I understand that there are many ideas in these forums about re-creating the mission system, but as CCP is probably busy with their new 64-bit engine and other projects, modifications to missioning will be on the back burner for some time I’m guessing, and I figured I’d propose something that is within the current framework for now.
Current Security Missions Breakdown:
I believe security missions can be categorized as follows:
- Farmable - missions that are worthwhile to keep open for the 6-7 days possible, at the expense of locking up that agent for the duration.
- Blitzable - missions with an objective that can be completed quickly.
- Empire Faction - missions that provide tags at the expense of standings.
- Challenge - large missions that can kill off rushed or inexperienced players, but not worth blitzing or farming.
- Fluff - missions not worth farming or blitzing, but some are worth doing for story or fun.
(I didn’t add burners cause they can be declined without penalty.)
Adding new missions to keep the content fresh:
For those of us that enjoy the content, we need new missions to retain subscribers and to convert the fence-sitting alphas to subs (more on that concept later). I can’t say whether we are a significant revenue stream, but even if a subber only plays in missions, it is bonus revenue, why throw it out?
However, missions are just the beginning in many players’ career. Eventually they move on to exploration, PvP, Null sec, etc… I’ve seen it happen many times, some just take longer than others. And often they return to missions for enjoyment and an income stream to fuel those other dangerous activities. Mission running is one of the significant reasons for staying in the game for some.
Keeping missions fresh may require maintaining the mission type ratio, categorized above, when adding new missions. As long as the mission type ratio can be maintained, I think there would be few complaints. I know some would like to alter the system to just feed them the missions they like. However, I personally haven’t minded when my agents get stingy by not giving me “good” missions, it just reminds me to try a different activity in EVE for a bit.
Now. if CCP does not currently have enough time or resources to add new missions, why not hand over a level design kit to the community? I’m sure there would be quite a few players willing to make new missions for free. Or make it a contest and give out prizes to select best missions. Then categorize the new missions and add according to ratio.
If somehow, someday, there are just too many missions, maybe add a mechanic to rotate out and back in missions by season. Like every three months, a block of categorized missions get pulled, only to be put back in another rotation.
The Ultimate PvE ships
Here’s the thing, for Lv4 security mission running in high sec, ultimate PvE ships already exist: marauders using bastion. (I bet some were expecting me to push for a brand new pwnmobile ) Now there’s people that are gonna huff about their favorite faction ship, and if their ship is so much better than a marauder, sure, I’ll take a buff for marauders. But in all seriousness, the one big advantage that a bastioned marauder has is that it is near immune to ewar.
Converting Alphas, and Spammin’ Jammin’
So here is where it all comes together: new missions, ultimate ship, converting alphas. Make the new missions have just an annoying amount of ewar. Not to where it’s game breaking for people, but maybe to where it takes like 25-50% longer without bastion. And the npc’s should switch to, and attack all players on the map with ewar, so that it can annoy even multiboxers. No need to lock out alphas from Lv4 securities. Just spam ewar at everyone until they sub and climb into a Marauder, which requires Omega. And at the same time, the new missions can help retain older subscribers. It’s win-win.
EDIT: Added header for conclusion.
For those that hate bastioning, there are threads/posts calling for changes to make the mechanic more fluid.
And for those that love their pirate ships, they are, in theory, designed for PvP. Marauders are the PvE specialists, so they should get all the missioning love, IMHO.