Hey CCP, I see you are asking about suggestions to the new wardec system. Being an older eve player I have a lot to say on this subject, so this will be a long post, as there is a lot of ground to cover. I have posted this sort of stuff before, only to be shot down in flames by the l337 null players who think this game should only be played in null sec, and that high sec should never have existed. The problem with people who think this way is that they want the game to be theirs, to be run their way, with never having footed the bill for installing millions of dollars worth of hardware, paying the utilities, the cost of keeping the building maintained, and generally running a real life company that is able to stay afloat.
So I will start this subject with a look at who plays MMO’s in general and what type of experience they are looking for:
Carebears - Those who want to play an MMO in a reletively safe environment, build up their toon, get the big stuff, do endgame PVE content, raid with their friends, have a good time, burn ■■■■ down, laugh and drink and eat and be merry in the halls of Valhalla, slapping their brothers shoulders and telling stories of war
These guys make up about 90% of the overall gaming community and about 5% of the EVE community
Psychopaths - People who live to make your life hell, these guys don’t care about the actual game content. They only care about ruining your day and making the game not fun for you. These guys will call for changes that makes it hard for people to grind their way through the content of a game. They live to make you quit the MMO of your choice. They feel the game belongs to them, and any change that is offered that makes it easy for the other gaming group is met with flaming hostility. If they don’t feel the game belongs to them then they will do everything in their power to make everyone else hate the game and quit, so the game actually ends up having to shut down.
These guys make up about 10% of the gaming community and about 95% of EVE’s playerbase.
Once upon a time, EVE was doing heavy marketing and a LOT of people were playing this game. We are talking about paying subscribers, not this alpha crap. The most I ever saw online at one single time was 67,000 players. And CCP was saying “this is just the beginning”. But the game fell short, and most of those people left the game, and took their money with them, despite my calls for changes on these forums. Even I have left this game and come back to it far too many times to count, mostly because of the community and the insane mechanics behind EVE that makes it hard for the vast majority of gamers to like EVE and want to stick around. And one of those mechanics was the war dec system.
Everyone wants to think of EVE as the king of the MMO world. EVE is really a different game than any other out there. There have been wannabe games that are based on a similar structure, like Perpetuum, which IMO was a massive failure. It just wasn’t EVE. The only game out there that does what EVE does is, well, EVE. And that is the lure to this game. There is no other MMO out there that even comes near the complexity and richness of this game. There is a lot to offer here and every new player coming to this game has visions of running a doomsday fleet, facerolling everything in its path. But EVE has its shortcomings. And those are seen in the form of player on player interaction. Notice I did not say player vs player. Because there are many ways for players to interact with eachother in all MMO’s, but especially EVE, that don’t necessitate firing shots at someone. You can still loose it all in this game without ever having engaged in combat. Hell, I know it happened to me, I fell for a scam.
So getting back on track here, what happened to this game? Why is there only about 5-10,000 players at their keyboard at any one time, with about 20,000 alts? How much subscription money is really rolling in? I’m going on a limb here and saying, probably not much. And this was my warning to CCP for so many years. You want to allow these gankers to rule the game? Well you are going to loose the majority of your player base. And that’s exactly what happened. EVE should have half a million players in it at any given time by now, this 20 years later since its alpha release. But instead of growing, you are shrinking, to the point where you now have to offer alpha accounts, and give those alpha players disgusting boosts to what they can do, like flying all the way up to battlecruiser, allowing battleships, they can even pilot faction battleships now and use some T2 modules. I understand what you are trying to do here, but I’m here to tell you, what you are doing is wrong. Please let me be the voice of reason on this matter. My rediculous IQ is going to be burnt here just trying to get this out to you, one last time, before this game finally dies. I really don’t want to see EVE die. And there’s still time to save it. But it’s going to take some overhauls. Are you ready?
First I would like to thank you for the changes to the wardec system. This is a change that was needed 15 years ago. It’s impossible to grow a high sec corp when you are the constant target of large PVP corps out there that are specifically built to slaughter the carebears. People would argue that that’s the nature of EVE, and while I would not disagree with that sentiment, I feel it’s time for the nature of EVE to change, because the model is not working, and you are unable to retain most newbies who come to the game. So the change you made to the wardec system is a Godsend. Thank you.
Keeping in mind that 90% of gamers want to play an MMO, not drop into an alternate reality called EVE, there is more you need to do. You want people to come to this game, do their usual MMO thing, and actually stay with the game. The big changes have mostly been made to how Null sec works, with large corps running battlestars and heading up their fleet of capital ships. This is all really great and I do feel that this stuff should stay down in nullsec where it belongs. But you need to make some big changes to high sec, and how engaging in PVE content works, and I feel that the PVE guys have been left in the dust for far too many years. High sec and the PVE system was put in place, reluctantly and begrugingly, by the old devs of CCP, as a bandaid to try to cater to the more carebear types of players, and at the high protest of the psychopath player types. And it’s obvious the care, attention and detail was put into developing the game to cater to the experiences of the Null guys. I am glad that nullsec players have a smooth and streamlined experience. But it’s wrong to want to push people down there to see the big stuff happen. It’s a dangerous life down there, and honestly, with my 3 stints of being down there, found it incredibly boring.
The general breakdown of high sec PVE content is as follows:
- Epic Arcs
This doesn’t look like a lot but actually, there is a lot here. The system is deep and you can be lost in any of these categories for hours. But what is the main thing people do? When people come to eve, and they want to MMO, what do they go for? Most go for scanning and missions. And then are soon pushed to run incursions. It’s not that these things push people away from the game. I mean content is content. But it’s how this stuff is all set up, and the weird, convoluted way players engage in this content, that’s the problem. For newbies it’s confusing and overwhelming, and then you have 95% of the EVE community trying to convince them to join their ranks and become gankers and “get rich” ganking the miners.
So my main suggestion here is going to revolve around the mission system, and to plead with you guys to give some things back to the carebears that used to be good in this game. With the changes to how war decs work, players can now live in High sec, reletively worry free (aside from gankers), doing their thing. This means that the MMO players can do what they want to do, which is play an MMO, and grind their way up. And honestly, despite the hatred I will receive from the PVP/Null guys, this is a GOOD THING. Because like I said, most people don’t want to come to EVE and become some large gang cannon fodder and call it fun.
With the new wardec mechanics, it’s time to look at your missioning system. Missions are extremely boring, grindy and repetative. They are fun for a while, and good to get new players how to learn combat. But they are slow going, and weird, and don’t really work the way they should. In the old days, there used to be an agent quality system. You would start off by running for low quality agents and end up running high quality agents. The system was a little broken and I’m glad it’s gone, but a massive blow was suffered to the missioning system when something better was not put in its place. Instead, all agents became the same, dull, boring mission givers as every other agent. It’s draining to think of how dull and bleak missioning can be. Missions need to be broken up into several categories, with the players being offered the choice of what they want to run.
-Anom (burner) missions
-Crappy, low yield, garbage, filler missions
-Decent missions with a balance of reward/salvage
-Insane missions that should be run with an overpowered ship for the mission level
The changes I propose are this (each point will be explained in detail):
- Introduce a new missioning UI
- Allow the players to choose the difficulty of missions offered (within each level)
- Separate anom burners into their own category
- Separate the faction missions and make them optional
- Eliminate the standing detriment for cashing in faction storyline offers
- Bring back high yield mission loot
- Introduce benefits for getting standings up for a given NPC corp
- Introduce a player corp finding system that allows players to browse high sec mission corps
- This new UI work work like this. The player opens up the mission agent UI. They are met with 4 options, one option for each faction. The player chooses Caldari. The next step asks the player whether they want distribution or security missions. The player chooses security. The system rounds up all of the corps within caldari state and shows the player all of the NPC corps as a list. This will come with the update to the corp benefit system. That will be explained in detail later, but the player looks at their options and chooses Caldari Navy. The UI filters out everything and shows the player the security agents for Caldari Navy. The player chooses L1 agents and the system allows the player to talk to these agents and set a destination to the station the agent resides in. This UI will allow new players to quickly see what they can do as far as missions goes, instead of the player having to ask the community how agents work.
2, 3 & 4) So carrying on here, let’s focus on an L4 running player. The player opens up their missioning UI, selects the agent they want, and goes to that station. Once there, they can talk to the agent and a new window pops up. Instead of the usual “hi I am bla bla bla” and “request mission” at the bottom, the player is greeted with an options window. This window allows the player to select their preference of mission difficulty. Some people just aren’t ready to run L4 “The Blockade”, so they choose the medium difficulty missions from the new “Agent UI” window. The window would look something like this:
Anomic missions - [ Run Now ]
Faction Missions (Warning: For Faction Warefare Players) - [ Run Now ]
Level 4 Standard: Easy - [ Run Now ]
Level 4 Standard: Medium - [ Run Now ]
Level 4 Standard: Difficult - [ Run Now ]
Clicking on any of the Run Now buttons will cause the agent to deliver a mission based on the players preference. For example, I am flying a Paladin and so I can run the hardest of L4’s by myself. I would live off the Difficult L4 standards.
Eliminate the standings detriment for cashing in faction storylines. This is important. Leave faction warefare to the guys who WANT faction warefare. Destroying someones standings for running missions sucks. There’s absolutely no reason to do this. This causes newbies to loose standings enough that they start getting shot at in say, Gallente space, for running missions for Caldari Navy. Enough of this stuff already. Pack this stuff in to the running of faction related missions, in their own category, with their own storyline missions. You run standard L4 missions then you get the standard storylines, with no detriment to your standings. If you WANT faction warefare, then running faction specific missions is a great way to get there, and would come with its own storylines for you to cash in. Please do this and get rid of the detriment to all storyline cashins.
Back in the day it used to be where you could pull in what they called Drone Poo, which was great for breaking down and building items from. The salvage in L4’s is lackluster at best and is barely even worth building a noctis for. If you blow up a control tower you should get some sort of low level loot, like an implant or something. Make the missions more interesting, where killing all the NPC’s off and blowing up the structure might actually yield something. The only mission I know of that has the potential for dropping anything at all is Kruul’s implant. I think the mission is called Downing the Slavers. Please make mission loot profitable. This also helps newbies get on their feet by allowing them to keep salvage and loot during fleet operations.
Getting your standings up for an NPC corp should come with benefits. If the player corp you are involved with has a standings of say, higher than 5.0 overall with a particular NPC corp, then there should be benefits involved. You are, afterall, working on behalf of that NPC corp, killing their enemies, protecting their assets, etc. The benefit should be an increase in isk per mission cashin, and bonuses to NPC bounty. If you have a personal standing of 8 or higher towards the corp, you should get your own personal benefits as well. Currently the corp benefits rest on the manufacturing aspect. If you have good standings with a corp it’s slightly cheaper for you to manufacture things. Which does absolutely nothing for a PVE corp that’s looking for combat players. It’s kindof a slap in the face to mission runners.
To help the vast majority of new players who come to this game and want to engage in PVE content, it would be helpful for them to be able to find player corps quickly who are immune to wardec and who are into PVE content. This system should be based on faction standings overall, the higher your standings, the higher you are on the list. Of course, bringing in newbies will reduce the overall standings for the corp, so this would self regulate by notching down larger corps and notching up smaller corps, until they recruit too many people and their standings go down overall, and they get kicked further down the list. Any high sec corp should be immune to the notching down until they have say 10 - 15 players, then at that point their standings comes into effect. This UI should be pointed towards during the new player experience, as well as the agent finder UI. The corp finder window would help greatly with high sec PVE corps getting off the ground, and to encourage people to find corps that are running PVE content and get them into the EVE experience faster.
I have many more ideas but this is overall the end of my suggestions for improving the missioning system in this game. I can already see the arguments against all this coming in, the main one being that mission runners would make too much money and not ever want to go to null sec to experience the big stuff. Well let me tell you this is 100% false and it’s not based on any facts or studies. Don’t let the opinions of large null sec guys sway how this game is run. EVE is in trouble and it’s because of these unfounded opinions and the rabid fascination of the Dev’s to turn every eve player into the psychopath type, is the reason EVE is in trouble. This alpha crap is a last ditch attempt to keep this game saved and to try to lure in new players in the HOPES they will actually subscribe and/or buy plex. Well it’s not working, and the more crap you offer to the alpha guys the less meaningful this game is. It’s time for a change and I will close this post by offering some numbers:
Average mission income per HOUR: 20 - 25 mil (this is the norm for running L4’s)
Low mission income per hour: 10 mil
High mission income per hour: 50-60 mil
Vanguard incursion rates: ~110 mil per hour
HQ incursion rates: ~200 mil per hour (250 if your fleet is good)
Null sec anomaly grinding:
Low - 30 mil per hour (this is using a VNI)
Mid - 60 mil per hour (this is using a marauder)
High - 200 mil per hour (this is using a supercap)
Now let me assure you, that the high income rate for missions does not even come close to comparing to the mid income rates for null sec anomaly grinding. This is because the rate of income for high mission is not consistent. A LOT of times you are only making that 10 mil per hour because you get a bad run of missions that pay next to nothing. Or you have to sit there asking the agent for mission after mission and you are wasting your time turning down and requesting missions. Or you get a faction mission that you have to turn down and now you have to wait 4 hours to turn the next one down because you got another faction mission. The mission system is broken, PVE corps are having a hell of a time trying to retain their players. This game desparately needs to streamline how missions are run, how loot is given, the benefits of running a high sec corp need to looked at seriously.
In short, CCP, it’s time to start showing some carebears some love because well, honestly, if carebears were the backbone of EVE, then you would have all the money you could ask for to do things like upgrade your building, build new offices, upgrade your computers, PAY YOUR DEVS MORE, and so on. But no, your “let’s cater to the null guys” is failing. So here we have this garbage alpha account thing, since you know, you pushed away over a hundred thousand paying subscribers with your broken high sec stuff, and wanting and dreaming and therefore forcing guys into nullsec, making them leave the game and saying “that eve is just a spreadsheet simulator and I did nothing but loose my stuff”. Instead you will have people saying “that eve is the best damn MMO out there and hey, why don’t you try it?”. It’s time to abandon the dream that the entire game should be null sec and anything can happen anywhere. Because that would be catering to a very small portion of the gaming market. And I want to see EVE succeed, and well it has, sortof. But some changes have also had to be made, whether it’s cutting corners, laying people off, sitting on top of hardware you can’t use, selling the company to an investor, so on. I’m telling you why this stuff is happening. It’s because like I said, 90% of gamers don’t want to live the null life. So seriously, let’s get SERIOUSLY focused on how the high sec stuff works. Most players want to build up to the PVP thing, not jump straight into it. I hope I’m getting through to you, and to the haters that I know for sure 100% will try to burn this post down, well thanks for wasting your time reading and haha, feed me your tears. The numbers don’t lie. EVE is in trouble. And it’s time to stop listening to the naysayers and wanting to force people into doing something they don’t want to do. I will say it one last time, if the 15 times I said it before wasn’t enough. STOP CATERING TO NULL SEC and IMPROVE the HIGH SEC EXPERIENCE. Thanks.