Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How Real Friends Are Made in EVE

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that an EVE player's primary responsibility is to maximize CCP's subscription revenue. (A player may also attempt to enjoy the game--time permitting, of course.) To that end, the playerbase is frequently engaged in conversations about new player retention. It's not enough to treat the newbies with delicacy, or to put them on a pedestal, or even to let them into our corporations. New players are entitled to join good corporations, ones that sufficiently engage them such that they'll stick with the game and keep giving CCP their money.


The question remains: How do we engage them? How do we make lasting friendships with the new players?


Jhante Vhael isn't a new player, exactly. He spent a year and a half mining in highsec. He was just starting to get good at it, too, before he was blown up by Agents Salah ad-Din al-Jawahiri and Saif al-Islam al-Jawahiri. He invited Saif to a convo and began interrogating him. Extremely impatient, Jhante was from the Jack Bauer school of interrogation. Saif couldn't answer quickly enough to satisfy the miner.


The mistake was Jhante's. He'd already received a detailed explanation by EVEmail. He hadn't bothered to read it. Embarrassed, Jhante checked his mail.


Jhante didn't buy into the Code one bit. He wanted to know where the reasons really were. But Saif was telling the truth! Jhante's interrogation abilities were about what you'd expect from a highsec miner.


Player retention is difficult, especially when it comes to miners. For people who engage in the most boring, repetitive "gameplay" imaginable, miners are surprisingly difficult to please. If you shoot them without warning, they complain about not being warned. But even if you do warn them, they complain that they didn't get the warning because they were busy "browsing the net". Here's a radical notion: Ask an Agent's permission before you start browsing the net.


The level of entitlement of EVE players these days is astonishing. Back in my day, we had to travel without the "warp to 0km" option, going 15km to every stargate, both ways. People were shooting at us the whole time. And we were grateful for what we had.


Jhante threatened to shove a "rusted fucking pole" up Saif's ass. In-game, that is. Read the latest Rhea devblog for more information about this upcoming feature.


(Rhea will bring us several new combat features, it seems.) Anyway, Jhante griped about how insignificant Agent Saif is. This is another thing miners don't understand. The player who destroys your ship is automatically significant to you. You don't get to opt out of PvP by ignoring the other players in the game.


Eventually, Jhante let Saif get a word in edgewise. Taking a deep breath, Saif made his pitch. He invited Jhante to join the New Order, where the miner's odds of being retained would improve through interaction with other players.


Jhante had other ideas. He didn't want to be retained.


Sadly, Jhante walked out of the convo, and out of Saif's life. Retaining players is a lot more difficult than you might think. Experts say a player is more likely to be retained if he gets involved with a community of other players. Yet the highsec miners want to be left alone, solitary as oysters, completely oblivious to the rest of EVE. How do we force such players to change their ways? The New Order has the answer: It's called the Code. If you want to help CCP make some extra cash, enforce the Code. It's good for business.

64 comments:

  1. OMG, those tears were AWESOME!!!

    The CODE. always wins!!!

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    Replies
    1. Only as long as they hide behind the keyboard.
      In a real battle they wouldn't last seconds...

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    2. a ship blew up, looks like a real battle to me....

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    3. A one sided real battle...the one sided apart that you code monkeys prefer do is the problem...

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    4. I see no problem. Problem for who?

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    5. "you code monkeys", yeah no I'm not in code. Typical AG idiot, thinks anyone who doesn't agree with them must be in code.

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    6. Gotta love the fantasy world of these AG carebears. Always looking for that "honorable" and "fair" fight, and never noticing that any fight that they or anyone they know does not win is "one sided" or "unfair" somehow.

      It's EVE. There's no such thing as "unfair". There's just game mechanics.

      Delete
    7. It's one sided if the victim doesn't fight back or are unable to fight back.
      No one said anything about unfair here just that you wouldn't last seconds in a real fight not in game not in real life...

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    8. That may or may not be true. But, it's totally irrelvant as EVE is not real life

      Delete
  2. The thought of "friendship"
    Is abhorrent to carebears
    It's not made of isk

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    Replies
    1. This was a great one. I enjoy all of your haikus, but this one especially, it struck a chord for some reason.

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    2. Agree with Anon @ 11.06. I too find this particularly poignant.

      Nice one Maria.

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    3. Thanks guys. This story made me pretty sad, this carebear really does not understand what friendship is or how it works in eve. And it's possible he never will; that, since it's not about grinding isk, the concept of friendship will be forever beyond him. And that's very sad.

      Delete
  3. One need only look at the rebel miners' constant foul language and threats (only meant "in-game", of course) to know they are not worth CCP retaining. What kind of new player experience can it be, being around such low-brow brutes? Poor, I would submit!

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    Replies
    1. That would depend on the newbie. Quite a lot find such temper tantrums, like the above, highly amusing. They wish for more and eagerly learn the tools of the trade, then apply this new found knowledge with vigor. Just the kind of player Eve needs I think.

      Delete
    2. @Anonymous 8:28 PM

      No, they don't. They learn how to fail. One only need to hang out in the toxic environment of the various "anti-ganking" channels (plenty of examples of how toxic of a community it is are on this blog) to realize that the new player would be poorly served by listening to the advice of these types of people.

      In my experience, most of them are unable to understand the difference between a enemy in a video game, and a enemy in real life.

      And again, in my personal experience - the best source of education for a new player would be gained by joining a group that has some idea what they are doing in the first place. The New Order, for example, is always looking for agents - and after a few weeks of activity you will emerge with a complete understanding of high-sec combat mechanics. We don't mind players who only fly with us for a few weeks in order to learn. When I was a EVE player, there were always CODE agents who were running low and null sec roams as well, and many of these agents are very good at EVE and the new player can learn a lot from them.

      There's also Brave Newbies, EVE University, Red Vs. Blue, and a host of other respected groups that tend to mold the newbie into someone who actually understands game mechanics. I highly recommend these groups to new players, you tend to learn a lot more when out there actually doing things versus hanging around the "anti-ganking" crowd, with their limited understand of the game itself, personal anger and rage, and all around awful advice.

      Nothing is worse to a new player then getting awful advice from people who barely understand how the game works in the first place. This is why I highly recommend that new players stay far away from joining any corporation that does not have a well established player base with at least a few years of experience by the officers. When you see that 8 man "mining" corp with one dude who has been playing for years and is full of rage, and a roster of newbies looking to him for advice - the new player should run as far away as he can, as quickly as he can.

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    3. DJ, you know I have to argue with you about the toxicity of AG.

      Couple of things.

      You fail to point out there are those of us in AG who try and teach new players without the hate you mentioned. AG is also a PUBLIC channel and is not rigidly policed as minerbumping chat. Yes we get our share of idiots but there are those of us who try and teach the new people who want to learn and are willing to listen.

      I could also say that what toxicity is found in AG can be blamed on a failing of CODE. I could say you are failing to properly teach the players and those are the ones AG gets.

      I do however agree with your statements on finding a decent Corp. Although it’s not often an easy thing to do.

      BTW im running for CSMX
      You can find my announcement HERE.
      https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=5269739#post5269739

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    4. @DJ 4:48
      For this one time only you assume too much. I don't hang out in AG - kicked a long time ago - so I cannot say for them. And I don't refer to the vast majority of newbies either, plenty of whom will consider their popped venture in lowsec the gravest of offences.

      I refer to my lowsec pirate corp's newbies, some of which are only a couple of months old. Eve Uni is not a good teaching place for lowsec piracy. Too many do-gooders and far too much introspection. Fortunately we're seeing a bit of an uptick in interest from newbies, but it's too soon to see if this is a long term trend.

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    5. @Gorila and Anon 12:44

      While that may be true that not everyone in AG rages and acts as such. I'm sure you wouldn't deny that there are those that -do- act like that, and that's going to be the aspect most on the outside looking in are going to latch on to. Not to mention opinions are formed most often on experiences, so it is easily forgivable that there are those that make the generalization no?

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    6. @Gorila

      "You fail to point out there are those of us in AG who try and teach new players without the hate you mentioned."

      As best I can tell, I was banned from the AG channel for running an impromtu mini-seminar on how to run API background checks on corp applicants.

      Delete
  4. http://puu.sh/dfOrd/a3f5ba6ed3.jpg

    Looks like Jhante didn't quit after-all.

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  5. How much DPS can I get from the new "rusted fucking pole" in Rhea?

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  6. The mind boggles especially when you get penetrating or wrecking shots with it. Sounds like it will bring a tear to your eye! :)

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  7. I am envious of Salah ad-Din al-Jawahiri's in-game name. He has taught us all how to get the carebear to reveal his true nature as a human being.

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  8. I just have to say this.
    I am a miner, and a null sec combat pilot. Not a great one, but doing better each day.
    The new order had nothing to do with me coming to null sec. I mined in high sec for 18 months, getting skills and isk, watching local and tanking some Code. fellas who tried to get me.
    I got killed once by a non-code guy 27 days into game, learned from that, never hit again.

    Mined ice mostly, made fuel blocks with PI in low sec. Very profitable. Made about 20-30 billion with one character, plexed the account for 2 years (when plex was 600 mil) and got my core and combat skills up.

    For any miners reading these posts, don't give tears, they love them. Some of them are complete jerks who love to mess with others. Ignore them, but listen to one message.

    This game is sooooo much better flying in low, worm and null. Meeting friends, getting in fleets, fighting for space. A place where your mining means something. It gives fuel, and minerals to build fleets to fight.

    I don't respect the fellas from code. most of them are in it for the troll and to get you mad so you rage. I also don't begrudge their playstyle and never have. That is is the beauty of a sandbox. They do what they do, and you react.

    Bonus rooms, crap like that, stupid and juvenile. Not very funny either. Just people preying on those who are of less mind and stability. Poor form all.

    But, playing a meta game where it you create new content and new innovation? Very intriguing.

    I honestly hope the code stops their tomfoolery in regards to bonus rounds. Being mean never is a good idea, even in a game.

    But, some of what they say is true. For all you miners out there, I fly now with some great guys who play a very advanced strategic game. It is fun, and it drags you into something that EVE is all about.

    So mine, screw the code. Make your isk but work for something more. They cannot stop you and that is the best way to resist them. People trying to fight them in some silly way in high sec is foolish. You cannot beat people who gank, it is just not possible.

    Do not get discouraged, do not feed them tears, just work on skills, make friends and find your way into the true parts of the game that rock.


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    Replies
    1. Anonymous 12:57 AM,

      The doubled tragedy of your post is that you misunderstand that the target of the New Order is bot-aspirant players, and such players will never read all the way through, much less comprehend, you message.

      Delete
    2. Great post, anon - but you lost me @ "I don't respect the fellas from code. most of them are in it for the troll and to get you mad so you rage."

      Nearly every single agent I know is in it for fun. Spaceship explosions. Pew-Pew. Using 100% legal game mechanics in order to create content.

      The reality is, in many thousands of miners I exploded in my time - the real rage is rage. Most just stay quiet. Some give a random bit of anger in local and then go quiet. A tiny percentage go to one of two extremes - some give a "good fight" or friendly wave, as one should - this is a pvp game about spaceship explosions, and any mature player understands that being undocked = you might get exploded. The other extreme, of course, is the insane rage. RL death threats. Crazy homophobic and racist rants straight out of grade school - coming from the mouths of adults. How else is one supposed to react to this but with laughter? It's literally crazy to see how insane people get over losing a internet spaceship in a game about internet spaceships.

      Moving on to your comment about "Bonus rooms, crap like that, stupid and juvenile. Not very funny either. Just people preying on those who are of less mind and stability. Poor form all."

      As one who was there, it was never about anything but playing on the greed of bad players in order to take their stuff. Yes, many laughs were had - but many laughs are had everyday in EVE in regards to players doing really stupid things that result in someone else profiting. Scamming, extorting, confidence tricks, piracy, backstabbing, drinking the tears of others - these are the CORE of EVE. To deny it is to deny the very game itself. Of course, CCP seems to be trying to dumb down the game and spoon feed the kids, but it will take many years until that process is complete. Just give it time.

      As to your final paragraph - I could not agree more. Nothing depressed me more then seeing the "professional" high-sec carebear, playing for many years, and 100% ignorant of any game mechanic that does not involve mining rocks or mining red crosses in the goal to see a number go up, so they can mine more rocks and red crosses a couple % faster -- all of this ending in rage quits as they lose their fancy faction fitted mining barge or blinged out incursion mining bot ship. There is so much more to EVE.

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    3. The real rage is rare* - pardon, should have proofed that better.

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    4. Nice post but it won't be read by any HiSec miners because they are all AFK.

      Delete
    5. "The real rage is rage". No, man, it's perfect as is. :)

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    6. The point of CODE. is to intentionally make miners do something other than "more mining." There is no end to "mining." It is a boring, lifeless, and ultimately profit-less existence that completely contradicts and minimizes what EVE is: A Heart-racing, pulse-pounding, glorious spaceship combat game that brings true wealth. James simply serves as the catalyst toward getting people to leave the boring, unprotected life that mining is and start taking risks.

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    7. I guess some people just want a relaxing experience. Those days are over in Eve online. These days it's a anxiety attack from sign in till sign out. Even if you sit in station for 6 months doing trading and nothing else the drama will eventually get to you when the big boys with the big guns start ordering you around because what you're doing is not to their liking
      not all people are as skilled or fast learning to keep up with PVP players. Unfortunately "fail fitting" is even a punishment these days. It scares new players off and makes PVE/miners stop playing the game
      until there are too few ace pilots left to fund the whole damn thing for CCP

      Delete
  9. The story has a happy ending as this guy is now a nullsec pvper. Granted, it's with Provibloc, but at least he's actually playing Eve now. The Code works in mysterious ways and, once touched by its thunder and poetry, one is changed forever. I'm convinced that, had you not thusly liberated this miner, he would still be 'browsing the net' all day.

    Another fine example of how The Code always wins!

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    Replies
    1. Ah a thread without Veers is a good thing, so uplifting and inspired.

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    2. You spoke too soon (see below)

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    3. @Anonymous 9:27AM

      All of my internet is free of Veers, just download a copy of ad-block and configure a filter. It's amazing.

      Delete
  10. CODE monkeys are pretending to care but it's all about tears, Makes me sick. Idiots.

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    Replies
    1. If your going to be sick, do it in the corner so no one steps in it.

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    2. Come on Veers, give us a smile. I know you can if you try hard enough.....

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    3. Veers, your misunderstanding is causing you to think there's something disingenuous about NO agents.

      We care about high sec, and it not being abused by the worst carebears, including them abusing newbros, in the multitude of ways well-documented here.

      We don't care about the white-hot raging death-threat spewing carebear, when we disrupt his abuse of highsec and/or the newbros there. But we do enjoy those tears. It means we did a good job of stopping his abusive ways, and he noticed (however long afterward it took him, when finally getting back to his keyboard).

      Thus, caring about highsec and enjoyment of tears are quite mutually compatible feelings for NO agents.

      Delete
    4. Stop getting baited by the imposters, guys. I don't use terms like "CODE monkeys." As for the article, it was just another sad example of CODE "tear harvesting." It's unfortunate that your enjoyment in the game comes from spreading misery to others. Grow up.

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    5. "Wahhh, someone isn't mining red crosses like I do, wahhh"

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    6. No, I wouldn't care if you spent your time blowing up ships in low/null. What I find offensive is that you come to highsec and blow up ships just to get an emotional reaction out of people. That is shameful. Grow up.

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    7. Waaaahmbulance for veers!

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    8. Battling against bad people and real life harassers like DJ, Erotica1, Jerry Rin, James 315, Loyalanon, and others, is no crying matter. It's a noble calling.

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    9. Crying about how people pvp in ways and areas you don't approve of, and how your endless bitching is "battling", most definitely is a crying matter. It's a crying matter, because it's the matter you're endlessly crying over. So cry some more for us, Veers. Tell us how you're fighting evil and standing up for all that is noble and profit-driven by bitching all day.

      Delete
    10. Veers,

      What do you mean by "grow up"? EvE is not real life, where people are expected to act ethically.

      It's a game. A game that allows sandcastles to be built and to be kicked over. Therefore, sandcastles will be built and they will be kicked over. In Monopoly, I build up some nice properties only to have them knocked over by someone else. I don't rage about that, but if I did, it seems your view would be that my game opponents need to "grow up" and not do things to me that result in my Monopoly properties getting taken away.

      Games are games, not real life. The "growing up" that needs to happen is with those adults who aren't mature enough to handle their properties being taken away in a *game*, whether it is Monopoly or EvE.

      Delete
    11. Revis...^^^ +1

      GORILA FOR CSMX!!!!!

      Delete
    12. Aye, +1 to Revis.

      Also, good luck on your CSM run Gorila.

      Delete
    13. The usual CODE tripe. Monopoly doesn't have "criminal acts." It doesn't have illegal activity. It's like World of Tank, where you play a quick game, and losing/destruction has minimal consequences. Eve is more like real life...we have laws and empire space. People invest months in building things. Then some griefers come and destroy the work just to get rage and tears. They love to get the people on coms and humiliate them as much as possible. Not to mention bonus rooms!

      Don't use a game to live out sociopathic fantasies like DJ did. Don't use games to induce panic attacks. Don't use games to encourage suicide like mittens did. Play the game for your own enjoyment, not to piss other people off. Want to blow things up? Go to nullsec. Want to build? Come to highsec.

      Delete
    14. Monopoly has a jail and rules about how you end up there. Some people play monopoly (like my 10 year old) only to try and get the boardwalk/park place monopoly, he'll trade away anything for it and spend all his money upgrading it. I on the other hand go for the lessor monopolies but generally pick up more with wheeling and dealing. I also play people against each other to get better deals, etc. Either way in Monopoly you most certainly do invest a lot into what you have and try to build it up, only to have some "griefer" come along and wipe my stuff out when i land on his boardwalk. You fail Veers.

      Also I want to blow stuff up in highsec since eve is a game about blowing stuff up.

      -Anonymous

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    15. There are no long term consequences to having stuff blown up in monopoly. And eve is not a game about blowing up other peoples stuff in highsec. Try world of tanks.

      Delete
    16. EVE totally *IS* a game about blowing up other peoples stuff in highsec. If it wasn't then there would be things that stopped you doing it. All the game does is make it a bit harder than in low and null.

      In the past carebears accidentally blew stuff up in highsec and whined to CCP about being concorded. Thats why we now have safties. But if CCP didnt think stuff should be blown up in highsec they would have gone much further than make you have to conciously decide to do it. They could have stopped it happeneing at all, but they havent.

      If players want their stuff to not get blown up they need to defend it IN GAME not by whining about it to CCP - although in a game that has a lot of meta, whining could actually count as a valid tactic :)

      Delete
    17. Veers, do yourself a favour - get out, sod off, stop EVE. Is not the game for you, and you not the kind of player for EVE either. You're in the wrong game, the wrong forum, and reading you makes me think you're in the wrong planet too!

      Delete
  11. Hey Veers, somewhere in all your trolling you claimed to speak for a better HS, one where you can have an endless doughnut of red squares and a 30 bil officer mach immune from ganking. I'm just wondering if there is anyone anywhere that supports your dream?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually I support suicide ganking in highsec. I was simply responding to the people who said that ganking stimulates the economy and causes people to buy stuff. My counterpoint was simply that a safe highsec would lead to more people purchasing officer mods and even more economic activity.

      Delete
    2. Veers with your solution, no one would have ships blown up in a safe HS. So its econemy would stagnate.

      Delete
    3. Why would it stagnate? ships would still get blown up in low and null.

      Delete
    4. "I support suicide ganking"....but only if it's for profit. Profit is the only valid motive for player behavior, in or out of highsec.

      Delete
  12. The Code ALWAYS Wins!!!! ALWAYS!!!!

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    Replies
    1. If you don't believe us, ask Marmite. *snigger*

      Delete
  13. This is EVE after all, there really aren't any rules. If a CODE agent wants to blow you up while mining, then you'll just have to take it, that or pay attention, and gear up expecting to be blown up. You can't avoid PVP in a game specifically designed to allow it in all points of space. However on the flip side, miners are allowed to trash talk a code member all they want, and be a baby about it. There's a chat bar, no body said you couldn't use it for that purpose. EVE isn't for me, but if you want to have fun, then play the game you want to play. But don't have unrealistic expectations. Also, if a body is mining, respect that it's the most mind numbing task in the game, and it's essential to keeping items on the market, and that since it's so mind numbing people don't really desire to watch the computer. Would you want to watch your ship slowly mine away rocks? Obviously not, because if you did you would be doing it. Well miners don't like it any better, they're just on a very very slow social learning curve. IMO if eve wants to be more about PVP they should just remove the mining aspect, it's a giant annoying, time wasting, mind numbing, time waste. We need more PVP focus. That way people will start to identify the core of the game, and actually have a realistic expectation for it. But whatever... I'll just leave CCP to do their own thing.

    ReplyDelete

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