We’ve been doing null survival now for a couple of years now. We think we have a pretty good program. We have a system in place to get new players and veteran carebears into null sec as painlessly as possible. Our graduation requirements are pretty well laid out: complete two classes on null survival, two on basic combat piloting, travel successfully through null sec on a timed skills test, and get some combat experience with the staff and students in Camp Curse. Most of the feedback we get from students is positive.
Well, people who quit is feedback too.
I’ll grant you that. We’re always trying to improve retention. Our rules restrict students into high sec until they’ve completed null survival training and we’ve always thought that many people just are unwilling to wait too long to get their feet wet, but we always encourage people to be patient.
You can’t win them all.
A couple of weeks ago, I interviewed with Alexia Morgan, who also known by her alter ego, Black Claw. Black Claw is the founder of Open University of Celestial Hardship, which was born from Alexia’s vision of creating a “school of hard knocks” for null sec life.
Alexia has a new corp and a new blog, Touring New Eden, which is going back to the roots of OUCH’s training program. It’s a loose organization of nomads and pacifists who just want to go where they want to go, and live where they want to live, peacefully. Few rules. No PvP. No killboards. No taxes. Like OUCH, Alexia plans to teach players how to survive in the harsh environment of New Eden.
Alexia calls it a corp for “hippie space ninjas.” /laughs
My discussion with Alexia made me take a look at OUCH’s null survival program from a different angle. I’ve always measured OUCHs success by two yardsticks: OUCH’s rank on Battleclinic, now just under 500, as a gage of OUCH as combat pilots, and the number of Graduates, as a gage of OUCH’s success as a training corp. The number of graduates has been traditionally low but completing the Null Sec Survival Course can be a serious investment in your time, and lots of people just want to Do PvP Now! On the other side, some people just don’t want to PvP at all. We’ve had quite a few pilots who joined OUCH, graduated and went right back to high sec to build their industrial empires.
So I went thought OUCH’s records: each student’s training record for the past two and a half years, and wonder of wonders, for every two Graduates, three students take the null survival portion of the course and quietly move on.
Now, I don’t think it’s going to change how we do things in OUCH. To survive in the Sandbox, people are welcome to join us and get the training that they think they need. But looking at it from a different perspective has given me another yardstick to measure OUCH’s success.
Not too shabby.
No, not at all.