Gallente COSMOS mission - "The path to enlightenment 3/3"

Hey!
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.

2 Likes

As far as CCP is concerned, it’s working as intended.

Years ago I completed all Empire Cosmos missions and also encountered various bug issues with them, ranging from specific item not spawning to agent not offering mission. Always a good idea to contact customer support about all issues. Now some of the GM’s may not know and will just give a generic answer. Best thing to do is politely request the ticket be escalated to a Senior GM, they have a lot more experience and knowledge with game issues.

I found that most of the Cosmos missions are search encounters and for each specific agent, it’s best to research their mission series first, make a list of required items and location, then go get those items before contacting the agent. Most items take quite a while to find and by doing that you’ll be able to collect both the mission reward and bonus time reward for each mission. Some missions will incur negative standing hits for ship kills towards other Empire Factions, for those missions I’d buy the item if available.

I used these guides to do my research, they’re old and most of the info is still correct:

Cosmos Agent locations:
http://web.archive.org/web/20160225230111/https://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/COSMOS_constellation

All Factions Cosmos Agents:
http://web.archive.org/web/20160226001044/http://www.hb3.info/cosmos/

Minmatar & Gallente Cosmos Agents:
http://web.archive.org/web/20161227111506/http://web.archive.org/web/20120426163113/http://eve-odessa.com/en/guides/cosmos.html

Amarr Cosmos Agents
http://web.archive.org/web/20160225230248/https://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/Amarr_Cosmos_(Guide)

Caldari Cosmos Agents:

Angel & Guristas Cosmos Agents:

Uniwiki Cosmos Info & Links:
https://wiki.eveuniversity.org/COSMOS

More options to gain Faction Standing:
http://web.archive.org/web/20160225230203/https://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/Faction_Standing_Repair_Plan

1 Like

I could have sworn that someone also made a recent (i.e. last 6 months) forum post about running cosmos missions nowadays, but can’t seem to find it. I don’t know if I’m going crazy or what.

Maybe it was this one:

Anyway, all the links I posted above are still accessible and most of the info is still good. Most importantly is the tip to first research the Agent mission series, make a list of items and locations, go collect the items and then contact the Agent.

Nope, I was confused. The thread was about epic arcs.

1 Like

Thanks for your comments.

  • The advice to get all the items needed before accepting the mission is valid. I tried to do this, for the second part. But from a “players perspective”: this is a workaround for a bad game design. I should be able to simply accept the mission and follow the instructions given and this way you should be able to complete the mission.

  • regarding the links to Cosmos Missions. I think, I have all of them already in my bookmark list.
    Here are some more, focused to Gallente part:

https://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Gallente_COSMOS

I’m trying to improve the page above from personal experience and other sources, because the other sources are no longer maintained actively.

http://www.riley-man.com/static/eve-online/cosmos/gallente/agent-summary-gallente.html

Riley Man did an excellent job creating many video guides about the Gallente missions.

  • regarding “support”: as I’m playing this game for about 12 years (with multiple breaks) I have had contact with support multiple times and after opening the second support ticket, I already asked for the ticket being escalated to a senior GM. But for this case, all of them seem to be unable to “verify” if things are working correctly. This is a problem tied to server code and probabilities are involved. If you don’t have a server log, that lists which kind of NPC has spawned during a certain time you don’t have a way to really guarantee that it works as intended. Support does you not give any details, but they told me that their documentation regarding COSMOS is thin and they don’t have the tools to verify stuff like this.
    Their argumentation is: the item for the quest is “in the game” (e.g. it is being offered by contracts) so it must drop. But this argumentation has a big flaw: the items in the game may have dropped in the past.
    And other questions still unanswered: “is this indented” from the game designers view? Is the effort justified to get this item?
    Perhaps there is a typo regarding the “spawn rate” in the NPC database and nobody did look at this so far.
    I’ve seen posts of several other players with the same problem. If you open a support ticket you simply get the answer “low spawn rate - it works otherwise - support cannot change game design aspects”. So if you are not persistent, nobody will look at this.

Fly safe,
Xentara

Yeah, back years and years ago players had the option to wait on accepting the 2nd, 3rd, etc missions in the series which gave time to go find the item. Also back then spawn and drop rates were a lot higher than today.

Along with constant nerfs to drop and spawn rates over the years, CCP really messed it up when they decided to chain together the missions in the series and make them active, basically making the player race against the clock to complete the missions in time.

That’s why I said to first research the mission series from the Cosmos Agent, make a list of the items and their locations, go get all the items and then speak to the agent. It’s the only way to make sure you can collect all the rewards from the agent.

Anyway, good luck and may you have much success.

o7

I´ve had the same issue with amarr COSMOS and spent a lot of time looking for the special belt rat. I finally gave up and didn´t even tried this kind of mission for caldari or gallente (I did the rest though).
I took a look at the market and I also think that the market offers of those items might be from old stocks. Player confirmation of items dropping would be really appreciated.
I also realized that some items only spawn once per server cycle and are camped right after downtime, could be the case for belt special rats as well (didn´t tried right after downtime). Anyway, I totally agree with you that this could be better designed.

I have also had terrible experiences with COSMOS in the Ani constellation near Hek. I got fed up after a few hours and asked in local if I could buy the item from anyone in a station trade and luckily enough I got it from another player. This cannot be the intended means of completing a mission… Especially where the bonus time constraints offer a further COSMOS BPC copy, losing out on that is HUGE!

Yeah, back in 2010 had the same thing happen with my first Cosmos Agent, missed out on getting the bonus BPC due to the time constraint. After that I made sure to research the Agent’s mission series and go get the required items first before actually interacting with the Agent. Researching them and making a list took a bit of work but I was able to collect all the rewards.

1 Like

I actually did begin with the research. I found sites that told me where everything would be found, but I didn’t do what you said and actually find it before going to the agent. I did have a lot of the things simply due to my year’s worth of activity in Ani, but for some things… It just didn’t pan out :confused: :roll_eyes: :grimacing:

1 Like

Since you already know how to research their missions and if you haven’t completed all of the Cosmos Agents, you can apply the steps I posted and now collect all the rewards.

By the way, Gallente Cosmos Agents will also help raise Minmatar Faction standing. And if you don’t want to mess up Amarr and Caldari Faction standing, check out ‘The Plan’:

1 Like

I think this is the exact resource I used to repair my Amarr standings last year, if this is the same thread? Thank you, it was really useful. :+1: :smiley:

1 Like

Thanks, I created ‘The Plan’ to get my character positive with all Empire Factions and I used all the guides linked in it. In the process of running all 4 Empire Factions Cosmos Agents, I did the research and collect items first option which allowed me to collect all of their rewards.

1 Like

I think the Original poster may be onto something here as a game bug. Support indicated to him that this mob type of “crook” ships in belt regions still spawn but I don’t believe that is true and think that the zkillboard information about them may support this. I remember doing this mission on one of my first characters a few years ago and I had to spend a few hours finding one of them in the Algintal systems, not days. I attempted to do this the last two days and have found absolutely nothing, similar to the OP. I purchased the item they drop, ‘binary transpositonal code’ from contracts for 50m to finish the mission and move on. This alone is evidence that the item may not be droping in game anymore, as the rewards are no where near 50m for the mission.

As you can see from zkillboard links below, up until may 2020, these “Crook” Serpentis ships were getting player kills every few days, indicating they were still spawning in the game. But from the end of may to now there has been 0 ships killed by any “Crook” Serpentis. Surely they would still be getting afk miners and such if they were still spawning in these high sec belts that people go afk in. But since May not a single venture or anything has been killed by them.

Here is the zkillboard for the ships that we are talking about, as you can see all activity stops in May 2020. Has CCP removed the ship from the game and no one noticed? Is this a bug and no one is looking into it because the item to complete is “on market”, but most likely old supply from last year as it is so expensive. Does CCP want this rooky mission to ever be available to a new player?

Would love some answers from game devs, as it stands I have serious doubts this NPC has spawned since May 26th 2020. As a new user I cannot post more than 2 links so here is the link to all of the frigates Asteroid Serpentis Frigate | Group | zKillboard, the Crook class is at the top. I will include below the last kill of each “Crook” and the first example kill board.

Crook agent- last kill May 21 2020

Crook defender- last kill May 25 2020

Crook guard- last kill May 25 2020

Crook patroller- last kill may 26th 2020

Crook protector- last kill may 11 2020

Crook Safeguard - last kill may 24th 2020

Crook Spy- last kill may 15th 2020

Crook watchman- last kill may 26th 2020

1 Like

Looking a bit deeper at the patches, this would line up directly with a game update, as eve was patched on 2020-05-27.1, the day before that was the last time a Crook ship made any player kill.

1 Like