Learning Curve for MMORPGs

All games have learnings curves, the time it takes you when you first start playing to the time where you actually know what your doing. World of Warcraft for example is very easy to pick up, only takes about 30 mins to an hr to get settled in and going. Other games however have a slight steeper learning curve. I saw this pic on Digg.com today and thought it was hilarious, so take a look, I’ll wait.

Funny, right? Although in the graph the person who made it used Eve: Second Genesis which is a card game not MMORPG, but I’m not sure if that was intentional or a mistake. Anyway the point is that Eve Online is a hell of a hard game to learn. I gave it a shot a while back with the free trial. Got about 6-7 hrs worth of game play and quit as I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I went through the tutorials and asked about a thousand questions in the player chat, but I just couldn’t get a grasp on it. Which brings me to my question for this article. How much time do you put into a game before you give up? What’s a reasonable amount of time?

No offense to Eve players but for me if I can’t get the hand of a game within 5 hrs I out. To me at that point there is obviously some interface and possible gameplay flaws that are just not making the game intuitive. No game should take 5 hrs to get comfortable with, I’m not saying you have to be good in 5 hrs, I’m just saying you should have a pretty good concept of what your doing. However I don’t want this turning into a Eve Online bashing article so I will say that whenever I read something about Eve, I wish that I had stuck with it cause it seems like the games right up my ally, harsh PvP action, I just wish it didn’t need to spend 2 weeks learning how to play it.


  1. Two weeks? You can learn to play EVE in two weeks?

    Does this involve attending an expensive EVE boot camp at a remote Icelandic campground?

    Okay, I guess you could learn about a specific aspect of EVE pretty well in two weeks if you threw yourself into it. Being at the casual end of the spectrum (i.e. house, wife, child, and job demands come first) I think in my year plus I have barely scratched the surface.

  2. To start off I would like to inform you that “Eve: Second Genesis” was an expansion to the EVE game before it was made into the card game… just to let you know, not to bash you or anything.

    I play EVE tons, and I agree that I spent 4 hours when I started. And I had NO clue what I was doing… So I took my noob ship out and just mined to make some money, and looked for a corp to join…

    That is the big thing about EVE you HAVE (or at least in my opinion should) to be in a corp! That is what kept me going actully .. I would have stopped after my trial if i didn’t find a corp to join.
    I was really lucky i fond a GREAT corp and made some friends right off the bat, and that is what kept me going.

    The tutorials will teach you alot about how to move around in the game, but wont help you find out WHAT you want to do in the game. Having a corp with friends/ people who have been around the block will help you figure out what there is to do, and what you want to do.

    And to help grow my roommates corp:

    If you want to try it again, EVE-mail me in-game and i can help you learn the game. My game name is same as my posting name, and if you don’t want to look up: Opiboble Inte

    The one “CON” I see with eve is when you start playing it can be over whelming and there is so much to do you don’t know what to do, or are supposed to do.

    The best tip ever: MAKE FRIENDS IN THE GAME, lol, in eve friends are a must… if you want to be a loner, well it is do able but you wont get very far.

    opiboble inte out.

  3. The reason World of Warcraft is intuitive, is because you’ve seen it all before. Once your intuition adapts to fit Eve, you’ll call it ‘intuitive’ as well.

    Frankly the difficulty of mastering Eve is one of its major selling points. To understand and use knowledge of things like… turreted weapon transversal tracking rates… or vessel signature radii… or what have you, is something that comes naturally only to a veteran. And veterans deserve to be better than newbies by means of their knowledge.

    This system is vastly superior to games like WoW, where veterans are superior to newbies only via level and gear. In Eve, a two day old player stands a good chance of killing a two YEAR old player, if he knows what he’s doing. But, to know what he’s doing, he has to earn the knowledge – and that’s a trial by fire.

  4. I think the learning curve very much represents the difficulty of the game. The biggest problem however is that a steep learning curve in the first 15 minutes to hour of gameplay can dramatically affect the adoption of a game from a marketing stand-point, since that is the time where the player should go through the most basic templates of a game’s various aspects and have a extremely loose understanding.
    I think the reason that I was able to grasp onto EVE: Online for the period that I did play it is simply because I had a loose grasp of engineering, economy, and have played games like Homeworld where the combat is very similar in it’s 3 dimensional tactics and planning. In other words, I came prepared with some advanced knowledge, so I was further along the learning curve than most.

  5. Among the EVE community the steep early learning curve is called the “idiot filter” and it seems to work well at keeping out the kind of moronic players you get on WoW. Except for Goonfleet of course.

  6. I just started playing Eve about a week ago on the trial and after going thru about 3-4 hours of feeling lost, I learned enough to get around. I’m gonna give it 3 months and see how it goes. WoW is so popular because even the stupid can learn in 5 min…..lol. IT’S all about the UBER GEAR!!

  7. i don’t know why everyone is bashing wow when there both Good mmo’s just wow is a fantasy game like dungeons and dragons and eve is a massive space faring super game, there completely different i play both of them and i would say there equal in the respect they perfect there strengths wow with its balance of class’s and dungeons and raids, and eve with its super huge scale and 3 dimensional tactics etc with corps and just the thrill of being a captain of your little ship and if you get big enough can manipulate the entire game economy

  8. Well.. I have played eve since Beta 2003, and granted it does have a steep learning curve when it comes to “bieng able to to everything” but actually its not that hard of a game to learn, if you like the type of game eve is (usually you are average age 35 or so because young ppl want instant gratification and eve does not offer that) you will be willing to take the time to get into it and learn some small part and then move on to the next part that pulls you in.

    It has empire (protected) space for noobs to learn to spread thier wings… a middle ground (lowsec) and an expert area (nullsec). You can choose to be a miner/builder type, supplying the denizens of eve with the ships they fight in, or a fighter, a pirate, inventor, seller/trader… whatever… there are tons of niche carreers that are all in thier own right difficult to learn and thus you feel a sense of accomplishment when you succeed.

    Also its one of the few games that, due to the nature of nothing comming easy, actually gives you a real rush when you lose something… cause it took you real time and effort to get it. Unlike games like WoW where you just respawn with no real loss… there is no “rush”.

    This is why I still play eve to this day, I have been leader of a 4000+ man alliance and have flown everything in the game. Eve keeps evolving and I keep playing. If for nothing else than for my friends that I have been playing with for years and are closer to me than some of my IRL friends.

    So you missed out by quitting after 5 hours. 5 hours is not enough to even get an inkling of an idea of what the huge world of possibility that is eve, has to offer.

    Try it again, and have a little patience. You wont regret it. Also the tutorials have been fully revamped to make things easier for new ppl.

    Remember: everything in eve takes some time and effort… and thank god for that. Its what makes the game great. Instant gratification = instantly forgotten.

    ///Carl Tremura – Former leader of Systematic Chaos
    CEO – Ceptacemia

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