Burner Missions are 100% optional. There will be no standings penalty for turning down or failing these missions. Your friendly neighborhood security agent knows that not every capsuleer will have the equipment or skills to take on these missions and won’t be offended if you decline.Optional is good. Some days you'll just not want to fuss with trying to refit a frig, or maybe the chair in your Golem is particularly comfy.
Burner Missions can only be completed in frigate-sized ships. The pirate Burners operate from bases protected by acceleration gates that only allow access for frigates. All types of frigates (Tech One, Tech Two and Faction) can enter the bases.
This is not a surprise given the preview we had a few days ago; still gets a thumbs up from me. Starting a wave of new content with frigs and working up is fine by me. Including t2 is a no brainer and mildly mandatory.
Burner Missions pit you against a single enemy NPC. This NPC is an extremely powerful frigate with stats based on those of a player flying a pirate frigate with officer/deadspace gear, pirate implants, and command links. All of these NPCs use warp disruption, and most of them use scramblers that turn off microwarpdrives the same way player scramblers do.This sounds ... mean. In a good way. Very much want to tangle it up with these new little bastards.
I gotta say, though, in my perfect world, we'd have this implementation (i.e. single boss) as well as a more traditional multi-npc armada facing you in any new small-ship PVE encounters (think: mini-mini-incursions). This sounds like it's being setup primarily to emulate 1v1 fights; I'd /also/ want some group encounters to batphone for backup on.
So, I like the ideas of having a harder AI to contend with and dismantle, and I like the idea of a mock-PVP situation. I just want more. :)
The fact that these missions can only be received as part of the random level 4 security mission pool should prevent them from being too farmable.
I'd rather queue up for new missions and only new missions rather than have to slog through the old "full sized" missions (legacy missions? what's the terminology to use here?) hoping one will pop. But I understand the economics/farming concerns. It all depends how "rare" rare is. If I can pull 1 or 2 of these a gaming session, I would no doubt be happy. If I go days without seeing one... meh. Once CCP learns a bit from the first pass, maybe they'll loosen up this restriction.
Bottom line: A solid first step. There's hints in the blog and on the comments page of a "first of many" approach, and maybe the new content deployment schedule will help us get incrementally more MORE.
Looking forward to flying a frigate again soon....