Improving experience of new mission runners

CPP has recently been trying to make improvements to the new player experience. A next step would be improving what is mostly players first experience of PvE, running security mission.

Note: I am not looking for advice for myself on how to run missions. I know where to get that information from or and I have in game notes on missions and a lot of experience running them. This is about making it easier for new mission runners in particular. Yes some the changes would be of benefit me too of course, but I am not looking for workarounds. This topic is about suggesting improvements.

  1. There are missions where you have to take an item with you. Many of them will have a message in the mission objective thing that appears on the right that tells you need the item in your cargo before you undock. However there are also some missions that will just tell you to undock without the necessary item. An example is the missions in “The Anomaly” chain, and there is also one I think in the SoE epic Arc. This is a good example of just random inconstancy.

  2. Objectives need to be made more clear. Mission will tell you in the side bar what you need to do next. Some times these are wrong or unhelpful. An example of wrong is in the “Marked for Death” mission. It will tell you to destroy a structure that is invulnerable (can’t take damage) instead of kill all enemies (I bug reported that one). Unhelpful is something like “Smuggler Interception” that will keep telling you that you need 10 Militants in your cargo even once you do, because you also need to kill all enemies.

  3. My suggestion here would be to have it list all the objectives that need to be done, and have them tick off as completed (plenty of other games do something like that). This could be expanded so that when you need to kill enemies it actually counts them off, so it would show 7 of 12 enemies destroyed, or at least 3 of 4 waves destroyed.

  4. Actually indicate when not all enemies need to be destroyed. So for example if you do the mission “The Sansha Spies” it will say in the side “You need to destroy all enemies” when if you read up on the mission online you would know you only need need to kill the NPC’s named “Sansha Spy”. It would be useful if this could be indicated, and as per the previous point the progress in doing be shown. Bonus if in someway it was indicated in the overview which NPC’s where mission critical and which were there just to shoot at you.

  5. Indicate wave triggers. Again something that it is easy to know from out of game resources, but it would be useful to know what NPC’s are going to call for backup once destroyed. Much like how you get the secondary icon that indicates someone is criminal or in corp, the NPC’s could get a little secondary radio icon. Really useful for new players who can easily overwhelm themselves and make the mission too hard to complete. This is a good example of not really important for me now, my Golem can tank any mission even if I deliberately activate all waves at once.

  6. Better Intelligence going to a mission. This can include everything from giving hints of what types of damage to do and to resist, which even if it was just shown as a tooltip when hovering over the icon that tells you what type of pirate you are going up against would be nice (I got good in game notes for this). To also tell the player the number of gates/pockets they are going to have to pass though. To also indicating what NPC’s we might find in the mission. You can look it up of course, but the agent could say something like “We sent out combat probes to the area to scout ahead, and this is what we found is waiting for you”. Some might argue this is spoilers, but I think most would rather know.

  7. Clean up the “Large Collidable Object” and “Large Collidable Structure” mess (this is not just missions, this applies to DED sites and many other things too). What I mean here is most of these that appear don’t have any relevance to the mission, but the odd one can. Sometimes you need to shoot one, or move towards one of them. So you need sometimes to have them on the overview, but other times having them there just results in just messing up the overview and making it hard to see what you want. It would be awesome of there was a new type, called something like “Large Mission Object” that was used for every case where it is connect to the mission objective (like in Recon 2 where you have to go towards the inactive gate) or it drops something. And not just drop mission items, but also for example in the 3rd room of “Angle Extravaganza” the “Storage Silo” drops an implant. There is a few missions (can’t think of a name right now will come back and edit with example when I find one) that do make this easy, they use I think a “Deadspace Oversear’s Structure” (I will confirm next time I see it) or something with the same icon as one. So in summary make it so there is one type that should be on the overview so I can target it, but then the others simply become always purely decorational items that add to the atmosphere but I have no need to interact with.

Those are my thoughts for now, though I guess I will come up with more as I keep thinking about this. Love to hear what others might say, if that be thoughts on what I have said, or others ideas for improvements.

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While I agree with most things, the following is a bit contentious.

It should not be easy to figure out what the triggers. There should be an element of surprise when you shoot down the clay pigeons. However, for the future I wish there could be ways to interfere with trigger ships so that they cannot call in reinforcements, or call more reinforcements than usual because the existing wave or they themselves where completely obliterated in a short time. That could be particularly interesting for missions that reward tags.

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Not wave triggers or damage/resist profiles. Damage and resist profiles are given by the rats themselves and not ALL are consistent.

But clarifying objectives could be better. Even if they just put it in the journal. And create a new entity ‘mission objective’ for the overview. That way collidable objects and structures can be just that.

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True, a good example is in the “Angel Extravaganza” most of it needs explosive damage, there are a few frigates that are best done with thermal instead.

With the damage/resists anyone with experience or who looks these things up knows for example that guristas are weak to kinetic and angel to explosive. But there is no way in game new mission runners are introduced to that. I would like to see it, even if only for lv1 and lv2 missions.

I get the wave triggers being indicated could be very controversial. But the info is easy to get out of game, for the players that have discovered that. Again it would be good in the lower level missions that it was in some way indicated to the player that shooting a ship might have consequences. For me personally it would make little difference. In fact I will deliberately set off triggers early to make the waves have more time to get closer so my torpedos have less travel time.

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