“Where the hell have you been? ” Scottys voice was a mix of exasperation and relief. “People have been looking for you.”

Mike looked mildly surprised. “Same old same old. Oh a few detours now and agin. Someone wanted help with a pirate, checking some industry, chased a few leads . . . who would be looking for me, anyways?”

Scotty shook his head and grinned. “Coffee? ”

“Always. Of course I did have some light reading to while away the time. Latest meeting minutes from the powers that be came out.”

Scotty changed their path slightly. “Not coffee, then. Something a bit stronger if you are going to talk my ear off.”

Soon they were at a table in a mid class pub. A half empty pitcher and the remains of the food before them. “Usual stakes?” Mike asked as they set their comms face down between them.

“First to pick up buys drinks and food. If it is me, for the pair of us, if it is you . . . ”

“The bar, agreed.” Mike leaned back. “So the minutes came out and already folks wiser than I have parsed, collated, dissected, and dismissed them.”

“So now it is your turn?”

Mike nodded. “Funny thing, I still take the minutes personally. So I read them like they are important to me and mine. I was a bit surprised when the opening salvos hit me so hard though. Usually the first meet and greet is pure fluff. Instead, the opening lines are home work for the next season will be allocated. 80% new pilot retention and 20% vet stagnation.”

Scottys comm buzzed quietly, he glanced towards it and his hand twitched but he did not touch it. They grinned at each other and Mike were filed their drinks and then waved the pitcher at a waitress who nodded from across the pub. “Why the focus on new pilots?”

Mike grimaced. “It is a dirty little secret of pilots that a lot of us do not make it past the first day. Not so much burnout as spontaneous combustion. Hard to keep pilots out there if they quit before they can even get started. So I suppose that makes sense.

CCP Burger brings up the four main focus points for CCP:
1. Stop the bleeding
2. Fix the stupid
3. Excite and teach
4. Incentivize return

I am not sure I agree with the order, I prefer to fix stupidity first.”

Scotty shrugged. “If they leave too fast it won’t matter if you did. Keep them and then mkeep it work for them. Like I first aid. Keeping the patient alive comes first, making them comfortable, second”

“I will take your word for it. So they batted around some of the stupid to show what they meant. Things like taking the mining laser out of the rookie ships because some new pilots get confused by it. Or removing the non ammo oriented civilian weapons because they set up bad habits.” Mike shook his head. “I see what they are trying to do but I despair at the examples that they tossed up.”

Scotty tore eyes from the comm, again buzzing, “Why?”

“Well the rookie ship is meant to do everything, but poorly. It gives incentive to grow, to move on. If they add ammo? It will crash said ammo market as the new folks strip and sell their free ships. Remove the miner and they have no starting actions unless th mining career agent hands one out right at the start. Now I do get that civ devices are lousy when it comes to capsuleer usage but what will replace them, and how?” Mike frowned at his glass, empty again.

Scotty refilled both their glasses and then nodded. “Code law, 99 bugs, fix one and now you have 103 bugs.”

“What they said next had a measure of sense until you thought about it.”

In essence, CCP wants to create a purpose for players in the first 15 minutes of gameplay, and then as the player keeps playing they will be in a tutorial that merges into general gameplay.

Sounds all well and good until you realize that it is a big universe and there is no one ooverriding purpose. We all become pilots for our own reasons. Or we did, once.” Mike looked off into the distance and sighed. “I don’t want to see the sandbox get a railroad.”

The main concern here from the CSM is that the default channels for assistance are toxic and getting the new player into an actual group is better to be done as fast as possible.
CCP Burger says that another point to consider is how to do the handover from the tutorial to player groups. Fleets organized by Greygal (Greetings!) were brought up as an example and that they had the highest retention rate CCP has ever seen.

“So they talked about two very different ways the new pilot gets started. Rookie help channel and Greygals fleets. Now you know I try to be involved with both of them but they be apples and oranges. Greys fleets are small, personal and dammit, fun. Rookie help chat is throwing all the rookies into a box and sometimes having a moderator. The rest of time? Folks like Corporal, addalee, Leucas, myself and others do our best to help but with no tools to eliminate the few toxics that seem to think that Rookie chat is a good place to troll. More ISDs or hand out minor mod power to a few trusted folks would go a long way.”

*zzz zzz zzz*

Mike grinned and waved for another pitcher. “Whoever it is, they iz persistent. So . . . ”

“No, so that was the first day?”

Mike roared with laughter. “That was the first session.”



yeah this may take a couple more posts. I am doing this on a tablet while travelling so I cannot link the minutes or some of the other links like jjns audio version of the minutes

May when I get back home

But for now? Fly it like you won it and managed to get into a redemption road fleet with grey.


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