Tag Archives: New Player

Need more participants!! – Newbie Treasure Hunt 16-Aug-2014

Ok, signups for this event are still in the single digits.

I literally have more players offering additional prizes for the event than I do actual players for the event.

SIGN UP!  (if you are a new player that started between 1 Aug 2013 and 1 Jul 2014).  Send an in-game message to Tas Exile to sign up.

I am re-working the final stop in the hunt to have 2 winners.  One wins some exploration stuff worth about 100M isk.  The other wins an Astero!  It is technically possible to win both, but you would have to be in the lead by a good margin.

Along the way, I am adding some more loot to the cans.  The values range from about 100k ISK to about 5M isk.  I added about 20M isk worth of loot to the puzzle cans.

I tried out the puzzles on a couple of people and they said they were too hard without context.  So here are some hints.  One is mathematical.  One is musical.  One is literary/poetic.  One is religious/biblical.  All but the literary/poetic one are pretty common in US/Western Europe.  The literary/poetic one is less common, but should be known by fantasy/scifi fans.

The training skills that you need to participate are minimal.  Racial Frigate 3-4 and Astrometrics 3 should be plenty for the start.  I will be in a frigate, but I will have my MWD on so I will be fairly easy to scan down.  You need to be able to cargo scan.  Cargo Scanner I only requires CPU Management 1.  Using an MWD is probably the longest train, but you should have that already anyway.

Any other questions or doubts?  Please ask in comments.

 

Newbie Treasure Hunt

I am organizing an in-game Treasure Hunt for newish players.

Starting time:  59 minutes after downtime on 16 Aug 2014 (11:59 EVE time)

Character requirements:  Must be between 1 month and 12 months old as of 1 Aug 2014

Ship requirements: You will need to be able to cargo scan and use combat probes (expanded probe launcher).  A MWD is highly recommended.  A fast ship with scanning bonuses is best – either a T1 exploration frigate or a Covops frigate.

Travel requirements: All locations are in high sec space.  Due to anchoring restrictions, it will be in 0.5 – 0.7 space.  It is possible that it will be shorter to travel through lowsec between locations, but it is not required.  Do so at your own risk.

Rewards:  Rewards will be modest.  Each container will have some random exploration loot.  The final container will have something useful for exploration.

Registration:  Send Tas Exile an in-game mail.  I will only respond to characters that meet the age limit.  I will send you starting instructions including a staging area, a container name, and the last 4 characters of the container password.  The first 3 characters of the password will be provided via game mail at the start of the hunt.

How it works:  Everyone will assemble at the staging system.  At 11:59 EVE time, I will log in, send a massmail to the participants with a starting system and 3 character password prefix and then I will warp to the first location.  You will need to come to the correct system, scan me down and warp to my location.  When you find me, there will be several containers anchored nearby.  You will need to find the container that I assigned to you and open it using the correct 7 character password (first 3 characters will sent at the start of the hunt, last 4 characters will have been sent to you at registration).  Depending on the level of participation, multiple players may be vying for the same containers.  Inside the container you will find a bookmark to another location in space.

You will need to travel to that bookmark.  When you get there, you will see 4 containers about 75-100 km away.  Each one will contain loot and some will contain loot and a bookmark.  You will need to cargo scan the container.  The password to the container is the 3 characters from provided at the start of the race and the first 4 characters of the exploration loot inside.  For example, if the 3 letters provided were “TAS” and the cargo scan showed a bookmark and 3 Power Circuits, then the password would be “TASPOWE”.  Again, you will need to follow the bookmark to the next location in space.

Some locations will contain a puzzle container.  It has no loot inside, just a bookmark.  The password is 7 letters/numbers (all caps).  The name of the container is the clue.  For example container name is “11223344 5xxxxxxx”.  Password would be “5667788”.  These puzzles will be significantly harder than that example.

If you arrive at a location and all the bookmarks are gone, then someone has beaten you to that location and you are effectively out of the hunt.  You can still help yourself to any loot remaining in the containers.

At each location you will have to decide which and how many containers to go for based on your competition.

The final location will not have a container visible on grid.  It will be approximately 500km from where you land.  It will be aligned with one of the planets in the system.  You will need to use your directional scanner to find which planet the container is aligned with and then MWD in that direction.  Hopefully you chose correctly.  The container will be named “TREASURE”.  The password format is the same (3 characters provided at the start + 4 characters from the scan).
Here is a layout of the how the hunt will work:
treasure hunt
The puzzle path is slightly shorter in terms of jumps, but the puzzles are pretty tough.  Each stage is roughly 10-15 jumps apart so expect to do a lot of flying.

To play, send an in-game mail to “Tas Exile”.  Registration opens on Sunday, Aug 10, 2014.  You can send mail before that if you wish, but I won’t be reading registrations until then.  Registration closes Thursday Aug 14.

 

 

Learning to Fit Ships – BB57

The latest Blog Banter is up and I am going to participate.

The gist of it is: How can players learn (or be taught) to fit ships correctly – and what exactly does it mean to fit them correctly?

Lots of players and forums and sites get a big kick out of mocking badly fit ships in EVE.  Some corporations will even use this as a reason to boot players (supposedly).

I have flown (and still fly) ships that would probably get me mocked on killboards.  In fact, I tried a fit just a few days ago that was pretty bad.  Not only was it bad, but I even used it on new content at a warpable location in Lowsec.  But I used it because that is all I could cobble together with what I had in the area.

Anyway, I suspect lots of Eve players have used a few suboptimal (or even downright embarrassing) fits over the course of their playing careers.  So the first thing that I want to emphasize is the commonality.

Now I suppose there are different degrees of bad fits.  Some fits are actually fine – if you fly them correctly.  Some fits are correct for certain content, but fail in other content.  And some fits are pretty much bad at everything.

I think that part of the problem is that Eve is very different from other MMO’s when it comes to fitting ships.  For one thing, it is pretty common in other MMO’s to leave slots blank – especially early on.  You might have a sword and breastplate, but you might not be able to use a helmet or perhaps rings or whatever until you reach a certain level.  Or you might not be able to “enchant” your gear until a certain level.  But in Eve, empty slots are pretty much wrong.  You may occasionally leave a high slot open, but mid and low slots should ALWAYS have something.  However, this is not intuitive.  Rigs slots are not intuitive.  Knowing how tanking works and the different types of tanks is not intuitive.  This is further hurt by the fact that the only way to see how a module will perform on your ship is to buy it and equip it.  And if it is an active module, you have to undock and activate it to see how your stats are affected.

Now if you know how/where to find the out of game fitting tools, you can solve some of those problems.  But a new player isn’t going to look for out of game tools so he is automatically at a disadvantage.

And even if you use an out of game fitting tool, you can still get into a bit of trouble.  When I first played Eve, I thought of my weapons as “spells”.  So I thought I wanted to have some long-range “spells” for primary use with a short-range one as back-up.  From the perspective of another MMO, this made sense.  However, in EVE you pretty much never want to mix weapon systems.  You want all of your weapons to be focused on the same range and then fight at that range.

In other MMO’s, choosing talents/abilities/spells occasionally requires some out of game calculator or modeling tool.  But you can rarely make the level of bad choices that you can make in Eve.

None of this is particularly helpful to the new player.  Eve pretty much requires the player to do out of game research and read guides and using fitting tools.  That is fairly common to complex gaming these days and to some degree, that is part of the charm of Eve.  It is a complex game and it rewards those who enjoy learning its complexities.  There are always new things to learn and new ways to apply them.  That is probably what I enjoy most about it and it is one of the things that drew me to the game in the first place.

I also like to read blogs about games.  I like to read guides and learn tips and tricks.  In order for that to happen, the game and the varieties of fitting have to be complex enough to make writing about it worthwhile.  Reading about fits on other blogs – especially the why of the fit is one of my favorite things.  I will definitely miss Jester’s Fit of the Week.

Anyway, to sum of a rambling blog banter:

1.  We all making fitting mistakes.

2.  The game needs a better in-game fitting tool.

3.  Your perception from other games affects how you try to fit ships in Eve.

4.  Fitting ships is one of the most interesting aspects of Eve and is a great way to discuss and promote the game.

 

 

New Player Exploration Career Guide (part 2)

This is my attempt to write a guide for newish players that are interesting in doing Exploration in Eve. It will be a multi-part guide written over the course of a few weeks months.  It is based on my experiences and research. Accuracy is attempted, but not guaranteed.

Part 1: Overview

Part 2: Getting started

 

Phase 1a: “Hacking” High sec profession sites

Ship: T1 exploration Frigate

Training: ~ 1-3 months

Major Skills: Racial Frigate IV, Archeology IV, Hacking IV, Astrometics IV, Astrometric Rangefinding III,

Modules: Core probe launcher, T1 Data/Relic Analyzer, T1 rigs

Cost: < 10M

Risk: Very low

Reward: Approximately 5-10M per hour

 

This is something that you can do just a few days after completing the tutorials (depending on how long they take you).

 

SHIPS

The Heron, Imicus, and Probe are all good T1 exploration ships. The Heron has the advantage of an additional midslot to improve your scanning strength – but it is only a 5% improvement (where the rigs give you give you 10% each). The Imicus and Probe have the advantage of an additional low slot for either better agility or more storage (or both). The Amarr Magnate is a poor choice because it only has 3 midslots.

The fitting that you want looks something like this:

High Slots

Core Probe Launcher I : Core Scanner Probes

(optional) Prototype Cloaking Device (for short trips into lowsec)

(optional) Auto Targeting System (1-2 more locked targets)

 

Mid Slots

Data Analyzer I

Relic Analyzer I

Cargo Scanner

MWD

(Heron) Scan Rangefinder Array (+5% scan strength) / Sensor booster (lock & scan faster and from further away)

 

Low Slots

Nanofiber Internal Structure(s) / Fitting Mods / Cargohold Expanders / Signal amplifier

Rigs

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrades (x2)

Generally, I would go for cargo expanders in the lows.  Data sites particularly drop loot with high m3 requirements.  The signal amp lets you lock more targets for scanning, but as a newer player, you should be hacking all the cans anyway so it is ok if you can lock 5+ simultaneously.    You don’t need cap stability, so the only fitting mods you need are for power or CPU if your fitting skills are low.  Once they are a bit higher, you can drop the fitting mods as needed.

 

TRAINING

Your training priorities should be getting your chosen racial Frigate skill to IV, Hacking to IV, Archeology to IV and then go after getting Astrometics to IV, and Astrometric Rangefinding to III. You will of course need to train some fitting skills to fit and run the modules. Beyond that, you can spend your time training for the next phases while you rack up some exploration loot.

EXPLORING

If you need help scanning stuff down, here are a couple of scanning guides….

Once you have your ship and basic skills you are ready to head out. The further away from market hubs the better. I went to Genesis, but there are lots of options. Generally, you can check the number of jumps per 24 hours on Eve Maps and look for a low-travelled area. As long as you stay away from the major market hubs (Jita, Amarr, Rens, Dodixie, Hek) and the immediate routes between them, you should be able to find some sites.

Once your hacking/analyzer skills are to at least IV (and preferably V) and you have the ability to use a prototype cloak, you may want to use the occasional wormhole to venture into lowsec. If you find a HS-LS wormhole, leave your loot safely in a station and try out lowsec. Don’t wander too far from your entrance system, but you should be able to explore a few systems and maybe find a few data/relic sites. Lowsec sites are slightly more difficult, but usually have much better rewards.

When you are in highsec, you have the option of taking sites from other pilots and vice versa. Alternatively, you can team up and split the loot you gain.

If you go it alone, you should try to do the data sites first. Scan them with your cargo scanner as soon as you land and do the most profitable cans first. The most valuable items are faction BPC’s (data scatter cans) and decryptors (parts scatter cans). Relic sites aren’t as good in highsec, but may have faction BPC’s (data scatter cans), Tech 2 Rig BPC’s (data scatter cans) or salvage materials (parts/materials scatter cans). You should target and scan all cans and then go after the best ones first. A targeting system and signal amplifier increase the number of targets you can lock allowing you to keep track of more cans. A sensor booster/signal amplifier will let you scan them from further away. Sometimes cans are 60km away and you have to fly a bit to be in targeting range.

Once you have scanned the cans, MWD to the first one.   As soon as you are within range, turn off you MWD. I usually right click the can and “Keep at Range 500m”. This gives you a good shot at getting the loot when it is “spewed”. Activate the appropriate analyzer module and the hacking mini-game will appear.

For a very detailed overview of the hacking mini-game, please check out Eve University’s Hacking 101.

Here is my quick list of tips:

–          The System Core is usually on the opposite side of the mini-game board. I used to try the “edge” approach of clicking on edge nodes and moving around the board that way. But I think I actually have better luck just going straight to the opposite side with as few clicks as possible.

–          Don’t attack Firewall or Antivirus subsystems unless they are blocking your path. You may be able to skip them.

–          In Low or Null sec (extremely rare in high sec) you will see Restoration Nodes. They need to be destroyed immediately.

–          Also in Low or Null sec, you will see Virus Suppressors. Use a utility if you have one (Secondary Vectors as best), but you must destroy this ASAP. If you get a Restoration Node while a Virus Suppressor is active, you are finished.

–          Use a Self-Repair utility immediately. You don’t gain anything by saving it for later.

–          Polymorphic Shield (2 charges) is best used on 2 different AntiVirus defensive nodes. Use it to knock each of them in half and you can usually destroy them in 1 click (and thus take no damage).

–          Secondary Vectors are best used on Virus Suppressors. If you are unlikely to encounter one (like in high sec), then you can use it on a Firewall.

–          Kernel Rot is best used on a Firewall or on a node buffed by a Restoration Node.

–          I usually skip Data Caches unless I absolutely need one.

–          If you are in lowsec and/or worried about getting ambushed, orbit the can at 3km until you have the System core down to 1 hit. Then approach (or Keep at Range 500km). Do the last hit when you are ready for loot spew.

–          Once loot spew hits, go after the priority cans first (Data if there is a BPC you want, otherwise Parts for Data Sites and Parts/Materials for Relic Sites). For a breakout of contents by mini-container click here.

–          During loot spew, you can single click on a can to tractor it to you. While it is tractoring, you can single click on the next can. It will be pulled in as soon as the current can is done. This way you can queue up cans for your tractor beam. Double clicking on a can causes your ship to approach it and activate the tractor beam. This actually SLOWS DOWN your collection so only do it if a can is going to be out of range (beyond 3000m).

 

If you don’t want to play the hacking mini-game and want to move toward combat sites, a good way to make ISK while you work on your ship skills is to try out some Ninja Salvaging/Looting.

Phase 1b: “Combat” Ninja salvaging

Ship: T1 exploration Frigate

Training: ~ 1-3 months

Major Skills: Racial Frigate IV, Astrometics IV, Astrometric Rangefinding III, Salvaging IV-V, Drones IV, Salvage Drone Operation III-IV

Modules: Expanded probe launcher, T1-T2 Salvager, T1 rigs

Cost: < 10M

Risk: Low-Moderate

Reward: Approximately 5-10M per hour; higher if also ninja looting

This is something that you can do just a few days after completing the tutorials (depending on how long they take you).

SHIPS

The Heron, Imicus, Magnate, and Probe are all ok for Ninja Salvaging. The Imicus is probably the best because it has nice fitting ability and can use up to 4 drones for additional salvaging speed.

The fitting that you want looks something like this:

Imicus- Salvager

 Highs Slots:

Expanded Probe Launcher I

Salvager I x2

Mid Slots: Limited 1MN Afterburner I

F-b10 Nominal Capacitor Regenerator

Small F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction

Surface Cargo Scanner I

Low Slots:

Co-processor I

Nanofiber Internal Structure I x2

Rigs:

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I x2

Drones:

Salvaging Drone x4

 

There is lots of room for experimentation here. You can force an MWD to fit, but I don’t think the extra speed helps all that much. You already move pretty fast and don’t have to worry about cap stability. The small shield extender gives you some breathing room if you warp into a room and rats are still there.

 

TRAINING

Your training priorities should be getting your chosen racial Frigate skill to IV, Astrometrics to IV, Astrometric Rangefinding to III, and Salvaging to IV. You will need a few fitting skills to III. Next you should get Drones IV and Salvaging Drone Operations to III before going back and getting Salvaging to V.

After that, you can focus your training time on the next phases or focus on your getting your scanning skills to IV/V across the board.

EXPLORING

Once you have your ship and skills ready to go, you are ready to head out.   You are looking for regional Mission hubs that are just a bit away from the major market hubs. Sansha’s are generally regarded as having the best salvage, but Angels and Blood Raiders are good too. Guristas and Serpentis are just ok.

You can read about my experiences and suggestions regarding Ninja Salvaging here.

For another take, check out “Scumbag Hanz“.  He was only blogging for a few months, but he posted some interesting experiences in ninja salvaging and looting as a new player.

Ninja looting is even more profitable, but of course carries more risk.  It also has some downtime with it as you don’t want to be flashy by high sec gates.  It is also a bit harder with the new Tractor modules that auto-loot wrecks.  Destroying tractor modules and stealing their contents can also be pretty profitable.  It isn’t necessarily something I recommend for a newer player, so I am not going to go into details here.

Connecting New Players

As mentioned previously and elsewhere, new players that don’t connect with other players through a corporation or chat or trade or some other mechanism as likely to leave EVE.

What can CCP do to help connect these players?

For starters, they can help develop and support the major newbie friendly corporations already in existence.  Eve University, Red vs. Blue, and Brave Newbies come to mind, but I am sure that there are others.  I know this is kind of dangerous ground from a community relations standpoint, but I really think CCP should officially recognize a handful of corporations as “New Player Friendly”.  There should be a set of criteria to be met and CCP should spend some time regulating the list and following up on any complaints.  Once the list is in place, it should be mailed to players that complete the tutorials along with a “letter of recommendation” encouraging them to consider applying to one of those corporations.

They also need to have another look at the tutorials.  They are well done and necessary, but at the end, they leave a new player very directionless – especially on the all important social aspect of the game.  The only pushes that the tutorial leaves you with are missions (Sisters of Eve arc) or faction warfare.  Missions is pretty much the “leveling up the Raven” problem.  Faction Warfare is pretty messy for a new solo player to get into.

I think that the capstone mission in the tutorial (after all others have been completed) should be to take a version of the “EVE Personality Test” that is on the EVE website.  The web version  categorizes you based on how you answer a handful of questions.  For me, it was Explorer (no surprise there).  The other options are Loyalist, Freedom Fighter, Empire Builder, Fleet Commander, Bounty Hunter, Pirate, Planetary Industrialist, Manufacturer, Trader, Salvager, and Miner. This list doesn’t make much sense from a gameplay standpoint.  Nobody (except alts) does only Planetary Industry.  And Fleet Commander isn’t something that you can just jump into (and neither is Empire Builder).  But I like the idea.  So I propose a version of it that more closely matches the options from the “What to Do in EVE chart?”

Career choices in Eve Online

Career choices in Eve Online

Something where the final categories are roughly:

Mineralogist (Mining)

Trade Baron (Trading)

Smuggler (Hauling)

Engineer (Production)

Archeologist (Exploration)

Exterminator (Mission Runner)

Naval Officer (Faction Warfare)

Mercenary (Mercenary)

Pirate (Pirate)

Lone Wolf (Solo Player, no corp suggested)
Depending on what you choose (should be given the option of accepting the suggestion, or choosing a different one), you are given a set of items (above and beyond what was received in the tutorial) that will get you started on that path.  For example, a Trader might be given the option to buy ammunition below cost and then told the best place to sell it is the regional market hub.  He flips his ammo making $10M isk or so and then has a small amount of capital to do some more trading – as well as a basic idea of where the hubs are.  An explorer might be given a “tip” to scan in a certain out-of-the-way system and find some extra data sites.  A pirate might be given a couple of “security tags” that could be sold or used as needed.

Finally, based on final choice the best matching newbie friendly corporation from the list  could be suggested (along with basic advice for applying to a corporation and what API keys to give out).

I think the biggest hurdle for a new player looking to connect is to figure out how to do so without being taken advantage of.  The current way of doing things is fine for a sophisticated player that is willing to spend several weeks researching EVE before playing, but the average player is just going to follow the game’s lead and then leave when they get bored.  Therefore, I think the game needs to lead them down a connection path.  Even if they decline or choose something else, at least they have a safe option early on.  They can choose to take more risks later when the understand the game better and have met a few people that they can “trust”.  (Not that you can ever fully trust someone in EVE).