CCP Rise has recently published a dev blog detailing the upcoming changes to the new player experience. The new system will provide new players with "opportunities" to do things within the game, such as orbit a hostile NPC, buy something off the market or navigate space. These opportunities are not linear and can be completed with less restrictions as the current tutorials, while not providing any rewards for completion.
For those of us who have been advocating a change to the tutorial system, this comes as a pleasant surprise. The tutorial system was too limiting to be useful and the new opportunities will allow new players to experience the game in a truly open-ended environment. I think that this is great.
I am concerned, however, that the opportunities will not have any rewards. CCP stated that they don't want opportunities to have rewards because they don't want players to feel that they need to complete them. However, imagine starting out the game with no ISK and only your rookie ship. Where would you start?
With the ISK from tutorial missions, you have some options. I took the 6 million ISK from the tutorial missions (roughly) and started trading with it, turning it into a quarter of a billion within a week or two. But what would I have to do if instead I had no starting capital to work with?
My guess is that new players are either going to need to find generous benefactors or they're going to need to start playing the game by mining Veldspar. Earth to CCP: limiting the new player to mining to start the game might be worse than the current tutorial system.
I think a better route would be to allow new players to access many different styles of game play right from the very beginning. Give them some means to mine if they want to (i.e.: a venture), but also give them some means to do other things as well, such as getting started with missions, or PVP, or trading by giving them some small access to ships or capital. I don't mean a lot, I mean no more than what you would get from the current tutorial missions. Perhaps CCP will need to revisit level 1 missions and change them so that they provide the new player with the equipment that they need to get the job done.
I like where CCP is going with this and it's nice to see that the new player experience is something that they're focusing on. I just think that they have some more work to do. Perhaps CCP should try starting the game with only the rookie ship on their back and see how (or if) that limits them, then make changes from there.