One of the primary missions at EVE University is to teach new players starting the game from a background with little to no knowledge of the mechanics and nuances of EVE Online – arguably one of the most difficult sandbox MMOs currently on the market. In a world so daunting, classes may seem like a terrific way to learn. But there will be times when there isn’t an important class you need available, and a tedious gap in your knowledge that you are burning to fill. What do you do?
Chances are, your assigned Mentor will be your first calling point.
The Mentor program was established to give students that close tutor support they may need to help them get started with their first steps. Want to know how PI works? Your Mentor will point you in the right direction. Concerned how your PVP fit is? Your Mentor will give you unjudgemental advice and assistance.
We took a little time to speak to Alastar Frost, the Mentor Manager at EVE University.
Zeroniss: Thanks for speaking to me today Alastar. What is the role of the Mentor Manager in the management heirarchy?
Alastar Frost: I am the one who runs the Mentor Program, together with my assistants Haxxi and Lisgar. We help new students by assigning them experienced players for their first few month in play.
Z: How does a Mentor contribute to the way a student learns and grows?
AF: For a student in our program, his mentor is the first person to turn to if he gets stuck somewhere in the game. The first person to ask for guidiance if he does not know what to train next and what profession fits him best. He is the one that helps him over the huge cliffs when starting out in EVE, so a Mentor has a very important role.
Z: I can imagine. So what is the process for becoming a Mentor? What are the basic requirements?
AF: This is very simple process. Just read the requirements on our UniWiki page and if you fit those requirements, you can apply. There is a simple form that you have to fill in. If you have done so, I will send out an interview sheet with some basic questions and try to catch you online for a quick chat. If that goes well, you will become Mentor.
The basic requirements are having spent a bit of time in EVE University, and that you have some experience in the game. Thats why we want our Mentors to ideally be Graduates – the title covers both of these roles. The second requirement is the will to help and dedicate some time to the task. We expect mentors to care about their assigned students, so 1 hour per week to walk them through things, and answeringing your mentees mails and chat questions regularly can be seen as a minimum.
We aim for mentors to stay in the programme for about 6 months but this is not always the case. That sounds like a lot, but as we assign mentees for 3 month and there is a little time needed until someone fits that mentor, the period is understandable. We want to avoid constant reassignments with that. Of course we make exceptions if some real life or other issues come into play, but its a general aim.
Z: Ah so there is a bit of a commitment involved then, kind of like looking after a ward almost. Is it rewarding?
AF: Oh of course. I had two mentees myself, and we had a lot of fun together. It’s a great feeling to help someone. We had some great discussions about ship fittings, which also helped me as I had to review some of my old fits as a result. We also did missions together, wich was a great experience. The mentees saw some exciting stuff they could not do by themselves at that time, like a look into a bright future. And for me it is always great to see the missions again from the eyes of a new player, and the giddy excitement they feel when they cash in their first battleship kill bounty.
And finally, EVE is about community. and becoming a mentor is great to get involved and meet some people. You watch these players develop and become great in their own right, and make some terrific contacts in the process.
Z: This all sounds very interesting, and a great place to get involved if you like sharing your knowledge about EVE, or just enjoy discussing the game in general, especially with newer players. Does the Mentor Department have any exciting plans for the future?
AF: The Mentor Program is a great experience, yes, and we are always looking for new Mentors. We have a couple of surprise events planned for the future, but I won’t mention more details here!
Z: Thank you very much for your time, Alastar, and I wish you the best of luck in recruiting more Mentors.
Are you an experienced pilot looking to give back to the University? Sign up to the Mentor Program today and know that you are making a difference – details can be found here. Alternatively, are you a little new and looking for a bit of a helping hand? Look no further and apply for a Mentor – details can be found here.