Anom, Mission, DED Site Overhaul concepts

It’s way late for me, so I apologize if this isn’t as concise as I’d like it to be, but I want to get it out there before I forget. This won’t be a perfect concept, but I think it’s worth talking about in light of recent changes.

In light of the changes to Drone Aggression in PvE, and the talk about AFK Ratting and the desire to have people more engaged in the game, no matter what they are doing, it got me thinking about some ideas that I, and others, have had for overhauling Eve’s PvE content. Specifically, these are changes that would be made to Anomalies, DED Sites, and Missions.

Eve’s PvE content is boring. Let’s be real. It’s too mundane, too tedious, and you have to kill so many ships that it makes us look like an NFL Runningback playing against an Under 10 Youth Football team. Too much Quantity, and not enough Quality. And CCP has stated that they want combat against NPCs to prepare players for PvP. Make hostile NPCs not only more challenging, but also more rewarding.

The answer seems pretty straight-forward. Make Anoms, DED Sites, and Missions less about the monotonous task of killing wave after wave after wave of meaningless NPC ships, and more about facing a small number of dangerous, capable ships that are more unique, more intelligent, more challenging, and much more rewarding. Everything that a player could face in PvP should be faced in PvE in a manner that teaches players how to deal with it when facing other players.

Most of this stems from evolving, expanding, or mixing, the content that you get from Burner Missions and/or the Response fleets that NPC miners call in. Essentially, each instance (Anom, DED site, or Mission) would contain a “Boss” NPC that is either very capable on their own, or supported by a small gang or fleet of support ships that work together.

Instead of paying out bounties per NPC, pay out per completed site or mission. You could even apply something like the Bounty System and the Bounty Office to PvE. Bounty Contracts could be placed by CONCORD or the Empires in certain stations, or in their Capital Systems with the location of high-level, unique, or exceptionally valuable Targets in Sites that need to be cleared, perhaps ranging from random systems in High and Low Sec, to NPC Null (scaling accordingly). These contracts could potentially see competition between “Bounty Hunters” and add more PvP content. They could also be used to get the location of the sites and camp the location, so there may have to be something implemented to foster competition and content without griefing.

And, as these PvE sites and missions are meant to emulate PvP and teach its skills, the fact that more ships and players will be fit for and more familiar with PvP could very well mean that “Ratters” are less likely to simply run at the first sight of a possible hostile, and quite possibly more eager to take a real fight.

The general idea is Quality over Quantity. Less grinding, less tedium, less AFK, and more Challenging, more Educating, more Rewarding, and more Engaging.

For Anoms
These would remain the “simplest” form of NPC combat in the game. The basic concept can scale in ship class and difficulty by site. From Frigates (T1 to Faction to T2), Destroyers (T1 to T2 to T3), all the way up the classes to Battleships (T1 to Faction to T2), and even Capitals and beyond, with the difficulty scaling with the class and Tech level. Just as Anoms have Levels within each Tier of difficulty, each class would increase by Tech Level. Not a hard limit, mind you. You could still take your badass Merlin into a site meant for Faction or T2 ships, or you can go overkill and bring your T3C into a site meant for T1 Destroyer. This is a sandbox, after all. This would mean that everything from basic T1 ships to blinged out Faction and T2 ships would still be used and around.

For DED Sites
You can add the extra difficulty of even stronger/smarter NPCs with support from various structures that either do additional damage, use EWAR, or whatever else. Possibly add in some hacking mini-games (either Data or something that doesn’t require a module) for variety and and extra challenge to beat the site to finish the site and get the payout. Of course, Loot drops would still be a thing for both Anoms and DED sites. (That’s kinda their thing, after all.)

And missions? Missions need the biggest overhaul, imo.
Personally, I see missions as the Flagship for NPC content in any game. When I first started the game and started diving into PvE content, I assumed that it would progress, at least in depth, scope, and quality, from Anoms to DED Sites to Missions. I assumed the Missions would follow the same template as any mission or quest in any game would follow: something immersive, in-depth, engaging, challenging, and rewarding. Missions have always been what drives us deeper into the lore and backstory of any game, at least in my experience. So, apply all aspects of PvE content and expand further upon the same concept as DED Sites by increasing the scale and variety within the mission (based on level and relative to the story arch), as well as sprinkling in some ACTUAL story archs and decisions that affect their outcomes and rewards.

Eve’s Epic Arch missions are a GREAT place to start. They have the beginning of those elements or, at least, the closest things to them. And, to prevent the tedium of grinding missions, as well as farming the same missions over and over, day in and day out, perhaps each mission or set of missions could have a cool-down period (say, a day, a week, a month, or however long), with payouts high enough that players can make enough Isk from the time they spend running missions to spend the Cool-down period roaming around, putting the PvP skills they learned from PvE to use.

This is meaningless garbage.

What are you trying to say with all of this?
More NPCs the “higher class” of ship you bring? Does that mean I can bring a Frigate to start a Frigate-class Anom and then bring a Battleship alt to clear it out quickly? Do they just do more damage? Do Ewar?

What is actually the change you’re suggesting?

Again, what do you mean by any of this?

“extra difficulty” in the form of what? NPCs have higher health? More resistances? Change damage types to hit you harder?

Ok, so you have fanfiction.
But what does this actually mean? What are the actual changes that players would see in the game? You say things like:

but what does any of this actually mean in terms of gameplay?

Is it “in-depth” if there’s 4 rooms instead of 3?
Is it “engaging” if one of the rooms disables warping and webs you at the start?
Is it “rewarding” if you get a special item that isn’t worth any ISK but is a unique, one-of-a-kind item that no one else in the game has?

Everything you’ve said here has zero specifics and are just broad concepts with nothing substantial.

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Assuming I read it right. I think it boils down to halve the number of npcs, double their ehp & dps, and use CCPs new ‘ai’ to make them a bit smarter

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So, abyss outside abyss? There is no point. In the end only thing that will matter for 90% of players, is how easy new content will be to grind and make isk. No matter how complicated and how big RNG pool will be. Over time everything will get repetitive just as current PvE. Also limiting number of targets just to rise EHP pool changes nothing. Completion time stays the same. You only need to press f1 less.

Recent Halloween event, shows how new PvE dungeons can work with new code and AI. First thing to do is to remove old spaghetti code. Then, devs can slowly work on introducing new variants of the encounters.

I haven’t done any Abyssal content, so I can’t comment on that.

The general idea is fewer NPC ships, with better AI, and more combat capability (not necessarily “more HP”) that allows them to emulate a true PvP situation to the extent that AI is capable of. Less Orbit+F1, more manual piloting and use of actual PvP skills.

Not necessarily “double their HP,” but just make them closer to what we would get from engaging another Player-controlled ship in that situation. Whether that be resists, HP pool, active tank, passive regen, speed, EWAR, etc etc.

Then, you should check new AI first. Abyss, FOB, drifters etc. Because those things are already in game. Just not in all parts of the PvE.

If I didn’t articulate well enough in my post, due to being half asleep, I apologize. I’ll try to answer your questions in a clearer manner.

For Anoms
Anoms would be open sites, just as they are, now. No ship restrictions. Just like you can bring a Battleship into any Anom and clear it in no time (Smartbombing Machs, anyone?), you can bring your Rattlesnake into an Anom designed for Frigates and go to town. It won’t be as efficient and won’t make you as much isk as doing larger sites, but it’s your world, man.

Even in this situation, the better AI and stats of the NPCs is meant to be a simulation of a PvP situation. So, if you want to practice fighting a Frigate gang in a Battleship, these sites could be used for that. The whole idea is to simulate PvP as accurately and realistically as NPCs with AI are capable of.

For DED Sites
In a word, yes. AI, Stats, damage profiles, etc all scale based on the type of site. In addition, Stasis towers, Neut towers, Structures that Scram or point, all things that are already available, in game, would increase the difficulty, further. Honestly, this combination of enhanced AI and NPC characteristics with hostile structures could prove too difficult.

Fanfiction? No, I mean actual storylines that are even modestly compelling compared to the missions that are currently available. Epic Archs are a great starting point, but they aren’t there, yet, either. The same recipe of “Go Here and kill waves of paper-thin, meaningless NPCs” needs to go in favor of something more dynamic, challenging, and rewarding.

“In-depth” - In terms of emulating PvP to better teach players the basics of its mechanics, giving them a base of knowledge before facing other players, as well as the quality of mission storylines and the variety of encounters.
“Engaging” - If it accurately emulates a PvP situation where you are immediately webbed and scrammed by a hostile player, and teaches you how to counter it, through manual piloting, Capacitor management, and tanking, then yes.
“Rewarding” - Well, yes, actually. Isk and Loot are obviously the go-to rewards, but one-off, unique, and priceless items or accolades could be rewarded to a pilot for completing a particularly difficult Storyline, defeating an exceptionally dangerous NPC, etc. Place the accolades, ranks, badges, whatever front and center on a character’s info window as a way to show off that pilot’s achievements.

You’re right. It was a broad concept with lots of wiggle room in which to discuss possibilities for mechanics and features.

I’m happy to discuss further, just please try to be less rude.

Indeed they are, and I’m saying take that fantastic base and expand it. Take it from being somewhat fringe to being the standard for all PvE.

CCP has the baseline for some fantastic concepts, and perhaps I’m just jumping the gun and they’re already working toward exactly what I’m thinking of. But it seems like they are making broadly detrimental changes to the game in the name of “balance” and “health,” rather than developing the truly promising things that are in the game.

Fewer-tougher NPC’s that are more pvp like is far from a new concept. This was the inspiration behind burners, multiple pve events, resource wars forward bases and abyss.

Going beyond just how rats behave in a fight, they’ve made npc’s that appear on d-scan, remember you and try to follow you.

Basically you’re getting what you wanted but it takes time to develop. Not every pvp behaviour is suitable for pve (i.e. rats warping away from a fight they clearly can’t win) and some is simply impractical (capacitor warfare). So CCP are still figuring out what works and what doesn’t.

You should try it. It’s the latest iteration of CCP’s pve. It’ll give you an idea of where they are at.

While completion times might remain similar, this isn’t a true statement overall.
Fewer NPC’s in missions with more EHP means individual piloting & positioning matters more, having your own Ewar becomes more relevant because it has a larger impact, and also means that you don’t get missions with 30 TD’s on you at once anymore.

@Thayden_Reid_Nordic The standard mission NPC is like, 10% the EHP/DPS of a player fit. But they are usually meant to represent baseline ships which are inferior, so we don’t want every NPC to be a high skilled player so even simply doubling would be a good step. (Diamond rats are usually all V’s, Faction fit for how tough they are, which is overly tough for content meant to be accessible to all to solo, diamond rats of course aren’t meant for that in their current places)

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I know it’s not a new concept, I’ve been around the game for about 7yrs, and I’m really please with what we have seen from burner missions, Drifters, Trigs, and events. I’m eager to see the concepts and mechanics translated to general PvE, as a whole, as I feel that they’d be immensely beneficial to the game, as a whole, and particularly for getting new (and old) players introduced to the mechanics of PvP in a more constructive and structured way.

I have plenty of filaments and such, so perhaps I’ll finally give the Trig content a try.

You are right. But many people that do PvE just want to chill out after work while making some isk. If I want PvP environment I will go, grab filament and sit at nearest ESS, join arena or whatever. And in the end, there will be meta for everything. Look at what happened with burners. You catch target, apply modules and go make tea. People don’t do FOB’s because isk is not there and they need fleet.

In the end, PvE is to generate income for players. History of EVE clearly shows that no matter how fun and engaging content will be. If it is not giving enough isk compared to effort you need to put in. People simply wont do it. Also, script won’t replace human.

I’m not trying to say that this proposed changes are bad. I, myself would really like to see these new NPC’s and new AI into DED sites (my main activity) or missions. My point is, that in the end not much will change. Players will find way of fastest and easiest aproach.

Agreed, this is why it shouldn’t be taken as far as diamond rats are, they are tuned too high for everyday PvE content. But there is plenty of space between them and current mission rats where you can have a space where it’s still fairly relaxing if using a high end ship, but you can actually use PvP concepts to your advantage if you wish to as the NPC’s aren’t outnumbering you 50 to 1, and also don’t die like a wet tissue in a sneeze.


Talking about PVE

PVE should have larger goals or one larger goal.

Epic missions are cool but at the end you only earn some isk & lp for a faction.

Is it enough ? idk but i think a serie of them could unblock keys to 5 ppl missions, themselves giving epic mission to earn keys to 10 ppl content etc.

In fact, pve should involve each player to climb up scales individually , in little teams, in bigger teams…to a final content only do-able in alliance for example.

Between each group content, the player should have to unblock missions alone in HS, LS, NS or WH, in far locations of new eden why not.

I know this is not very “sandbox” but that concerns only pve and “in-space-pve” always leads to pvp ;). The final achievement -only entered by the largest group of ppl individually possessing the entire amount of keys - would give rewards for the entire team (extra rewards for the ‘first server’ ?) : that means that the corp needs to help its members to unblock keys, etc.

In brief, a content from individual newbies to a whole corp. Being the first corp to reach this achievement can be the theater of a certain competition, even treasons or ways to impeach adverse corps to reach the ultimate goal, who knows.

The idea is a PVE where you begin alone and learn to play in much larger groups for an ultimate goal. The content is already in game, no need to develop new things (except for the final battle).

sorry if the idea already given,
fly safe

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