Over the past few days I have spent a considerable amount of time running through the NPE and some of the starter missions as an Alpha character. While doing that, I have been attempting to answer as many questions as possible in the rookie help chat channel. Well for those that are familiar with this channel, its worse than local when a TEST fleet rolls through. Its hard to keep track of all of the questions that are newbros/gals have, especially when they haven’t figure out how to link your name in the chat or send you a direct message. One of the ways I tried to get around confusion was to just announce something along the lines of “<—– Veteran EVE player willing to answer any questions you have”.
Almost immediately I would usually get one or two people message me, reply back in channel, or send an email to ask me a question. Regardless of my opinion on how silly the question might be, I would never turn a player down. I remember when I was a new player and had no clue what to do or how to proceed with a mission. Questions I would receive ranged from “How do I know what station I have to go back to for my stuff” and “I can’t get past the tutorial” to “How can I build a Jove Stargate” and “Do planets orbit around the stations”. I can’t make those last two up. But as easy or ridiculous as some of those questions might seem to a bitter vet, they are some really serious questions to a brand new and sometimes a long-time removed returning player. To be honest, there were even times I found myself being more responsive than a GM at times. As much as I would like to answer every single question that I see streaming across the channel, there is simply no way I could possibly do that.
So I racked by brain for a little while trying to think of ways I could do this better. Even as good as I felt by helping new players on their first steps into New Eden, I found that if I spent more than an hour or two in one sitting answering simple yet frustrating questions from newbros/gals who are one day old and already want to know how to fly a Titan or a Jump Freighter I was going to burn out really quick. The solution is to implement a campaign that veteran EVE players can get behind to give back to the community by offering an hour out of their day to teach, mentor, guide, or just plain answer a question or two. Thus I present “EVE an Hour”, an initiative that I would like to begin that will allow for exactly that. Based around the idea of “Give an Hour” where experienced counselors offer an hour of their time on a volunteer basis to those who need it the most.
EVE an Hour aims to do the same thing by creating a volunteer network of experienced EVE players that are able to get on the in-game rookie help channel or in local at starter systems and start answering the plethora of questions that newbros/newgals might have. If you have been reading this article you might be wondering what type of player is needed to help out. The answer is “any”. Calling all FC’s, Industrialists, Explorers, and any player who knows enough about the game to be able to get a new player through the first few days or more of play. As we have learned over the years, most new players quite within the first few hours of play time. The only way that we can retain the influx of new players from the EVE Online Ascension and “Free to Play” push, is to get in there and help them out.
In order to streamline the process and try to provide for a more catered experienced I have created a Discord server to facilitate this project. Here is the permalink: https://discord.gg/2ZNFNfA
On the server I have several rooms already designated by security areas (Hi, Lo, Null, WH), Career progression, as well as several voice rooms that groups and individuals can learn together or from online mentors. There is even a fleet voice channel in the even that there are enough users online and willing to form up a fleet and learn something as a group. I’m sure the next question is, how do we get newbros/gals in the server? The answer is, take an hour of your time and go start helping. As you are helping out these new players, throw them the invite link to get them tailored help if they need it, especially when it comes to complex questions that might need to be talked about over voice comms.
Finally I want to mention something that I am sure is to be a big concern. There is absolutely no requirement from any mentor to commit to a specific amount of time that they spend helping others. If you want to spend an hour every day, please feel free. If you can only help out once and a while, this is also okay. The only thing that I want to see come out of this project is that players can get the help they need to get them engaged and stay with the game. And yes, recruitment is allowed in the recruiting room.
If you are interested in being a mentor, join the server and throw me a line so I can make sure to give you the right role and privileges. I look forward to this project and hope to see many faces there soon.
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