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Fanfest 2015 - PvE Round Table

I missed the lore panel. It was in Rens and Dodixie which are the tiny, tiny, tiny, meeting rooms that I hate in Harpa. I'm sad that I missed it because cool things about world changes were discussed. Sigh.

Q: Give the new AI to  NPC haulers more drops so that they are worth killing and more interesting.
A: This is a general 'yes'. We are working on that. The start is the seekers and drifters.

Potentials on the current PvE roadmap

  • Convoys
  • NPC vs NPC battles in space
  • FW split into 4 factions with demilitarized zones in between
  • Convoys that travel between those areas as part of the FW mission system
Q: These PvE changes sounds exciting but what about wormhole space?
A: In this last year we have released exploration sites. We want to look at sleeper convoys in wormhole space. We'd like more variation. 
(Note: In the WH session there was a discussion about changing capital escalations)

Q" If NPCs kill you they should loot your wreck. Plus, they could "use" your weapons and modules. Or at least gain a stat increase. Feasible?
A: It is a large undertaking. Also, will players perceive that the NPC they are attacking is now stronger and harder to kill. But the goal we are moving towards is for AI to behave more like players.

Q: Will a new player who already died be able to get their items?
A: Changes do not have to be across all things. We could exempt low level missions and introduce the concept later.

Q: Missions have remained the same since the games release. Change the way they are done. Move them around or something.
A: We are looking into procedural generation. It is a large undertaking but it will have a high value. We want to redo the FW missions this year. It will be a good test spot for the new mission types.

Q: The increased escalations has caused the module market to decrease. They are half what they were and it now devalues the experience. Finding dead space items is no longer special.
A: It was a decision where we changed things that had a .002% change to escalate to release that content to the players.
Q: It feels to much that everyone is the winner. You have to be careful with letting people get items.
A: There are still chances to fail. You do not get an escalation or an item guarantied. But we can look at hte loot tables.

There was a little bit of a discussion from a player who has some disabilities as to limit his playing time. PvE is a very accessible thing to him and something he can do for the hour or two that he can play. He has felt very harassed by people attempting to force PvP upon him or taking away his PvE content in an effort to make him fight. He cannot respond well enough to do PvP activities but he really enjoys playing Eve but he has no way to escape them. Some suggestions were made from other players about relocation to avoid high sec PvPers.

Q: What was with the decision to put cheap ores in null sec?
A: A lot of this is currently being revisited with the sov design. Ores are being rebalanced in null.

Q: With the new AI can you make new mission types? Add in level 2 and 4 missions? The more missions the better.
A: Still working on the NPC behaviors. But we are working on that to let people add them in easier.

Q: Gurists 1/10 still has a gate key. They stay stuck for days sometimes.
A: To remove the gate keys and rework all of the keyed complexes is not as trivial as it sounds. We don't know when we will have the time. Our road map is quite hectic right now.

Q: I actually have three things. NPC never use drones. Trim frigates down and have htem use drones. Incursions are only done by Sansha. Can we change the protagonist finally?
A: Yes but not sure where we stand with that. Content wise I'd like to look at world events. We want space to feel more alive and busy. We are currently using the incursion system to run the new content. 
Q: How will we know what is going on in this busier universe?
A: We want you to go out and find what is going on. We don't want things to be neatly planned and predictable.

Q: How are the tools coming along?
A: The tools are the AI tools that we are discussing. We are now working the bugs out of them. It takes time.
Q: How much time is that?
A: It is now faster to put them toigehter and do more with them. We were going to start with fixing broken things but fixing awful things makes them still awful. Instead, we are trying to maintain quality of life fixes but more forward with better content for people to access.

Q: WH space. We have had the same 4 sites forever. When are you going to play with the cap escalations?
A: I don't have an exact date. It is on the roadmap. The roadmap is just very full.

Q: Storyline missions charged a bit back. They have changed to the closest. It used to be that it was the closest in the same security band.
A: We have not made a known change so if this happens again please file a bug report.

Q: Dynamic events need to be findable in a way similar to incursions.
A: We will work with Foxfour to see about API access and maybe some type of notice.

Cosmos - Can they become repeatable?
A: We are not a fan of content you only run once. Affinity wanted to rip them out. Bittek loves them and won't let her. They need to be redone but it is a balance of where we are going to put time.

Q: Can we use Concord in more ways so that we can fight them? Like in low sec or something?
A: Possibility. We've thought of police drones to chase after you. We've thought of letting players find contraband on other players and get rewarded for it. That type of thing.

Q: Is PvE getting attention on the main roadmap?
A: We are the PvE roadmap. What is being done is our decision as a team. No one is stopping us. No one telling us we cannot do PvE content. We are a real team of developers and PvE is what we do. We just do all of it.

Q: The rebalance of FW missions?
Q: Changes to the NPC AI will be more realistic. Also they will drop things related to their ships. We want this as part of path of NPC behaving more like players.

Q: Can we get a BPC for standings with SoE or Mordu?
A: Nope

Q: Can you increase the faction spawns in missions? They are so rare as to be mythical.
A: We will look at it. 

Q: New missions coming in can we have some options?
A: I am looking at things like burners as part of the new FW missions.

Q: More higher level missions for smaller ship types. We don't want to only fly battleships.
A: Maybe but it will involve a lot of scaling of content.

Q: Agent Quality was removed forever ago and really took something out of the game - Dynamic agent rewards to force people to move?
A: We have been discussing removing standings completely when it comes to picking missions so that people can go tot eh agent and mission type and level that they want to.

After the session I had a talk with a player who wanted to know what had happened to tools modeled the previous year by CCP Foxfour that would help write missions faster. That has evolved into the current blackboard NPC AI system and the PvE team is focusing on interesting and accessible content that will have a wide reach. Remaking missions or even adding to missions will create small pockets of quickly consumed content that people will get tired of in weeks if not days. As discussed through some questions during the round table they are trying for as wide impacts.


  1. There are some ideas in here that I really like, and I agree that just adding more static missions that will get consumed doesn't serve the bigger picture. Procedural missions are something I've bantered about and would be in favor of. Blurring the lines between exploration, missions, and FW (hinted at here via burners in FW) is probably a good thing too.

    Thanks for posting these, Sugar. :)


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