Player Features and Ideas Discussion

 
  • Topic is locked indefinitely.
 

Improving PVE Life, Immersion and the New Player Experience

Author
#1 - 2017-01-12 08:31:51 UTC
Warning: Long Post!
EVE is a great game, but I think we all have a sense that its potential is still enormous. Now with F2P and seeing my friends join the game for the first time, I felt I was able to see through their fresh eyes some of the issues of EVE...


Mission Improvements:
-PVE constitutes a huge portion of the game, and is some of the easiest content to get involved with and understand, as such it deserves attention!

Making Missions Alive:
I really liked the communication and involvement of the AI and NPC’s in the tutorial mission as it made it feel more alive and involved. I think such a format would represent an improvement to all missions. Instead of the Mission Agents ignore you after you undock, have them be involved with the mission! If what you're doing in that mission is important to that faction you'd think the Agent would show more interest in its completion! A step above this would even be having NPC support during missions. Your faction cares about you, and thus you care about your faction. Or this could even be taken a step further...

Public Missions:
Have missions come as faction related events in the world. Mission agents simply post location and status of nearby events and their approximate danger levels (1-4). You can choose an event and “accept” it which will mark you as a friendly/enemy for relevant NPCs, certainly arriving at random and joining a side should also be an option. Pay outs can then be distributed among participating pilots. To keep missions balanced, site difficulty can escalate with increased number of pilots. If NPCs or Capsuleers become too powerful on either side, NPC factions can supply appropriate escalation forces. Battles can be warp disruption free, with pay out based on the winning side, and player contribution. Players can pvp with the option to warp out, however warping out also lends itself to the engagement resulting in their factions retreat (and thus loss and lowered payout). This makes death in Missions a real but unlikely possibility as long as pilots are on their toes and pay attention to a developing combat scenario.

Large Events:
Major political shifts and battles can even be flagged as monthly or annual events, agents and relevant factions might set jump bridges to these major events during these large scale conflicts between the primary factions. These large scale mission events can even have impact on territory, causing star systems to change hands or security status. Potential objectives for players during these events could even be aiding the defense of other players who are passing through. Imagine Jita being defended against Sansha on the gates by droves of mission pilots complemented by the Caldari fleet (of course).


Tutorial Improvements:

Flight School:
Start new players on a separate server, where they complete a story arch that describes the history of their people and culture. Each story arch can be tailored to the perspective of the person’s race. As examples of missions along this introductory story arch:

Minmatar:
1. Your pilot is flying a shuttle carrying refugees after the Amarr attacked a Minmatar home world. You learn how to pilot a spacecraft and use basic flight controls to flee to safety, meanwhile your escape is back dropped by the sight of the massive Amarr fleet blasting away at the small Minmatar forces that are only present to help shelter your escape
2. You are handed blueprints in a station and commanded by your Amarrian overlord to get the material. You see cutscenes of your Minmatar brothers in chains as they carry ore out of the recently arrived cargo ship, and you plug the blueprint in through the computer console. (Think of this scene as being done from “Captain’s Quarters”)
3. As the final mission and sequence you are piloting a nimble minmatar frigate and tasked to fly into the Amarr sniper fleet, to allow your Minmatar brothers to get a warp target and close the gap on the fleet. You are supported by two other frigates, and while sustaining heavy damage receive repairs from the logistics frigates beside you. The battle for Minmatar independence looks grim, until a Gallente fleet appears out of the blue! The Amarr fleet you are attacking starts to flee, and the scene closes with you helping to pick off a few stragglers

This sort of story telling educates new players about the game, provides a taste of real game mechanics and lessons, all the while not breaking immersion (since your just in an educational simulation) and even giving new players some roleplaying bias for their native race!

Additionally tutorial cutscenes and missions should hide sections of the UI, revealing them as they become directly relevant. This helps mitigate confusion and makes it easier to find and follow through with navigating the UI.

Moving from Flight School to Eve:
At the conclusion of the tutorial, pilots can be given a clear screen and prompted to pick a faction within their race (to remove any confusing distractions). Players could pick a starter occupation, at which point they “awake” in an appropriate location of the Eve Universe. From there they can be directly introduced to relevant missions and faction warfare events which can be prompted to them as a list of events and issues that have arisen and need to be dealt with. This could eve be done with large player factions with some proper setup in the distant future. New player can then get directly involved with the EVE universe without needing to spend so much time aimlessly running about without truly understanding their options or the world they inhabit.
#2 - 2017-01-12 11:13:50 UTC  |  Edited by: Daichi Yamato
Making missions alive:

Voice acting for every existing mission and every mission made in the future would be expensive. Not impossible, but wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't happen. Other than that, text boxes already appear during some missions. Missions with npc support is fine if the mission is designed around it, but in some missions the faction are sending capsuleers because they don't want to be seen to be involved. Certainly no 'pets' EVER.


Public missions:

Anoms and ded sites. Joining 'sides' always makes things broken. What if there are more than two sides? What about the jokers who just want to come in and watch the world burn? Just make them a free-for-all. The players can decide which side their on, if they want to be on anyones side.



Large events:

CCP do these from time to time though they are rare because they are time consuming to set-up and the result affects the backstory of eve. Other than that you have incursions, which could definitely be expanded to other factions.


Tutorial improvements:

-Separate server
No. The whole point of eve is that it is a player run MMO. Isolated players get bored, confused and quit sooner. When new players have a question, it is the older players that get new players through the rubik's cube that is the ui. When new players want help with a mission, it is older players that assist them. There are simply not enough volunteers and CCP staff to help everyone.

The rest is exactly what the NPE and tutorials are now.

EVE FAQ "7.2 CAN I AVOID PVP COMPLETELY? No; there are no systems or locations in New Eden where PvP may be completely avoided"

Daichi Yamato's version of structure based decs

Gallente Federation
#3 - 2017-01-12 12:02:07 UTC
Daichi Yamato wrote:
Missions with npc support is fine if the mission is designed around it.

You mean like escort missions? Everybody loves those right?

If you want an intelligent argument, please do, I'm up for it!

But if you want a trolling contest, I will win it by simply not participating.

#4 - 2017-01-12 13:30:36 UTC
I mean like a mission that is balanced to take into account extra dps from npc's. So don't make missions with npc support if they are going to do everything for them. The capsuleer must be essential to the mission success.

EVE FAQ "7.2 CAN I AVOID PVP COMPLETELY? No; there are no systems or locations in New Eden where PvP may be completely avoided"

Daichi Yamato's version of structure based decs

#5 - 2017-01-12 19:14:50 UTC
Daichi Yamato wrote:
Making missions alive:

Voice acting for every existing mission and every mission made in the future would be expensive. Not impossible, but wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't happen. Other than that, text boxes already appear during some missions. Missions with npc support is fine if the mission is designed around it, but in some missions the faction are sending capsuleers because they don't want to be seen to be involved. Certainly no 'pets' EVER.


Public missions:

Anoms and ded sites. Joining 'sides' always makes things broken. What if there are more than two sides? What about the jokers who just want to come in and watch the world burn? Just make them a free-for-all. The players can decide which side their on, if they want to be on anyones side.



I don't think the voice acting needs to be excellent, only present. I acknowledge this would represent a huge overhaul to Hi Sec PVE, however this does represent a massive part of many players' experience with the game. New players more so than any other group. As such PVE needs to be engaging and fun, if EVE on the whole is to be an engaging and fun game. I wish missions were public because at present they isolate the player, and do a terrible job of conveying context or lore (which I believe should be their primary goal). Frankly even capsuleer "pets" isn't that bad, from a political standpoint of course the Empires want to have lap dog pilots and as long as this relationship is made obvious by the way missions are done it would make for positive gaming experience as you discover your factions intent, goals, and standings. A moment of "Aha they are just buttering me up to do something stupid" would be fantastic. Also moral choice ought to be more present, if I destroy a civilian transport I hope to receive a damning message from them, make me feel guilty about it!

Daichi Yamato wrote:

Large events:

CCP do these from time to time though they are rare because they are time consuming to set-up and the result affects the backstory of eve. Other than that you have incursions, which could definitely be expanded to other factions.



Agreed. My only hope is that these major events are more publicized through play experience. I think the Incursion mechanic is excellent, and I would strongly promote its expanded application into other factions.


[quote=Daichi Yamato]

Tutorial improvements:

-Separate server
No. The whole point of eve is that it is a player run MMO. Isolated players get bored, confused and quit sooner. When new players have a question, it is the older players that get new players through the rubik's cube that is the ui. When new players want help with a mission, it is older players that assist them. There are simply not enough volunteers and CCP staff to help everyone.

[quote=Daichi Yamato]

I contend that most new players begin the game isolated as is. I agree there are not enough volunteers and staff to help all new players, in spite of the fact that EVE is perhaps one of the most difficult and frustrating games to learn. Which is why guiding new players via cutscenes and epic missions (staged through the history of there people), kills 3 birds with one stone: New players are babysat through game mechanics, are rapidly introduced to "Why is this game worth my time", while also giving players an in-your-face education on the lore and history of EVE. Running this on a proxy server and dressing it as "Matrix" education, performs all of these tasks while not breaking immersion. New players aren't appreciating the sandbox environment when they're too busy fighting with the tutorial and UI.


#6 - 2017-01-12 19:19:27 UTC
Daichi Yamato wrote:
I mean like a mission that is balanced to take into account extra dps from npc's. So don't make missions with npc support if they are going to do everything for them. The capsuleer must be essential to the mission success.


Agreed, I would say if capsuleers don't show on a mission event there will be a default winner. Capsuleers repeatedly failing to assist could result in angry mail from the appropriate faction and standing loss... Simple things like that to make the NPC factions feel alive.
#7 - 2017-01-12 19:26:22 UTC
Dior Ambraelle wrote:
Daichi Yamato wrote:
Missions with npc support is fine if the mission is designed around it.

You mean like escort missions? Everybody loves those right?


Whats wrong with them? My hope is it would invite more fleet oriented combat, and having missions be more responsive to who's present. NPC's acknowledging they are out classed would be cool too. If you warp into a lvl 1 mission with a Battlship (Rogue drones aside maybe), I'm pretty sure most factions' reaction would be a "Nevermind, I want to see my wife and kids again and this **** ain't worth that much to me"
#8 - 2017-01-12 21:30:24 UTC
If you think mediocre voice acting will be ok I'd say you don't know eve players very well. There was quite a bit of backlash just for the new aura.

I put to you that everything you seek is available already and much more immersive when done with other players. Shoot a transport belonging to a player and i guarantee you will get a colourful mail from them, lowered standings and maybe even a week of war. Its more fun and more engaging than pve will ever be.

EVE FAQ "7.2 CAN I AVOID PVP COMPLETELY? No; there are no systems or locations in New Eden where PvP may be completely avoided"

Daichi Yamato's version of structure based decs

#9 - 2017-01-13 01:11:55 UTC
In effect what you are asking for is Anoms & Combat sigs.
But done in a dynamic manner.

It is actually a much better way forward than focusing on missions, but also much more complex to design and balance.
VOID Intergalactic Forces
#10 - 2017-01-13 08:17:21 UTC
no to the npcs providing fire support in a mission, they hired you to do a job so they don't have to put in the resources of their fleets and manpower that's needed else where or is limited because they would also be on rat npc lvl rather than immortal god fleet destroyer level.

for public missions, ccp does events and other things and we have things like crimsons harvest when the ccp team isn't off at some party around the world in the guise of "we are going to tell players what wer plan to do, but really we are just going to go get drunk and no one will remember what we are going to do"

"Sarcasm is the Recourse of a weak mind." -Dr. Smith

#11 - 2017-01-13 17:02:29 UTC
Daichi Yamato wrote:
If you think mediocre voice acting will be ok I'd say you don't know eve players very well. There was quite a bit of backlash just for the new aura.

I put to you that everything you seek is available already and much more immersive when done with other players. Shoot a transport belonging to a player and i guarantee you will get a colourful mail from them, lowered standings and maybe even a week of war. Its more fun and more engaging than pve will ever be.


My focus is on new and low sp characters. The option to shoot and kill in a suicide gank is not an understood option for most new players who also can't afford to lose such a ship to begin with. I am aware that working with players is more engaging than PVE, but since PVE constitutes a HUGE portion of income in the game it does not make sense to keep it boring. PVP is something I acknowledge this game is excellent at, but it is an income sink not source for new players. I want income sources to become more engaging and entertaining as this is what low sp and new players are going to embrace first. If it costs CCP a fair bit of time and money I would consider it a good investment: By the law of diminishing returns, PVP is already excellent and it is hard to make improvements where as PVE combat and events are brimming with opportunity for change and improvement to quality.

I am well aware that old eve players tend to be picky and slow to want change, but unfortunately for them this game would have been dead a long time ago if CCP just let the game run stale and never changed anything on the vets. PVE is boring, and even when running it with friends has 0 impact on the world aside from money printing.
#12 - 2017-01-13 17:03:17 UTC
Nevyn Auscent wrote:
In effect what you are asking for is Anoms & Combat sigs.
But done in a dynamic manner.

It is actually a much better way forward than focusing on missions, but also much more complex to design and balance.


Yea I suppose integration of the two!
#13 - 2017-01-13 17:13:33 UTC
Agondray wrote:
no to the npcs providing fire support in a mission, they hired you to do a job so they don't have to put in the resources of their fleets and manpower that's needed else where or is limited because they would also be on rat npc lvl rather than immortal god fleet destroyer level.

for public missions, ccp does events and other things and we have things like crimsons harvest when the ccp team isn't off at some party around the world in the guise of "we are going to tell players what wer plan to do, but really we are just going to go get drunk and no one will remember what we are going to do"


I am simply pushing that missions are more engaging and do a better job of conveying modern politics and lore in their gameplay. Some of the delta in firepower between capsuleer ships and npc ships is frankly rediculous since the capsuleers need to source all of their tech from declassified npc military designs. CONCORD is a clear representation of the true limit and strength of the empires. I think letting npcs be more involved in the mission process, and having missions more directly effect the political landscape would be an excellent way to make missions feel better on the whole instead of shooting the same fish in the same barrel all the time and not seeing any result.
#14 - 2017-01-13 18:31:23 UTC
if it wasn't CCP i would say sounds good, but it's CCP these would either have so little reward ppl wouldn't do them or they would have so much they would break the economy worse than incursions
Caldari State
#15 - 2017-01-15 05:52:02 UTC
I like the Separate server idea more in a "help with load" way. Split the players evenly between servers, alpha to vet ratio, number to number. when a new person comes along it puts them in the server that accommodate more people more efficiently. Might also help in places like jita or the like (slightly).

On a evil corporate joke way... make a second server with cloud computing, use the players computers to do all the math. 1% cpu/gpu on 22K players would be cool, but VERY invasive.

Born Caldari, Raised Minmatar

Evictus.
#16 - 2017-01-15 13:34:22 UTC
The problem with missions are that they require a lot of developer effort and they are fun the first time through. After that it's basically an ISK grind - not much different than what we already have. In a sandbox without levels, any mission that is possible for a 6 month old character will be trivial for a 1 year old character. It's a no win situation.

Eve is best when you are competing with other players - that doesn't necessarily mean combat. Eve industry and markets are player driven and highly competitive.

Eve is best when you are cooperating with other players - in fleets, building doctrine ships for your alliance, mining ice or harvesting PI to fuel your corporate infrastructure, whatever. You can play solo but the game isn't really designed for that.

CCP will improve PVE, we can already see lots of evidence of that throughout the game. Drifters, the new NPC mining fleets, but it will be open space interaction with players - not missions.

#17 - 2017-01-22 03:49:48 UTC
Do Little wrote:
The problem with missions are that they require a lot of developer effort and they are fun the first time through. After that it's basically an ISK grind - not much different than what we already have. In a sandbox without levels, any mission that is possible for a 6 month old character will be trivial for a 1 year old character. It's a no win situation.

Eve is best when you are competing with other players - that doesn't necessarily mean combat. Eve industry and markets are player driven and highly competitive.

Eve is best when you are cooperating with other players - in fleets, building doctrine ships for your alliance, mining ice or harvesting PI to fuel your corporate infrastructure, whatever. You can play solo but the game isn't really designed for that.

CCP will improve PVE, we can already see lots of evidence of that throughout the game. Drifters, the new NPC mining fleets, but it will be open space interaction with players - not missions.



Yea, I hope to see the PVE built more into playing with multiple players. Missions that are public mean that all the 'solo' mission runners will inevitably be playing together.
#18 - 2017-01-22 03:53:37 UTC
78 Aster wrote:
I like the Separate server idea more in a "help with load" way. Split the players evenly between servers, alpha to vet ratio, number to number. when a new person comes along it puts them in the server that accommodate more people more efficiently. Might also help in places like jita or the like (slightly).

On a evil corporate joke way... make a second server with cloud computing, use the players computers to do all the math. 1% cpu/gpu on 22K players would be cool, but VERY invasive.


I didn't mean for the separate server to be a reducing load sort of way, but to give a repeated cookie-cutter experience to all new players before entering the real server. The explanation for the starting mission is it is a pilot training simulation that all capsuleers must go through to be flight certified. So you go through the simulation then leave flight school and enter the real EVE universe
Goonswarm Federation
#19 - 2017-01-22 03:55:36 UTC
I also think that EvE really need a mission remake or like WoW a campaign mission full storyline
#20 - 2017-01-22 04:41:13 UTC
System Lord Ra wrote:
I also think that EvE really need a mission remake or like WoW a campaign mission full storyline


Epic arcs.

EVE FAQ "7.2 CAN I AVOID PVP COMPLETELY? No; there are no systems or locations in New Eden where PvP may be completely avoided"

Daichi Yamato's version of structure based decs

Forum Jump