Eve’s new tutorial guides players through the basics with an action-packed story

Eve Online is one of the oldest MMORPGs, despite its reputation as a “spreadsheet in space” game. Developer CCP Games has worked for years to smooth out its notoriously steep learning curve, and a revamped new player experience, which rolled out just before it hit the Epic Games Store in September, might be just the thing to keep them going. players long enough to become addicted.

When you create a new character – or capper – in Eve Online, you have the option to complete the tutorial, which now includes a much more dramatic narrative sequence that helps set up the New Eden universe and introduces elements of it. intimidating user interface of Eve in play.

“One of the key principles we had was never to crush,” says Tryggvi Hjaltason, senior strategist at CCP. “We were trying to figure out what is the main reason why players shy away from our game early on. And the number one reason by far – it’s roughly 68% or something – is that they’re overwhelmed.

The new tutorial, known internally as AIR NPE at CCP, introduces a new faction of NPCs called Association for Interdisciplinary Research, which has the Cloning Facility that you find yourself awake in for the first few moments of the game.

“You are on this rail to your first ship when the station is attacked,” Hjaltason says. “So the mystery begins, the adventure begins, and you’re thrown into space in aftershocks of that attack, and you’re just trying to piece together what happened.”

Your AI companion, Aura, walks you through the fundamentals of moving the camera, orienting your pod, and finding a ship, and with each step a new UI panel is introduced. You’ll encounter AIR reinforcements called in to save the survivors, but soon you’ll be helping the fleet fend off attacks from the mysterious faction responsible for destroying the cloning facility.

“I know I’m biased, but I think this scene, and the next scene in particular, is some of the most beautiful scenes we’ve ever done in Eve,” said Hjaltason, who worked on the team that builds the new intro sequence. “We went all out, doing something where players would be impressed not only by the story and how it unfolded, but also by the surroundings. Judging from the feedback we’ve received so far, I think we’ve done pretty well – and it’s extremely fun watching those comments.

The new tutorial will soon take you back to the existing Eve Online onboarding process, which directs you to several Career Agents who dispense quests that introduce various career areas available in the massive space game. But you also get an introduction to the new skill blueprint system, which helps players navigate the dense forest of Eve’s unlockable abilities.

This isn’t the first time Eve’s tutorial has received a major overhaul, but Hjaltason says it’s the one that received the best reception during her tenure at the studio – and her rollout has was the most fluid he had seen as well.

“There were no scorching forest fires,” he tells us. “We’ve never had this before – which I think is a comeback in itself. But I think the overall quality was higher than what we had before because we had a bigger and stronger team than ever before. “

Hjaltason explained that the goal of the new player experience is to keep players interested – with awesome visuals, a compelling story, and cool things to do – long enough for them to have time to soak up the world. larger area of ​​Eve Online. The longer they stay, the reasoning goes, the more exposed they’ll be to the long-term hooks that keep people playing for years, like player-led factions and the wars they’ve been waging for years.

“We are working hard on the next facility in this area, where we will continue this in-game adventure,” Hjaltson said. “I mean, the point here is to get players to love Eve from the first minute, without getting overwhelmed. And slowly, through the story, to familiarize yourself and gain self-confidence to start pushing deeper into it. the rest of the game, connecting with the players and all of these good things that we know the veterans have discovered. We want to build a stronger bridge so that the average player can also get there faster and more efficiently. “

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