A Virgin Mind | EVE Online

A Virgin Mind

2009-03-02 - By CCP Flatboy

This dev blog was brought to you by CCP Flatboy.

As Fear explained in his last dev blog, we reduced the starting skillpoints for new characters to reduce the amount of decisions new players need to make before starting to play the game. I know you have all been waiting anxiously to see how we‘ll ensure that new characters are still useful in their first weeks.

The TLDR version is this: They train skills faster.

How much faster? We toyed around with all kinds of beautiful graphs for this speed, based on SP or time, from the formula for the water saturation of a sponge gourd (tanh * (4 /h) * SQRT(Dr/Dt)), as suggested by Hellmar, to an elegant 3rd order exponential formula, to a beautiful logarithmic function.

„Simplicity is the final achivement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art." - Frederic Chopin

Turned out that all these elegant high-order formulas confused people. They couldn‘t make heads or tails of what was happening to their skills. All they knew was that their training speed was gradually dropping. So we simplified.

In Apocrypha, new characters train at double speed until they reach 1.6 Million SkillPoints. That is all.

These values were chosen so that an Apocrypha character catches up with a current character in about 6 weeks after which they will be equal in power. The estimation assumes the character has no implants or learning skills, both of which can decrease this time. This does mean that Apocrypha characters will have slightly fewer skillpoints for the first weeks but instead they are a lot more customizable. In a week they are likely to be better in a narrow field than the old ones due to their increased training speed. When they catch up they will be superior in a single function.

The main point here is that this will increase a new player's understanding of his skills. Today it's near impossible to remember all these skills one starts with and how they work. But if you start with less and get most of the skills while experimenting to find your own path, learning about your skills becomes much more enjoyable and you become efficient and useful sooner than otherwise possible.

More choice, more flexibility, more power!