Monday, May 27, 2013

Odyssey Testing - Much Improvements to Relic and Data Sites

I'm still Testing Odyssey. I think that our cries are being heard in pieces if not the entire thing people may want. Free Q&A  is a bitter point that pops up on the forums, often when the players massed words are being ignored by CCP. I know that we are providing a lot of feed back for CCP. I'm doing it in a hope to be heard on at least some of the issues that pop up. Even if it is just fixing the sites so that I do not rage out again over the sloppy insertion of objects. Even if CCP hired Q and A people to do what we do those people wouldn't play Eve to understand the fundamental broken aspect of things.

Note: There are no longer gate fire animations. The gates just stay the same and people appear in the system. This seems bad to me. I commented on it in some feedback thread somewhere. I posted on twitter as well and was asked to submit a bug report.


From what I have read in the thread the new build should include several things

  • Fewer Containers
  • Changed Loot Tables
  • Slower Moving Cans
  • Better loot drops
  • Illegal items (the small arms) were taken out of the sites

The Hacking Mini-game: There is a Dev Blog about it for those that wish to read the details of it. I really haven't and perhaps I should. However, I am not interested in this mini-game. It is a very frustrating point for me. I love exploration and they have now added a layer of something I do not care about and have no interest in doing to my exploration. I'm fumbling through the mini-game using the tools it gives. I finish about 75% of them. This is not a feature I am complaining about in a CCP remove it! I understand that lots of people find things like this interesting. I do not. Not in any game. I never finish the mini-games in a game. That is not why I play. This feature will never be interesting for me personally. However, part of my points when it comes to loot gained and the risk vs reward is that these mini-games slow down site completion and absorb a lot of attention from the player in an attempt to successfully complete it. This makes exploration outside of high security space even more dangerous. Already we play with divided attention. Now we have to divided that attention along an even thinner line.

Soundwave seems to feel that they are still 'to easy'. It also seems that there is some type of tier structure to the cans.

I'm having an issue with that considering that sites now:

  • Give you two chances to hack successfully before the container blows up
  • Blow up the moment you warp out
  • Spew tons of small containers into space meaning you may easily miss the loot you are there for
  • I have a T2 Relic Analyzer and a T2 Data Analyzer 
  • That the sigs don't show up as icons on the screen until selected from the probe scanner window
All my testing is in the same low sec exploration systems I play in in game. Exploration has been my primary form of income for the last year.

I just spent this morning doing some exploration so that I could take a comparison shot of what I can make or find on the current Eve server compared to what I am making and finding on the Test server with the new and improved changes to exploration.


This is from a Regional Angel Command Center 'Radar' site on Tranquility  It had a total of six cans and 10 NPCs. I have learned how to avoid the spawn. If it spawns it gets an additional 6-10 NPCs, mostly frigates and destroyers with a few cruisers as an 'ambush'.  I did the site in a Legion (maxed subs) and a Cynabal in low security space, putting around 750mil ISK in ships on the field as I duel box the site for speed. I salvage wrecks close to the can that I am opening. I also have a T2 salvager. I use a sisters probe launcher and sisters core scanner probes. My test server scan is old enough that I only have IV across the scanning skills where on TQ I have Vs.

I don't expect to make billions on every site. I've had plenty of sites with only the materials and components  However, I learned to make the various things from them and make ISK that way. What is in my cargo hold may not be a huge fortune but it is not trash and will net me a few million ISK. That is good. That is what I expect from a site done in low security space. I average 2-20 million ISK per site and rarely do I find more than 3 or on good days 4 to do.

Off to the test server. 

The first thing I noticed is that they changed the undock buttons again. This is because I couldn't find the new one. I made a very bad collage showing the change of undock from current to the first change to the newest change in the movement of the undock button and the captains quarters button.


I headed off to find my actual ship, which I left somewhere to pod myself last time I was on. Scanning is so easy now. Jump into a system and see if any unscanned sites show up. Very 'mysterious' and 'adventuring into the unknown'. If you don't have your probe scanner window up you won't see it. That's something, I guess? Also the pin-pointing shape of the probes is broken in my opinion. I expect a nice, neat diamond and instead it is lopsided.


I bumped into Cordelia Mulhalland IV and we struck up a conversation and decided to venture into finding the sites together. We started with a Relic site he scanned down. The Relic sites are chunks of broken up ships. They are much smaller than the site site spinning containers making mobility around the container easier. I thoguht I started off pretty well but I failed my hacking attempt. The NPC that spawned was an angel cartel cruiser with a 315k bounty and a strong active tank. That was a bit abnormal.

I proceeded to fail the first hacking game despite starting at a much better position then the 'virus'. Two filures and my can blew up. Cans are still fast but there are fewer and we were able to gather them all together. Only one person can hack at a time currently. Upon one failure we didn't kill the rat and it wound up with both of us being webbed when I successfully opened the can and us missing some of the loot because we could not reach it even with MWD burning.  Our total haul for this first relic site was 'normal'. I do miss the stacks of basic salvage.  The site took us twenty minutes to do, including pauses to collect loot from each other and take pictures.


Off to the Data site (Regional Angel Data Fortress) next. We landed and I was immedatly irritated by it. The cans were not stuck on the structures but really CCP? I hope the loot is fantastic because not only do I have to hack the structure and chase the cans but I now have a twisted collidable structure to get trapped on and miss cans when they run into it. The strucutrres are big as well.


Gritting my teeeth I started the 'game'. I then hit a bugged node. It didn't show the firewall that I was clicking and I didn't notice till my coherency puttered out and If ailed the hack. Thank you shiny black square of death. The NPC spawned with the 315k bounty again. Off to try two. This time it was successful and a newly named decryptor was mine. Cordelia commented that 'this waiting thing is no fun'.  Exactly. Each site takes several minutes as I am learning to maneuver around the hacking game to finish it successfully  The solution was to 'share' the hacking to try to keep the party engaged. What a sad solution.


A tale of two T3s. Cordelia failed the hacking attempt both times. This is his view of the minigame when he hit a dead end.


We compared skills and the difference appears to be I have level V in both and he has level III in both. This is giving me better stats in the game and increasing my chance of accomplishing, because remember, you have two chances and boom. I'm quite glad we teamed up. It is a good example of how something may seem easy to Soundwave, who developed the game and has been playing it and I'm sure is running around with maxed stats compared to your average player puttering in low sec trying to make ISK off of exploration who can no longer do the sites that they were doing and now have to deal with all of the extra heaped on top.

I managed to quickly hack the next can only to have the spawn shoot in two clouds, one out of each side of the structure sending us spinning wildly trying to collect everything. So, with two structures destroyed and two successfully opened this was our haul. I'm not displeased with this solo but its a bit shitty for a group. One decryptor is normal enough.

Decayed Angel Excavation was the next Relic site on the test. We landed with two NPCs already spawned in the site. We killed them and Cordelia mentioned something I had missed. These NPCs are not leaving wrecks. I failed my first hack and the site blew up. No second try all of a sudden or is it 1 try for Relic sites and 2 tries for Data sites? Only no, later I had a failure and it didn't blow up and let me try again. I also bumped into some more of the non-displaying nodes.

I forgot to take a picture of the haul but it was about 2 million ISK. Next site I did by myself. Another Relic site that I had scanned down earlier. It had 6 cans, I failed to hack 2 of them and opened the other four. I am coming to think of the unhackable cans as 'empty' cans.

Next site I got the bug again where not all my virus showed up. I took a screen shot of it and posted it to the feedback thread. 4 cans in this site. I mostly stuck to materials containers when they were around. It seems that the flying cans have about a 3k radius from you before you cannot click them again for your new magical tractor beam. This magical tractor beam also takes time to bring the can to you so the further the can the longer it takes to collect it the less cans you can collect. However, this was one of the easiest sites I had yet hacked and my over all intake was very good for this type of site.

Pretty tired of testing, documenting, and snipping images, I went looking for some Data sites to end my days of of test server scanning. I did find one. I failed my hacking attempts on the second scan. Sometimes they just look like this.


Oh well. Not every can is full. The funny part is that the when the one can exploded it killed the NPC frigate that had me webbed down. I opened two out of three cans and my haul was excellent.


I decided to do one more site and then I was done with it. I had a stack of other Eve chores that I needed to handle for the day and I always wanted to play. I did take some time out to join in on a 4B ISK Charon kill. My last Data site had six cans. I had to expand my consumption to more focus on equipment and parts cans as well as the material cans over the data cans. I had to eject the electrical parts that I collected to free up my inventory. My Legion has 300 m3 of space and 280 were occupied by electrical parts. I failed the last container for clicking to fast and not paying attention.

However I did get a faction POS module. That was unexpected and improved my general mood.


Some Things
  • Hacked containers need to gray out like cans now do.
  • Something needs to show fleet mates a hack was successful other than my screaming into coms or typing badly as I try to double click things
  • Don't stop and attack every firewall if you can go around it. Sometimes you can find the core and win the game without fighting them and possibly losing the hack.
  • Scrap cans always have scrap metal. Skip them
  • Those use to to keeping their screen covered will need to free up screen real estate 
  • Don't be to fast to click buttons. I've screwed myself on a couple of sites that way.
  • Run your mouse over scatter containers and read what they contain
A new post was put up to collect feedback for after testing today and to cover the new build. I decided to dump my opinions there from the few hours I spent running around. It seems that there was also a mass test going to be run. I had already been on the test server all day and instead felt the need to work this blog post and then make lunch after several hours of testing, pictures, and writing.

Things I think will spark anger when this hits the server:
  • Magical Probes
  • People will want jump gate animation off
  • Everything because they didn't pay attention to change.
  • Scatter container icons are too small
We are a week away from the expansion. I am glad that they are still doing tweaks. Unlike my last report, this one is not full of rage and anger. The loot drops are more than acceptable in both types of site. They are comparable to current sites if not a little bit better on average. You only need two people to hoover up everything in the site. One person can make a comparable haul to current sites it seems.

I'm not fond of the loot spew mechanism but it is here to stay. The hacking sites are what they are. Doable most of the time. There is going to be pain for those who do not have T2 data and relic analyzers I feel. There is an increase in risk. You cannot watch dscan when chasing after cans. It is the perfect time to point an explorer. They are frantically spinning about trying to gather up the proper cans.

In general, its at least worth doing again for the ISK that can be made on a basic income level. The need for higher end skills for the sites and the general focus they require will depend on if the loot drops are 'too good' or 'not good enough'.

Anyway, I'm out of this for the day. I hope it has been helpful to those that have read my attempts to share what is coming our way.

8 comments:

  1. I don't know if they added a build since I tested things on Saturday and Sunday, but it looks like if you want to ensure you don't miss anything nice you need to bring a friend along.

    Even though you dislike mini-games, and I tend to enjoy them, our main concerns tend to be the same.

    I have to say, I didn't get nearly as lucky as you did with the item drops :(

    For those of you who are still confused on how the mini-game works, I have done a quick step-by-step play through.

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  2. "Scrap cans always have scrap metal. Skip them."

    I too thought that there was meaning to the naming of the cans that are ejected from the spew container. I latter learned that they don't mean anything besides the crap item you get if there is nothing in it. The good loot will randomly spawn in any of the containers. So if your cherry picking cans based on name your actually doing yourself a disservice and you will be better off just collecting as many cans as possible. Once I realized this my results improved a lot. It will take awhile to get a drop from a scrap container due to the randomoness, but it will happen eventually, trust me =)

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  3. The question I have is, can we use T1 exploration frigates like the Probe or do the exploding cans and spawns make that a bad idea?

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    1. From the hits I have been getting, I believe you can use a T1 exploration frigate. Many people are using these. I, will use a CovOps for low sec to decrease my losses and leave my Legion for null sec.

      The biggest factor with using frigates right now is the size of the items being collected. There is a big push to have the 1m3 items reduced in size so that people do not lose loot due to a full cargo hold.

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    2. It is actually going to be ideal to use t1 exploration frigates for the null sites for sure. The role bonus on them is really huge, 10 to your viruis strength doesn't sound like much but makes a huge difference. When it finally hits TQ there won't be any NPCs at all.

      One thing I am annoyed with is that my scanning alt can't fly a t3 yet and obviously the t3 is now without a doubt the best scanning ship in the game due to the extra mid over the buzzard.

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    3. I'm thinking of using a Cheetah for scanning and a Probe for the greater cargo capacity. I'm kind of missing the old cargo bonus that let me have a cargo hold of 650 m3.

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  4. CCP Prime just did confirm that previously the naming of containers didn't matter on the previous builds on SiSi. However, the current build of sisi does have specific items mapped to specific container types.

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    Replies
    1. Aye, yup. I caught that as well. I wrote up an update for tomorrow.

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