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!