Homefront Operations (HO) are EVE Online’s latest PvE offering. They’re designed to help new players and old players meet, mingle, and fly together in dungeon-like Highsec challenges, but they were a novel and potentially contentious idea when first outlined. Now that we’ve had a couple of months to try them out, how’s it all gone?
Pretty well, as it turns out. We set a bounty asking for your feedback on everything HO, and we’ve duly put the highlights together in an article. Here are your thoughts on HO’s pros, cons, and difficulty level, plus a couple of helpful member-submitted links.
Spoiler alert: There aren’t many cons.
Pros of Homefront Operations
Enjoyable and profitable opportunities
@ANTIJHINN describes Homefront Operations as crowd pleasers that offer something fun for everyone. “They’re relatively safe opportunities to group with strangers, the bar for entry is low, and the ISK is good. They feel like good old-fashioned five-man dungeon runs.” - original post
@ANTIJHINN goes on to praise the profitability of HO’s group grinding opportunities. Their favourite is Abyssal Artifact Recovery, which it seems has proven a nice little earner: “I can’t tell you much more or I’ll cannibalise my little market niche, but I will say that all of the new ore types have very rich descriptions.”
Accessible and educational experiences
Most of our community members praised Homefront Operations as great beginner-friendly activities. They offer the opportunity to learn and test new skills while engaging in challenges which aren’t overly onerous.
“There is some great introductory content in there for newer pilots […] I really like that it gives you an intro to remote repairs and coordinating multiple tasks simultaneously; it sometimes feels like patting my head and stroking my belly whilst trying to hop on one foot!” @funinc - original post
“High security space should offer plenty of content that new or returning players can interact with, and Homefronts fill that need to an extent. The variety of activities gives players a practical application for different skills in a unique environment.” @BrotherGrimoire - original post
“Homefront Operations was a brave move by CCP, and it paid off. Developing skills in hacking, logistics and fighting while learning about flying in a fleet? It certainly ticks EVE’s desire to expand things on a social level.” @macgybo- original post
Collaborative and social activities
There’s no ship like friendship. While not a boon exclusive to newer players, HO’s collaborative requirement forges new connections.
“These have been fantastic in my experience. Running a public fleet for [HO] has introduced me to more players who are active during my quieter time zone. They’ve done exactly what they were designed for […] showing new players something social to do together while exposing them to various in-game activities.” @Rushlock - original post
“Homefront Operations have certainly shaken things up in EVE Online. The emphasis on collaboration and defending home systems is a unique twist that encourages players to work together.” @AlexGra - original post
“I liked that it was collaborative. At times it felt like a riddle to solve together in order to complete each of the missions.” @funinc
“[CCP is] clearly working on the premise that a corp that plays together stays together. Which can only be a good thing.” @macgybo
While Homefront Operations are a great place to corp-up or hone your existing corp’s teamwork, one does not need to be a corp member to enjoy them. They provide an alternative for corp-based fleetups.
“Historically, the majority of PvE in New Eden could be perceived as being a one-player activity. ‘No corp-mates active? No problem. I’ll just run a few missions.’ But you can rule that idea out for Homefront Operations. Even a talented multi-boxer would be tested by the multiple skills and ships required to complete them. And yet, a small fleet of enthusiastic pilots - even relatively new - could band together and master them quite quickly.” @macgybo
Cons of Homefront Operations
ECM modules can be annoying at the best of times. And EWAR is rife in some HOs. One of our members, namely @BrotherGrimoire, has had enough of them:
“For the love of all that is good and holy in this world PLEASE STOP JAMMING ME. Jams are annoying and make my blood pressure rise.”
@BrotherGrimoireis also a little underwhelmed with the loot offering, suggesting that exclusive loot such as blueprints, LP, or faction drops would make better booty and cause HO’s popularity to “skyrocket”. This would follow the lead of Highsec and Lowsec data sites where players are incentivised by the reward of high-value Molecular Condensers which can’t be found elsewhere.
In response to @BrotherGrimoire'scritique, @Rushlock offers another solution. Instead of loot, non-multiboxing HO winners could receive an equal split of a shared jackpot.
@Rushlock is a big fan of Homefront Operations. So much so that their only criticism is the lack of HOs to choose from. Noting that HOs are intended for newer players, @Rushlock is frustrated by continuously landing on occupied sites, even in quieter time zones. While admitting that they don’t personally have a plan for how their availability could be expanded, they hope that CCP will come up with a solution.
“Moving [HO] away from Jita/Caldari space makes it less accessible, so I’m not sure what the answer would be.”
In spite of any minor criticisms, expanding Homefront Operations would be a popular move with JA’s EVE Online players. Some suggested that it could be moved into Nullsec or Pochven space, while others suspect that they’ll multiply in response to narrative needs:
“I can see HO being expanded to suit whatever storyline is being unfolded at any point. CCP has said that it’d do as much.” @macgybo
There was some consensus around what Homefront Operations do well and badly, but much more disagreement over their difficulty tuning. The Goldilocks difficulty level that developers generally strive for - Soulslikes excluded - provides a challenge that is satisfying without becoming overwhelming. As @AlexGra highlights, HO doesn’t seem to have hit this sweet spot for everyone:
“Some enjoy the strategic depth it adds, while others find it challenging to adapt to the new mechanics.”
@funinccomes under the former category. “It was perhaps a touch tough in some instances - we are vets of the game, all having played for over 15 years, and we failed quite a few times.” But much like @BrotherGrimoire who shrugged off the ships lost to HO, @funincwelcomes the test of mettle. “You’ve got to love a challenge from the word go, and we really enjoyed that aspect of it - that it felt like a challenge rather than just walking in and pressing a win button.”
While demanding, HO’s difficulty is counterbalanced by a low barrier to entry, keeping it friendly both to newer players and to the wallet. @funinc continues: “Entry is so cheap; it was super easy to get back into because a death doesn’t put too much pressure on the ol’ iskies!”
For those who are struggling, @funinc's advice is to keep at it: “After an initial couple of hiccups, we were rolling through the events with relative ease!”
Helpful HO Links
We’ll leave you with two helpful resources from our community members that are designed to help EVE players find other players to fleet up with for some Homefront Operations fun.
@funinc is planning to run Homefront Operations events in their NPSI (Not Purple Shoot It) calendar and invites players to sign up:
N.B. Some text has been slightly amended for grammar and brevity. You can find the submissions in full at the original bounty post.