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Today I Went A Probing

Author
Jack Miton
Perkone
Caldari State
#1 - 2013-06-06 00:46:36 UTC
As wormholers, scanning is our bread and butter. It's literally what we do. Without it wormholes themselves would not exist so now that it's here, let's take a detailed look at the new scanning system from a Wormhole scanning point of view.
Disclaimer: I don't do Sisi so the first time I've seen the new system, apart from the generally negative rants on the forums, was after it went live.


First Impressions:
First thing I noticed was that all the sigs in my system were already showing in my scan results when I tabbed over to it. But wait, why? I hadn't launched any probes yet, my ship at the time didn’t even HAVE probes. Hell, I hadn't even hit the analyse button... (I in fact couldn't hit analyse, but more on that later.)
CCP, this is dumb. It makes no sense from any perspective for all results to show without any player interaction at all. You need to use survey scanners to see ore left in asteroids, have to hit dscan to get results, have to cargo scan ships to see cargo, have to ship scan ships to see fittings but system scan results are free? Why?
I'm ok with sigs showing up on system scanner but it should at least require you to hit the analyse button.

Second thing I noticed was the move of the row of scanning icons, IE: Analyse, recall ect., from the top of the scanning window to the middle. While admittedly a minor change, it is an irritating one. I work in IT and have spent my time in user support and arbitrary UI changes are a major cause of frustration for users.

The next thing I noticed was the inability to launch probes individually, meaning you had to launch all 8 probes at once.
Let's break this one down a bit. Yes, being able to launch all probes at once is great. Saves clicks, saves time, all around +1.
However. Being forced to launch all probes at once is not so great. Contrary to what CCP apparently think, launching a single probe is useful for a lot of people in a lot of situations. The only way to do it now is to launch all 8 and manually recall 7 of them. Less than ideal.
There should be a checkbox somewhere on the scanning window to toggle this option.

So not off to a great start since the first 3 things I noticed all managed to **** me off, but I persisted.


Probe Setup:
Let's look at the 2 default probe formations CCP have given us to use.

Spread Formation: Ok, so I'm not really sure what CCP were thinking when they came up with this one. It's completely useless for any sort of probing what so ever and it will never give you any better results than a single larger probe will, let alone warpable results. In fact, the single larger probe will give you far more information than this formation if you know how to use sig sizes.
Conclusion, completely useless, forget it's even there, never use it.

Pinpoint Formation: Unlike the spread formation, this formation actually can be used to scan and get results. If you enjoy using highly inefficient formations to scan with that is. It's essentially a 6 probe ring with the last 2 probes in the middle. Few things on this; A 6 probe ring is not any better than a 4 probe square. Probes in the middle at the same size as the outer probes are almost useless. This kind of formation really needs to be 3 dimensional to be efficient.
Conclusion, use this as a base to set your probes. At the very least the inner probes should be 2 sizes smaller than the outer probes, preferably also move 2 of the ring probes above and below the center probes and even the remaining 4 out in a square. (Note that you only need 1 probe in the center, the 8th probe in this formation does nothing.)

Now let’s look at adjusting the formation. Oh sweet Jesus of annoying tedium...
Ok, remember how I said that in the IT world making arbitrary UI changes was bad? Well, one thing that is definitely a whole lot worse is taking existing short cuts/functionality and making them do the exact opposite of what they used to. Shift button, I'm looking at you.

All probes are now linked together so you only get one box with arrows for the formation rather than one per probe. This is a cool feature that I'm sure most people will like, and I do too.
The problem is that where you used to use shift to affect all probes, you now use shift to be able to affect probes individually. After years of probing, this really messes with you. Once you hit shift, you get all the individual boxes and arrows as before and can move individual probes at will.
Again, the grouping of probes should be an optional checkbox.
There should also be a dot in the center of each probe to indicate its location to make it easier to identify relative positions of probes in space.
In summary, adjusting your formation is much more tedious and less intuitive than before. It can also be difficult to precisely tell probe locations due to a lack of center point.

There is no Bob.

Stuck In Here With Me:  http://sihwm.blogspot.com.au/

Down the Pipe:  http://feeds.feedburner.com/CloakyScout

Jack Miton
Perkone
Caldari State
#2 - 2013-06-06 00:46:45 UTC
So far I've been rather negative so let’s mix it up a bit and talk about the 2 things I truly like about the new system.

So you've launched your probes in the pinpoint formation, held shift for a minute or two to be able to adjust the probes to your desired optimal formation and now go to scan you move your mouse to the top of the scanning window, move it down to the middle of the window because the buttons stupidly moved and ... accidentally hit the recall probes button because it's still stupidly too close to the analyse button.
Do you now need to go through the painful setup again? Nope! You click on your launcher and it spits out all 8 probes in the exact same formation you had them in when you recalled them.
Now this is a good feature. This is effectively letting you save probe formations and is awesome.

So you finally have you probes out and are scanning away. You live in a C6 and want to run some Mag sites (insert whatever the new name is here) so need to lock one down to 100%. The site is hard to scan and you need to drop your probes down by a step to lock it. You have 4 probes at 8au and 4 at 2au, they're grouped so you go to resize the outer probes to 4au by dragging the edge of one of them. Not only does this change all of them to 4au (no longer need to hold shift) but it also drops the inner probes from 2au to 1au (instead of also to 4au as it did before). Very nice.
No need to spin this one, it's just great.

What these 2 things mean is that while adjusting your formation is a painful process, you're only going to need to do it once and then will never need to touch it again. Quite nice, but I would still prefer it to not be painful in the first place.


Scan Results:
I already talked about the results showing all anoms and sigs before you even hit scan being dumb so I'll skip over it here.

The scan results now show a brightly coloured progress bar over the top of the results list. All this does is make the results harder to read. They’re still a spreadsheet like list which people where people will only look at the raw numbers it gives you, no one needs or wants a colourful progress bar, this isn’t kindergarten.
Luckily the % strength result is still shown.

The other big new thing is the scanner overlay. I turned this on briefly in a system with 20 odd sigs and a similar number of anoms and burst out laughing. The horrible clutter this system puts on your screen is so far beyond useless in any system where sigs/anoms are plentiful and/or grouped that I've relegated it to that special area of EVE of things I'm never, ever going to use where it shares a dorm room with captain's quarters.
Don't get me wrong, I actually do like the concept here but in order for this feature to be even remotely useful, the results need to be much smaller as the number of sigs in one area increases so that the at least remain readable.
If the results weren't so laughably huge and cluttered in busy systems, they would admittedly be quite handy for dscanning.

You can no longer choose to ignore individual anomalies, only to turn them all on or off, either via filters or checkbox (oh sure, THIS is what CCP actually give us a checkbox for...). The only thing I have to say on this is, why??? Random arbitrary limitation is random and arbitrary.

I also quickly discovered that the system scanner no longer exists.
If you do not have probes in space, you cannot click the analyse button at all. This may seem fine since you DO get a full list of sigs and anoms automatically without needing probes but there is an issue with it. If you put probes out, run some scans and then pull them, you're stuck with only your last scan results and you can't hit analyse to refresh your anomaly list.

The clear results rclick option also no longer does what it used to, which was that it, surprisingly, cleared your results.
Instead, it now looks to work like a permanent version of ignore signature. If you choose clear results on a sig or anom, it goes away and won't come back, even if you hit clear ignored. It's ok, I didn't want to scan those sigs anyway.

Gravimetric site now also show as anoms rather than sigs. I expect this will make mining in WHs a fairly laughable affair.
Miners were pretty easy to catch before and are even more so now. As someone who doesn't mine, I don't really care one way or the other on this one but I expect I'd be pretty pissed if I did mine.


Scanning Mods:
I have not put any of these on my ship yet but what is there really to say about them?
They add the same stuff as the astro skills do for a tiny isk investment rather than a large time investment. This is catering to the lowest common denominator of lazy EVE players who want to be able to scan easily without investing SP into it, pure and simple.
Only this i like is that the T2 mods need level 5 in the relevant asrto support skill to fit so the scrubs will still be stuck with the T1 mods only.



Conclusion:
So, will this new scanning system affect how we live in WHs? No it won't.
What it's going to do is make crappy and lazy scanners better and initially **** off the good scanners until they get used to it.
While most of my comments have been negative, the system itself works fine, CCP just made some nonsensical adjustments that make the execution of the changes poor at best.
The result is that we have a scanning system that is identical to the old system mechanically with 2 great new features (probe formation saving and scaled probe resizing), that has been hit with a lowest common denominator stick to make it easier to scan for people too lazy to learn how to do it properly in the old system and giver some (at best) irrelevant cosmetic changes.
I’m sure CCP will sort out some of the blatant bugs, such as scan results disappearing when you change ships, in due time.

There is no Bob.

Stuck In Here With Me:  http://sihwm.blogspot.com.au/

Down the Pipe:  http://feeds.feedburner.com/CloakyScout

Chris Winter
Bene Gesserit ChapterHouse
#3 - 2013-06-06 01:11:42 UTC
Pinpoint formation is one in the middle, a 5-probe ring, and one above and below the middle one. It's 3d, and is a fairly good formation. Optimal? Maybe not, but it's not terrible.

I stopped reading at that point because that's when it became obvious you didn't know what you were talking about. Sorry. I do agree with some of your other points, though.
Jack Miton
Perkone
Caldari State
#4 - 2013-06-06 02:00:52 UTC
Chris Winter wrote:
Pinpoint formation is one in the middle, a 5-probe ring, and one above and below the middle one. It's 3d, and is a fairly good formation. Optimal? Maybe not, but it's not terrible.
I stopped reading at that point because that's when it became obvious you didn't know what you were talking about. Sorry. I do agree with some of your other points, though.

was completely flat when i tried it immediately post patch. guess they made it better.

There is no Bob.

Stuck In Here With Me:  http://sihwm.blogspot.com.au/

Down the Pipe:  http://feeds.feedburner.com/CloakyScout

Matuk Grymwal
Collapsed Out
Pandemic Legion
#5 - 2013-06-06 02:04:31 UTC  |  Edited by: Matuk Grymwal
Chris Winter wrote:
Pinpoint formation is one in the middle, a 5-probe ring, and one above and below the middle one. It's 3d, and is a fairly good formation. Optimal? Maybe not, but it's not terrible.

I stopped reading at that point because that's when it became obvious you didn't know what you were talking about. Sorry. I do agree with some of your other points, though.
Excellent, yes just this. I highly encourage this sentiment regarding ignoring Jack's recommended formations. *Whistles*
Oxandrolone
Interstellar Enterprise Inc.
Collapsed Out.
#6 - 2013-06-06 02:43:37 UTC
It took about 30 minutes to get used to not holding shift, anoying at first but hey.

Not being able to drop 1 ptobe is anoying a sh!t, this tool was obviously not quality controlled by someone who lives in wormholes.

No custom formations? why the hell now

Pinpoint formation overlaps too much, i readjust it manually every time.

overall i like it, its an improved system than before and will hopefully encourage more people into wormholes (too shoot at) and make more WH's leave their pos shields
Nathan Jameson
Grumpy Bastards
#7 - 2013-06-06 04:00:44 UTC  |  Edited by: Nathan Jameson
Overall I do like the new scanning system.

Agreements:

  • We do need the ability to easily launch a single probe. No reason not to, and it helps us gauge sig sizes more easily.
  • The scan overlay does need to be minimized in systems with a lot of traffic. I do love this new way to view sigs without switching over to the map, but it needs a little polishing.


Disagreements:

  • Gravs now being anomalies making mining laughable. You've missed that new sigs will automatically pop up in your scan window even when you don't have probes out. This is a major point in the miner's favor, as it's akin to a new face popping up in local. Still, it'll easily countered by logging in system and ganking foolhardy miners who believe themselves safe with no new k162s.

http://www.wormholes.info

Kalel Nimrott
Caldari Provisions
#8 - 2013-06-06 04:15:42 UTC  |  Edited by: Kalel Nimrott
One of the many things they could fix is that if you ignore a sig, it wont show up on the overlay.

Bob Artis, you will be missed.

O7

Jack Miton
Perkone
Caldari State
#9 - 2013-06-06 04:56:08 UTC
Nathan Jameson wrote:
  • Gravs now being anomalies making mining laughable. You've missed that new sigs will automatically pop up in your scan window even when you don't have probes out. This is a major point in the miner's favor, as it's akin to a new face popping up in local. Still, it'll easily countered by logging in system and ganking foolhardy miners who believe themselves safe with no new k162s
  • this is something I didnt comment on because I havent had the chance to play long enough to see it happen but yeah.
    frankly new sigs popping up immediately is almost as terrible as if they made dscan auto ping and update all changes automatically.
    just really bad. it's not quite adding local to WHs but it's not far off it either.

    There is no Bob.

    Stuck In Here With Me:  http://sihwm.blogspot.com.au/

    Down the Pipe:  http://feeds.feedburner.com/CloakyScout

    Mocam
    Aliastra
    Gallente Federation
    #10 - 2013-06-06 05:31:16 UTC  |  Edited by: Mocam
    You know, at first I was snickering to myself about it. I go back a ways with probing - not quite to the "half hour per system" days but a few years and there was risk and skills needed for using probes. "try launching from the launcher hot-key or click *THAT* button..." Nope...

    That's gone.

    Click the launcher - all go. Hotkey - all to. That's like a trop launcher popping out 8 torps at a time with 1 click. I'm sure the bomber pilots would LOVE that kind of ease to their style of play. WTF is this?

    I used to go out, drop cloak - pulse propulsion (so I was 2k from probes quickly), begin deploying probes, recloak, pick a vector off to never-never land to coast off towards -- THEN start probing.

    Yeah I always flew paranoid but I never lost a scout/recon ship going through can clouds, bubble camps, nor was I ever found while probing but I *HAD* found several other far sloppier pilots via combat probes at times - as they just fiddly farted around with their probes parked.

    I had a WT prober I tracked to that moron's launch point because the idiot was just parked there and would recall and launch from that spot - just sitting while he launched his probes and sent them for the first scan... do you think this will be possible with these changes? I don't. 1 click, drag over, recloak. almost no time to find such sloppy pilots and that *IS* sloppy just sitting there.

    CCP took a large chunk of the risks out of using the things when they removed the individual launching of probes.

    Why the hell these ships needed that much extra ease -AND SAFETY- is beyond me.

    And yes, 1 probe does make sense for many situations. "anyone home?" - 1 probe is as effective as a full array but you can avoid "10 seconds to reload" uncloaked being as you're packing 10 of the damned things as ammo.

    PS: some of you might go WTF? Yeah, I'm into seeing things eased a bit for newer players but I'm also a firm believer in risks. Not virtually guaranteed loss called "risks" but actual risks. Probing has had the pretty much removed with this update and that is ****-poor form from CCP.
    Lusty Wench
    Nox Incurro
    #11 - 2013-06-06 05:48:48 UTC
    Agreed with your post for the most part, however another thing that's stupid is when you jump to a new system and launch probes they don't sit around the WH you just used. They go....somewhere else? Middle of system?

    So now I have to move them back over the WH so I can get a quick 100% on it and then exclude it from results.

    So not needed.
    Trinity Griffin
    Clann Fian
    #12 - 2013-06-06 06:18:43 UTC
    Jack Miton wrote:


    The scan results now show a brightly coloured progress bar over the top of the results list. All this does is make the results harder to read. They’re still a spreadsheet like list which people where people will only look at the raw numbers it gives you, no one needs or wants a colourful progress bar, this isn’t kindergarten.
    Luckily the % strength result is still shown.


    QFT
    Svodola Darkfury
    Heaven's End
    #13 - 2013-06-06 06:43:12 UTC  |  Edited by: Svodola Darkfury
    Jack Miton wrote:
    Nathan Jameson wrote:
  • Gravs now being anomalies making mining laughable. You've missed that new sigs will automatically pop up in your scan window even when you don't have probes out. This is a major point in the miner's favor, as it's akin to a new face popping up in local. Still, it'll easily countered by logging in system and ganking foolhardy miners who believe themselves safe with no new k162s
  • this is something I didnt comment on because I havent had the chance to play long enough to see it happen but yeah.
    frankly new sigs popping up immediately is almost as terrible as if they made dscan auto ping and update all changes automatically.
    just really bad. it's not quite adding local to WHs but it's not far off it either.



    I haven't had an extensive chance to test this, but when rolling our wormhole it did not appear to appear right at 60 seconds after the last one disappeared on the overlay/sig list. Is it supposed to? Pretty sure I had about a 30 second delay. Could be very wrong though.

    Also, your two main posts mirror many of my thoughts on it as well Jack. I'll be happy when I can save a custom formation.

    Svo.

    Director of Frozen Corpse Industries.

    Shilalasar
    Dead Sky Inc.
    #14 - 2013-06-06 08:09:19 UTC
    After you pull your probes in it saves their position. Including their absolute position to the sun. So you scanned the outer planet in a 250AU system and then jumped into a <14 AU? Good luck finding you probes after launch.

    Spread formation is absolutly worthless, since the automated initial scan already shows the red circles around planets, so you know where to look and for a sigstrenght check it has too many holes. This should be the pinpointformation with 7 probes at minimal scanrange and one at max so you can get sigstrengths.

    And then there is the noncostumizable tabdistribution. This is soo annyoing. When will the devs learn that not everybody has a 50" monitor.
    First tab is range and it takes double the space it needs. Usable for combatscanning but for sigs you already have at least big red circles to see where stuff is. ID next, why is this not first? also it´s a litte bigger than it has to be.
    Then the totally useless one, cosmic signature or anomaly. All you see is cosmi... It´s faster to figure what is what by unchecking the ignore anoms checkbox. The next one does it right, unstable, data, relic or combat, easily to spot the difference.
    And here comes my favorite. the signame: Since almost every site in k-space and all radar/mags plus a few anoms in w-space start with the same word you have to mouseover EVERY SINGLE ONE to find out what it is. Try finding the carrier in the sanctum in a list of 20 "Sansha ...". Or every hackingsite is called "Central..."
    And then there is the warpbutton that saves you from the one rightclick.
    Jack Miton
    Perkone
    Caldari State
    #15 - 2013-06-06 08:24:12 UTC
    Yeah, ive been playing with it a bit more and i'm gonna add the lack of any sort of adjustments possible to the results table to the 'do not like' column...

    There is no Bob.

    Stuck In Here With Me:  http://sihwm.blogspot.com.au/

    Down the Pipe:  http://feeds.feedburner.com/CloakyScout

    Matuk Grymwal
    Collapsed Out
    Pandemic Legion
    #16 - 2013-06-06 09:10:43 UTC
    Has anyone's scan strength changed (for max skilled chars)? I used to have 196 for sisters cores, now I have 191. I was under the impression strength shouldn't change for max skilled chars. Maybe they changed the stacking of bonuses or something?
    Lusty Wench
    Nox Incurro
    #17 - 2013-06-06 09:14:28 UTC  |  Edited by: Lusty Wench
    Shilalasar wrote:
    After you pull your probes in it saves their position. Including their absolute position to the sun. So you scanned the outer planet in a 250AU system and then jumped into a <14 AU? Good luck finding you probes after launch.



    I knew there was something wrong with it. Just stupid.

    I guess I'll go play with it some more to see what other dumb crap it does.


    ....
    Were Sig ID# getting saved between sessions before?

    I wrote down my ID# so I could check after DT today to see if they are the same.


    Having the Solar map open while coming out of warp makes the sound loop. (doing another warp stops it)

    You can change your scan range via r/click on the probe while the scan is running.
    Terrorfrodo
    Interbus Universal
    #18 - 2013-06-06 10:39:42 UTC  |  Edited by: Terrorfrodo
    Jack, I think you have mixed up the spread and the pinpoint formation? Pretty sure what you describe as the pinpoint formation is in fact the spread formation.

    Using the spread formation (the one with two probes in the middle which are below/above the plane and the others in a ring) I've had good results so far just using the default and not even different probe ranges. When I tried to optimize it for even better results though, it did not work very well. Took me a long time to build the old 8 probe planar formation, and it didn't work well either. When I returned to the default spread formation I was much faster. But I hope it's just because I'm not good at the new system yet.

    Btw, the last formation is only saved until we log off, so one of the things Jack really liked is not as great as he thinks, at least not yet.

    Not being able to launch only one probe is very annoying, but maybe it's one of those changes that really irritate you but aren't a big deal once you get used to it. I just start 8 probes, then deactivate 7 of them, run a scan, get the sig sizes, then reactivate the probes and start scanning proper. It doesn't really take more time. The biggest problem with it is that the sorting of the probes changes randomly all the time, but this is obviously a bug that will be fixed.

    One thing I noticed is that now we start all probes at once, this saves time obviously, but you also are now in a cloud of probes and remain vulnerable for a longer time, especially if you do not travel in a straight line at high speed. In many cases it will be possible to wait until someone drops probes, and then lock them before they pull enough range from their probe cloud to recloak.

    Where I strongly disagree with Jack is the changing of the keys, Shift and Alt. Yes, UI changes are always very irritating for experienced users, and I find myself pressing the wrong keys all the time now. But the new key functions are objectively just much better, and there is no reason to continue a bad system in perpetuity just because people are used to it. We active scanners will get used to the new, better keys after a few days, and for all the new scanners it just makes more sense from the get-go.

    So overall I'm very pleased with the new system, but hope to find a way to quickly re-adjust the default formation into something superior. If only because using defaults makes one feel like a scrub Lol

    .

    Tiger Armani
    End-Game
    #19 - 2013-06-06 11:19:07 UTC  |  Edited by: Tiger Armani
    When you launch the probes, they all are next to your ship. The map only defaults their position (where they warp when you hit scan) to the middle of the system.

    UI-wise (i work in IT too) the new functionality is better. The most used moving and resizing functions now work without shift. The problem is, CCP screwed about year ago when they introduced these functions.

    And that pinpoint formation has been 3D since SiSi. Just make center probe one size smaller and the whole pack of probes a bit tighter and it's OK.
    unimatrix0030
    Mass Collapse
    It Must Be Jelly Cause Jam Don't Shake
    #20 - 2013-06-06 11:27:46 UTC
    First of all shame on you for not trying it on sisi, many thing have changed because of the critical comments(no copying results list for example).
    I like the new scanning system.
    It is faster and easier.
    This is how I scan :
    Drop probes cloak up.
    Use the standard broad formation to get all sigs in system to copy them into the mapping tool.
    Switch to pinpoint formation.
    Use alt once to make the overlap of probes smaller(scans faster and pinpoints bether).
    Move to planet scan,
    Move to sig/sigs you want to scan and scan
    Drag probes edges closer to change from 8 au to 2au (or 1,...)
    Bookmark sig.
    Drag probe edges farther from center and start scanning other sigs/planets

    Buttons i needed to push : probe launcher and alt once .
    You can now scan with one hand.
    What is this about not being able to ignore sigs? i can do that like before rightclick in the list and ignore sig.
    Or use the new filter.
    If i want to use only one probe i drag all probes to cargo, split stack 1 and drag/load that one.(goes faster then recalling in my opinion). but this should indeed be an option they should add.
    Sorting sigs work just click the column-names ontop of the signature list.
    You can also drop probes faster, so you are harder to catch in a cov ops.
    Moving the recall... icons is getting used to but it does lessen the distance you need to travel with your mouse pointer since you hardly ever need to do something in the probe list now.

    The things i don't like is the way you need to stretch your scan window to be able to read some of the sigsnature names.
    The fact that ignored sigs are still visable in the scanner overlay and the size of them when there are lost of them.
    Aslo i think there you be an option to have anomalies/signature icons at the edge of your screen like planets,stargates, .... .

    Also the scantime of the overlay is a bit short, miners have it easy now.
    Like someone said in the pvp thread :

    The sig spawns in the destination system as you initiate warp to your side of it.
    The new sig is now on their screen.
    You're in warp to the hole, on your side.
    You jump through the hole.
    Session change.
    New hole loads.
    Scanner runs.

    They've been POS'd up for about a minute already.

    No local in null sec would fix everything!

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