Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Machines are Winning

No, I haven't tried a burner mission yet.  I've knocked over just a few lvl4's and haven't had one pop yet.  Has been one of those weeks at work.... little time for EVE.

The stats posted by CCP Fozzie (see this Mike Azariah post) are interesting.  "On day one, 207 Burner NPCs died, but they killed 1563 capsuleer ships. The machines are winning."  Learning curves are a good thing.

I did go get my Hawk out of deep storage and am wondering what other ships I should go invest in.  Watched a few youtube vids of guys getting their asses kicked by burners; kinda scares me (a good thing).  But, the thought of spending battleship money on a faction frig so that I can lose it the first time I misclick is giving me pause.  Maybe I should go play around on SiSi a bit.

It's a holiday weekend in the U.S., so I'm hoping the lvl4 agent smiles favorably on me.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Apologizing for PVE

Sugar posted her CSM update earlier today, and as I read it on my phone this morning I had to cock my head a bit.  Let me quote and add some emphasis:

At the start of our Term CCP Fozzie told us that he was looking to add a new type of mission. It is one of those things where everyone said "yes please!" On Monday, CCP Seagull released the news and CCP Fozzie followed up with a dev blog about the missions. 
Now, the reaction was not what I expected. I expected that i would sit here and respond to complaints that CCP was working on PvE content. All of the things about it, such as it being skippable, in the regular level fours but not decreasing access to the normal mission pool, and using frigates were supposed to be the defense for them. The idea of giving mission runners something new to try and a reason to try out frigates and fighting styles that are not optimal battleship blitzing seemed amazing.

I find it odd that a game company would find themselves compelled to rationalize/apologize in advance for adding new content, or trying to find ways of reusing existing assets (ships) in new and exciting ways.

I'm sure it's frustrating at times for CCP; they can't seem to make a sandwich for lunch without someone starting a threadnaught to tell them they're doing it wrong.  (OMG! I said NO MAYO! Wtf CCP?  /unsub 57 accounts).

It's just weird, is all, that in a game with fairly poor PVE that the devs would feel so guilty about trying to address some of PVE's issues that they'd let the apology/defense affect the development strategy.

I'm not making a particular accusation for/against CCP or the CSM on this particular addition ... my only point is:  these are strange times we live in.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Back on the Front Burner

Okay, today was the day this blog was built for - the (hopefully) beginning of a long series of PVE additions.   Let's break down today's dev blog on BURNER MISSIONS:
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....

Monday, August 11, 2014


I know everyone is combing through the WH changes (and for good reason) but ... just read this in today's dev blog:

A new kind of Level 4 missionsTake on a single, powerful enemy using fitting skills and combat tactics in new optional level 4 missions for frigate size ships that will be available from all security agents in Empire space. An upcoming dev blog will present the new missions.

Love for lvl4's - check.
Small ship PVE - check.

These are words I never thought I'd see in a dev blog.  Sadly, there is already some angst about it.  For me, it's a good thing.  It's not much info yet, but I'll take it!

Alpha State

"Everything that has a beginning has an end."  That's one of my favorite quotes from the Matrix 2.  It has to do with the ...