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Player Features and Ideas Discussion

 
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A New (Non-Combat) Exploration Mechanic

Author
Aidan Patrick
Aldebaran Foundation
#1 - 2011-10-04 23:47:07 UTC  |  Edited by: Aidan Patrick
I think it is time for a non-combat exploration mechanic to be added to EVE. Don't get me wrong; the existing exploration mechanic works fine; but it essentially requires combat at all times. The harder exploration sites (namely those in wormholes) require multiple people to perform. This idea is basically something for a lone explorer to do in both wspace, and kspace... however it would be much more beneficial to do in wpsace.

What I would like to see is an exploration mechanic that does not require combat, and can be done solo regardless of the system and the strength of NPC's that would normally be present. As such; I would like to see a pair of new mini-professions added to the game:

The Exogeologist & Exobiologist... aka The "Exo-Scientist"

  • Exogeologist - Planetary geology, alternatively known as astrogeology or exogeology, is a planetary science discipline concerned with the geology of the celestial bodies such as the planets and their moons, asteroids, comets, and meteorites

  • Exobiologist - a person who studies the origin, development, and distribution of ‘living’ systems that may exist outside of Earth



What would these professions do?

The answer to this question is quite simple. Someone of these professions would fly from system to system, exploring every facet of each system by means of being in the vicinity of each celestial (non-man-made) object in the system. Most notably planets and moons. At this point the pilot would use a specialized probe that is then launched at the planet or moon which would perform surface scans and sample gathering.

Once the scan is complete, the probe launches itself back into space at a random spot around the planet (similar to a planetary launch from a command center) at which time the pilot needs to warp to the location from their journal and collect the probe and its contents (planetary data, and samples)



What I think would need to be added to the game.

Not much should be added, IMO. It should be a relatively simple profession to enter and train up.

Skill Additions
  • Exobiology (Rank 3)
  • Exogeology (Rank 3)

Probe Additions - These would be launched from existing expanded probe launchers, similar to existing moon survey probes.
  • Planetary Geological Survey Probe
  • Planetary Biological Survey Probe
  • Planetary Survey Probe (Requires Exobiology & Exogeology 5, but performs the task of both pobes at a slightly increased scan time)

Data Object Additions
  • Sub-Data Chips that contain information on a specific planet/moon within a specific system.
  • Data chips created by combining all the sub-chips for each planet and moon (and possibly sun) in the system. Provides a wealth of information on the system, possibly including its coordinates in its' galaxy.
  • Data chips could possibly contain hints on the story and past behind the sleepers in bits and pieces, making it so gathering many chips and analyzing what they all say would be more enlightening.

Sample Object Additions
Samples are separate from data chips, in the fact that they are an actual 'piece of the planet' so to speak that can be taken for more intense research.
  • Low, Mid & High Grade Flora Samples
  • Low, Mid & High Grade Fauna Samples
  • Low, Mid & High Grade Mineral Samples
  • Low, Mid & High Grade Liquid Samples

Ship Additions
I would like to see a single ship role added to the game. It would be a variation of existing Force Recon's. The following changes would occur to the new variant of Force Recon
  • Loses combat bonuses from Recon Ships skill levels in favor of probe strength bonuses.
  • Role bonus is changed from cyno fuel and duration decreases to a decrease in duration on survey probes, IE they can obtain samples and data from probing the planets and moons quicker.
  • Retains ability to use covert-ops cloaking devices, and the CPU reduction from Recon Ships towards cloaking device usage.
  • Retains ability to jump through a covert cyno bridge, however loses the ability to pop a covert cyno.

Note: My reason for suggesting cruisers for this role, and not existing probe bonuses frigates, is because I feel that cruisers are more of a match for long-term exploration ops into the void and unknown. They feature more space for scientific facilities, as well as cargo for gathered samples and probes to do the exploring. Oh, and I *really* like the idea of exploring in a Pilgrim hull, lol.



What would it be like to play this mini-profession?

Playing as an exo-scientist would be pretty simple and straight forward. You would fly from system to system, and once you got to a new place you would start going to each planet and moon, and launch a survey probe at them. After a set amount of time the probe would finish its survey and sample gathering and launch itself into space.



Continued in next post.

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Aidan Patrick
Aldebaran Foundation
#2 - 2011-10-04 23:47:16 UTC  |  Edited by: Aidan Patrick
What happens when the probe is surveying the planet?

From a role play perspective the probe wanders the planet picking up samples of flora, fauna and rock/liquids with interesting or desired properties. When it comes to samples of fauna, it kills that particular creature, and takes a DNA sample (which due to our affinity for cloning technology, is not only sufficient, but much safer than bringing alien life forms aboard that have not been studied.)

From a mechanic standpoint, the probe is launched, and a waiting period is generated to simulate the probe actually wandering the planet. During this process a random set of samples is generated (and influenced by your Exogeology & Exobiology skills). The samples provided would be based on what would logically be on the planet (IE a temperate planet would potentially provide flora and fauna samples.)

When the probe finishes its survey it launches itself back into orbit around the planet, at which time it sends you its location (via an entry in your journal, identical to how a planetary launch from a Command Center is handled) you warp to it, and empty out the probes contents. I think it would be nice to be able to pick the probe back up after you empty it out; in order to facilitate the ability for explorers to remain as wspace wanderers for long periods of time.

When emptying your probe after it launches it back into orbit you could find in its contents:
  • A data chip with information on the object you probed (Guaranteed)
  • Varying samples based on the planet/moon type ranging from Low, Mid & High quality
  • Possibly extremely rare archeology finds that explain the history of the galaxy the sleepers inhabit? (assuming you have archeology trained, and are in wspace)




So, what do we do with these data chips and samples?

This is the part I'm not really 100% sure on as what you do with the final product can essentially effect game balance in other areas. However I did have some potential ideas that merit discussion:

For Data Chips
  • Data chips from each planet/moon can be combined into a "System" data chip that covers all information for the entire system, consolidating the data into one database, instead of multiples for the same system.
  • Potentially allow for turning in a "System" data chip to an R&D agent for corporation/personal standings.

For Samples
  • Potentially include them as an option ingredient in research to speed up the research time.
  • Potentially make them an optional ingredient in invention to create higher quality T2 BPC's.



Tentative: Wormhole Mapping

I additionally had an idea for the data chips that might be somewhat controversial; but I think it could have potential. Imagine that once you spend a bunch of time probing out every planet and moon in a system and you combine the data chips into a "System Chip" that you have the option to upload that chips data into your neocom "unlocking" that solar system on your map; destroying the "System Chip" in the process.

Now as far as travel in wspace is concerned this wouldn't really give you an advantage... however it would let you piece together a map of this alternate galaxy bit by bit.. letting you guage where you are in that galaxy, but not providing any other benefit. (IE, no statistic tools like the map in kspace.)

I like the concept behind the idea because lets say CCP go ahead and add in (or maybe already have? Twisted) a hidden place in wspace to find... and maybe by mapping the systems for yourself you could slowly find your way there over time by being able to gauge how deep into wspace you are.

Now I don't think you should be able to share systems you mapped with other players. Once the "system chip" is used, it is destroyed. Now if you decide to create multiples, all fine and dandy, however I envision each system chips pre-requisites taking about 10 minutes or more of 'work' surveying the entire system. Large systems could take even longer. This would in effect by a deterrent to selling mass quantities of system chips in order "sell" a wormhole map. However; if you so desired you could.

The great thing though, atleast in my eyes, is the map wouldn't really have a value to anyone but those who wanted to explore, and creating a map of every wspace system in the game would be an expensive and time consuming endeavor. Which could in turn make a very lucrative business for explorers.



In Summary

Basically the idea here is to give people more to do and add some fun. When providing feedback, please realize that I do not consider the "wormhole mapping" to be core to this idea, and nixing it completely isn't a problem for me, just thought I'd see how people would react to it being part of this feature idea.

I look forward to feedback on this, and thank those who took the time to read the entire post.

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Aidan Patrick
Aldebaran Foundation
#3 - 2011-10-04 23:47:25 UTC  |  Edited by: Aidan Patrick
Reserved for future information if necessary.

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Gizznitt Malikite
Agony Unleashed
Agony Empire
#4 - 2011-10-05 16:45:47 UTC

Its an interesting mini-profession.... it sounds like a very passive and probably relaxing form of game play... A couple of thoughts:

1.) I don't think we need special ship for this.... they could work like moon probes, to be launched from an expanded probe launcher.... maybe a bit smaller (10-25 m3) so you can fit more in a ship.

2.) If you limited this to planets only.... it could be tied into PI. By viewing the planet in planet mode, you could select where the probe is to land and survey. Maybe some of the PI skills can help you improve your returns by improving your scan location... (cause a probe is not going to scan an entire planet surface in any reasonable amount of time).

3.) I'm not sure how flaura and fauna fit into game lore, but I really like the geology and archeology prospects.

4.) Creating material research chips that can be included in invention to increase ME would be a big boon to inventors. I would recommend the BPC ME/PE levels are x% of the base BPO level, where the small percentage x is based on the quality of the research chip used.

Nova Fox
Novafox Shipyards
#5 - 2011-10-05 17:16:55 UTC
I would so love to revive my SOE ship topic but alas fourums are being a bugger about it.

Dust 514's CPM 1 Iron Wolf Saber Eve mail me about Dust 514 issues.

Aidan Patrick
Aldebaran Foundation
#6 - 2011-10-05 18:06:23 UTC
Responses to Gizznitt Malikite

Gizznitt Malikite wrote:

Its an interesting mini-profession.... it sounds like a very passive and probably relaxing form of game play... A couple of thoughts:

Yeah, the relaxing is mainly why I want to do it... For the longest while now I've wanted to just go solo from wormhole to wormhole just to see everything thats out there. The only real thing for a single person with no alt to do though is to try and sell entries to the systems, which can get a pita at times.

I figure a new mini-profession is better than banging my head against an immovable wall to make sleeper sites soloable (Which I don't want lol)

Gizznitt Malikite wrote:
1.) I don't think we need special ship for this.... they could work like moon probes, to be launched from an expanded probe launcher.... maybe a bit smaller (10-25 m3) so you can fit more in a ship.

We don't need one, but I would sure love to have a custom tailored Pilgrim specifically for it. Teehee. Blink

Gizznitt Malikite wrote:
2.) If you limited this to planets only.... it could be tied into PI. By viewing the planet in planet mode, you could select where the probe is to land and survey. Maybe some of the PI skills can help you improve your returns by improving your scan location... (cause a probe is not going to scan an entire planet surface in any reasonable amount of time).

3.) I'm not sure how flaura and fauna fit into game lore, but I really like the geology and archeology prospects.

I could dig that. As far as no time to scan the entire planet, that's part of the reason I want the chance of what samples you get to be random. You're not always going to get the best quality samples on a rush-search of the planet, but sometimes you'll get lucky.

Well, Flora can easily be linked to booster research/production for a chance at increased quality maybe? Fauna... well maybe we can find some monstrous animal to cross-breed with Amarrian slaver hounds lol. I mainly suggest flora & fauna samples because from a scientific perspective, it makes sense to scrounge whatever samples you can.

Gizznitt Malikite wrote:
4.) Creating material research chips that can be included in invention to increase ME would be a big boon to inventors. I would recommend the BPC ME/PE levels are x% of the base BPO level, where the small percentage x is based on the quality of the research chip used.

I've never done invention myself, but I did research it not to long ago and was quite surprised as to how restrictive the quality of the BPC's are. I agree with this.


Responses to Nova Fox

Nova Fox wrote:
I would so love to revive my SOE ship topic but alas fourums are being a bugger about it.


Sounds like its relevant. Care to expand? Smile

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Nova Fox
Novafox Shipyards
#7 - 2011-10-05 18:33:54 UTC
Basically it was a way to get scientist out of a station via archeaology, rewards where research programs that would outperform any lab, ie work harder for faster results. or work richer.

The ultimate neato thing about it was using your personal lab (fueled by the programs.) was meta level research which would allow for design your own module using a researchable prefix and suffix system Like a Featherweight Light Ion Blaster Mauler would be a hard hitting and fast tracking Light Ion Blaster.

It was also going to open the way for full hackers, scavangers professions as well.

Dust 514's CPM 1 Iron Wolf Saber Eve mail me about Dust 514 issues.

Aidan Patrick
Aldebaran Foundation
#8 - 2011-10-06 13:19:32 UTC
Yeah... I started reading that thread since you finally got it up... had to take breaks. I'll post my feedback on it when I can bring myself to finish it lol (which I will at some point in the next couple of days).

Anyways, for this thread this is a simple bump to get some more feedback on the idea so I can present it to the CSM in the assembly hall.

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Azure Noko
CP129
#9 - 2011-10-10 23:09:39 UTC  |  Edited by: Azure Noko
+
Nova Fox
Novafox Shipyards
#10 - 2011-10-10 23:21:32 UTC  |  Edited by: Nova Fox
I would rather see a PVE profession that escalates into contested resources thats going to require... less than peaceful means to solve.

It be like two mining cloglomorates fighting over a certain roid belt.

Aidrian if you ever read my long idea I do suggest to keep a tab on the change log I am constantly updating.

Dust 514's CPM 1 Iron Wolf Saber Eve mail me about Dust 514 issues.

Aidan Patrick
Aldebaran Foundation
#11 - 2011-11-01 07:03:27 UTC
Been awhile. Bump.

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Sir Substance
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#12 - 2011-11-01 08:07:43 UTC
Wow, I totally missed this. The concept is great, but the uses for the items are lackluster.

I would choose to use these items as consumable PI items.

I would add a "regeneration" mode to extractors, and by consuming these exobilology and exogeology databases, along with planet samples specific to the kind of material you are trying to regenerate, you can cause a massive bloom of materiel under your extractors. Useful primarily in high sec, where planets are pretty sparse on materials.


The beatings will continue until posting improves. -Magnus Cortex

Official Eve Online changelist: Togglable PvP. - Jordanna Bauer

Aidan Patrick
Aldebaran Foundation
#13 - 2011-11-01 10:42:31 UTC
Sir Substance wrote:
Wow, I totally missed this. The concept is great, but the uses for the items are lackluster.

I would choose to use these items as consumable PI items.

I would add a "regeneration" mode to extractors, and by consuming these exobilology and exogeology databases, along with planet samples specific to the kind of material you are trying to regenerate, you can cause a massive bloom of materiel under your extractors. Useful primarily in high sec, where planets are pretty sparse on materials.




I really like that idea. Quite a lot in fact.

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