Mabrick posted an interesting observation regarding Dust 514, and it casts some light on EVE as well. I started to write a comment response, and it morphed into a larger observation, so I’m posting it standalone here.
I think the tight rope that CCP needs to walk is providing new players with enough guidance (arenas, protected systems, etc.) without diluting what waits for them after the tutorial is over. Historically New Eden has offered a steep learning curve because EVE *is a hard game*.
Raph Koster describes the problem well in his book “A Theory of Fun” – new players may be intrigued by the concept of EVE, but we’re killing them before they can see the ‘pattern of play’. EVE seems like noise (too hard), and so they unsubscribe in frustration.
The key is to ramp up their knowledge so that unsubscriptions come more from “nah, not the game for me”, and less from “What happened, I just got destroyed drilling a !^&&@$% asteroid! I quit!”. It’s the equivalent of asking a new player to beat the end boss before they go through the rest of the game.
Yes, EVE is a hard game – it is not a casual game, nor is it a simple game. It should however, reveal to new players what it is in a way that allows them to make an educated decision as to whether it’s the right game for them.
Once they make that decision, feel free to befriend, deship, defrock and grief as your play style merits.