CZ Minutes: Burn PvE

 
On Thursday CCP Fozzie announced the all new “Burner” level 4 missions, slated for release with the Hyperion expansion. This first iteration represents a new approach to PvE in EVE, very much taking cues from solo PvP, and is something players have been asking for. Essentially CCP is testing the waters with a frigate-only variant, but should it go well they will expand on it. Is this the shot in the arm EVE PvE needs? What makes this better or more interesting content than what’s already out there? What are the potential pitfalls and how do you see it developing? Xander: So excited for these! Been wanting to tell people about them for such a long time. Let’s not beat about the bush – Eve PvE ain’t great. These missions represent something completely different that we simply haven’t seen before and as a glimpse to what CCP may be able to try in the future, they are awesome. People WILL die to these no matter what. My only slight concern is that they ‘will’ be solved in a set period of time – weeks or months. Guides will be posted in the usual places and at that point they could be farmed. Unfortunately, that is always going to happen in a deeply social single-shard MMO such as Eve and the only way to solve it that I can see is to introduce some form or randomisation to NPC fits. That unpredictability then makes them a lot less useful as a training tool and a stepping stone to actual PvP Maybe a middle ground would be better where the fits are standardised but there is a little randomisation in the fits. For example, they could have two Deadspace modules in each fit but they can be any two. But yeah, exciting times and something I am buzzed to try for myself. PvE in PvP fits at long last! Niden: Hats off to CCP for going this route. When looking at PvE earlier this is the type of content I’ve been asking for and I’m glad they’re attempting to provide it. It is certainly a good idea to be inspired by the PvP that people love and value so much in the game. It also brings PvE a lot closer to ‘home’ for players like me that think PvP 24/7. As for making it less predictable a certain element of randomisation is not only necessary but improves the quality of the experience in my opinion. However, it needs to be accompanied by a more intelligent AI to make any sense in the long run. The content should be geared towards rewarding players that react to the combat situation at hand rather than those that can memorise a guide to the letter. Again, inspiration should be taken from the PvP realm.
Succubus Cruor Daredevil worm dramiel
Tarek: It is a nice step into the right direction, but what Xander says is true. After a month or two things will become documented. Even with Incursions people welped whole fleets in the beginning, and now there is practically no way to do them wrong anymore. As for the rest, well, I just wrote a piece of 2500+ words on what I think about EVE PVE. Not much else to add. Mangala: If anything could make me PVE again, its this sort of thing.  PVE with a slight touch of PVP to it. And versus a limited group of enemies with a potentially challenging aspect its just makes me giddy. The thing that puts me back off it, is the fact that the fits will all be mapped out in days (when Fozzie pretty much gave the community a leg up in the blog itself, you know they’ll be all over this in days of release). Leaving player skill as the final barrier, and any competent pvper (which I like to think I am), will have even that barrier down in no time. Still when all said and done its a good first step to a potential overhaul of pve. Although I would love to see more of these at all mission/skill levels, eventually replacing the entire current mission line up, as seriously grinding wave after wave of shit tier AI is not content designed to keep people around. And that has to be the key going forward, what will keep people of all stripes, here! Hibbie: PVE. What can I say that the others haven’t? This will be broken in days. Some EVE players are the type who love finding patterns and codebreaking. Every time CCP have introduced or tweaked PVE to outsmart us, we’ve either figured it out quickly or used SiSi to solve it ahead of time. Look at incursions – they’ve practically been scripted for you. We know how to farm sleepers for profit with capital escalations. Let’s not forget AFK Carrier ratting in null, where understanding aggro mechanics ensures you don’t lose any drones or have ammunition expenditure when you’re earning 80+ million isk/h while hardly paying any attention. Any form of emergent PvE gameplay is going to be hard to implement, but Tarek had a great stab at some ideas this week. Despite my initial negativity, I reckon this is a pretty promising start from CCP. It leads us down the path of teaching players the mechanics of the game in a learn-by-doing environment. For the switched on few that read, understand, learn and don’t rely on scripts & resources, these will begin to shape them into very aware, very skilled pilots, and continuing that process will be beneficial to us all. With the right tools and resources in place, there’s no reason CCP can’t update and vary existing PVE more regularly whilst phasing in missions such as this, which have clearly grabbed the community’s attention. The Damsel has been put through enough distress at the hands of Cruul and we’re all tired of grinding structures. I look forward to seeing more developments in 6 weeks time. Niden: That PvE content is ‘figured out’ is an unavoidable fact of game-generated entertainment, as opposed to player-generated. It has a shelf life and eventually loses its entertainment value as novelty fades, turning into more of an income source. Given that fact, the trick is extending that shelf life by being creative with the content and I think CCP have the right idea towards that end here. It’s certainly far, far better than most of the PvE in the game currently. Even a die hard PvP-er like me is considering trying it. It also brings the world of PvE closer to PvP, resulting in more cohesion for EVE Online as a whole and hopefully allowing more carebears to let go of their safety blankets and come join the fun of killing other players and ruining their day.
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About the author

Niden

11 year EVE veteran, Snuff Box lowsec scumbag, writer, graphic artist, producer, Editor-in-Chief of Crossing Zebras and the second most influential player in EVE, according to EVE Onion.