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Eve Vegas: CCP Bettik Discusses The Expansion

CCP Bettik discusses What is new in the Expansion and Team 5-0.

I liked Bettik. He emits raw energy. He likes Eve. He likes working for CCP. He likes what he has to do. He wanted to be up there telling us about the game and the future. During the previous nights socialization he was buzzing around chatting to people and just meeting the players. It made him approachable and helped me slide into a conversation later.

There was a guy who sat in front of me that kept looking back at me with random puzzled, confused and in general weird looks. It started to get weird and I tried not to look at him because every time I did he was looking over at me. It was just a bit strange.

Team 5-0 has been doing crime watch, buff bar, tutorials, and etc. For his Eve Vegas Presentation, CCP Bettik announced that he was going to go over what he has been doing for the Retribution expansion.

---Adding AI to the remaining NPC in the game.
---He is also working on Rogue Drone Content. He hopes someone will go invade Solar Fleet and change Sov there for once.

What does it mean?
---NPCs will try to go after a target of their size first (frigs to frigs, cruisers to cruisers).
---Target switching.
---Threat analyzing.
(There is a Dev Blog for this so I am not microdiscussing it).

What is the point of this change?
---Streamlining all NPCs in the game.
---Shake up standard tactics to PVE and PVP where NPCs are present. (No more hopping into a site/mission and laughing while the tackled ship dies to the NPCs. They will go after you now as well)
---More variation in group setups. (Missions are so well known and now it will change up)
---More realistic engagements in group content. (This leads back to the PvE being closer to PvP goal CCP has)

He said that he has been asked about rebalancing the content and not just adding the AI to what is already there. He also says he can't rebalance all the content even if he was smoking meth for five years because there is so much. He then discusses why he thinks this AI change is a good idea and hopes it will teach new players better combat mechanics they will take over to PvP.

(I still think it makes combat with a fleet harder and solo combat the same. It still feels like a nerf to groups. I expect the usage of droneboats to plummet. They have said that they have looked into it and things are manageable and doable still if people pay attention. The entire reason AFK missioning has come into being is because people don't want to pay attention and manage their drones to play with aggro. People will move to the next flavor of the month mission boat.)

Rogue Drone Content:

Inherently Rogue Drone Content sucks, says Bettik. What they have done and what will be coming out in the next patch is:
---Rogue Drones now give sec gain. They noticed how people stopped doing Drone missions after the drone goo removal. They didn't like that people were avoiding the content.
---Rogue drone regions now have hauler spawns. True sec should matter more. So they added the hauler spawns.
---Adding Rogue Drone officer spawns with modules.

They are looking at salvaging material drops from Rogue Drones. They want to improve it from the crap that it currently is. He is not sure what they are going to do but he will try to balance and buff it compared to the salvage that everyone else drops.

Also on his list: He wants to finish the remaining DED complexes for rogue drones. He is also adding module drops to them.

He would like to fix the Drone mini-profession. From rogue drones one can make enhanced dones. However, it is currently a broken mini-profession. There are not enough copies dropping and the material is not easy enough to access. If this does not go into Retribution it will go into the next patch. This is the lowest priority of the list of drone changes he is working on but it is on that list.

What is the point? He wants to put rogue drone space on par with pirate faction space. Space should be valuable thus be worth fighting over and also ninja exploring will have a place.

(stuff about drones was important enough that I logged in to tell my corp).

Now for Q&A

Q---The redoing of the tempest model? What is with all the sleek lines? Please, are they making it classical Minmatar?
A---He says "in rust they trust" and they are not shining it up to badly.

Q---In FW complexes they are going to change the NPCs?
A---They are looking at it all and the AI will be in FW NPCs as well.

Q---Null sec exploration: They want more groups and more size. But there is a problem. They are soloing sites and it has no change. But if you are doing it in a group now the group has to have more people and harder content?
A---He feels there is more problem in the tengu being imbalanced then groups having such a problem. They are looking at trying not to have that one OP content ship.
(didn't really answer the exploration question. This is another area I feel is being over looked for this AI upgrade)

Q---This guy starts saying he is a big fan of the AI changes. Have they thought of upgrading the defenses of POStowers with this AI? Right now POS AI is terrible.
A---He'd rather put the defense of towers into the players hand. To defend their own towers instead of it being a game mechanic. So he'd like to look at it from the end of people defending their own towers with their POS guns instead. (It believe it was also said that getting to POS gunnery was complex to get to now and maybe that will be looked at)

Q---Any plans to change WH sites now that sleeper AI is going everywhere?
A---He says that its high on his list. He knows its predictable as is. With the changes of incursions he managed to make the spawns more predictable. He is looking at maybe doing the same with wormhole space. He feels wormhole space shows you can make cool content for groups.

Q---Planning to scale up bounties from the difficulty of the AI?
A---He says no. He knows that we whine. He buffed anoms before crucible. But he feels that anoms may be making to much money these days. He said they had someone bragging that they did anoms in 2 minutes with a titan, machariel, mom mixup in null. He said they should be proud but that money making like that so fast is bad. He wants null to have isk to fight over but he wants it to be interesting as well.

Q---It is hard for new players who want to specialize in PvP early and have no combat skills (logi and falcon for example) can't make isk. Is there an idea to let players do missions with NPCs so that non combat people can make isk?
A---They are thinking about it but don't know how to implement it properly yet.

Q---Contracts to other alliances and bounties or getting paid for fighting npc faction enemies? (I don't fully understand this question)
A---He would love for your NPC faction to matter. Like if you ally with bloodraiders they shouldn't shoot you automatically. But that is a legacy issue they are looking at.


  1. " The dude in front of me has given me a few weird looks. " You're a pirate Sugar, and you've got logistics and tacklers in system. Take that dude down.


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