Caution, I doubt many will find this interesting. One of the CCP dev’s mentioned on Twitter that they’d be interested in feedback on the current NPE so I present it here. Detail is first followed by suggested improvements and any positives I found. I set up a brand new trial account to do this. This post is also, very long!
So on my first entry into the game after creating the character I’m sent into my captain’s quarters. This is an environ which I am not familiar with as on my system the captains quarters puts too much strain on my PC/laptop. Swiftly then I click to Enter my ship hangar.
In my ship hangar then the first thing that comes to my notice is the constellation window in the bottom left corner. I have never, ever used this and am not sure why it’s opened by default. I right click it and close it.
Aura shows her first four tutorial windows to me in the bottom right and as someone colour blind I find the yellow and white on black very easy to read. I would like to see the window in the centre of the screen though. At stage 4/4 of this first tutorial I’m told that my next tutorial will be about moving around my Captains Quarters, remember I’m not in it anymore so I feel that this shouldn’t appear at this time. I quickly next, next through the two screens.
Tutorial 03, Skills (Caldari / Minmatar)
- On screen 1 of 6 I’m told I’m being given the Repair Systems skillbook. I’ve actually been given the Shield Operation skillbook and that is what shows in the display.
- Screen 2 of 6 I’m instructed to open the “items hangar”, whilst only a small grammatical point it should be the “item hangar”.
- On screen 3 of 6 I open my character sheet and am told to open my Character Sheet and then “skill queue”. At this stage to avoid duplication of stage 4 of 6 I would say to leave this at open your Character Sheet.
- Screen 4 of 6 makes sense with the amendment suggested to 3 of 6.
- Screen 5 of 6 tells us to drag the skill from our hangar into our skill queue; however it doesn’t tell us how to open it beforehand so now’s the time. Also, the screenshot tells me to add shield operation into the skill queue but the graphic shows me Repair Systems.
- Screen 6 of 6 simply tells us to move on once we’ve started training a skill. No problem there then.
Tutorial 04, The Pilot Certification Course
- Screen 1 of 2, probably worth mentioning that the agent can also be interacted with by double click.
- Screen 2 of 2, I would like to see mention of actually having to read through the mission text prior to pressing the accept button.
Mission 1: Covering the Basics
· Seems nice and straightforward at the outset.
Tutorial 05, The Ship Hangar Balcony
Single page tutorial. Again, this refers to the fact that I’m in the Captains Quarters, which as you’ll recall I’m not. Thus this isn’t relevant to me.
Tutorial 06, Undocking From the Hangar
Single page tutorial. Wants me to go to a balcony. As I’m in the hangar and not the Captains Quarters it actually gets stuck and I can’t advance using the next button. As a new player I would have to guess at how to undock.
On undocking the station I find page two of the tutorial which explains nice and clearly how to warp to the mission location.
Tutorial 7, Camera Movement
- Screen 1 of 3, explains nice and clearly how to move the camera around your ship.
- Screen 2 of 3, explains nice and clearly how to zoom the camera in and out.
- Screen 3 of 3, explains nice and clearly how to sue the “Free Look” function.
Tutorial 8, Basic Commands
- Screen 1 of 2, tells me to select the Acceleration Gate. As a new player how do I know what an acceleration gate is? The Acceleration gate on screen is called “Targeted Acceleration Gate”, I’ve no idea why.
- Screen 2 of 2, tells me how to activate the gate. Other than the naming description discrepancy above this is nice and clear.
Tutorial 9, Ship Movement
- Screen 1 of 5, tells me to board my ship and shows me a graphic of what I should see on my overview. The overview on my screen doesn’t even show the Ibis as, due to it not being sorted by distance it’s off the end of the page to me and I would have to scroll down to see it. There is also far more showing on my overview than on the graphic, largely due to Customs Offices. If they didn’t show up then my Ibis would also be visible.
- Screen 2 of 5, tells me about the HUD (Heads up Display). Overall I was pleased with the information presented, I only felt that it could be mentioned that shields naturally recharge themselves slowly in a similar vein to the capacitor.
- Screen 3 of 5, nice description of the selected items panel. Again the naming issue of the Acceleration Gate comes up when compared to the Targeted Acceleration Gate shown on screen; however the graphic matches even if the text doesn’t.
- Screen 4 of 5, Tells me to approach the “smaller structure”, the graphic below it depicts an Amarr Cargo Rig whilst I am presented with a Caldari Cargo Rig. I would suggest that instead of describing it as a “smaller structure” describe it as a “Cargo Rig”.
- Screen 5 of 5 was skipped and it jumped straight to Tutorial 10. I found the tutorial through the F12 menu and looking at it, it’s about manual piloting. Not sure if this would be the right place for this and that therefore is why it is skipped. If it’s not relevant at this point then it should be removed and this altered to a 4 screen tutorial stage, otherwise consider moving manual piloting to earlier on in this tutorial stage.
Tutorial 10, Looting
- Screen 1 of 2. Nice and clear.
- Screen 2 of 2. We are given this wall of text:
- “You are now looking at your ship's cargo hold in your Inventory Index. The cargo hold of the ship you intend to loot is also viewable from here. To loot an item, simply drag and drop it onto your active ship at the top of the Index. You may also press "Loot All" to move everything to your ship's cargo and remove that ship from the index at the same time.”
- I think it could be simplified thus:
- “You are now looking at your ship’s cargo hold. The cargo hold of the ship/structure you intend to loot is also viewable from here. To loot an item, select the ship/structure you wish to loot then drag and drop it into your active ship which will be shown at the top of the left hand window. You may also press "Loot All" to move everything to your ship's cargo and remove that ship from the index at the same time.”
Tutorial 11, Mission 1 Complete
- Screen 1 of 2. It tells us to return to station. To do so I must select the station on the overview. It would help if it told me what the station looked like so that I know it was the white square.
- Behind the tutorial window the Agent Conversation window had appeared.
- Screen 2 of 2. Again this could tell me that I can interact with the agent through double click. Also, as the agent conversation appeared when I completed the mission and I was not told to close it conversing with the agent again doesn’t actually do anything as the window is already on my screen.
Tutorial 12, Your Next Mission
Single screen tutorial, tells me to interact with the agent again, though the agent conversation window is still open.
Mission 2, Combat Basics
Destroy the fuel depot, and then destroy the pirates in the next area.
Tutorial 13, Fitting Your Ship (Caldari)
- Screen 1 of 3. Tells to open the fitting window, nice and clear. The second paragraph should probably be altered removing “Every station offers” and replacing it with “Stations offer” as not every station has repair facilities.
- Screen 2 of 3. I am given a Light Electron Blaster and a Small Shield Booster.
- Screen 3 of 3. I am told to drag and drop these modules into the fitting window to fit them to my ship. Nice and simple.
Tutorial 14, Undocking Instantly
- Screen 1 of 2, I am told to undock. Nice and simple.
- Screen 2 of 2, I am told to warp to my second mission. Again nice and simple.
Tutorial 15, Weapons: Hybrids
- Screen 1 of 3. Again the graphic doesn’t match, it shows a laser and multifrequency s not my blaster and antimatter charge s. Also, there should be a minor text change to from Antimatter S to Antimatter Charge S.
- Screen 2 of 3. Tells me a little about the ammunition and introduces me to how ammo type links to damage output.
- Screen 3 of 3. Instructs me to use the Acceleration Gate, again we have a Targeted Acceleration Gate so there is a text discrepancy.
Tutorial 16, Target Practice
- Screen 1 of 2. Destroy the Fuel Depot. The Fuel Depot doesn’t show on my overview. On selecting it I am told to click the “target” button and no the “Lock Target” button. There is no graphic for this as there have been for previous instructions like this. I do as instructed and shoot the Depot, which explodes and takes out a chunk of shields
- Screen 2 of 2. Tells me I’ve taken shield damage and instructs me to use my defensive module to repair it. It would be useful here to explain that the defensive module should be deactivated once the damage has been repaired thus preventing me from capping out. I am then told to use the Acceleration Gate to move to the next area.
Tutorial 17, Basic Combat
- Screen 1 of 4. I am told to find the red crosshair on the overview. My overview is still cluttered with Customs Offices and I cannot actually see the ship on the overview without scrolling down.
- Screen 2 of 4. Tells me how to lock an enemy ship. Nice and simple.
- Screen 3 of 4. Tells me to shoot then approach my target. Whilst ok, it works it leaves me stationary after the kill and taking more damage than I need to.
- Screen 4 of 4. Tells me to activate the defensive module to repair any damage. Nice and simple.
Tutorial 18, Mission 2 Complete
- Screen 1 of 2. Tells me to dock at the station. Nice and simple as long as I know what a station is as highlighted previously.
- Screen 2 of 2. Tells me to talk to the Agent and complete the mission. Pretty straightforward.
Mission 3, The Academy
Acquire Pilot Certification Documents from another system and deliver to the Agent.
Tutorial 19, Interstellar Travel
- Screen 1 of 6. Tells me how to Set Destination. The graphic shown is again Amarrian and not for the system I’m in.
- Screen 2 of 6. Tells me a little about stargates and my destination stargate being highlighted yellow. Nice and simple.
- Screen 3 of 6. Tells me to undock. Nice and simple.
- Screen 4 of 6. Tells me to warp to the gate at 0m. Nice and simple.
- Screen 5 of 6. Tells me to jump using the gate. Nice and simple.
- Screen 6 of 6. Tells me to warp to my mission location.
Tutorial 20, Inside the Academy
- Screen 1 of 3. Tells me to go and retrieve my Pilots Certification Documents from the Academy Office. They’re way down on my overview under 5 stargates and 5 stations but they’re there.
- Screen 2 of 3. Tells me how to use the Look At function. It would again be helpful to have a graphic here to show which the Look At button is. In addition only 1 ship shows on my overview without scrolling down. It would be helpful to tell us how to cancel the look at function too.
- Screen 3 of 3. Tells me about the Show Info function at a glance. Subsequently I am told to return to Aura to complete basic training.
Tutorial 21, The Mission Journal
- Screen 1 of 3. Tells me to open the Journal and read details of my current mission. Nice and simple.
- Screen 2 of 3. Tells me to set destination back to the system I came from using the information on in the window which appeared. The graphic shown is again Amarr and is also misleading as it implies that I should choose the destination which is displayed above “Reward” which is in actual fact the objective system, the one I am currently in.
- Screen 3 of 3. Tells me to warp to the stargate, jump and then dock up and speak with the Agent. Nice and simple.
Tutorial 22, Further Training
Single screen tutorial. Tells me that I’ve completed basic training and will be sent to other nearby Agents for more advanced training courses.
Mission 4, Moving Onwards
Transport Clearance Papers to another system.
Tutorial 23, Moving Onwards
- Screen 1 of 3. Tells me about navigating multiple jumps. Graphic is Amarrian and little misleading but we’re used to that now. I also feel that this text “Remember that any items you've acquired so far will remain in this system unless you take them with you.“ should be highlighted.
- Screen 2 of 3. Tells me how to complete the mission once I arrive at the destination. Tells me to put the item in my Cargo Hold. This was a little misleading as I still had the Clearance Papers from an earlier mission.
- Screen 3 of 3. Tells me about my stargates being highlighted yellow and also gives me brief detail on how Autopilot works.
Tutorial 24, Career Agents
- Screen 1 of 2. Tells me I’ve arrived and that I should see the Career Agents in the station panel.
- Screen 2 of 2. Tells me that a variety of mission types are on offer and they can be done in any order.
Suggestions Thus Far
- Do not open the constellation window by default.
- Relocate Aura tutorial windows to the centre of the screen as default, players still able to move them when desired.
- Make the tutorial on navigating the Captains Quarters appear only when in Captains Quarters.
- Tutorial 3 screen 1 of 6. Told I’m being given Repair Systems, actually given Shield Operation.
- Tutorial 3 screen 2 of 6. Grammatical change “items hangar” to “item hangar”.
- Tutorial 3 screen 3 of 6. Change “Open your Character Sheet and proceed to open your skill queue. It is highlighted now.” To “Open your Character Sheet. It is highlighted now.”
- Tutorial 3 screen 5 of 6:
- Needs to tell us how to open the skill training queue. I know there’s a white balloon that points to it, but something in the text to lead us to it would be helpful.
- Alter the graphic to show Shield Operation and not Repair Systems.
- Tutorial 4 screen 1 of 2. Mention that agent interaction can also be done via double click.
- Tutorial 4 screen 2 of 2. Insert a short paragraph between the two present indicating that the mission offered should be read through prior to hitting accept.
- Mission 1. I would highlight in the mission narrative the need to pick up the Clearance Documents.
- Tutorial 5 screen 1 of 1. As mentioned previously please detect whether the character is in the Captains Quarters and adjust the tutorial popups accordingly.
- Tutorial 6. As above, wants me to go to the balcony at the end of the walkway. Not relevant. Also at this point the tutorial will not let me advance.
- Tutorial 8 screen 1 of 2.
- Show the icon for the Acceleration Gate in the tutorial window so I know what to click on.
- The actual Acceleration Gate description in space is Targeted Acceleration Gate, it should either be called Acceleration Gate or the tutorial modified to give it the correct name as it appears in space.
- Tutorial 9 screen 1 of 5.
- Sort the overview by distance, nearest to furthest.
- Remove Customs Offices from the overview to remove clutter.
- Tutorial 9 screen 2 of 5. Expand the text next to Shields to mention that they naturally recharge slowly by themselves.
- Tutorial 9 screen 3 of 5. Adjust the text or Acceleration Gate name so that they match.
- Tutorial 9 screen 4 of 5. Adjust the description to change “smaller structure” to “Cargo Rig”. If it is possible to customise this by faction so that it said “Caldari Cargo Rig” then all the better.
- Tutorial 9 screen 5 of 5. My tutorial skipped straight to Tutorial 10 without showing this one. It’s about manual piloting so either needs to be removed and this made a 4 screen tutorial or the subject which this is about (manual piloting) moved to earlier in this tutorial.
- Tutorial 10 screen 2 of 2. Replace second paragraph with “You are now looking at your ship’s cargo hold. The cargo hold of the ship/structure you intend to loot is also viewable from here. To loot an item, select the ship/structure you wish to loot then drag and drop it into your active ship which will be shown at the top of the left hand window. You may also press "Loot All" to move everything to your ship's cargo and remove that ship from the index at the same time.”
- Tutorial 11 screen 1 of 2. Show me the icon for a station in the tutorial window.
- Tutorial 11 screen 2 of 2. Tell me that I can interact with the agent using double click.
- Tutorial 13 screen 1 of 3. The second paragraph should probably be altered removing “Every station offers” and replacing it with “Stations offer” as not every station has repair facilities.
- Tutorial 15 screen 1 of 3. Amend the graphic so that it shows a blaster loading antimatter ammo instead of a laser loading a crystal. Also amend where it says “select antimatter s” to “select Antimatter Charge S”.
- Tutorial 15 screen 3 of 3. Again either change the instruction to use the Targeted Acceleration Gate or change the name of the Acceleration Gate.
- Tutorial 16 screen 1 of 2.
- Add Large Collidable Structures to the default overview.
- Change “click on the target button.” To click on the Lock Target button.”
- Add a graphic showing the correct icon to press.
- Tutorial 16 screen 2 of 2. I would suggest altering paragraph 2 to something along the lines of “Use the defensive module you fitted to repair the damage, deactivating the module once the damage has been repaired. Deactivating the module avoids unnecessarily depleting the Capacitor”
- Tutorial 17 screen 1 of 4. Please organise the overview differently so that I can actually find the ship without scrolling.
- Tutorial 18 screen 3 of 4, Tells me to shoot and then approach target. This is not optimal for mitigating incoming damage so how about suggestion orbit instead?
- Tutorial 19 screen 1 of 4. Alter the graphic to be specific to the faction involved if possible as I was shown an Amarr graphic and not Caldari. I appreciate that this may not be possible.
- Tutorial 20 screen 2 of 3.
- Add a graphic showing the Look At button.
- The default overview also only shows me 1 ship as the rest would have to be scrolled down to.
- Tells us how to cancel the Look At function.
- Tutorial 21 screen 2 of 3. I should be instructed to Set Destination to the Drop-Off System and given an appropriate graphic.
- Tutorial 23 screen 1 of 3.
- Graphic is misleading as it shows an Amarr and not Caldari system.
- Highlight this “Remember that any items you've acquired so far will remain in this system unless you take them with you.” Text.
- Tutorial 23 screen 2 of 3. I still had Clearance Papers from an earlier mission, I would like to see this item consumed or destroyed in some way to avoid confusion.
- Colour use on Aura windows good from a colour blindness and clarity perspective.
- Tutorial 07, Camera Movement I found very clear and easy to understand.
- Tutorial 14, Undocking Instantly I found very clear and easy to understand.
Not so many positives there and that’s only the basic tutorials done. Over the course of the next week or two I’ll share my experience of each of the five Career Agent chains.
I bare no malice towards CCP in this exercise, I'm hoping that I can contribute to making the NPE a more streamlined one without re-inventing the wheel. Sure I'll have a few ideas at the end of this process but for the the time being this is about improving quality and removing annoyances.