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Tarminic
Dreddit
Test Alliance Please Ignore
Posted - 2008.06.27 19:05:00 - [1]
 

Edited by: Tarminic on 27/06/2008 22:43:30
It's a well-known fact that currently, EVE has some of the worst PvE content of any MMO with PvE content. This is terrible, but I understand that developer time is limited. Here are some changes that I think are relatively easy, but would make missions much more interesting overall:

1. Fewer NPCs, Better NPCs
Lots of small, easy-to-kill NPCs are pretty boring, in all honesty. Cut their numbers in half, and double their damage and tanking ability.

Pros:
-Less graphical lag
-Slightly more interesting missions

Cons:
-Less loot and salvage
-Increased mission difficulty
-Potentially labor-intensive to implement (i.e., lots of time making changes to each mission)


No More Unnamed T1 Loot
Currently, the loot dropped by mission NPCs consists of 75-90% crap and 25-10% high-end named equipment. This has the effect of destroying the T1 market and reducing the viability of mining as mission-running yields a lot of minerals from reprocessed worthless loot. Removing unnamed T1 loot will make looting a bit faster and also yield more high-end items that would make up for the lower volume of loot.

Pros:
-More viable T1 market (less competition from missions)
-Fewer non-mining sources of minerals
-Faster mission looting times
-Increased mission profits

Cons:
-Potentially labor-intensive to implement (i.e., lots of time making changes to each mission)

Mission Leaders That Retreat Unless Scrambled
NPC AI at the moment is insufferably stupid. They'll spend an hour pounding on your ship even when it's obvious that nothing is going to happen and won't retreat after your ship casually blows up two thirds of their force. Obviously this is a tricky situation because you don't want to frustrate players and you don't want to generate lag either.
A relatively simple change could add some more interesting dimensions to missions is to designate a "leader" within a group of NPCs. This NPC will have a better bounty than normal NPCs, and will occasionally check to see how much of his force is remaining (technical details to follow). If most of their force is destroyed, they will attempt to retreat by gang-warping themselves out of the mission area. You can stop this from occurring by warp scrambling them (or alternately, let them go). I don't know exactly how it would be implemented as I don't work for CCP, but as a programmer I believe this can be done without noticeably increasing server lag.

Pros:
-Missions become a bit more like PvP
-Missions are more engaging

Cons:
-May slightly increase lag
-Potentially labor-intensive to implement (i.e., lots of time making changes to each mission)


More Dynamic NPC Spawns
Currently, a mission will spawn an exact number of NPCs every time it's played of an exact type. This is one of the main factors that makes missions predictable, and changing this can help make missions more interesting.
This could also be done fairly easily. Each mission spawn is assigned a point value:
Frigate/Drone: 1 Point
Destroyer: 2 Points
Cruiser: 4 Points
Battlecruiser: 8 Points
Battleship: 16 Points
[ii]NOTE: These are just sample numbers, real numbers would be balanced by CCP based on damage/bounty values/etc[/i]

A mission with a spawn with 50 total points could be spawned as:
-1 Battleship, 2 Battlecruisers, 2 Cruisers, 2 Destroyers, 6 Frigates
-2 Batteships, 3 Cruisers, 2 Frigates
4 Battlecruisers, 2 Cruisers, 4 Destroyers, 2 Frigates

Obviously limits will have to be placed on this in order to keep ratios from being skewed too towards small or large ships.

Pros:
-More dynamic mission content

Cons:
-Moderate difficulty of implementation
-Possible balance issues

I think that these three changes, combined, will make missions more enjoyable, more dynamic, and generally less soul-destroying as they are now. It'll also have some pleasant side-effects for the T1 market and mining. Can I have your support on this?

Lia Gaeren
Caldari
Pole Dancing Vixens

Posted - 2008.06.27 21:00:00 - [2]
 

Please also see my thread here. :)

I think my main concern with the above is that if your mission objective is to kill or capture the leader, you would be kinda screwed if he warped out. Inevitable response to it will be to kill the 'leader ships' of a wave of NPCs before the others, therefore removing the check for them to warp out.

Also not too sure about the whole loot thing. If you're going to remove the loot you will remove a fairly major source of income for the mission runner, and also stop the new player experience in realising that some of these oddly named things offer better performance than the regular mods. However, if you were to balance that with a revamp of manufacturing to allow for higher quality than normal mods to be developed by higher-skilled players, might work.

And I gotta agree with the dynamic spawns thing, since that's in my post too :)

Tarminic
Dreddit
Test Alliance Please Ignore
Posted - 2008.06.27 22:42:00 - [3]
 

Originally by: Lia Gaeren
Please also see my thread here. :)

Thanks, I'll check it out. Smile

Quote:
I think my main concern with the above is that if your mission objective is to kill or capture the leader, you would be kinda screwed if he warped out. Inevitable response to it will be to kill the 'leader ships' of a wave of NPCs before the others, therefore removing the check for them to warp out.

I've thought about this. The easiest solution is to just not have the objective NPC be part of a group with a leader. Regarding killing the leader ships before the other NPCs to keep them from warping out, this is a perfectly acceptable strategy in my opinion.

Quote:
Also not too sure about the whole loot thing. If you're going to remove the loot you will remove a fairly major source of income for the mission runner, and also stop the new player experience in realising that some of these oddly named things offer better performance than the regular mods. However, if you were to balance that with a revamp of manufacturing to allow for higher quality than normal mods to be developed by higher-skilled players, might work.

I should clarify here, by loot, I mean unnamed T1 loot only. So you'll stop getting things like 1MN Afterburner 1, but will still receive any of its varieties in the loot table. I'll update the OP to clarify.

William Pierce
Caldari
Zor Industries
Pandemic Legion
Posted - 2008.06.27 23:59:00 - [4]
 

Sounds like a good idea, but I agree that it might be hard to implement.

halykon
Posted - 2008.06.28 03:14:00 - [5]
 

Originally by: Lia Gaeren

Also not too sure about the whole loot thing. If you're going to remove the loot you will remove a fairly major source of income for the mission runner, and also stop the new player experience in realising that some of these oddly named things offer better performance than the regular mods. However, if you were to balance that with a revamp of manufacturing to allow for higher quality than normal mods to be developed by higher-skilled players, might work.



I'm actually for a massive drop in T1 loot from missions, even if it means I make a little less isk. Simply because I'm of the mindset that industrialists get ****** over.

Herschel Yamamoto
Agent-Orange
Nabaal Syndicate
Posted - 2008.06.28 04:31:00 - [6]
 

I disagree on some of the details, but overall these are good ideas. I like my T1 loot, but I'm willing to part with it if it's done right(i.e., don't just take it off and call it even, that stuff is a good 20% of mission rewards at times). And the rest just seem like either common sense(NPC distribution changes) or nifty ideas(a need for PvP modules in PvE).

Vision Threads
Posted - 2008.06.28 05:36:00 - [7]
 

Support. I'm very interested in seeing ISK-making activities become more challenging and fun. I especially like the idea about missions needing a tackling role to be filled, because it encourages group missioning.

Also, another related topic.

Phroneo
Caldari
Southern Cross Empire
Flying Dangerous
Posted - 2008.06.28 06:21:00 - [8]
 

Fewer & Better NPC's + No T1 loot. Thanks

Kolmogorow
Freedom Resources
Posted - 2008.06.28 12:31:00 - [9]
 

Yes, especially regarding the removal of unnamed T1 loot and the more dynamic NPC spawns.

Sovereign533
Caldari
The Collective
Against ALL Authorities
Posted - 2008.06.28 13:01:00 - [10]
 


Abrazzar
Posted - 2008.06.28 13:12:00 - [11]
 

Signed.
And maybe add a more advanced AI and targeting behavior to all rats.

Zaran Darkstar
Divine Slaves
Posted - 2008.06.28 14:16:00 - [12]
 

I like everything apart "mission leaders that abandon the mission area unless scrambled" because it will generate much trouble for players flying slow ships (BS) without an AB in lvl 4s.

If you plan to remove that part i will aprove

Hamfast
Gallente

Posted - 2008.06.28 14:28:00 - [13]
 

Good ideas,

I like the idea that some "Leader" would order some of his forces to "Cover his retreat" if his forces are getting creamed... what could also be included is (as with some missions now) that after a given (perhaps random) amount of time, that leader returns with an "Overwhelming Force" as related to the ship (or ships) that chased them off in the first place.

While I like the idea of more dynamic missions (variable spawns), various different ships of similar types (Groups of weak ships, or smaller gangs of tougher ships) I worry that balance may be thrown off if the right combination of factors come together.

Kazzac Elentria
Posted - 2008.06.28 14:51:00 - [14]
 

I like

Shuckstar
Gallente
Hauling hogs
Swine Aviation Labs
Posted - 2008.06.28 14:53:00 - [15]
 


Jade Constantine
Gallente
Jericho Fraction
The Star Fraction
Posted - 2008.07.04 16:40:00 - [16]
 


Very good ideas and if things like this got into the development schedule and rolled out for missions it might even tempt me to actually do some.

Its a good issue and I'm happy to support it.

Theronnos
Aliastra

Posted - 2008.07.05 23:58:00 - [17]
 

Agree that missions need, and can be, more fun.

Bunyip
Gallente
Center for Advanced Studies
Posted - 2008.07.07 07:20:00 - [18]
 

Here's my .02 ISK on the subject:

1) Maybe, but you'd have to make a counterset. Right now, some NPCs are extremely tough to kill (Zor, Kayzum Mother Drone, and one other where they are in a middle group of 5 groups and fire missiles).

2) Only if you increase the bounty on ships accordingly. The difficulty of missions usually equals the rewards, and removing all T1 loot will only reduce mission payout (Smartbombs and such can sell for a lot).

3) Incorporate that into FW missions. PvEers have setups that we like, and the last thing we need is another module that needs to be used (Minmatar usually have to fit webbers, Amarr/Gallente fit Cap Rechargers, and Crapdari fit shield mods).

4) Agreed, but only to an extent. Having all frigs would be too easy or hard depending on weapons used. Maybe have a chance of some ships being upgraded to T2 (web/scram/etc), but keep the overall layout.

Is missions grinding? Sometimes, yes. However, when I come home from a tough day of work, I enjoy taking out my aggression on such enemies. Maybe making missions more tricky would work (as #4 above), but what about different mission types (Like Cargo Delivery, except that you have to put something in a container, etc).

nathaniel flanders
Posted - 2008.07.07 12:20:00 - [19]
 

Mission could take some love, agreed. Especially random spawns would make it more challenging. I'm unsure for the T1 loot. Some give nice ISK (like the mentioned smartbombs fe), and others generate rare minerals like zydrine which you usually don't get in high sec.

ceyriot
Munition Delivery Services

Posted - 2008.07.07 12:24:00 - [20]
 

Originally by: William Pierce
Sounds like a good idea, but I agree that it might be hard to implement.

Molock Saronen
Posted - 2008.07.07 13:10:00 - [21]
 


Morgenrei
Wildlands Heavy Technologies
Posted - 2008.07.08 13:20:00 - [22]
 

excellent presented

Tesseract d'Urberville
Tadakastu-Obata Corporation
The Honda Accord
Posted - 2008.07.08 14:37:00 - [23]
 

A difficulty: overall value of loot will decrease over time. By eliminating unnamed T1 loot (which is frequently melted down by mission runners rather than sold whole), and substituting a roughly equivalent value of named T1 loot, you will slowly drive down the value of named T1 loot as it becomes more common. That has upsides too of course (making named T1 mods more widely available, and bringing their prices down), but it will over time decrease the overall rewards of missioning.

That said, I still think this is a good idea.

Exlegion
Caldari
Salva Veritate

Posted - 2008.07.08 14:47:00 - [24]
 

Although "fun" is relative and varies from individual to individual I personally like these ideas and would love to see them implemented.



Tarminic
Dreddit
Test Alliance Please Ignore
Posted - 2008.07.08 14:51:00 - [25]
 

Originally by: Bunyip
Here's my .02 ISK on the subject:

1) Maybe, but you'd have to make a counterset. Right now, some NPCs are extremely tough to kill (Zor, Kayzum Mother Drone, and one other where they are in a middle group of 5 groups and fire missiles).

There are additional strategies that can be used to defeat NPCs - energy neutralizers, for example. In addition, I think that it would be a good thing for a few missions to be very difficult to solo, as it would encourage a bit more cooperation (now that the lofty scam is no more).

Quote:
2) Only if you increase the bounty on ships accordingly. The difficulty of missions usually equals the rewards, and removing all T1 loot will only reduce mission payout (Smartbombs and such can sell for a lot).

Re-read my proposal - named T1 loot would make up for the lack of unnamed T1 loot, so this is a non-issue.

Quote:
3) Incorporate that into FW missions. PvEers have setups that we like, and the last thing we need is another module that needs to be used (Minmatar usually have to fit webbers, Amarr/Gallente fit Cap Rechargers, and Crapdari fit shield mods).

I disagree, requiring another modules is almost exactly what PvEers need. It brings missions a little bit closer to PvP and also makes missions a bit less of a snooze-fest as well. In addition, you don't actually need the module either, it just hurts your bottom line not to have it. Deciding to sacrifice that slot for extra profit or leave it for extra tracking/damage/tanking ability should be a decision mission runners have to make, because right now their only real decisions are which hardeners to fit based on the NPCs they're encountering.

Quote:
4) Agreed, but only to an extent. Having all frigs would be too easy or hard depending on weapons used. Maybe have a chance of some ships being upgraded to T2 (web/scram/etc), but keep the overall layout.

Obviously - my proposal suggests that there would have to be some form of limit to keep missions from having 80 frigates or 10 battleships.

Quote:
Maybe making missions more tricky would work (as #4 above), but what about different mission types (Like Cargo Delivery, except that you have to put something in a container, etc).

Interesting suggestion, though a bit outside the scope of my ideas. Perhaps you should propose something to that effect. Smile

Lucus Ranger
Gallente
The Collective
Against ALL Authorities
Posted - 2008.07.08 15:51:00 - [26]
 

Very nice. :)

Lia Gaeren
Caldari
Pole Dancing Vixens
Posted - 2008.07.08 21:18:00 - [27]
 

Originally by: Tarminic
Originally by: Bunyip
Maybe making missions more tricky would work (as #4 above), but what about different mission types (Like Cargo Delivery, except that you have to put something in a container, etc).

Interesting suggestion, though a bit outside the scope of my ideas. Perhaps you should propose something to that effect. Smile
As I've posted a couple of times about varying mission content, I am taking the next step and actually working on some mission outlines with a variety of different tasks and 'win' conditions than currently exist. Unfortunately work is currently being a female dog, so it's not as fast as it could be. Have tomorrow night to kill in a hotel room with no internet & no company though... that might help :)

Venkul Mul
Gallente
Posted - 2008.07.08 22:01:00 - [28]
 

Edited by: Venkul Mul on 08/07/2008 22:09:19
Originally by: Tarminic

No More Unnamed T1 Loot
Currently, the loot dropped by mission NPCs consists of 75-90% crap and 25-10% high-end named equipment. This has the effect of destroying the T1 market and reducing the viability of mining as mission-running yields a lot of minerals from reprocessed worthless loot. Removing unnamed T1 loot will make looting a bit faster and also yield more high-end items that would make up for the lower volume of loot.

Pros:
-More viable T1 market (less competition from missions)
-Fewer non-mining sources of minerals
-Faster mission looting times
-Increased mission profits

Cons:
-Potentially labor-intensive to implement (i.e., lots of time making changes to each mission)




A comment to your pro and cons:

-More viable T1 market (less competition from missions)

I don't see why someone would buy T1 items when there are better named items in market ad a practically equivalent price. I dubt T1 market will get better. The only exception are the items that don't normally drop from rats and already sell;

-Fewer non-mining sources of minerals

granted.

-Faster mission looting times

Not really, you salvage while looting. More empty wrecks don't change the time spent salvaging.

-Increased mission profits

not unless the quantity of named items is increased, but then the named item prices will drop and the T1 market will still suffer even more from named item competition.

-Potentially labor-intensive to implement (i.e., lots of time making changes to each mission)

Most rats share loot tables I think, so it will not require to change all the missions, only the lot tables.

Note that the current lot mix is more like 75-90% crap T1, 24-9% crap named items, 1% high end named equipment.

I routinely buy crap named items for refining and they sell for less than mineral content.

Venkul Mul
Gallente
Posted - 2008.07.08 22:06:00 - [29]
 

Originally by: halykon
Originally by: Lia Gaeren

Also not too sure about the whole loot thing. If you're going to remove the loot you will remove a fairly major source of income for the mission runner, and also stop the new player experience in realising that some of these oddly named things offer better performance than the regular mods. However, if you were to balance that with a revamp of manufacturing to allow for higher quality than normal mods to be developed by higher-skilled players, might work.



I'm actually for a massive drop in T1 loot from missions, even if it means I make a little less isk. Simply because I'm of the mindset that industrialists get ****** over.


But it will not change unless a lot of other things are changed.

How often you use a T1 set up?

Getting the items at a higher price form manufacturers will not make T1 gear more used.

Venkul Mul
Gallente
Posted - 2008.07.08 22:12:00 - [30]
 

Edited by: Venkul Mul on 09/07/2008 11:57:17
Edited by: Venkul Mul on 08/07/2008 22:12:26
1. Fewer NPCs, Better NPCs

Supported

No More Unnamed T1 Loot

Need a lot of work to be implemented, it will have very far ranging secondary effects.


Mission Leaders That Retreat Unless Scrambled

Tentative support. Maybe only for level 3 or more missions.

More Dynamic NPC Spawns

/supported.


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