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Balancing Incursions: Make Sansha a force to fear

Author
Fredfredbug4
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#1 - 2012-03-07 02:14:19 UTC
So we have Sansha, these borg-esque baddies that use advanced and unknown methods of quickly moving into hi-security space essentially out of nowhere. This is a threat so terrible all of the capsuleers must band together and use their combined wealth, power, and skills to take down a threat that would spell doom to all the good people of New Eden if we don't intervene to assist CONCORD in the destruction of the bad guys?

Actually, it seems New Eden would be just fine whether or not we actually do anything.

The biggest complaint about Hi-sec incursions is that people make billions of ISK with virtually no risk. The second is that incursions really don't contribute to EVE in a nutshell. At least missioning has formed the trade hubs we all know and love but incursions really don't add much to the entire sandbox.

So the solution is to make Sansha an actual threat to the cluster. But how

Threat A: As Sansha wreck havoc, Security Status decreases

According to Lore, places that have been ransacked by Sansha are severly depopulated (obviously) and appear like they are ghost towns. Null and Lowsec areas share similar properties. So as Sansha ransack a system, if capsuleers can't regain control of it fast enough the sec status will decrease by .1 (or more) hour or so.

This forces capsuleers to constantly work against the clock. No time for BS. If systems loose sec status CONCORD begins to loose hope in the capsuleers and offers less and less money for incursions than the initial pay outs

"But wouldn't this severely nerf lowsec incursions?

No, because the rewards decrease from the starting pay outs, lowsec sec status will also decrease a lot slower and will always be more profitable than hi-sec no matter what. Since lowsec systems are already insecure to start out with CONCORD won't heavily penalize rewards for decreased sec status but because they will be harder to take rid Sansha of, the payouts will still be higher.

"What should happen if a hi-sec system degrades into lowsec?

It will stay that way for a while. After the incursion there will be recovery as new people of the Empires try to recolonize these lost systems. The rate of recovery varies but factors would be mostly based on the surrounding systems. A system surrounded by 1.0 and 0.9 systems will recover quicker due to being closer to the general population however a system that used to be the hi-sec - low-sec border will recover more slowly but will nonetheless recover.

Threat B: Sansha incursions appear more often and indiscriminately

Pretty basic, incursions will pop up all over the place regardless of location or sec status. These means that people's favorite hi-sec havens can become under Sansha assualt one day. First off this makes hi-sec more dynamic and interesting. Things never change in Hi-sec. Suddenly having to defend your home will be a change that may or may not be welcomed.

This also makes incursion runners actually contribute to the EVE universe. They will keep our trade hubs safe, our asteroid belts more secure and generally actually make things interesting in hi-sec once in a while. This is the type of involvement that your average carebear would actually welcome into the game. They can only benefit from it. They get tons of money and protect their homes at the same time. If not then pockets of low and null will pop up in hi-sec drastically changing the EVE map.

The exception to this are noob systems and the systems within 3 jumps of it for obvious reasons.

Threat C: Systems under attack will have roaming NPC Sansha

Sansha are actually seen directly attacking stations and mining ops in the trailer and in the chronicle the pull directly up to a planet to abduct it's citizens. How come we don't see so as much Sansha activity in the systems under attack by it?

Not only are the incursion sites to run but Sansha rats will roam about attacking people indiscriminately. They will actually be threatening, imagine mobile null-sec rats but in hi-sec. Because the system will still be labeled as hi-sec (for a while at least) people entering will be warned of the ongoing attacks to prevent butthurt.

This actually makes Sansha a threat outside of the sites and with good AI programming will make the game a lot more dynamic. To make things even more interesting you might find pockets of CONCORD fighting off Sansha, though not enough to render the rats insignificant. The success will be based off of security status.

1.0- Small skirmishes. CONCORD wins without taking loses.
0.9- Medium sized battles. CONCORD wins but takes a few losses
0.8- Large battles. CONCORD wins but takes many losse
0.7- Massive battles. Either Sansha or CONCORD win but both take extreme losse
0.6- Large Battles. Sansha wins but takes many losse
0.5- Medium sized battles. Sansha wins but takes few losses.

Security status will have no indication on just how strong these rats will be, but will dictate how many roam about. However there will always be enough to make people think twice about auto-piloting.

Incursion runners and others alike can gain standing and bounties from killing the Sansha rats.

Watch_ Fred Fred Frederation_ and stop [u]cryptozoologist[/u]! Fight against the brutal genocide of fictional creatures across New Eden! Is that a metaphor? Probably not, but the fru-fru- people will sure love it!

Fredfredbug4
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#2 - 2012-03-07 02:14:28 UTC  |  Edited by: Fredfredbug4
How will the combination of all these threats look?

Just imagine an average day at Jita 4-4. Many ships are undocked minding their own business. Yet something seems amiss. Your overview jumps and suddenly some ships explode, more than usual. The Sansha raids begin. Combat ready ships turn to fight the attacks and the less harmless ones scramble back into their stations or test their luck in trying to escape the system. Many of these people succumb to to Sansha gate camps, others make in through. CONCORD security vessels come in and save the area outside of Jita 4-4. The place serves as a refugee camp and gathering place for incursion runners, yet heavy fighting still occurs throughout the rest of the system. CONCORD says they can keep the system secure for a while, but after continous assaults the CONCORD vessels will either be overwhelmed or forced to pull out.

CONCORD will handle the evacuation of refugees but will need capsuleer assistance in order to secure the former capital of EVE. So we suit up and run the incursion sites, however we are running against the clock. Every moment we spend delaying, the worse the situation becomes.

At the end of all this either two things happen

1. We fail completely and Jita is abandoned to the new Sansha Overlords until they decide their work is done. The EVE landscape is changed forever. A few corporations that were based in Jita are forced to dissolve or lose billions. People are stuck with many of their assets in the now dangerous system.

2. Success is ours and we go on our merry way.

Watch_ Fred Fred Frederation_ and stop [u]cryptozoologist[/u]! Fight against the brutal genocide of fictional creatures across New Eden! Is that a metaphor? Probably not, but the fru-fru- people will sure love it!

Fredfredbug4
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#3 - 2012-03-07 02:14:41 UTC  |  Edited by: Fredfredbug4
Good suggestions

Not playing favorites, just some people's suggestions that seem to either bring up problems that should be fixed with the idea or ideas that contribute to this one.

CaleAdaire wrote:
Maybe the HQ system drops sec status at a higher rate and the VG system drops at a lower rate.


Makes sense considering Sansha have stronger or weaker forces in certain systems.


Tidurious wrote:
I think that all it should say, when running incursions, is "Sansha Ships detected over here". NO idea if it's a propaganda cluster, an HQ site, or a VG. That would help slow the ISK faucet and make people think before going in there.


I like this idea because Sansha is an mysterious entity and people shouldn't really know all they need to know to successfully run an incursion before they even get to the site.

Xorv wrote:
I disagree with payouts getting less over time under this system, I think once security drops to Low Sec rewards should increase not decrease... CONCORD getting more desperate thus willing to pay more, and from balance point of view greater risk therefore greater reward.

Another critical element missing from the proposed idea is a means for players to side with the Sansha. A means for players to enlist with the Sansha and gaining LPs for killing CONCORD patrols and non Sansha aligned players would be a good start. Perhaps this is something that only becomes available once an Incursion has reached 0.4 sec or bellow as sympathizers and opportunists don't want to show their true colors while CONCORD still has a grip on the system. Also giving more motivation to finish the High Sec Incursion quickly before such pod pilots can get involved.


Very good suggestion. It really doesn't make much sense for players to be penalized for going through more difficult circumstances. And it adds an element for much needed PVP. It could also help boost PVP activity as it can now become very profitable for some. I'd like to think that some people would try to sabotage people working for CONCORD so they could later take part in the fight

Watch_ Fred Fred Frederation_ and stop [u]cryptozoologist[/u]! Fight against the brutal genocide of fictional creatures across New Eden! Is that a metaphor? Probably not, but the fru-fru- people will sure love it!

CaleAdaire
Deep Core Mining Inc.
#4 - 2012-03-07 02:52:38 UTC
By nature a trade hub has to remain untouchable, can you imagine, not only the average 1400-1600 people in and out every minute but also an additional 2-3 thousand others. The node would crash... HARD. But, outside of that, I kinda like the idea. Maybe the HQ system drops sec status at a higher rate and the VG system drops at a lower rate. Would be very difficult to implement and possibly never happen but I like the idea.

Trust in God, Have Faith in Fusion.

Cold Burrito
Perkone
Caldari State
#5 - 2012-03-07 02:55:34 UTC
Your solution is quite drastic to deal with people making too much isk off of incursions. This will decrease isk payouts and increase risk to people living in the systems, but it's going too far with it. Most players in the game don't want to do incursions and those people shouldn't be forced into that game mechanic. These changes would greatly affect the established gameplay that's been active for almost 9 years.

If you want to increase risk to the people running the sites and decrease the total isk payouts, don't necessarily decrease the payouts, just increase the risk. Incursions are supposed to be increased-risk PvE, so give each site some probability that one of the Sansha drops a cyno and out comes Big Boss-Nass with a bunch of scramblers (jumps out if you stop fighting for x long). Now how do you feel about risking your faction fitted incursion isk-machine?
Fredfredbug4
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#6 - 2012-03-07 03:48:00 UTC
Cold Burrito wrote:
Your solution is quite drastic to deal with people making too much isk off of incursions. This will decrease isk payouts and increase risk to people living in the systems, but it's going too far with it. Most players in the game don't want to do incursions and those people shouldn't be forced into that game mechanic. These changes would greatly affect the established gameplay that's been active for almost 9 years.


You do have a good point. Forcing people to be involved in incursions in some way, whether it be hiding from Sansha or fighting them would be bad. Though I feel that EVE as of now currently has enough incursion runners to counter most Sansha onslaughts.

Watch_ Fred Fred Frederation_ and stop [u]cryptozoologist[/u]! Fight against the brutal genocide of fictional creatures across New Eden! Is that a metaphor? Probably not, but the fru-fru- people will sure love it!

Kitt JT
True North.
#7 - 2012-03-07 04:01:00 UTC
In nullsec, incursions have gate rats. I think hisec incursions should too, but then ccp would have to deal with sooooooo many tears.
Not sure how variable sec status would work tbh. From a technical standpoint, I think ccp would have to shut down the server to change sec status.

Also, it would probably mean that nullsec incursions would go un-done just to reap the benefits of lower security status.
Fredfredbug4
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#8 - 2012-03-07 04:06:39 UTC
Kitt JT wrote:

Not sure how variable sec status would work tbh. From a technical standpoint, I think ccp would have to shut down the server to change sec status.



I'm not too sure, Sov and other system related data can be changed without the need of a system reset. Perhaps a similar system can be adapted for the change of sec status?

Watch_ Fred Fred Frederation_ and stop [u]cryptozoologist[/u]! Fight against the brutal genocide of fictional creatures across New Eden! Is that a metaphor? Probably not, but the fru-fru- people will sure love it!

Tidurious
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#9 - 2012-03-07 04:30:21 UTC
I think it needs work as a whole, but I like the idea. Also - why should we know exactly what kind of site we're jumping into at the moment?

I think that all it should say, when running incursions, is "Sansha Ships detected over here". NO idea if it's a propaganda cluster, an HQ site, or a VG. That would help slow the ISK faucet and make people think before going in there.
Amaroq Dricaldari
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#10 - 2012-03-07 05:10:34 UTC  |  Edited by: Amaroq Dricaldari
Do you think this should also be linked to DUST?

Also, newbie systems and places like Jita shouldn't be attacked. If they do get attacked, make it small little pockets that move around and are hard to scan for.

This is my signature. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

Markus Reese
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#11 - 2012-03-07 05:24:26 UTC
Incursions, nothing wrong with the npcs/idea/etc Fix for incursions can be done much easily.

First, you are correct, beacons can be unknown.

Unknown, spawns are not predictable, there is more risk for the reward. Not being able to spec fit means slower clear times.

As the clearance rate increases, sansha withdraw leaving slower spawn rate of the sites. Thereby more player will need to group up to run bigger sites if you really want any isk.

Farm problem solved, fun is back.

To quote Lfod Shi

The ratting itself is PvE. Getting away with it is PvP.

Fredfredbug4
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#12 - 2012-03-07 21:15:43 UTC
Quote:
Do you think this should also be linked to DUST

Also, newbie systems and places like Hitachi shouldn't be attacked. If they do get attacked, make it small little pockets that move around and are hard to scan for.


It would be interesting to see some sort of DUST integration to this. Perhaps let DUST Bunnies protect the incursion staging areas or something

And yeah I already covered that newbie systems and systems at least 3 jumps away from newbie systems will be excluded from this.

Watch_ Fred Fred Frederation_ and stop [u]cryptozoologist[/u]! Fight against the brutal genocide of fictional creatures across New Eden! Is that a metaphor? Probably not, but the fru-fru- people will sure love it!

Skydell
Bad Girl Posse
Somethin Awfull Forums
#13 - 2012-03-07 22:08:14 UTC
There are a hundred things you could do in High Sec. Nobody does them, they do what offers the most ISK. Killing Incursion rewards will simply make it second to some other content and people wills top doing them and revert or move on to the next and most efficient content. Every PvE aspect of EVE is reduced to it's grind power and that to me is the core of the issue.

My favorite PvE in EVE is to hunt commanders in belts but the rewards are absolute crap. A junk tag, 1000 crappy ammo and maybe if I am lucky a bit of T2 salvage. Everything but the tag is easier to obtain from navy LP items and the Tag is in most cases 2600 ISK worth of minerals. I've done it in low and null too and the RnG makes it not worth it there either. We have so many ISK faucets and they are all sour because of the extreme over nerfing in some attempt to make High sec less appealing.

I just wish they would stop treating PvE like some kind of prison sentence for PvP when PvP is clearly designed around loss of asset. Any PvE nerf they do is just an extended prison sentence for PvP loss.
Gizznitt Malikite
Agony Unleashed
Agony Empire
#14 - 2012-03-08 00:06:58 UTC
Cold Burrito wrote:
Your solution is quite drastic to deal with people making too much isk off of incursions. This will decrease isk payouts and increase risk to people living in the systems, but it's going too far with it. Most players in the game don't want to do incursions and those people shouldn't be forced into that game mechanic. These changes would greatly affect the established gameplay that's been active for almost 9 years.

If you want to increase risk to the people running the sites and decrease the total isk payouts, don't necessarily decrease the payouts, just increase the risk. Incursions are supposed to be increased-risk PvE, so give each site some probability that one of the Sansha drops a cyno and out comes Big Boss-Nass with a bunch of scramblers (jumps out if you stop fighting for x long). Now how do you feel about risking your faction fitted incursion isk-machine?


QFT....

Realistically, the only "nerf" incursions need are truly random spawn events as well as extraneous spawn events. Essentially, if people want to run sites in "minimal" groups, make it very risky to do so. There is something very wrong when I can look up exact triggers and spawns events PRIOR to them happening no EvE Survival or whatnot... Take this information away, and incursions become much more risky or difficult to blitz.
Xorv
Questionable Acquisitions
#15 - 2012-03-08 00:41:04 UTC
Strongly support OPs suggestions, a much better fit for EVE than existing Incursions and would add a lot to the game.

I disagree with payouts getting less over time under this system, I think once security drops to Low Sec rewards should increase not decrease... CONCORD getting more desperate thus willing to pay more, and from balance point of view greater risk therefore greater reward.

I also think if left long enough a system suffering from an Incursion should drop all the way to Null sec, temporarily becoming Sansha NPC Null. That could apply to all Incursions not just High Sec ones.

Another critical element missing from the proposed idea is a means for players to side with the Sansha. A means for players to enlist with the Sansha and gaining LPs for killing CONCORD patrols and non Sansha aligned players would be a good start. Perhaps this is something that only becomes available once an Incursion has reached 0.4 sec or bellow as sympathizers and opportunists don't want to show their true colors while CONCORD still has a grip on the system. Also giving more motivation to finish the High Sec Incursion quickly before such pod pilots can get involved.
Fredfredbug4
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#16 - 2012-03-08 00:47:49 UTC
Xorv wrote:


I disagree with payouts getting less over time under this system, I think once security drops to Low Sec rewards should increase not decrease... CONCORD getting more desperate thus willing to pay more, and from balance point of view greater risk therefore greater reward.


That makes a lot of sense. After all CONCORD is supposedly out to keep the citizens of New Eden safe (conspiracy theorist may think otherwise) so they probably would try to encourage people to work harder.

This also lets pilots strategically wait for incursions to lower a sec status until they feel they are ready to start getting ISK from it.

Quote:
I also think if left long enough a system suffering from an Incursion should drop all the way to Null sec, temporarily becoming Sansha NPC Null. That could apply to all Incursions not just High Sec ones.


That was the general idea. I don't think it should become NPC Null though because in lore Sansha leave after their work in a system is done.

Quote:
Another critical element missing from the proposed idea is a means for players to side with the Sansha. A means for players to enlist with the Sansha and gaining LPs for killing CONCORD patrols and non Sansha aligned players would be a good start. Perhaps this is something that only becomes available once an Incursion has reached 0.4 sec or bellow as sympathizers and opportunists don't want to show their true colors while CONCORD still has a grip on the system. Also giving more motivation to finish the High Sec Incursion quickly before such pod pilots can get involved.


I like this idea as well. I'm going to post these two tidbits in a suggestions section as well as the ones from other people I liked.

Watch_ Fred Fred Frederation_ and stop [u]cryptozoologist[/u]! Fight against the brutal genocide of fictional creatures across New Eden! Is that a metaphor? Probably not, but the fru-fru- people will sure love it!

Xorv
Questionable Acquisitions
#17 - 2012-03-08 00:54:57 UTC
Fredfredbug4 wrote:
Cold Burrito wrote:
Your solution is quite drastic to deal with people making too much isk off of incursions. This will decrease isk payouts and increase risk to people living in the systems, but it's going too far with it. Most players in the game don't want to do incursions and those people shouldn't be forced into that game mechanic. These changes would greatly affect the established gameplay that's been active for almost 9 years.


You do have a good point. Forcing people to be involved in incursions in some way, whether it be hiding from Sansha or fighting them would be bad. Though I feel that EVE as of now currently has enough incursion runners to counter most Sansha onslaughts.


Actually he doesn't have a good point. In High/Low Sec Players can simply move systems if they don't want to be involved. The idea that players should be able to immunize themselves from the actions of other players or that of the game world (NPCs) runs against everything that makes games like EVE worth playing in the first place. If players want predictable, easily controlled and managed gameplay they should switch to one of the many Themepark MMOs out there. Lastly just because gameplay is established, doesn't make it good.
Fredfredbug4
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#18 - 2012-03-08 01:00:05 UTC
Xorv wrote:
Fredfredbug4 wrote:
Cold Burrito wrote:
Your solution is quite drastic to deal with people making too much isk off of incursions. This will decrease isk payouts and increase risk to people living in the systems, but it's going too far with it. Most players in the game don't want to do incursions and those people shouldn't be forced into that game mechanic. These changes would greatly affect the established gameplay that's been active for almost 9 years.


You do have a good point. Forcing people to be involved in incursions in some way, whether it be hiding from Sansha or fighting them would be bad. Though I feel that EVE as of now currently has enough incursion runners to counter most Sansha onslaughts.


Actually he doesn't have a good point. In High/Low Sec Players can simply move systems if they don't want to be involved. The idea that players should be able to immunize themselves from the actions of other players or that of the game world (NPCs) runs against everything that makes games like EVE worth playing in the first place. If players want predictable, easily controlled and managed gameplay they should switch to one of the many Themepark MMOs out there. Lastly just because gameplay is established, doesn't make it good.



Hmmm a good counter argument. People are often forced into things they wouldn't do otherwise in EVE all the time anyway. From war-decs to having a wormhole open up in a system they live in.

Watch_ Fred Fred Frederation_ and stop [u]cryptozoologist[/u]! Fight against the brutal genocide of fictional creatures across New Eden! Is that a metaphor? Probably not, but the fru-fru- people will sure love it!