The last few days in EVE have been very interesting and entertaining, and the result will be at least two blog posts. Today I’ll talk about Incursions, and hopefully tomorrow I’ll have a post about a great PvP roam I was part of (assuming the organizer uploads the video).
An incursion hit our local area of EVE a few days ago, which ‘encourages’ you to stop running missions (-50% bounty pay), stop mining (belt rats are much tougher Incursion-style rats), and get into a fleet to fight off the Sansha. I’ve been in an incursion before, but this is the first time it’s come to our home and really impacted our playstyle. It’s a pretty sweet mechanic in terms of dynamic MMO content and encouraging players to alter their day-to-day playstyle.
At a high level, running incursion sites is also pretty entertaining. I mostly ran vanguards(VG, 10 man), but did a few scout sites (1-5 man) just to see them. I did not get into a fleet to do the 20 or 40 man stuff. In a good fleet the VG sites take 8-15 minutes depending on how ‘shiny’ your fleet is, and pay out 10.5m ISK per fleet member. If you get into a good fleet and the area is not too busy with other fleets competing for sites, the ISK can quickly add up, far beyond what mining or mission running can offer.
To get into these fleets, EVE has a random fleet finder you queue up for that puts you into a group and teleports you to a site.
Hahaha just kidding, EVE is an MMO.
What does happen is a new chat tab opens that includes everyone in the incursions area (Incursions hit a constellation, which consist of 5 or so systems), and pilots/fleets form from that. There is also a player-run channel (BTL Pub) that can be joined, which covers all incursions (there are 3(?) high-sec incursions up at all times). Most of the fleets I joined used EVE-voice (which works really well), but sometimes you will join a Vent or TS server, depending on who is the FC.
The actual system is well designed. The players ‘ruin’ it.
Or more specifically, PUG’ing in EVE is no less painful than PUG’ing in any other MMO. ‘Kids’ love to tell ‘cool kid’ stories over voice chat (At some point (hopefully) we all grow out of thinking it’s cool to be wasted/high/whatever and telling everyone about it), most people don’t have a working mic (either it’s super load, super quiet, or their in-game sound comes through), and the odds of keeping 10 people together for more than 30 minutes is slim to none.
Then you have the whole shiny-syndrome that every WoW player is all too familiar with. You can run a VG site with 10 people, and not all 10 need faction-fitted pirate battleships. Sure, maybe it will take you closer to 12-15 minutes per site than 8-10, but you still get them done and you still get your ISK. Oh but don’t tell that to PUG fleets. Nope, they would rather sit around for AN HOUR to get that one more shiny ship before running sites. And that guy in the sub-optimal (but still useful) DPS ship looking for a fleet? Nope, don’t invite him to start running sites, let’s wait AN HOUR for that shiny to come along. And since the rule of 30 still applies, while you wait for that last shiny, 2-3 people will drop out of the fleet.
I was ready to blow my brains out one night after hitting a string of such fleets, and over the course of two hours or so ran a grand total of one VG. That’s 5.25m ISK per hour, WHOOO. Mining Veld would have been far more profitable.
Yet a different night I got into a fairly stable fleet (minus the one idiot chewing “6 pieces” of gum because he was on shrooms…) where we knocked out 9 sites in order without much interruption, and it was very enjoyable (chew-boy aside) chatting with people while we did it. When a spot opened up we quickly filled it, and we zipped from one site to another in a system that had less people in it than the ‘main’ system most were in.
Which of course leaves me with the super-high motivation to get our Corp into shape so we can run in-house incursion fleets. We would make a killing, and the whole thing would be WAY more enjoyable. We have the numbers too (we had 16 online last night for our mining Op), we just need our newer guys trained up into the right ships (which I’m not 100% on, but I think a fleet of BS/BC with 3 logi would be enough to safely clear a VG). But having goals in EVE is what keeps you going, and assuming we get there, the ISK generated would also open up a few more doors for us, not the least of which would be getting into a WH and having the funds to feel comfortable about it.
Good times, minus the randoms.
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