Saturday, June 9, 2018

PVE in Nova and Why it Matters

I am very excited for Project Nova! Yes, the FPS set in the EVE Universe, that is currently in vigorous development. I just can't wait to hear more news about it.

In the meantime I want to highlight some game aspects that I feel will be essential for Nova in its goal to be able to stand on its feet, when a deeper connection between Nova and EVE is made.

It sounds pretty clear - we need PVE in Nova, just as much as we need PVP. But why?

Because it makes the game more open and accessible to all different kinds of players. Two main reasons for that:

First off, not everyone enjoys PVP in shooters, at least not all the time. Feels strange to say that, and maybe this doesn't refer to the majority of players, but it is true. Some players, just like in EVE, prefer to do missions. Not to mention that sometimes players wait a lot for a PVP match to be found and they may prefer some instant PVE.

Second - it is far easier to introduce players to the storyline, by bringing them to a nice mission against or alongside NPCs. Of course, with some clever tricks, I guess the same could be achieved in PVP, but still, NPC missions give devs more control. And in terms of player satisfaction - missions that are rich in story, may be a great way to keep players engaged and make them stay.

Yes, and I want to highlight this specific thing. Players these days don't come for the pure gameplay only. They want a story, and they want it to be good. So it will be vital to have some things that get the players into the story right away.

Of course PVE is not specifically tied to missions. There may be some special anomalies in various systems, that could be accessed and run by Nova troopers, just like the anomalies in EVE.

I have some ideas for this. I am sure that similar ideas circulate among CCP and the Community as a whole. Most of these ideas require an established EVE - Nova link, so I guess they can be some kind of long term goals, but my suggestion is that we should have something like these early on.

Assaults on Sansha Incursion Structures and Ships

Whenever there is a Sansha Incursion, troopers would be able to sign up in CONCORD dedicated channels, be it via special agents or any other meaningful way, and then they would be transported to the system and deployed aboard various Sansha structures or ships, command nodes, outposts etc. so that they can infiltrate them and make a full scale assault on them, fighting Sansha NPC troopers, their vehicles, turrets, drones and such. Upon success with their tasks, they should receive a generous reward - loyalty points, ISK, equipment and any other thing that a player may want. And depending on their success rate, Nova player activity in the incursion system, should affect the overall incursion itself, together with the EVE spaceship pilots that fight the Sansha ships in space.

You can see Sansha Troopers among the peaceful baseliners, victims of a Sansha Incursion

Trooper Missions given by Empire Agents - Against Pirate Faction NPCs

Similar to the Sansha Incursions, but this time missions given by agents of the Empires.

Troopers would have the options to get in contact with agents and be sent to various pirate faction installations, command nodes, ships etc. and they can fight against pirate NPCs. Then, upon success, they could receive loyalty points, ISK and Empire dedicated equipment.

Trooper Missions given by Pirate Faction Agents - Against Empire Faction NPCs

Adding some "Yarr!" to this. Nova troopers that support pirate factions should be able to find their agents and play missions on pirates behalf, against Empires NPCs. Loyalty points, ISK and dedicated pirate equipment should be among the rewards for these.

Overall Empire - Pirate Faction Mission Signatures and Anomalies Completion Ratio Should Affect the Storyline at a Given Time

I will be really happy if we see something like this in Nova and of course in EVE as a whole. Our Devs will surely be able to see the metrics on these activities and then decide to make all of our mission progress count - towards various outcomes in the game story.

Exploration - Special Space Signatures - Able to be Scanned by EVE Pilots and Handed over to Nova Troopers for Completion - With Benefits for both Troopers and Pilots

Yes, such things will be fantastic! Let me explain.

For example an EVE pilot scans a new Signature in space. Turns out it is some pirate installation, or maybe a relic site, accessible by troopers only. When the pilot discovers this thing, they should be able to send it into a mission database (which can be region based or as devs see fit) and list it as a task for troopers to complete. Then, the Nova troopers should be able to see this mission in a list, accept it, run and complete it, upon which they will receive rewards from CONCORD. The EVE pilots should be also rewarded - for finding the signature and based on troopers success. And they should receive information on the troopers teams when they complete the task.

Of course, there can be signatures that represent tasks for pirate aligned players - for example some empire faction installation that can be attacked by our pirate players and they would be rewarded by pirate factions.

Combat signatures of this kind should be pretty straightforward - kill the enemies and get the loot. But there should be also some data and relic signatures of this kind - that require troopers to hack doors and terminals, evade and encounter various defense systems, sentry turrets, drones etc. - all with various loot tables.

Signatures of this kind may contain NPCs of all kinds - from Rogue Drones to Drifters. Variety should be added, it is needed.

All this will lead to some good gameplay options for us - for some meaningful and enjoyable game.

The next idea is some sort of a mixed thing - both PVE and PVP at the same time.

A Way for Nova Troopers to Capture Abandoned Player Structures in Space

For example - when an EVE pilot finds a player structure that is in low power mode, they should be able to mark it and set up means for Nova Troopers to board it. Then the troopers would be able to infiltrate the structure, fight the automated defenses, drones etc. and then reach a command node. When they reach it, they would be able to hack the terminals and that eventually may give them access to the structure in order to gain control and capture it for themselves. If they fail the hack, the structure may lock itself for some time, forcing them to terminate their current clones.

In this regard structure owners would be able to hire additional NPC troops, for structure defense. Building additional defenses inside the structure would also be an option - turrets, drones etc.

And of course, if the structure owners manage to activate the High Power state of the structure, then it would emit a powerful field that would kill the invading troopers and make the structure secure.

This may add some nice gameplay, allowing us to get rid of abandoned structures in a meaningful way.

Having such things in Nova, along with all the PVP game modes, will make the game more appealing to a wider player base. And this is a good thing.

I hope you enjoy these. More can be added in time. I am sure that similar ideas are circulating among the Community. Would love to see you share them.

Thank you for reading!

Until next time!

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