CZ Minutes: Trick or Treat?


CCP made great steps forward with the Drifter AI, but the more recent additions to PVE content were plagued with problems. The much anticipated Drifter Incursions had to be pulled from Tranquility and are still on hold – to be released in the Winter. The Blood Raider Harvest which went live this past week was also suffered from bugs and there have been complaints by some players that the site design makes them too easy to exploit by third parties. Until spring some more new PvE features are on the roadmap.

Do those issues indicate that there might be an underlying problem? Does CCP try to release too much too quickly? Is it legacy code buried deep within the NPC AI? Or are those just teething problems that can be expected with a new technology?

Ganky Deska: Like any code there’s going to be issues. The rapid release system is going to expose us to these bugs more than ever. Expecting things to be perfect is silly. I think it’s summed perfectly as teething problems. Every iteration will improve the program and minimize the problems.

JEFFRAIDER: I loved the surprise nature of The Crimson Harvest and CCP seemed fast to resolve the Cerebral Accelerator bug. I’m really more excited about the Group PVE activities in sov null, I’d love to hear more about that.

SpaceSaft: I don’t think the current problems with new content are something to be worried about. I like that CCP could roll the changes back and didn’t break anything important and I’m looking forward to eventually allying with the Drifters. I’m just going to pretend that’s what they’re working on.

Tarek: I do not care for PvE and I hate hypes. Consequently I couldn’t care less about the Blood Raider thing. I do understand that some people go crazy about it because they want to milk it for ISK and/or skillpoints. I am somewhat blase about all of this, but I hope it is evidence of CCP developing their NPC AI and their PvE design. Maybe one day we might even see a PvE system emerge from that series of trials that isn’t boringly repetitive and can’t be farmed AFK.

MukkBarovian: This has been a smashing success. I have seen many more players in space. It’s a gold rush. This has encouraged PVP everywhere from highsec to deep 0.0. The PCU has been up by a thousand since the event started despite the fact that many hardcore pilots are busy partying at EVE Vegas. The accelerators would screw with the market if this was a permanent thing. But this is is only a short time project. Its not going to stick around long enough to get old or distort the market.

Niden: I don’t really care about this stuff personally, but I love that it is there. However, unlike Tarek, I believe hype is essential to keeping EVE alive and interesting, and I don’t mind it myself.

The Blood Raider harvest, barring the bug, has to be considered a success. The popularity of the event is testament to that. It’s really a tried and true model used in many other MMOs, a stimulus to get people out there doing stuff – some go for the event itself, others go to hunt them in turn, there is a ripple effect. I think injecting things like this into the everyday life of EVE is a good way to keep things dynamic and interesting. You can have the best game mechanics in the world, but without variation, any game will suffer.

The Drifter incursions however (which are a much bigger thing and can almost not be compared to something as simple as the Blood Raider harvest), kind of stumbled on the finish line. Massive hype had been built up, and at the moment of truth, it just didn’t work. Part of the reason might be that most dev resources are currently tied into null sov, capital rebalance and structures, and that kinks in the feature just weren’t ironed out enough. In that case, CCPs ambitions simply outgrew their capacity at the moment. However, I understand their need to develop something like this, the community has been asking for new PvE content for a very long time. It was just a little too much at once.

Tags: Blood Raiders, cz minutes, Drifters, pve

About the author

Tarek Raimo

Former nullsec spy (no not under that name of course) and current failure at lowsec solo PVP, Tarek spends his time not logging in to the game as much as he keeps thinking about its social and metagame nature and sharing some of those thoughts with the CZ readers.

  • urslipping

    Some of you guys talk out of both sides of your mouth. If you don’t care why do you love that it’s there? If you don’t care you don’t care.

    Perhaps more care for quality content instead of rushing to be the first out with breaking information. This is your second shit article just to be first this weekend. The capital changes was your first. I didn’t see the point in writing the capital one at all. Just bad

    • Niden

      Wow, so bitter. Do you need a hug?

      Luckily for us, no one else agrees with you. The capitals article was well appreciated. Also, I said I don’t care personally, but I love that it is there for those who want to engage in these things.

      Have a nice day.

      • Nihilause

        Personally I like having different viewpoints considered instead of one single reinforced “this is right” view.

    • Kamar Raimo

      It may be an alien concept to you, but there are people who are able to see more than one side of a thing. Not everyone thinks in black-and-white. Also, our staff is not a single-track hivemind. The whole idea of CZ-Minutes is to take one subject and get many different responses from all of our writers.

      Stay tuned for more shit articles.

  • JZ909

    I like the Blood Raider thing. I do not like the Drifters. Any entity that has an I win button that is buffed over and over again when people figure out how to beat it is annoying, not challenging.

    • Niden

      I’ve heard mixed responses from the PvE community, however, most seem to be positive about the Drifter incursions… once they get them working that is 😛

      • JZ909

        I do like the lore side of it, the development of the story is fun, but I don’t like Drifter doomsdays. It seems that everytime someone figures out how to beat them and put a video on Youtube, CCP buffs the mechanic to make that technique impossible to use.

        If the intention is to make sure players lose ships, I think most players will tire of that quickly.

        • Saint Michael’s Soul

          Two carriers remote repping each other, with one snaked inty with webs can hold off an almost endless supply of Drifter BSes. In HS…well there are some interesting techniques but nothing foolproof or that will get everyone out with their ship intact.

          • JZ909

            Yeah, capitals are a hard counter, but it doesn’t work in highsec.

            Drifters used to be kitable, but they buffed the doomsday to get rid of that. They used to be tankable, but, you guessed it, another buff. They may still be tankable with a hyper-blingy Rattlesnake or Navy Scorpion + overheat + links, but I don’t think anyone has much of an appetite to try it. CCP seems intent on making sure a subcap can’t tank them and would probably just buff it again.

            I can think of things that may work, but now that CCP seems to be trying to drive people to a particular counter (and likely one that causes you to lose ships), I just don’t find it entertaining to try out new theories anymore.

            Right now, unless someone finds a way to beat them without losses, and CCP doesn’t buff them to counter it, I could see highsec getting overrun in weeks after it releases, and irreversible damage being done to the in-game economy.

          • Kamar Raimo

            At this point it becomes like PvP opsec. If you have a hard counter to a winning tactic, keep it secret for as long as you can.

        • Niden

          I’m guessing they’re trying to get players to figure it out in some other way, but I’m really not well versed enough to know, that’s why we have General Stargazer on staff. But yeah, I enjoy the lore aspect of it very much, even though I don’t partake myself because I’m a PvP addict, even for me it feels more like a living universe when that stuff is happening.

        • Kamar Raimo

          “It seems that everytime someone figures out how to beat them and puts a
          video on Youtube, CCP buffs the mechanic to make that technique
          impossible to use.”

          I actually like that. The Drifters are supposed to be really superiour and adaptive. If the same thing happened with PvP combat, players would also react by changing their meta. CCP is just emulating that and I think it’s fine.

          • JZ909

            The difference between this and meta gameplay is that meta gameplay implies optimizing within the confines of the mechanics. Vastly improving something without tradeoffs is a change to the mechanics themselves.

            In the short-term, there may be another counter to Drifters. In the long-term, CCP can (and likely will) counter every tactic we come up with tweaks to the mechanics, until a Drifter fight meets their design goal, and there is every reason to believe that this design goal is that lossless Drifter PvE in highsec is impossible.

            I don’t feel like wasting effort trying to invent a strategy that will instantly, effortlessly be one-upped by the devs, nor am I interested in some variation of suicide-ganking as a form of PvE.

  • Dave Stark

    When it comes to lore related pve in eve – i’d honestly rather deal with a few bugs than actually have tested and fixed content. When it comes to things like sov etc, test the shit out of it… however with lore stuff – testing it on sisi ruins the surprise and i think that’s far more important than it being bug free.

    • Kamar Raimo

      Someone pinned the following quote of mine on the Lore channel of tweetfleet slack: My sense of wonder and discovery in EVE has long been thoroughly destroyed by all you database miners and SiSi explorer.

      Of course this is an exaggeration but I do find it slightly annoying. You have people who explore every facet of a new lore-related feature on SiSi and then wait until just after downtime of the release to post their findings on Intergalactic Summit.

      This is the equivalent of someone who goes to the most recent hyped movie on the sneak preview and then posts all the spoilers online at the time the first official première has been screened.

      I only ever go on SiSi to test mechanics, and I find it somewhat boring that people have to reveal it all so quickly. I’d loe for CCP to build in some false information and change it on patch day just before the servers go down to foil those spoilers.

  • If Eve is heading in the direction I sense it is going, I would expect it to see a lot more events coming along. It was interesting to see an SP booster as part of the reward. Possibly adding 2+2 and making 5 but it fits with the scenario in my mind where game devs will leverage (potentially) scarce resources to boost participation. Not saying it is a good or bad thing. If people like participating and it creates a buzz then it must be good on some level. Using the lore angle certainly adds context. I doubt CCP are in the position to deploy an event at short notice or on an ad hoc basis just yet as the teething problems indicate