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"sticky" signature IDs

Author
Kai Ovaert
Imperial Dreams
Curatores Veritatis Alliance
#1 - 2014-06-05 16:21:22 UTC
Players - corporation members in particular - will often perform daily scans within their area of influence to identify and bookmark long-lived cosmic signatures such as wormholes, gas/relic and combat sites. It is not unusual to see 6-12 cosmic signatures in a single system, particularly J-space and nullsec; as a result, the bookmark will often be named after a portion of the signature id, as that allows a player to rapidly differentiate between "known" objects, and new objects (such as a new K162, etc)

Signature ids are reset during the daily maintenance window, forcing players to spend their real-life time rescanning objects they already located. Granted, you can set probes to a .5au pinpoint over existing bookmarks, but it violates at least two fundamental gaming principals:

1. It disrupts immersion. We can travel across space and time, but not readily differentiate between objects we know about, and newly spawned object? Please.

2. It does not add any depth or enjoyment - in fact, quite the opposite. The player invested real-life time, and exercised in-game and real-life skill to scan down the object. He experienced the intangible reward of successfully exercising an ability, and the tangible reward of a new bookmark. Forcing the player to perform the same action on the same object should be unnecessary.

I would imagine that signature ids are fundamentally tied to the core operation of EVE, and therefore tinkering with them is not a "little thing". However, there is no question that a signature id, bookmark and location are loosely coupled - otherwise you would not be able to warp to a bookmark after downtime.

I propose the introduction of a mechanism that leverages this "loose coupling" such that the signature id of the bookmarked object be listed as a new column in the bookmark view. I further propose this be applied to corporate bookmarks related to a subset of objects to include wormholes, relic/data, and combat sites (until the impact to daily maintenance is understood).
SurrenderMonkey
The Exchange Collective
Solyaris Chtonium
#2 - 2014-06-05 16:56:29 UTC  |  Edited by: SurrenderMonkey
Kai Ovaert wrote:


I would imagine that signature ids are fundamentally tied to the core operation of EVE, and therefore tinkering with them is not a "little thing".



Extremely doubtful. I'd be shocked if they were anything more than a value specifically generated to be an outward facing quasi-unique identifier. I doubt they're "core" to the operation of the signature system, let alone Eve as a whole.

Actually, the fact that the ID for a persistent signature changes after a downtime makes that extremely likely. The system is tracking that object across downtimes with a "real" identifier - not the highly mutable one that is presented to you.

Anyway, IIRC there's a long-term goal to ultimately eliminate downtimes, which would probably eliminate this as an issue.


Quote:
However, there is no question that a signature id, bookmark and location are loosely coupled - otherwise you would not be able to warp to a bookmark after downtime.


Also unlikely. A signature is an object that has some data associated with it, including its coordinates in space.

A bookmark is another object that has some data associated with, also including coordinates in space.

There's no need for there to be any actual relationship between these two - they're just two separate objects that track, in part, some similar information. In the case of a bookmarked sig, the coordinates of the sig and the coordinates of the bookmark happen to be similar, but they're still not "coupled" in any programmatic sense - they're just two independent objects with some similar data in them. When the sig despawns, the bookmark will still take you to the same coordinates, etc.

"Help, I'm bored with missions!"

http://swiftandbitter.com/eve/wtd/

Kai Ovaert
Imperial Dreams
Curatores Veritatis Alliance
#3 - 2014-06-05 17:10:52 UTC
Agreed, thus the use of "loosely coupled";

IMHO, unless you have a "DEV" tag next to your name, engaging in speculative discussion about the underlying mechanics of the EVE engine isn't helpful, and distract from the purpose of this post - let's leave implementation details to CCP.

Anyone have any thoughts related to the actual proposal?
Omega Flames
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#4 - 2014-06-05 17:44:41 UTC
atm the letters in the sig id are used to differ between how old a sig is. All sigs that have been in system for 1 dt have the same last 2 letters, all sigs that have been in system for 2 or more dt have the same last 2 letters, and all sigs that appeared after the last dt are randomly generated.
SurrenderMonkey
The Exchange Collective
Solyaris Chtonium
#5 - 2014-06-05 19:52:49 UTC  |  Edited by: SurrenderMonkey
Omega Flames wrote:
All sigs that have been in system for 1 dt have the same last 2 letters, all sigs that have been in system for 2 or more dt have the same last 2 letters,



No. They're simply handed out sequentially, with the first digit being the least significant. They may be handed out in order of age, but if you have more than 26 you're obviously going to have a roll over to the next middle digit before they're all assigned, no matter the downtime count.

They're never really random, they only appear that way because the sequence isn't specific to a system.

You can see this in action by scanning yourself with drones out - they'll typically be very close together in their sequence. If they're not, just repackage them and relaunch, after which they will be. They still won't typically progress straight through the sequence, though, due to other assignments in the universe.

The only real difference with the ones assigned at downtime is that the sequence is more, well... sequential, for the obvious reason that things aren't being arbitrarily spawned and despawned throughout the game.


Quote:
IMHO, unless you have a "DEV" tag next to your name, engaging in speculative discussion about the underlying mechanics of the EVE engine isn't helpful,


Quote:
I would imagine that signature ids are fundamentally tied to the core operation of EVE, and therefore tinkering with them is not a "little thing".


Straight You should probably try to pick a position on that one, boss. Roll

"Help, I'm bored with missions!"

http://swiftandbitter.com/eve/wtd/

Kai Ovaert
Imperial Dreams
Curatores Veritatis Alliance
#6 - 2014-06-06 12:25:10 UTC
SurrenderMonkey wrote:
You should probably try to pick a position on that one, boss.


Fair enough. I had been trying to say "this is why I didn't post under the 'Little Things' thread", but I can understand the confusion.

ANYHOW: SurrenderMonkey's observation is consistent with my experience. For example, yesterday I had one cosmic sig in system:

WNQ-483

After today's downtime, I have two:

YHW-904
ZHW-500

After scanning them down, WNQ = YHW.

So:

1. objects that exist on day one and persist across downtime into day two, can share the same second and third ordinals as a brand new object spawned during downtime. In other words, you can't depend on those ordinals to derive any meaningful information.

2. yes, signature id's are generated sequentially; but there is no contract that an incremented id will be assigned to the same object. For example, if WNQ-483 became XHW-904, that would solve this problem - that's what I mean by "sticky" - unfortunately, XHW does exist, it was just assigned to a different object.

Omega Flames
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#7 - 2014-06-06 15:07:09 UTC
SurrenderMonkey wrote:
No. They're simply handed out sequentially, with the first digit being the least significant. They may be handed out in order of age, but if you have more than 26 you're obviously going to have a roll over to the next middle digit before they're all assigned, no matter the downtime count.
unlike you i actually live in wh space so i see the sigs every single day. and having the same 3 letters is taken care of by having different numbers in the latter half of the sig id (you did know that a sig id is 3 letters and 3 numbers right?) ergo dt does infact every single time group the sig ids.
Gully Alex Foyle
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#8 - 2014-06-06 15:17:13 UTC
+1 this definitely makes sense

Make space glamorous! Is EVE dying or not? Ask the EVE-O Death-o-meter!

SurrenderMonkey
The Exchange Collective
Solyaris Chtonium
#9 - 2014-06-06 15:37:27 UTC
Omega Flames wrote:
SurrenderMonkey wrote:
No. They're simply handed out sequentially, with the first digit being the least significant. They may be handed out in order of age, but if you have more than 26 you're obviously going to have a roll over to the next middle digit before they're all assigned, no matter the downtime count.
unlike you i actually live in wh space so i see the sigs every single day. and having the same 3 letters is taken care of by having different numbers in the latter half of the sig id (you did know that a sig id is 3 letters and 3 numbers right?) ergo dt does infact every single time group the sig ids.


I didn't say it doesn't group them, in fact, I explicitly said it DOES group them. The part you're wrong about is the part where objects that have persisted for two downtimes will necessarily share the last two letters and objects that have persisted for only one downtime will necessarily share the last letter, and new objects will be random. NONE of those are true. Items that have existed for even one downtime are very likely to share both of the high order values, while items that have existed for 2+ downtimes could trivially share only the highest (or, in rare cases, could actually share none of them, due to rollover). You're really only guaranteed to be able to tell which items were spawned at downtime, and which spawned after the fact.

Objects that persist across downtime are definitely more likely to share those values, but there's absolutely no guarantee that they will, and furthermore, new objects are abso-*******-lutely not random and, as I said before, you can confirm this for yourself by simply repackaging and relaunching some drones and then scanning yourself. Those will generally share the last two digits as well, and they sure as **** haven't persisted across two downtimes. Roll



Quote:
1. objects that exist on day one and persist across downtime into day two, can share the same second and third ordinals as a brand new object spawned during downtime. In other words, you can't depend on those ordinals to derive any meaningful information.


Correct.

Quote:

2. yes, signature id's are generated sequentially; but there is no contract that an incremented id will be assigned to the same object. For example, if WNQ-483 became XHW-904, that would solve this problem - that's what I mean by "sticky" - unfortunately, XHW does exist, it was just assigned to a different object.


I agree with your overall point that it would be nice if you could automatically tell them apart from downtime to downtime, but the greater point is that they're eventually aiming to phase out the daily downtimes in their entirety, which would have a side effect of resolving your complaint.

"Help, I'm bored with missions!"

http://swiftandbitter.com/eve/wtd/

Omega Flames
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#10 - 2014-06-06 22:30:21 UTC  |  Edited by: Omega Flames
SurrenderMonkey wrote:
lots of tech bullsh*t

whether or not there is some sequential thing happening the fact is out of the 10's of thousands of sigs ive seen (including systems with much much more than 26 of them) those sigs that have been there for 1 or 2+ dt's have ALWAYS had the same last 2 letters. and ive even seen where 2 sigs have shared the same letters and you had to note the numbers to tell the difference (and that was with less than 26 sigs in the system that time). my experience scanning daily for over a year of living in wh space trumps your guesstimations of the system as only those who live in wh space are going to consistently see sigs that persist after dt enough to see the pattern. maybe it is partly sequential but it is 100% grouped by how long the sig has been in system as i have posted.believe me or dont, it's your choice thou at this point i think your just trolling or really have no clue what your talking about as even if a dev stepped in here and backed you up id tell him/her they were wrong as well as ive seen far more sigs get generated than even them.

edit: ill allow that maybe someone intended your method of sigs ids being assigned but if they did then somewhere along the way the code got screwed up and my description ended up being what actually happens
Kai Ovaert
Imperial Dreams
Curatores Veritatis Alliance
#11 - 2014-08-04 14:22:08 UTC
Lots of good discussion, thank you all. Having just moved to a new WH space with lots more juicy sigs, I need to bump this thread back into existence.

There are clearly strong feelings both ways, and arguments of varying strength in this thread. I'd like to bring it back to [what I believe] is the simple point that there is no useful game mechanic here in terms of player interaction, skill, or immersion. I think we are being exposed to a shortcoming in the system, and that in itself is a strong reason for CCP to review this issue.