its important to educate people. The shuttle should cause people to go, “What is the CSM? Why does it get a ship?” and create a question as well as plant the knowledge that it is there.
The comparison that I often use is the Guardian-Vexor. Almost everyone knows that it exists and that's simply because it has Vexor in the name. You see it whenever you search the market unlike many of its more exotically named relatives from the tournaments. Getting the shuttle out into the market and in space will create a level of awareness that will continue to pay back into the games future.
CSMX Candidates are announced early.
CCP Leeloo released the candidate list early. Then she made a spreadsheet of the candidates and their information. I made it to the official list along with 76 other people! If I don’t like anything about this process it is not getting an automatic confirmation number or something to use as a reference. I wound up taking a bunch of screenshots and making notes as to when I applied. My passport has the information from the e-mail. It is just a stressful thing hanging out there and having little paranoid moments that something didn't go through properly.
Voting starts on Wednesday (The 25th of February, 2015). Like many, I’ll have a few names up as an endorsement list at some point before that. This weekend has been devoted to getting Votematch done.