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Eve Vegas 2015 - PvE Round Table

I'm old fashioned and write notes for sessions. I noticed that there were all sorts of recordings at Eve Vegas. TMC had an entire recording stage out. CCP was recording some things. Players had cell phones and recorders on hand. I felt positively archaic. This was far from four years ago when I was one of the few people interested in recording what happened at these events.

But, that didn't stop me. I didn't worry about getting the information out as fast as before. It takes me around two hours to transcribe the fast written sloppy reminders. I try to capture as much as I can. If I cannot understand what I wrote or cannot remember something, I skip over it. So much happens that it is easy to give credit and weight where it is not due.

All told I attended the following round tables: Capitals, little things, structures, PvE, and the CSM. I understand that there was a last minute round table for skill training. It was not well announced or I would have attended it. For the sessions I did attend, I wrote notes for all of them. However, I'm going to start with the PvE round table due to some bitter comments I have been seeing on my blog about PvE.

The PvE session with CCP Affinity was at 1100 on Sunday. I had promised that I would be there. I've been a (hopefully loving) thorn in CCP Affinity's side since I joined the CSM. I have this belief that improved PvE means a better game of Eve for everyone, even those who never wish to engage directly in the PvE activity. This has been echoed in my CSM activities for the past two years.

Eve has the one PvE team. I'd like for there to be more, but for now we have one. That does not mean they do 100% of the PvE things. CCP Fozzie for instance made the burners and CCP Bettik has the future of drone sites and drone faction modules on his plate. They however, are the main ones working through the content so CCP Affinity had a table for eight speakers to herself. She pulled her chair forward and made the talk a bit more intimate with the crowd.

The first question I'm going to list was asked about halfway through. Someone requested a road map of the PvE goals for the next year. CCP Affinity said that she would be posting a blog soon and another one probably in January and another one potentially in March. While, during the course of the talk she discussed a two year plan, she noted that her road map is very flexible and changes a lot. Because of that, she doesn't want to push any promises out more than six months and we shouldn't expect to see dev blogs that go beyond that time period.

CCP Affinity: There is more PvE coming in the next year. Let's start with the new tribute system.

The tribute system is Concord giving players an extra thank you for doing what they normally do. It is based on you doing what you like to do. Most cases it is completed in your first piece of content. There are five levels of tribute and they are completed all together. If you complete a level five type (currently incursion, FW missions, high level anoms, level 5 missions, higher WH sites) you will not only get the level five tribute but also levels one-four.  So there is no grinding low level content just to get the tribute.

NPC patrols are coming to FW. You will get LP for them. Patrols and NPC activities are coming to all areas of space.

Q: Will we have these in sov null?
A: Yes. Null sec as well.

We are working on NPC behaviors. NPC's will dock at your citadels. When you attack some of these NPCs they will follow you. They will follow you from system to system. They will follow you through wormholes.

Q: Will they effect WH mass?
A: No. They won't effect the mass.

Q: Will it cause holes to appear?
A: Yes

We are looking at drifter convoys that will come to the aid of sleepers.

Q: Cap escalations will be even harder?
A: We will have a dev blog about capital escalations.

This is also why we are looking into nerfing drifters a bit. Their super weapon will not work against transversal. Basically, going fast at an angle in a small ship like a frigate will make you immune.

Q: But we are in capitals in sleeper sites
A: We are trying to have this not radically change your ability to complete a site. See the future dev blog.

Q: Will drifter convoys be drifter battleships?
A: There will be more drifters. Next year drifters get their own capital ship. Plus logistics. After all, who goes out to fight without logistics? We're working on the AI in this areas. You will see this in the Drifter vs Amarr events.

Q: Is this system available in missions?
A: Some will be.

CCP Affinity goes on to discuss that they know they need to add more missions and they will be working on that.

Q: Will the patrols cause standings hits?
A: Yes. There will be standings hits.

CCP Affinity goes on to discuss goals with new NPC activities. That there will be NPCs that move things around. She wants to turn the current peddlers and trader NPCs that move from station to station into real convoys of multiple ships that trade from system to system. If you have standings with them they would move stuff for you. However, they can be scanned and attacked as well so hunting them has a place. It isn't just a free to safely move.

Q: Player comments that there are not a lot of bonuses for standings
A: We want to do more with standings in the future. Things like change interactions. Maybe limit how many good standings you can have. You can't be friends with everyone. At the same time that would mean if you are good here people are hostile over there.

Q: Can you steal from interbus that moves things from the Citadels?
A: Not now. Maybe in the future.

Q: If Drifters hate me will they chase me everywhere through empire and hound me forever?
A: The Drifter storyline will advance and things will make more sense.

CCP Affinity goes on to discuss that they want to put in a procedural generation system. Right now everything is static. The procedural generation system will move triggers, items, and NPCs around. Fleets would increase with the number of players. It is not something that will be done any time soon and they are looking at hopefully two years to get it implemented and in the game.

Q: Will Drifters drop different loot?
A: That is the goal. Also, I'd love to see drifter skins and ships dropped.

Q: What are you doing for the scourge of high sec incursions?
A: This was a short discussion about high sec incursions. CCP Affinity said in her opinion it doesn't make sense for Sansha to continue incursions forever and maybe they should change a bit in the future.

Q: Faction and Faction standing. There needs to be a more intuitive way to repair them.
A: We have to revisit the standings system in the future. It needs to be ripped out or completely redone. It is not on the list of things for right now

Q: Drone sites still don't drop faction loot.
A: We are aware of that. It is on CCP Bettik's backlog

Q: How are burner missions doing?
A: Quite well. They have influenced the current NPC AI quite a lot. Burners do not use the new AI but we've watched player interaction and used a lot of that to make this AI better and more fun.

The discussion moved back to the procedural system. It will see ships and not just fleet numbers. Drifters are the test bed for the better AI responses.

Q: Data sites - They are nearly worthless. Have you thought about maybe adding scripts or something for the future Citadels for them?
A: CCP RedDawn is doing the first step in the Data site rebalancing. We are going to let that happen and see what it does before we take the next step.

Q: Standings. I like to attack people in Faction Warfare but it gives me bad standings. I think that standings should be decoupled from PvP.
A: I do not see how that makes sense considering that those players have been hired by the Militia and you are killing them.

Q: What is the roll out?
A: Current plans are: Tribute and Data sites around Christmas. NPC Patrols in March. Drifter capitals next summer.

Q: Procedural Generation?
A: Two years away maybe. But we have a lot of dramatic plans to shake it up next year.

Q: More holiday things?
A: Maybe. We want them to fit into the story line. No Sansha Claws.

Q: Please don't make NPCs safer
A: We are not planning to

Request for expeditions to share across the fleet so that everyone gets the location and bookmark.

That is the summary of the notes that I took and what I remember. I grabbed most of what happened. I'll work on the others.


  1. For those that weren’t there, this was a precious little jewel of a round table. One thing Sugar’s comprehensive notes can’t capture was the generally enthusiastic feel of the room. CCP Affinity was knowledgeable, cautious about overpromising and handled the group well making sure everybody got to ask their questions. “Sansha Claws” actually got a big laugh. When discussing holiday events Affinity was careful to point out that CCP wants to keep the in game Eve universe and real life holidays separate. Accordingly, Crimson Harvest is about as close as we’ll get to an in game Halloween event and out of game announced trinkets is about as close as we’ll get to a Christmas Celebration. With that background in place the good natured stink eye grimace “Sansha Claws” produced on Affinity’s face was near priceless.

  2. I apologise Sugar if my disappointment came across as bitter. Perhaps alternatively be expressed as surprise. Since PvE is a major source of income for decent section of the player base, in addition to, it provides a source of content for villainy. Yet in the scale of things attracts the least interest or commentary? Well from my own point of view that is.

    1. Then you are yelling at the player base as they are the ones doing the reporting on Eve Vegas. The loud and most invested players, the ones that are more prone to dropping real life cash on an Eve Event are often the ones least interested in PvE. I think you are seeing nothing but a reflection of this when it comes to coverage.

      On the other hand I know that PvE probably attracts more and longer term interest than anything else when it comes to players looking for information about the game.

    2. How would I say... some little people are noisy fans, and a large majority of others just pay their subscriptions in silence.

      PvErs, as highseccers, are mostly of the "silent payer" type. Yet they are so abundant, and they give so much money to CCP, that CCP has been slowly an effectively strangling itself for years by mistaking "involvement" for "value".

      As a business CCP needs the ones who pay the bills more than those who loudly display their love for CCP.

      Applauding a rock on screen is good, but there would not be rock nor screen without all those who've been rescuing the Damsel six times a week for years.

    3. But I am commenting on the 'reporting' of it, Onions. The players are the ones reporting on the round tables. CCP has never recorded them. This isn't about as a business CCP needs the ones who pay their bills more. This is about the players reporting to the players about what excites them.

      In that situation you have to look at who are at the event and what they may or may not report back to.

  3. They are looking to add more missions? Wow. Hope they remember to make them accesible and appealing to highsec mission runners...

    As for the other features... wait and see. I'm not exactly happy with how almost all PvE added recently has been intended to lure players out of highsec.

    1. It’s a shame you weren’t there Onions as it’s well-nigh possible the good vibes in the venue could have pierced through even your crinkled skin. Sure the roundtable included ‘the entitled nullseccer’ who, though he tried to control the discussion, was deftly handled by CCP Affinity when she simply called on questioners around him meaning he got no more time than anybody else and the quizzical look on Affinity’s face when responding to the ‘grumpy pirate’ whining about standings drops when he attacked militia members was glorious.

      Look Onions, I don’t mind your bitter, you seem to get off on it, but until you’re a subscriber it’s unrealistic to expect CCP to cater to your particular fetishes. Until you subscribe, they simply can’t make any money of your desires . . . not even in Sin City Las Vegas.

    2. The whole point of my EVE management consists of focusing on what are not "personal fetishes" but what, from my experience, are widely shared opinons which rarely are voiced out. I agreed with most of what Sugar summarized in her post-Taboo blog... which was no surprise since most of the points raised are things I've been knowing and saying for literally years.

      As an instance of a "personal fetish", I have hold a grudge on CCP Affinitty since the Ghost sites and this answer to a player:

      "If you want a blueprint - you need to go out of your comfort zone and go to low, null or WH space."

      Not surprisingly, highsec ghost sites turned to be piss-poor in terms of "reward" for the "risk", and without even a slight chance of getting a implant blueprint, they were quickly dismissed.

      So I am not exactly ecstatic about having PvE in the hands of that kind of devs. Highsec PvErs are effectively "going out of heir comfort zone" and moving to other games, ma'am. Call that "customer oriented design"... *rolls eyes*

    3. Oh Onions,

      You misunderstand me. I’m pleased as punch you have a grudge on for CCP Affinity. What chaps my ass isn’t your particular fetishes, it’s your unwillingness to explore them. Eve *is* a lot like Vegas. All you have to do is spend a little money, proceed with no shame and the world is your oyster. So fire up one account, just one, come on out to Eve Vegas next year (odds are good I’ll be there) and we’ll chat. You already know I don’t entirely disagree with many of your thoughts on PvE. We can explore face to face. It’ll be great fun.

      But what you’re doing now Onions, lobbing your little shallot grenades from the periphery, is just so soft and impotent. Get back in here and dance with us Onions. That’s alluring.

    4. Onions,

      Despite what Affinity wrote in the forum post, I get mid-grade Ascendancy blueprints fairly regularly from highsec ghost sites. I've found all types excepting the Omega, in my explorations since the sites were released.

      Contract prices between 3-10m suggest they are not too hard to get, the main problem is doing PI or otherwise securing PI materials, to build them profitably.

  4. Sugar, can we expect similar blog entry for other roundtables you participated?

    1. Yup. They will probably mostly get done this weekend. I'm also trying to finish my first contest story. :)

  5. Sugar, thanks for the detailed transcription. I rarely have time to chase down an audio file, but can read things on my phone incidental to other tasks (*cough*during work meetings*cough*)..

    I was somewhat surprised that the PVE section was so lightly attended, but was happy that it felt more personal because of it. The main room had a session on the EVE Community that may have drawn more attention - talking with some BRAVE guys beforehand, it sounded like they had provided some input/content for it. Mrs. Durden was also lured in there based on the name alone.

  6. Eveything I read from that roundtable implies it will be harder, much harder, to grind ISK in high sec and wh's. Risk is jumping way up (in multiple ways), while ISK / hour dropping as all NPC's get the burner AI.

    No wonder the cartel members at the table were thrilled.

  7. Thank you Sugar.

    And sorry if I sound bitter, I'm not bitter. I'm bored. I still pay CCP a couple subscriptions, but I'm in station keeping mode. I log in, turn over jobs, chat with people, and log out. When new stuff comes along I go play with it a bit. But nothing in a long while in Eve has truly captured my imagination, so I'm just bored. I want something to grab me, but it doesn't. Which probably could come off as bitter. Sorry. :(

  8. Thanks for the summary, it was the only panel I really wanted to see that I had to miss!

  9. thank you for the summary and your hard work

  10. 1)Incursions in high sec need to stop paying as much isk as ratting in nullsec . It should be more LP based as Incursions are a risk averse method of making money. Lowsec incursions can pay double the isk to what they are currently. Making group pve actually worth something . exactly the difference between a lvl 4 and lvl 5 missions in highsec and low sec receptively ?

    2) I always thought that since it was from drifters from which entosis tech was evolved . Drifters would entosis our structures at some point . Can we have drifters entosis systems which have ADM 1~2 ? Pretty sure ppl have asked for this before . This would make occupancy based sov a lot more interesting .

  11. CCP Affinity goes on to discuss goals with new NPC activities. That there will be NPCs that move things around. However, they can be scanned and attacked as well so hunting them has a place.

    Will CCP lookat the loot table drops, and perhaps bring back Harvester Mining Drones ?

    Regards, a Freelancer

    PS: tyvm for being an advocate for PvE for so long, much appreciated o7

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