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D-scan auto repeat

Author
Ellente Fervens
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#1 - 2012-11-16 04:07:28 UTC
I propose D-scan should be changed to function like the overview with automatic updating at discrete time points. This could be achieved with a switch that allow auto repeat of D-scan. If necessary this interval could be less than the current one, allowing optimal gameplay to be manually spam the button if desired.

Many people will say, dumbing down or making Eve too easy, buff to bears etc. I will try to address some of these issues, but first I’d like to explain why I think this should be changed.

Current design leads to optimal game play of button mashing. That is right it is currently optimal to click the damn scan button every 5 (8?) seconds. This is terrible from a game design point of view. Players rightly complained about PI being a clickfest in its original incarnation. Why is constantly clicking on a button good game design? It isn’t like there is any choice or decision making involved, it is always a good idea to click that button. Secondly from a game fictional point of view it is simply bonkers. This is a universe where capsuleers can control entire ships with their thoughts, yet they can't dedicate a fraction of their brain resources to auto running a tiny subroutine? (scan, wait til scan is ready, repeat). I know there are other logical insanities in the universe but I think this one is also bad from a gameplay point of view.

Now to address the complaints of too easy/dumbing down etc. Firstly I’d point out that you still have to be paying attention to D-scan. You have to have taken the time to set up appropriate filters have the scan window open and know what you are looking for. Secondly from my reading of a W-space literature (the area most likely to be effected by these changes as local makes this have much less effect in k-space) most hunters work on the principle that their targets are using Dscan constantly and thus utilise cloaks and hide their probes as much as possible.
Bienator II
madmen of the skies
#2 - 2012-11-16 05:08:26 UTC
well. it IS terrible game design. Its a spreadsheet with a refresh button. The way how you have to position the camera is also not very accurate or fun. HOWEVER auto refresh won't make it less terrible. Local-as-intel and dscan together require a proper replacement in form of an intel tool - a radar or whatever.

how to fix eve: 1) remove ECM 2) rename dampeners to ECM 3) add new anti-drone ewar for caldari 4) give offgrid boosters ongrid combat value

Ch3244
Native Freshfood
Minmatar Republic
#3 - 2012-11-16 06:45:46 UTC
much worse than this is the annoying text that comes up when the mouse goes over a probe on the solar system map.
Kirith Kodachi
Stay Frosty.
A Band Apart.
#4 - 2012-11-16 13:11:50 UTC
This is not a bad idea, but I'd go farther and say the whole D-scan tool needs a rework to bring it into the 20th century.

Manually spinning camera to aim but not having graphics to see what is in the angle? BAD
No easy conversion from KM to AU? BAD
A slider control for the angle that is hard to use? EXTRA BAD
Rixx Javix
Stay Frosty.
A Band Apart.
#5 - 2012-11-16 13:12:46 UTC
There is no doubt in my mind that the current d-scan system needs to be evolved and changed. It is clunky and rather "stupid" from a technology perspective, not to mention lore.

Having said that, I'm not sure what to replace it with. The key to the system is the word "directional" and a auto-updating radar system eliminates my control of where I point the darn thing. This is something I've given thought to over the years and I've been unable to come up with anything better that works as well. Or as easy. A auto-updating radar that I then need to compare to the solar system map to generally determine the aprox location of a target is only trading button mashing for window opening.

The simple version is to leave it alone and remove the button. Let your ship emit a signal every 5 seconds and you simply control how wide or narrow that emission is. At least that would remove the button.

http://eveoganda.blogspot.com

Nikk Narrel
Moonlit Bonsai
#6 - 2012-11-16 15:07:01 UTC
Penny Ibramovic
Wormhole Engineers
#7 - 2012-11-16 16:53:25 UTC  |  Edited by: Penny Ibramovic
Conceptually, I agree with this idea. This is sci-fi, and we are piloting complex ships no doubt stuffed with computing power. It should be possible to give the ship computer a set of commands such as, 'keep d-scan updated, and if an unknown ship or scanning probes are detected then initiate an emergency warp back to the tower'.

Practically, however, I do not agree with such a change. EVE Online is not just a sci-fi environment, it is also and primarily a game. The interest and entertainment comes from player skill, and the progression of that skill. If you take away the skill from the game, by placing control in the hands of a computer, you are taking away the reason to play the game. This, I would argue, is one reason why AFK-[anything] is considered wrong, or at least unsporting. You play a game to be involved, and removing that involvement is seen to be detrimental to enjoyment.

Automated updates to d-scan should be possible. Computers can do this easily. And there perhaps seems little reason to object to it. After all, the player still needs to analyse the results, and ephemeral ships or probes can still be missed if a capsuleer takes a drink or is otherwise distracted. But this isn't futuristic spaceship life, this is a game. Player interaction needs to be rewarded over player non-interaction. Automated d-scanning, if it happens, would need to update slowly, and significantly slowly than is possible manually.

A thirty-second automatic update of d-scan may be acceptable to consider. Any less and d-scan would come close to being the w-space version of a populated local channel, negating the base concept behind w-space. You could argue that this period is too long, and a pilot would be better off updating d-scan manually. Well, that is pretty much my point. An automated d-scan updating every thirty seconds is better than nothing, but updating it manually is better still. There needs to be risk, but specifically risk that can be mitigated by players being alert to those risks.

[An extended version of this reply will shortly be posted to Tiger Ears.]
Luc Chastot
#8 - 2012-11-16 18:07:18 UTC  |  Edited by: Luc Chastot
Kirith Kodachi wrote:
This is not a bad idea, but I'd go farther and say the whole D-scan tool needs a rework to bring it into the 20th century.

Manually spinning camera to aim but not having graphics to see what is in the angle? BAD
No easy conversion from KM to AU? BAD
A slider control for the angle that is hard to use? EXTRA BAD


I'm not sure they had electronic computers back in the 19th century.

Edit: There is an easy conversion from Km to AU, by aproximation. 150m Km = 1AU. You have to be a very lazy person if you can't make that simple calculation.

Make it idiot-proof and someone will make a better idiot.

Jin alPatar
Entertainment 7wenty
#9 - 2012-11-16 20:45:25 UTC
I like it. To add a bit of 'realism' I'd have the interval be dependant on the VOLUME of space scanned. So reducing the angle decreases the time between scans. Increasing the range increases the time between scans.

I think it'd be relatively easy to implement and would add an interesting mechanic to the game.

+1
Penny Ibramovic
Wormhole Engineers
#10 - 2012-11-16 21:29:01 UTC
Luc Chastot wrote:
There is an easy conversion from Km to AU, by aproximation. 150m Km = 1AU. You have to be a very lazy person if you can't make that simple calculation.


You're right, and I use this approximation myself. But the point stands, particularly considering that ranges in kilometres are only really used for module and ship ranges, i.e. on-grid. There is no reason why the distance used by d-scan isn't in AU.

You're given ranges to planets, stars, station, belts in AU, unless under 1 AU away, and probe ranges are given in AU. Having to perform a conversion just for the sake of having a conversion is pointless.
Penny Ibramovic
Wormhole Engineers
#11 - 2012-11-16 21:31:07 UTC
Kirith Kodachi wrote:
A slider control for the angle that is hard to use? EXTRA BAD


This really needs an update. The slider is too finicky to change quickly. And it's even worse now, as the selected angle no longer displays unless you hover the pointer over it. That's pretty bad design.
Ellente Fervens
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#12 - 2012-11-16 22:00:22 UTC  |  Edited by: Ellente Fervens
Well I was mostly thinking of you Penny when I was considering cons.

I am afraid that I can't consider the current system to be rewarding skill at all, interaction perhaps. But if interaction is push button every time it comes up is good interaction....it would be like wining fights 'cause you clicked on your gun icon more times than your opponent. I'd argue that someone who is sitting watching Dscan update is every bit as interactive as someone who is watching Dscan update while spamming the button.

I agree with (I think everyone) D-scan needing a complete reworking/overhaul. This was just a way of getting a quality of life improvement at hopefully low developer time cost.

I suppose I am a bit biased here and want the game changed to suit me. In that I have some forearm RSI/tendon injury right now and it has stopped me playing certain games. Having to constantly spam D-scan whenever I am in WH space is reducing my eve time as well.
Little Dragon Khamez
Guardians of the Underworld
#13 - 2012-11-16 22:37:54 UTC
I support the idea of updating the directional scanner interface. It is clunky to use and needs a bit of love to make it easier to use and more importantly quicker to get data from. I also support the idea of automated scans that auto repeat. I think a cycle of one auto repeat per ten seconds is fair (although a new skill could reduce this). If you are really anxious you can always push the button yourself and get quicker results, thus easy manual override is essential.

The one thing I don't like about Null sec is that I show up on local. Whilst I can understand the justification behind this in high or low sec (i.e every ship has a transponder that is ordered to broadcast by empire facilities in system etc) we really shouldn't have this in null. Null sec is supposed to be lawless and unclaimed territory that is fought over by competing non empire power blocs. Thus having a mandatory broadcast identifying yourself, your corporation and other useful details makes no sense tactically. Neither do we go to null to chat, so a local chat window seems strange.

As a halfway house I wouldn't mind a readout showing the number of capsuleers in system, but no other identities or information unless I scan them down to get fleet composition etc.

It would make life in Intel more interesting I think.

Dumbing down of Eve Online will result in it's destruction...

Penny Ibramovic
Wormhole Engineers
#14 - 2012-11-16 22:43:52 UTC
Ellente Fervens wrote:
it would be like wining fights 'cause you clicked on your gun icon more times than your opponent.


Some games have that kind of mechanic. No, it's not a good one.

Quote:
I'd argue that someone who is sitting watching Dscan update is every bit as interactive as someone who is watching Dscan update while spamming the button.


Perhaps, but, on further reflection, automated d-scanning would also allow d-scan to be actively monitored whilst looting, off-loading cargo to a can, communicating in chat channels, updating bookmarks, and any other action that would take focus away from the d-scan window. That, I would argue, is where automated d-scanning becomes unfair.

Perhaps as a compromise, d-scan can update automatically, maybe every 5 seconds, when the window has unbroken focus.

Quote:
I suppose I am a bit biased here and want the game changed to suit me. In that I have some forearm RSI/tendon injury right now and it has stopped me playing certain games. Having to constantly spam D-scan whenever I am in WH space is reducing my eve time as well.


I appreciate that, and repeated clicking isn't exactly fun, I'll agree. I don't know if this would help, but if you put the cursor in d-scan's range box, pressing enter will update d-scan. Repeated presses of enter will update d-scan, until the focus is removed from the range box. Maybe this is better than mouse clicks for you.
Nikk Narrel
Moonlit Bonsai
#15 - 2012-11-17 01:45:06 UTC
Jin alPatar wrote:
I like it. To add a bit of 'realism' I'd have the interval be dependant on the VOLUME of space scanned. So reducing the angle decreases the time between scans. Increasing the range increases the time between scans.

I think it'd be relatively easy to implement and would add an interesting mechanic to the game.

+1

This detail has a logical self defining limit.

A cone of narrow range should refresh far more often than a complete 360 by 360 sphere.
For actual range of distance, I would refer to the ships sensor attributes, and the pilots skill.
Seranova Farreach
Biomass Negative
#16 - 2012-11-17 03:29:31 UTC
imadgin the lag it would cause if it were to auto repeat on hundreds of ships.. take jita for example.

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

Ellente Fervens
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#17 - 2012-11-17 05:14:31 UTC
Seranova Farreach wrote:
imadgin the lag it would cause if it were to auto repeat on hundreds of ships.. take jita for example.

A) Why are you running Dscan in Jita?
B) How do you know this would cause lag? I'd like to hear about that from one of the server devs.
Nikk Narrel
Moonlit Bonsai
#18 - 2012-11-17 15:38:45 UTC
Ellente Fervens wrote:
Seranova Farreach wrote:
imadgin the lag it would cause if it were to auto repeat on hundreds of ships.. take jita for example.

A) Why are you running Dscan in Jita?
B) How do you know this would cause lag? I'd like to hear about that from one of the server devs.

This could also be a self defining limit.

If your system tries to process too many contacts, or contacts clustered too closely together, the signal returns won't be able to be as specific.
An IFF system would at least enable the ship to cancel the allied returns.

The rest may be seen as Ship Cluster X, or some similar designation.
oah
Viziam
Amarr Empire
#19 - 2012-11-18 13:14:49 UTC
clickfest! \o/
Aurelie Thalys
Eleutherian Guard
Villore Accords
#20 - 2012-11-18 23:28:05 UTC
I don't think an automated dscan would make WH space like local in a system in K-space. After all you still do not see all the full details on every capsuleer, you see ships and objects.

The idea with the time being dependent on your angle is also nice. This would make full system sweeps way slower and therefore would still require player interaction for quicker updates. A smaller angle already implies player interaction because you need to set it to that angle so that would also be fine.
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