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CCP has plans to alter the way new users join in on the epic space battlefield of EVE Online. They rolled out a plan to consider helping newbies gain some extra skill points so they can come in at a far more competitive level instead of trying to play catch-up to some gamers who have been putting in years' worth of work.
Over on Reddit CCP posted a short Q&A where they addressed feedback regarding making the barrier to entry a heck of a lot lower in EVE Online for new players.
Right now the big debate is on what kind of starting skills players should have in order to help them catch up and get started without feeling like they have to learn an encyclopedia's worth of knowledge and play-time just to gain some measure of fun and entertainment out of the game. The Reddit post from CCP reads...
“You guys seem fairly agreed that the small amount of starting skills, combined with a high amount of 'must have' support and requirement skills, leads to some really icky barriers to participation for new players. We are inclined to agree and we are in the process of laying out a plan to address the problem. Nothing is set in stone yet but it seems likely that we will try and move new players towards starting with significantly more SP. Maybe between 1 and 2 million. It also seems likely that we will probably avoid any major skill reworks or skill removals. As this plan solidifies you will hear more from us.”
This has created an explosion of discussion in the EVE Online community as some players believe this creates an uneven playing field advantage for new players while others feel this would be perfect for helping new players adjust to the game.
EVE Online has slowly been declining in its numbers according to a report from The Nosy Gamer, who estimates that there has been an 18% drop-off in the player base of EVE Online over the past two years.
If the numbers are true then CCP may be looking into ways of upping their player base once more by offering new players something substantial to sink their teeth into.
The opposite side of the argument is that this could lead to a “slippery slope” for EVE Online and that the stats work fine the way they are. It is true that a bunch of new players given an early advantage could game the system by establishing a fast start if they know how to work the system.
However, it seems unlikely that within two months of playing that any newbie could establish a fleet so devastating that they could actually rival and take down some of the biggest and most devastating corporations within the game.
Some players have suggested that new players be sent to “Career Agents” to help them along the way. There haven't been many complaints about the “Career Agents”.
EVE Online has been notorious for being one of the most difficult games to get into due to its extremely high ceiling of trying to understand what's going on and what to do. Many players have compared it to learning how to navigate space using professional grade spreadsheets.
You can check out the full discussion regarding the new change over on the /r/Games thread.