There are few MMOs on the market today that can seem as intimidating to a new player as EVE Online. Some of this comes from the infamous things people have heard about the game, tales of deception and betrayal, but there is a fair amount of complexity to EVE as well and no shortage of digital villains prowling New Eden's thousands of solar systems injecting risk into the game.
The first days and weeks of gameplay experienced by many pilots has led to more than a few descriptions of the experience as an initiation of sorts, conjuring up images of hazings, an analogy that actually holds true in many respects. Anyone who sticks with the game learns through trial and error that the setting of New Eden, by design, can be quite harsh. Even if you're not into PvP, it pervades EVE Online; at the very least players who are to succeed in the game must ultimately learn to adapt and evade the more malevolent players, if not defend themselves from attackers directly.
While EVE will likely never be as easy to get a handle on as some other MMOs out there -- the game's depth and complexity actually being a major draw for its subscribers -- CCP Games has taken steps to better ease new players into New Eden with the New Player Experience (NPE) which was part of the Apocrypha expansion launch. But is EVE's New Player Experience, which does not separate rookie pilots into a safe zone to learn the ropes, the right way to introduce players to the game? This is the focus of a WarCry article by Steven Croop titled "Aura is Aura by Any Other Name".