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Player Features and Ideas Discussion

 
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Revisiting Drones *warning massive wall of text inside

Author
Praxis Ginimic
Lazaretto
#1 - 2013-06-02 00:47:06 UTC  |  Edited by: Praxis Ginimic
Last Friday CCP Arrow tied one on and responded to a drone update thread in GD. I want to move this little gem to the proper area for a less troll filled discussion. The original thread wasn't actually trolled to death but still... this is the correct response to the obligatory "F&I -->"

This is the original thread for any one interested

This is what happens when Devs reach the optimal levels of European ale while on the clock on a Friday afternoon (I specified because American beer can lick my chode)

CCP Arrow wrote:
Ok, I usually don't go into design methodologies on the forums but I'm in a Friday kind of mood so let's just try this together for fun.

Imagine just for a second that there are no Drones in EVE and there never was a Drone Management System.
Now imagine you are coming up with ideas for such a system..


  1. User Needs - What is the single most important need this feature should fulfill?
  2. Usefullness - Name one important thing you want this feature to do for your current game experience.
  3. Functionality - How do you want to control this feature?
  4. Inspiration - Give one example of something from a Sci-fi movie you think should be used as a reference
  5. Potential - Name one good game mechanic currently existing in EVE which this feature could benefit from using


Have fun! o7


This was my response:

Praxis Ginimic wrote:
CCP Arrow wrote:
Ok, I usually don't go into design methodologies on the forums but I'm in a Friday kind of mood so let's just try this together for fun.

Imagine just for a second that there are no Drones in EVE and there never was a Drone Management System.
Now imagine you are coming up with ideas for such a system.. Have fun! o7



  1. User Needs - What is the single most important need this feature should fulfill?

  2. Drones would be a weapon system. For many ships it would be a supplemental such as a split weapons platform but the very nature of drones would provide more utility, spreading the concept of split weapons into the other modules. Eg. TD, web, ECM, shield transfer. As such the feature needs to be as effective as any other module. Players make a trade off for this utility in the launch/flight time of drones. With that said, there is no reason that drones can't be used as a primary weapon. Missiles, for example have a delayed reaction due to flight time but make up for this with a selectable damage type and the lack of need to consider tracking. *hint: missiles are integrated with the current module UI.

  3. Usefullness - Name one important thing you want this feature to do for your current game experience.

  4. A feature such as this has the singular ability to augment fitting. I can widen my engagement envelope by using medium guns and a flight of light drones or fit a cap injector in my mids in lieu of a web because I have a flight of drones that can cover the effectiveness of that module. Scaling this idea up for use as a main weapon system is of particular importance to certain professions such as explorers, cloaky/probing scouts, dedicated neut ships & logi boats.

  5. Functionality - How do you want to control this feature?

  6. This is the big question and weighs heavily on the answers to the other questions. We all want a seamless integration to the UI of drones both in flight and fitting. Granted the very nature of the beast requires a bit more usability than click on/off & OH but a properly executed integration shouldn't need its own window. If we are to use drones as a supplemental module then we should be able to control them like we do any other mod. I would put a launch/recall button on the HUD just like the other mods get, with the same key-binding ability as the others. You could have one for each group or a single button that you must load groups into like ammo. The recent reintegration of radial menus should easily cover the other orders that need to be given to drones. I second the idea floated earlier about a 5-sided wheel with HP bars & activity indicators for flights of drones. An extra drone "central HUD" such as the one that we use to monitor our HP/cap would allow us to do the same for a flight of drones. In fact, a scalable/anchorable "drone HUD" with key-bind' drone group buttons could replace the current iteration of the drone window beautifully.

  7. Inspiration - Give one example of something from a Sci-fi movie you think should be used as a reference

  8. I don't really get this. Why look to sci-fi for inspiration when there are already so many real world applications of the tech. I would implore CCP to look at the drones currently in use for military and civil application for inspiration of both utility and form.

  9. Potential - Name one good game mechanic currently existing in EVE which this feature could benefit from using

  10. Fitting


    edited to add more awesome sauce


Please join in
1. Drink lots
2. Ramble drunkenly
3. ?
4. Profit

Game of Thrones level wall of txt/
hmskrecik
TransMine Group
#2 - 2013-06-02 09:35:21 UTC  |  Edited by: hmskrecik
Challenge accepted... I tried to come up with my own answers without looking at yours.

Quote:

  • User Needs - What is the single most important need this feature should fulfill?
  • Usefullness - Name one important thing you want this feature to do for your current game experience.

  • I have trouble separating those two, so I'll take them together.

    It should be autonomous weapon platform, capable of initiating and carrying on actions based on their own decisions. It should be able to fill gaps in primary weapon (kill targets too small for main guns, provide supplemental damage type, etc).

    To perform their function they should be either expendable, cheap and easy to replenish, their strength coming from numbers; or customizable, working more in sidekick manner, numbers could be severely limited but I'd need to be able to provide them reasonable survivability.

    Quote:

  • Functionality - How do you want to control this feature?

  • While they should be acting on their own, all actions should be overridable. Behaviour (default response to situation) should be programmable, or at least selectable from pool covering typical tactical needs.

    About how, I can't come up with anything better than multi level command menus as in Wing Commander of Freespace series.

    Ability to issue commands purely from keyboard is a must. (to clarify, mouse can be used too; the requirement is to have an option not to use mouse here)

    Quote:

  • Inspiration - Give one example of something from a Sci-fi movie you think should be used as a reference

  • Not Sci-Fi and not a movie: Imps in Torchlight. I liked those little buggers. :) (to clarify, they are an inspiration for expendability)

    Quote:

  • Potential - Name one good game mechanic currently existing in EVE which this feature could benefit from using


  • I understand this question as: what already existing in EVE (except for drones themselves) could be used to implement those New Brave Drones (Tm)?

    Well, for that I see no other option than taking NPCs as starting point. If done this way it should have this benefit that *maybe* it should be possible to extend NPCs themselves and provide e.g. actual sidekicks in missions, or mercs/escorts for hire. Though I have no bloody idea how should it balanced PVP-wise. But balance is not a concern at this moment, I suppose.