I finished up the Blood-Stained Stars EPIC arc. Final rewards totaled 17.8 M ISK (12.4M mission rewards and 5.4M salvage, loot and bounties.)
The final chain of missions was more of the same – lots of moving around systems and some slightly add conversations.
Nearing the end I had a 20 jump diversion to run a Storyline mission for the Sisters of EVE Faction – so it is nice to see the jobs you do for each agent add towards the faction mission count.
Mission 48 was an interesting reminder not to get over confident. The NPC target was in a Battlecruiser – so I just zoomed out on the overview, set an orbit and started shooting once I got within range. I was not paying close attention however and suddenly my speed dropped to nothing, my shields disappeared, my cap disappeared and my modules started shutting down. I had a momentary thought of “oh crap, I am going to have to blog about losing an Assault Frigate in a level 1 mission”. Turns out I had got caught up inside a structure and the NPC was using neuts. I extracted myself from that little mess and decided I should pay closer attention for the remainder of the missions.
There were two aspects of note during the final couple missions – the first was that your final target is rather well tanked. It was taking me so long to wear him down in the Retribution that I resorted to overheating my guns to push things along quicker. The second aspect is that you have to decide which of the four factions you want to support you in the final mission, which in turn influences what faction standings you earn at the end of the Arc.
I picked Minmatar, since I need to work on getting that out of the negatives. Normally when you run a Storyline mission for one faction it influences your standings with the others. An unrealistic example – if you do an Amarr Storyline mission your standings might be adjusted as so:
Obviously if you only run missions for one faction, you can find yourself with a large negative standing for another and can be excluded from their space if things get too bad.
The Arc faction standing change however did not follow that sort of pattern. I got a worthwhile boost to my Minmatar standing, but basically tiny and inconsequential changes to the rest of the factions. It was almost a “free” standings boost, without the usual negative consequences.
I found the end of the Arc was a bit of an anticlimax to be honest – while the ISK rewards seem well balanced, especially for a new player, it would have been nice to see some drops from the end NPC’s that were at least interesting, an unusual trade good, a next to useless and cheap faction module, or something like that. The faction standing change however – by itself, made the whole process well worthwhile.