About two weeks ago started the mission series “The path to enlightenment” from the agent “Sebast Maton” (Sebast Mathon - EVE University Wiki).
The last mission in this series has a task to obtain a “Transpositional binary code”. The agent gives you this description (in short): “go to the belts in Algintal constellation. The serpentis have hired tough marauders to hunt the rogue drones. Focus on them, to find the needed item”.
As usual I accepted the mission and started to roam the belt search the required item. I shot down dozens of regular Serpentis NPC for several hours, but could not find the item. The agents description was a bit vague, what could be the hired marauders.
So I researched what is the actual goal here. In the old forums and in a youtube guide, I found information that the item is being dropped by a special NPCs belonging to the “Crook” category (a special serpentis variant). NPC Ships.
With this information I continued my hunt. After about 6 hours unsuccessfully roaming the belts, I stopped because this looked strange to me. The time period you get the “mission bonus” had expired already. I opened a support ticket, assuming this mission/NPC is bugged.
After about a week, I got a response: “you were simply unlucky finding the NPC - no known bug here”. Because the mission itself has expired in the mean time, support did reset the mission, so I could retry.
After additional 9 hours unsuccessfully roaming the belts, I opened another ticket, because I could not believe that for a mission “looking like a regular mission” the needed NPCs do not spawn over a time of 15 hours. During a long exchange of support tickets, support did tell me, that the NPCs are a rare spawn and the item needed for the mission “is still in the game” and should drop as noted in the mission description. I continued to find the item myself and did not even succeed after ~22 hours. Even if the NPC spawn may be working “technically” the spawn rate looks questionable to me.
(Just as an comparison: during my hunt I encountered 5x Shadow Serpentis and 5x hauler spawns).
Support asked me to report this here, because they don’t have any influence of game design aspects.
So my questions/critics regarding this mission:
- is the mission design (the spawn rate of the NPCs) working as intended here? To me it’s not.
- if the spawn rate should be so low, then the mission should inform the player somehow. Usually missions can be completed in a time period to also get the mission bonus item. This does not work here. It’s even questionable, if the seven days expiration time should be applied. You need a vast amount of time to find this item yourself. This is a COSMOS mission, so if you fail it, you cannot repeat/retry it without help of support.
Because of this the only option is to buy this item using contracts. But please don’t start a discussion about this. This topic is about a design of this mission and if it’s working as intended.