Relic Sites

It's looking like there is only one thing in EVE that makes me rage like a lunatic: relic sites. Well, technically just the hacking minigame, but I encounter it most in relic sites because data sites suck, and ghost sites are pretty rare.

Unlike most people that talk about the hacking minigame, it's not the minigame itself that I don't like. Actually I find the game not bad, and the lootspew mechanic isn't terrible. Overall, its a great improvement over just sitting in a mag site for half an hour trying to crack a can while reading reddit on your other monitor. No, the part of relic sites that makes me rage is blowing up cans. The reason it makes me so angry is not because I don't think the cans should blow up, but rather that they blow up when I'm trying to get them open. I hate the feeling of failure when a can blows up, and it makes me so angry because I feel that I should be able to hack every can no problem. I understand the hacking minigame. It's not hard for me. The problem is that, while there are some strategies you can employ, a large amount of your success is based on luck.

Most of my annoyances stem from two nodes: the restoration node, and the virus suppression node.

Beep boop.

My objection for both is the same, but especially the restoration node: there is no other option than to kill it immediately. It is possible to leave the suppression node alone for a little while, but it's a gamble, because if you find a restoration node in that time you might as well stop cycling your relic analyzer, because you've lost. Restoration nodes heal other nodes a large amount, and they heal every turn, which means that you must kill one every time you find it, otherwise your chances of winning the game are slim to none.

It wouldn't be all that challenging to tweak the way restoration nodes work to make them showing up more of an option, or trade-off, of killing, instead of something you just do every time. For example, you could make the healing require one turn to spool up, effectively halving the heal amount of each node. A new item could be introduced, a 'freeze' module, which prevents any node from doing anything except attacking back. That would prevent the restoration node from healing anything, and the suppression node from doing its' thing.
In essence, the restoration and suppression nodes need a counter. The anti-virus nodes have one: the polymorphic shield module. It gives you two shielded attacks, and each anti-virus starts with 50 HP, and a shield item lets you kill two anti-viruses without taking any damage. (Assuming you have T1 analyzers, if you have T2 you just ignore anti-viruses anyway.)

Relic sites are the only thing in EVE that can make me rage, because they are unbalanced to a point of being based completely on random chance.


araziah said...

When I first heard about the odyssey changes to the mini profession sites, I started training up hacking and archaeology to level V. Since they've come out, I've gone through hundreds of sites and probably hacked thousands of cans, mostly in low-sec and null-sec. My failure rate is maybe 10%-20% on the hardest sites. But you've always got 2 chances per can, and I don't remember the last time I failed twice on the same can. And I'm quick too - keeping an eye on dscan, local, and refreshing combat probes every so often to stay safe.

I say all this to illustrate that it's not some insanely hard game of chance like you make it out to be. There's actually quite a bit of skill, much of which depends on the patterns you start to make out in the puzzles over time as you do more of them. With T2 modules on a cov ops (for the bonus), high-sec sites are practically impossible to fail at. About half of low-sec sites are the same. The other low-sec sites and almost all null-sec sites present some challenge though. The key is to understand that if you explore the whole map, you *will* lose. And the strategy that works for some of the easier or middling difficulty sites of exploring all loose paths until you have to break through somewhere doesn't work on the harder sites. Depending on where your starting node is, you can usually pick 2 or 3 areas of the map where the system core is likely to be. (Hint: it's almost always somewhere opposite your starting position.) On the harder sites, you have to drive straight to those areas, eliminating firewalls and other obstacles in your way. Once you get there, start exploring outward. After enough experience to where you can get the 'feel' for how the maps are laid out, you'll find that on successful runs, you only need to explore 30-50% of the map. This greatly increases your chances of success.

Anyway, there's an overview of what I do, and it works extremely well.

Other things to consider are:
- Are you using T2 mods? If not, you're seriously gimping yourself.
- Are you using a cov ops or SoE ship? See previous.
- Are you drifting out of module activation range? I generally just hit approach and sit at 0 on the can. Sometimes, if I need to be a bit more cautious, I'll set keep at range at 2700 or so, so I can cloak up instantly if anyone suddenly appears on grid (like a bomber). If you choose to do the latter, remember to approach at 0 just before popping the system core so all the scatter cans will be in range. Alternatively, in high-sec, you can try bumping the competition off of a can to claim it for yourself. In that case, you should hold an orbit at 500 or 1000 to prevent getting bumped yourself.
- Are you running out of cap? Turn your MWD off while hacking. Still doesn't help? You've got some serious skill/fitting issues to fix. If your cap runs out, and your module can't continue to activate, you'll fail the hack and, if it's the second time, blow up the can.

Also, data caches are traps. Just don't open them unless you have to. Hope this helps.

Elec0 said...

Thanks for the post. I do do most of what you're talking about, such as guessing where the node is going to be and things like that. The only thing I don't have is Archaeology V. Also, all the relic sites I do are in null, so they're harder than hisec or lowsec.
I don't fail often, but when I do it makes me quite angry because usually I fail for stupid reasons, like getting too many resto nodes in a row or suchlike.

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