Interview with CSM12 candidate, Kalbuir Skirate

 

This is a submission received by Scion Koga, interviewing CSM12 candidate Kalbuir Skirate, of Pandemic Horde fame.


 

What is your opinion/feedback on how better to get newbros into PvP whether it be High-Sec/Low/Null? Trying to get players to move out from beyond the safety of carebear space?

CCP is committed to this NPE revamp, what they have done is for the first time in many years you can get someone started on EVE without babysitting them the first few hours. But there are some things that could certainly be improved upon.

Operation Center and beyond needs to be solid so I want to make sure we (the community and CCP) get that right. What I hope it will provide is a solid introduction into the majority of content types that EVE has to offer.  

What I believe most beyond that is streamlining a lot of the UI and making the handoff point between the game/CCP and the community as good as possible. There aren’t many games where communities have lists of gifs and animations on where options are HIDDEN in the UI.

Ideally, better ways to deal with new players as a group would be great, but that’s a hard sell to corps that do not do anything with new players, if things can be implemented with very few resources, it is worth considering.

CCP promoting new players to join communities would be really good in my opinion, even though that’s hard to do as they shouldn’t pick sides. The current way of finding a community is too tedious. Overall, CCP might extend the NPE by a week but beyond that it’s still up to the community to show players the great things EVE has to offer and get them their initial dose of the shakes.

Do you feel hard selling to newer alliances would be an unfair advantage to those corps?

I see no future in EVE where players are not explaining the game to other players. I want more new player communities not less. Hard selling new player to specific communities is something I don’t want as it limits the amount communities that are around. There should however be better ways for new players to find and join a community that matches their goals for EVE.

After Ascension we had what felt like million of new player groups popping up, but very few groups stayed committed for the long haul. That is a huge shame as the game would really benefit from more of them.

We need to make it easier to teach new players because so often new player groups are started and they either don’t take off or they slowly die out because the people running them burn out or lose interest. In an ideal world in every group there should be a place for new players, but that’s just not feasible in a game like EVE.

Do you think there are possible problems with current game mechanics that lead to newer players feeling left out/not being involved in the “meta game”?

Alpha limitations and skills could use a bit of iteration but new players with Omega clones being at a disadvantage as opposed to long time players is not such a big deal. It’s mostly something we older players see as a huge advantage or fear getting smaller. There are some skills that offer a huge power spike when you do finally train them, but those issues are hard to solve without negatively affecting the rest of the game.

If you look at ISK making for new players there is a bigger issue. Any other games has a gradual increase with a diminishing arc. EVE, however, has spikes either when you train something specific and/or when someone explains you how to make ISK with something else.

If a player never does either of those two things, the increase in ISK gained never happens. My hope would be that the Operations Center takes the time to explain and introduce some of these content types and isk making ways so there is a standardized base that communities can build off.

If you join EVE UNI, they will tell you how to make ISK a certain way, if you join Brave they’ll tell you how to make ISK another way. Then you join Horde and hear yet other ways to make ISK. This isn’t a bad thing infact it’s great that a game offers so many different activities but it would be nice if there was a central starting point.

Is there something specific you think needs to happen as it regards new players making isk?

For starters, I want the Operation Center to explain things like exploration, industry, PI especially the type of activities that the game doesn’t explain at all right now would be a game changer to have small introductions on in the shape of operations.

I am curious about the mining rework and drilling platforms if new players can play a (small) role there and overall come out with a slight boost that would be very beneficial. Drilling platforms being open to new players would be amazing, we don’t know a lot about them yet but i’m very interested to see if they would indeed be a bottom up ISK source instead of a top down ISK source.

Of course Operation Center need some PVE content, this is especially important for the type of players that have little to no interest in PVP. I see this as an opportunity to give PVE some much needed love as the old missions are just not cutting it to retain new players for an extended period of time.

However all in all ISK making in general for new players isn’t actually that bad, I’ve talked to alphas who plexed in 2 weeks with exploration. This is without cloak, just going into wormholes and learning by doing. The big issue is that it takes a certain type of player to achieve that.

That type of player is an intelligent one, one that does his research or just dives in. If EVE is to be filled up and grow, we need to show other types of players the way to have fun and make ISK. The type of players that prefer a little bit more handholding, the ones that prefer to know what they are getting into. Another thing I currently hate is that some alpha races have a much easier time than others, and certain tweaks in that regard would certainly be beneficial.

Can you provide an example?

A Gallente Alpha can easily do anoms alone without help, but Amarr Alphas struggle to deal with certain belt rats. The Heron has the best exploration configuration so it arguably has an edge on exploration, and that is all fine and great when there isn’t a race lock. However, when there is a race lock you are providing some of those players with less of an experience than others.

I hate having to tell new players “Hey welcome, I love that you’re attached to your character, but if you want to have an easier time make a new character of this race for this activity.”  The easiest solution is not to touch ship balance as that could potentially affect a lot of other stuff, but I would much rather see 2/3 of new ships introduced, that are affordable and race neutral that perform the roles that certain races are currently lacking.

That would leave one more issue though, which is: alpha armor tanking vs alpha shield tanking The way you armor tank in EVE vs the way you shield tank in EVE means that you will need more skills to get into a decent  T2 armor tank than you need getting into a decent T2 shield tank. You’re talking about a 25% increase in skill plans. While I hate that part I don’t see that changing sadly. Who knows maybe we can make the alphas a bit more equal and give them access to shield and armor, although that is a slippery slope.

Another obvious option that you see argued a lot would be dropping the race restriction, but that’s tricky. You want to keep the incentive to be Omega and race lock is a big one. A gamey solution could be an option where you can enlist and get access to that race ships but not the others, and you can enlist x times over a certain period of time. This seems very gamey though and doesn’t sound like a very subtle way to deal with the challenge.

Lastly, how would you envision the hand off between CCP’s NPE and the community itself?

I think after the NPE of the game concludes it would be really nice if we would have a new corporation recruitment window. Here corporations could sign up and based on what the player has done in Operation Center, the recruitment window would give a recommendation for communities that match. However you don’t want it to be biased towards any particular group.

I see this as a much better version of what we currently have, a place that you can make your own. It would be great if you could feature your own content there, have social integrations and really have a way to show of what your community is all about.

I do feel it needs to be very clear to players that they need a community, I don’t have numbers but I’m certain that retention of people in a community is much higher than those who stay solo as new players.

The handoff point or transition between NPE and communities needs to get some focus. There are certainly opportunities for CCP to implement features that would be a great help.

Some quick examples would be

– An endpoint to make out contracts from corporation hangars for distribution of free stuff.
– Ways to identify if someone has done the tutorials and see what knowledge they posses.
– Ways to show people stuff in space, the arrows you see in the new NPE would be invaluable if controlled by players on new player introduction fleets.
– A blocked list in game to make open recruitment safer.

If there are features that are easy to implement with limited resources that enable the community to do more and play an active role in getting new players involved then that should be considered as quick win.

Great examples which achieved that by proxy would be multi fitting and buying, these two features have done more good than any other change besides alphas last year for Horde specifically. It is a great example of a seemingly arbitrary change in the game that helped a new player group immensely.

Finally from a community point of view, new player groups need to work together more. It is hard to get people around the table, and when you do opinions between those organizations are very split. I hope to do more of that and play a much more active role in that if I do become a CSM member.

Great! Thanks for your time.

Tags: csm, csm12, kalbuir skirate

About the author

Submissions

This is a submission from outside our regular writers.