Tag Archives: The Agency

Trying Out the Guardians Gala Sites

The current Guardian’s Gala event in EVE Online is the sort of thing that makes me wonder what people really want out of such events or how they should be structured.

Guardians Gala Comes Again

Like such events before it, Guardian’s Gala is embedded in the structure of The Agency.  However, the grasp of The Agency has grown since I last spent some time on an event.  The Lifeblood expansion back in October expanded The Agency from an event framework to the “everything PvE” vision CCP had for it.  So rather than the event being its own thing it is now jammed in the frame with all things PvE though, if you haven’t hidden it already, you will get some event info on screen.

The Agency owns all your PvE

Having read the event preview over at The Nosy Gamer, I had a good idea as to what ship I might bring.  With the NPCs warping in on top of you it reminded me of the Warzone Extraction event from last September.  I grabbed the same alt that I ran those with along with the same ship, a passive tanked Drake.

Big Shiny Drake

I swapped out the resistance amplifiers to explosive and kinetic flavors in order to match the expected damage and, after one run, swapped the Scourge heavy assault missiles out for normal Scourge heavy missiles along with a target painter to improve damage application.

My crappy Drake fit

I’ll paste my crappy fit into a comment on the post if you’re interested… and if I remember.  I don’t recommend this fit particularly, I just happened to have it sitting around handy and my alt has all the skills for it maxed out.  I also cheaped out and shot plain T1 missiles, though I brought some faction missiles along just in case.

As with the Warzone event, the sites are all over New Eden and when you arrive in a site the NPCs have a propensity for warping in on top of you so you aren’t going to pull range and kite.  Unlike the other event, you won’t get warp scrambled or have your capacitor drain.  But you will be webbed many times over by the frigates in the site while the cruisers will sit at range with target painters on you blazing away.  That range turned out to be “just beyond my heavy assault missiles engagement envelope” which is why I dropped the HAMs for HMLs.  With heavy missiles my alt can hit out to 78km and, since I wasn’t neuted, I could run a target painter to help clean up the frigates.

On grid webbed and painted

The goal seems to be to slaughter as many hostiles as it takes… the number seems to be about 20 or so.. in order to draw out the guest of honor, so-called, who arrives in a battleship or a battlecruiser.  You then chase that down, blow it up, and you’re done with the site.

You are seriously done, because any leftover NPCs align out and warp off at that point.  You lose lock on them even before they’ve entered warp.

Anyway I took to shooting the frigates primarily because with the target painter they only required three missile salvos and the less ships slowing me down with webs the better in my book.  Meanwhile the sig of my fat ass Drake, boosted by shield extenders, was probably big enough that the cruisers painting me made no difference at all to damage being applied to me.  So a double win, frigs died faster and in doing so removed something slowing me down in completing the site.

Site rewards come from the wrecks, the primary source being the battleship/battlecruiser who has, for me at least, dropped a SKIN and a learning accelerator with every round.  The smaller ships also have loot, though more often than not it is metal scraps which are hardly worth the effort.

So, in general, easy-peasy.  Warp in, shoot small stuff until the big guy shows up, shoot him, profit.

The details are where things get a bit more messy.

For openers, this seems like a good way to kill new players.  It isn’t as deadly as the Warzone Extraction event, because this one doesn’t lock you down with a warp scrambler so you can escape… and being webbed will get you to warp more quickly… but things can still go sideways fast if you’re not prepared.  My alt with max shield skills and a passive fit Drake that regenerates at 188 DPS won’t have an issue, but somebody wandering into a site with their level 2 mission cruiser may be in for a rude awakening.

But do we care?  If we judge who the event is for based on the level of effort required, then it is something for canny PvE veterans I suppose.  It does seem to require people who can manipulate the overview because, as usual, the NPCs are unselected by default.

Then there is the open nature of the event.  Anybody can see the sites on their overview… even if the ships themselves might not show up because CCP… and can warp on in at any time.  And if somebody shows up and gets the last hit on the special end ship, then they get the loot.  Or, if they can get to the wreck of the last ship before you do and loot it, it is theirs unless you’re ready to take them on in a fight.  That is just the special nature of EVE Online, where you are never fully able to play away from your fellow capsuleers.  I went off to a remote area to run the sites and still had this happen to me once.  I can only image how this is playing out a few jumps from the crowd in Jita.

And then there is the whole point system that events in The Agency use to distribute additional rewards.  This time around they are not too bad in that they are mostly in line with what you are going to do anyway, which is run sites and shoot NPCs.

You earn ten points for killing, in sequence, 5, 10, 50, and then 100 of the small fry, ten points for finishing a site and then a couple of sites, and ten points for killing 1, 2, 5, then 10 of the loot pinatas at that end the site.  I managed 80 points my first night out, though I was thwarted twice on that last set, once when somebody showed up and destroyed the boss ahead of me and once when the boss got bored and warped off.  I’d read that they might warp off and that I should be patient, but after 10 minutes I figured he wasn’t coming back and that I’d been denied rewards and progress yet again.

The second night I passed 100 points and earned my first reward.

Something for my efforts!

Of course, that would have been a lot more impressive if I hadn’t already looted 1,700 Angels Arisen Fireworks already.  To get the next reward I need 300 points and, frankly, the event isn’t that much fun.

Of course, somebody out there is going to be obsessed with the ISK per hour measure of the event, so let me see if I can help on that front.

I timed myself on a couple of sites and it took about 15 minutes to complete and loot in my slow old Drake; extending out to maybe 20 mins if I bumbled my efforts to pick up loot along the way.  With a better ship/fit than mine you could easily cut that back some.  On the other hand, you also have to find a site.  I was pretty lucky out in my area of operation, being the only one in local and having a new site ready every time I finished.  Still, let’s be conservative and call it two sites an hour.

I got 250-300K ISK for just shooting things up.  I think shooing the cruisers more than the frigates could boost that, but whatever.

You get the skill booster which, depending on which one you get, is worth 15-50 million ISK.

And then there is the SKIN, which is the real wildcard.  I imagine the right SKIN would get you some ISK.  The problem is that the market is currently flooded with the Spirit SKINs that drop, all the more so because they are the same SKIN that dropped last year, only they changed the name of the set so I thought for a moment it might be a new SKIN.

But it isn’t.

It is still a good SKIN.  Not as good as a new, hot pink SKIN would be, but good.  In some cases, it is the best looking SKIN that you can find for a few ships.  But it is pretty common so it might be something to save until after the selling frenzy settles down.

The most valuable one I got was probably the Gallente Shuttle SKIN, which you cannot even list on the market.  You have to sell it via contract, a complication that means that there isn’t much competition for it.  But even then, you might get 10 million ISK or so, which isn’t all that much, and which requires somebody to know that the SKIN exists and that it is only available via contracts.

I’ll probably keep it just to add to my collection.

Otherwise the next most valuable SKIN I got was for a Phoenix dreadnought, which might be good for 6 million ISK on a lucky day.

And then there are fireworks.  I got a lot of fireworks off of wrecks.  And metal scraps.  So many metal scraps.  And then there was the odd ship module now and again, some of which were useful.

All told, if the odds were ever in your favor, you could bring in upwards of 100 million ISK per hour with optimum drops.  But that seems unlikely.  Reality is probably closer to 30 million ISK per hour, and that is indirect because you have to schlep back to a market hub to sell your loot.

Basically, you shouldn’t stop ratting in your super carrier to run off and harvest the bounty of Guardian’s Gala.  All the SKINs and learning accelerators you want will be on the market in Jita waiting for you and your ISK to show up.

The advanced booster boost

Even my dank 10-18 million ISK ticks in my little Ishtar are a better value as I get that and all the loot and salvage as well.

But as a distraction from whatever you’re doing in New Eden currently Guardian’s Gala probably isn’t the worst thing you could choose.  And you might even get a SKIN or two that you want.  And it makes for a few nice screen shots.

The January Update and the Death of the Agent Finder

In place of the Agent Finder we will set up The Agency. And it shall not be tiny and dark, but as beautiful and terrible as the the star maps both new and old!  Fair as the sea and the sun and the snow upon the mountain as seen from orbit! Dreadful as a sudden hot drop! Stronger than the tanking modules of any faction. All shall love it and despair!

-January 2018 Patch Notes, early draft

Into the cold reality of the new year… unless you’re in Sydney, in which case you’ve recently been the hottest place on the planet… as YC120 comes with new changes.

The first update of the year for EVE Online is upon us and it touches a sore spot with me.  I’ve been over this already, so I won’t rehash history.  The short version is that the old Agent Finder, which I still think of as “new,” is going away.  The replacement is in the iron framework of The Agency.

You shall put nothing before The Agency

There is a reasonable logic to this change.  CCP wants to put all things PvE into The Agency framework.  The filters for finding an agent in The Agency are even a little bit better than they were in the Agent Finder.  The problem is that The Agency only has room in its soul for a dozen results.  Maybe that is all that people need.  I just rebel at the thought of replacing something that shows all the agents that meet your criteria with something that only shows the nearest twelve.

Anyway, I’ve probably given that change to the game all the weight it deserves and then some.  There is a Dev Blog about changes to The Agency which will now also serve as a way to locate:

  • Factional Warfare Sites
  • Incursions
  • Expeditions

In addition the Journal window will see some changes, with The Agency taking over a number of its roles.  I suspect that this will annoy some people merely due to having to change long instilled habit, but for me the Journal isn’t that big of a deal.  My primary use for it is to check on how may Loyalty Points I have earned but never spent over the years.

Also, NPC Forward Operating Bases… which are also becoming more numerous with this update… will be visible via The Agency interface as “Pirate Strongholds.”

Anyway, the reach of The Agency continues to grow.  If you’re a fan of the interface you’re probably happy, and if you’re not… well… you’d better get used to it all the same.

Also in this update, NPC coloration in the overview is now supposed to follow a consistent pattern:

  • Blue – Friendly NPCs
  • White – Neutral NPCs
  • Red – NPCs that mean you harm and are probably trying to shoot you even now

I’m pretty sure it was always supposed to be that way, but seem to recall some neutral, or at least non-hostile, NPCs getting colored red in the past.  Maybe that is all good now.

On other fronts CCP has applied their current shader technology to more objects and structures found in deadspace and missions areas.  I expect asteroid mining stations to be at least 30% more “shiny.”

CCP has also reworked the occasionally problematic reload cycle in an attempt to fix issues that occur when you’re reloading and do a state transition.  While the work was done in the background it does have some user end changes which include:

  • It is no longer possible to group or ungroup weapons while the weapons are reloading.
  • Cloaking, docking, and jumping after reloading will no longer interfere with reloading (but a cloaked ship can still not start a reload).
  • After the inventory operations have completed the reloading will no longer be interrupted by anything (but other things can be blocked until the timer has finished).
  • All inventory operations connected to a reload command are now done at the beginning of reloading and the reload timer is behaving like a reactivation timer on the module.
  • Several other minor bugs and inconsistencies around loading and unloading ammunition have been fixed.
  • Fixed a bug, which could lead to loss of ammunition when grouping the weapons of an Upwell Structure.

Hopefully this will resolve the issues intended and only introduce a few minor new issues.

In addition there is the usual long list of smaller issues addressed.  Information about the release can be found on the Updates page and in the Patch Notes.  As of this writing the update has been deployed successfully and is the current reality in New Eden.  There is a known issue when it comes to expeditions in The Agency already, so that functionality has been returned to the old Journal for now.

Yule Lads Tell Players to Work for Their Damn Yoiul Gifts

The holiday season is upon us and, in New Eden, that means the start of the annual Yoiul Festival.

The symbol of The Agency for Yoiul?  That doesn’t bode well.

In past years this has meant an advent calendar-like series of daily gifts to the capsuleers of New Eden.  You had to log in daily to get your gift, but that was all you need do to collect fireworks, snowballs, festival launchers, SKINs, and other special treats.

This year the Yule Lads have taken a different tack.

Yule lads of old… I think they all FC for Pandemic Horde now

This year, no doubt due to staff cuts on Team Yoiul, the lads won’t be traveling to every station and citadel in New Eden to deliver daily gifts.  They’re subcontracting to The Agency this year, so it will be like any other event.  If you want some seasonal treats you’re going to have to go undock and PvE for them by completing tasks in The Agency.

If you’re not willing to go out and hit rogue drone sites you’ll have to pick up loot with ISK in Jita or via PLEX in the New Eden Store.

Local crank, bitter vet, and host of the Open Comms show Dirk MacGirk had this to say about the event:

And so it goes.  Am I going to be able to find time to schlep out for my gifts this year when there are hostiles to shoot?

The Agency and Finding Agents in New Eden

Yesterday I was on about how most of my time in New Eden has now been spent in null sec space.  Today I am back to something of a more PvE, if not wholly high sec, in nature.

That is The Agency.

The Agency started out during the summer as something of an event framework.  I called it The Temp Agency since there wasn’t much on offer.

But CCP had bigger plans for The Agency.  At EVE Vegas they revealed their vision for The Agency, with it eventually becoming the one stop shop for all PvE content in New Eden.  With the Lifeblood expansion later that month the update for The Agency was in place, with a dev blog to show us the way.

I meant at some point to write something about the new interface that The Agency offered, but never quite got around to it.  I used it a few times to find some Resource Wars sites to run, but for something like anomalies the probe interface is simply more efficient.  Also I hate that it has a definite article as part of its name.  I’ve had to restructure at least one sentence so far in this post because if sounded odd because of that.  My pet theory is that we refer to The Mittani as “Mittens” more because it removes the definite article than because we like the nickname.  But that might just be me.

Anyway, The Agency looked nice but felt a bit awkward in my hands.  You could find what you wanted, but you still had to know what you were looking for.  And while having a map in the middle of it seems like a good idea… it does at least show relative positions of items on the results list… the map is really too small and detailed to deliver information well.  CCP seems stuck on the idea that star maps must show the actual relative position of stars rather than doing something ala DOTLAN and giving us an abstract but clear view of systems.

For the most part I forgot about The Agency as things like the massive Alpha Clone update arrived.  But now The Agency is back on CCP’s list of things to do, with plans for the coming January update.  Specifically, according to a Dev forum post, the plan is for the following:

  • The Agency is getting Factional Warfare, Incursions and Expeditions added to it along with some new cards for Ice sites and Epic Arcs
  • The Journal is being stripped back to a couple tabs with all the removed functionality going to The Agency or other appropriate window like Contracts or Planetary Colonies
  • The Agent Finder is being removed and finding agents will be handled by The Agency

The first bullet seems fine.  I suppose the PvE sites in Faction Warfare fit the bill, even if they are in a PvP environment.

I will have to see the details of the second when they get to the promised Dev Blog about all of this.  We shall see.

But the third, the removal of the Agent Finder, that strikes a nerve.  It strikes a nerve because we’ve been down this path before.

For a long stretch of time… from August 2007 through to July 2011… one of the most popular posts here on the blog was one entitled How to Find and Agent in EVE Online.  That was because for ages finding agents from within the game was a bit of a pain in the ass.  Click on that link to see what I mean.  Generally the preferred method was to use a third party site to find an agent, but I wanted to detail how to do it in game.

And then came the Incarna expansion.

I bitch about Incarna in EVE in the same way I bitch about Cataclysm in WoW.  There was a lot wrong in Incarna, both in details and in direction, but it wasn’t ALL bad.  And one of the shining lights of Incarna was the current Agent Finder interface. 

Finding Agents for the Imperial Chacnellor Corp

It was simple… certainly relative to the efforts previously required… and the button to bring it up was put in a few places so people could find it.

Agent Finder in the Captain’s Quarters even!

I wrote up a post about it which pretty much marked the end of life for my original post about how to find an agent in EVE Online.  CCP had essentially fixed the problem they had and people stopped searching the web to figure it out.

CCP messing about with the “currently working reliably” Agent Finder makes me twitch a bit.  So I went to go look at how The Agency interface handles finding agents.

As it turns out, when it comes to filters, The Agency has everything the Agent Finder had for filters, with a couple of additions, like being able to show the “highest available” agent level, which will show you when you cross the boundary from 2 to 3 or the like.

Finding Agents in The Agency

So far so good.  Then I brought up the Agent Finder just to make sure that both methods were returning the same results.  A life in software has made me a mistrustful soul.

The Agent Finder over The Agency Window blocking the map

I was happy to see that, with the same criteria entered, both interfaces seemed to be showing the same results.  And then I looked at how many were returned.

In what I imagine was an effort to keep The Agency from fire hosing too much data at new players, the results list in that interface is limited to a dozen agents.  The Agent Finder gives you 32 results for the same criteria.

I get the idea of keeping results down so as not to confuse… and maybe the last few agents that are 27 jumps away won’t be the most important to everybody… but I also have a long standing bias against any system that omits or hides information from me.

My hope is that CCP will figure out a way to resolve this or, absent a solution they can implement in the current time frame, punt on the plan to kill the current Agent Finder.

My fear is that they’ll say, “Hmm, good enough” and just go ahead as planned.

But maybe that will open up an opportunity for a new popular post about finding agents that The Agency won’t display.  Possible click-bait titles for this:

  • One Weird Trick to Find More Agents!
  • See What The Agency is Hiding From You!
  • The Agency Hates This Guy!

Addendum: The official Dev Blog has been posted and the Agent Finder is still for the axe.

Warzoned Out

The Warzone Extraction event has a bit more time to run but I am done running the sites.  I have “finished” the event in that I have collected all of the guaranteed rewards.

Warzone Point Count – Also, drones engaging Eosian Safeguard

The boosters obtained at 20, 70, and 170 points were not of much value.  The cerebral accelerators though were at least useful to speed up the training of an alt or two and could be sold on the market.

The big reward at the end

There is a summary of the event over at The Nosy Gamer that reflects my own thoughts to a certain degree.

I also went in with something of a sub-optimal fit for the event, a Heavy Assault Missile armed Drake with a passive tank.  While it was able to handle the task, for the scale of the sites it was big, slow, and awkward.  I could have built up a much more efficient ship for the event, but I would have likely spent more on that than I earned on the event.

Still, it could handle things, I just had to be patient.  The only real tactical problem that came up was when a Sleeper force including two Wardens showed up.  The Wardens are the armor repping Sleepers and they will rep any ship you attack.  I had to kill them first because they could out rep my attempts to kill the frigate because the damage application issues hitting such small ships with HAMs plus their resists let a single Warden out-rep my damage, while launching drones with frigates active was mostly an easy way to lose drones.

The Wardens were big enough however that I could kill one while the other was repping it.  However, their tactical behavior consistently led me to a difficult spot.  Unlike the other ships webbing and scramming, the Wardens felt no need to hang around within my missile envelope, limited to 25km with the short range HAMs, even with my max missile skills.  So I would kill one and then damage the other just before it wandered out of range.

Then I was a bit stuck.  Being webbed I couldn’t catch it and it could keep the frigates around me alive with its reps.  So the only option was to risk drones.  The remaining Warden was well within drone range, 60km for me with skills alone, so I launched them and sent them after my repping nemesis.  Then it was a race.  As soon as the drones set on the Warden all the frigate Sleepers would drop me and go after the drones.  The drones had to kill the Warden quickly.  Fortunately the Sleepers would concentrate on a single drone which, when it started taking armor damage, I would recall.  The frigates would chase it back to me, then return to assist the Warden, and which point I could re-launch the damaged drone to rejoin the fight.

Once the Warden was down it was time to recall drones again and finish off the frigates with missiles, the go after the bigger ships, generally culminating in chasing down that one Sleeper battleship that liked to get out past 60km while I was blowing up his friends.  Even from that range he would keep neuts on me, so I never had and cap handy to use my prop mod.  On the other hand, he didn’t web me either so I could eventually catch up even going only 196 m/s. (I inevitably used all the speed boosters that dropped just to catch up a little faster.)

Again, as with any PvE event you can repeat, the first couple of times you learn the ropes, after which it becomes a matter of applying what you learned, quickly devolving to simple repetition.

The event itself had a couple of problems to my mind.

First and foremost, it was a bit of a death trap.  After running several events under the banner of The Agency that were easily soloable with any combat ship… I did Lucky Strikes in a stealth bomber a few times… putting up an event where you’re going to get scrammed, webbed, neuted, and killed in short order unless you have just the right sort of fit seems like a good way to make people mad.  If you didn’t have a passive tank or had weapons that needed capacitor, you were in trouble.

And, yes, New Eden has always been a harsh place.  But when you set a pattern of events by The Agency being fairly easy, litter sites around high sec, and encourage players to go get them with only a vague warning, then you’re going to kill a lot of player ships.

Be warned though; you might encounter some resistance while searching the wrecks! We advise you to bring some firepower.

Searching on “Eosian” over at zKillboard tells the tale, even leaving out the low and null sec players who got zapped by other players while they were neuted, webbed, and scammed.

CCP will be CCP I guess.

Speaking of which, the second issue that will be familiar to any long term player because it happens every time; the event NPCs were not visible on the overview.  Even the default “All” overview had to be fixed.  I expected this and reacted in the usual way, manually adding NPC types as they showed up.  But I am sure more than a few newer players were surprised/alarmed/blown up because of this.  It would be really cool if CCP could do something about this some day.

Finally, there is the big issue for me, which is SKINs, and the fact that I didn’t get any.

I blew up well over 200 Sleepers during the event and never got a single SKIN drop.  I knew there were some to be had.  Not only did CCP mention them in the event announcement, but the SKIN list in-game showed four Valkyrie SKINs not available in the PLEX Store; SKINs for the Merlin, Moa, Naga, and Scorpion.

Valkyrie SKINs listed

As an economic venture I could have spent my time elsewhere for better return.  As a fun activity the event wore out and became repetitive after a couple of days.  So, for the most part, I kept going to see if I could get a SKIN drop, and I never saw a one.

Fortunately others did get SKINs, as they were all up for sale in Jita.  The Merlin SKIN seemed to be the most common drop.  There were many listed on the market and I was able to grab one for under 6 million ISK.

Merlin SKIN for me

The Moa SKIN was a bit more rare, and thus more expensive, but I grabbed one of those as well.  The Naga and Scorpion SKINs however seemed very rare indeed, with only a couple on the market last I checked.  That put them beyond my SKIN splurge price.  I might have grabbed them anyway if I flew either hull regularly, but since that was not the case I let those two slide.

Anyway, so goes another in-game event.  With the coming of the Life Blood expansion, part of which is a change to The Agency event structure in an attempt to make it into something where people group up to complete them, I do wonder if CCP is going to make the error of excluding solo players from events.  We shall see with the first post-expansion event I suppose.

Addendum: I uploaded some screen shots to the post and then forgot to add them in.  A further gallery of Warzone-y things then:

Running some Warzone Extraction Event Sites

eve online warzone extraction wtf?

-search string that brought somebody here

Easily the most popular thing I have posted so far this week… or month… is the announcement about the Warzone Extraction event in EVE Online.  Google has sent many people my way, a pretty sure sign that the mechanics of the event aren’t clear to people.

EVE Valkyrie laughs at your confusion

So I figured it might be worthwhile to share what I learned running through some of the sites.

This event is in the structure of The Agency, and as such events go, you get tasks under The Agency icon to complete, each with a 20 hour cool down before you can do it again.  This time around there are just two tasks.

Warzone Extraction Tasks

One of the tasks is to complete a site, the other is to destroy 20 sleep ships, and they are worth 10 and 20 points respectively.

The sites themselves appear on your overview like the sites from previous events.  The sites seem a bit more sparse than some past events.  I had to go hunting for sites and rarely saw more than one in a system, with two in a single system being the max I noted.  The sites appeared on my standard travel overview without having to add anything.

Warzone Extraction sites

When you warp to the site you will land near a ship called the Quartermaster.  Sometimes, but not always, an alert will pop up with a message from him.

Message from the QM

There is also an acceleration gate there. When you activate the acceleration gate it sends you off to a pocket along with another message.

All the instructions you’ll get

When you land there will be some large collidable objects present.  If you have hidden them on your overview you (because they can be annoying and generally don’t mean much) you will have to change that or navigate by just eyeballing the wrecks in space.  There are five ship wrecks labeled Alpha to Echo and a station wreck.

Objects in the area

This where I got a bit confused because the very first site I tried also had a container visible.  I checked it and it was empty, so I moved on to find another site thinking it had been done.

Container confusion

However, I later discovered that if the site is still there it isn’t completely done.  But what do you do?

In the end I figured out what you have to do is approach each wreck.  When you get withing ~2,500 meters of a wreck it may give you a message.  The message might be about a container being discovered.  At that point the container will show up on your overview.  It might be at the wreck or it might be at the station wreck that is also on grid with you.  Once a container popped up in both locations.  I am not sure why.

In the container is the trinary relic that the quartermaster is looking for.  You can toddle over to it, loot the container, and you’ll be set for the Quartermaster’s Request task.

Off to collect the relic

The relics have their own wee bit of lore.

Tell me about the relics

The other message you may get is “Sleepers incoming!” at which point you’re going to have to fight.

I had read the post over at The Nosy Gamer about what to expect from the Sleepers that attack, the primary item being that they will use energy neutralizers on you to drain your capacitor in addition to warp scrambling and webbing you.  As I noted on a comment over there, for the unsuspecting capsuleer this might turn Warzone into Murderzone.

With this in mind I went out armed for bear with a passively tanked Drake I had sitting around.  It was the Clown Car entosis fit, but I swapped out the entosis module, cloak, and RLMLs for HMLs and a Auto Targeting system.  Later I changed out the HMLs for heavy assault missiles just to get more damage.  Fortunately meta HAM launchers are dirt cheap on the market.

The assault of the Sleepers is keyed to the security level of the system you are in.  In a 0.9 system I drew a pair of Sleeper frigates that went down to a single heavy missile volley.  They barely touched my capacitor.  Down in a 0.5 system I got frigates, destroyers, a cruiser, and a pair of battleships which combined to drain my capacitor in seconds.

Sleepers on the overview!

Of course, because this is a CCP event, the NPCs weren’t visible on the overview by default, which is why I brought the auto targeting system.  I had enough capacitor for it to activate for a few cycles and it targeted the Sleepers for me, at which point I could add them to my overview settings.

Of course, this being CCP, even the names were messed up on the first night when you tried to add them.

Wait, what?

That has since been fixed, though you still have to add each class of ship… frigate, destroyer, cruiser, battleship… to the overview separately.  The overview conspires to murder you.  That seems to be one of its functions.

Anyway, at that point, webbed, scrammed, and capacitor empty, you’re committed to the fight.  You will be mighty unhappy if you were depending on modules that required any power.  Rail guns and lasers won’t fire, repair modules are useless, and you won’t be scooting away with your prop module.

Resigned to your fate

My Drake was way over-tanked and never dropped below 88% shields, so I could just sit there and blast away at things.  I chose the Warden first, as it will rep other ships.  Then I hit the frigates, as they will aggressively go after your drones.  Once they were gone, it was out with the drones for the cruiser and then the battleships.

The short range of the HAMs was not a limitation most of the time as the Sleepers stay within web and scram range for the most part, which keeps them in your damage envelope.  There was one Sleeper battleship that pulled range on me and seemed to be able to neut me out to almost the 75km mark.  That put him way out of HAM range, which was 25km for my alt.  But that also meant he couldn’t web or scram me, so I decided to let him be rather than chase him down in a slow slog without a prop mod.  I was marginally faster than him, but it looked like it might take me as much as 15 minutes to close into shooting range.  Screw that.

The wrecks yielded boosters from the event… the damage and speed boosters were of value, but the tank boosters were for active tanks which, given the neuts present, wasn’t much good at that time… as well as Sleeper components to sell on the open market.

Interestingly, there were NPC buy orders up when I got around to selling those components.

The Emperor Family bought my stuff

I don’t know if this is a standard thing or if CCP foresaw the market getting saturated because of the event and decided to put a floor on the price.  I suspect the latter because I saw a lot of much lower buy orders out there.  That about off-set the drones I lost, the ammo, and the HML launchers I bought then traded out.

Anyway, that is getting ahead of myself.

Once you defeated the Sleepers and loot their wrecks, you’re ready to go.  If you’re feeling diligent and have not yet approached all the event wrecks you can do that until you have been to Alpha through Echo.  I have had Sleepers appear on two wrecks in a site.  But if you’re set, you just motor to the acceleration gate that is close by and activate it.  That will take you back to the Quartermaster.  Approach his ship and put the relic in it… it acts like a cargo container… and you’ll get credit for the site.  If that event task is active, you’ll get 10 points.  It if isn’t you seemed to get squat.  Such is life.

If you need to blow up more Sleepers then it is off to another site, but first you might want to repair, especially if you’re drones are damaged.  Fortunately there are publicly available citadels all over New Eden now, so you can just warp to one, tether, and wait a bit while it refills your capacitor and repairs your ship and drones.  Then you’re ready to go again.

I did both of the tasks which was enough to get to the first prize from the event, a support kit from The Agency.

Reward unlocked!

The reward was another event booster, of which I already had half a dozen.  So far I have just seen boosters and Sleeper drops.  There was a promise of SKINs somewhere, both fantastic and new, but maybe I just haven’t hit one yet.

Potential rewards: Fantastic new SKINs, useful Boosters, Skill Accelerators, valuable loot, and more

Warzone Extraction Event announcement

Anyway, in summary:

  • Warp to Warzone site
  • Take acceleration gate
  • Fly to wrecks
  • Collect relic and/or kill Sleepers
  • Take acceleration gate
  • Give relic to Quartermaster

Also:

  • Be passive fit – Anything that needs cap might not be available to you
  • System security influences Sleeper difficulty I got the full monty in a 0.9 system so nevermind

And, to follow up, a few screen shots from various points during the event.

 

 

 

The Agency Warzone Extraction Event in EVE Online

CCP has a new PvE event up in EVE Online starting today.  Part of the framework of The Agency, this one is called Warzone Extraction and is meant, in part, to draw attention to the EVE Valkyrie Warzone expansion coming later this month.

EVE Valkyrie Represent

As is the standard procedure with such things, event sites will appear on your overview.  This time around all you have to do is warp to them and loot some wrecks.  Of course, there is a warning that hostiles might show up, which pretty much means that NPCs will be arriving to shoot you.

There is already a post up over at The Nosy Gamer about the sort of NPCs you’ll face and some cruiser fits that Alpha Clones can fly if they want to attempt the sites.  It is probably worth reading that post before you dive in.

The event itself runs longer than the standard event in The Agency framework so far, kicking off today and running through until October 3rd, giving people two full weeks to run the sites.  Possible loot includes boosters, skill accelerators, and SKINs.

CCP will also sell you some Valkyrie Warzone SKINs for selected battleships.

Addendum: I wrote a post about running Warzone Extraction sites