Now that I’ve got myself a brand new Eve Online Alpha Clone following the Ascension update (see this post for details), I’m going to go through the new player experience which has been added to the game on Ascension.
As soon as I’ve confirm my new character and start the game, I’ve found myself on a ship in the middle of space surrounded by alot of debris. I’ve had a transmission from Fleet Commander Kaatara who has introduced me to Aura who is an AI that will help guide me.
The first thing Aura does is tell me the basics like how to rotate the camera, zoom in and out, manually move in space and stop the ship, look at objects in space and loot wrecked ships, alot of this is done using the radial menus when you left click and hold it over an object, something i’m not used to doing as I learned the game before they existed and use the overview for selecting everything. This is all part of a story line which starts with you rescuing survivors of an attack and then you get attacked yourself and need to defend yourself before escaping from enemy drifter battleships to the nearest station.
This is much better than the previous New Player Experience (NPE) as you’re put straight into space and quickly find out how to navigate, fight and loot.
The next stage sees me being put on an accelerated training program which looks like its going to be a series of missions which will show me more advanced things and I get a mission to attack a pirate colony, before this though I am introduced to skill training and module fitting and I’m shown how to redeem items. Included in this is a skill book for Acceleration Control which I’m instructed to add to my skill queue, I’m given a Civilian Armor Repairer and instructed how to fit this, and I’m also given gifts from CCP of a Festival Launcher, 600 fireworks and a Tristan Quafe SKIN.
Now that my ship has been fitted with an armour repairer, I can undock and take out that pirate colony. This introduces me to using my afterburner and repairer to first get through a damaging gas cloud and then to kill the pirates, this is straight forward as a tutorial should be and explains how to active tank. At this stage, reletively quickly into the game I’ve been shown the basics for flying and combat, its really simple to follow and will be good for new players to get straight into combat.
Next up is an introduction to industy, first I need to buy a civilian data analyzer blueprint from the market and I’m shown how to navigate the market, find the item I’m looking for, find the active sell orders and buy the item. Now that I’ve bought a blueprint, I’m shown how to use it within the industry window. This is actually new to me as I’ve not done any manufacturing since before the new industry windows were introduced. After setting off the manufacturing, the tutorial explains I need to investigate a research facility but first I need to wait for the manufacturing job to finish as I need the item for the mission, the manufacturing only takes just over a minute so not long to wait. I’m then instructed on how to deliver the finished job and fit the item to my ship before I can undock to investigate said research facilty.
This part of the tutorial shows you how to move to another system and use the autopilot, personally I’m not sure they should show the autopilot as manually flying to gate at 0 is better and safer as autopilot warps you 15km away from the gate and you need to fly to 2500m to go through the gate.
The research facility introduces hacking and I get to use my new data anaylzer. Using the anaylzer brings up a hacking window which is a little mini game, I’ve not done this before as it was new since I last played and on my return I’ve not tried it yet so this is again a new experience for me. I’m told to click on encrypted nodes until I locate the system core.
Clicking on the empty nodes serve as a connector allowing me to see adjacent nodes and shows a number which indicates how many nodes I am away from the core, this goes on until I hit a firewall instead of an empty node, clicking on the firewall attacks it and it deactivates after clicking twice, the first time I took 10 damage from my virus coherence, I can see this by hovering over the left red bar on the bottom left of the hacking window, this determines how much damage I can take before the hacking attempt fails, I started with 25 and I’ve now got 15. Deactivating the firewall allows me to move onto further nodes and I find the System Core shortly after. Clicking the data core once takes 10 damage from it (it had 20 to start with) and takes 10 damage from me leaving me with 5 virus coherence and the core 10. Looking at the window and highlighting over the right red bar on the bottom left of the window informs me that my virus strength is 10 which is how much damage I can do and the datacore has a number above it indicating how strong it is. I can now see that doing 10 more damage will destroy the core, clicking on it my attempt at hacking is successful and I am able to loot the Info Shard I just hacked. Overall fairly simple and easy to follow.
After hacking I’m instructed to warp to a safe spot and then to a forward operating base, this turns out to be one of the new Citadels recently introduced to Eve in a previous update which is surrounded by various Caldari ships. I don’t get to dock in it and I’m instructed to look at the ships and then fly back to my home station which I started in. Telling you how to look at the ships will give you an indication of what you could fly and what they look like, as an Alpha clone, it also shows you what you can’t have without subscribing as it points out battleships and carriers. I did learn something else new at the Citadel as I’m informed that I can use the arrows on the keypad for a unique experience, doing this while moving in space changes direction based on the arrow keys, I’m not sure how long thats been an option but I’ve never known about it before.
Docking back up in the station I am greeted by some notifcations that I have some new items to redeem and Fleet Commander Kaatara explains that for the next mission I’m going to need more than my Ibis (rookie noob ship) and some upgraded modules. I will also need some new skills but she wants to speed my learning of the new skills up so she has given me a skill injector and Aura explains what it does. Redeeming my items I find I have been given a Civilian Damage Control, 2 Civilian Gatling Railguns, a Civilian Stasis Webifier, a Merlin ship and a Mini Skill Injector.
I’m instucted to use the Mini Skill Injector first which allocates 80,000 skill points for me to use which ever way I want, however Aura tells me to put the Frigate skill into my queue and use some points for that, doing this allocates 13,144 skills points to put my Frigate skill up to level 3, I won’t allocate any more for now incase I’m instructed to use them later on. Now I have level 3 in Frigates, I can activate my new Merlin ship, fit it with my new modules and make it my active ship. The ship needed the level 3 in Frigates for me to be able to fly it.
My new Merlin ship mid-warp:
Once I have my new ship fitted I’m given my next mission to kill a Drifter Hive and I’m instructed to undock and travel to the next destination in system a few jumps away. It doesn’t tell me to autopilot but it also doesn’t give an alternative so new players will only know to autopilot. At the destination I warp to a Spatial Rift which I’ve never seen before, it looks like a wormhole has been trapped by some kind of contraption as seen below:
After warping through it I enter a battle field and I’m imediately attacked and need to defend myself. The battle contains friendly and enemy NPCs fighting each other and I’m instructed to help. This battle introduces me to using my new Webifier to slow down a Capital ship allowing my friendly fleet ships to catch it and I can help destroy it. One thing I haven’t yet been shown is how to change my optimal range on my guns, I just get intructed to orbit and shoot but the standard orbital range is 1000m and my guns optimals are just over 5000m so I’ve changed my orbital range to 5000m by right clicking on the oribit icon in the overview screen when having something selected and clicking on Set Default “Orbit” distance, here you can set the default to whatever your optimal range of your guns are. Your guns will do more damage firing at optimal range.
Once the Capital ship is destroyed a few ships attack me which I have to kill before destroying the Drifter Hive. While attacking the Hive I’m attacked again but I don’t need to kill them as the Commander gives me the honor of getting the final blow on the Hive after informing me that once it blows up an explosion will destroy everything else around it so they are retreating the fleet leaving me to kill the Hive (and die in the process). Once the Hive is destroyed, as explained it explodes killing the enemy ships and myself including my pod and I find myself back on the home station.
At this point the Commander explains that I have been promoted and I’m now free to basically do as I please, I’m given some isk from ship insurance and I’m given some items to redeem in the form of a Caldari Inception Package. Redeeming this and opening it I find that it opens a window where I can click on nodes reveiling the items, doing this reveils I’ve been given 2 Miner tech 1, 1 Salvager tech 1, 1 Merlin blueprint to help replace the ship I’ve just lost, a Venture mining frigate, and a Mining Laser Upgrade tech 1. This gives the the means to mine to make isk or to get the minerals needed to build a new Merlin ship but not much else. I do have the isk to buy a new ship and fit it if I don’t want to mine. I’m not sure if this is the right thing for CCP to do as it will encourage new players to start mining which is one of the more boring things to do in Eve, I think the package should have contained an actual Merlin ship and some basic modules to fit it as well as the Venture so people have the option of mining or not.
This looks to be the end of the New Player Experience introduced in Ascension and Aura explains that the next stage is to browse the Career Agents which were in the game before the Ascension update. The career agents will give players the option of doing them or not, I would encourage any new players to either do them all to get a feel for their options or do the ones that interest them as they will give a more detailed tutorial for each career and they also provide ships, modules and skills.
The options are Business, Exploration, Industry and Military. Business will show you how to haul, salvage, hack, trade and production, Industry will show you how to mine and manufacture, Exploration will show you how to scan and run data or hacking sites and Military will show you combat, tanking and ewar. There may be more to them than that, I’ve not yet run them so I’m not exactly sure how much detail they go into. Its worth doing them all for the free ships and skill books, you can always sell them if you don’t need them and getting a basic overview of each career will help you decide which you like best and give you something to focus on.
After doing the Agent Careers and you have an idea which path you want to go down, I would recommend looking for a player corp to join which will help you down your chosen path, don’t join a highsec mining corp if you want pvp for example. There are lots of new player friend corps out there, look around online or ask in game. Corps like eveuni, brave newbies and karma fleet (there are others I can’t think of at the moment) are set up to help new players get involved in various aspects of eve and teach them how to play.
You don’t need to do the career agents, the best thing about Eve is you’re free to do as you please although Alpha clones do have their limitations you can still do what you want and if you enjoy it and hit an Alpha wall you have the option of subbing your account and making you a full Omega clone.
My next step with my Alpha clone will be doing the career agents, I have an idea what I am wanting to do as I would like to try faction warfare but I will experience the career agents first for my free stuff.
Fly Safe (or not) o7