Apocrypha - Epic Mission Arcs (CSM)
All this data is potentially out of date, and should be taken with a truckload of salt
Raised by: Ankhesentapemkah
Submission Date: 13-03-2009
Issue ID: To be indexed
There are the following perceived problems with the Epic Mission Arc (Blood Stained Stars):
- Branching choices and actions in missions do not affect the outcome
- Lack of rewards
- Missions boring
- Storyline problems
- Only one arc
- Concerns for the future
Branching Choices do not affect the outcome
There are points where the mission arc branches off, but the choices do not affect the outcome, nor offer a special reward, making the choice rather meaningless.
Players expected multiple endings, and replayability of the mission arc. They also expected to be offered choices during the missions (for example, choose to kill an NPC or not), which would influence the story. However, even if something extreme is done (Ankhesentapemkah destroying the Stolen Nidhoggur carrier), this does not affect the mission arc (carrier re-appears in next mission). There was also a player that wished to immediately bring Dagan to the Sisters of Eve agent instead of returning to the commander first, but the agent did not respond despite the most wanted criminal being in the cargohold, and the only option was to return to the commander.
Another thing of note is that CCP said that when they developed Factional Warfare missions, that the mission outcome would be affected by player standings. If this mechanic made it in-game, it might be used to great effect for branching Epic Mission Arcs.
CCP Big Dumb Object clarified that the lack of branching was intentional, as the mission arc was aimed at new players. Nevertheless, multiple endings and choices during the missions are desired for future mission arcs.
Lack of rewards
Somewhere at the start of the mission arc, a Destroyers skillbook is granted as reward, but this is the only item besides ISK obtainable through the missions. This is contrary to the Dev Blogs, which states: "while the rewards for Epic Missions won't be vastly greater than those for normal missions, they will tend to give out cool new toys (or at least exceptional rewards) at the ends of chapters and, of course, at the end of each complete arc." It is also a problem that the Minmatar agent eventually sais the player is going to get a considerable reward for completing the next mission, yet gives nothing.
When asked, players expected one or more of the following rewards:
- A racial cruiser skillbook based on the chosen commander in the final part of the mission arc
- Attribute-enhancing implants
- Destroyer/Cruiser ship
- Decorations/trinkets upon succesful completion or when completing 'bonus goals'
- Modules or blueprints
- Faction standing gains
Missions are boring
Most of the missions involve killing 3-6 frigates and returning to agents, or dropping an item in a can, which then spawns 3-6 frigates. One of the agents hits the nail on the head by saying "You know the drill, go deliver this item, I'm sure there will be someone there to shoot you."
The players often got thoroughly bored and even frustrated with the repetitive missions and desire more diversity.
Many players have noted that the storyline is weak, does not capture the player, and goes into wildly different directions in order to send the player to a different agent, often without concluding the previous chapter properly.
Only one arc
While some players understand CCP's reasoning for developing just one arc, there are many players that do not have much sympathy and are quite disappointed that there is no content for them, either because they cannot access all empires, or because they find the mission arc too easy. It would be nice for CCP to touch this subject again.
Concerns for the future
Players often express concern that Epic Mission Arcs will be another unfinished feature that will never be fully developed. COSMOS-missions/Datacenters and Factional Warfare are previous examples of CCP hyping some expansion content which enters the game in an unfinished state and does not get finished (in a reasonable time).