Thursday, March 18, 2010

Making The Game: PvP Missions

Once again, the banter on someone else's blog has sparked off a diatribe of a comment that I'm turning into a Making The Game post. What can I say, I get wordy at times...

The original post comes from Letrange over at Letrange's Eve Blog, I give him a C- for blog name originality, (who am I to talk, I just translated my name for a blog title) but a solid A for content, including the two guides on Dominion projection weapon changes that I have linked on the right-side bar of my page and will until something changes to put them out of date. If you don't read his blog, start. :)

Basically, the tl;dr version is that he suggested that PvE should be given elements that make it more exciting and realistic, and offer a 'training' opportunity for budding PvP pilots, so that the flight styles aren't so VASTLY different. One or two people commenting on his post stated their disagreement, that missions are supposed to cater to a different clientèle than PvP.

I think a good compromise/workaround the various schools of thought on this sort of thing (and something more in line with CCP's style) would be to add a new agent-type, that offers advanced military missions.
They already did it for the training lines, but if they did so for missions, they could add agents that offer missions that are designed for PvP fit ships. None of this 'waves of badguys, go-go-drake-tank and wait for the money' and instead more along the lines of 'catch that Rifter for a big bounty'. Stuff that gets the blood pumping a bit more, with higher payouts for the individual kill, but the overall reward being based on the time it'll take you.

One of the great things about EVE is it's 'toolkit' nature. Far too often I read cries of 'nerf this' 'change that' 'this is boring, fix it'. While in some cases that can be appropriate, (if 1 ship is out there defeating all comers, regardless of situation or opponent, there's obviously a balance issue) for the most part the 'toolkit' approach suggests addition over subtraction.

In other words, when you find missions grievously boring (I do) and only run them for money, don't suggest changing missions and driving off the folk who enjoy them, suggest ADDING something new that can allow you an outlet of PC vs NPC violence that YOU will enjoy.

Another possibility. What if they introduced PvP missions that could let you pew pew on other players and make money doing it?


Here's a sample.

Capsuleer A is hired by Agent A to take a frigate sized hull out to a rendezvous point, carrying a valuable trade commodity. Naturally, they don't trust Capsuleer A, so they make him put some money down and tell him to 'come alone'. He flies out to the mission coordinates and finds a rusted old Minmatar jump-gate leading into the deadspace. He activates the jump-gate and slingshots out into the complex.

Inside, he finds silence, and receives an incoming communication from his agent. "Agent B is trying to horn in on my deal. Kill his Agent when he shows up, then make the deal."

Here comes the tricky part (from CCP's standpoint), the jump-gate 'sorts' people into different 'instances', the first 2 people to enter arrive together, the next two, the next two, and so on. This way, numerous people can be running the mission, and they'll get their chance to complete it as soon as a second mission-runner shows up. Entering the later half of the complex also gives aggression to you and the other party, keeping Concord out of the equation.

After a set amount of time, the contact shows up and drops a can for his swag.

If no-one else is running the mission, you get to drop off an item for an easy, though probably not large, reward. If someone else is running the mission, you get to drop off an item for the small reward, AND get some 1v1 PvP action, complete with the possibility of recouping the very item you had to put money down on when buying it from your agent, which you can then turn around and sell on the market.

Obviously it needs tweaking and goodness knows I don't know squat about the programming that would be required. But in my head it sounds awesome.

What do you think?

Fly straight!


  1. I agree to a point with you here. Mainly I disagree with regard to instanced combat. You also have to consider aggression mechanics. Would these missions only be run in Lowsec, and how would aggression between the two players be worked out, something like free pvp in the zone? Would have to figure that out as well. Not to mention those who are going to camp the instance entry points, and or scan down the combat zones to gank the people inside depending on mechanics. Or ruin it for other players. Just like a PvPer is so out of place in the world of PvE, granted the learning curve isn't as steep, it can be just as expensive.

    PvE and PvP are too separate to be conjoined in any effective manner. So either something new is figured out or the status quo remains.

  2. Thank you, FCC President Fyerite, for chiming in! *Grin*

    Part of the goal in the 5 minute design above (yes, as I thought it, I typed it.. Poor form I know, but hey, when the idea is there, I need to get it down before it floats away!) was to allow PvP on a more 'sign-up for it' basis.

    These missions would be offered and completed in high-sec. The instanced area would be a free-for all zone, AFTER the Jump-gate. This would mean camping outside the gate would be suicide-camping, and only 2 frigates would be allowed through the jump-gate to any 1 'end-point'.

    Obviously, mechanics would make a huge difference on the viability of this sort of thing, and I absolutely leave room for the possibility that this isn't even plausible in the system CCP has in place at all.

    The main driving point though I think you summed up nicely in your final paragraph, "Either something new is figured out or the status quo remains". That's what I'm getting at, people should either come up with something new, or stop complaining about something that has stood the test of time and 'works' for different folks.

    Of course, complaining about the status quo is kinda a beloved pass-time by now, so I suppose I shouldn't try to 'change it'. *Grin*

  3. I love you and katt's blogs! keep it up

  4. Hmm, isn't this idea (PvP missions designed to attract opposition) what FW was supposed to achieve?

  5. I'm pretty sure that's what it was supposed to achieve.

    But has it?

    For one thing, FW is an all or nothing proposition from what I can tell, this means it's not something you can pick and choose to give a shot at, it's either something you're all-in, or all-out of. Missions on the other hand, can be declined, they can be run once and then never ran again, etc etc.

    It's a better toolkit for people to dip a toe in the waters of PvP instead of diving in head-first.

    It's all about OPTIONS. My favorite part of EVE, is that there are SO MANY OPTIONS! But you can never have too many.

  6. Oh, and missions give you the option to moderate the content at least a little. Putting a node in space and saying 'capture this' is a great thing, and it gives people options, but saying 'get ready for a 1v1 frigate fight' gives people boundaries of what they're going to encounter and let's them feel less overwhelmed during their 'test the waters' phase.

  7. I love the idea of 'elite' missions that offer something different from the current formula. I can't see why they can't be more diverse than they currently are. Explorers, manufacturers and miners all benefited from Apocrypha, PvPers got some love with Dominion, Tyrannis is all about industrialists. I'm sure CCP will focus on mission-runners one day. It's got to be their turn soon, unless there's a ninja-looter expansion planned.