EVE: PUG’ing Incursions

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.

EVE-related blog post notice: If you would like to join us, comment here or shoot me an email. If you don’t have an EVE account, I’m more than happy to send a 21-day trial invite, and split the PLEX-related profit if you decide to sign up. Again just comment or email me.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in EVE Online, Inquisition Clan, MMO design, Rant. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to EVE: PUG’ing Incursions

  1. Shadow says:

    I’ve been sitting in the INQ-E chat for about two weeks now and ne’er heard a peep. I’m curious to move on from where I’m at in high-sec now that I feel I have a solid grasp of the game again.

  2. SynCaine says:

    In-game name? Did you app on our forums?

  3. Cupp221 says:

    It’s strange to hear that you’ve had so much trouble with PUG’s. I’ve made a few bil off of Incursions and I’ve really only had 1 or 2 bad groups that just ended up dissolving after trying one or two of the VGs.

    I’ve only run Incursions in my guardian, in armor fleets. It’s great to be logi because you are ALWAYS in demand, and its actually a pretty easy job. Just add everyone to watchlist, start the cap chain with the other logi, and wait for one of your fleet members to start to take damage and throw 1 or 2 (or 4) reps on them. Rinse, repeat, collect your iskies.

    The public channel for armor incursion fleets is: The Ditanian Fleet

  4. Latrodanes says:

    if you haven’t done so already, check out Jester’s blog for his Incursion Guides. http://jestertrek.blogspot.com/

  5. Mara Rinn says:

    There are *up to* 3 hisec incursions at any time. There is a delay between an incursion being shut down and starting back up again.

    One way to avoid shinyitis is to get into assault fleets. It is a far more relaxed atmosphere!

  6. sleepysam says:

    Question – nooblet downloads the Eve client. How many days til nooblet is ready to join an incursion fleet, assuming that was the only goal of said nooblet, and said nooblet could play 6 hours/week?

    • SynCaine says:

      Time played is not a major factor (aside from getting the initial ISK for the Incursion-running ship), it’s time to train the pilot. I’d say within 2 months of straight-training you could be in a BS that has a chance to get into a fleet, but I’m sure someone with more knowledge would be able to give more exact estimates.

      You could also buy a pilot, but that would likely end poorly due to inexperience.

  7. coppertopper says:

    Can you not solo these ‘incursions’? That’s the hot new trend in MMO’s these days.

    • Cupp221 says:

      Nope, no soloing here. Find 4 to 39 buddies (or puggies) if you want to check out incursions.

      • SynCaine says:

        Well you can solo the scout sites, but at 50k ISK per site, it’s less ISK than running a lvl 4, and you need a lvl 4-quality BS to do them solo.

        • Hong WeiLoh says:

          No you don’t. I could pop scout sites solo in a T2-fit shield-artyCane while sitting in the staging system waiting bored-like for an AS/HQ fleet invite that never came cause it was T2-fit, which apparently is fail because you need faction/deadspace/officer shit to be “successful” in Incursions.

          I’ve since moved that Cane out to Catch and it does wonderfully for ratting/plexing there. :-D

  8. Morg says:

    Wow sorry you had such bad fleets.
    but “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.”
    Made me laugh.

    Made good isk and is more intresting than the mind numbing level 4’s or rock busting.

    For running your own in guild fleets any ship that can tank can come. the only issue is past 12 players you start to get less isk, also with to many sub optimal ships contesting will not go well.

    It’s an MMO you play with and against other players. Also agree to many fleets focus on shinny. Rather have a good FC that moves from site to site fast than clearing each site 30 seconds faster.

    • Morg says:

      Forgot to add most fleets are over on logistics… I done all of the VG’s with just 2 scimitars in non shinny fleets….3 is just very safe and I have never seen someone fall or even get low once the reps are on. It is fairly easy to fit an incursion ship.

      I also found shield fleets a lot more forgiving of sub optimal fits. Armor fleets are nto so forgiving.

    • SynCaine says:

      I noticed that if you don’t try to run sites in the ‘main’ system, getting into a site and not getting competition is not all that difficult.

      I am curious how far you can push a fleet from un-optimal. Would it be possible to run a NCO with seven T1 drakes and 3 logi? Would it take 30 minutes?

      • Morg says:

        Possible. Yes
        Suggested No
        Not because they can’t do them or that they coudn’t do them fast enough…but because any other fleet would contest you all the time.
        In an empty system it can work.
        Problem is you will nto always find any empty system and getting contested over and over will kill your corp mates desire to do them.

        Better than 7 t1 drakes would be a mix of shinny and non shiney. I’m sure some in your corp are not drake bound and can fly the more shinny ships. Also drakes are about the worst ship for these due to the time it takes missile damage to be aplied. A ferox would be a better choice. The jump from drake to a rohk is also not that large.
        So bringing a few drakes is not the end of the world especially since they have such nice mid slots for webs that help the other ships.
        But i would not bring 7.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The best incursion fleets are faction fit ahacs:

    2 Guardians + 8 Zealots/Legions

    Fit mining drones on the guardians for the mining VGs.

  10. Rubinia Valeska says:

    How is the Oneiros holding up these days?
    I ask because I trained up Gallente Cruiser 5 for the Ishtar and Oneiros sounds like the least trouble for me to get into an incursion fleet.


    • Sand says:

      bad, unfortunately. oneiroses can’t cap chain like guardians or basilisks. they’re rarely used in logi-supported pvp fleets, and i doubt they’d work for the kind of setup these guys run.

  11. katsuko says:

    With the recent buff, Oneiros is a very solid Logistics ship. Not sure how welcome it is in Incursion fleets, especially now that dual-Guardian setups where the Guardians run five remote reppers are popular.

    Sorry to hear about your poor first experience with Incursions, but seems like you got into a good fleet second time around. I’ve found that using an established incursion channel like BTLPub is a good way of finding good pickup groups. Some fleets do have an annoying habit of waiting for the “shiny” ship, but most do not, or at least did not the last time I ran incursions. Makes more sense to take a properly-setup Shiny fleets do have a significant advantage when contesting sites, however, so in a saturated incursion FCs understandably would rather invite only shiny ships, rather than repeatedly lose site contests to shinier fleets.

    Keeping a fleet together takes some work, and probably more work than folk coming from WoW and similar games are used to, but good FCs will keep a waiting list going, and ask members to give ten or twenty minutes’ warning so that a proper replacement can be found. I ran into the same issues when running high-level parties in Ragnarok Online some years back, where the incoming reinforcements might quite well get killed mid-way and have to be rescued by the diminished party, which itself might wipe in the process. But that was part of the fun.

    There are several good sites out there with instructions on how to run Incursions. The system rather mechanical, now that all the spawn triggers are known, but that may change in the next few months. Either way, it’s probably the most fun I’ve had in EVE PvE.

  12. Professer says:

    I think the guy who said he was on shrooms was lying. EVE wouldn’t be a pleasant task while tripping…

    • Torcano says:

      Depends on what sort of trip, if any, the person is on. Either a really good or bad trip might make playing difficult, but if you are just feeling really high, or peaceful, or talkative, etc it might be fine.

      That being said, it sounds like this kid either was lying or was new to shrooms and finds them very cool badass and exciting. I remember in high school finding it hilarious to go to school or work on shrooms, but then again i was an idiot teen in high school.

  13. Corelin says:

    I’ve been in a shield fleet 9-2 (machs, nightmares and 2 6-0 basilisks) that was running sites in 4 minutes. It took longer to get into a site than it did to run an OTA

  14. Debir says:

    Big tip for incursion running:

    Pick your time and location. If there’s only 1 high-sec incursion and you’re trying to run it during US prime time on a Sat night, it will be very crowded.

    In contrast, straight after DT on a week-night far away from Jita when there are multiple hi-sec incursions: you can take your pick of systems and sites.

    Doing it in a corp fleet works much better than a PUG, because you know what you’re getting. 3 logi plus 7-8 BC with decent omni-resists and EHP and you can easily clear Nation Commander Outposts and Nation Mining Colonies (you only need 2 logi, but the third gives you insurance incase one disconnects or otherwise messes up badly). If you are battleship heavy, try the Override Transfer Array instead, or do everything you can to improve your tracking (webs and TPs are a must). See jester’s web-site (linked above) for fitting guidelines.

    A relatively inexperienced fleet isn’t likely to win too many contests, which is why you choose a time and location where you don’t need to.

  15. sleepysam says:

    “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.”

    Thanks for the chuckle btw.

  16. bonedead says:

    Duuuuuude I am so high right meow.


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