Monday, August 22, 2011

Cash Flow for Capsuleers

I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.
--Douglas Adams

Military pilots live for war, wielding unimaginable destructive forces that daily reforge the landscape of New Eden.  Join this career if you enjoy lasers, missiles and generally making sure that someone else has a bad day.

The first of the Career Funnel agents, I'll simply be going through each of them step by step.  Having no better indication of how they should be done, I simply completed them in the order they appeared on screen, top to bottom.  Military came first, starting me on the ten missions of Cash Flow for Capsuleers.  I'd decide later that this probably isn't what I should have started with, but we'll get to that.

The description of all the missions, here and in the later posts will explain what items were Granted for accepting the mission, what the Reward was for completing it, and what the time Bonus was along with how long you had to receive it.  I'll then touch on anything important or interesting that happens during the missions making special note of any and all tutorials that popup as a result of the missions.  Without further ado, here we go.

Cash Flow for Capsuleers

1 of 10

Granted: Nothing

Reward: 1 Unit Dual Light Beam

Bonus: <5 hours for 3 units Multifrequency S

Accepting the mission starts the Orbiting Effectively tutorial which talks about weapon optimals.  Has me show info on my weapon, advises me to warp to the mission and then orbit my target at the range closest to my optimal.  I'm still using the Gatling Pulse lasers I was given earlier so my optimal is 2k.  The number closest to this is 2,500m.  Orbiting at that distance actually puts me at around 3500m.  Since my falloff is only 500m, this is a problem.  This needs to be explained better.  Either including information about falloff, or as it's called orbiting effectively, telling you that your orbit will be wider than what you set and you should set it for slightly lower.  After a few minutes of orbiting my target and being slowly picked apart, I just hit approach and  it dies once I get to 2k.

Completing the mission starts the Repairshop tutorial.  I suppose this is as good a place as any, even if I don't have any damage to repair...although the repairshop tutorial advises me that "Please note it is also possible to use particular modules to repair your ship in space at no fee. Such modules are named armor and hull repairers, and remain available on the market."  Umm...yeah Aura, you already gave me one.  Thanks for that though...

2 of 10

Granted: one Unit of Motion Prediction

Reward: one unit of Executioner(SWEET!)

Time: <1h 18m for 56000

Accepting the mission starts the Guns and Ammo Tutorial.  "The weapon you have been using so far requires no ammunition. However, most guns require either ammunition or frequency crystals to fire."  Again, Aura has already provided me with a big boy gun that uses real bullets and everything.  Or crystals.  Whatever.  The tutorial then tells me that I've been given a weapon as a mission reward (The beam laser) and tells me to equip it.  I can't equip it and the Pulse...decisions decisions.   I go ahead and offline the Pulse and online the Beam for this mission.  My new weapon has an optimal of 4375m.  Maybe setting my orbit to the closest (5k) will go better this time.

It does, hurray!  But only because the NPC is trying to get closer...which puts him into my optimal.  Against these enemies, you're still better off with the approach button as they're only flying the Pirate versions of Rookie Ships.

3 of 10

Granted: two units of Dual Light Beam Laser I

Reward: one unit of propulsion jamming

Time: <1h 58m for 58000

Accepting the mission starts the Stasis Webifier tutorial.  No really.  Accepting it starts the tutorial.  It even tells you "Look in your hangar, if you have not been given a stasis webifier module by your agent, buy one now. "  I don't even have the skill propulsion jamming yet lady.  Who are you and what did you do to the smart Aura from earlier?  How about a "You have a ship that's shiny and new and here's how to equip it and strip the fittings off your old ship" tutorial since I just got my first non-Rookie ship?

Anyway, the tutorial tells you to open the fitting window.  Equip the web, and then "When you have equipped the module, undock and complete the mission."  Again...this is just dumb.  Either I need to buy a skillbook that I'm about to be given for free and purchase a module for the sake of the tutorial...or I do the mission without them.  Oh, btw...because EVE players are evil bastards and that's why we love them...cheapest Stasis Webifier I in this station is 293,903.33isk.  I have 86k.  I could go about 4 jumps away to get one for 20k.  This is just poor planning.  I instead equip my Executioner with 2 Beam lasers and undock...preparing for the worst.

Yeah, there's a stasis web drone in the mission.  It basically expects to web and kite you.  The NPCs even taunt you in local. "Message > The Devout:  Awe, little Empire lovin' ass-kisser needs some help?  Poor thing ..."  There's more, it's actually quite funny.  Wish there'd been a tutorial explaining local and advising you to make it a separate window (which I've done out of habit) as you probably miss some of these touches if you're head is buried in the Rookie Chat channel.  Finishing the mission, I begin training the Propulsion Jamming skill, which'll take about 24 minutes to complete, and hope to find a Web as loot sometime.

4 of 10

Granted: None

Reward: one unit of 1MN Afterburner I

Bonus: <48m for 39000

Accepting the mission starts the Shield Tanking tutorial.  I have no idea why.  It gives me a Civilian shield booster and asks me to equip it.  I do so, even though I have an armor rep and dual tanking is a terrible terrible habit to get a new player in (I should know, I remember doing it for my first week in EVE).

The mission is to investigate a Pirate stargate.  It tells you that Pirates use these hidden stargates to get around in EVE.  Oh God how I wish this was true and that Outlaws in EVE actually had access to something like this to avoid gate camps.  Once you get close to the gate you start taking damage because, aren't a Pirate I guess.  Once again, local chat tells you "The mission has been completed, report back to your agent.  Your computer detects gas and radioactive materials spewing out of the stargate at frightening speed.  It would be best to leave immediately before your ships starts to take damage!"  Would be nice to have told you to have your local chat window visible.  I remember eventually figuring this out on my own when I first played, once I realized I'd been missing important info and general flavor text during missions.

Getting back to the station and completing the mission gives me an Afterburner as a reward as well as starting, surprise surprise, the Afterburner tutorial.  It tells me that, "To use this module, open the fitting service and drag it to your ship."  Wonderful advice really...except I don't have the Afterburner skill.  I'll need it eventually, so I go ahead and purchase it off the market and start training.  It'll be 9 minutes before it's done I go ahead and take another break.

The afterburner tutorial also tells me that "Another module that is useful for moving around swiftly is the microwarpdrive. This module provides a bigger boost to your ship´s speed than the afterburner, but at a much higher capacitor cost."  Which is technically true...but sounds like it was written before the speed changes.  It would have been nice to explain that there are other drawbacks to a MWD, such as it being deactivated by a Warp Scrambler and, probably more important to a new player PvEing in a Frigate, the Sig Radius bloom will make you much easier to hit.

Once I get back from my break, I try fitting the Afterburner only to find I lack the Powergrid for 2 Beam lasers, a Small Rep and it.  I offline the rep, since I haven't really been taking much damage, but it's still sort of annoying not to be able to make a coherent fit with the modules I've been given since I've only been playing a couple of hours at this point.

This is as good a time as any to bring up another point.  I've come to notice recently that fitting skills (Engineering, Weapon Upgrades, etc) have become the new learning skills.  By that I mean that new players completely resent being asked to train them as they're not fun, and just sort of squeeze them in from time to time.  Having started playing before Learning skills vanished, this is sort of the same way those were viewed at the time.  Fitting skills then were actually something I saw as exciting because it allowed you to fit better modules to your ship.  I feel like I'm experiencing my first time being on the other side of a generation gap from the new player, with this change separating the way I've always viewed the game on a fundamental level from those that started after it.  Only time will tell if this trend continues, but I do at least empathize after going through the process of starting a new character.  It's easy to forget just how hard it can be to get a decent fit together when you're so used to have maxed out fitting skills.

5 of 10

Granted: one unit of Civilian Photon Scattering Field

Reward: one unit of Shield Management

Bonus: <50m for 36000

Accepting the mission starts the Damage Types tutorial as well as giving you the Photon Scattering Field.  I go ahead and swap the booster for it since I only have 2 midslots on an Executioner.  I think it would have made more sense to have provided Amarr/Gallente with Armor modules, but I guess civilian nano platings were out of stock.  The tutorial is just a general overview on the idea of 4 damage types, and that you take less damage by increasing your resists (hence the module.)  It's pretty accurate, except "Through trial and error you can find the optimal type of ammo to use against each type of enemy. While you can usually take them down with any ammo type, using the right one saves you time and ammunition." is just plain bad advice.  Trial and error is one of the last things I'd recommend to someone who's been playing the game about 2 hours at this point.  Either explain what NPCs are weak against what damage here, or tell them to follow the link to the Evelopedia article the Tutorial provides, which includes this information, but don't tell them Trial and Error is the best solution.

The mission itself is to just go to this meeting place, alone of course, at the request of The Devout.  Yeah, the guy who was mocking you earlier.  Once you're there, a popup window explains "I give you this proposition. Visit our agents to join our cause, and earn wealth beyond your wildest dreams. The stuck-up corporations here in Empire space have nothing to offer you that we can't double, or even triple. They hoard their ISK like rats and the poor sods they hire to do their dirty work only get the scraps dropped through dozens of layers of bureaucracy. You're worth more than that. Join us to be rid of the greed and backstabbing of capitalism, to find a purpose to your life and a goal to achieve alongside the rest of our mighty host."  Sweet!  Sign me up.  Wait, what do you mean I need to go to NPC Nullsec first?  What's Nullsec?

Although I wish there was some way to "Join the Cause" for the Pirate factions this early in the game, there isn't. This is just sort of confusing to a new player since the idea of them running off to run missions in nullsec is probably not an achievable goal this early.  Too bad too, I'd love to see some iteration on Faction Warfare that introduced joinable Pirate factions.  It'd probably make some Incursion RPers happy too.

6 of 10

Granted: None

Reward: one unit of Limited Ocular Implant

Bonus: <3h 12m for 113000

Since the next mission is actually a bit complex, with multiple rooms and enemies to defeat, I cheat a little here.  By that, I mean I use some knowledge that I'm not sure a new player would have and change my fitting a bit.  I replace the Beams with a pair of Gatling Pulse lasers which gives me enough powergrid to get my Afterburner and Armor Rep both online and then I'm off to run the mission.

Accepting the mission starts the Acceleration Gates tutorial.  Yes, you heard me right.  Acceleration gates, the things present in almost all the New NPE tutorials are now being explained to me again.  I'm beginning to think Aura may have suffered a head injury and is experiencing short term memory loss.

What this mission does include the first of is a Locked Acceleration Gate.  It's not mentioned anywhere in the tutorial, but you're clued in when a popup advises you that "Looks like the next acceleration gate is guarded. You'll have to take care of the guards before you can get through. "  And when they say guarded, they're not kidding.  A dozen opponents in the first room alone.  Glad I got my Armor Rep back online before starting this's almost like I knew what was coming.  Because it's going to come up again and again, it's worth noting there is actually another tutorial, called Multiple Acceleration Gates, that talks about locked gates.  I have no idea why it's not shown here.

The final room includes this bit of sage wisdom as another popup, "Looks like you found the pirate outpost. Your instructions were to destroy it. I would recommend leaving the loot in the wreck after you obliterate the structure, you would not want to be caught trying to jump between systems with contraband in your cargo-hold. The local security forces do not look kindly upon such activity."  Attacking the outpost spawns a pair of Turrets and two frigates.  I think they just want you to just destroy the Outpost and then run, but I'm interested in this "contraband" so I stick around to kill them before looting the outpost.

The illegal contraband?  Ten units of Frozen Plant Seeds and Ten Units of Carbon.  Well...I guess I could run Charon scams in Jita with the Carbon, so maybe that's why it's contraband?  Regardless, I do manage to loot a Webifier off of one of the Frigates in the last room, so at least I'll be able to fit one an hour after the Stasis Webifier tutorial.

Turning in the mission rewards me with the Limited Ocular implant and starts the Implants tutorial.  The tutorial provides the Cybernetics skillbook, but I'm 24 minutes from being able to complete it or follow the instructions in the once again, I take a break.

7 of 10

Granted: one unit of Small Armor Repairer

Reward: 55000

Bonus: <1h 32m 55000

Accepting the mission kicks off the Armor Tanking tutorial.  This is basically the same tutorial, minus the voice work, I received during the Skills: Amarr/Gallente tutorial during the New NPE.  It even tells me that I've already received the Repair Systems skillbook during the "crash course" which I assume is what it's calling the New NPE, but it's the first time I've seen it referred to as that since starting this character.  The entire tutorial feels a bit redundant here.  Unfortunately, if you aren't using a character of the Amarr/Gallente variety, you'll still get this tutorial here.  That can leave new Caldari players a bit confused as they have no real reason to follow the advice of the tutorial and don't receive that skillbook during the New NPE.

The mission itself is very straightforward.  I warp in, explode some ships, and then warp back out.  No tutorials interrupt or anything.  Could have something to do with being the first mission I've had a Stasis Webifier for, meaning I basically one-shot the Rookie Ship NPCs.

8 of 10

Granted: one unit of Weapon Upgrades

Reward: two units of Overdrive Injector System I

Bonus: <1h 44m for 73000

Accepting the mission starts the Overview Settings tutorial.  Umm...OK?  I wasn't really sure why, but I guess it was as good a time as any.  Sort of odd in that I need to undock and fiddle with settings while the clock is ticking on some mission for me to go save the universe.  I guess my agent thinks the missions are about as important as I do...but it becomes evident later why this is all happening.

The tutorial itself has me make sure Large Collidable Structures are displayed, which I'll need for the upcoming mission.  Sort of.  Other than that, it's just a very brief description of some of the functions in the overview settings.  Would have been nice to include the Protip to set up a shortcut to open Overview Settings so you can fiddle with them in station, but I guess that's why they call it a "Pro" tip.

The mission itself is another "approach something to investigate it" type mission.  The reason I said "sort of" when mentioning that I'd need these settings for the upcoming mission is that your overview is absolutely flooded with Large Collidable Structures.  I think it would be easier to have just found the object you needed in space and clicked on it rather than looking for it on your overview.  It's also a problem when it turns out to be a trap (no surprise there really) and, if your overview is sorted by distance like mine was, you don't actually notice all the ships that appear suddenly until they start shooting you.  I guess that's why it was a good trap...Aura was in on it.

Upon completion of the mission I get two Overdrives.  Which is nice...I guess.  I don't bother equipping them, because I can't.  I lack the Hull Upgrades skill.  Perhaps the Weapon Upgrades skillbook it gave me should have been Hull Upgrades?  That would have made a lot more sense actually, and would be a skill I'd like to have.  This will continue to bother me for a while until I finally dig a bit deeper into things, but that comes later.

9 of 10

Granted: None

Reward: one unit of Stasis webifier

Bonus: <1h 40m for 67000

Now it gives me a web?  It's been an hour since I got that tutorial and was advised to buy one off the market if I didn't have it.  Good thing I didn't listen and just waited to get one as loot.  No tutorials appear during this mission.

The mission itself is pretty straightforward.  I'm supposed to go in and destroy a Narcotics Warehouse.  Upon destroying it, there's Frentix in the loot.  This item actually is contraband.  Maybe the warning about it was meant to go here?  There's no warning this time, but when you try to take it you get the popup that the item is illegal in your current system.  Oh well, I won't need to pass through any gates, so I take it and then dock up. No buy or sell orders for it anywhere close by, so it's pretty much just worthless junk.

10 of 10

Granted: one unit of Punisher

Reward: one unit of Sharpshooter

Bonus:  <5h 16m for 233000

Certainly some nice mission rewards for this one.  I'd love to be able to take the Punisher out, but I lack Amarr Frigate 3.  I've actually been training it anytime I've not been working on another skill for the tutorial, but it still needs over four hours to complete.  No tutorials during this mission.  It is the first time I've had to leave the system since I got here though.  I'm basically warned that this mission will be extra tough, by being told that if I start to take hull damage I should warp out immediately and that "This is an important mission, which will have significant impact on your faction standings."

The mechanics of the mission aren't really anything special.  I go there, there are guys, I kill them.  What is kind of special is the story that's being told over the entire 10 mission arc.  I know I only hint at it here, but if you follow along in the mission briefings and the local chatter from the NPCs, it really does set up this Devout guy as a boss from the start.  It even tosses in a little temptation to the dark side by him offering for you to join the Blood Raiders and come work with him instead of against him.  It would just be kind of nice if you could actually make a decision here...but it assumes you choose good over evil and strike him down.

The missions in EVE sort of get a bad rap.  How many times is the Damsel going to get kidnapped anyway?  It's a problem that stems from the random nature in which the missions are assigned really.  I'd like to see more 10 mission arcs spread about, where The Blockade type missions were mission 10 of 10 instead of being the missions you just hoped to get and rejected others until it came.  If missions had some interesting plot and weren't just random with nothing to do with each other, or Epic Arcs lasting 50 missions but doable only once every three months, I'd probably be a lot more interested in running them myself.  After all, the music inside deadspace is some of the best in the game.  Wait, EVE has sound?




  1. Nice write up on the tutorial missions.
    Lets hope someone from CCP is reading it.
    I remember waiting for a skill to train being the most frustrating part of life as an eve newbie, having to break off the tutorial to wait to train up a skill gets pretty annoying.
    Until I started with PvP and having a bit more fun I remember thinking the training queue was basically a reward for not playing.
    Maybe giving you a "special skillbook" that just gave you level 1 of a skill without having to train it might make it a little less annoying, or just giving you level 1 in a few essential skills. But I guess it wouldn't help with the fact I couldn't fly my tutorial rifter without having to wait, or needing to train several levels of astrometrics for the exploration tutoral.

  2. I am guessing these tutorials go back to that time period that when you created a new character you picked your profession and where given skills like AB 5 or Small Energy Turrets 5. Ahh those were the days where if you picked your skills right while making your character you were ready for pvp the second you undocked.

  3. (5 of 10) I'm glad you explained that abandoning Empire for a more lucrative career with the pirates was never really possible. I'd hate to live out the rest of my virtual life in Eve wondering if I should have instead chosen option B.

  4. You can edit your overview while docked ? Didn't know that after over a year in new Eden. Great protip !