On Helping New Pilots

 

With the recent influx of new pilots the amount of questions and answers in comms and chat is skyrocketing.

Players are Eve Online’s lifeblood. Right now, new pilots are joining and it is to the benefit of all players that as many as possible stick around for the long term. Each alliance and corporation will benefit from welcoming fresh blood into their ranks. Whether they end up friend or foe, a higher player count should be our common goal.

After spending years helping newbies find their way in New Eden, I’ve collected these “do“’s and “don’t“s on being a helpful veteran pilot:


Do

 

Do: Answer the question directly
Answer the question directly and simply. If the question is “What is a microwarpdrive?”, the answer should be “It’s a mid-slot module that makes you go much faster.” There is no need to go into a lecture on sig radius bloom and the possible effects of a bomb. Lecturing like that just confuses new players.

Do: Keep it simple
Yes, there are corner cases and min/max options for everything in EVE. New pilots don’t need to know them. If the question is “What drone can I use with my new Tristan?”, the answer is “Acolyte I”. There is no need to mention ‘Augmented’ Acolytes or Caldari Navy Hornets.

Keep it simple. They will learn more in due time.

Do: Keep it short
If your explanation takes longer than 30 seconds, you are talking too much. You are going into things that don’t matter to a new player. If they want to know more, they will ask.

Do: STFU and listen
It can be intimidating for new pilots to speak up in comms, so when the chatterboxes are constantly talking, they won’t ask questions. Make sure you allow for a little silence at times to allow the quiet ones a chance to ask a question.

Better yet, make a point of asking for questions and waiting quietly for someone to speak up.

Do: Be generous
To most experienced pilots 10 to 20 million ISK is but a drop in the bucket. To new pilots it can make a huge difference in their ability to fly a fitted ship or to make them feel comfortable losing a ship or two without having to resort to flying a free corvette once again.

Give your ISK freely to new pilots. They will remember it and pass it forward.

 


 Don’t

 

Don’t: Shit talk other groups
While shit posting is a full-time job for many in EVE, it’s not something that makes new players want to stay with the game. What makes EVE so different is the way the community can fight vicious wars in game yet share drinks in Reykjavik, Amsterdam, Sydney, and Las Vegas. When starting out, new pilots aren’t helped by hearing the personal grudges of bittervets.

Most new players will move a few times before settling down, so assume that the new players you help now may not be blue to you in the future. 
Don’t: Mock their mistakes

New pilots often make terrible choices due to their lack of experience. For example, dual tanking is a mistake in almost every case, but when explaining why, try to point out why an alternative fitting is better, such as “The Caracal is intended to shield tank, which is great, because you can use the low slots to increase your speed and missile damage.” Don’t just say “Are you stupid? An armor repper on a Caracal? WTF?”

No one likes being talked down to, and many people will leave the game rather than put up with mockery in their first days of EVE. Save it for when they whelp their first expensive ship.

Don’t: Tell them that mining/ratting/exploration/industry is shit for making money
The truth is that there is no one way to make money in EVE, and we need pilots filling all the niches in New Eden to make the sandbox work. While you may personally hate mining, nothing good comes from sticking that hate into a new pilot’s head. Rather than shitting on something you don’t like, talk about what you do like. It can be as simple as saying “I don’t really like ratting and don’t do it much, but I do love selling fitted ships on contract and getting filthy rich doing it.”

Don’t: Tell endless war stories
New pilots will have no context and will not give a shit. They are still confused by how to set up their overview. They don’t give a shit about your great victory over PandaSwarm five years ago. They can’t tell the difference between a warp disruptor and a warp scrambler. They don’t give a shit about the great fleets of Drakes that once roamed nullsec. Those stories can wait until they are further up the learning curve.

Most importantly: “If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.” – The Dalai Lama

 

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About the author

Dunk Dinkle

Dunk Dinkle has played Eve since 2008. A life-long gamer, he's played MMORPGs since the first days of Ultima Online. In Eve, he's taken a path from high sec mission running to factional warfare to null sec. After the battle of Asakai, Dunk landed in Brave Newbies where he annoys FCs with an extensive soundboard.