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Dev blog: Command Bursts and the New World of Fleet Boosting

First post First post
Author
Zan Shiro
Alternative Enterprises
#1121 - 2016-09-11 08:15:51 UTC
Lord Mudeki wrote:
What I'd like to know is when the hell are these changes gonna go live on Singularity? Seems kinda stupid not to put them on the test server asap instead of waiting til literally right before it supposed to go live on Tranquility, so as to get feedback from players but also to make sure its working properly and to find the bugs, I mean here it is middle of September still nothing on Sing, new barge updates in just a couple days so really were kinda done with that so lets see the new stuff already on Sing



would make sense. Especially since AT coming we can assume staff will be diverted to that. 2-3 weeks of october shot really as the software they use in not plug and play, even more more so since the guy who made was poached away a bit back.


Lugh Crow-Slave
#1122 - 2016-09-11 08:47:52 UTC
i'm sure both the links and indi arrays will be on SiSi before October they need to wait until after the release on Tuesday otherwise they may not know if something broke because of incomplete code with the November features or if there is an issue with what is about to go to TQ.
CCP Fozzie
C C P
C C P Alliance
#1123 - 2016-09-11 15:48:39 UTC  |  Edited by: CCP Fozzie
Hello again folks! Big thanks to everyone who is continuing to send along feedback, whether it be in this thread, by passing it along to the CSM, or through other methods such as evemail and twitter. I'm sorry that I don't have time to respond to every comment individually but rest assured I'm reading all of it.

The next blog in this series (focusing on the Mining Foreman gameplay role and the Porpoise/Orca/Rorqual) is in progress and we'll be getting it to you all as soon as possible.

Today we've got another set of updates and answers for the thread today thanks to your feedback and questions.

Firstly, let's talk about ammo! We've been seeing some questions about the design intent behind the introduction of charges to command burst gameplay and I'd like to chat about those a bit as well as revealing our current plans for volumes and material compositions (which will determine prices).

We decided a while back that we wanted to consolidate the current warfare link modules into a smaller number of group-based modules and allow players to switch the exact burst type in space. This provided us a good way to open up more interesting decisions that support players can make over the course of a battle. Once we had the basic gameplay in mind, the next decision we discussed internally was whether to use scripts or consumable charges. There are a number of reasons we decided to go with charges, and I'll list them here in rough order from least important to most important.

  1. Least importantly: as a bigger conceptual break from the existing system (with modules that don't use any scripts or charges), the use of charges helps players realize that the new system works completely differently from the old one. This issue is one we've encountered over the past several months as we've communicated the plan for fleet boosts at fanfest, on the forums, on podcasts and in other venues. Some of the biggest sources of confusion from players came from situations where people were trying to merge their understanding of the old system with bits they are hearing about the new system. Completely replacing the in-universe concept helps us get to a clean slate where players can learn about the new system without baggage. The in-universe explanation for the old system involves a capsule-assisted mental connection between the command pilot and their subordinates in fleet. The new system instead uses packets of nanites projected in all directions from the source ship that enhance the allies that they land upon.

  2. The use of ammo provides far more balance levers to adjust than scripts. Some of which our current plan uses prominently (reload time) while some others are not currently being used but could in a future iteration (faction or T2 ammo). This allows us to better respond to balance issues you bring up, as well as allowing the creation of more gameplay decisions for players.

  3. Most importantly, even cheap ammo introduces a new source of consumption of player-produced goods. Sinks for mined resources and manufactured items are always something we're interested in expanding in EVE, as they help support the gameplay for miners and industrialists all over EVE.


As for the actual stats of these charges, we're ready to announce our current plan for their blueprints and volume.

The burst charges themselves are planned to have a volume of 0.01m3, and the modules themselves will have a capacity of 3m3. This means that if you don't want to change ammo types you can boost for 5 hours continuously without reloading.

The blueprint originals for each of these charge types will be sold by NPCs, just like other T1 charges.

The current plans for material requirements for batches of the burst charges are as follows (base values for an unresearched blueprint):
Batch size for all bust charges is 500.

All information command burst charges:
100 units of Helium Isotopes
100 units of Nitrogen Isotopes
300 units of Heavy Water
100 units of Tritanium
100 units of Isogen

All skirmish command burst charges:
100 units of Oxygen Isotopes
100 units of Hydrogen Isotopes
300 units of Heavy Water
100 units of Tritanium
100 units of Isogen

All shield command burst charges:
100 units of Hydrogen Isotopes
100 units of Nitrogen Isotopes
300 units of Heavy Water
100 units of Tritanium
100 units of Isogen

All armor command burst charges:
100 units of Helium Isotopes
100 units of Oxygen Isotopes
300 units of Heavy Water
100 units of Tritanium
100 units of Isogen

All mining foreman burst charges:
500 units of Heavy Water
500 units of Tritanium
500 units of Isogen

This means that the cost of an individual burst charge should land between 200 and 400 isk, with the mining burst charges costing a bit less than the combat ones.

Game Designer | Team Five-0

Twitter: @CCP_Fozzie
Twitch chat: ccp_fozzie

CCP Fozzie
C C P
C C P Alliance
#1124 - 2016-09-11 15:48:47 UTC  |  Edited by: CCP Fozzie
Ok let's answer some other questions and update the plan a bit more!

After some concerns raised about the strength of Command Destroyer boosts for smaller/faster fleets, we've decided to bump the magnitude of the burst effect strength bonuses on the Command Destroyers and the Porpoise back up to 2% per level.
We're also going to add a 1% per level Shield Command Burst strength bonus to the Orca, as a smaller mirror of the bonus on the Rorqual.

We're taking the concerns about the strength of the Evasive Maneuvers link into heavy consideration. We completely agree that the link is quite powerful. However the switch to AoE is already a very consequential change for this link and some of the proposals floating around (such as switching it to agility) would be a quite significant nerf to the link. We're not 100% sure that such a change is warranted at this time. We have some alternatives in mind in case we need to change the link further, but we'll probably wait at least until we get some playtesting before making further changes in this particular area.

We've been seeing some questions about whether you'll be able to set your command burst to auto-cycle (largely due to the fact I used the wording "reactivation delay" in the dev blog). We had needed to do a bit more technical investigation before conclusively answering this, but we're now happy to say that players will be free to set their command bursts to auto-cycle or to manually cycle, just like most modules.

Some of you have expressed concern that the "Mining Equipment Preservation" burst isn't valuable enough. I'll start out by saying that not every link needs to be of equal power and that the consolidation of cycle time and cap use into one link is a big buff even if the new 3rd link isn't something you'll always use. However we are interested in hearing from you about what kinds of bonuses you think would be interesting as a replacement for the Mining Equipment Preservation effect. We'll give consideration to your ideas and see if a better option comes up.

As for test servers, we plan to start mass testing of the new bursts for performance profiling soon (probably within the next two weeks) and the burst modules will be available in a usable state on sisi starting at that time. The new bursts are actually working just fine (other than some of the ship bonuses not being finished yet) on our internal servers right now but we need to focus SISI on testing the earlier releases (such as the release next week) so at the moment we can't put that build on sisi quite yet. We'll keep you posted as we get closer.

Like I said above, we're working hard on the next dev blog (focusing on the Mining Foreman gameplay role and the Porpoise/Orca/Rorqual) and we hope to get that out to you all soon.
Thanks everyone for the continued feedback!

Game Designer | Team Five-0

Twitter: @CCP_Fozzie
Twitch chat: ccp_fozzie

Lugh Crow-Slave
#1125 - 2016-09-11 15:58:01 UTC  |  Edited by: Lugh Crow-Slave
reason one for your charge change i can already see getting backlash as a poor reason -.-

overall i still like the idea of them being charges i just think thats a really dumb reason in long term
Tsukino Stareine
Garoun Investment Bank
Gallente Federation
#1126 - 2016-09-11 15:59:38 UTC
Interesting, faction and t2 burst charges that provide a larger radius or higher strength.

Well played
Lugh Crow-Slave
#1127 - 2016-09-11 16:01:57 UTC
Tsukino Stareine wrote:
Interesting, faction and t2 burst charges that provide a larger radius or higher strength.

Well played



maybe some with a longer duration? should they ever be added
CCP Fozzie
C C P
C C P Alliance
#1128 - 2016-09-11 16:16:15 UTC
Lugh Crow-Slave wrote:
reason one for your charge change i can already see getting backlash as a poor reason -.-

overall i still like the idea of them being charges i just think thats a really dumb reason in long term


If the third reason was the only one that would be enough tbh. I did say it was in order from least important to most important. Smile

But in general it can be easy to underestimate the effect that a conceptual change can have, just repackaging something to get players into a different mindspace can have a giant impact. This is actually something that I personally tend to underestimate and that I've been learning more and more as I gain experience as a designer.

Game Designer | Team Five-0

Twitter: @CCP_Fozzie
Twitch chat: ccp_fozzie

Tsukino Stareine
Garoun Investment Bank
Gallente Federation
#1129 - 2016-09-11 16:21:09 UTC
Also in b4 mining nerds crying about having to reload every 5 hours
Lugh Crow-Slave
#1130 - 2016-09-11 16:25:03 UTC
CCP Fozzie wrote:
Lugh Crow-Slave wrote:
reason one for your charge change i can already see getting backlash as a poor reason -.-

overall i still like the idea of them being charges i just think thats a really dumb reason in long term


If the third reason was the only one that would be enough tbh. I did say it was in order from least important to most important. Smile

But in general it can be easy to underestimate the effect that a conceptual change can have, just repackaging something to get players into a different mindspace can have a giant impact. This is actually something that I personally tend to underestimate and that I've been learning more and more as I gain experience as a designer.


lol i'll take your word for it
Rain6637
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#1131 - 2016-09-11 16:43:50 UTC
forcing command destroyers to stay with fast tackle is an alright idea I guess.
Altrue
Exploration Frontier inc
Tactical-Retreat
#1132 - 2016-09-11 17:05:25 UTC  |  Edited by: Altrue
On the cost of charges:

The cost of charges, the duration before reloading, and the overall volume of charges, is way better than I expected. Turns out it shouldn't pose any issues imo.

I still think however that it's a bit awkward to use charges, and to justify it by saying that any revamp needs to be completely different from the old system so as not to confuse players... Is an equally awkward justification.

Still, the intent to increase consumption of materials is interesting and makes sense. It's interesting in that I wonder if this is in any way related to the clone states coming in November. Clone states will definitely change the ratio of people able to mine stuff vs people able to use the mined stuff (through command destroyers, fuel blocks, etc... that is only available for Omegas), so maybe this is one way to increase consumption by a tiny bit to compensate? Interesting indeed :).

Thanks also for increasing the boost strength of command destroyers, and giving the orca a tiny added bonus. These changes makes a lot of sense.



On the range of boosts:

It seems to me that the very small range of boosts (which wasn't adressed in this post) is however still an issue, as is the lack of sp refund for, at the very least, all the fleet/wing/squad command skills. This second point is actually the symptom of an underlying cause, which is that, even without mentionning these skills have their situations of use turned upside down, it becomes a very VERY, VERY tedious train (x8, x12, not to mention it's in CHARISMA) for very little benefit.

You could kill two birds with one stone (boor birds :( ) by changing the bonus range from 6%/5%/4% to a 10%/9%/8% (total multiplier 3.045 versus the old 1.95), without changing the base module range or ship bonuses. Making the module useful and giving more leeway in terms of range.

If increasing the range is really not an option, then it is still in my opinion very important that you reconsider the role of the Fleet Command skill. A x12 train for a 4% per level is really bad, this range bonus could use being incorporated into the other two skills, and being replaced with something more useful. For instance, reduced cap + reduced cycle time (10% per level for both) so that you can pulse twice as much (but the duration of the buff is not reduced). This would be an elegant solution to cover more people without increasing the range.

It would enable command destroyers to move around and, while yes covering a smaller area, being able to pulse more, while still zipping around the fleet, to compensate. Side note here, if this isn't something that ends up being incorporated into the fleet command skill, I really think you should consider giving a cycle time bonus to all subcaps able to use boosts, as a role bonus. This role bonus strength being inversely proportional to their boost range bonus.

PS: I'm premptively answering to everyone thinking that the presence of skill injectors is an excuse not to do a refund: There is an AUR cost and a loss of 70% of the SP associated with using skill injectors.




On the third mining boost, and the rorqual in general:

Now for the 3rd mining boost. Here are a few ideas (pick one or more):
(For the sake of simplicity, mining laser = mining laser + strip miners. Industrial ships = Industrial ships + Transport ships + Shuttles + Mining Barges + Exhumers + Freighters + Jump Freighters + Bowhead)

- Increased agility (for everyone or for industrial ships only)
- Increased drone damage (for industrial ships only)
- Reduces substantially (75%) cycle time + cap consumption + crystal damage for mining lasers, this way the amount of wasted mining time due to asteroid depletion is reduced.
- Reduces substantially mining crystal damage
- Repairs (\o/) mining crystal damage
- Makes mining laser able to damage stuff if targeting a ship instead of an asteroid (cool idea but would probably require to do some extensive coding, so...)
- Makes mining laser have an added 10% yield in an AoE of a Xkm around their main target (same, cool but probably hard to implement)
- Makes mining laser give a small yield multiplier to other mining lasers from other ships, targeting the same asteroid.
- Increased agility and warp speed (for industrial ships only - would facilitate running away, and would encourage using gates as a mining fleet to move around if you don't own a bridge / titan (potentially niche but fun) - would NOT trigger weapons timer)

Note: The increased agility link, would make a nice alternative "doomsday" on the Rorqual, if not already incorporated into the third mining link. Instead of the invulnerability, render the Rorqual unable to move for 30s, but launch a pulse that makes every ship around it align 75% faster. The rorqual would have an increased chance to die, but the rest of the fleet would be able to try and escape more easily.

Note 2: Unrelated to boosts, related to the Rorqual, what if the capital tractor beam was able to also tractor beam friendly industrial ships?

Signature Tanking Best Tanking

[Ex-F] CEO - Eve-guides.fr

Ultimate Citadel Guide - 2016 EVE Career Chart

Vincent Athena
Photosynth
#1133 - 2016-09-11 17:13:13 UTC
CCP Fozzie wrote:
. The new system instead uses packets of nanites projected in all directions from the source ship that enhance the allies that they land upon. .....

This gives me an idea:

What about a charge the delivers packets of nanites to ALL ships in range, irrelevant of their fleet or enemy status? Purpose: It lets anti-gankers actually do something to help the ship being attacked.

Know a Frozen fan? Check this out

Frozen fanfiction

CCP Fozzie
C C P
C C P Alliance
#1134 - 2016-09-11 17:19:50 UTC
Vincent Athena wrote:
CCP Fozzie wrote:
. The new system instead uses packets of nanites projected in all directions from the source ship that enhance the allies that they land upon. .....

This gives me an idea:

What about a charge the delivers packets of nanites to ALL ships in range, irrelevant of their fleet or enemy status? Purpose: It lets anti-gankers actually do something to help the ship being attacked.


We are building similar systems with the Titan effect generators, so this kind of thing could be possible in the future. We'll definitely keep the idea in mind.

Game Designer | Team Five-0

Twitter: @CCP_Fozzie
Twitch chat: ccp_fozzie

Bienator II
madmen of the skies
#1135 - 2016-09-11 17:23:53 UTC
after reading that i kinda want now golden glitter faction charges which only boost amarr ships ;)

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

Nasar Vyron
S0utherN Comfort
Test Alliance Please Ignore
#1136 - 2016-09-11 17:31:38 UTC
CCP Fozzie wrote:

...

Some of you have expressed concern that the "Mining Equipment Preservation" burst isn't valuable enough. I'll start out by saying that not every link needs to be of equal power and that the consolidation of cycle time and cap use into one link is a big buff even if the new 3rd link isn't something you'll always use. However we are interested in hearing from you about what kinds of bonuses you think would be interesting as a replacement for the Mining Equipment Preservation effect. We'll give consideration to your ideas and see if a better option comes up.

...

Like I said above, we're working hard on the next dev blog (focusing on the Mining Foreman gameplay role and the Porpoise/Orca/Rorqual) and we hope to get that out to you all soon.
Thanks everyone for the continued feedback!


-Mining Drone speed/yield -
I'm taking this idea off the rigs, we have drone yield rigs so at some point a team at CCP felt this was a light weight enough to be balanced. I personally favor this idea because I see it being far easier to balance this as there are no hull bonuses (on barges/exhumers) which could amplify this effect and it also works to restore some of what was lost with the removal of the passive yield bonus from MD.


Thanks for the update Fozzie! I'm glad to see you communicating with us on this one.
Mercer Nen
Summicron Holdings
#1137 - 2016-09-11 17:32:22 UTC
CCP Fozzie wrote:
Lugh Crow-Slave wrote:
reason one for your charge change i can already see getting backlash as a poor reason -.-

overall i still like the idea of them being charges i just think thats a really dumb reason in long term


If the third reason was the only one that would be enough tbh. I did say it was in order from least important to most important. Smile

But in general it can be easy to underestimate the effect that a conceptual change can have, just repackaging something to get players into a different mindspace can have a giant impact. This is actually something that I personally tend to underestimate and that I've been learning more and more as I gain experience as a designer.



It's great that this type of thinking is going into EVE game design! However, it's also the type of theory that can be meaningless unless tested. And by "tested", I mean proper user testing.

Not sure how much user testing CCP is currently doing, but these sorts of "mental model" theories are difficult to evaluate from general feedback. Seeing people demonstrate what their mental model is of a particular concept is much more informative (and accurate) than having someone tell you what their mental model is. The former is dependant on observation and analysis, while the latter tends to derive from direct "feedback" (from forums?) and questionable interpretation.

Slightly off topic, but hopefully still relevant.
Lugh Crow-Slave
#1138 - 2016-09-11 17:32:23 UTC
CCP Fozzie wrote:
However we are interested in hearing from you about what kinds of bonuses you think would be interesting as a replacement for the Mining Equipment Preservation effect. We'll give consideration to your ideas and see if a better option comes up.



What about increased mass? I know bumping is still an issue with miners..... i just don't know how this would affect WH is there another way to limit how hard a ship is bumped? idk what all goes into it
Synmath Uisen
Corpus Verum
#1139 - 2016-09-11 18:23:30 UTC
CCP Fozzie wrote:

The current plans for material requirements for batches of the burst charges are as follows (base values for an unresearched blueprint):
Batch size for all bust charges is 500.

All information command burst charges:
100 units of Helium Isotopes
100 units of Nitrogen Isotopes
300 units of Heavy Water
100 units of Tritanium
100 units of Isogen

All skirmish command burst charges:
100 units of Oxygen Isotopes
100 units of Nitrogen Isotopes
300 units of Heavy Water
100 units of Tritanium
100 units of Isogen

All shield command burst charges:
100 units of Hydrogen Isotopes
100 units of Nitrogen Isotopes
300 units of Heavy Water
100 units of Tritanium
100 units of Isogen

All armor command burst charges:
100 units of Helium Isotopes
100 units of Oxygen Isotopes
300 units of Heavy Water
100 units of Tritanium
100 units of Isogen

All mining foreman burst charges:
500 units of Heavy Water
500 units of Tritanium
500 units of Isogen

This means that the cost of an individual burst charge should land between 200 and 400 isk, with the mining burst charges costing a bit less than the combat ones.



So this is very affordable, and can be worked well, 5 hours per load of ammo, no issues there decent amount of time.

here is my next big question and issue, it has to do with mining boosts. i know you say that the blog for it is coming out soon, but to be honest, I'm watching the numbers and seeing my mining productivity dropping like a rock, and I'm very very nervous about the future state of mining.

Have you given thought to having the mining boots just have longer range period? 15km is too small to support even the smallest of null fleets, and the Idea of having to put a 500 mil (projected and speculation) battle cruiser on the filed to even consider getting boosts is really hampering any production we would see.

This on top of the major changes (I read as Nerfs - blog about Ore revamp) to our main mining ships, and watching the current productivity drop in a major way. I would like to feel that I'm not going to be working harder and harder to make even the slightest Isk.

At this point, I could see mineral prices double after these changes, as Null/low mining is getting completely hammered with these Nerfs.

Again I apologize for jumping the gun on this, but Mining is what I enjoy, I love the Industry aspect of the game, but I get very sensitive at how much my profits are being cut by the sheer amount of productivity loss.
MrB99
Astral Mining
Astral Industries
#1140 - 2016-09-11 23:03:37 UTC
Devs - while you're looking at the fleet feature could you please look and see if you can incorporate changes for any of the following unresolved fleet-admin issues with the way fleets work now... In our case these impact static public mining fleets rather than mobile combat fleets. Someone should also explicitly do some thinking about how dc's will impact fleets differently in the new system.

1. Now if the fleet boss dc's the advert (if there is one) goes down. It would be nice if there were a way for the advert to automatically go back up in case the new person who becomes boss happens to be afk and unavailable to click the "post advert" dialog box that is displayed.

2. Will hierarchy still be the mechanism to control who becomes fleet boss if the boss dc's? It would be nice to have a manual mechanism to control who becomes boss (since who see's the fleet is based on the boss address book, and not everybody may have it). ...particularly if fleet tree hierarchy is being de-emphasized.

3. It would be nice to have a mechanism to specify in the fleet saved-settings 2 or more toons who will have boss ability to manipulate the full fleet tree. Having up to 10 people with full rights to move around the tree and who would become boss if they're logged in and have joined the fleet would be nice.

4. It would be nice if free move really meant free move. Now fleet members can't self-move themselves into wing or fc slots. This assumes the wing role will still be valuable for wing-warping, and the wing view of the show fleet composition window.

5. Who sees the fleet is based on the boss's address book, but if you're running a public fleet you can exceed the current max address book size pretty easily. In a public fleet you're not all in the same corp, so corp address book slots are not necessarily available as overflow. It would be nice if the address book size was 2x-3x larger and it would be nice if there was an easy way to share your address book with another player (example: txt file import/export like you can do with fits).

6. There's no way to block a disruptive person unless you block their whole corp. When you allow NPC corps you can't block somebody's alt unless you remove the corp and 1-by-1 add all the npc players who routinely participate in your fleet. This, in part, is what can cause the address book size requirement to balloon. In public mining fleets you have the problem of npc new accounts who join, fly a venture, and then steal ore from fleet members jetcanning. You want to boot, and exclude players who do this from your public fleet.

7. It would be nice to have an import-export mechanism for fleet saved settings, and a way to easily move the motd text among characters.

8 It would also be nice if there was an accurate character counter when authoring fleet motds (or there was a view as text, view as html option). Now it's trial and error because the characters consumed by embedded codes/html tags to add color etc... are not visible to the motd author.

---

Features specific to the new system:

1. It would be nice if the boss and FC had a way to see who was boosting, what kind of boosts they were giving, and their boost-ammo status. There's been talk of visual effects due to the new focus of being on-grid but fleet management may be managing a large enough group they are operating on multiple grids.

2. When a booster dc's it would be helpful for the fc/boss/wing to visually see who lost boost and who is in boost range of which booster.

3. It would be nice to know who is boost-capable (based on fit and skills) and of what kind of boost in the show fleet composition window.