Rebooting EVE: The Exploration Tutorial Agent

Last week, I took the newly minted Beth Weston through the newb tutorial – the standard introductory bit of Eve Online. This week, it was time to get cracking on Beth’s livelihood – exploration. As luck would have it, there is an exploration tutorial arc in the game now! I have no idea how old the arc is, but I don’t really remember there being one before. At any rate, I took the plunge into the arc, which you can watch:

In case you skipped that though, here’s some quick takeaways:

  • The obsession with the radial menu continues. The Selected Item box above the overview has yet to be mentioned in any way.
  • The concept of courier-type missions, wherein you are given a thing and then have to move that thing from your Item Inventory to your Ship Cargohold before disembarking is still really dumb. It adds no real value – just put it in my cargo, unless it is too big, thanks!
  • The exploration arc is short – just a single 5 part mission series. And yet, it could easily have been done in just 3 parts. There are some redundancies that add nothing to the experience except wasting my time.
  • Once you’re done, that’s it! The exploration arc is extraordinarily short and, at the end of it, I don’t really feel prepared to embark on a career of exploration. As always, EVE shows you the cliff, then leaves you alone. Inevitably, you’ll fall off and wonder why.
  • At the beginning of the play session, Beth had 8,000 ISK to her name, but by the end of it she had racked up over 600k. To a newb, this no doubt sounds like a lot, but in reality that is not the case.
  • I found myself after completing the tutorial without the skills to actually use real Relic and Data Analyzers, as Survey was still training up. This is probably not the best situation to put a new player in.

This process ended up taking no time at all – a sum total of 2 hours of gametime, with a significant chunk of that spent being dumb, sorting out skills, and poking around the interface. The concept of exploration missions is an intriguing one that should probably be further explored by CCP. Instead of having me probe down a certain specific site and retrieve a certain specific item, though, I’d love to see more freeform missions – a topic for another day, but one that I think has a lot of merit and could improve the PVE in EVE Online significantly.

Oh, and I also managed to pound out a short bonus video that shows what happens when you buy DLC packs from Steam for Eve Online. I’m…more than a little confused by what happened:

This week, I’ll hopefully be able to train Beth’s skills effectively and start doing some real exploration! However, I’m somewhat torn – should I stay where I am, attempt to find a relatively unpopulated pocket of highsec, or what? If you have suggestions, leave them in the comments!


This is a useful post. I'm about to plex up a second account and start a new explorer character so I will start with the tutorial and figure out where I need to fill in the gaps training rookie players who join my new corp for explorers.  

As for Beth, why not bring her to low sec once she can use data and relic modules? There are some pretty good stretches in Deklein, Khanid, and Kor-Azor that are super quiet ... you sometimes don't see anyone passing through for 15-20 minutes at a time. And that is plenty of time to do a hacking site.

proceduraldave moderator

@Mynxee I think in terms of gaps for rookie players, it'd be super helpful to sort of list out exploration-related skills by priority. I.e. from Minute 1 of your experience, what should you be training and why. Astrometric Rangefinding, for instance, is not mentioned at all in the tutorial but is incredibly helpful. 

For Beth, I do indeed plan on heading to lowsec as soon as possible. I'm not sure yet whether or not I want to wait for her to be able to get a Helios fit correctly, as that will cost a hell of a lot more than she has. I might take the shortcut of dumping ISK onto her from one of my other alts, but I had intended to do a legitimate 'newb' experience path. I'm torn!