Friday, September 29, 2017

Warzone Extractions: Final Thoughts

I finished the Warzone Extraction event in EVE Online Wednesday night and claimed the final Valkyrie Cerebral Accelerator for reaching 220 points. Next week is all about EVE Vegas, so today's the perfect day to give my final thoughts one the event.

Time spent. I spent a lot more time on Warzone Extractions than a normal event. Hearing that the NPCs were tougher than normal, I spent 8-10 hours on Singularity testing out various fits. I went a little overboard, but I did get a blog post out of the experience. I then spent approximately one hour a night for 9 nights running the event sites on Tranquility once the event went live. I know a lot of people worry about ISK/hour. Does one calculate the actual time on Tranquility, or include the research time on Singularity? I'll count the actual time on Tranquility for any calculations, as the payoff for my time on the test server was the knowledge gained about how to fit ships.

Looks are no substitute for DPS. After running the event, perhaps an Arbitrator was not the best choice. Yes, the Amarr ewar cruiser is better looking than the Vexor. The Arbitrator also has the advantage of a bigger drone bay, which means for those wanting to salvage, replacing 2 medium drones from my standard fit with 4 salvage drones made better sense. But the split weapon systems in the high slots combined with the reduced firepower of 5 Hammerhead IIs vs a Vexor's 3 Ogre IIs, meant running the sites took a little more time. First, I didn't always get clean kills on the frigates at the beginning of fights due to the damage not always landing at the same time. At the end of fights, killing battleships, especially the Safeguards, took way too long. Still, the Arbitrator performed better than the Drake in my testing, so the ship wasn't a bad choice, just not as optimal as the Gallente drone boat.

The other consideration is what do I do with the ship afterwards. The Vexor fit I came up with is a valid PvE fit even after the event. The Arbitrator, on the other hand, doesn't fit the ship's intended purpose as an ewar cruiser. Still, I don't regret the 64 million ISK I sunk into the ship and mobile tractor unit I used to collect up wrecks. Tooling around the sites watching others in Gilas, Drakes, Tengus and Dominix run them made me smile.

The content. Besides preparing to go to Las Vegas next week, the other reason for not running the content anymore is that the sites became stale. Fly from wreck to wreck to spawn a corrupted relic and Sleepers, kill the small stuff while managing your drones, then lock onto the big stuff and go AFK and get a drink refill. Rinse and repeat. For keeping the content fresh, perhaps visiting the test server as long as I did was perhaps not the best idea in the world.

The rewards. A lot of people aren't into knowledge or just flying around having a good time. They want phat loot. I think those that finish the event will leave satisfied. For those acquiring 220 event points, one receives 2 Valkyrie Cerebral Accelerators that grant boosted training ranging from 24-48 hours, and three full sets of Agency Damage, Speed, and Tank boosters. Depending on the level of the booster, damage boosters grant either a 3%, 5%, or 7% boost to turret and missile damage for 30 minutes. The speed boosters grant a 3%, 5%, or 7% boost to ship speed. The tank boosters grant a 3%, 5%, or 7% boost to armor and shield repair amounts.

In addition, the NPCs in the event sites dropped blue loot, which one sells back to NPC vendors located conveniently (and sometimes not so conveniently) around New Eden. During my travels, I picked up, after taxes, 116 million ISK in blue loot. In addition, 33 boosters of various flavors dropped. I didn't have a valuation for the boosters, so I'll just list the total number of boosters I acquired throughout the event.

10 x Agency Damage Booster I
5 x Agency Damage Booster II
3 x Agency Damage Booxter III

12 x Agency Speed Booster I
4 x Agency Speed Booster II
5 x Agency Speed Booster III

11 x Agency Tank Booster I
7 x Agency Tank Booster II
3 x Agency Tank Booster III

But, that's not all. Valkyrie Cerebral Accelerators also dropped from event NPCs. I picked up two from wrecks, bringing in my haul to 4 training boosts. As I have Biology trained to V, that means 8 days of accelerated training.

Finally, I can't really address the value of salvage. While I did salvage after one fight, I wanted to get to 220 points more than I did scrape up an extra few million ISK by unleashing the salvage drones. Still, for that one fight, the ingame tool tip informed me I picked up 300,000 ISK in Sleeper salvage and scrap metal.

So what was the ISK/hour? The blue loot total comes out to 13 million ISK/hour. I couldn't get a total from the market, but the tool tips showing me the value of the boosters showed a value greater than that of the blue loot. Let's use a conservative valuation and assume the value of the boosters equals the value of the blue loot. That puts the ISK/hour up to 26 million ISK. Then add in the value of 4 accelerators. The UI displayed a value of 152 million ISK, but my local market in a backwater system showed prices in the 60 million ISK range. Going with the lower valuation, that still doubles the value of the loot. To make the numbers round, I'll call the payout 50 million ISK/hour. Not bad for tooling around high sec.

Conclusion. In the end, I have to say that the Warzone Extractions event was the most interesting of the Agency events pushed to Tranquility to so far. The NPCs were challenging to the point I learned something new about fitting passive shield regeneration PvE ships in order to run the content. I did have to roam around a lot, but that is a staple of events like this. The payout was good, and I especially like the lure of the accelerated training. I'll take eight days of accelerated training over purchasing skill injectors any time. So, for me, I think the event was good. Hopefully the event gave us a taste of what is to come with the Pirate Forward Operating Bases and Resource Wars coming in the Lifeblood expansion next month. In about seven more days we'll find out if that's the case after the keynote speech at EVE Vegas.

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