PvE Roundtable - Saturday 31st of March


(Jin'taan) #1

Those of you with long memories might remember the Townhall I held in 2016 about PvE (https://forums-archive.eveonline.com/message/6607786/), which was an intensely useful discussion. The main conclusion drawn from that was that we needed more ‘social’ PvE content in EVE, as it was felt Incursions didn’t hit that niche properly. In addition there was a lot of the same concerns we see from other areas of the game like Faction Warfare, around the lack of iteration that some areas of PvE have had.

Since that time, we’ve had a large amount of new PvE added to the game. Resource Wars, the Agency, NPC Soitoyos, NPC FoBs, NPC Mining Fleets & Drifter WHs. As such, I figured it was probably time to touch bases again with the PvE community and find out what issues are being run up against. I’m also aiming to try and collate solid feedback on these new areas of PvE and find out what might be done to effectively iterate on them.

As always with these roundtables, I have specific topics & questions I want to focus the roundtable on before we go off on crazy tangents, and these are;

  • Resource Wars - Why didn’t it take off, was it purely a ISK/h problem or were there other issues? How is the gameplay experience? What (do you think) would be required for RW to be run, even if the payouts were kept below a baseline activity like L4 running?
    ** Subtopic - Is the ‘instancing’ of Resource Wars an issue? What gameplay does it prevent?
    ** Subtopic - What tools is social PvE missing? Would being able to set up a fleet advert with “anyone within x jumps can see”, or something along those lines help?
  • The Agency - How useful is it for finding PvE content you already enjoy? How useful is it for indicating new content that you might enjoy? Are there any features missing from the Agency?
  • NPC FoBs/Soitoyos - What is the biggest barrier to completing a FoB/Soitoyo? Is the content fun to run? What could be done to make them easier to attempt without reducing the difficulty substantially? What problems (if any) are there with the looting mechanics?
  • Missions - I’ve talked previously about adding missions to the mission running pool, but what - if any - changes from the traditional mission structure would be good? What are your favourite missions in terms of play experience (not monetary gain)?
    ** Note - I am not interested in discussing the idea of ‘letting players create their own missions’. It’s a nice idea, but it’s not one I think is pragmatically likely to happen.
  • Incursions - What problems are there with Incursions? Do people feel Incursions have become ‘too well known’? Does the ISK from Hisec Incursions make other PvE options less attractive?

I likely will not sit down and ask each of these questions directly, but hopefully it gives you an idea of what I’m looking to get out of this. I did intentionally leave out Mining & Exploration, as well as Wormhole PvE, as the former is a pair of topics I see more as parts of Industry than PvE (though they do fall into that category, it’s Player vs Enviroment, not Player vs Enemy), and the latter is one I feel will already be solidly in the purview of Noobman and whoever follows him as the WH CSM rep.

This roundtable will be hosted (in terms of audio) on this Discord invite, which is a temporary discord. I’ll also be streaming and recording the roundtable in order to allow others to hear what was said and respond to it.

I am planning to run the actual roundtable on the 31st of March, between 20:00 & 22:00, though I expect we’ll run over in time, as these roundtables tend to. If you can’t attend, my ingame inbox is open, as is this thread. I’ll try and read and absorb as much of that as possible.

Thank you for your time.

EDIT - Here is the recording


PvE Roundtable - Saturday 31st of March
(EveDataRules) #2

I unfortunately would be unable to make the round table. But here are a few points/suggestions.

There could be incentives for corporations and alliances to complete pve content together, across the board, to help entities to grow. It should help discourage solo and NPC corps. Say 5-10% bonus to payouts scaling with number of fleet members who participated?

Resource wars are too restrictive, FOBs too difficult for new players. The LP store is nothing special.

Resource wars could be very good content for new players learning the game, but there needs to be incentive for older player to help them. It mixes mining and combat; it’s a good idea.


(Chan'aar) #3

RW didn’t take off because

  • The rewards suck, I get the idea behind the pre-packed ships but it doesn’t work in Eve. Add more of the skins, make them available on their own, allow them to be traded on the market (who’s idea was that FFS?)
  • Getting random people to group up in Eve is hard because THIS IS EVE, its motto is trust no-one! (I have no idea how to fix this btw)
  • Because of the different restrictions on the sites it is hard to do RW for any length of time as the time travelling to find sites for the ships you have soon exceeds the time you are actually doing the content. (again I’m not sure of how to fix this)
  • I quite like spending an evening running around doing these, then again I’m doing these with a close friend and we have a bucket load of SP and ships so we can just cruise around and do Minor’s, Standard’s and Major’s in a couple of Prospects, I doubt we were the target audience. Its fun in a beat the clock / your personal best kind of way.
  • Terrible compared to the pre exisiting Agent Finder, it doesn’t have the range, it returns random results, its just poor.
  • For the regular Events its great (big props to CCP Dragon btw, buy him a beer or three)
  • See the old Agent Finder, no seriously in terms of features it has been a HUGE backward step.
  • Finding people you can trust your ship to (logisitics required) who are prepared to take them on for the relative poor isk and loot.
  • Warp in, set up logi chain, F1 … so not really, the logi have to be on the ball but less interesting (now) than incursions. I think the issue has been the huge bouncing around of the difficulty of these. We had the insane spawns when they were introduced (npc’s were triggered on high slot weapons) which led to the solo VNI / any drone boat method. Now there is one spawn of rats which with enough logi can be ignored. The difficulty needs to be somewhere in the middle, where the random defence fleets are enough of a threat to make it necessary to engage them without the OMG scrolling overview that we had.
  • They have maybe become too well known and therefore scripted. I think there is also the issue of it being a closed group. Its hard for a new group to get into them because the current groups are so well developed and have their roster of goto pilots. Before they were figured out so well a small group could form a VG fleet and have some fun finding sites. These days the established groups contest you until people give up. (yes I know that is a bit of a whine and This is Eve HTFU etc but …)

@Jin_taan that you for taking the time to do this btw, PVE almost seems to be a dirty word to the CSM.


(Jin'taan) #4

As someone who’s last experiences of the old agent finder was in 2012, specific examples of “Things that are missing” make a significantly more compelling case for me here - I don’t use either of the tools, I don’t know what’s important to your workflow here.

No worries! And that’s an image I’m trying to shake as none of us believe it - We’re all well aware that PvE pilots are the basis of the ecosystem that allows the parts of EVE we’re more focused on alive. It’s just not something that’s seen as ‘necessary to communicate that you care about’. I also speculate that some of them worry about how their reputation might be changed by being seen to be interested in something like missions, over say Jump Fatigue or War Decs, or whatever other Big Problem ™ is facing the game. :wink:


(LouHodo) #5

For me PVE includes Exploration content. When I go out there and attempt PVE, it is a bit boring. The overall experience is the same no matter what I do. I could go out and hit high sec combat sites or run L1-3 missions, or go into Low sec and null sec and run combat sites which are about the same as L4-5 missions. The NPCs are about the same, they dont take much effort to figure out. You can kite them or drone boat them or just snipe them. PVE ship builds are easy to run across and so are the encounters.

Nothing is surprising, or new.

What is missing is random events, BIG story line events that make you feel like you are part of the bigger picture.


(Dyver Phycad) #6

Not useful at all. It hides content I search and require to see. It shows content I don’t want to see.
It is less useful to find PVE content because it made it harder to use, namely escalations which are now less convenient to grab and warp to and create bookmark contracts with proper expiry timers in the info.
Let me guess: Everything the old Agent Finder offered. Everything the old Escalation journal tab offered.

The fact that you need at least 2 expensive ships to run the FOB? The fact that the FOB are nothing but an annoyance because they spam your structure with attacks (I got literally 100 attack notification on one day).
I am not sure about “fun” but at the first time they were engaging. The second time I had it figured out and only the nasty anomalous response fleet made it harder. They are intense, though. However, since the FOB are just nuisances on space, changing them to make it harder to remove them should be highly discouraged.

The Assault, Navy Armada, DED Blockade, Massive Attack, Surprise Surprise, Police Invasion. The Assault in particular is very fun because the triggers are not entirely predictable and the damage can be very intense so that tanking and cap management are challenging. Other than that, some of the storyline missions that are not Mineral Delivery.


(Donkyhotay) #7

I also won’t be able to make the roundtable, but as someone who joined shortly after Alpha’s were first implemented and spent almost a year doing highsec PvE activities before joining a null-sec corp I do have an important suggestion.

Teach people about fleets and encourage ‘standing’ fleets for people to join. Related to this have an option in The Agency to join/create a fleet to allow people to find others that want to do that activity.

During my entire year doing highsec PvE I never joined a single fleet. I was aware fleets existed but I had no clue about how to join one and thought it was something you had to be invited into by people you already knew, and I didn’t know anyone else in Eve. I also was under the impression that joining a fleet could open you up to awoxing by the others in the fleet so I was hesitant to ask. Because of this I only did activities that I could solo on my own. I tried resource wars once or twice but gave up because I couldn’t mine enough, safely enough, all by myself in my little venture. Some of the event activities I could manage to do solo, but others I had no hope of earning any prizes with by myself so I ended up ignoring them. I never even considered doing an FoB as they just sounded insanely hard for someone to do solo.

It wasn’t until I recently joined a nullsec alliance that I learned that standing fleets anyone can join can exist. However even knowing this, I think I would be lost as a soloist trying to find other people to do resource wars, FoB’s, or other PvE activities near my “home”. However if when choosing an activity in The Agency there was some sort of “Fleet Up” button that would automatically join me to a fleet of other people wanting to do that same activity in my area, with a notice somewhere advising that joining a fleet does not take away CONCORD protection, I would have done so. This would have allowed me to try out activities I could never do alone, meet other players interested in the in-game activities I was doing, and possibly join a real player run corp much earlier then I did.

More then most other MMO’s, Eve is a very social game. Doing things by yourself gets boring after enough time. I think my spending a year doing solo stuff is probably the exception rather then the rule. However joining a corp full of random people can be intimidating, especially when you hear the horror stories of bad corps that trick newbros into being the CEO’s mining/ratting slaves. I strongly believe that using The Agency to help players not only find PvE content, but other players to do that content with, will help them to get to know other players and be more likely to join a corp that shares their interests and keep them engaged in Eve. This will greatly help with player retention, especially with newbros and soloists.

On an unrelated note, I also think The Agency is a really dumb name for a PvE finding system.


(Jin'taan) #8

You mean like the massive ARG currently going on around the Drifter storyline? - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvtzjjTTRdA

That said I entirely get what you’re saying, I’ve been lobbying to have the small PvE events have a choice based mechanism in them, and an overall lore result based on what most people chose since my second summit. Glad to hear it’s not just me who thinks the lore should be linked to PvE :slight_smile:


(Dyver Phycad) #9

Which no one noticed because CCP stopped making videos and no one watches the Discourse or Arc? :thinking: (And CCP rather advertises their skin sales than lore videos)


(Jin'taan) #10

Whilst I don’t know for certain, I’m fairly sure the CCP employee who made those videos was a member of the marketing department and no longer works for CCP. I really should figure out if he’s still working there though, if he is, I desperately need to find out what’s getting in his way of making those videos, as they were excellent.


(Chan'aar) #11

:hushed:

Gawd I hope not.

It seems CCP does not recognise good marketing tools when they have them. The Scope videos were excellent.


(Uriel Paradisi Anteovnuecci) #12

I remember hearing somewhere that CCP Loki was the one doing all of that, and that he was moved up to some bigger stuff at some point, leaving him with less resources to devote to the Scope? Though I’d trust you to have better info lol


(Jin'taan) #13

I should, but I don’t know his real name and all the methods I have to check what he’s doing require real names :stuck_out_tongue:. I definitely should have looked into it around the last summit, as it’s a topic near to my heart, but I was busy with my MechE degree exams at the time.


(Donkyhotay) #14

So between the time I started writing my previous post and the time I actually I posted it, a few other people have said things I think should be addressed. Namely that The Agency is not as useful as the old Agent Finder. For those of you that keep bringing that up, I completely agree 100% with you. The Agency is not as useful and much more limited then the Agent Finder. However that doesn’t mean we should get rid of The Agency or that The Agency is bad/useless.

When I was first starting out with Eve I got really lost and confused trying to use the Agency Finder. I managed to figure it out enough to find mission contacts but I never used it for anything else, I didn’t know for a long time (until after The Agency was released) that I could do anything more then that with it. When The Agency came out I was able to see activities offered to me that I didn’t yet know existed. The Agency helped me find new things to do. Most of these of course I couldn’t do solo which was frustrating but I least learned that they existed.

It seems like the heart of the “Agency vs. Finder” argument between players and CCP is the fact that they do two different things however one is supposed to replace the other. In reality both of these should work with and complement the other. The Agency is great at quickly showing people what’s available for them to do in their area. The Agent Finder is better at finding specific content the player is already familiar with.

I think we should keep The Agency as a “Mission Board”, maybe even rename it to something like that. I would then actually simplify The Agency so that it just has filters for generic content type (mining, combat, event, etc.) and maybe a range filter. Then players can quickly bring it up, find a nearby activity that sounds interesting, start/join a fleet with others wanting to do the same thing (see my previous post about using The Agency to help people fleet up together), and quickly jump into the fun. The Agent Finder is kept as it currently is for those that are looking for specific content and need the extra features and functionality it currently provides.

Maybe after enough time of using The Agency a “mission” that introduces newbros to the Agent Finder appears so that players can use it to better find content that interests them so they’re not forever stuck with what The Agency is offering them and can graduate to a more advanced search. However even then The Agency is available for those that want something to do but aren’t certain what they want.

I suspect that some people are going to complain that my suggestions will contribute to the “dumbing down” of Eve. I don’t think helping players come together to do PvE content is going to dumb down Eve. On the contrary bringing players together like this helps them learn and teach each other, thereby becoming better at the game overall. Also, I strongly believe these suggestions will help bring in and retain new players which is vital to the life and health of any MMO.


(Giddy McFee) #15

When i did missions they became too repetitive. It would be nice to go into a mission not always knowing what you got with the only thing being a certain is the type of ship to use ie a BS for level 4.

My over rising memory though was how rubbish the LP store was in it execution and also always felt that each NPC corp should have it own unique LP store items so it gave a reason for trying different NPC corps.


(Penance Toralen) #16

I actually used The Agency as a method to locate and filter the Resource Wars into Levels.

For the Resource Wars: The actual content itself was superb. Needing to carefully manage all of the facets of flying a mining frigate was a good for me. I felt that would be good for newer players to learn instead normal mining - which teaches a fatal complacency in new miners.

So to hear CCP Guard say we intended this content as a way for older players to mentor new players. There is a massive gap here to CCP’s normal: release content and let the players work out it. And I will qualify the situation by pointing to the mining barge update in 2012. It was basically a hand-holding effect. Miners are known for not to work it for themselves. So my thought for this content is; I can do a primary section of this solo - as I would treat most PvE content. Even JonnyPew put out a video of how to solo the tier3 sites.

The racial restrictions. I sort of get this. But its bad because ORE ships are shield tanking, and only two factions have shield logi. They even expanded the reward system for logi - and this point does not occur at CCP.

Finally the rewards. It was kind of interesting to offer combat rewards for mining content. And vegetarians flock to Steak Houses for the great salads. So non-aligned rewards and stupidly expensive ones.

Having mining bling for the rewards has its pros & cons - because ORE mining bling is walled off to Null-Sec¹. (yeah I know; present the problem, let CCP solve). But this type of reward would attract more interest certainly. Faction mining upgrades or survey scanners or something on the fringe for industry.

Perhaps a constellation wide channel/chat for RW. If it was easier to see other players in the content then finding a fleet/group is not blind man’s bluff.

I thought CCP said were not going to touch RW anymore?

¹ seriously can that change? I have made the trip. I wouldn’t do it again.


(elitatwo) #17

Yes it was for me. And who came up with the idea of having a Raven with t1 modules that do not belong on a Raven as a “reward”??

It isn’t. And why does there have to be a map? The agent finder was perfect the way it was.
You get bombarded with information you have no idea about and color that indicate, that you have fleet members there even if you are not in a fleet, icons that don’t make any sense, filters that do not or filter everything it is not supposed to filter…
The list goes on for a while…

If you need 4-200 people to do those and one of them gets the loot for the same risk as attacking a manned keepstar in Delve - no thanks.
Those highsec fobs may annihilate you if you haven’t tried any of them before and the 200 million you may get or not are not worth the insane amount of risk you have to take or are in when you are in a fob system and you don’t even know one is there.

My favorites are still Angel Extravaganza level 4, Dread Pirate Scarlet and that storyline mission with the Rogue drones that does not have any Rogue drones in them but everything else “infected by Rogue Drones” shooting you.

Those missions make my day.

Angel Extravaganza is an exercise in dealing with fear and keeping your cool under a lot of pressure - many things can go wrong even if you know what you need to do.

I need to quote Forrest Gump for describing Dread Pirate Scarlet, which is a box of chocolate and you never know what is going to be inside - or where.

When those hit SiSi for the first time, I went and tried those, cocky as I was.
I got annihilated in seconds and after loosing 5 billion isk worth of ships, it wasn’t for me.

Another thing about Incursions is that lots of ships on the same grid causes lag where any second counts and you are not allowed to make any mistakes.

Two buddies and I recently went to a null incursion and took 3x dreads into a HQ site.
All was fine until wave 3 where some Terran super-neutgorns capped our dreads out in 5 seconds and we all died horribly - I mean what??

Some people brag about how much isk one can make with Incursions but if you spend everything you have on one boat and join an incursion for the first time and your boat explodes, you will make zero isk and have zero isk and your experience with those “sooper ezpz bajillions per hours” will not be what some people claim.

There is a line between what people think is challenging and what they want - which is isk per danger.
But - if you have a 100% chance of losing your 3+ billion pve boat, nobody wants anything to do with it.
That’s why drifters were a fail - BZZZZ bRRRzzzz BOOM - your ship died. The End, no isk.

Sleeper anomalies were a challenge for me when I set foot into w-space. I found it very challenging to try and solo class 4 anomalies with a battleship that had no bling whatsoever on it.

I find DED complexes challenging, especially because I do them in a Myrmidon (people would not believe me when I told them that but they saw my Myrmidon on d-scan) or a Dominix and not a 500 billion purple fit tengu with 3000 ballistic controls on.


(Anderson Geten) #18

“evolution” storyline ?


(elitatwo) #19

Aaah yes, that’s the one!


(Jin'taan) #20

They don’t have it on the roadmap - Doesn’t mean they (and by extension I) am not interested in finding lessons as to why it didn’t do what CCP hoped it did, or that they won’t eventually touch on it. And if they do decide to think about the latter, I’d like to have done as much of the groundwork as possible for them.