I remember reading a summary of a meeting with CCP Affinity. I believe it was in the CSM minutes. CCP Affinity was asked about a certain kind of PVE, and she replied that hardly anyone ran it. I do not remember CCP’s name for the PVE, because I had never heard of it. Aha! That is what all those beacons are! They are not merely sites with interesting names. They are not merely pretty. Some have rats! Some have agents! You can see how CCP was attempting to have some equivalent of the quest lines that you stumble across as your half-dressed elf strikes out into the pastel wilderness.
I find myself in an area that is thick with them, and now I am running the missions. They are funnier, more varied and often more picturesque than the standard missions, and they have the benefit, once, of novelty. I had warped to similar beacons before, but I assumed they were just decorative, or decorative and sprinkled with rats.
More than three years on, I have found a new thing. And it was right in front of me all this time.