Monday, 18 June 2018

Welcome to VNI Valley

So, this guy had a whinge about why he things that EVE sucks for new players.

So, let's review.

1. It takes 6-7 months to be efficient at making ISK.

Well, yeah, if you choose Gallente, and totally ignore the other opportunities at making ISK like hacking and archaeology and running combat anomalies. A 3/10 will drop about 50-80M ISK in loot about half the time and you can run it in an Algos. Not super-efficiently, but it's still better than 15M ISK ticks in nullsec 23.75/7.

2. Everyone thinks you are a spy

Well, he has a point here if you believe that a newbro should be able to engage in the highest level PVP that is available in this game on day or even month one, and don't understand that especially since skill injectors are now a thing it's almost irrelevant whether you check someone's toon's skills they can get skilled up into cynosural field theory 5 in literally 20 seconds if people want to use a 'newbro' as a spy and drop on your Rorqual fleet. I mean, just saying.

This also ignores the fact that there are plenty of newbro corps and noob friendly organisations and collectives out there who will take a newbro under their wings and provide them with not only efficient PVE options, ideas on making ISK, and abundant and plentiful PVP opprotunities with either free ships or full SRP.

I mean, yeah, if you're a dull neckbeard with no life and are ignorant of Pandemic Horde, BRAVE or Karmafleet, Spectrefleet, Redemption Road, etc etc...then yeah, you're a spai.

3. You have to run multiple accounts to make real ISK.

OK, he has another half-a-point to make here. Yes, I make 300M an hour with two accounts running C3 anoms at the deadest time of the day (just before downtime). You can even do this prime US/EU TZ if you are awake or want to take a bit of a risk. I can still make about 180M an hour solo in a Vargur in C3's. I still make 300-400M a day just smashing 3/10's to 5/10's in lowsec, solo. Or doing relics and datas.

Mining good moons in a Covetor? 60M/hr, easy. You can join a nullsec mining corp and do this, maybe not on grid with a Rorqual fleet to be fair, but there's plenty of moons to mine and people do mine in smaller ships than Rorquals.

4. The UI is shit.

Ehhh....OK, fair cop.

The duder goes on to make a few salient points though.

VNI Valley

For instance, he's right that being Gallente you are definitely railroaded into the VNI as a ISK printing machine, with about zero other options until you get to the Thanatos. This is a major issue for EVE, given how many ship types and ship classes there are (and now the basically useless Triglavian shit).

For Gallente one issue is damage lock to Kin/Therm with rails, and the terrible range of blasters makes the non-droneboat Gallente ships less than stellar for a majority of rats. Certainly the squishy Sansha rats or the high-yield and easy to tank Blood rats in nullsec aren't best shot with rails, versus packing a flight of Navy Praetors and a VNI.

The other issue is the ability to effectively AFK rat in a VNI with either a permarun MWD or a AB and sig tank; add this to the 650 DPS you can easily squeeze out of a VNI and even at 150M a hull it is simply the best cruiser in the game for Alphas looking to make 15M a tick. Even non-Gallente toons are well served training Gallente cruiser 4 (oh noes, a week or ten days in cross-training!!!) just to access the VNI.

The gutter in usefulness of T1 ships between the cruiser and the carrier is not a Gallente issue alone. This is because, typically, you're spending more ISK on the hull for shitter tracking, not much more DPS (eg; armour tanked Domi is +200-300 DPS over a VNI), slower hulls (warp time costs ISK/hr!), turdy tanking options (it's a struggle to make any BC or BS actually tank what a cruiser can sig tank effortlessly), and so on.

This is also true, to a large degree, of PVP ships. Certain hulls, in certain classes of space, become flavour of the month because they combine best-in-class attributes for better ISK cost than competing options. This is before we even touch on actual PVP doctrines and get into gank vs tank, range vs brawling, kiting meta, etc.

For what I do, it's really hard to go past the Loki because it's faster into warp and, with hyperspatials, through warp than any comparable cloaky DPS ship. it can still fit a decent tank (active or buffer) and is at least as ganky as any other T3. If it's not (eg; full on drone Proteus, and certain Legion fits) the extra agility and warp speed more than outweighs the lack of DPS. Plus there's almost no reason not to fit the Friction Extension subsystem and get 22.5km webs (more with pimp) and the standoff capability it gives you.

So, yeah, a valid point made here. My bro is struggling with the VNI at the moment just like this guy is; can't go past it, can't graduate from it, have to replace it when he loses it or he can't afford anything. It's like VNI Valley.

From VNI Valley to Gila Gulch

Sadly, the only way out of VNI valley is to go to the Gila, which requires a month of cross-training to Caldari Cruiser V. But then you're stuck in Gila Gulch, which is probably a bit more survivable due to the Gila's grunty passive tank and 850 DPS to gank your way through rats, and since it's drones you get to pick your damage type and go for it.

...which leads to Rattlesnake Ridge, where you're either poverty fitting 580M ISK or going troppo for 1.2B ISK active tanks.

The same is true of Minmatar PVE options: cross-train to the VNI or the Gila or both. The Cyclone is now better than it was, but it's still terrible for PVE (HMLEL's, impossible to permatank it cheaply), the Cane is decent enough, and BS By the time BS become your thing a Minmatar purist is realistically into a T3 and a Loki.

The ISK/Hr Desert

One thing this guy fails to mention is the terrible, terrible, terrible ISK/hr on offer in low level missions. We're talking literally 5M ISK an hour earning capacity, rising to about 30M/hr for blitzing level 3's if you're smart and use your LP's wisely.

The missions have been in desperate need of an overhaul for ages. In my opinion CCP should use the Triglavian PVE model (sans the rats pointing you and podding you, and sans the timer killing you) to reinvigorate the mission genre. Procedurally generated rat swarms, with better loot tables and lootable items in missions, plus the reward and LPs, would go a long way toward making entry-level PVE more stimulating, challenging and rewarding for new players.

The fact is, theres no reason anyone should be restricted to shitty ISK/hr just depending on the type of content they are doing. Missions have a role to play in keeping players interested in the game early on, but making tragically bad amounts of ISK while grinding for better missions isn't going to help player retention let alone enjoyment.

Part of this is to find a way to bridge the gap in efficiency before VNI Valley and after it. It's a complex task, but CCP shouldn't be afraid to radically redesign missions, the LP store especially, and loot tables to make the grind less repetitive, more challenging (and maybe a bit more fatal?) and provide tools that aren't literally about 3 hulls out of 250.

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