Eve Online: Exclusive Interview

GamerGod – Can we get some insight into what might make a level 4 mission require multiple players to complete?

Magnus – There is nothing that absolutely requires you to have multiple players to complete the missions, but mainly it’s the time and difficulty factor that differentiates them from each other. As an example, a “kill” mission requires you to go to multiple locations attacking a number of NPC’s on each location and a courier mission requires a number of trips on industrials to complete. The increased time factor of the new missions will affect the ability to get the bonus rewards, hence giving you an incentive to finish quickly with friends rather than soloing. Of course soloing is still possible, giving you the full bounties instead of sharing them, but players should be aware of the added difficulties. The addition of new Complexes, aka Dungeons, allows the agent system to dynamically create Complexes for level 4 missions.

GamerGod – How do you plan on handling risks and rewards for group missions?

Magnus – The level 4 agents use the same system as other agents, meaning it’s the person taking the mission from the agent that get the direct rewards. This means standing gain from the agent is given to that person when the mission is completed. Bounty and standing gain during a “kill” mission however is distributed evenly between the gang members. These “group” mission are really catering to smaller corps, rather than impromptu ganging of people in the neighborhood. That will be possible when a even more advanced group mission system is implemented that will handle splitting the group reward.

GamerGod – Will we ever see level 3 or lower group missions?

Magnus – Yes, but the level 4 group missions don’t scale very well down the agent levels without a proper group mission systems. Doing them in the current incarnation would mean that the solo player would get missions that would be too difficult. This would be disruptive since the lower level agents have a tradition of being relatively low risk. We also wouldn’t rule out dividing Group/Corp agents from “solo” agents, where the group agents would cater more to larger PVE engagements and could be a regular corporation activity. Then the agent levels would be separate from each other.

GamerGod – Will all participants on a group mission need good faction standing?

Magnus – No, only the person that takes the mission from the agent gets the faction standing. That person is the only one that needs the required standing to get the mission.

GamerGod – How will missions like trader or cargo hauling be handled at level 4?

Magnus – There are only a handful of straightforward missions like that in the beginning at level 4. They will mostly have large quantities that need moving or selling.

GamerGod – Do you foresee level 4 missions being completed by a solo player?

Magnus – Yes, an advanced player will be able to solo some of the level 4 missions, but he would rarely be able to get the time bonus reward. Something the player would want to get!

GamerGod – Will there ever be missions designed for the lone battleship?

Magnus – Yes, they will focus more around Complexes than multiple locations, getting a more “quest-like” feeling. Where and when they appear will be announced later and it makes sense to make those available from level 3 agents.

GamerGod – With the introduction of static “dungeon” areas, what are your plans to quell any attempts at camping scenarios?

Magnus – There are 2 types of Complexes. The commonly visible ones where you warp to a beacon and are freely accessible to anyone that goes into them. They will be widely available and will not have as high reward as the other type of complexes. You might run into people in those complexes that are either trying to kill you or the NPC’s. The other types of Complexes are the hidden ones which you have to scan a system to find. They moved around regularly, so the chances of you encountering campers are drastically lower, however still possible.

This is according to our philosophy of not doing private instancing, we are a PVP oriented game and believe that you should always run the risk of running into other players, be they harmful or not – Similar to real life. Also, the security zone restrictions still apply. You cannot initiate aggression towards other players in high security zones without suffering the consequences. In 0.0 security, anything goes. In addition, our agents will be able to spawn hidden Complexes for their missions where they give you the location, but you can also find them if you are scanning the system they spawn in.

GamerGod – Will we see nebulas, electro-magnetic storms, radiation fields or other “anomalies”?

Magnus – Yes, Shiva brings a number of new effects around Complexes and other new environments, but they are not interactable in their current state. On the other hand, new environments such as harvestable Gas Clouds and mineable Ice Fields are in Shiva.

GamerGod – Are there any plans to make new environments that affect navigation, sensor strength, targeting ranges, shields or even inflict damage?

Magnus – We already have the first version of damaging environments available, for example mining Mercoxit results in explosions due to their volatile nature. These are damage clouds that we will apply to other environments, for example we are considering Ice fields to damage ships. Creating localized system-wide disturbances on other levels are also possible and it’s being considered for the future.

GamerGod – Will you introduce incentives to enter 0.0 space?

Magnus – There are lots of incentives for doing so today, but for many the risk vs. reward is far too high. We are adding a number of things such as the new environments to 0.0 space and also introducing player owned structures that will be most profitable when used in 0.0 space. With player owned structures comes land control, meaning you won’t be able to defend as large an area without proper forces. This will in the long term open up more space for smaller Alliances, as players will need to defend their property and not spend time for instance gate ganking.

GamerGod – What is your reasoning behind the 1% order tax?

Magnus – All market based systems have a handling fee in R/L, so we believe that so should ours. It also serves the purpose of limiting exploitation, as the transaction entry becomes traceable.

GamerGod – What would you say to those who comment that the planned changes to the market will only make the rich richer?

Magnus – The planned changes where you had the full order amount of ISK taken into Escrow would have pushed the market that way. This has been changed considerably, therefore allowing for similar market liquidity without having the full ISK cash on hand. The penalties for orders that fail will however rise accordingly.

GamerGod – With the advent of smuggling, will players finally be able to become Customs Officers?

Magnus – Not yet. At first, there will be Customs NPC’s handling the scanning and tracking of player ships carrying illegal goods. This will give us the chance of balancing and testing the core system behind this new role. Following that, we foresee that players can take on this role.

GamerGod – Will there be a way to track a player’s past success ratio on contracts?

Magnus – Our contracts system is slated to mimic most of the internet “contract” systems, where success and previous transaction history plays a big part. It’s part of the design and will be there if we are able to finalize some practical issues which we are working on.

GamerGod – Eve has enjoyed a recent boom in players and seems to have the best ‘word of mouth’ advertising out there. What do you personally think it is that keeps drawing more and more players to experience Eve for themselves?

Magnus – EVE is about the players and the players are the ones that made EVE what it is today. The single universe means that for every single player that starts playing EVE, the universe gets more interesting and diverse. You can affect each and every player of the universe. There is nothing like playing with your friends, achieving goals together and making a name for yourself to 50 thousand other players.

The extended 14-day free access passes that have been given out recently have also allowed us to show new players the depth and scope of EVE, which previous shorter trials have not accomplished. A user really needs to stay with the game for at least a week before they actually understand what EVE is all about, and the longer trials are accomplishing that.

We also work closely with the community to ensure that we are on the right track with our vision for the game, and that has resulted in a partnership which both groups benefit highly from.

GamerGod – Any words of wisdom for players new to Eve, or plan on giving it a try?

Magnus – Join a player-run corporation as quickly as you can. You will meet lots of new people, they will help you advance faster and lead you through the right choices. Nothing helps you get better into the game than fellow Corp. mates.

Thank you for this time Magnus. It is always a pleasure speaking with you.

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