Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Suggestion: pirate career agent

This suggestion is an idea to introduce new players to piracy. Not missioning to pirate factions or roleplaying a pirate but actually fighting other pilots. The purpose of informing him is to open the path of the pirate for him and to help him notice when someone is trying to pirate him.

The local NPC pirates would have a mission agent in the space, at a beacon in the newbie systems. The first mission would appear like a storyline mission telling players to visit him after they completed the other career agents. Below you can see short description of the missions.
  1. Petty theft: the agent tell the pilot to warp to a deadspace complex where another pilot is ratting. The "pilot" is an NPC, but has a player-like name, it has a corp and looks a player on the overview. The task is to steal the mission item from one of his wrecks while he is fighting rogue drones. The player needs to set safety to yellow to do it and becomes a suspect for stealing. When that happens, the mission agent informs him in a pop-up window to immediately dock up and wait until the suspect timer is up.
  2. Invading a mission: same as the previous, but he must use combat probes to find the missioner. Unlike real player ships, the target "player" has a really big signature, so can be probed down easily with bad skills and T1 probes.
  3. Looking for duels: the player is told to warp to a mock stargate in a deadspace complex. Player-looking NPCs are coming trough the stargate and warp off after some time. He must invite them to duel. After one is foolish enough to accept, kill him.
  4. Honorable 1v1: the agent asks the player to ship into a logi frig and warp to a deadspace complex where he'll duel his enemy and apply reps on him. The player will go suspect.
  5. Traveling stabbed: the player is told to fit 4pt warp strength to travel to another system for a mission. If he doesn't do it, rats on a gate will tackle and kill him. Upon arriving, he must dock, refit to combat and kill rogue drones. If he remains stabbed, he'll be unable to lock the drones who keep range.
  6. Awox: the player is told to apply to the (NPC) corp "Clueless miners". He needs to go trough the standard corp application interface and will get accepted within a few minutes. After that he must check the belts to find corpmate player-looking NPCs in mining ships. The task is obviously to kill them. Then he has to dock up and quit the corp. He returns to the starter NPC corp and the corp history shows none of this action.
  7. Tears: the agent tells him to check his mail. He got an especially childish tear mail from the CEO of the "Clueless miners". The mission text tells him to never send or answer to tear mail, or talk to or as a victim, just block the crier/tear harvester. The task is simply to delete the letter and block the "player" who sent it.
  8. Suicide Gank: the agent tells him to fit a ganky destroyer of his race (I have no idea what can Amarr players use), fly to a deadspace complex and gank a player-looking NPC. He needs to set safety to red and gets Concorded. He can complete the mission after GCC is up.
  9. Oops! Kill right!: harmless looking mission, he must fly to a mock stargate to loot a container. At the stargate a player-looking NPC activates his kill right and attacks him. He might win, might not. After killing him or losing the ship, he is instructed to dock up for the suspect timer and informed about kill rights in pop-ups.
  10. Podding: another suicide gank mission, but this time he must first travel to a 0.5 system for longer Concord response time and also kill the pod. He must fly home with his pod. He is warned that podding is serious issue and he should wait with this mission unless he is really sure about going the pirate way.
  11. Faction police: harmless looking career mission, the trick is that the suicide ganks decreased his security status deep enough that faction police attacks him in 1.0 systems and the mission sends him into one. He might get away from the police, might not. Either way, he is informed of the mechanic.
  12. Final mission: tags. He is informed that he can fix his security status by getting pirate tags. He is sent to real lowsec to check the belts for the very common "Unsuccessful clone soldier recruiter" NPC in a destroyer, and kill one for the tag. He must actually kill one, can't just get a tag from the market. Then he must go to a CONCORD station where a mission agent accepts the tag and gives as much sec status as much was taken by the ganking missions. He is informed that next time the tags of the unsuccessful recruiter won't be accepted.
I think after completing this series, the player will be aware of basic methods of attacking players and be able to notice it when it's used on him.

PS: the EVE forums are free of trolling, insults or other bad posting... after some clicking:


Anonymous said...

You forgot to add a mission about how to avoid recruitment scams and contract trade scams.

Anonymous said...

This . . .is a really good idea. But since CCP spends about 1% of its development assets on PvE content, I can't see it happening.

Maxim Preobrazhenskiy said...

I am all for making Eve more accessible without simultaneously dumbing it down.

Anonymous said...

Great idea. I would add to "Tears" a note that any sort of real life threats will get you banned when reported.

Also maybe merge Tears with AWOX, to keep in the 10-mission advanced tutorial limit.

Anonymous said...

Love the idea, but what the game really needs is a way to funnel newer players to real corps instead of semi-dead hisec corps that teach them to be risk-averse.

Ryanis said...

I like the idea, at least for the first missions.
- Petty theft => you mlay add a similar mission later on where the ratter actually tries to fight back to show that it's not a good idea to engage in PvE ship.
- Invading a mission => I would remove this one because you only show here how to scan ships which is already in the scanning tutorial (maybe it should be more detailed). Just say something at the end of the previous one like "but you know, most of the time you'll need to scan them first" and point him the probing tutorial.
- Looking for duels => maybe you could add a second part where a weak-looking NPC requests a duel and kills the player because of a neutral repping ship ?
- Traveling stabbed => this one is ok
- Awox => I fear this one could prevent the player from joining a corp later on.
- Tears => Not interesting in my opinion
- Suicide Gank => ok for this one
- Oops! Kill right! => ok for this one except I would invert roles and ask the player to activate a kill right on a NPC
- Podding => a bit redoundant with Suicide Gank I think. Agent can tell him at the end of the previous that concord response time is longer in lower security space.
- Faction police => I dislike the idea to decrease player security status: what if he wants to stop the mission and go do something else ? Maybe we can only do a mock-up here.
- Final mission: tags => Getting tags from the market is ok for me, I would not force the player to kill the NPC, especially in low sec where he will be farmed by older pirates (I bet all low sec near newby systems will be camped in this case).

Gevlon said...

@Ryanis: probing tutorials never mention combat probes or any reason why would you probe out a ship.

Neutral reppers are great idea, added to the text.

Awox: the point is to teach the player that joining a "we r looking for ppl to hav fun with" is not the brightest idea.

Tears: not interesting, but necessary. Players must be taught to not provide tears.

Kill rights: I wanted it to be a surprising action, just like it happens when the clueless guy flies his freighter and suddenly suspect.

Podding and rest: it's needed to show the large sec status loss. Without it, the rest can't happen. And it must, since the player must understand that he can't just casually gank and the go on his merry way. He MUST handle his sec status.

Final mission: one day he must go to lowsec and face older pirates if he is about to pirate. However I doubt if too many people would camp for T1 fit dessies.

However a warning before the podding is a good idea.

jstk said...

I would scratch the "tears" mission. It's not part of gameplay and would only make it look childish.

Other than that, the mission arc is not a bad idea.

Anonymous said...

Why not just a pvp agent? Piracy is barely even a real thing - unless you are hauling through low sec or autopiloting blinged out ships you should never have a pirate encounter in eve. Maybe thats cuz I basically am I pirate and I dont know it. Does ransoming freighters before ganking them count?

Gevlon said...

Piracy is a politically correct term for ganking. "PvP" refers to the situation where the outcome isn't obvious. Players expect PvP. What they don't expect is their hauler blowing up in highsec.

Esteban said...

Excellent idea.

More generally, EVE would benefit from allowing players to create PvE content like this.

MMO developers experiment with user-created content all the time (e.g. Neverwinter, Landmark) but I think EVE would be uniquely suited to it. Given its nature, there is no need for art or terrain design, just imagination, good writing skills and good knowledge of game mechanics.

Such missions would have to be audited by CCP or MVPs, of course, to prevent abuse, but there are enough people who actually like EVE lore and/or the quirks of its politics and metagame enough to do it well. I'm sure appropriate incentives could be put in to encourage such work, too.

Jayne Gamsche said...

I like the suggestions, but the box of PvE missions they COULD work on is so large, it seems they are largely uninterested. The current PvE offerings are pathetic. Missions should mimic PvP as much as possible. The ships should be few in number, tough to kill, slightly unpredictable, and contain realistic loot/salvage.

Theeveeasy said...

I like/love the idea, anyway CSM would do a poll on it? or any of the other well known blogs?

Anonymous said...

This is a really awesome idea. Stuff like that should be in the tutorial, because it is not even cratching the surface.
Send it to CCP, its peanutfeedbacksurvey time anyway.