Fresh new world
At least for some people.
While the north is interesting, and seeing Seraph and his corp join Co2 (ahahahaha) I think I’d prefer to write about something of more interest recently.
It’s time for an alpha strike.
So I’ve created four accounts, which are all going to be (and will forever remain) pure alpha. Unless, you know, CCP develop something similar to the bioware method where if you buy some stuff from the premium store you get upgraded to a “beta”. Better than an alpha, but not as good as the Omega subs.
That idea aside, however, they’ll be alphas. And with that in mind I’ve created two of the four so far. Caldari, and Amarr. I’ve “finished” the caldari run through, and I’m now on the career agents (where I took a break for the Amarrian). I threw the free 80k sp injector there all in on the frigates, because I’m going to focus those down first.
Realtalk about the newbie experience, it’s actually quite nice. Although if you sit there listening to the chatter all day when hostiles warp in, you’ll soon find yourself losing armour, or worse, hull. Which is a pity because it’s some very good chatter.
The caldari “mentor” is well voiced (err, mostly, there’s a small stumble over lines and VA at one point I can recall – but it’s nothing too big, in all reality, and you soon forget about it), and sounds like they picked someone who would sound similar to a certain valkyrie/viper pilot. If someone can prove who it is, I’d appreciate it please.
She’s very caldari, and comes across exactly how you’d expect based on what we’ve seen so far. A lot of the lines are similar to the ones you get for amarr (so far) but there’s enough differences to keep things interesting. The caldari are played as very militaristic and money focused, whilst the amarr are very firmly played on a faith, fire, and brimstone wavelength.
For the amarr (so far) it’s a fantastic change of pace, as it showcases a lot of the good AND bad in amarr, while still giving you a likeable mentor (if you like English voices, look no further than this guy – he’s fantastic). The acting here is wonderful, for what I’ve experienced. Again, it suffers from the issue of taking damage if you wait around to enjoy it. Which is a pity, because the work is fantastic. But needs must, so you often end up having to respond (or accidentally responding ahead of time) faster than the VA, and it often cuts out part way through, never to be heard again (unless you make another character of that race). Certainly you can try to quickly “reset” to that checkpoint to hear it all over again, but by that point you’ve probably progressed far enough that it’ll tick over. It would be nice if the hostiles were either better timed, or held off until the mentor finished talking, but I suppose that would really annoy anyone trying to quickly get out of the newbie zone if they’re starting an alt. The issues of balancing for all tastes, eh?
For all that, it’s quite quick to throw you in there with both crafting (industry) and pve, but it’s just barely explained well enough that I think a newbie could keep up with instructions. It doesn’t tell a newbie to right-click all the things, however, which could be an issue, as this is where a lot of the game commands are hidden.
It’s sort of nice in that it also gives you an early death in an attempt to try to teach you to only fly what you can afford to lose. Though in my opinion it may not stick so easily. And we’re still going to lose a lot of the softies who just don’t “get” or enjoy a cutthroat eve. And fair enough, this is a niche game, and we now have Elite, or maybe the X games if you’re single player, or Homeworld, or Nexus: The Jupiter Incident. Etc. But for those who like a challenge, we need to get some of these lessons hammered in.
It also tries to teach (in a limited way) some fleet/fleet command attitudes, following orders, and so on. Tackling too. Although if you don’t fire at the main targets, they don’t subsequently take damage from your fleet mates, and the damage waits for you to return to murdering the primary. Apparently everyone wants you to get the final blow? Too bad, as at least one target is more of a massive hp sponge, and I’m sure a newbie would appreciate the extra help. Unless we’re trying to teach them about damage sponges?
The teaching of hacking is a wonderful choice, however, so I applaud adding that into the newbie experience. It’s a fantastic choice, and I’d encourage everyone to experience it, at least a few times in-game. I’d love to see the gameplay applied elsewhere, to the point of it being useful somehow in the middle of a pvp situation maybe. No I have no idea how, maybe as a replacement for the damn sov laser inanity? Or for structure control? Or to “unlock” a structure for being blown into bitty bitty pieces? You “hack” the sov/structure target to bring down the Jamyl shields, so that your cap fleet can clobber it? It’s be more interesting that the aegis “point laser at target, click button, wait” routine, where one person pushes the button and everyone else twiddles their thumbs or hopes a hostile fleet turns up to relieve the boredom.
But perhaps that’s just me. All that aside, I’m really enjoying this, and I’ll report back later on the rest of the Amarr experience, in addition to the Gallente and Minmatar ones. Then I’ll probably try out FW with these, or maybe see what other pvp insanity I can get up to with no risk clones like these!