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[Drone Development Idea] - Modular Drones

Author
Hakan MacTrew
MUTED VOID
#1 - 2012-11-14 17:11:59 UTC  |  Edited by: Hakan MacTrew
Heres an idea I thought of after reading a few of the other Drone based threads. I have voiced it previously, but I wanted to setup a seperate thread to discus it and not detract from said threads:


Modular Drones

Totally replace the Offer an alternative to current drones with a new 'sleeper inspired' modular drone template.

Have 2 hull types per size of drone, a combat hull and an attack hull. (In keeping with the new role principals being used by CCP.). Combat drones are the brawlers, doing more damage or stronger utilities and have more EHP. Attack drones are the nippy ones, focusing on speed, range and tracking.

These hulls can be outfitted to either deal 1 of the 4 damage types or use a utility function depending on the desired role.

This option is chosen when a stack of hulls are assembled, with a popup menu. You can choose how many hulls in the stack to assemble and what system to add at this point. Think of them as a sort of 'scripted' drone hulls.

In this way you could customise drones to a specific need. No one damage type would have advantages over another, but none would be inferior either. You could tailor them to your own play style.

The racial drone skills can add dps to specific damage types and improve the usage of racial ewar types and utilities.

T2 Combat Drone would have marginally better speed, tracking and range with a bit more damage and EHP.
T2 Attack Drones would have marginally better damage and EHP with a bit more speed, tracking and range.


I also suggest that should this be implemented, that all drones and blueprints should be swapped out:

  • Amarr Drones become appropriate sized Attack Hulls, with EM damage 'modules'. Their BPOs and BPCs should be split to become a BPO and/or BPC for the appropriate sized Attack Hulls and another for EM damage 'modules'.

  • Caldari Drones become appropriate sized Combat Hulls, with kinetic damage 'modules'. Their BPOs and BPCs should be split to become a BPO and/or BPC for the appropriate sized Combat Hulls and another for kinetic damage 'modules'.

  • Gallente Drones become appropriate sized Combat Hulls, with thermal damage 'modules'. Their BPOs and BPCs should be split to become a BPO and/or BPC for the appropriate sized Combat Hulls and another for thermal damage 'modules'.

  • Minmatar Drones become appropriate sized Attack Hulls, with explosive damage 'modules'. Their BPOs and BPCs should be split to become a BPO and/or BPC for the appropriate sized Attack Hulls and another for explosive damage 'modules'.



Personally I think this would be pretty damn cool. So, what are your opinions?

= EDIT: =
Got rid of the 'replacement' part of the idea. Should this come about, it may not have to replace current drones, but may possibly offer another option instead.
Souisa
WESCORP 2.0
#2 - 2012-11-14 17:12:48 UTC
What is wrong with the current drones?

o/

Hakan MacTrew
MUTED VOID
#3 - 2012-11-14 17:23:36 UTC
Their imbalanced, outdated and in need of an overhaul.

This is just something I thought would do that and be very cool at the same time.
Captain CarlCosmogasm
Cosmogasm
#4 - 2012-11-15 14:59:14 UTC
In general I like the idea. I don't think CCP needs to ditch the old drones. Also the "2 hull types per size" is redundant. Where this might open up game play is allowing drones to be retooled in a drone bay.

Logistics can be a real draw back in this game. To gain versatility while undocked, you have to drag around a carrier or some super cap with you. I think any system that allows for a bit of adaptability on the fly would mitigate the misbalance between PvP and PvE fittings.
Hakan MacTrew
MUTED VOID
#5 - 2012-11-15 16:27:24 UTC
So, 'scriptable drones' over 'modular drones'. Do you suggest ditching the Combat/Attack principles in favour of a singular specification? Would you suggest making these a T3 drone platorm?
Hakan MacTrew
MUTED VOID
#6 - 2012-11-18 19:46:22 UTC
bump
Oregin
Droptots
#7 - 2012-11-18 19:56:35 UTC
Please no more T3...

Much as I love flexibility and giving players the tools to specialise their equipment for a specific job, I think the cruisers messed up a hell of a lot of things.

Now CCP is having to buff command ships because T3 were too good at it and even after this proposed rebalancing, there still isn't an awful lot of difference between the CSs and the T3s.

It leads to too much watering down of the specialisations and makes a lot of things redundant.

At present I feel that there is a drone for all occasions (in combat) and no need to complicate matters.
Hakan MacTrew
MUTED VOID
#8 - 2012-11-18 20:07:50 UTC
I agree with your points about the current state of T3. They are too good at too much, (even if I do run missions in a Tengu.) That said, I would like to see more T3 stuff, but I think it needs toning down first.

But do you feel that Amaar and Caldari Drones are of worth at the moment? Would it not be better and fairer to be able to choose a combination of damage type, speed, tracking, range, durability and damage multiplier to suit your own needs and playstyle?

Thats what I'm looking for with Modular Drones. (More T2.1 than T3 in my eyes.)
tankus2
HeartVenom Inc.
Twilight Military Industrial Complex Alliance
#9 - 2012-11-18 20:18:41 UTC
how about keeping the Combat/Attack principles but implementing them into a script? So you'd basically get three t2 drones:

unscripted drones are simply a super t1

Combat scripted drones are your close-quarters wreaking your stuffing though having to slow down (not microwarp) to actually deal damage, something that would be quite handy against a smartbomber, actually.

Attack scripted drones who sit back, though still run like hell, and take potshots at their targets just outside of smartbomb range, which makes them more annoying since they also would take that damage penalty to attack at such a range*.


Now, I like the idea of a T3 drone, with swapoutable subsystems, though I'd limit the number of subsystems to Offensive and Defensive. Offensive drone subsystem would handle things that normally on our cruisers both the Offensive and Electronics subsystems would do while the drone's Defensive subsystem would act as a combination of Defensive and Propulsion Subsystem.

I do agree that this would make them less customizable since invariably someone will try a high defense/ low speed and high damage/ short range drone combo and end up losing them before they can close the distance and end up crying on this very sub-forum, but it would help keep the game's size down and make balancing easier since you have fewer fits to think about. Two subsystem types, anywhere from three to six of each (so a Light, Medium, Heavy, Sentry, Ewar, and Logi offensive max with matching, possibly fewer defensive)

*Sentries are another matter which need special consideration.

Where the science gets done

Oregin
Droptots
#10 - 2012-11-18 20:27:00 UTC
Hakan MacTrew wrote:
I agree with your points about the current state of T3. They are too good at too much, (even if I do run missions in a Tengu.) That said, I would like to see more T3 stuff, but I think it needs toning down first.

But do you feel that Amaar and Caldari Drones are of worth at the moment? Would it not be better and fairer to be able to choose a combination of damage type, speed, tracking, range, durability and damage multiplier to suit your own needs and playstyle?

Thats what I'm looking for with Modular Drones. (More T2.1 than T3 in my eyes.)



Hmm... I'll admit that the 'middle ones' are not overly used but perhaps this is more to do with the way that the difference in speed and damage between Min and Gal drones is not enough?

That's ultimately the beef here I reckon. I take warriors to deal with things I know will be fast but use hobgoblins anywhere else, for example.

Why not make the Gal drones very slow and a bit harder hitting, with less tracking, and give the warriors a bit better tracking while keeping them the same otherwise? Then just spread out the others to fill the space?
tankus2
HeartVenom Inc.
Twilight Military Industrial Complex Alliance
#11 - 2012-11-19 03:44:31 UTC
you'd be surprised how well hornet IIs survive a near-direct bomb hit (as in from a stealth bomber) without max skills.

That said, Amarrian drones seem to be quite fast (2nd) as well as offensively powerful (also 2nd), but weak defensively (3rd, and do please correct me), while Caldari drones are slow (slowest) and offensively weak (3rd or last), but the best defensively. It can pay dividends to have a vexor lead the way in a lv 4 mission using his wasps to tank for everyone (while providing the drones with RR) or use some infiltrators to mop up blood raiders/ sansha faster than hammerheads, or the occasional shield-tanked pirate nub

Where the science gets done

Hakan MacTrew
MUTED VOID
#12 - 2012-11-21 21:40:53 UTC
Don't get me wrong, each of the current Drones has it's uses. But they are far from balanced and Drones in general need alot of work to update them. I personally would like to see more options for how I use Drones with regards to their maneuverability, durability and what damage type is used. I don't think that rebalancing Drones will allow for that, but these Modular Drones would.

Anyone else got any thought's on these Modular Drones? I'm happy to hear and debate opinions and constructive comments both for and against.
Nahkep Narmelion
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#13 - 2012-11-21 22:13:20 UTC
Hakan MacTrew wrote:
Their imbalanced, outdated and in need of an overhaul.

This is just something I thought would do that and be very cool at the same time.


How are they imbalanced, aside from structure grinding and a few other instances I rarely see them as being critical to pvp.
Hakan MacTrew
MUTED VOID
#14 - 2012-11-21 22:50:43 UTC
They are imbalanced between each other. It's not my opinon, it's the concensus of many of the people on this board.
The differences in damage, tracking and speed have left Amarr and Caldari Drones all but redundant compared to Gallente and Minmatar Drones.

And as for not being critical to pvp, I'm sure several Pilgim, Curse, Arbitrator, Myrmidon and Dominix pilots, (to name but a few,) not to mention future Tristan, Algos and Dragoon pilots, would disagree. They are a valid weapon system, the same as all the others.

On top of the actual Drones themselves, the interface for them is draconian to say the least. Everything about them needs working on. And if its going to get done right, I say it should be done from the ground up. Total overhaul. And if your doing that witht he Interface, why not give us all new drones to boot? Ones that can be tailored to a specific task and need. You can swap out ammo types to change damage type, range and tracking to suit specific needs. Why shouldn't the same option be available for drones?
Commander Ted
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#15 - 2012-11-21 23:17:25 UTC  |  Edited by: Commander Ted
Sounds redundant, any dedicated drone boat already has enough space for multiple types.
Drones require a mechanic overhaul in how they fly and track so they actually hit things, and maybe some new stats for the base damage drones.
UI needs to be changed also, but it isn't "draconian" I'm not sure how draconian applies to the poorly designed UI at all.
ECM drones need to have their cycle times reduced, they are the only OP thing drones have going for them.

I already have a choice of high ehp drones, being able to do 4 different damage types, all forms of ewar, high speed, high shields,high armor, high damage,long range,three different size classes, and logistics. Why do i need drones that can do those things at the same time?

https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=174097 Separate all 4 empires in eve with lowsec.

Hakan MacTrew
MUTED VOID
#16 - 2012-11-22 06:33:56 UTC
Quote:
Draconian;
An adjective meaning great severity, that derives from Draco, an Athenian law scribe under whom small offences had heavy punishments.

I used the term due to how the interface is so ungainly and cumbersome to use. Any other weapon system is nice and easy to use. Pick your target, start firing. Hell, with the info when you hover over it now you even get told ranges and DPS for the ammo you have loaded. With Drones you have to expand the tab, (which closes again if theres none left after launch,) right click, clcik launch, select your target, tell the drones to attack. And thats only if you have grouped each of the Drones as you want them used. Even when you have them grouped, its far too easy to send out Drones that have been damaged earlier on rather than ones that are fully functional. A complete new UI is needed, we all agree. But this thread isn't about the UI, there are already several about that.

As for the Modular Drones being a redundant idea, its true that there is already a very wide choice of Drones. Not including T2's ther are 12 damage 'combat hulls' spread across 3 size groups. Each one doing a different damage type and having different speeds, ranges, tracking abilities and EHP. Then there are 4 sentries, again with a huge difference in ranges, tracking, DPS and EHP. Then you have 6 different maintainance Drones, again over 3 sizes. Finally, there are 15 EWAR Drones (if you include webs,) spread over 3 sizes. In short, there are 37 different Drones, not including the new salvage drone or the 2 mining drones. What I am suggesting is to reduce that down to 8, (2 Light, 2 Medium, 2 Heavy, 2 Sentry,) using one of 11 scripts at a time, (EM, Thermal, Kinetic, Explosive, ECM, SD, TD, TP, Web, Shield Rep or Armour Rep.) Obviously, Sentries would only be able to use damage scripts but that would still mean that there would be 74 different combinations of Drones, allowing for greater tactical flexability. You could carry spare scripts in your cargo hold, dock up and swap them around depending on what you needed at the time.

Want a flight of fast drones that will track well and do kinetic damage? Tough luck, they don't exist. Want a flight of tough high DPS drones that do EM? Sorry, they don't exist. Want to snipe long ranges with Sentry Drones doing thermal damage? Guess what, they don't exist! But they would under a Modular system.
Hakan MacTrew
MUTED VOID
#17 - 2012-11-25 01:41:55 UTC
bump
Alundil
Rolled Out
#18 - 2012-11-30 19:27:54 UTC
I like the idea of modular drones (being a drone user myself).

Here are my suggestions to CCP for drones

1. Fix the drone attack/tracking issue first.
Without this all buff/nerf (aside from ECM) discussions about drones are premature because the true combat capabilities are rather unclear due to the way the drone mechanics currently work.

2. Fix the drone UI. It is a real PITA to use. POS management and reactions being the only things that come time mind with worse UI/workflow/useability.

Once these are done (or at least begun) I'd support, fully, CCP looks at these types of modifications as it would be pretty cool imo.

I'm right behind you

Seranova Farreach
Biomass Negative
#19 - 2012-12-12 17:26:52 UTC
Hakan MacTrew wrote:
Heres an idea I thought of after reading a few of the other Drone based threads. I have voiced it previously, but I wanted to setup a seperate thread to discus it and not detract from said threads:


Modular Drones

Totally replace the current drones with a new 'sleeper inspired' modular drone template.

Have 2 hull types per size of drone, a combat hull and an attack hull. (In keeping with the new role principals being used by CCP.). Combat drones are the brawlers, doing more damage or stronger utilities and have more EHP. Attack drones are the nippy ones, focusing on speed, range and tracking.

These hulls can be outfitted to either deal 1 of the 4 damage types or use a utility function depending on the desired role.

This option is chosen when a stack of hulls are assembled, with a popup menu. You can choose how many hulls in the stack to assemble and what system to add at this point. Think of them as a sort of 'scripted' drone hulls.

In this way you could customise drones to a specific need. No one damage type would have advantages over another, but none would be inferior either. You could tailor them to your own play style.

The racial drone skills can add dps to specific damage types and improve the usage of racial ewar types and utilities.

T2 Combat Drone would have marginally better speed, tracking and range with a bit more damage and EHP.
T2 Attack Drones would have marginally better damage and EHP with a bit more speed, tracking and range.


I also suggest that should this be implemented, that all drones and blueprints should be swapped out:

  • Amarr Drones become appropriate sized Attack Hulls, with EM damage 'modules'. Their BPOs and BPCs should be split to become a BPO and/or BPC for the appropriate sized Attack Hulls and another for EM damage 'modules'.

  • Caldari Drones become appropriate sized Combat Hulls, with kinetic damage 'modules'. Their BPOs and BPCs should be split to become a BPO and/or BPC for the appropriate sized Combat Hulls and another for kinetic damage 'modules'.

  • Gallente Drones become appropriate sized Combat Hulls, with thermal damage 'modules'. Their BPOs and BPCs should be split to become a BPO and/or BPC for the appropriate sized Combat Hulls and another for thermal damage 'modules'.

  • Minmatar Drones become appropriate sized Attack Hulls, with explosive damage 'modules'. Their BPOs and BPCs should be split to become a BPO and/or BPC for the appropriate sized Attack Hulls and another for explosive damage 'modules'.



Personally I think this would be pretty damn cool. So, what are your opinions?






TBH i think with recent AI changes to rats we may be forced to use the Augmented / intergrated droens for more ehp on the drones.

[u]___________________ http://i.imgur.com/d9Ee2ik.jpg[/u]

Commander Ted
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#20 - 2012-12-12 18:25:28 UTC
Hakan MacTrew wrote:
Draconian;
An adjective meaning great severity, that derives from Draco, an Athenian law scribe under whom small offences had heavy punishments.



How on earth does that term apply to a **** UI?

https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=174097 Separate all 4 empires in eve with lowsec.

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