I hit Poetic Stanziel's blog this morning. When Poetic was new and Drama Llama-ing away, I used to follow her religiously. I found her very entertaining, but nowadays, I've got so much more to read.
That being said, today Poetic put up a post entitled Protecting Our Newbies. In it she talked about helping new players, not by giving them stuff, but by teaching them stuff. She'd like to see more of it.
We already exist. Poetic's written about us once, but doesn't really know anything about us. Unfortunately, sometimes it seems that OUCH is New Eden's best kept secret.
So below, I'm reposting the first post from the Life on the Bubble section of the OUCH forums, written in September 2011.
And yeah, I don't know if Poetic is a girl or a guy, but I'm assuming that everyone playing Eve is playing their own sex, until someone tells me that they are not. Personal pronouns are hard.
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Open University of Celestial Hardship [OUCH] gets its members one of two ways: People find us on the internet, through a forum or blog, or someone they know points them in our direction.
Me? My RL best friend sent me here to work on my PvP skills, with the eventual goal of joining his hard core PvP corp. 20 million skill points later, the business of teaching null survival still seems much more enjoyable than fighting for sovereignty.
OUCH has developed a program where a pilot with little to no experience, can join and get the basic training they need to travel and survive in low and null security space. Many corporations, large and small, appreciate the level of competence they’ve seen in our graduates. They enthusiastically request that we forward our graduates to them.
On paper, this is a great idea. In reality, it’s a bucket full of fail. Here’s why:
When a student joins OUCH, it’s usually after they’ve done all the research and decided that OUCH was the right place for them to learn something. They graduate and have to decide between staying in OUCH to help teach, or move on to play their own Eve.
When a graduate decides to move on, it’s usually because it was part of their original plan. They complete training and leave to rejoin their old corp, or leave to join the corp of their dreams, or leave to try to build a corp of their own. Otherwise, they stay for the ride. This means that a corporation passively recruiting from OUCH is dependent on successful OUCH recruitment followed by a failure of OUCH retention.
Ask yourself this question: When the OUCH graduate is deciding what they want to do at this critical point in their Eve career,
What does your corp have that makes it the right choice for them?
Stop. All the things that you’re listing in your head, there are a hundred corps offering the same thing. What you need to offer the potential recruit is a home. The problem is the seasoned players you really want already have homes. They’re playing their Eve. That leaves you with new players, the ones that haven’t made up their mind what their game is. These players typically don’t have the skills you need to help make your corp successful, unless you are willing to make a healthy investment of your time into developing them as players.
We can help. Let OUCH help you by giving those players a step up. If you’re actively searching for new members, and you find some new, untried but enthusiastic recruits, send them through OUCH’s null sec survival program. Make graduation from our course of study as a requirement to join your corp.
In other words, make Open University your corps Basic Training Course. A good player can complete the OUCH course in less than a month. A great player, or one with a lot of time on their hands, can complete the course in a little over a week, schedule permitting.
One of the most successful corporate uses of OUCH we have experienced is by a PvP corp that sends recruits to OUCH, with the caveat that after they graduate, they will be welcome to join their corp. They keep tabs on their recruits and receive an assessment of their recruit’s performance during their time in OUCH.
This is a corp that is actively recruiting experienced PvPers. The ones that don’t quite make the grade, they give them the option to go to OUCH and get some training, get some small gang experience, graduate and apply to their corp. They are weeding out the weak, because since some of their recruits don’t finish our training, they haven’t wasted time investing in a player that can’t follow directions. This corp has no standing with OUCH (we frequently shoot at each other) but uses OUCH as their Boot Camp. They mentor their recruits through our program and are standing in the aisle when they graduate to bring them home to celebrate.
What does OUCH get out of it? New blood. It’s kind of hard to teach without students. We’re looking for corporate partners who want to use our product, null sec survival training, to their advantage, by feeding us with pilots to train. We want partners who actively recruit for themselves, but send their recruits to us first for training. Partners who would rather take the chance at getting a trained pilot than pad their membership rolls with untrained ones. If we’re successful, these students will be the solid foundation of several good corps throughout New Eden, and all it will cost is a little time and patience.
Make Open University your corporation’s Rookie Corp. You won’t be sorry.