I moved an Alt over to replace my Main to keep an eye on a couple Auctions. I then moved my Main to Armon (via my Home Station to pick up the PVE Retribution) to begin the Blood-Stained Stars Epic Arc.
After almost 80 jumps moving the two characters around I arrived. There were almost 200 people in the system. The local chat is of the newbie type, as you would expect. A fair few unsavory characters float around the gates, station undocks and agents in space. As I move around they seem to stay put, and from the innocuous can’s left lying around and chatter, I assume they are praying on said newbies.
I managed to run the first four missions until Wife & Kid agro interrupt proceedings. The first mission is to investigate an SOS, which leads you into a debris field containing a fleet of destroyed battleships and a couple wrecked Dreads. Subsequent missions relate to trying to find out what happened, or doing something unrelated that in turn frees up the time of your agent to help.
The second mission was also non-combat, and was basically to go visit a different agent for a new mini chain of missions. The third mission sees you returning to the debris field to pick up an item. I wondered at the intelligence of investigating the source of an explosion which took out so many ships in just an Assault Frigate, but the Agent didn’t seem to mind. You clear half a dozen NPC frigates in this mission and the next which should be easy enough for all but brand new characters.
The rewards after 4 missions totaled 1.4M ISK (730K mission rewards and 700K salvage, loot and bounties). That seems a reasonable return for someone who is fairly new to the game.
Initial thoughts –
. Make sure you make a point of reading the storyline
. Make sure you stop to enjoy the scenery at each location
. Make sure you can use a Salvager as it is the only loot so far worth much of anything
. While you can follow your progress in the Journal > Epic Journal section, you have to use the Journal > Agents > Mission Tab to keep track of what is coming up next. That could have been done a little better.
. The Retribution turns out too be a very nice little PVE ship, particularly in being able to change the range of its guns so quickly
Five hours later I logged back in – having earnt some quiet time after taking my son to a six year old birthday party at a Play Centre. (As most parents would know, that is worth a few brownie points.)
I did a dozen more missions. Mission 7 threw drones into the mix, Mission 10 involved a 8 jump relocation, Mission 13 saw an upping of the Rat size to include a couple Destroyer Class and one Cruiser Class, and Mission 15 involved a 7 jump relocation to yet another agent. Some of the later missions would be a challenge for someone only in the game for a week or two.
The rewards after 15 missions totaled 4.6M ISK (2.79M mission rewards and 1.86M salvage, loot and bounties). That would be enough to cover the ship loss or two a new player might expect – those destroyer NPC’s hit hard.
I have kind of been impressed with the process so far. It is not 100% smooth, and the diversions and explanations from the various agents could be more unique, but overall it adds to the game. It would be nice to see at least one level 2 and level 3 Epic Arc introduced, just as further stepping stones for developing characters, or a distraction for older ones.