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balanced Dust 514 boarding parties

Author
Bienator II
madmen of the skies
#1 - 2013-01-24 18:21:47 UTC  |  Edited by: Bienator II
boarding parties could be the next big thing for the CCP marketing department after orbital bombardment becomes boring.

so how could it work in a balanced fashion?

IMO those two high level conditions must be maintained to make it balanced for both sides:
1) the ship should be only boardable when it would die anyway (explosion imminent requirement)
2) there should be at least one way to prevent successful boarding (challenging team effort for the aggressor)



1) preconditions for boarding
Arrow ship immobilized (pointed, not in range for docking or jumps)
Arrow shields, armor and hull are below a certain threshold (ship is basically dead)
Arrow speed is below a certain threshold

2) preventing successful boarding
Arrowvia self destruct (or regular destruction of the ship)
Arrow defending the ship till one or more of the conditions listed in 1) do no longer apply (e.g. your reinforcement fleet arrived)

how would a dust match on a ship work?
The boarding party would have the job to reach the pod. Additional objectives could be to temporary disable the self destruct mechanism, disable ship drives, offline modules, weapons, eject cargo.. you name it. The defending party would have the objectives to delay the boarding till the ship explodes (protect self destruct mechanism) or delay the takeover till your reinforcement fleet arrives (protect pod).

If the player does not have a dedicated merc defense team standing by, the mercs will be put together via match making (player driven ship protection contracts - could work like ship insurance).



- - - - -

FAQ:

the merc point of view: what is victory?
its simple: if the ship explodes with you or the pod is killed you did the job right. This will minimize griefing since destruction of the ship is basically a victory condition for the merc. Rewards are player driven, no NPC contracts(!). So if you think you can invite mercs short before you press F1 to kill the ship you do them a favor since you gave them free rewards. Full rewards are only payed out if all objectives (as specified in the contract) are met.

how are mercs transported?
"generic merc clone" commodity. Empty hulls till the match starts. Maybe another container with "generic space merc equipment pack" for the resources they need for the weapons and stuff. Special module or ships does the actual boarding by attaching itself on the other ship (or something similar). Ships have also a certain amount of merc clones in the refridgerator for defensive purposes only - this means your crew is not fighting, mercs are.

its my ship i don't want that a console player takes it away from me!
read 1) again. You are already dead, its your fault.

Explosions replaced with boarding crews?
not at all. Boarding is intentionally difficult and risky to make it impossible to take over entire enemy fleets. You should be able to pick and take a trophy at the end of the fight but thats it. Ships which are being boarded are very vulnerable (see 1)).

so i have to wait 20mins till i can lose the ship? How long is a boarding match?
well. if the mercs run to your pod without resistance and kill you its not very long. If they do not manage to disable the self destruct its max 2mins after you enable it. And if you have a very good defense team it can be quite long.. since your goal is the delay boarding till your reinforcement fleet arrives, or your ship explodes.. remember?

POS/Outposts?
right now? I don't think that CCP wants to touch them before they know what they want to do with them. But yes they would be the obvious first choice for in-space boarding under different conditions.

POCOs?
sure, could generate a lot of matches. Even in highsec if CCP decides to make them player driven.

Why spaceships?
Eve is about spaceships. Everyone has one, the noob and the vet. Spaceships are Eve's main content.

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

Going HAM
Penguin Lusting Infidels
#2 - 2013-01-27 21:47:14 UTC
Great ideas around the boarding mechanics, I'm just dying to see gameplay INSIDE a living EOL ship! Stocking up on the mercenaries as cargo before hand and making them available via the Dust match-making mechanism is a great way to do this IMHO. Boarding parties (although not FPS style) are something I enjoyed immensely about the Homeworld games (salvage ships in HW I and marine frigates in HW II), they could really turn the tide in an unbalanced fight :)

What about a ship capture\pirate mode? Instead of just destroying the ship with a boarding party, how about the flight controls for the ship being captured get transferred to the pilot of the merc ship (the mercs would drag your pod along for the party)? For instance, let's say I assemble a boarding craft with 32 mercs, lurk around in a big battle cloaked until the opportunity to board something big and valuable presents itself and Sproing! It could also add a whole new dimension to gate camping! Anybody want to steal a Megathon?
Bienator II
madmen of the skies
#3 - 2013-01-27 22:14:58 UTC
Going HAM wrote:
What about a ship capture\pirate mode? Instead of just destroying the ship with a boarding party, how about the flight controls for the ship being captured get transferred to the pilot of the merc ship


if the boarding party manages to kill the pod the ship is boardable from any eve player in a capsule. Thats the basic idea. The destruction is actually a defense mechanism of the ship owner in the "you get nothing" or "i go down with my ship" sense. You do not board a ship to destroy it, you would just fire on it. You board it to take take the ship or steal (eject) the cargo.

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

Danika Princip
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#4 - 2013-01-28 00:52:33 UTC
If I can only be boarded when I'm in low structure, I'll just get friendlies to kill me if I can't self destruct in time.

About the only things that would ever be boarded are supercaps, since anything else in low structure is dead anyway, and no-one is going to let those be stolen.



Also, why do you want to nerf hull tanking?
Bienator II
madmen of the skies
#5 - 2013-01-28 01:35:29 UTC
Danika Princip wrote:
If I can only be boarded when I'm in low structure, I'll just get friendlies to kill me if I can't self destruct in time.

sure, you can do that. Next thing to board are your friendlies.

Danika Princip wrote:

Also, why do you want to nerf hull tanking?

there is no nerf in this feature request

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

Nariya Kentaya
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#6 - 2013-01-28 01:43:09 UTC
Right, why the FRAK would i self-destruct?

i control the ship.

open all hangars/cargobays/airlocks, vent ALL THE ATMOSPHERE (who gives a crap about the worthless crew, ship can limp home without them), and then proceed to vent engine-fuel/plasma directly into the passageways of the ship through the engine-room to get rid of any pesky DUSTbunnies with Environmental suits or mag-boots.


there you go, 100% reliable way to defend against boarding.


because matchmaking will go like this:

1) boarders will by RNG matchmaking be a bunch of scrubs who have their levels by sheer amount of games played, and get curbstomped easily
2) the reverse is true with the random chumps defending you being the ones to get stomped.


BIGGEST REASON, was going to try to come up with soemthing involving subcaps, but then ir ealized, no subcaps would ever be captured, as they woudl die before any SANE thresholds put in palce were passed, it would only be use don caps, and after this, no cap would ever die in null sicne they would just all be boarded and change sides (okay, some may die, but all this does it make it LESS LIKELY for a cap to die if commited to af ight, something thats too rare comapred to capital production rates already).

TL;DR i drad the day titans sel for less than a PLEX because everyone already owns 3 that never die.
Danika Princip
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#7 - 2013-01-28 01:45:36 UTC  |  Edited by: Danika Princip
Quote:

there is no nerf in this feature request



Hull Tanking.

Doing so would now result in you being boarded instead of just killed.

All those 'oh god I warped out at 5% structure, **** was awesome' stories would be replaced with 'yeah, then I got boarded. **** sucks.'



Also, death 2 all supercaps. With this in, no supercaps would ever die, therefore it is bad.
Bienator II
madmen of the skies
#8 - 2013-01-28 02:18:18 UTC  |  Edited by: Bienator II
Danika Princip wrote:

Hull Tanking.

Doing so would now result in you being boarded instead of just killed.

well. firstly. there is no hull tanking. A handfull of ships can use the hull for buffer and serve as bait, thats it. So i still don't know what you mean by "nerf hull tanking". Secondly, boarding a ship is no guarantee for a takeover. A lot can still go wrong. The ship is still in space and can explode, the boarding party can lose in various ways etc.

Danika Princip wrote:

Also, death 2 all supercaps. With this in, no supercaps would ever die, therefore it is bad.

they would continue to explode. You have to be very good organized to take over a ship. Do you want to tell me that you can hold the large part of the enemy fleet pointed and at low hull to take one ship after the other? I haven't seen a single fight where somebody could do that. The last two ships maybe... pick a battle trophy.

edit: since you edited your post:
Danika Princip wrote:

All those 'oh god I warped out at 5% structure, **** was awesome' stories would be replaced with 'yeah, then I got boarded. **** sucks.'

if you warp away you can't be boarded. Nothing changes this regards. Have you even read the OP?

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

Cari Cullejen
Aliastra
Gallente Federation
#9 - 2013-01-28 02:43:53 UTC
Could i carry militants that would fight for me? That would give them use.

What are you looking for here? Read the post!

Nariya Kentaya
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#10 - 2013-01-28 04:05:23 UTC
Cari Cullejen wrote:
Could i carry militants that would fight for me? That would give them use.

No oen could ever board an orca if Militants, Marines, and kameira's (what they called) could be placed inside.



16 dusties board ship in cargohold, second they pop head through the door, 8000 gunbarrels at their head.
To mare
Advanced Technology
#11 - 2013-01-28 04:19:38 UTC
to board another ship they should introduce a specialized ship to do that with a bit of offensive/defensive capabilities and a cloning bay so you can just summon the mercs when you need them and not make them wait in you cargo for hours, also it reduce the proliferation of boarding since to do so you have always to bring with you the boarding ship.

on the defender side its a bit hard because the standard ship dont have a clone bay to summon mercs for defence so or they carry them all the time (not gonna happen) or the ship is defended by the crew (NPC) and where is the fun there?


but the idea its good
Daichi Yamato
Jabbersnarks and Wonderglass
#12 - 2013-01-28 04:35:16 UTC
boarding ships is unlikely to be practical under the circumstances that it either provides an 'i lose' situation to anyone who doesnt carry around marines, or it isn't realistic in the way that a dust team has to be formed and prepared in the time it takes a ship to die (literally seconds).

just to reinforce my point, boardings only happen very rarely in real life, and mostly by parties against undefended vessels (pirates vs cruise or transports). there are no combat situtaions where boarding parties have been used because it is a whole lot more practical to just blow ur enemies to pieces.

EVE FAQ "7.2 CAN I AVOID PVP COMPLETELY? No; there are no systems or locations in New Eden where PvP may be completely avoided"

Daichi Yamato's version of structure based decs

Bienator II
madmen of the skies
#13 - 2013-01-28 04:37:49 UTC  |  Edited by: Bienator II
To mare wrote:

on the defender side its a bit hard because the standard ship dont have a clone bay to summon mercs for defence so or they carry them all the time (not gonna happen) or the ship is defended by the crew (NPC) and where is the fun there?

mercs itself are new to the eve universe. Lore could just introduce ship security clone bays which only work for dust mercs, not for capsule pilots, and make them a standard item for all ships. So you have the lifeless defense mercs always on board. The players jump into them on demand using fancy brain transfer sleeper technology driven by space internet. (player contracts which work like ship insurance would be the major motivation... or maybe you have your own mercs in corp and you don't need it)


special ships for boarding.. why not. Or make it an item and add a bonused ship... all nice details for the game designers ;)

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

Bienator II
madmen of the skies
#14 - 2013-01-28 04:57:14 UTC  |  Edited by: Bienator II
Daichi Yamato wrote:
boarding ships is unlikely to be practical under the circumstances that it either provides an 'i lose' situation to anyone who doesnt carry around marines, or it isn't realistic in the way that a dust team has to be formed and prepared in the time it takes a ship to die (literally seconds).

just to reinforce my point, boardings only happen very rarely in real life, and mostly by parties against undefended vessels (pirates vs cruise or transports). there are no combat situtaions where boarding parties have been used because it is a whole lot more practical to just blow ur enemies to pieces.

exactly. Thats the reason why i believe it might work without impacting the market (eve relies on explosions). A boarding must be planed. You have to pick a ship, kill everything else, point, web and shoot it to low hull, board it and defend it while boarding and as long the match lasts.

10-15 minutes are not THAT long in eve terms. Thats how long the matches should take and they have various short cuts. For example if you have no defending contract mercs will just have to fight some placeholder npc turrets or something and have your pod. If the defending team is good and is able to defend the self destruct computer the match will end early in a "draw" (plain old explosion, defender team receives partial reward payout).

the match won't start before both teams are ready. It all ads to the time you have to protect the prey.

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

Arronicus
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#15 - 2013-02-05 21:30:23 UTC
Don't like this idea at all. Additionally, the whole self destructing thing, is not a viable defense mechanism. It's a garaunteed loss of your ship, whereas many eve players would prefer the chance to escape in hull, which many of us HAVE done over the years.

Second, this would be a massive nerf, yes, nerf, to freighters. Imagine the increased risk to freighter pilots, now that all you would need to take them out, is 1-2 ships to take out their miniscule shields and armor, then guess what? It's all hull baby.

No, this is not a balanced mechanism. This could be interesting if it were a dust game feature, that does not take place on real eve ships, but if you want to increase the interaction between the two games, this is absolutely the wrong way, and WILL **** off a lot of eve players. Remember, it's eve players keeping BOTH games afloat.
Azrael Dinn
Imperial Mechanics
#16 - 2013-02-06 10:54:20 UTC  |  Edited by: Azrael Dinn
Bienator II wrote:
Going HAM wrote:
What about a ship capture\pirate mode? Instead of just destroying the ship with a boarding party, how about the flight controls for the ship being captured get transferred to the pilot of the merc ship


if the boarding party manages to kill the pod the ship is boardable from any eve player in a capsule. Thats the basic idea. The destruction is actually a defense mechanism of the ship owner in the "you get nothing" or "i go down with my ship" sense. You do not board a ship to destroy it, you would just fire on it. You board it to take take the ship or steal (eject) the cargo.


or to kill the pod Twisted

I have to say that I do actually like this idea for some odd reason.
Not sure why... I can actually see a vision of a covert-ops ship clamping on the hull of a capital ship and a team going inside the ship to kill the pod. And everything else...

After centuries of debating and justifying... Break Cloaks tm

Silk daShocka
Greasy Hair Club
#17 - 2013-02-06 12:03:38 UTC  |  Edited by: Silk daShocka
I really don't see this working for the following reason:

A Dust match will take a certain length of time to complete. Let's say it's a really fast match, and takes 5 minutes. That is 5 minutes that the ship being boarded can fire on whoever is pointing it. The dude being boarded could also call for help as well, if there are friendlies within a couple jumps it will just take a falcon to break the point, then what? The Dust match suddenly ends? What will be the incentive for the Eve pilot that is keeping point on this ship and being fired on? What will be the incentive for the other pilots that are holding the field?

The only 3 scenarios where I see this working would be if you catch a capital ship alone ratting, or bumped out of a POS or something. Although catching a carrier ratting in null isnt' that rare, he will most certainly call for help as said above.

The other scenario would be after a fleet fight, keeping the last ship pointed to board it. In this second scenario I think you would be hard pressed to find a fleet that is willing to stay on field to keep 1 ship pointed instead of blowing it up for 20 minutes (or w/e time the dust match takes), since if it's actually the eve pilots who woudl get the boarded ship, it would have to be split in some manner between the entire fleet.

The final scenario I see it working in, would be in hi-sec war dec scenarios, by far the most likely scenario where something like this would be practical. This will encourage eve players to war dec industrial corps that can't defend themselves or field a falcon to break a lock. I don't think CCP is looking to make war deccing hi-sec carebears amymore popular than it currently is however.

That being said, I don't think the development time required to implement this would be worth the infrequent occurences where boarding would take place and is actually sensibly worht doing.

If the idea here is that once the boarding commences, your enemies no longer have to point you and you somehow lose control of your ship where you can't warp or use modules, I will have to say that IMo that is a terrible idea. If the boarding party would have to disable these systems, or eliminate the operator of these systems that would make more sense, but that would also take time and would lead to the same problems I stated above.

Another thing to mention here is that once the ship is boarded, it should still be in space in teh eve world, adhering to game mechanics. So if the dusties to board and capture a ship, the pilot of the ship could have his friends blow his ship up should they be in a position to do so.

Just my 0.02 isk.
Bienator II
madmen of the skies
#18 - 2013-02-06 17:23:17 UTC  |  Edited by: Bienator II
Silk daShocka wrote:
I really don't see this working for the following reason:

A Dust match will take a certain length of time to complete. Let's say it's a really fast match, and takes 5 minutes. That is 5 minutes that the ship being boarded can fire on whoever is pointing it. The dude being boarded could also call for help as well, if there are friendlies within a couple jumps it will just take a falcon to break the point, then what? The Dust match suddenly ends? What will be the incentive for the Eve pilot that is keeping point on this ship and being fired on? What will be the incentive for the other pilots that are holding the field?

the incentive is to capture the ship and its cargo, or to kill the pod. The role model fitting best to this would be a pirate, since a pirate does not care about kill mails, a pirate wants to steal (by force) everything which looks valuable. Pirats in eve are like everybody else right now, the profession is basically non existent, they kill things and hope that something drops - everybody does that.

Silk daShocka wrote:

The only 3 scenarios where I see this working would be if you catch a capital ship alone ratting, or bumped out of a POS or something. Although catching a carrier ratting in null isnt' that rare, he will most certainly call for help as said above.

why start with capitals? It could already start with a faction frig you catch and are able to tank, a noctis in a WH, a mining barge in a highsec war, a t3 in a lowsec exploration signature, a hauler which moves through your gate camp, the last remaining ship what is left after a fleetfight victory which you take as trophy... so many options.

capitals would probably need special rules anyway, since they are huge and very expensive. It should be more time effort to board them which could also lead to more prep time for rescue fleets... etc. But capitals and POSes are really a special case and would require more rules, other dust maps etc i would rather exclude them for now since i am no game designer.

(POS/Outpost mechanics are broken anyway, they would be the obvious first choice for the boarding feature but lets take things which are up2date and work well in eve.. spaceships)

Silk daShocka wrote:

The other scenario would be after a fleet fight, keeping the last ship pointed to board it. In this second scenario I think you would be hard pressed to find a fleet that is willing to stay on field to keep 1 ship pointed instead of blowing it up for 20 minutes (or w/e time the dust match takes), since if it's actually the eve pilots who woudl get the boarded ship, it would have to be split in some manner between the entire fleet.

exactly. But i still don't think that 20mins is a long time in eve terms. It is very unusual that fleets take less then 20m to set up... so we are used to wait. And waiting is ok if you get something for that not to mention that you have to protect the ship for the whole operation. Since if it blows up while your dusters are on board your op failed, you have to compensate your dust mercs and you din't get what you wanted.. you waited for nothing.

Silk daShocka wrote:

Another thing to mention here is that once the ship is boarded, it should still be in space in teh eve world, adhering to game mechanics. So if the dusties to board and capture a ship, the pilot of the ship could have his friends blow his ship up should they be in a position to do so.

of course its in space all the time and completely vulnerable anything else would be not eve online ;)

Silk daShocka wrote:

That being said, I don't think the development time required to implement this would be worth the infrequent occurences where boarding would take place and is actually sensibly worht doing.

it is certainly a lot of work but things like the indoor maps could be build with relatively low risk since they could be 100% reused for regular dust matches if **** hits the fan for some reason. POCO ownership battles would be the other option. This alone should create enough matches to make people happy. So CCP could iterate on it as they like to say.( POS/Outposts once they are redesigned)



thanks for the comments but i still think it would work and could be "the next big thing". At least i saw no real show stoppers so far.

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

Rroff
Antagonistic Tendencies
#19 - 2013-02-06 17:54:24 UTC
Starting to wonder if anyone posting in here has done any actual PVP? (semi-serious) most of the fights I've been in have been over in a very short space of time, absolutely no window of opportunity for boarding mechanics to work between running low armor and ship exploding. Any way to do this would massively change PVP from what it is now and pretty much kill the game as it would give plenty of extra time for people to get reinforcements in aka blob to win... or am I missing something?
Bienator II
madmen of the skies
#20 - 2013-02-06 19:00:06 UTC  |  Edited by: Bienator II
Rroff wrote:
Starting to wonder if anyone posting in here has done any actual PVP? (semi-serious) most of the fights I've been in have been over in a very short space of time, absolutely no window of opportunity for boarding mechanics to work between running low armor and ship exploding. Any way to do this would massively change PVP from what it is now and pretty much kill the game as it would give plenty of extra time for people to get reinforcements in aka blob to win... or am I missing something?

nothing would change how you do pvp. If you want to board the ship you should learn to stop firing at it at the right moment. If you don't want to bard it.. kill it. Mechanics stay the same.

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

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