Team Best Friends Forever: What's Happening Winter 2010?
If you've been around a while, you'll probably remember the static 10/10 complexes. For those that haven't, the 10/10 complexes were sites that spawned in set locations every day after downtime. You couldn't really run them alone, so most alliances would have gangs ready when downtime was over. Some communities would even have alts logged out at the sites so they could instantly run them. That's efficient, ladies and gentlemen.
I used to love the 10/10 complexes. Not because they were the best PVE content ever produced, but because there is so little PVE designed for groups. Don't get me wrong, wormholes are great if you're into exploration, and mining is great if you enjoy staring into walls for prolonged periods of time. But if you're just looking for simple group PVE content, where you go in with your buddies and blow everything up, EVE doesn't really have much after we reworked the 10/10 complexes (they still exist but in a different form).
Now you may be asking yourself "why did you take them out then, stupid?" The high reward and static nature meant that you could make a lot of money every day at a pretty small effort. It was basically an ATM machine if you imagine it had a single button that said "free money" and was surrounded by neon signs reading "PLEASE COME TAKE MY MONEY." In the end, we had to take them out, but we never really got around to replacing them properly. It's a great shame, because with that massive financial loophole we also killed off one of the few group PVE features.
We're about to change that. Team Best Friends Forever's focus for EVE Online: Incursion is to create content for groups of players across security bands. Anyway, here are the broad lines on what we're doing:
EVE is the home of large scale PVP, with massive alliances taking each other on. We'd like to try and apply some of that scale to PVE, so rather than giving you just a few dungeons, we're going to give you a few constellations at a time. The amount of content will be massive and we're going to supplement it with a load of new systems and functionality.
One of those systems is the reward system. We're going to try and shift the focus from killing NPCs to completing objectives. That means people who take part in the PVE will be rewarded when the event is done, instead of paying them for shooting individual NPCs. We'll put several tiers of rewards in, so you get something right away and then a delayed reward down the road. There will be a chance based bonus reward as well of course.
Hopefully we can tie the objectives into a larger picture, so completing them doesn't just pay you; it contributes meaningfully to the experience of everyone. Completing objectives will make reaching the end goal easier, so people across several systems will be able to work together and virtually high five each other.
If you complete enough of those objectives and contribute positively over a period of time, you may even get a bonus reward for being a good soldier. Think of it as a "service guarantees citizenship" thing. We want to make sure that there is an incentive to be the number one contributor, so hopefully people are motivated to put in an effort. We'll make sure everyone knows who the top dogs are in all of this, so you can show everyone your veritable e-member.
To make sure we don't end up in the same situation with the 10/10s, the system is designed to be dynamic and move around. Hopefully we'll end up with a system that isn't too static, making sure it's not abused and reaches most corners of space, so everyone can get a shot at it. Think of it as a moving circus where you have to shoot the clowns. Stupid clowns. You will be able to find them in all areas of space, high sec, low sec and zero sec, with the appropriate reward multipliers depending on where it is of course.
This content will have its own line of NPCs too that are tailored especially for it. They're going to have the standard Sleeper AI (no matter where you meet them, even in high sec!) with some new behavior components put in. Overall, these NPCs are going to have more defined roles than NPCs previously have and be given some clever AI components to support that. Don't be surprised if you see sniper NPC battleships and bombers that do more intelligent target selection.
Anyway, that's the general direction of the feature. We're in the process of finishing the core systems, so expect a Singularity update in the near future (Soon TM). The further we get, the more dev blogs and pieces of the puzzle we'll give you.
That's it from Team Best Friends Forever,