Saturday, March 14, 2015


As we get close to the CSMX election results announcement (and FanFest), I thought I'd put some text down about what kinds of things I'd like to see in the PVE-realm over the next many months.

When I got started, there were really 2 posts that I wanted to get written and published.

While sitting on the airport this week, I started thinking about what I'd change in PVE if I could just change ONE thing. This led in a few tangential ideas, which I'll hopefully be posting over the next few days.

But as a stepping stone, I wanted to rehash a couple ideas from these original posts.  Burners are very VERY similar to my Expert Missions proposal, but don't line up in a couple of important ways.

1. Manifesto
2. Expert Missions

I'd had these sentiments bottled up in my head for awhile, and I began this blog with full intent of working the ideas out into something presentable.  So I wrote, put them out there, and felt better.

And then a funny thing happened:  Burners.  At the point I started this blog to ramble about PVE, our friends at CCP were already well on their way to implement some frigate PVE, and a few short weeks after I set up shop here the content was being released.  Timing, as they say, is everything.

So queue up the flashback sequence....

I'll quote myself a few times and then expand on the idea or explain why it's maybe still relevant.

Most of this applies simply to Agent Missions, because that's where I spend most of my PVE time.

Manifesto article first:
[#3 -] Small Ships are underutilized for PVE.  ...  We've live in an era where endgame PVE combat means basically one thing: blingy battleships piloted by risk adverse farmers.  CCP has done an excellent job of remapping many of the small ships into roles for PVP.  In line with #1 above, I think that small ship PVE could be part of the answer, if systems were put in place to make it viable.

Burners were a good first step here, but there are still gaps in the "PVE ship spectrum."  Today, we don't fly many ships because there's no penalty for grabbing the next bigger hull and having the luxury of a sloppy fit.

I'd like to have a reason to wring the last drop of performance out of more hulls the same way that we work on optimizing fits for AFs & Faction frigs for Burners.

I'd love to see PVE expanded around the rest of the frigate spectrum, destroyers, cruisers, etc.  And I don't just mean "Cruiser Burners" (although that would be cool).  I'm looking for a systematic approach to making more ships desirable (including tech1), either via difficulty bonuses or hull restrictions.

Right now the only drawback to up-shipping is a notional penalty to mission completion time.  When I hump lvl3s for standings, I generally grab the Sacriledge to gain speed by having a more nimble ship and spending less time locking small targets (compared to the Golem).

Bonus points for specific scenarios that favor a particular outfitting - for example a scenario where a Sniper does better, or another where a Brawler is the preferred fit.  Ship-fitting and understanding the combat engine is a minigame that can become quite addictive.  The current Burners do a reasonable job of mixing up the strategies; please continue CCP.

And now a couple of snippets from the Expert Missions Proposal:
Exportable killmail for Missions. We love bragging rights; let's bring the killboard mentality to PVE. Ships killed, damage done, elapsed time, etc.. This isn't WoW in space; we don't want an achievement system or omgdpsmeters. But we should be able to track/share our progress in some way. The EVE way to do this is make the data available to the community and let us nerds sort it out.
I still think that an export system for PVE could change the game.  Some ways good, some ways maybe bad, but I think it would be a net positive.

There have been times when I wanted to dig back through my "missions completed" list to figure out if I'd done a certain mission, how much a certain mission paid out for Agent X vs. Agent Y or how many missions I had completed since the last burner, etc.   Other than counting mission payouts in the wallet (ugh) there is no ingame mechanic to track this (and no report that gives LP earned per mission), which seems lame.
More risk, and rewarding that risk. Mission runners HATE losing their ships, but I might be inclined to risk a t2 fit assault frigate trying to earn a 2E Killmail by using an AF instead of a HAC.
Burners gave us challenging missions where success isn't guaranteed.  Some players still shun them, and that's fine.  I do think that a "difficulty bonus" should be available to pilots who want to take on large-ship content in smaller ships. Bonuses are tricky, because people will figure out a way to optimize the system and use it for farming purposes, but I think it's worth talking about.

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