I’ve been looking forward to the Activity Tracker (AT) feature since it was announced and I’m more or less happy with the overall result. Still, there is room for improvement and I would like to discuss how this feature could become more interesting and more rewarding, while cutting down on typical/generic achievement style features every other game supports in a way or another.
In general, there is a lack of incentive atm apart from the completionist aspect some players might enjoy. It feels like there should be some really cool rewards as a small bonus for players. Project Discovery for example provides BPCs and skins. A similar reward system would be cool for AT, but for really specific tasks. Just like some games have hidden achievements for doing something very weird/fun/odd/sepcific, the AT could have similar achievement unlocks - so even if the criterias are known, it would be a challenge to actually get the achievement + reward.
Now, let’s talk about what data should be gathered in the first place and how to add more unique aspects to the AT since I feel that some of the things that are tracked are rather generic and don’t really provide interesting stats either. I will just focus on things that I feel should be changed.
1.1) Signatures & Anomalies: both current data sets (sigs scanned and sites completed) don’t really provide any useful data atm. While “sites completed” gives me an idea how many sites I did complete, it doesn’t say anything about my failures. I feel like these stats should actually display where I need to become better at the game. Thus, “sigs scanned” is too broad. It should be divided into all the categories. That way, I can directly compare the numbers, e.g. scanned 1000 data sites but only completed 400, which means my success rate is really low - this will help me understand that I’m bad at data sites and possibly help understand what I need to change. More data would also help understand my failures, so maybe these stats could be more detailed overall?
1.2) Navigation: “systems entered” also is way too broad for my taste. It simply counts single jumps. I think it is cool to have number of jumps counted, but honestly: limiting the number 207.360 doesn’t really make sense to me. Either jumps need to be continously counted, or the counter needs to be changed. I guess there needs to be a ranking to divide into tiers, but this seems rather random. Also, why not add “number of systems visited” as an addtional tracker? This achievement would be completed 100% when a player has visited every single system in the game. Now, that is something I’d consider exploration worth bragging about.
2.1) non-cap: with number of bounties being counted, it would be cool to see the total payout value in ISK. That way people can see how much ISK they made just from these bounties. All that information is already logged with the wallet, just not saved and displayed in an interesting way. If this tracker is supposed to display the ISK value, it’s not working properly atm. Also, number of ships destroyed at 3k for max tier is a bit low imho.
3.1) Abyssal: with abyssal PvP being introduced, I think it would be interesting to have a counter regarding PvP. it could simply just count how often the arena was entered? Maybe also distinguish between “regular” deaths and PvP related deaths?
4) Resource Harvesting
4.1) Mining Ore: this tracker is the only one that deviates from the others. I’m aware it might be too much data to display, plus there is the mining ledger. But it’s too broad of a tracker imho. Maybe, adding a link to the ledger or mention “more details see mining ledger” etc would at least give new players a hint where to look for further information. Also, mining in WH space is a thing - I’d consider that worth a dedicated category in addition to high, low and null?
4.2) PI needs a much more detailed tracker imho.
5.1) Invention: doesn’t display the fail rate. There should be a way to see how many attempts ended with success/failure.
More ideas what could be tracked:
a) actual time spent in specific space. Apart from high, low and null there is WH, abyssal space etc. It would be cool to see how much time (logged in) a character spent in those areas, displayed in days/months/years. It also would be cool - if possible - to break this down into docked and undocked time in a specific space, e.g. “your character spent 4 years, 7 months and 22 hours in high sec, 97% of that time was docked in Jita” or something like that.
b) basic event tracker: how many events participated in, how many event missions have been completed, etc. Some players are grinding the events - would be cool to see some stats on this. Not really important though.
c) trading related tracker: we do have the wallet (limited time info) and we do have 3rd party trading tools. It still would be nice to have a few things tracked, e.g. overall profit made with trading (players vs NPC trading), in what regions most trading was done, top 5 stations, how much was spent on taxes, etc. Maybe also top5 highest profit margin trades, failed investments, etc. similar to EVE Trade Master overall stats.
d) corp related trackers: how much time spent in a particular player corp, how much ISK was invested (total balance of donations, taxes), wars lost/won, how many times killed by blues/reds, etc.
e) POS related trackers: if not a feature already (not a POS owner), would be nice to see: how much taxes collected, how many customers, docks, investments, how many POS destroyed by others, etc.
More ideas regarding AT rewards:
a) official badges handed out when particular achievements have been completed, allowing players to display them on their profile (character bio, just like corp badges). Maybe even a way to display some of these on their ship, similar to kill marks.
b) very specific achievement rewards for special tasks - everyone can complete such an achievement, but there can only be one player who achieved it first, thus only they can display the badge - obviously a competition like this can only work if exploits/abuse are not possible.
c) apart from special skins and BPCs, it would be cool to maybe get some consumable items, similar to event rewards? These could also be task (node) specific, so for exploration achievements one would get something else than completing resource related achievements, etc. Especially something like boosters could provide a specific time-limited bonus that is related to that task, e.g. finished ore mining achievement provides a non-tradeable ore mining booster for 24 hours etc
d) Portrait Background Unlocks is a nice suggestion imho. 100% supporting this idea.
a) needs the option to pop-out as seperate window. The way it works now (like ship tree) is very annoying for me. A resizable window would provide a much better user experience imho. Screen space is limited and minimizing everything else just to access the AT properly is a pita atm.
b) a way to hide certain branches of the AT and/or maybe some sort of search/filter function that helps with finding particular trackers/achievements.
c) AT integration into HUD, just like agency missions. Not sure if this already is the case or if it’s just broken for me: but it would be nice to be able to see a particular tracker on HUD imho by right-clicking tracker in AT and selecting “display on HUD” or something like that.
d) data export function that allows me to save/export particular AT tracker data into a file.
e) better overall integration of AT with other in-game features/tools/windows, either by linking to specific tools or otherwise. Currently the AT feels “excluded” - feels like it could be more interconnected in general.
Currently, this feature is about collecting some player statistics and providing a rough guide what can be done in EVE - if rewards are added, it will also provide incentive to give certain content another try. For others, this provides a very basic completionist aspect.
I’d like to see the AT become an actual tool that can help a player collect and display data, allowing to analyse these statistics and help with identfying problems, weaknesses, and more. What good is it, when I know how many player ships I have killed, but don’t know how many I’ve lost in the process? Something like zkill covers that already, but there are other areas within the game that provide similar data, yet are not that accessible due to lack of tools.
Achievements and rewards are cool, but since the data already is being collected, why not use it for something constructive and helpful as well? It could easily transform into a Activity Analysis Tool with the right tweaks and more features, providing various statistical data about the gameplay experience.
I think, turning the current AT feature into something more sophisticated would actually bring it to another level that can be even useful for those who do not care about the achievments/potential rewards at all, but are just interested in the data sets.
More complexity please!