Missions under review (CSM)
All this data is potentially out of date, and should be taken with a truckload of salt
Raised by: Ankhesentapemkah
Submission Date: 12-08-2008
Issue ID: 0102-03-0065
Over the year, there have been several common concerns and ideas regarding missions. I have gathered these concerns and go into detail what the underlying issues are with each of these concerns and ideas.
1) Missions need to be made more dynamic and unpredictable
2) Mission pay-out in Low-Sec and 0.0 needs improvement
3) Module loot may have a negative impact on the economy by making t1 production obsolete and injecting too many minerals into the economy
4) Missions in Factional Warfare require improvements
5) Mining missions require improvements
6) Level 4 missions in their current form do not belong in high-security space
7) Standing is being monopolized by missions (no ways to get standing outside of mission running, with the exception of FW standing)
8) Less ships, but higher difficulty
9) Agents are static, resulting in overloaded mission hubs, desire to have agent quality made dynamic
Missions need to be made more dynamic and unpredictable
Current mission design is static and repetitive. Players can look up the mission summary on various websites, and know exactly what to expect. While the problem will be alleviated somewhat with the introduction of new missions in the Empyrian Age 1.1 patch and beyond, which causes players to get the same missions less frequently, the problem remains that the player will eventually know what to expect.
The solution to these problems would be to introduce dynamic content. Missions could be pieced together from random elements, have random ship spawns and variable objectives. Another solution would be random bonus content that goes beyond the mission objective. The mission would be completed, but like in the Angel Extravaganza mission, the player has the option to go through yet another gate to get to a bonus room. These bonuses would appear randomly in missions, and will not appear in every mission.
Mission pay-out in Low-Sec and 0.0 needs improvement
Currently, not many people run missions in Low-sec/0.0 because the rewards are not that much better than High-sec while there are often significant risks attached, perceived or not. I think that the mission rewards could get a positive adjustment. Also, if dynamic missions are implemented as above, then certain ship spawns or bonuses could be exclusive to Low-sec/0.0.
Module loot may have a negative impact on the economy by making t1 production obsolete and injecting too many minerals into the economy
At first, I was all "don't mess with mission income" towards this point, but I have done a lot of reading and research on this topic, and it cannot be denied that income from missions is much better than from mining minerals yourself. This invalidates the miner profession. In addition, due to the looted modules, the production of most T1 modules is unprofitable.
While I do not think that reducing mission income is a good move, due to the fact that many mission runners are just casual players that already have a hard time making ISK, it should be possible to shift mission income away from modules, and instead deliver either more loyalty points or through items such as dogtags or other token drops that can be traded in for various rewards.
Missions in Factional Warfare require improvements
Several issues with these particular missions. Ship spawns inside these missions are often bigger than the class of ship that is allowed entry, making them quite difficult to complete in medium-fitted ships (and flying anything expensive generally is not a good idea in FW space). They are also often quite a distance away from the agent, risking gatecamps, and it is generally easy for the opposing faction to intrude and disrupt these missions due to them being visible on the overview and the difficult nature of the mission itself.
Due to these difficulties, it is impossible to do these missions without a group of players. However, the rewards of the missions are extremely low, and even more so if they have to be shared by a whole group. The penalty for failure is harsh however, while the risk of failing is extremely high.
In short, these missions need to be reduced in difficulty, have an increase in reward and/or have the penalty for failure lowered significantly.
Mining missions require improvements
These missions are extremely boring and yield significantly less income than mining the veldspar outside, and thus need a boost in reward and be made somewhat more interesting. Not much needs to be said I think.
Level 4 missions in their current form do not belong in high-security space
With this issue, it is hard to determine if this stems from whining and intollerance towards a certain playstyle by a vocal minority or actual valid game concerns. I think that a lot of valid concerns will be addressed through points 2, 3 and 6. I personally do not think that elimination of Level 4 missions from High-sec alltogether will be a valid solution, and that doing so will not accomplish the goal of bringing more people into Low-sec, as this type of player will either resort to other income in High-sec (mining, lower level missions) or quit the game alltogether. I think the way to address this is by giving players incentives to go to Low-sec, such as Factional Warfare, and increased profibility there instead of these attempts to force people out.
Standing is being monopolized by missions
There currently is no way to get standing outside of running missions. With the introduction of Factional Warfare however, it was made possible to acquire standing through the capture of FW sites. It would be nice to see more of these systems put in place so players can engage in different activities to raise their standings.
Less ships, higher difficulty
Current enemies in missions only use a fraction of their ship’s capabilities, and none offer any serious challenge or have any AI or variation in behavior to speak of.
To change this, there could be intelligent bosses, which will attempt to warp off when damaged too much, or ships that work in a squadron and supplement each other’s capabilities, an example of this would be a remote repair ship.
Agents are static
Various suggestions have been made in this aspect. One is to adjust agent quality based on the amount of mission runners knocking on the agent's door each day, so that out-of-the-way agents eventually offer more compared to the ones in crowded hubs like Motsu. This mechanic would also immediately yield improvements to Low-sec mission agents, since these are not frequented by players.
The holy grail would of course be to have agents appear and disappear based on events in game, such as backstory and the result of player efforts in factional warfare, which would bring a dynamic universe one step closer.
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