"What would we encourage ALL new players to do in their first month to get them to subscribe long term, if we had to give out one set of advice for everyone (which we do if we're giving general advice)?"
Usually my advice for new players is entirely functional - what skills to train, what modules to buy, what ships to aspire to, what areas of space to migrate to.
But the question has me thinking: what's the hook that brings you back, year after year? What's that intangible mystery extra something that makes EVE our home?
And how do you give those measles to a new player?
And how do you avoid the false hook - the temporary high - that causes players to flare rapidly and then burn out after 4 or 6 weeks?
These are all rhetorical questions because the answer is going to be different for most of us. Heck the answer has likely changed for me a few times over the years; not only has EVE grown but I have too.
But let me give 3 bits of advice that might help frame up the game.
1. Pick a Fight. As I was typing, I was reminded of the scene in Fight Club where the students are told to go get into a fight.
"How much can you know about yourself, [if] you've never been in a fight?"And I don't mean go gank someone. We're talking about noobies here, likely poor in isk and light on skills. Maybe they didn't finish the tutorial even.
For some characters, this might mean that the planets align and they get sucked into a lowsec public roam. Not every new player could handle this, and honestly it's a too ideal situation to expect to happen often. *plop* dropped smack in the middle of a Fleet. Some of the recent new players have said they did this and they had a blast. This is as close to the THIS IS EVE trailer that an hours-old player might be able to get.
For the rest, "pick a fight" might be more humble. I'm reminded of the Ibis Fights that we used to do as a Corp back a decade ago. Two players, squaring off like jousters, blasting away with civvie gatling guns while the others orbited and waited their turn. It was a great social event, taught some people about transversal and orbiting, and we blew stuff up.
I have another post started about reaching out and finding people and what a difference it makes in your gameplay, but I'll summarize as this: Some of us choose to fly mostly solo, but we still need the interaction that a good public channel can bring. That may or may not be in a corporation. It may or may not even be ingame (this blog counts as interaction for me, yes indeedy).
Corps are fine and all, but I'd rather train a new player to seek out and find new interactions rather than waiting for the Corp CEO to hand his gameplay to him.
3. Get Involved. It's easy to get swept up into isk/hr or leveling up into a certain ship. But if that's your focus, you'll possibly (probably) burn out in a few weeks or months. You'll hit those targets and maybe not have anything behind it to take its place. What makes EVE so powerful is the community that surrounds it. Once you follow advice #2 above, find yourself a niche and Get Involved.
Hidden in this wave of new players are future CEOs and Alliance Leaders. Some of them are future industrial kingpins, future FCs, or maybe the logistics pilot with clutch heals in a null fight that turns a battle around. Maybe among this wave are future CSM members, and heaven forbid - bloggers.
Nobody is going to hand them these roles. There's no divine intervention that proclaims who will be a CEO and who won't. It's the people that Get Involved and take their turn at the wheel that moves our community forward.
That's a lot of responsibility for someone with a month or less of play time. But the beginnings can be humble - join that public roam, take an EVE Uni Class, hang out on that CSM's public channel. Ask questions. Answer other people's questions. Get Involved.
What's Playing: The Black Keys, Little Black Submarines, Lowlands Live