Thursday, September 1, 2011

Like Military Only Better

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Pilots on this advanced training program will be introduced to the many commonly used modules and tactics on the battlefield, including interdiction, logistics, and evasive maneuvering.  In order to complete this tutorial, a capsuleer must also come to master their own needless fear of death.

The Advanced Military tutorial (which is like the Military tutorial only...Advanced?) doesn't follow the 1 of 10 format either.  I'll use it here though, probably to only be disappointed when it stops at 6 again.  It covers a wide range of topics, but I've always sort of viewed this as the closest thing there is to a PvP tutorial, while the Military tutorial was really teaching you about Combat Missions.  You can decide for yourself if you agree.

1 of 10 The Swap

Granted: None

Reward: one unit of Propulsion Jamming

Bonus: <1h 48m for 39000

Propulsion Jamming, we meet again.  This is just salt in the wound after the earlier experience with Stasis Webifiers, their skillbooks and their tutorial.  Perhaps I would have been better off just doing the first Advanced Military mission before going through the Military ones?  That seems a bit odd though.  As a pretty standard combat mission, I'm expected to warp to a deadspace complex and "clear the area of any hostile vessels."  Having finished Amarr Frigate III since my last combat mission, I'm able to take the Punisher out for the first time.

Since I'm still missing Hull Upgrades, (Seriously, giving me the Weapon Upgrades skill when it did feels like a bug.  It doesn't make sense otherwise.) my fitting is pretty terrible.  I can't think of anything to put in the low slots besides a single armor repairer, so I'm sporting three empty slots.  I'm sure it's still a match for the missions, but I might die of embarrassment if it showed up on a killmail somehow.

The mission itself would best be described as a Turkey Shoot, with waves spawning practically on top of me, I couldn't target ships fast enough to keep up with killing them.  It's shockingly easy after having completed the later missions in the Military career tutorials.

2 of 10 Angel of Mercy

Granted: one unit of Crucifier

Reward: 43000

Bonus: <1h 52m for 32000

Hey look, a cool new ship.  What do I mean I don't get to keep it?  Accepting the mission starts the Minimizing Your Losses tutorial, which basically tells you to always use the right tool for the job.  The job in this case, is to get your ship blown up, and so the tool happens to be a completely stripped ship.  It doesn't mention it, but I go ahead and Insure it for a little extra isk as well.  Oh, and nothing actually forces me to use the Crucifier I've just been I use a Tormentor instead, as I have two and don't intend on doing anymore mining and still have a Blueprint to make more if I did.

The mission goes...well?  I guess.  I mean, I blew up, but I was supposed to do that.  All I had to do was approach the Blood Raider Battlestation and then I explode...and then it explodes.  Battlestations in EVE look like giant bananas by the way.  (That's no crescent moon.  It's a space station!)  The Battlestation actually drops quite a bit of loot, 9 modules and a Multifrequency L, but I'm in my pod and don't feel like taking the time to go back for it in a ship.

3 of 10 Your Undivided Attention

Granted: one unit of Civilian Warp Disruptor

Reward: 35000

Bonus: <1h 32m for 32000

Accepting the mission starts the Warp Disruptors and Warp Scramblers tutorial.  Pretty standard descriptions of the modules, what they do, that Warp Core Stabs are evil, etc.  I am going to take this opportunity to gripe a little bit more about the inconsistencies in these tutorials.  I've already been given the Propulsion Jamming skillbook two missions ago, so there's no reason I can't use a the non-civilian version of a Warp Disruptor at this point.  Why then was I not provided with a Civilian Stasis Webifier for use earlier?  I get the impression that multiple developers worked on it and made different design choices on how to dole out the Skillbooks and items required for them.  Now, there's absolutely nothing wrong with different devs working on the tutorials, but it shouldn't be apparent to the end user.  Anyway, back to the mission.

All I had to do was warp in and put a point on an NPC.  Once that's done, the mission is complete, although you can destroy his ship if you'd like.  I didn't bother, as closing the additional distance into weapon range from 20k just sounded like it would take too long, so I warped out.  Once back in station, mission completed.

4 of 10 A Friend in Need

Granted: one unit of Civilian Remote Armor Repair Systems

Reward: one unit of Remote Armor Repair Systems

Bonus: <54m for 17000

Does anyone else hear Placebo anytime that phrase is uttered?  No?  Only me?  OK then.  This is another good example of exactly how I would have structured the tutorials.  Granting Civilian modules anytime something is needed for a mission and providing you with the skillbook upon completion.  Time bonuses are for isk.  Simple, elegant, kudos to whoever made these missions.  Of course, it just irritates me more that other missions weren't like these.  There's no pleasing me.

The mission itself, as you may have guessed, is to go repair an NPC ship.  Accepting the mission starts the Remote Repair Modules tutorial, which does a decent enough job of explaining the process.  It even touches on concepts like Spider Tanking, but refers you to the EVElopedia article for more details.  Once in the mission, activating the Remote Rep for a single cycle is enough to get "basic systems" back online, and the NPC warps out.  I return back to the station and complete the mission.

5 of 10 The Stand

Granted: one unit of Crucifier

Reward: 44000

Bonus: <1h 56m for 38000

So I'm given another Crucifier that they expect me to get blown up in.  I'm really getting the impression this guy has a warehouse full of them somewhere that he's trying to get rid of.  Accepting the mission starts the Medical Clone tutorial and walks you through the process of upgrading your clone.  I don't actually need to do this right now since the basic clone covers more than ten times the skillpoints I have.  Back to the mission.

This is another one of those "You're not expected to survive" missions.  Unlike the last time where I just flew in and my ship exploded, I'm actually expected to put up a fight this time.  Fitting a Crucifier with an Armor Rep and a single Beam Laser (I didn't say I expected to put up a good fight) I head into the mission.  After destroying the single NPC present, a second wave of ten Gallente Reconesque Cruisers warp in and annihilate me.

The unique thing about this mission is the way in which they destroy me.  Ten ships with Webs and Sensor Damps turn you into a sitting duck that can't target farther than 6km.  I basically can't fight back, and it's only a matter of time until they break through my tank.  This is noteworthy because I still remember the first time I ran this mission nearly a year ago.  Up until this point, I'd only been seeing ship combat in EVE in a very one dimensional manner.  It was simply a race between my tank and damage versus their own.  This tutorial really opened my eyes to the idea of thinking outside of that paradigm and the power of E-War.

6 of 10 Don't Look Back

Granted: one unit of Civilian Afterburner

Reward: one unit of Small Energy Turret

Bonus: <42m for 12000

This mission is a simple warp in, run to a structure before the "electromagnetic disturbance" destroys your ship.  Very similar to the Recon mission really.  Accepting the mission starts the Afterburner tutorial, which we've already seen in the Military missions, and includes the same incomplete comparison between ABs and MWDs.

The mission is a perfect chance to use my Executioner again, and I manage to speed through it before my shields are down.  For my troubles I'm rewarded with the Small Energy Turret skillbook, which is odd.  These are the Amarr tutorial agents after all, and all new Amarr players start with that skill.  Perhaps it's a throwback to when your selection of Bloodline and Background affected your starting skills.  Did some people not even start with anything in Gunnery?  I'm not sure, and too lazy to look it up, but that's my suspicion.

7 of 10 Weapon of Choice

Granted: one unit of Civilian Gatling Pulse

Reward: 13000

Bonus: <34m for 12000

OK, maybe I'm wrong.  Perhaps they're done so that other races running these missions wouldn't feel left out?  This mission briefing provides me an explanation of Amarr Laser Weaponry, presumably the tutorial is different for each race, and sends me out to go kill a Pirate with this newfangled laser technology.  It feels a little odd coming this late in the game, and everyone I've ever heard talk about the Career Tutorials recommends running Advanced Military last, including CCP's own Evelopedia.  Accepting the mission starts the Racial Weapon: Laser Turrets tutorial.  The information in it, while accurate, feels really late to the party.  Like, this tutorial should have been shown the very first time I was given a weapon back in the New NPE tutorial or something.

Undocking my Punisher and firing up some tunes, I head into the mission.  I'm back in station before the song ends, and it's sort of surprising really.  The Advanced missions are turning out to be easier than the Military missions were at this point which is a tad disappointing to be honest.  I mean, there was only a single ship to destroy in this mission.

8 of 10 The Pacifist

Granted: None

Reward: 9900

Bonus: <34m for 12000

For their ease of completion, the missions are also sadly light on rewards.  I got three times this reward for the 8th mission in Cash Flow for Capsuleers after all.  While the other mission series was downright irritating in how it handed out rewards, this time I feel like I'm really being treated with kid gloves.  It again highlights some of the differing approaches to the tutorials that appear to have come from different developers working on it.

The mission itself revolves around your ability to follow orders in a Fleet Fight, which makes it all that much stranger when the Damage Types tutorial kicks off again after accepting.  I really have no idea why this is an appropriate time for it, at least last time I had just been granted a resistance enhancing module, so there was some connection.  Basically some popup dialog representing your Fleet Commander tests your ability to hold your fire and follow his instructions to rescue some Hostages.  It's sort of an interesting mission in that it has more interactivity than the average shoot 'em up.

9 of 10 Glue

Granted: one unit of Civilian Stasis Webifier

Reward: one unit of Destroyers

Bonus: <48m for 17000

Yeah...if you've been following along you can probably guess how I feel about being granted a Civilian Web this late in the game.  Nine missions since I was given the Propulsion Jamming skillbook and it definitely doesn't look like the kid gloves are coming off soon.  Accepting the mission even starts up the Stasis Webifier tutorial at which point I have to restrain myself from trying to strangle Aura through my computer screen.

The mission is predictably easy.  I just warp in and Web an NPC and that's that.  The NPC in question is the "Pirate Leader", but he pales in comparison to the job building up The Devout.  After you Web him for a little while, some fake CONCORD ships arrive on scene and destroy his ship.  That's a bit backwards from how CONCORD usually responds when you aggress someone in a 0.9 system, but oh well.  At least I got the destroyers skill book out of the deal.  I go ahead and take a break as it'll be 16 minutes until I complete level I, and I want to have it ready for the next mission.

10 of 10 The Exam

Granted: one unit of Coercer

Reward: one unit of Letter of Recommendation

Bonus: <5h 48m for 126000

I actually spend most of the time crafting up a new fit in EFT and then buying the modules off the market.  The Destroyer is nice, although it oddly doesn't follow the pattern of making it the reward and simply grants me one for accepting the mission which I found less rewarding.  Accepting the mission also starts the Combat Tactics tutorial which covers a variety of topics ranging from kiting, to getting under the guns of larger ships and how best to approach them at an angle to maximize transversal velocity.

I'm also told that my opponents in the mission ahead will be using Warp Scramblers and Stasis Webifiers and includes a warning about the difficulty of the upcoming fight.  The generally light difficulty of these missions so far makes me question how legitimate these warnings are.  While I do end up scrammed and webbed, moving at a very lethargic 300m/s, the Destroyer class didn't get their reputation as Frigate killers for nothing.  They don't even get through my shields, and I'm in an armor tanked ship.

It's all a bit anti-climactic truth be told.  Even my agent seems to think so, simply responding "Thanks, I really appreciate your help." when I turn the mission in.  While I do appreciate the mechanical structure of these ten missions, and consider them a good tutorial, what they make up for in game mechanics they lack in story.  In fact, as weak as the mechanics were in Cash Flow, its storytelling put these missions to shame.  It's like it went from 90/10 one way to 90/10 the other.  I'm also genuinely surprised at the difficulty in these missions, and would recommend to anyone that they run the Advanced Military missions prior to running the Military ones if they're new to EVE.




  1. The Weapon of Choice tutorial usually covers the race's secondary weapon system (e.g. for gallente, they give you a drone). I guess they decided since amarr don't have one they'd just do it on lasers, although giving the skillbook seems like it was a 'find and replace with an appropriate weapon skillbook' by someone who failed to apply common sense.

  2. After being away from EVE for a bit, and never actually having done any of these on my now 11m SP character I went back through them in the last days. Who knows, I thought. Maybe I really had missed out on something basic that my corpmates (now defunct corp - unfortunately.) missed out on teaching me - or that I hadn't read up on myself.

    I was wrong, but, I can see the benefit to someone who has never, ever played such a complex game before.

    It did however highlight one more time for me, that mastering the basics will never do you wrong - and completing those very basic missions did show me both how much I -have- learned, and what I still need to continue focusing on - mastery of those basics. It's back in my Merlin for me - and a search for that one Dramiel or T2 frig pilot who has forgotten some basics. I want that kill.