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[Eve 2016] Radical Redesign of Ship Fitting

Author
FT Diomedes
The Graduates
#1 - 2014-05-23 16:32:09 UTC  |  Edited by: FT Diomedes
While Eve is well-known for its complexity (see e.g. the Eve Learning Curve http://syncaine.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/learningcurve.jpg?w=315&h=306 ), sometimes this complexity is detrimental to the overall game. CCP should majorly overhaul the ship layout system to make it easier to understand, make it require different fitting compromises, and easier to balance. Rather than the current system of high slots, mid slots, low slots, and rig slots, Eve needs a new system of Offensive/Remote Repair slots, Defensive slots, Electronic/Energy Warfare slots, and upgrade/specialization slots. This system is preferable because it is more intuitive, requires less harsh fitting compromises, and will be much easier to balance. While I initially conceived of this idea prior to the massive thread concerning adding rigs to freighters, that fiasco has convinced me even more that the system needs to change.

For the sake of the UI, all ships would be limited to a theoretical maximum of thirty-two slots (although as I currently envision it, no ship class would have this many slots), with no more than eight in any given category. Offensive/Remote Repair slots could be filled with turret, launcher, drone control, or remote repair modules, as appropriate for the ship class. Defensive slots could be filled with any self-tanking modules - shield, armor, or hull. Electronic/Energy warfare slots could be filled with any electronic or energy warfare modules. Upgrade/Specialization slots could be filled with the rest of the modules out there: weapon upgrades, electronic warfare upgrades, electronics upgrades, engineering upgrades, propulsion modules, etc.

The first benefit of this new system is that it is much more intuitive and straightforward. If an Eve player opens the current interface, it is not immediately clear what kind of modules go where. Many times, there are modules with similar names and similar attributes that go in completely different parts of the ship (e.g. Cap Rechargers and Capacitor Power Relays). Under the new system, an Eve player knows immediately that if he wants to do damage or repair another ship, he needs to fit the appropriate modules in his Offensive/Remote Repair slots. If he wants to protect his own ship, he looks to the Defensive slots and fits the appropriate modules based upon his ship's strengths and weaknesses and his skill set. If he wants to use electronic warfare or energy warfare on another ship, for good or ill, he utilizes his electronic/energy warfare slots. And finally, he has a broad category of slots to specialize his ship in a specific task and upgrade the propulsion, electronics, and engineering systems.

In addition to being more intuitive, this system would also require much less harsh fitting compromises. The user loses some of the tradeoffs in the current system, but gains fitting versatility in other ways. Thus, an Eve player no longer has to go with a weaker shield tank if he wants to fit an afterburner or a warp disruptor. He no longer has to choose between more damage and a stronger armor tank. Instead, our Eve pilot, assuming he has the relevant skills, can fit his ship in any number of different ways. The player gets more choice in how to specialize his ship.

One of the best constraints imposed by the new system is that every ship will have at least one or two dedicated electronic warfare slots, without being forced to compromise in other areas. This change forces every ship to be more capable in a PvP situation. This could be accompanied by a major change in the way PVE is currently conducted. If players were forced to tackle rats in order to kill them, the distinctions between PVP and PVE setups would be less pronounced, which would be very good for Eve.

Some things would remain much the way they are now. Active-tanking setups would have no penalties to speed or signature radius, but are weak to capacitor warfare. Armor buffer setups would generally be slower, while shield buffer setups would generally have larger signature radii. Shield tanking would still provide repairs at the beginning of the cycle, with a greater burst tanking potential and the ability to passive recharge. Armor tanking would still provide repairs at the end of the cycle, with an ability to sustain the tank for a longer period of time. Shield and armor would retain their base damage profiles. Some ships would have most of their base HP in armor, others, in shield, others in hull. So, while one could technically fit a shield tank to a traditionally armor-tanked ship, it might make less sense to do so.

Edit - 1 June 2014 - In light of various, valid criticism of my original proposal, I have revamped my ideas concerning rig slots.

CCP should add more NPC 0.0 space to open it up and liven things up: the Stepping Stones project.

FT Diomedes
The Graduates
#2 - 2014-05-23 16:32:35 UTC  |  Edited by: FT Diomedes
To explore some of the advantages of the new fitting system, here is an iconic ship, the Rifter:

Offensive - 3 slots, could be fitted with any combination of turrets, launchers, or remote repair modules (although with the current ship model it is limited to two launchers). The ship has a 5% bonus to small projectile turret damage and a 10% bonus to small projectile turret falloff, so three small projectile turrets are the logical choice. Not really any different from what we have now.

Defensive - 3 slots, can fit shield, armor or hull modules in these slots. The user gets to decide what kind of tank he wants out of these three slots.

Electronic/Energy Warfare - 3 slots, can fit any electronic or energy warfare modules in these slots. What role does our Rifter pilot play? Is he fit with warp scrambler and stasis webifier in the traditional tackling role? Or has he chosen to fit a nosferatu and a point? Or even remote sensor boosters or remote ECCM?

Upgrade/Specialization - 4 slots, can fit any weapon upgrade, electronic warfare upgrade, electronic upgrade, engineering upgrade, or propulsion modules in these slots. With these slots, the player gets more choice as to how he wants to go, constrained only by his skills and the ship's available CPU and power grid. These slots combine rigs and traditional utility slots.

As can be seen, the Rifter retains the same total number of slots (13), but the number of potential fits has increased greatly. Our Rifter pilot can now conceivably fit three turrets, armor, shield or hull tank, with electronic warfare of choice, with propulsion mod(s) of choice, and flexibility in whether to specialize in a given roll, or upgrade his ship in other ways.

Balancing across ship classes becomes much easier with this new system. A developer can decide, "this is a tanky cruiser, therefore it gets six defensive slots. This, on the other hand, is an electronic/energy warfare cruiser, therefore it gets six electronic/energy warfare slots." Maintaining balance becomes much easier as developers have to worry less about totally unanticipated and overpowered uses for a given ship design.

CCP should add more NPC 0.0 space to open it up and liven things up: the Stepping Stones project.

FT Diomedes
The Graduates
#3 - 2014-05-23 16:33:29 UTC
The other thing I was considering as the ultimate in ship customization would be a Slot Transfer Module. This module would be ship class specific, with fitting requirements somewhere between 5-15% of the average CPU and PG for that ship class. Fitting requirements modifiable by meta level and skills. Limit of one per ship. Basically, fitting rules would be that you could fit the module to the ship in any slot and transfer that slot to another category. For example, I may want more tank, so I transfer an electronic warfare slot to a defense slot. Could not be used to add additional turret or launcher hardpoints. Nor could it be used to add more than eight slots to a given category.

CCP should add more NPC 0.0 space to open it up and liven things up: the Stepping Stones project.

FT Diomedes
The Graduates
#4 - 2014-05-23 16:34:18 UTC
Reserved.

CCP should add more NPC 0.0 space to open it up and liven things up: the Stepping Stones project.

FT Diomedes
The Graduates
#5 - 2014-05-23 16:37:43 UTC
Reserved.

CCP should add more NPC 0.0 space to open it up and liven things up: the Stepping Stones project.

FT Diomedes
The Graduates
#6 - 2014-05-23 16:44:10 UTC
Primary criticisms:

1. It will take a lot of work to implement.
2. It greatly simplifies fitting ships.
3. Too many words.

CCP should add more NPC 0.0 space to open it up and liven things up: the Stepping Stones project.

Bohneik Itohn
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#7 - 2014-05-23 16:45:07 UTC
Read 2 paragraphs in the middle, and it was enough. This idea would homogenize ship customization on the player level, not diversify it. Slot layout as it is done now is fundamental to ship balancing and many modules capitalize on this by performing "out of slot" roles, such as the low slot tracking enhancers, mid slot PG boosters, etc... These niche items inspire ship customization for new roles.

Ship customization is not such a complex part of Eve that we need to simplify it for new players and in turn destroy it for the veterans. The majority of the problem with ship customization comes from the social problems in Eve, where players are ridiculed for experimenting with their fittings, trying to find something that is optimal for their individual playstyle instead of min-maxing everything for a perfect PvP or PvE fit ship.

This suggestion just encourages everyone to sign up for a career as an F1 monkey instead of getting their hands on some of the sand in the box.

Oh, and meta tiers are being fixed. CCP is moving in the exact opposite direction of this suggestion as we speak, and players approve.

Wait, CCP kills kittens now too?!  - Freyya

Are you a forum alt? Have you ever wondered why your experience on the forums is always so frustrating and unrewarding? This may help.

Rowells
Blackwater USA Inc.
Pandemic Horde
#8 - 2014-05-23 17:01:34 UTC
*scroll*
...
*scroll*
.....
*scroll*
.......
*scrollscrollscroll*

All I'm gonna say before I read the whole thing is a TL;DR for at least each page would be nice or you are going to scare away all the average forum-goers
SurrenderMonkey
The Exchange Collective
Solyaris Chtonium
#9 - 2014-05-23 17:03:51 UTC
Quote:
One of the best constraints imposed by the new system is that every ship will have at least one or two dedicated electronic warfare slots, without being forced to compromise in other areas.


I just barfed a little.

"Help, I'm bored with missions!"

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

FT Diomedes
The Graduates
#10 - 2014-05-23 17:18:58 UTC
SurrenderMonkey wrote:
Quote:
One of the best constraints imposed by the new system is that every ship will have at least one or two dedicated electronic warfare slots, without being forced to compromise in other areas.


I just barfed a little.


Good. Radical proposals should have that effect.

With that said, there will be compromises required still, it just won't be shield tank vs ewar vs prop mod. Using your CPU and PG effectively will be the bigger challenge.

CCP should add more NPC 0.0 space to open it up and liven things up: the Stepping Stones project.

Xavier Thorm
Dreddit
Test Alliance Please Ignore
#11 - 2014-05-23 17:21:56 UTC
The system you propose seems no more logical or streamlined than the current system.
SurrenderMonkey
The Exchange Collective
Solyaris Chtonium
#12 - 2014-05-23 17:23:16 UTC  |  Edited by: SurrenderMonkey
FT Diomedes wrote:
SurrenderMonkey wrote:
Quote:
One of the best constraints imposed by the new system is that every ship will have at least one or two dedicated electronic warfare slots, without being forced to compromise in other areas.


I just barfed a little.


Good. Radical proposals should have that effect.


With that said, there will be compromises required still, it just won't be shield tank vs ewar vs prop mod. Using your CPU and PG effectively will be the bigger challenge.


It's pretty obvious that your proposal veers toward "dumb it all way the **** down".

Simplicity in the UI is one thing, but making the actual game mechanics more appealing to the lowest common denominator is a non-starter.

Quote:
In addition to being more intuitive, this system would also require much less harsh fitting compromises. The user loses some of the tradeoffs in the current system, but gains fitting versatility in other ways. Thus, an Eve player no longer has to go with a weaker shield tank if he wants to fit an afterburner or a warp disruptor. He no longer has to choose between more damage and a stronger armor tank. Instead, our Eve pilot, assuming he has the relevant skills, can fit his ship in any number of different ways. The player gets more choice in how to specialize his ship.


This is intrinsically a horse **** concept for Eve. Pretty much everything in this paragraph is anathema to the game's core design. Having to make those compromises isn't a flaw to be corrected by someone seeking to appeal to the paste-eating dunce crowd.

"Help, I'm bored with missions!"

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

Domanique Altares
Rifterlings
#13 - 2014-05-23 17:30:59 UTC
SurrenderMonkey wrote:
FT Diomedes wrote:
SurrenderMonkey wrote:
Quote:
One of the best constraints imposed by the new system is that every ship will have at least one or two dedicated electronic warfare slots, without being forced to compromise in other areas.


I just barfed a little.


Good. Radical proposals should have that effect.


With that said, there will be compromises required still, it just won't be shield tank vs ewar vs prop mod. Using your CPU and PG effectively will be the bigger challenge.


It's pretty obvious that your proposal veers toward "dumb it all way the **** down".

Simplicity in the UI is one thing, but making the actual game mechanics more appealing to the lowest common denominator is a non-starter.

Quote:
In addition to being more intuitive, this system would also require much less harsh fitting compromises.


This is intrinsically a horse **** concept for Eve.


Correct.
Cassandra Aurilien
Imperial Academy
Amarr Empire
#14 - 2014-05-23 17:36:55 UTC  |  Edited by: Cassandra Aurilien
I've seem something quite close to your proposal before. What you are describing is quite close to STO's system for ship customization. EVE's is better. Nuff Said.
Domanique Altares
Rifterlings
#15 - 2014-05-23 17:49:37 UTC
Cassandra Aurilien wrote:
I've seem something quite close to you proposal before. What you are describing is quite close to STO's system for ship customization. EVE's is better. Nuff Said.


And if you have played STO for any length of time, you now that FOTM rules over there. Homogeneity is the name of the game, or you're doing it wrong.
FT Diomedes
The Graduates
#16 - 2014-05-23 21:37:12 UTC
Domanique Altares wrote:
Cassandra Aurilien wrote:
I've seem something quite close to you proposal before. What you are describing is quite close to STO's system for ship customization. EVE's is better. Nuff Said.


And if you have played STO for any length of time, you now that FOTM rules over there. Homogeneity is the name of the game, or you're doing it wrong.


I've never heard of STO, but less played it. FOTM rules Eve too. This system actually allows for much more variation then the current system we have, but at a huge loss in complexity. I get that. I've been playing Eve since 2007. I enjoy EFT and ship-fitting theory crafting as much as the next person. I enjoy smiling at terrible fits on killmails as much as anyone. But I think it would be healthy for Eve to majorly shake things up. I also think a simpler fitting system could help retain new players.

CCP should add more NPC 0.0 space to open it up and liven things up: the Stepping Stones project.

Cassandra Aurilien
Imperial Academy
Amarr Empire
#17 - 2014-05-23 21:54:32 UTC
FT Diomedes wrote:


I've never heard of STO, but less played it. FOTM rules Eve too. This system actually allows for much more variation then the current system we have, but at a huge loss in complexity. I get that. I've been playing Eve since 2007. I enjoy EFT and ship-fitting theory crafting as much as the next person. I enjoy smiling at terrible fits on killmails as much as anyone. But I think it would be healthy for Eve to majorly shake things up. I also think a simpler fitting system could help retain new players.



No, it will result in less variation. When slots are allocated for certain functions only, it becomes fairly trivial to create a "best" fit for any circumstance. Someone will work out the best defensive combos, (one for active, one for passive, with a few minor variations for burst tanking,etc.) and that will be all that is used. STO is Star Trek Online, by the way.

In current EVE, you have tradeoff's in your mids & lows, resulting in no "best" fit. Do I want a bit more tank, or DPS? Do I need an extra web, or a targeting computer, or a cap recharger? Everything is designed around trade-offs. A system with dedicated slots for defense, offense & utility results in cookie cutter setups, as the "ideal" setups for various roles will be very quickly theory crafted, and that is all that will be used.
Joe Boirele
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#18 - 2014-05-23 21:59:48 UTC
I can't give this any support. This would do a good job killing fitting compromises though, so if that was the point, good job. However, fitting compromises are important to EVE.

Enemies are just friends who stab you in the front.

"We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight!"

Ix Method
Doomheim
#19 - 2014-05-23 22:08:50 UTC
Xavier Thorm wrote:
The system you propose seems no more logical or streamlined than the current system.

Think we have a winner.

You have some good points but after all that text am still not sure what this adds really, apart from making things a bit more bland.

Travelling at the speed of love.

FT Diomedes
The Graduates
#20 - 2014-05-23 22:24:35 UTC
Ix Method wrote:
Xavier Thorm wrote:
The system you propose seems no more logical or streamlined than the current system.

Think we have a winner.

You have some good points but after all that text am still not sure what this adds really, apart from making things a bit more bland.


That's part of the reason I proposed the Slot Transfer module. It's a way to further tweak ships one way or another.

CCP should add more NPC 0.0 space to open it up and liven things up: the Stepping Stones project.