Thursday, June 11, 2015

Quality of Life for the Mission UI

I've been running lvl4's lately, enjoying the added variety of BC-sized Burners, Team Burners, Single Frigate Burners, and of course... Silence the Informant.

(Side note:  So far I'm still running about a 5:1 burner to vanilla ratio following the Carnyx patch but I really don't have all that much data).

Paying attention to LP payout, burner rates, and how often Buzz Kill seems to spawn (grrr, that mission), it reminded me that I wanted to do a post about the mission log and some Quality of Life UI improvements.

So here are three upgrades that I'd like to see....

1. Mission History Log - First things first, there should actually be a mission log.  And by that I mean not just what's currently open, but also a filterable list that shows the missions you've done or declined.  Basically it's a version of the Transactions tab in your wallet for the Mission screen.  All this data I'm collecting for mission rates should be in the game; I should be able to tell if the LP offered for saving the Damsel is the same now as it was 3 months ago.

Statuses would include:  Offered, Expired, Declined, Active, Objective Met, and Complete.

I'd stop short of capturing things like ship fits or damage in/out - this isn't a killboard, it's just a transaction log.

For bonus points, I'd make the mission name clickable to be able to get back to the mission text after you've completed the mission.

Extra double bonus points for a search box that would let me search my history for things like 'Anomic Agent' or 'Damsel.'

Why doesn't the game have a screen like this?

2. Mission Roadmap - The Opportunities interface is such a cool looking tool, I really want to steal it and put it to work for Missions and Exploration/Escalations.  For missions, I want it to roadmap out the multi-part missions (the ones that currently say 1 of 5, or whatever).

The SOE Arc somewhat has this, but honestly never clicked for me, and I'd rather have it for "normal" missions.

And while you're doing that UI, I'd say CCP should add in a Mission Bank.

What's a mission bank?  Glad you asked.

3. Banking Missions - Sometimes a long mission will pop and I'm like "oh, that's a cool one. But I'm tired right now and I'd rather not tackle AE4 at the moment."

Or maybe a burner pops at the end of my session and I decide to save it for the start of the next session vs. losing ships while I'm tired.

Whatever the reason, this is sometimes the difference between me staying on another 30 minutes or logging off early.  Or sitting in station and spinning my ship while I chat a bit.  If you're in the MMO business, I think rule #1 is: Never give your players an excuse to logoff for the night; give them 3 carrots to stay logged in.  Rule #2 is Don't give players a reason to stay in town (i.e. docked up), get them out on the countryside where interesting things happen.  The current mission system breaks BOTH rules.

So, I'd like to take that cool/long/difficult mission and set it aside momentarily (vs. declining it or logging off) and accepting another mission from the same agent to keep me going.

Just for giggles, let's say I can bank 2 missions and have 1 active.

If I didn't feel like doing the Anomic Agent right now, I could swap it for one of the other two....
Yes, this means I'll be able to cherry pick a little bit.  There's probably a way to min/max that and break the system.  Maybe that's ok; people min/max the existing system already in a dozen different ways.

But, in an attempt to keep us SOMEWHAT honest, let's say that each mission you complete decreases the remaining time-until-expire counter for any job in the bank by some chunk of time (4 hrs? 10 hours?). In other words, your agent isn't going to have much patience for you if you say "yah, I'll take that mission" and then you continually put it off in favor of other jobs.  She's going to tap her foot and then finally yank the work and give it to someone else.

For bonus points, the mission bank would show ALL active missions, for those brave souls who take missions from multiple agents at once.

For super-extra bonus points, I should be able to merge my mission bank with my Fleet's so I can see what they have active and vice versa.  Let's start building in some tools for *gasp* people coordinating in Missions.

What's Playing:  A Perfect Circle, Mer de Noms, The Hollow


  1. how would you normally handle buzzkill? I normally use a domi with 5 wardens warped to site at 100. Less incoming damage for the distance, so more tracking and damage mods. A couple of sensor boosters for range and lock speed. add an auto to high for more locks.

    if you want annoying, then serpentis Blockade with damps.

    1. "Poorly" is the answer you your main question. :)

      Historically, this was a mission I'd do with the Sacri. Took awhile and the inbound dps during some of the waves will make the HAC tank wince. But was an opportunity to fly a different ship, as in "screw it, it's going to suck, I may as well get out something different."

      More recently I modified my golem fit slightly to use an explosion radius rig, and a 2nd painter. This helps a ton against enemy AFs.

      Sniper ship and engage at range is probably the "right" way to do this, but the moment I go fit one, it will stop spawning (so maybe I should, hah).

      PS: Blockade with damps doesn't bother me... Bastion Mode blocks it like magic.

    2. Last night Buzz Kill spawned and I grabbed my Golem and some T2 Precision cruise. It helped a ton. Still don't like the mission, but the LP is nice.


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