Eve Online Pve Ships

EVE Online's Complete Missions guide for beginners

Pve is basically fighting for their bounties and loot. And can be the most profitable when it comes to solo.missions=pay both isk and loyalty points which can be traded in to a loyalty point store for faction modules, blueprints copies, ammo and faction ships. And is the best source of income when doing solo. This is a class of Eve Online ships that serve as anti-subcapital ships. Now is the time to join. 3500+ war declarations. 1600 ships made per hour. New PvE and gameplay. Thousands of star. I’m having more fun with PvE than PvP right now in EVE Online. This pitted groups of players - anywhere from 10 to 20 - up against the biggest ship ever added to EVE Online: the collosal, 59.

  1. The Best EVE Online Ships. In this article, we will try to present the best Ships in the EVE Online Universe. Whether you are new to the game, or if you are already an experienced pilot, you should understand one thing; there is no single 'the best' ship in EVE Online.
  2. EVE Online, the EVE logo, EVE and all associated logos and designs are the intellectual property of CCP hf. All artwork, screenshots, characters, vehicles, storylines, world facts or other recognizable features of the intellectual property relating to these trademarks are likewise the intellectual property of CCP hf. EVE Online and the EVE logo.

Introduction

The New Eden Star Cluster is full of opportunities for people willing to get their hands dirty. Influential Factions and Powerful Private Corporations will gladly hire Freelancers who will take care of some dirty work in their stead. Rewards offered for the said work differ greatly and depend mostly on the work's difficulty. Generally, more trustworthy 'helpers' will be offered better paid, but also more difficult tasks. The best Freelancers are praised by New Eden's Factions and Corporations, that are willing to pay millions of ISK for their services. So if you want to become a Freelancer yourself, you have come to the right place. This guide will cover the basics of running missions in EVE Online, point you in right directions, and describe mission-related skills, mission types, difficulties, and Agents in detail.

Mission Types and Difficulty Levels

The most commonly acquired missions can be divided into three main categories, Distribution, Security and Mining. All missions that belong to these categories have the difficulty level of 1 to 5 assigned to them:

  • Level 1 Missions - The easiest tasks, that can be completed in a basic Frigate. Missions of this type usually do not offer high rewards. You need a Standing of at least -5.0 to be able to pick up a level 1 mission from a corresponding Faction/Corporation.
  • Level 2 Missions - These missions will require a properly fitted Ship, that is preferably bigger than a standard Frigate, and an appropriate set of Pilot skills. You need a Standing of at least 1.0 to be able to pick up a level 2 mission from a corresponding Faction/Corporation.
  • Level 3 Missions - Level three missions are doable in medium-sized ships - battlecruisers, mining barges etc. (depending on the mission type) At least some Tech 2 Modules are advised for increasing the mission completion process. You need a Standing of at least 3.0 to be able to pick up a level 3 mission from a corresponding Faction/Corporation.
  • Level 4 Missions - Difficult and time-consuming missions, that require Large Ships - Battleships, Exhumers, or Large Industrial Ships (depending on the mission type), but offer substantial rewards for completing them. You need a Standing of at least 5.0 to be able to pick up a level 4 mission from a corresponding Faction/Corporation.
  • Level 5 Missions - The most difficult missions, that require teams of cooperating players, preferably in Capital Ships for completion. Missions of this type offer the largest rewards and are located in Low-Security Space only. You need a Standing of at least 7.0 to be able to pick up a level 5 mission from a corresponding Faction/Corporation.


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Alongside the common missions, there are some more unique and rare mission types. These special tasks often have very specific requirements or are a part of certain storylines. Both Common and Special mission types are described in more detail in the table below.

Mission TypeDescription
Common Missions
Distribution and Trade

Some Corporations just need a delivery boy.. these missions require you to pick up something and then transport it to the appointed Station. The Cargo that needs to be moved is spawned in your personal hangar at the Station specified in mission details, so you don't have to pay for it.

Because of large amounts of Cargo that must be carried in a higher level Distribution missions, an Industrial ship with a lot of Cargo Hold space is advised for those, however, level 1 and 2 missions of this type can be completed easily in Tech I Frigates (Exploration Frigates are the best for this, as they have biggest Cargo Holds of all T I Frigates).

Trade missions are a special kind of Distribution missions, where you have to gather/buy materials required by the Agent yourself. They usually require a lot of Time or ISK investment for completion and are not worth the effort most of the time.

Mining

These like their name suggests, require you to dig up a set amount of mission-specific resources and deliver them to the appointed Station. This missions can prove to be a bit riskier than Distribution missions, as there is a risk of being attacked by hostile ships during mining.

This kind of missions requires you to have a dedicated mining ship with a proper module kit. Level 1 and 2's can be completed easily in a Venture, but higher ones may require a Mining Barge or even an Exhumer.

If you want to get more information about widely understood Mining, and Mining Ship Module Setups in EVE Online, click here.

Security

Unlike other two common mission types, Security missions are guaranteed to involve Combat. These missions will often require you to eliminate ships of other factions, which will cause you to lose Standings with the said faction! Because of this, you should always pay careful attention to the Security mission's details before accepting it.

This type of missions requires you to have a solid, combat-worthy ship with appropriate Offensive and Defensive Modules. You should decide on your vessel's type and its Module layout based on the mission's description and difficulty level. It is a good idea to bring Salvager Drones or MTU (Mobile Tractor Unit), as salvaging Wrecked NPC Ships will increase your ISK gains from these missions. If salvaged loot is worth a large sum, you could also farm the mission without actually completing it, and profit more from Salvaged items (this is done by killing and Salvaging all NPC ships, except one, and then waiting for them to respawn, just to repeat the whole process).

Special Missions
Storyline

These special missions are offered to you for completing a set amount of normal missions for a single Faction. You get 1 Storyline mission for every 16 normal missions of the same level completed for a given Faction. These mission offers will be transmitted to you directly by the Storyline Agent closest to the normal Faction Agent that you have recently completed a mission for.

Storyline missions provide you with a large Standing increase with Storyline Agent's faction and a moderate Standing increase with his corresponding faction, which makes chaining missions a great way to improve your Standings in order to gain access to the higher level missions. However, please note that some factions dislike each other very much, which means that completing a Storyline mission for one of them might result in a negative Standing change with the other.

Epic Arc

These are basically the in-game campaigns. They are very long, split into chapters, and their ending depends on Player's choices made throughout them. Currently, there are 7 Epic Arcs in the game, one for each empire Faction, two for Pirate factions (Guristas and Angels), and one for the Sisters of Eve. These Arcs offer substantial ISK rewards, but each of them can be completed just once per three months.

These may vary in difficulty and requirements greatly, so we recommend you to start by completing the Sisters of Eve arc, as it is the easiest, and the most accessible of the seven. You can pick it up in the following location: Arnon IX > Moon 3 > Sisters of Eve Bureau.

Research

These special missions are a part of the Industry career path, that can be acquired from special Research Agents (these agents are Different than standard Agents, as they can be, basically, recruited, and used for Research Points generation). Completing them awards you with Research Points, which are used for purchasing Datacores from the corresponding Research Agents, and in the Invention (production of Tech 2 item and ship blueprints) process.

The following requirements have to be met before picking up Research missions: Science V, Power Grid Management/CPU Management/Mechanics V, a set Standing with the Research Agent's Corporation, and the initiation of the Research process, which is done by hiring the corresponding Research Agent.

Important note: there is a limit to the number of Research Agents with whom you can be conducting research at the same time.

Career

These are the Introductory missions available after the Tutorial, that are supposed to institute you to the world of EVE Online. They are directed to new players and award valuable starting gear and vessels in addition to the much-needed Faction Standings.

Career missions can be done only once per Player Character. They will teach you how to conduct certain in-game activities, like Mining, Exploration, Combat, and Trade.

COSMOS

These are the special mission chains (from 3 to 5 missions each) that can be found on certain constellations. They offer very valuable blueprint copies of the storyline modules, and Standings boosts as rewards but can be completed just once.

COSMOS missions mostly consist of you searching for a quest item, taking something from point A to B, eliminating some Targets, or visiting a landmark or story-related complexes. They contain a substantial amount of New Eden's lore, so they are a great opportunity for players interested in EVE's setting.

Important note: Never talk to the COSMOS missions Agent if you do not intend to accept his mission, as talking to him will trigger a mission offer which will expire in seven days, and will not be available ever again.

Anomic (Burner)

These are the special kind of Security missions contracted by Level 4 Agents exclusively. Declining them gives no penalty, and challenges offered by these missions are substantially more difficult than those offered by common Security missions.

They will restrict your maximum ship size, and throw you against some very powerful hostile NPC ships. As you can imagine, completing Anomic Missions solo requires a lot of experience, specific Modules, and skills, and of course exceptional Player's abilities.. but the hassle is worth it, as those missions have very valuable rewards, and beaten NPCs can be salvaged for additional high-grade loot.

Data Center

These missions consist of you handing in looted or bought pirate tags. They basically allow you to increase your Standings via spending ISK on specific items which are then turned in to NPCs.

There are two types of Data Center missions: Data/Certificate Transportation which is a basic type of Distribution missions and Keeping Crime in Check which is a hand-in mission. Each of the Data Center missions can be completed once only.

Important note: Failing these missions will result in a decrease of your Standing with the corresponding Faction and Corporation.

Note: each completed mission awards you with ISK, Status gain with the corresponding Faction/Corporation and a Loyalty Points gain with the corresponding Corporation.

Mission Agents

Agents are best compared to Questgivers from other MMORPGs. Every Agent has his own Name and Level (ranging from 1 to 5), he is also a part of a Division, and has a Quality assigned to him (the better the Agent's Quality, the better rewards he offers for accomplished missions). Agent's Level determines the difficulty of missions offered by him. It also shows you Personal/Faction/Corporation Standing that is required for getting missions from him (this was described in the 'Mission Types and Difficulty Levels' chapter).

Division determines the field of expertise of an Agent and determines types of missions that can be acquired from him. All Agent's Divisions and types of missions assigned to each of them are described in the table below:

DivisionChance for a Mission Type
Surveillance

84% Security, 11% Distribution, 5% Trade

Storage71% Distribution, 17% Mining, 6% Security, 6% Trade
Security94% Security, 6% Distribution
Research and Development (R&D)50% Distribution, 50% Trade
PR (Public Relations)

66% Distribution, 28% Security, 6% Trade

Production52% Distribution, 35% Mining, 13% Trade
Personnel66% Distribution, 28% Security, 6% Trade
Mining85% Mining,10% Distribution, 5% Trade
Marketing77% Distribution, 17% Security, 6% Trade
Manufacturing48% Distribution, 48% Mining, 4% Trade
Legal67% Security, 27% Distribution, 6% Trade
Internal Security98% Security, 2% Distribution
Intelligence74% Security, 21% Distribution, 5% Trade
Financial70% Distribution, 18% Trade, 12% Security
Distribution85% Distribution, 5% Security, 5% Mining, 5% Trade
Command88% Security, 6% Distribution, 6% Trade
Astrosurveying50% Mining, 25% Distribution, 13% Security, 13% Trade
Archives92% Distribution, 8% Trade
Advisory58% Distribution, 14% Security, 15% Mining, 14% Trade
Administration47% Distribution, 47% Security, 6% Trade
Accounting88% Distribution, 12% Trade

You can find Agents easily in-game via the Agent Finder tool. This feature allows you to locate specific kinds of Agents, and when properly used, speed up your mission grinding process (by planning your route ahead of time). To access it you can either:

  • Go to NeoCam ⇒ People and Places ⇒ Agent Finder
  • Find it in the Station Services Menu ⇒ Agents page ⇒ Agent Finder (while docked)
  • Use the Coffee table in your Captains Quarters

Agent Finder allows you to narrow the search parameters by specifying things like:

  • Solar System in which you want to find an Agent,
  • Security Status of a system in which you want to find an Agent
  • Agent Type that you are interested in
  • Agent Level that you are interested in
  • Agent's Corporation that you wish to work for
  • Agent's Faction that you wish to work for
  • You can also further narrow your Search results, by choosing to Show Only Available Agents.

Search results always show available Agents arranged by your distance from them (from the lowest to the highest).

Important Note:if you decline a mission from an Agent more than once every 4 hours you will lose some of your Standings with that Agent, his Faction, and his Corporation. Hint: To avoid declining a second mission from the same Agent within the 4-hour period, you can use the Delay option, wait out the remaining Penalty Timer, and decline the mission later, without penalty.

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Skills

If you want to become an accomplished Freelancer, able to complete all available types of missions, you will need a wide variety of skills. For Example, Mining missions will require Ming ship operation skills (Expedition Frigates, Mining Frigate, Exhumers, Mining Barge..), specific gathering skills (Mining, Ice Harvesting, Gas Harvesting), skills which will increase your mining yield (Astrogeology, Mining Upgrades..), and so on; you get the drift. We have described all of these, and more in our other EVE Online Guides (you can easily find them on our site, here), so in this Guide, we will focus on describing Skills related to Mission Running as a profession. These skills will improve your ISK, Standing, and Loyalty Point gains from missions, and enable you to gain access to higher level missions more quickly:

Skill NameDescription
Negotiation

This skill increases your mission payouts by 5% per its level. It will provide you with a nice profit increase from missions if trained high enough. Training Negotiation is not free, however, and its profitability depends on the number of missions completed. If you want to do, for example, 50 missions, it will not be worth it, but if you will grind closer to 5000 of them, it is a no brainer. This skill requires Social I.

SocialThis skill increases your social interaction abilities. It provides you with a 5% bonus to every Faction, Corporation, and Agent Standing increase per skill level. This will come in handy if you are an experienced Player who wants to start his Freelancer adventure, as it will boost Standing gains considerably (experienced players will not want to spend too much time doing level 1 missions..). This is a basic skill, and it does not have any prerequisites.
Connections / Criminal ConnectionsThese skills provide you with a 4% modifier to your effective Standingswithfriendly NPC Factions and Corporations (Connections) or with NPCs with low Concord standing (Criminal Connections). This will also come in handy if you are an experienced Player who wants to start his Freelancer adventure, as the boost to effective Standings will let you start higher level Missions more quickly. Both of these skills require Social III.
DiplomacyThis skill will increase your effective Standing with Hostile Agents by 4% per skill level. It is not cumulative with Connections/Criminal Connections. Diplomacy comes in handy when you want to reestablish relations with a Faction/Corporation that started hating you for completing missions for other, dissident Faction/Corporation. This skill requires Social III.
Fast Talk

This skill will boost your ability to interact with the Concord Faction. It will grant you a 5% bonus to your Effective Security Rating increase. Skill for those seeking redemption, or a faster Security Status recovery. This skill requires Social IV.

Note: besides the ISK and Standing rewards, completing missions also provides you with Loyalty Points for corresponding Corporations. These points can be exchanged for Ships and Modules in special Loyalty Stores. There are three skills that will let you improve your Loyalty Point gains for completing certain kinds of missions:
Security ConnectionsThis skill increases your understanding of the military culture, which improves your Loyalty Point gains from missions acquired from Agents working for Security divisions of Corporations by 10% per skill level. This skill requires Social III and Leadership III.
Distribution ConnectionsThis skill increases your understanding of Corporate-level trade, which improves your Loyalty Point gains from missions acquired from Agents working for Distribution divisions of Corporations by 10% per skill level. This skill requires Social III and Trade III.
Mining ConnectionsThis skill increases your understanding of Corporate-level industrial endeavors, which improves your Loyalty Point gains from missions acquired from Agents working for Mining divisions of Corporations by 10% per skill level. This skill requires Social III and Industry III.

Ships and Modules

Mission's objectives and difficulty levels vary greatly in EVE, so specifying a right ship and its layout for Mission Running as a whole is pointless. Instead, we can provide you with a piece of basic advice: always chose and fit your ship specifically for a mission that you have chosen, especially for high-level ones. Every Mission's description will provide you with information necessary for making the right Vessel and Module layout choice. You can also check outside sources, that will provide you with details for a lot of EVE's missions.

Note: low-level missions can be run easily with basic ships (Venture for Mining, Expedition Frigates for Distribution, etc.), and the ship choice is not that important but as the difficulty level rises, the right ship choice becomes more and more crucial.

VERY Important Note: the single most important rule of Mission Running (and EVE as a whole) is: never fly a ship that you can't afford to lose. If you have just gained access to level 4 missions, and you have just enough ISK to buy and fit ONE capable ship, hold your horses, and stick to lower level missions for some time. Accumulate more funds which will become your safety cushion, and start those high-level missions only with your wallet sorted out.

Tips and Tricks

  • Try to avoid populated or heavily contested Systems when Running Missions. There is nothing more frustrating than Hostile players interfering with your peaceful PvE endeavors. It is always a good idea to stay away from the main Trade Routes, and have multiple Stargates close by.
  • Use Agent Finder, always plan your route ahead of time, establish what mission rewards are most important to you, and search for the appropriate mission offers. Running around like a headless chicken is never the right option.
  • Scout a region in which you wish to run Missions, and pick a Corporation that offers Loyalty rewards that are most important to you, and preferably the one with the highest number of Agents available in the said Region (higher number of Agents will enable you to decline more missions - one per Agent every 4 hours; this will let you avoid downtime caused by the 4-hour penalty timer triggered by declining a mission from an Agent).
  • Pick the Base of your Operations (preferably a single Station with the right Agents). During your Mission Runs you will gather a lot of stuff, and you'll need a place to store the said stuff. The best idea is to dump all the items you've gathered in one place, as it will spare you the effort of flying around and collecting your loot from every Station in the New Eden Star Cluster.
  • NPC Damage Type Charts (available on the official UNIWIKI) might come in handy when preparing for Security Mission runs. Use them in combination with the mission description to determine the best Offensive and Defensive Module fittings.

END NOTE

We hope that you have found this Guide useful and informative. If we have missed a piece of information that is important to you, please let us know!

Please do note that this is an early version of our guide, and we will be happy to receive constructive criticism, that will help us improve it, so leave your suggestions in the comments section below.


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Engaging PvE in EVE Online?

Ships

There’s a lot going on in EVE right now, including a war with some small, insignificant fights. But it’s a new year, and that got me thinking. Every year, we hear from CCP about… well, stuff. All kinds of stuff. Some of it is stuff they think the game needs. Stuff they think they want to do. Stuff they think would be cool. We hear about player retention. Or the NPE. And we hear about the economy. And we hear about creating ‘engaging PvE’ in EVE Online. So as we begin another year, let’s do a little thought experiment, shall we?

Imagine, for a moment, that you’re playing a normal MMO. You know, the ones many EVE players scornfully look down on. Your rogue/thief/ninja/burglar—whatever the game calls its stealther—is going through an instance. You’ve got the next mob in sight, so you creep up next to it, root it, and then… hit auto-attack. And wait. Maybe drink a potion if your health dips too low. When it dies, you loot the body, and get ready to do it again on the next mob. Does that sound like engaging PvE?

Does it sound like EVE PvE? Because it basically is. Except, of course, that what I described is a little more involved than most EVE PvE. You wouldn’t need to start off cloaked, and you probably don’t need to point/web/scram the rats. You might have a web, or a TP, to make things easier, but those are basically part of your auto-attack: once activated, they stay on the target until it’s dead.

But, for the most part, you warp in, lock targets, push F1… and wait. Rat dies, push F1 on the new rat. Or maybe you use your drones. CCP recently changed drones so you had to push F for each rat… but then they changed that back, because they broke basically everything else about drones when they made that change.

EVE’s Most Engaging PvE

Even abyss-running and incursions, which are perhaps the most engaging PvE EVE has, amount to pretty much the same thing. In the abyss, you have to have built your ship to handle all of the different configurations that arise. Once you’ve done that, you jump in, lock rats, push F1 until it’s time to collect the loot and move onto the next room.

In Incursions, you need to have your group and play your role… but the basic framework remains the same. And for the most part, the same principles as solo PvE apply. Anything offensive gets turned on and left on. Target Painters, webs, damps, etc, all keep running on the target until the target pops. Logistics ships get more engagement, because they change targets as needed and remote reps can’t be grouped up, but even then, if someone’s under sustained fire… you just keep the reps running.

Lessons From Other Games

EVE, no matter what the developers or industrialists say, is built on PvP. Even in the context of looking at the game as an economic simulator, PvP’s the engine that keeps that economy going. So it’s understandable that EVE’s PvE plays second fiddle. Well, if we’re being honest, it’s more like Fourth Chair in the second violin section of the orchestra. Nobody’s really got any expectations of greatness, but you showed up for work today, EVE PvE, so good job!

In most of the other MMOs out there, the game is actually built on PvE, and PvP is added on as a way to keep things interesting between expansions. In those games, PvE needs to be engaging. It’s what most players do, most of the time. And even the ones who PvP as their primary activity learn the game through PvE. So what lessons can CCP take from those games to make more engaging PvE for EVE Online?

Let’s start with the obvious one, the one I touched on earlier. And by touched on, I mean basically hit everyone over the head with: doing stuff.

Complexity

EVE Online’s a famously complex game. There’s so much to do, and so many ways to do it, that it can be overwhelming. Most of that ends up being prep-work, though. Skill training. Ship selection. Fitting your ship. Then you get into space and… well, let’s be right up front here: the game straight up teaches new players ‘lock target, hit approach, and push F1’. Let’s face it, that’s auto-attack. You push ‘fight’ and it keeps attacking until it can’t. And that’s more or less enough to get players through all of the solo PvE content in EVE Online. In other games, players immediately have Things To Do™. There’s more than just auto-attack, and it starts right away.

Doing Things!

This is a starting Runekeeper in The Lord of the Rings Online. I know the preview image of my little dwarf RK is small, but down at the bottom, you can see the default quickslots. Literally seconds after creation he’s already got four abilities. The first two are different damage types. The third is a heal. The fourth is some ability I don’t actually care about and can’t remember, because I just made the character for this example, and to annoy Alizabeth.

What those abilities are, though, isn’t important. What is important is that he has them. Right out of the gate, he’s got three different attacks (I looked up what that last one is, it’s another attack) and a heal. And none of those are his auto-attack. So all four of those are things the player needs to pay attention to, and decide when to use them, because you can only do one at a time.

Other games do the same thing: a starting Paladin in WoW has an assortment of abilities. Even Hunters, the epitome of facerolling, have multiple options and different choices to make. But EVE? A game renowned for its complexity?

Lock target, start auto-attack. Wait.

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Doing Things To People!

The second problem EVE’s PvE has in terms of engagement is… there’s no visceral payoff. If, for example, I go hunting for crafting mats in WoW, and I murder a few hundred Drakes or Dragonkin to do it, I see them die. Sure, I know they’re not real, but the game still tells my senses ‘that’s a thing, and it died’. They complain. Maybe they cry out. Then they fall down.

EVE’s gotten better in terms of explosions for capital ships and structures (I mean, seriously, there’s a reason everyone loves to ooh and aah over a keepstar explosion. It’s awesome!) but for the majority of the NPCs you shoot, it’s basically nothing. Part of the problem is scale. To have a decent spatial awareness of your surroundings in EVE, you need to be zoomed out. It’s not easy to see a 20-meter long enemy ship when he’s 30km away. Even without curvature to deal with, 20 meters just doesn’t stand out at that range.

If you zoom in, yeah, you see explosions… but nobody does. Maybe the first few times, maybe even the first few weeks, you kept your camera tight and you fought things at under 5km so you got to watch them blow up… but let’s face it, you don’t anymore. Nobody does, for long, even if they started off doing it. So there’s no sense of ‘yeah, I got him!’

Eve Online Pve Ships

It sounds like it should be just the same in PvP, but there’s a critical difference: in PvP you know there is a real person on the other end of your guns. Maybe you can even see them complaining in local. But you know. And that knowledge fills in the gaps the same way WoW’s simulated interaction fills in the gaps in the other direction.

Lessons Need To Be Learned…

Pve

Ok, so how can that all be applied to EVE Online? The second part, that feeling of visceral feedback, is definitely a tricky one. After all, EVE’s scale does prevent any meaningful sense of immediacy. And very few other games work at that scale.

Star Trek Online does, but it cheats. You go zipping around a map that’s the size of a galaxy. And galaxies are a hell of a lot larger than EVE’s comparatively puny 110LY across. But they zoom you out, and then drop you into encounter maps for fighting. And even then, they cheat. Star Trek regularly talks about ranges in the tens of thousands of kilometers, but the visual representation of that in the game… your ship would have to be the size of a continent for it to be to scale.

So how does EVE get there? Honestly, I don’t know. Maybe more voice-acted interactions. Maybe pop-up holo-communications like the way they have Aura pop up during the NPE. Even if it’s a static image, it’s more of a direct connection the subconscious can fill in. That’ll probably slow things down a lot, though, and with the PvE being as mind-numbingly repetitive as it is, it’d quickly just get annoying. ‘Visceral’ payoff, lizard-brain engagement… might be impossible in EVE. Maybe all they can do is try to get players actively engaged.

Tedium Is Not Engaging PvE

One of CCP’s longest-standing problems is their inability to understand a simple principle: adding complexity without additional payoff is just tedium. More clicks != better gameplay. The simplest way to evaluate a change in these terms is ‘is this something I have to do, or something I get to do?’ Just do that. Just try saying ‘You get to…’ about any specific change.

As an example, let’s look at the ESS and DBS changes that went in last year. On the one hand, some of the ESS system does add more engagement. Players get to rob other players. Good job, CCP. On the other… the Dynamic Bounty System?

Is anyone going to say, ‘You get to put in more time and effort just moving your expensive ships around a lot more, in order to make about the same amount of money’? I don’t think so. In this case, though, that’s ok! The DBS wasn’t put in as a means of increasing player engagement, it went in to address a problem. And sometimes, the solutions to problems have to be something people won’t like. When you’re trying to curb excessive gluttony, you have to expect the gluttons to bitch. Python get local timezone name. And that’s ok.

But if you’re putting in more work—not more activity, mind you, more work—for the same payoff… that’s still ‘have to,’ not ‘get to.’ It may be necessary. It may be something the devs ‘have to’ do. They probably won’t like making people unhappy, either. But even if it’s necessary, making people ‘have to’ do more to get the same dopamine release isn’t engaging. It’s just more tedium, and more boredom. And it’s important to keep that in mind.

So Let Us Do… Things

Which brings us back to ‘auto-attack and wait.’ That’s the big ticket item of engagement. That’s EVE’s Achilles heel, stuffed deep into CCP’s own mouth. If CCP wants their engaging PvE, then they need to engage us. They need to give us things to do, actively. Choices to make, even if we’re making them automatically because that’s our shot rotation. Yeah, it sounds stupid. It sounds like busy-work, because it is: busy-work for the brain. It’s still our brains tracking what we’re doing, our fingers actively pushing buttons.

How do they do it? There are ways, but they’ll involve seriously reworking the core gameplay of EVE. Because that’s what we’re talking about, after all: the core PvE gameplay mechanics of EVE. Right now, they’re, well, boring.

So maybe rethink how ship weaponry works. Maybe each ship class automatically has X low-damage racial weapons, and those are the ones on F1. Then you have the high-slot modules you fit, which don’t auto-repeat. Different modules do different things. Some do damage. Some do remote reps, some replace ewar mid-slots.

And make them do interesting things, especially in combination. Maybe a special type of weapon that lowers resists, and then you follow up with your big gun. The more interesting you can make the combos, the more engaged people become.

To People, Even!

Eve Online Pve Ships Mod

That can extend to groups, and more importantly, it can extend to PvP. Imagine if a group of Guardians or Basilisks could take their cap chain and turn it into a targeted surge of power. Maybe it’s to fill up someone else’s cap, or maybe it’s a way to overload a hostile ship’s capacitor and temporarily disable a mission-critical target. Either way, once it’s used, those ships can’t even cap chain for 5-10s, leaving them vulnerable.

Introduce more variation, too. Give each hull size multiple types of reps or ewar. I don’t just mean ‘armor or shield,’ I mean like ‘module A does a massive amount of remote repair, but cycles slow, while module B does a lighter amount, but cycles faster.’ They don’t auto-cycle. You can only do one at a time. Apply that to local reps, AND to remote reps.

Now logi suddenly has to apply a mix of heals, with some trying to do spam-heals to allow the big heals from other logi to actually land. Groups can work up ways to make combos function in large fights. Doing that actually takes player skill, and the better your pilots are, the more you can defy N+1.

Imagine it: a way for small groups to meaningfully fight back against the blob. Sure, the blob can split into small groups and do exactly the same thing… but will they? How much more organizational workload does that add? If the much-maligned ‘F1 Monkey’ really is just a lowest-common-denominator deadweight, it’ll show pretty quickly, won’t it?

And Then CCP Can Tweak and Twist Knobs…

There’s a bunch of options out there. But ‘how they do it’ is less important than that they do it it. The sooner you get EVE players engaged, the sooner you can start fine-tuning how you’re engaging them. What matters, in the end, is building a framework of game mechanics that gets players actively interacting with their own ship’s actions, as constantly as possible.

Eve

You do that in a way that doesn’t feel like bullshit tedium and you’ll fix a lot of the player retention issues. Because you’ll have engaging PvE… and some potentially revolutionary PvP.

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Eve Online Pve Ships Download

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