Friday, February 20, 2015

COSMOS and why they were designed by a sadist, Part 2

The design of Cosmos missions is bad. And I mean bad. I am trying to imagine what could have gone in person's, who did the design, mind. To some things, I just couldn't come up with logical explanation or see any reason behind the decision. It's mostly half ass attempts to prolong your "unique" mission running experience as much as possible. So let's go through some of shitty design choices I ran into when doing the grind. How should I name my encounters? Bullshit is only word that comes to my mind. I normally try not to use much profanity, but this time I will make an exception. Last time I did not have a blog to speak out my mind. Thankfully, I do now.

COSMOS BULLSHIT #1.  Collidable objects

I use 2 accounts to run missions. One is trader alt that does transportation and the other is my pvp alt that does the shooting. First mission I get quite annoyed at is "The Celestial Imperative 4/5". It so happened, that after clearing first room I forgot my drones. No biggie, I will just scoop them with my hauler alt and trade them back. I scoop 4 drones with some effort, but the last one remaining, I can't just get to him. Why? Because there is huge fucking collidable object standing on the gate that blocks route to my drone, which is sitting "inside" of it.

What's the reason for this? Absolutely nothing. Some random "decoration" asset inserted for the mission to look different. There is no integrated base inside or anything. Just big useless rock floating 0m on the gate to get in your way. Brilliant. I watch how my hauler goes at 10-20m/s, making various weird turns, desperately trying to approach the drone. Roughly after 5 minutes it manages to scoop it. A drone that was 5km out originally. Granted, had I not left the drone, I probably would have used gate without much issue and never gave a second thought. But I did and it annoyed the hell out of me.

COSMOS BULLSHIT #2.  Amarr circle jerk agents

Each faction has something called circle agents. It's one time thing that you do a job for numerous agents and they send you to the next one after you are done. Once you complete full circle you get faction standing increase. So far so good. Except for one thing. Amarr circle jerk has this gem:

See the note at the bottom? For some reasons, 2nd agent has 2 missions. One is real that gives faction standings and the other one is fake that doesn't give you shit. If you are unlucky and get "Robotics", the fake mission, you have to go back and start all over again. Does any other faction has an agent with multiple choices? No. All other factions have standard, linear sequence. I have no problem with multiple options. The reason that you do not get any standing for one of them is what's annoying. Why would that be there? What purpose does it serve other than just being annoying? Why only Amarr? Imagine not having this documented and trying to figure out why you did not get faction standings first time.

COSMOS BULLSHIT #3.  Technical bugs - invisible waypoint

Now this shit might be related to my EVE client. I am putting it here, because I never had such issue before and I had it on both traders that did COSMOS, but not pvp accounts that were following then. Bug happened when I accepted some of agent missions. Suddenly all information regarding system name and waypoint disappeared. I had this happen multiple times with no clear logic behind it. Sometimes I accept the job and system name together with waypoint is gone. They still exist, because I can link system name to chat or if I keep my mouse over I can see the name popup. Sometimes it would appear between systems when traveling, sometimes I get UI display names when I select map view and sometimes it will reappear magically when I complete mission. What a load of bullshit. Even more bullshit when 2 my pvp characters had no such issue whatsoever following to the same places and routes.

It's not manually turned off (note that icons are not highlighted). This stuff was very annoying to deal with. Especially since some jobs require you to travel via or to low sec. You set your destination to system? Want to know if it goes via lowsec? You are shit out of luck.

COSMOS BULLSHIT #4.  Unusually long distances between acceleration gates

Some missions have more than few gates. Most rewarding ones have a lot of npc to shoot and up to 5 rooms. Logical. You clear the room, you move to the next one. However to screw with you more and make you waste even more time, they put gates to the next room 200km away. You know, because clicking approach button and flying your ship is so much fun and very engaging experience.

Can you warp? Fuck no. That would be too easy. It's deadspace, so you better have mwd on, or in my case, 100mn ab on my ishtar. Imagine traveling with a battleship that is not fit for cap stable to keep mwd on. Oh boy, what fun would that be.

COSMOS BULLSHIT #5.  Play EVE and make a sandwich at the same time

Here's the question. See picture below and try to guess what I am up to.

a. I am away from computer with my Ishtar just idling after clearing out the field;
b. Waiting for my salvager to come in to salvage those wrecks;
c. Waiting for god damn Drone Matriarch to appear.

If you chose C, congratulations! You are getting a hang of what Cosmos missions are. So it turns out Drone Matriarch is a bit "slow" to put it gently. He takes 20min+ to appear. I have not taken the timer, but I know I did have enough time to google to see if I missed an objective or something. I found post in 2011 asking if this was a bug. I mean, you clear the site and nothing happens for 5 minutes. Is this a bug?

No you stupid. Obviously you need to wait for 30-60 minutes for Drone Matriarch to arrive. He is big, fat and angry, but a bit slow. What does EVE University have to say about this?

"Go make a sandwich or something". Brilliant. This suggestion nails it. One time missions, that has story and are supposed to involve you into amazing EVE universe.  Making sandwiches while waiting for your npc to spawn that you need to kill and loot, that pretty much sums up your standard COSMOS run. Thank god you can buy out most of the items off the market. Too bad if it's not available, too expensive or mandatory to do dirty work yourself. Then your sandwich making skills will increase in proportion to faction standing.

COSMOS BULLSHIT #6.  Trying to collect items from public complexes

There is a lot of waiting time doing most of missions. Sine I buy most items off the market, I probably avoid tens of situations where I would want to pull my hair out. Unfortunately, sometimes I need to visit complexes if items are not available or are very overpriced. Take "Troubles with Outlaws 2/5" for instance. Get 3 miners from this plex. Guristas Maniac will drop them. No problem, I go in with my Ishtar and start shooting everything in sight. Once everything is cleared, including Guristas Maniac wave, I take one miner. Then I wait. I wait and wait. Probably 20-30 minutes I just semi afk orbited and waited for Guristas Maniac wave to respond. No luck. When other waves respawned for third time I said fuck that and went to try other rooms. In one other room I found npc that had Guristas Maniacs. Now I had 2 miners. Perhaps now the initial location will have them respawned? Nope. Don't forget that to enter gates you need to clear room of useless NPC that you do not care about. After one hour, I bought additional miner off the market. After all this, they did not seem to be so overpriced anymore.

When I was waiting, I was googling for more info on how to obtain items. I found this post:

A post in 2006, In fucking 2006. Looks like spawn respawns every hour. Every. Bloody. Hour. To get 3 miners, you need 3 hours, which is what he spent. What has changed since then? Nothing. And that is one spawn for all EVE universe. Perhaps it made sense when EVE had 1000 players, but now? It's ridiculous. No wonder carebears are so agitated when you meet them. Try doing this shit for extended periods of time and see how well you fare.

COSMOS BULLSHIT #7.  Forcing you to learn skills you do not need

As a trader, I do not care about any skills that are not under Trading or Social. All I care is to get broker fees lower and never undock from my trading station. I was approaching to an end with my Caldari standings grind. When I am halfway done with Amarr Cosmos, I can see some differences and discrimination if you would like to call it. Take example as below:

Once I landed on a gate and I couldn't enter. I did not understand what the hell is going on. What's the problem? Turns out, you need a fucking archaeology skill to enter. Because you know... you need to hack the cans. Well, what's wrong with bringing a god damn friend to do hacking for you? No, they have to block my trader from entering and talking to agents. They force me to learn a skill I will never use. It was is a big pain, since I had to relog another char that is in training, pause, train archaeology and then go back to resume it. That is so retarded. It would be the same if you would block my hauler to security missions saying, you can't enter, because you do not have blasters fitted. Also, why the hell does only Amarr have this. Never had to do this crap in Caldari.

COSMOS BULLSHIT #8.  "Storyline" mission without rewards

Some one step missions don't give rewards, despite being named storyline mission. What is the point of that? Who the fuck knows. Take for example "League of my own", Amarr agent. is it marked "Storyline"? Yes. Does it give faction reward? No. Is it required for other agent? No. Does it give nice reward such as bpc? No. Is it annoying and time consuming to do? Fuck yes. So why should I do it? Let me quote EVE wiki:

"Running this mission is considered a bad idea". Well, why create and put this mission to the universe? Because fuck you, that's why.

COSMOS BULLSHIT #9.  Unnecessary long travels

Courier missions or parts send you all over the map. In most cases it's nothing too much. Up to 5 jumps forth and back. Sometimes, they send you on "long trips". It's fine when you can cut it by going through lowsec. This I have no problem with, but then they send you 10+ jumps out, that you have to return later on. For example, Banker's stash. You need to travel 14 systems out, from Sakkikainen to Usi. And that's the fastest route.

There are some that send you on longer runs, but I have not documented and couldn't remember specific ones. After wasting so much time collecting items, waiting for spawns, the last thing what you want to do is to take on long trips just to deliver some stuff. To make matters worse, There are no other agents waiting for you there. In most cases you have to return to where you came back from, which means 20-30 jumps for longer courier missions. There is no pattern or logic found. They could have made it more similar to Epic Arc instead, so you go to location with a purpose.

The purgatory

These are just couple of examples on what situations I run into when doing Cosmos, which are annoying as hell. Multiply those situations by number of missions and you've got yourself one hell of a time when doing them. Combine that with useless rewards that are storyline items(most) and it's really hard to imagine sane people running these for fun or profits. I believe that CCP designed Cosmos to be sort of Purgatory to atone for your sins. A hell, that you must cross should you wish to improve your faction standings. It's designed with one purpose in mind - to inflict pain. It's not for people to spend relaxing evening playing game. It's intended for people who got their BDSM session cancelled and are looking for alternatives.


  1. This is amazing. I hope CCP reads this and feels bad!

  2. Well Cosmos is a legacy system that has been ignored since introduction. Instead of removing/improving they just left it alone. There will always be masochists interested in the rewards despite the hardship of doing these missions.