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Player Features and Ideas Discussion

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Small gang activity or "a Reason to Fight"

#1 - 2013-01-23 19:49:30 UTC
Current situation for Small gangs seems to be like this:

It has to fly docent of jumps to maybe find someone willing to fight them. If they are lucky. Most of the time they fly and fly and fly and nothing is there. After 3 hours of roaming the fleet returns, has no kills and pilots are board and grumpy. Nothing gained and nothing achieved.

In order to address this issue we need targets for small gangs. And thats not targets like unaware ratters in nice faction ships. That might happen from time to time but it isn't that much entertaining. So here are a few ideas to discuss about if they would help to give roaming gangs targets and get some profit out of the enemy if he decides to not fight back.

Hacking the I-hub for Money
The Sansha already do that in incursions, if the influence of enemy fleet is strong the bounty income for the system (or even hole constellation) gets lower. But it does not just vanish instead it is transfered to the hacking corporation (or the individuals of the fleet?). Hacking an I-Hub will take some time but will have considerable effect. But as it would be bad to come home and see "oh well 20% less income because some dudes where raiding our system 3 hours ago when our TZ was at work" the time the effect lasts would be short.

Stage 1: Hacking the I-hub for 5 minutes will yield in 10% bounty theft over the next 30 minutes.
Stage 2: Hacking it for 10 minutes will yield 10% for 1 hour
Stage 3: After 20 minutes of hacking you get 10% over 2 hours
Stage 4: If you hold the field for 30 Minutes you get 20 % for the next 3 hours.
(The figures are just for example and open for discussion of cause)

The longer your fleet stays to hack the I-hub the higher the possibility that you get countered. If the hacking ship gets destroyed in the fight the hacking stage gets lowered by 1. If the Raiders disengage successfully (leaving system) the accomplished stages are granted. Returning to the I-Hub after leaving the system (or stopping hacking for 5 minutes) the raiding fleet starts at 0 and the time needed to accomplish the already granted level is wasted.
Maybe a gang could get an increase of the duration if they manage to hack all I-Hubs in a constellation. Something like all timers start from 0 after the last I-hub in that constellation has been hacked. Should be restricted to all hacked within 1 hour so not all but one system is hacked to stage 3 and just the last one (barely habitat) system gets flipped short before the first timer runs out.

Some concerns:
Hacking the systems of Blues to prevent the systems from being hacked from hostiles might be an issue. Maybe you can overwrite an previous hack if you commit the time. But if that is available to friends, shouldn't it be available to the defenders too? After they have driven of the aggressors +10 minutes of "back hacking" the I-hub would lower the stage by 1.
That would mean if the enemy reaches stage 3 you can shoot his hacking ship to get down to stage 2 and hack it back down to stage 1. so activity would be rewarded and after 30 Minutes you could do business as usual.

Second part in next post, the deployable Mining rig
#2 - 2013-01-23 19:51:04 UTC
The deployable Mining rig
(which can be raided, disabled and destroyed)
The mining rig comes in two sizes ((standard) 50k and large) 100k m³ ore bay). Both taking about 4 hours to run full and mine random ore from the belt they are anchored in.
Deployment restrictions: 5 km away from anything else; Max 2 per belt;
If there are ore compression BP (copies or originals) located inside the ore bay blocks will be generated once there is enough for a batch. Production time is about 4 times higher than rorqual but increases the time the mining station can run without being emptied.

If it gets Raided
Action 1: stealing stuff
If a Gang (or solo Pilot) uses a hacking module he gains access to the mining rig within 2 minutes of hacking. While hacking the rig a beacon shows up in overview as a distress signal of the rig. If no one counters it the gang gains access (all of them) and they can take as much stuff as they can carry. If they bring in Blackops Cyno and shuttle all out with BR-Indies, fast earned minerals.
Obviously the BP would be stolen always as they have ~0m³ so it would be wise to place only copies in it. Stealing standard ore would be less lucrative than compressed once. Putting all out into jet cans and shooting them is also possible.

Action 2: disabling the facility
An average small gang of 15 people should be able to disable the mining rig within 5 to 7 minutes. Once disabled it will enter an reinforced repair mode and it will be back online after 3 hours. If it gets external repair over 10 minutes it will be back online 30 minutes after repair is finished. Every reinforce cycle uses up some Strontium out of a seperate strontium bay (you can't steal from this one) which holds Stront for up to 10 Cycles of reinforce.
If it places a distress call if being hacked it obviously does the same if it is under attack so the defender knows where to warp and a fight may occur sooner as you don't have to search through all belts.

Action 3: cherry picking the good stuff
This action might be the most unlikely one but it is still possible. As the mining rig mines random at everything in range it is possible to "raid" with a bunch of mining frigs picking out the valuable stuff before the rig gets it.

Note: With there dedicated ore hold the mining frigs would be valuable companions in a raiding gang as they provide much more cargo to steal ore.

About the mining rigs:
Should they be deployable only in sov 0.0? Might be an interesting addition to low sec space to give more options to use this "home system" or raid that of others.
With a strontium bay for up to 10 reinforce cycles wouldn't it be too easy to keep it indestructible? What could be done to get it more balanced? In 0.0 it could be coupled with sov for lower strontium consumption as long as you keep sov.
Would they yield bounty for being disabled if the corp/alliance owning them have one placed on its head?
Nikk Narrel
Moonlit Bonsai
#3 - 2013-01-23 20:07:13 UTC
It was always intended, I feel, to have the incentive for combat to exist as a given whenever PvE activity was active.

Not that PvE was meant to be directly targeted, no. But in order for this activity to be protected, defense was intended.

Call it the cost of doing business, but having PvP ships on station at key points to guard against hostile attack is, (in my opinion), the implied design of low and null sec space.

I feel this has been bypassed for convenience, by the PvE ships using local as a primary warning system, and as this is effective to such a high degree the defensive ship need was made obsolete.

You don't need the fire department if you live in a fire proof house. That's one heck of a smoke alarm, eh?

But then, that's just my opinion.
Mike Voidstar
Voidstar Free Flight Foundation
#4 - 2013-01-23 20:54:10 UTC
I think you are half right.

A large part is that no one engages an escort either. It's the catch 22 of missioning in Low Sec. Kill Profit by bringing an escort who sits bored, or leave them and get attacked in a ship that can't PvP. It's a waste of time either way, the bear just gets to choose who's time to waste, and the hunter chooses if the time is wasted.

I have always thought that there needs to be more things to fight over, and more specifically, more things worth staying and dying for.
Quantum Cats Syndicate
Pen Is Out
#5 - 2013-01-23 20:55:06 UTC
If you want small gang combat - go fw. It is everywhere, it is frequent, it is varied due to ship size restrictions in plexes.
Nikk Narrel
Moonlit Bonsai
#6 - 2013-01-23 21:05:20 UTC
chatgris wrote:
If you want small gang combat - go fw. It is everywhere, it is frequent, it is varied due to ship size restrictions in plexes.

I respect the intentions, but FW has all the artificial feel of a staged event.

I don't feel it as a realistic conflict, more like artificial events that are perpetually bouncing back and forth.

If we could inspire more spontaneous risk taking, that would be great.

But that leads to nerf high sec threads, while the PvE guys actually in the group activity areas get quietly ignored.
Gizznitt Malikite
Agony Unleashed
Agony Empire
#7 - 2013-01-23 21:10:12 UTC

I personally want more small gang content to harass people in Sov Nullsec...

I had a friend develop an interesting idea you might like: Player-made incursions

Hacking the IHUB to steal bounties... It can be worked around: 1.) It can be "hacked back" as soon as the raiders leave... so there is not real incentive for the locals to attack you. Instead of rewarding the raiders, how about you just punish the locals... If you hack it, the locals lose 30% of all bounties... period... it doesn't matter who hacks it... if it get's hacked, they lose...

Next, include some type of system wide warning that the IHUB is being hacked... then people know to reship and respond... Also, I would only have one real level of severity... It takes 15 minutes... and then the 30% loss on bounties is in effect for 4 hours... period... They either quickly form up and defend, or suffer the loss...

Also... I'd rather use a different term than hacking... and perhaps require a module to make it work... Call it a sabatoge module... high slot, 15 minute cycle time... and like an ice harvester, if you cancel the cycle before it completes you need to restart...

As for the mining rig.... I'm not a big fan of that...
Mike Voidstar
Voidstar Free Flight Foundation
#8 - 2013-01-23 21:22:20 UTC
Seriously, the problem is that anyone will kill for money, but few are willing to die for it. We need a reason to stay and fight on a smaller scale.

For instance, you scan down a site that has a deadspace gate to enter. The gate will spawn a can with a key in it if no one is around with a key to the gate in their cargo. With the key in your cargo, anyone in your fleet can jump through and do whatever there is to do on the other side of the gate-- and whatever that is, it goes away if there isnt an active key near that gate. Anyone not in your fleet has to get the key from you. If you leave, a new key will spawn in 10 minutes. An active gate site puts up a beacon.

You now have a reason to stay and fight--- if you leave, the area shuts down.

#9 - 2013-01-31 09:19:08 UTC
Mike Voidstar wrote:
Seriously, the problem is that anyone will kill for money, but few are willing to die for it. We need a reason to stay and fight on a smaller scale.

Thats exactly my point. If you know that you will lose money if you don't fight them now it might motivate some.

Currently those you can intercept in money making are Ratters in PvE setups. So they are not PvP fit and the fight will always be one sided and soon over. Once you start hacking there I-Hub they need to react if they don't want to pay money to you in the next few hours.

And if you can raid their ore depots (aka Mining Rig) you can pay them more visits later with the nice ships you could build from that stuff.

To your gated site: you still have the problem of PvE vs PvP fittings. If you have to fight NPCs and still have to be ready to fight PvP one of both will suffer in current system. The gated entry has the side effect that you can prevent cynos going up inside the plex so the force projection is not that fast.
#10 - 2013-03-19 19:19:47 UTC  |  Edited by: paritybit
Since I was asked make some suggestions here, I will. Though they don't necessarily solve the problem, maybe they'll get somebody else thinking about it.

I am a relatively minor member of a non-sov holding alliance. We pride ourselves on being very good at shooting things in space, but not much else. Our general way of life in EVE is to fly small gangs with very competent pilots and engage other gangs. We will often up-engage against larger or heavier fleets. We do this because we believe in our pilots. We won't turn down a gank -- it still results in a killmail -- but as a general rule we go out looking for a real fight because that's what makes us better.

A fleet usually starts with the FC putting his head into the map to look for a bright spot that might mean a gang in space. Sometimes this works. Sometimes it doesn't. I've seen others do the same and so I don't think this is unique to us.

So it's with this bias that I think about objectives for small gangs in space. What can be done to cause more clashes between competent gangs in space?

Well, what do we need to shape a fight?

Two non-allied gangs with temporal and spacial locality (they have to be in the same place at the same time) and both with a desire to fight.

There are gangs in space all the time, so finding two non-allied gangs in New Eden is not the problem. But bringing two of them together in the same space, at the same time and both with the desire to fight is very difficult.

How can we make this easier?

Mechanics are probably relatively simple.

  • Put a gang in space with an objective that can be achieved by traditionally PVP-fit ships and is not better achieved with a PVE fit. Let's call this fleet the objective fleet.
  • Broadcast the location and some approximation of the gang size on the map or through some other outlet.
  • Delay the reward until completion of the objective.
  • Provide a way for another fleet to deny or claim the reward. Let's call this fleet the spoiler fleet.

But we're not there yet. If the goal is for a fight [and not just another isk faucet] we need a reason for the objective fleet to stick around if they are contested. We could require the objective fleet to invest isk or some other valuable resource upfront. We could force them to stay on the field by cutting their warp drives off with a gigantic bubble they can't escape until the objective is completed.

We also have to figure out how to keep insanely large fleets spoiler fleets from forming to have a good old-fashioned rumpus taking every objective fleet's goodies. We could allow only a spoiler fleet of comparable "weight" to enter the objective.

The mechanics all seem simple enough, but I'm finding it very tough to hang a story around them.

With regard to the original post, I'm with you as far as needing to add objectives for small gangs. I just don't think the ideas are going to go very far toward achieving that goal.

A small gang doesn't want to hang out for 20 minutes hacking a console (read: doing nothing) when the only outcome will be that pilots won't shoot NPCs in that space for X number of hours. It also doesn't solve the temporal and spacial locality problem. And when we fly a fleet into enemy space (read: undock) we don't want to bring along a transport ship to haul away our spoils -- especially if those spoils are just minerals most of us won't care about.
Alticus C Bear
University of Caille
Gallente Federation
#11 - 2013-03-20 21:52:29 UTC
This was one of my earliest posts, no one replied but here it is and I still think small raiding targets are the way to go.

Alticus C Bear wrote:
According to the upgrades present, sites are already spawned throughout the system and scannable via D-Scan in a similar method to Faction Warfare plexes. They appear on the overview when entered.

These plexes are gated allowing Battleship size ships and under.

There are various types of plexes representing the currently hidden civilian backbone of Nullsec such as Mining Stations, Supply Depots, communications arrays, NPC transports.

The sites do not contain many if any Combat ships but require objectives to be completed like the smaller incursion sites, perhaps destroying structures or ships, hacking containers even mining or warp disrupting NPC ships for a given period of time. They should take some time but not be dull or orbit timer mechanics.

Once the site is completed it drops containers with items useful for small gangs such as ammo, cap boosters perhaps even nanite paste and combat boosters. Perhaps even small ISK rewards as ransom from the NPC’s.

Completing the sites would have detrimental effect to the Sov owner, a cost higher than the drops from the site whether it is a straight ISK cost, reduction in bounties or regular sites to run or reduction in sov status I am not sure.

An Incursion style screen for each region will with a mini map will display all the Plexes to the SOV owner and show them as completed, uncompleted, perhaps with a certain time delay.

I believe this has a number of benefits.

A gang can remain mobile but achieve objectives with a Nullsec gang trying to track them with slightly delayed intel.
Gated Plexes prevent Capital drops and give smaller ships somewhere to hide.
Small gangs can resupply to an extent by pillaging as they go.
The Sov owner has some visibility of activity and potential future target systems

The mining mudule idea outlined above is quite interesting, you want to hit those alliance coffers so link it to moon goo and allow people to infiltrate Null and steal some.