Missions, Exploration and Mini-professions Revisited
It was awesome to see all the feedback to the last blog about the mission proposal. We always say amongst ourselves that the moment the playerbase doesn't respond to changes, be that in an positive or negative way, will be the end. Apathy will be the death of us.
So, in an attempt to summarize the 630 comments, these were your main concerns (and by all means, correct me if we're getting this wrong).
You feel we are abandoning missions and PVE in general.
This couldn't be further from the truth, but we understand why you percieve this, since we don't talk that much about missions specifics so let's change that. We're now re-organizing the part of the content division that focuses on missions, exploration and other PVE activity and so that it can continue to grow. We usually have 8 people full-time working on PVE but that's being ramped up to 14 in the near future and that's only the people authoring the content, not programming.
So let's make this crystal clear. We're fully committed to an eternally evolving and growing PVE infrastructure within EVE.
You want the current Level 4 missions to stay as they are.
Perfectly valid point. What has already been done is the revisiting of 70% of the most used content on Tranquility, using Triggers and such. This is to freshen up the content, make it less predictable and of course a big part of the Need of Speed.
These revisited missions are all coming in tomorrow as part of Revelations 1.4, so here is a promise. We'll both see how those changes pan out, we'll mine the data and you will compare your experience with what it is today, we'll then see if there is still a need to move certain mission from Level 4 to Level 5. Note also, that the shortlist for moval was 5 missions.
We aren't adding enough content.
That's partially correct. We thought we had made it clear in the last blog that it's correct that missions need love and we are stepping up our content production for missions, especially with the new agent levels.
The incorrect part, is that we are adding lots of content. Exploration contains hundreds of different encounters for you to find (Srsly. Hundreds). We encourage you to try it out and there is already more coming.
More content for the current agent level!
Absolutely. I should have made it more prominent in the blog, but inside the big comment thread, I pointed out that for the 5-10 missions we would move, we're adding at least 20 - that probably ending at 30 missions - just for Level 4. Now, this could change and less missions would be moved.
You're taking away our ISK! We don't make that much ISK!
Understandably percieved so based on the listing in the last blog so let's clarify that also. Direct ISK into your wallet as bounty from NPCs are not the way we reward you for the high level agent missions.
You can still make (tons) of ISK, but it's in the form of materials, tools, ship loot drop, salvaging, technology (hacking). You now have the choice to either capitalize on these items and make them worth more to other players by using the mini-professions or simply sell directly the stuff to other players.
The only difference is that we're not creating ISK out of thin air from CONCORD (Infusion) but rather giving you perishable items (Sink) which other players pay you for.
Additionally, the Loyalty Point system and it's changes towards a more store-like system will open up new avenues for you. So for short, you will get rewarded for your effort, except you now have the opportunity to work a bit more with it and sell it for even more ISK.
We are forcing you into low security and PVP!
Not at all. EVE is about freedom of choice. We simply provide the options, but reserve the right to deliver these options in context. This should also be more clear in what we addressed above, let's see what the current changes do to the landscape and take it from there.
But is there PVP in low security? Absolutely. We entered an entirely different discussion about low security policing, and that we want it to be done by players. And we would reward them for it. A very reasonable sentiment was that "I don't want to police, I don't have the time" and so on. Perfectly understandable.
But here comes the thing. The policing is done by players and player organizations that want to play EVE that way. The ones that enjoy chasing down player pirates and providing havens where they benefit from having pilots basing their operations from.
For short. The beauty of the MMO is that there are so many tasks, so many corners of the universe, so many professions in there. You don't have to be the police, but you can benefit from other players policing for you. The other people. Don't forget them.
Missions are ISK-printing machines!
Yes, in a certain way they are. They infuse ISK from CONCORD and other NPCs into the economy. They print money into the EVE economy. On the other hand, so does hunting pirates in belts when you are mining.
But are they really that insanely lucrative? No, not really. They can be for some, for other they simply are far from it. This is one reason for why you have so extremely different cases of "how missions are for me". Remember, it's fine to speculate, but don't generalize unless you have the empirical data to prove it. And we happen to have that.
This is where the whole inflation thing comes in. Printing large sums of money is bad. That is inserting new ISK into the economy. We want to change it so that the higher end players are not the source of ISK into the economy, the higher end players get their ISK from the other players.
But what's new coming for PVE?
Well, we want to revisit almost all parts of missions. We added Exploration, mini-professions, escalating paths, we're adding more scripting and variety, more mission types and we're working on utilizing all these new possibilities to better tie it all together.
You'll get escalations in missions. You'll have multi-step courier missions with more interaction. You have chance encounters and can utilize mini-professions to further unlock new gameplay and sources of income for you.
PVE, for lack of a better acronym, is as essential to EVE as anything else. It's an ecosystem where everyone has to exist for it all to work.
We think those are the main concerns. There are more, but these are the ones we percieved as most important to address.
As always pilots, we salute you.