False expectations

I was undocking at the Sisters of Eve station in Arnon recently when I saw a Catalyst launch it’s drones. At first I didn’t think much of it, just another undock drama, but the presence of several Autothysian Lancers made me stop and watch. Sure enough the new player fired their guns and sent drones after the RED targets. It looked as though it was all going pretty well and then a single reinforcement, a Cassandra Tyrannos class battleship, turned up and instapopped the rookie.

Death from above

I have no idea what was going through the pilots mind as they floated outside the station in a pod watching their drones being scooped and their wreck looted, but I am guessing they weren’t too happy. I am reasonably sure they had not read the information on Autothysian Lancers posted in this support article, especially the bit about “… are not aggressive unless attacked.”

The current NPE makes a new player think they have the ability to successfully attack and kill anything red in the overview and more specifically a red Cruiser sized thing. The Career Agent missions reinforces that belief by presenting a lot of soft target red things. This misrepresentation stacks the odds against the new player and gives them a false sense of security.

CCP tried to introduce Lore and other factions around 2016. The Inception NPE introduced Drifters to the tutorial and players received reasonable bounties killing Circadian Seekers which featured as part of the tutorial. Unfortunately they were soft targets that didn’t escalate like they do in game. One of the complaints at the time was this would lead to new pilots shooting them on gates and dying a horrible death like our friend above. I guess some things don’t change. The entire Inception NPE and the attempt to introduce a new player to game Lore and was scrapped in 2018. With it went any introduction to Drifters.

A quick check of zKillboard shows this type of ship loss is a reasonably common occurrence in High Security Space and mostly around stargates. Did they learn a lesson or did they just walk away?

Some might say working as intended, after all you can’t explain everything to a new player, but I wonder how the Catalyst owner took the loss. A confusing blow like that early in their journey might convince the player that this game isn’t for them. Especially if they had sunk their life savings into that ship.

I also wonder if CCP will ever make the NPE more like the actual game. Eve is dangerous, stuff kills you even if you don’t shoot at it, people loot your stuff and try to scam you and almost every ship you encounter after the NPE is a lot tougher than expected. The NPE’s ridiculous death to a couple of Machariel Battleships is ludicrous when there are a bunch of frigates in that scene that would have been better suited to the task. So much scope for improvement.

As for the player who lost his destroyer, hopefully he learns and moves on.

Fly Safe as Always,

Looks like 2 Cassandra Tyrannos in the picture, not the one I spoke of and there are only 2 Autothysian Lancers of the original four. Given he ship had a name it may be that our pilot is not all that new. A search of zKillboard for the 24/25th Feb fails to provide a loss but that is to be expected since they only carry posted or extracted kills. Furthermore I was positive it was a Catalyst, but with a name like GB Algos then it may well have been an Algos…