So to do this I've started a couple of fresh clones and started from stratch to find the best combo of skills to give using the least SP. Now its been a couple of months since I checked out the NPE, so I didn't know what to expect.
It is a disaster.
The number of 20m+ SP players as gone up a great deal and although the concurrent numbers are beginning to edge up, these players as a percentage of the playerbase, are clearly increasing.
I was out of the Academy in two matches. Admittedly, I know what I'm doing so a novice might take a few more matches to get through. So what they hell are these players doing getting thrown into a match with players fielding prototype suits and weapons?
What kind of logic is that? It's like asking a recently graduated General Practitioner to perform open heart surgery with a steak knife!
How are we expecting the playerbase to grow when this is the experiance we ask them to face in their second hour of the game? Even Eve, the game with the infamous learning cliff, starts all its new subscribers in High Sec space with a series of PvE (which I know we don't have yet) that reasonably breaks them in with an explanation of the basics. Dust has none of that.
And those that repeat the oft spoken acronym HTFU in this situation have clearly no grasp of the reality of the situation.
The game is now as playable as it's ever been. The suits are about to finally get the full racial variants it should've had at launch. We have one set of complete racial weapons and soon a second. UI (while still far,far short of what is needed) provides a basic ability to run a corporation and have basic communications with rest of the community.
So to have all that work and effort from the Dev's and the feedback given to them, brought down at the very first hurdle is so disheartening it really want to make you bang skulls together. And I want the chance to be able to do something about it, direct at the source as well as in the game itself.
There's a couple of things that could be done that could bring immediate relief to those new players.
First of all, like the Acadamy, a couple of modes that allow only those players with less than a certain number of WP to enter, to prevent the Protostompers from getting in there. I'd say any more than 10,000 and you don't have access. This can be done with little effort because the Academy already does it but with a lower WP threshold. Do this while giving an accelerated built in SP active boost to new players so they can get to say 3 million SP a lot quicker.
The other thing that should be done but I know from sources is difficult to do at the moment, is remove vehicles from Ambush altogether. The cheapness and effectiveness against infantry of Militia tanks is putting a lot of new players off. And in the Academy, Veteran players are using the militia tanks with new clones to get their KDR jollies at the expense of new players. Seriously guys, you're killing the games growth.
So like I say, someone needs to stand up for the new player. These are the backbone of the future corporations in the game and we need these guys and gals to stay.