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Farms and Fields: the WTF moment

Author
FT Diomedes
The Graduates
#1 - 2015-03-06 21:35:26 UTC
Cross-posted from the epic threadnought on Fozzie Sovereignty: https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=5558185#post5558185

I know not everyone wants to wade through 160 pages (and counting) about Trollceptors and every other subargument that has spun off from that mess.

In Dominion Sovereignty, attackers have to bring big expensive siege equipment to get you out of your station/POS. They have to devote time, effort, and organization to besieging you. This creates some barriers to entry for newer players and rewards large, well-organized groups (warfare always will). Additionally, there isn't much that the attackers can pillage from you outside your castle - there are no farms and fields to pillage. All of Eve's resources are renewable (NPC's, Belts, etc) or require time and effort to kill (e.g. POS, POCO's). Unless they catch an unlucky peasant (i.e. ratter or miner) out in his fields before he can get inside his castle, there really isn't anything the attackers can do if you choose to turtle up. This is very frustrating for all concerned, and bad game play.

I am all in favor of mechanics which encourage people to fight, but I do not think Fozzie Sovereignty is quite there yet.

CCP could just give us the farms and fields we were promised so long ago. Make taking sovereignty require significant effort. Then let us build things out in space that require defending, generate ISK when they are being tended, and give killmails. In short, I am thinking of a better version of an ESS. I would call it the Weapons Test Facility (WTF). It could work as described below.

You purchase a BPC for a WTF from an NPC R&D firm (or find one in an exploration site, or whatever). You then build that deployable, undock, and launch it into space, it goes out to a random spot in your solar system and anchors itself (with restrictions as to where it will anchor). There would be many different varieties. Some, much more expensive varieties, could require you to scan them down with probes. Others would appear on the scanner like current anomalies do. You then undock, warp to it, and use your ship to run weapons tests on behalf of the NPC firm, which can match you against opponents who span the full spectrum of the Eve PVE experience. You could even let the player choose what tests to run – or have different WTF’s offer different experiences. Some tests would take a short amount of time, others would take longer (higher rewards). Exiting the simulation before you complete it voids all rewards and also ends the simulation completely. Thus, if you got interrupted by a hostile, you could exit the simulation and at least not have to worry about the rats (but lose all the rewards).

The WTF should not have have huge amounts of EHP or long reinforcement timers, but could have high resistances. I’m thinking a few thousand EHP, a 5-10 minute reinforcement timer, and 60-80% resistances (depending on the version). After the short reinforcement timer expires, the attacker can either scoop (50-100m3 volume) or destroy the WTF. The defender can try to save it, whether by killing the attacker, driving him away, or remote repairing it (thus the resistances, but low EHP). The WTF should be relatively expensive, generate killmails, be very quick to anchor (instantaneous), but slow to unanchor (>5 minutes). They generate ISK (or LP) only when there is a pilot in space actively using it. Using it either puts the player into a simulation or a mini-game or something, it could be anything, as long as it is somewhat engaging, as hard to bot as current PVE, and makes more ISK/hour than other options.

This WTF simulator could look disturbingly similar to killing rats in anomalies or missions, or it could have a variety of other mini-games. It might be functionally no different than “flying” your ship is currently, you just don’t actually move. Due to the way your ship completely interfaces with the scenario, if your ship is destroyed in the scenario, it can sometimes explode for real (blah blah blah lore reasons). There could be different versions of the deployable: with different costs and difficulty levels. For example, a Level 5 WTF might cost 250m ISK worth of materials to build, and generate 125m ISK/hour (or LP for that faction’s store), if you "tested" out a carrier at the Level 5 WTF. But, if hostiles chased you away from it, you stand to lose a substantial investment. It is an infinitely scalable system, without requiring mission hubs in 0.0 sov space. So, you can cram as many people as want to live in a system into there. Roaming gangs can now count on at least inflicting some pain, unless they move so slowly that you have time to unanchor and scoop it. Running away from it in the face of attackers has consequences. Yes, you save your ship, but you lose a significant item. It gives you something to defend against a roaming gang.

I know it is rough, but I think it beats the heck out of the ESS and simply adding mission agents to 0.0 hubs.

Thoughts?

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

Gizznitt Malikite
Agony Unleashed
Agony Empire
#2 - 2015-03-06 22:03:13 UTC

I'm not impressed with this idea.

Why do I want to use a WTF, as opposed to just running anomalies, belt ratting, and/or mining?

I guess I don't understand what this WTF is....
Anhenka
Native Freshfood
Minmatar Republic
#3 - 2015-03-06 22:18:14 UTC
Well there certainly was a WTF moment involved in reading this thread, that's for sure.

It's a system that rewards super deep super safe sov so that it benefits those with massive blue blobs between them and anyone else.

It's a system that apparently does not receive benefits from player SP or coordination. My suitcase archon would make as much as my fighters/carrier V Thanatos ratter char.

If you can warp to these objects without scanning, and are still while using them, it's a deathtrap for use anywhere except the above stated center of the blue blob.

If you can't warp to them without scanning, then it largely removes any risk by ratters, especially since you stated explicitly they can cancel anytime and leave without any chance of being locked down by something.

It's a system that actively punishes people who rat in areas with enemies, since warping away from your WTF removes all the benefits from the work you did so far, so going to a safe POS frequently means you not only lose the isk you might have made if you were not safed up, but all the isk from an indeterminate amount of time before you had to safe.

TLDR: WTF are you thinking man?

-1
FT Diomedes
The Graduates
#4 - 2015-03-07 02:55:30 UTC
Gizznitt Malikite wrote:

I'm not impressed with this idea.

Why do I want to use a WTF, as opposed to just running anomalies, belt ratting, and/or mining?

I guess I don't understand what this WTF is....


The WTF would pay better than belt ratting or mining - but at increased risk. The WTF would be a deployable that would replace anomalies completely.

Instead of being paid bounties by Concord for killing an endless stream of NPC rats (who just keep respawning over and over again as you run through Sanctums or Havens), you would get paid by an NPC R&D corporation for "testing your ship" against an endless stream of simulated NPCs. This "testing" would basically be the same as running an anomaly or mission - it would still require fitting your ship to accomplish a specific task. So, you would not just sit in it with a boot Archon or brick-tanked Drake - you would make better ISK/hour by completing the test faster by eliminating the simulated adversaries faster. You could not go 100% gank fit though, because the simulation could overload your ship if you had no tank.

I think of it like being plugged into a virtual reality machine out in space - or into the Matrix. If done properly, it could even require less suspension of disbelief than running endless Sanctums until the end of time (why do the Guristas keep respawning the same exact thing ad infinitem?).

I have envisioned it as a virtual reality device that R&D companies would pay us to use for testing purposes, but it could also just be a beacon that summoned NPC's who you would have to actually fight.

My idea is just to come up with some sort of device that gets people out into space, requires them to put some valuable, fragile infrastructure at risk in order to reap greater rewards, and gives them an incentive to undock when their ratting is interrupted. The ESS was supposed to do this, but it failed because it was poorly implemented.

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

Anhenka
Native Freshfood
Minmatar Republic
#5 - 2015-03-07 03:36:10 UTC
FT Diomedes wrote:

My idea is just to come up with some sort of device that gets people out into space, requires them to put some valuable, fragile infrastructure at risk in order to reap greater rewards, and gives them an incentive to undock when their ratting is interrupted. The ESS was supposed to do this, but it failed because it was poorly implemented.



I feel humbled in the face of your conviction in the righteousness of your idea. But let's take a look at the situation.
Bob is WTFing, and someone comes into local. One of two things happens. Bob cancels his WTF and loses the reward, and warps away to hide. Or he gets caught and dies. Let's assume he not only lives, but got docked up in a station where he has a PvP ship.

Now the roaming gank see's BOBs WTF and fly over to it, at which point they knock it into reinforce, so they can steal his 250 mil isk WTF in 5 minutes.

Bob can now

A: Undock into a pvp ship, yolo at the enemy, and die, because they are a gang and he is not.

B: Yell for a FC to try and get a gang organized to kill the gang before it kills his WTF, in which case people stare at him blankly, because nobody in eve can sort out a decent gang and travel to a destination several systems away in less than 5 minutes.

C: Yell for a FC to save his WTF, at which point everyone tells him to deal with it, they are not forming a gang to come save his ratting structure.

D: Organize a fleet himself rapidly, everyone grabbing their trusty steed and going out to get whelped because they threw a quick assembled kitchen sink fleet at a decent gang.

You see, the optimal response for someone's WTF fleet being hit is apparently to have a gang already formed, assembled, and chasing the gang around. Otherwise Bob and his WTF are SOL.


See the primary problem? Bob himself can't do a damn thing to prevent anyone from taking his WTF. It becomes nothing more than a mandatory, super expensive ESS that suffers from most of the same flaws as an ESS, except magnified.

At the same time, the requirement for roaming gangs to combat probe down the WTF each time they want to gank a ratter is terrible, since the person WTFing has plenty of time to cancel the WTF and warp off before combat probes can get him fixed, which means that while roaming gangs can harvest dozens of WTF's during their roam, they can't actually catch anyone, which makes for a VERY boring roam.

P.S: If you were proposing that all the WTF's in use were beacons you could warp to at will, and that you had to stay still while operating the WTF and thus not be aligned, you are crazy, because it would make it a race between noticing a neut in local, turning off the WTF, and acceleration into warp VS. the time it takes an 8.4/au sec Sabre to warp to your location. And guess who wins that race, 95% of the time?

FT Diomedes
The Graduates
#6 - 2015-03-07 04:13:01 UTC
Anhenka wrote:
Well there certainly was a WTF moment involved in reading this thread, that's for sure.

It's a system that rewards super deep super safe sov so that it benefits those with massive blue blobs between them and anyone else.

It's a system that apparently does not receive benefits from player SP or coordination. My suitcase archon would make as much as my fighters/carrier V Thanatos ratter char.

If you can warp to these objects without scanning, and are still while using them, it's a deathtrap for use anywhere except the above stated center of the blue blob.

If you can't warp to them without scanning, then it largely removes any risk by ratters, especially since you stated explicitly they can cancel anytime and leave without any chance of being locked down by something.

It's a system that actively punishes people who rat in areas with enemies, since warping away from your WTF removes all the benefits from the work you did so far, so going to a safe POS frequently means you not only lose the isk you might have made if you were not safed up, but all the isk from an indeterminate amount of time before you had to safe.

TLDR: WTF are you thinking man?

-1


Either I did not explain very clearly, or you did not read very carefully. It is essentially just an anomaly - and would replace anomalies. It would receive benefits from SP and coordination - same as running a mission. More pilots involved in "testing" the simulation means more reward (but also a more challenging simulation - just like how Sleeper sites escalate if you bring in capital ships).

It would be no more of a deathtrap than the current anomalies we already have.

Nor did I say that the ISK was stored inside. The player could choose how long to run the testing - so, he could set it for a session expected to last ten minutes, or twenty, or however long he wanted to run it. If his fit and skills were pimp, he would earn more in ten minutes than someone else with a bad fit and poor skills. Setting it for longer would bump up the potential rewards slightly.

So, if I want to use this in highly traveled space, I would probably opt for simulations that could be done in cruisers or other agile ships. Just as I would in choosing a ship to run anomalies in similar space. I would also tend to select shorter sessions. And I would be prepared to reship quickly and defend the site. Someone in deep safe bluesec might well go for the capital ship version and run simulations more like running Sleeper escalations or Level 5 missions.

All Eve activity punishes people with active hostiles in the area. That's the nature of being in space in Eve.

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

FT Diomedes
The Graduates
#7 - 2015-03-07 04:21:46 UTC
Anhenka wrote:
FT Diomedes wrote:

My idea is just to come up with some sort of device that gets people out into space, requires them to put some valuable, fragile infrastructure at risk in order to reap greater rewards, and gives them an incentive to undock when their ratting is interrupted. The ESS was supposed to do this, but it failed because it was poorly implemented.



I feel humbled in the face of your conviction in the righteousness of your idea. But let's take a look at the situation.
Bob is WTFing, and someone comes into local. One of two things happens. Bob cancels his WTF and loses the reward, and warps away to hide. Or he gets caught and dies. Let's assume he not only lives, but got docked up in a station where he has a PvP ship.

Now the roaming gank see's BOBs WTF and fly over to it, at which point they knock it into reinforce, so they can steal his 250 mil isk WTF in 5 minutes.

Bob can now

A: Undock into a pvp ship, yolo at the enemy, and die, because they are a gang and he is not.

B: Yell for a FC to try and get a gang organized to kill the gang before it kills his WTF, in which case people stare at him blankly, because nobody in eve can sort out a decent gang and travel to a destination several systems away in less than 5 minutes.

C: Yell for a FC to save his WTF, at which point everyone tells him to deal with it, they are not forming a gang to come save his ratting structure.

D: Organize a fleet himself rapidly, everyone grabbing their trusty steed and going out to get whelped because they threw a quick assembled kitchen sink fleet at a decent gang.

You see, the optimal response for someone's WTF fleet being hit is apparently to have a gang already formed, assembled, and chasing the gang around. Otherwise Bob and his WTF are SOL.


See the primary problem? Bob himself can't do a damn thing to prevent anyone from taking his WTF. It becomes nothing more than a mandatory, super expensive ESS that suffers from most of the same flaws as an ESS, except magnified.

At the same time, the requirement for roaming gangs to combat probe down the WTF each time they want to gank a ratter is terrible, since the person WTFing has plenty of time to cancel the WTF and warp off before combat probes can get him fixed, which means that while roaming gangs can harvest dozens of WTF's during their roam, they can't actually catch anyone, which makes for a VERY boring roam.

P.S: If you were proposing that all the WTF's in use were beacons you could warp to at will, and that you had to stay still while operating the WTF and thus not be aligned, you are crazy, because it would make it a race between noticing a neut in local, turning off the WTF, and acceleration into warp VS. the time it takes an 8.4/au sec Sabre to warp to your location. And guess who wins that race, 95% of the time?



That's why you have intel channels. So you see the hostiles coming in advance (if you are paying attention). That's why you have a standing fleet up at all times. That's why everyone has stocks of quick response ships (ECM, logistics, T1 cruisers) ready to go all the time. It still doesn't guarantee perfect safety, but it does give you more of a chance if you are well-organized and competent. It's no different than running an anomaly.

In my experience, the only ratters who die are the ones who are not on comms, not paying attention to intel, and/or distracted by real life. For example, the last ratting ship I lost, many moons ago, occurred because my wife called me four times in less than a minute. I finally picked up the phone to find out what was the matter and lost a couple of Ishtars to a roaming gang.

As for versions that have to be scanned down, those would be more like running missions. They would cost more and have lower rewards than sitting at the beacon in space. Less risk, less reward.

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

Anhenka
Native Freshfood
Minmatar Republic
#8 - 2015-03-07 04:29:53 UTC  |  Edited by: Anhenka
Can you warp to them at will on the overview? Or through the ship scanner?

Because when I'm in an anom in an upgraded system, I'm in one of 30ish anoms, and I'm at range from the beacon, aligned out or aligning. When they come in, first they have to assume I'm in an anom, then they have to warp to the RIGHT anom out of all them, then they have to approach and point me before I can warp (and I was aligned from before they even came in).

But if these are the new anoms, every active one of these is a beacon, and since people are not going to leave theirs out to be stolen when they are not on, EVERY BEACON ACTIVE ALMOST CERTAINLY HAS A PLAYER AT IT.

That's a far cry from a warpable beacon in which I am unable to move until I cancel out of a minigame, sitting still, and I am at a predicable range ( 0, lol) from the warpable beacon. That's a death trap.

Please explain why these are in any way equal?

Because I'm really not seeing the upside of this system from a ratters point of view. From a gang point it's awesome since your prey is prepackaged, distracted, sitting still, at a predictable location, and almost certainly in a PvE optimized ship.
FT Diomedes
The Graduates
#9 - 2015-03-07 04:37:31 UTC
If that's your biggest concern, then the simulator does not require you to be at zero, you just have to stay within 50km. Or the warp in point is at a random distance between zero and fifty kilometers.

Additionally, since there is no limit on how many can be in space, you can still have a ton of possible results in the scanner.

I appreciate the feedback.

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

Unsuccessful At Everything
The Troll Bridge
#10 - 2015-03-07 05:08:54 UTC
Its not everyday you see people wanting to add more WTF to Eve Online.





..wait... that's a typical day in F&I.

Since the cessation of their usefulness is imminent, may I appropriate your belongings?