This post is a departure from my normal tales of carnage. The Odyssey expansion has been released and I decided to go try out the new hacking mini-game. Since I did not have analyzer modules in the wormhole, the first step was a trip to the market. Once I had a brand new data and relic analyzer, I headed across high sec looking for an appropriate site.
The first three systems contained 3 wormholes apiece. Really? Why can't I be that lucky when I am looking for wormholes. Of course, none of these systems had a data or relic site. However, persistence usually pays off and the fourth system contained a relic site.
I warp into the site and find 5 containers. I start with the initial container and activate the relic analyzer which pops up the interface for the hacking game. With no idea how the game works, I simply figure out where I am on the map and start clicking things. I find a wrench, which turns out to be a beneficial utility. I find several defensive nodes which lock me out of all the surrounding nodes and then I find a data cache which turns out to be another beneficial program.
At this point, I cannot go anywhere else on the map so I decide to attack one of the defensive nodes. A couple of turns later, I have defeated the defensive node and unlocked the blocked route which leads me to the data core. Successfully attacking the data core closes the interface after telling me I succeeded in my hacking attempts and spews 10-12 containers into space.
I chase down as many of the containers as possible by double clicking them and discover that I have a grand total of 41K ISK in loot. Awesome! That is decidedly underwhelming considering the time it took me to find the site and hack the damn thing. I repeat the process for the next 4 containers and the total value of my loot climbs to 600K. At least I did better on some of the later containers but the loot haul is pretty still skimpy.
The second site goes exactly like the first site with even less impressive yields. Before I attempt a 3rd site, I decide to go back to the market and get a cargo scanner. I am curious if I can figure out what is in the container before I go to the trouble of hacking it.
Once the cargo container is equipped, I head back out and find a 3rd site. Once I land in the 3rd site, I lock the 4 available containers and scan them with my cargo scanner. All 4 contain nothing but salvage material which I could acquire by killing rats in ore belts and salvaging their wrecks. I decide it isn't worth my time to hack these containers and head back home with my curiosity satisfied.
The mini-game itself has some potential. I would really like to see CCP add the ability to play it in a multi-player mode to increase the challenge and the rewards. However, the loot spew mechanism is terrible. It should be prioritized above bug fixes for removal from the game at the next patch. In my opinion, the mechanic adds absolutely no value to the gaming experience of Eve.
At some point, I will try the sites in low sec and null sec to get a sense for how much value they have compared to the high sec sites I was running today. However, I am done with hacking sites in high sec. It ain't worth all that. :P