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A proposal to make Covert Ops more challenging by adding a counter mechanic.

First post
Author
Petrified
Old and Petrified Syndication
SONS of BANE
#1 - 2013-02-02 21:12:31 UTC  |  Edited by: Petrified
I've altered this from the original because this proposal could have been clearer.

This proposal is not based off of a dislike for Cloaking but an enjoyment of it. The proposal is based on a concern that CCP will attempt to nerf cloaking by adding fuel requirements or timers to it. This is inconsistent with current game play and, quite frankly, makes it too easy for someone looking for a cloaked pilot to find them if fuel runs out or they forget to press a button in time. I view this proposal as a counter since it adds to the game without subtracting from the current mechanic via nerfing.

From a storyline perspective: You have 4 empires and numerous pirate organizations in whose best interest it is to know if someone is skulking about. From a story line perspective it would make the most sense that detection methodology improved as opposed to suddenly ships needing fuel they didn't need before. Cloaking retains its typical functionality, but now the player must play the game with more advanced rules: they can be scanned down to a close approximation and if they are not paying attention, become uncloaked once a ship warps to the area and is in de-cloaking range.
How this would work: A specialized probe dedicated to scanning down the unique emission frequencies of cloaked ships is developed. This would be a Tech II item requiring extensive training given the overall sensitivity and difficulty of cloaking in general. The scanning does not de-cloak a ship. The scanning gives an approximate point the scanning ship can warp to - say within 20 KM of where the ship was last detected by the probes.

Once on grid, the scanning can be further narrowed down to determine the direction the ship is in through old fashioned methods - if it is moving, the probing player can chart the movement using BMs and figure out a direction of travel the cloaked ship may be making. This requires the probes to be active and scanning. As a penalty against the probing ship - it cannot itself cloak since it would interfere with the probes. While the probes are out and centered on the target area, the probing ship gains a bonus to de-cloak the vessel from 2KM to 5KM.

If the covert pilot is paying attention, they can avoid being de-cloaked by proximity detection by either warping off or changing direction of travel.

This could also be an opportunity for a new class of ship to be introduced based on the new Destroyer hulls: a Tech II Hunter Killer Destroyer (HKD for short). This ship would receive bonuses for covert ops probing.

Additionally, CCP can take the opportunity to buff the zoning cloak all ships receive when jumping by removing the ability to de-cloak a loading player. This should also clear up some gates of certain 'clutter' further reducing load and system lag at some gates. No one should die because their ship was de-cloaked while their screen is loading - once the timer runs out or they move, the ball is in their court to survive. The loading cloak, because it is a special mechanic, should be immune to covert probing - namely the de-cloak bonus.

Cloaking is the closest thing to a "Pause Game" button one can get while in space.

Support better localization for the Japanese Community.

ShahFluffers
Ice Fire Warriors
#2 - 2013-02-02 21:52:10 UTC  |  Edited by: ShahFluffers
You're still making the same mistake that all the other anti-afk cloaking threads make; you are attacking the symptom of "the problem" and not the reason it exists.

As it stands right now, afk-cloaking is the only counter to local's "perfect" intel. As soon as a "non-blue" enters a null-sec system, everyone docks/POSs up and summons the 1000 man horde. When the "invader" has been dealt with then all the "squishy" ships come back out to play.

The only way for a small group to counter this (and do damage to a much larger foe) is by planting a cloaker in a system and "devaluing" local's "perfect" intel.

What your system does is create a mechanic that can and will be used over and over and over and over again until the cloaker is found and removed... talking away any reasonable ability for a smaller force to attack the industry of a 0.0 alliance.
Petrified
Old and Petrified Syndication
SONS of BANE
#3 - 2013-02-02 21:57:42 UTC  |  Edited by: Petrified
That would be far simpler way and I don't disagree. But if Local does not get addressed (read:nerfed) by CCP then I would prefer a more dynamic approach to detecting cloaked ships that is not a ridiculous nerf to Cloaking overall. Some tool should be there, it should be darn difficult to use, however.

Also, anyone, even a small gang, can easily evade being nailed by continued movement.

Edit - nice jacket by the way.

Edit#2 - actually, something like what I propose would be good to have even if Local as Free Intel was nerfed. I could see myself using this in a WH easily.

Cloaking is the closest thing to a "Pause Game" button one can get while in space.

Support better localization for the Japanese Community.

ShahFluffers
Ice Fire Warriors
#4 - 2013-02-02 22:34:10 UTC
Petrified wrote:
But if Local does not get addressed (read:nerfed) by CCP then I would prefer a more dynamic approach to detecting cloaked ships that is not a ridiculous nerf to Cloaking overall.

The general consensus is that any nerf to cloaking should come alongside a nerf to local as afk-cloaking and local are intertwined at their cores (because while the current situation sucks for both sides, it is still considered "balanced")

Petrified wrote:
Also, anyone, even a small gang, can easily evade being nailed by continued movement.

Bubbles.

And that's not the point I was making. Take a stroll through null-sec with a few of your friends in Assault Frigates. See if you can catch any ratters or miners doing their thing.

Petrified wrote:
Edit - nice jacket by the way.

Thank you. Smile
Petrified
Old and Petrified Syndication
SONS of BANE
#5 - 2013-02-02 22:59:10 UTC
ShahFluffers wrote:

Petrified wrote:
Also, anyone, even a small gang, can easily evade being nailed by continued movement.

Bubbles.

And that's not the point I was making. Take a stroll through null-sec with a few of your friends in Assault Frigates. See if you can catch any ratters or miners doing their thing.



Gate camps are always an issue with bubbles but most other instances of bubbles are mitigated by not warping gate/station to gate/station. But methinks roaming gangs of assault frigates finding targets in null would be easier without local ;) But I also suspect removing local would solve that issue - I should know, I roam with an Alt in low sec and null.

I see your point there as it is - toss out the decloak range bonus ;)

Cloaking is the closest thing to a "Pause Game" button one can get while in space.

Support better localization for the Japanese Community.

Machiavelli's Nemesis
Angry Mustellid
Lost Obsession
#6 - 2013-02-03 00:19:30 UTC
And it started out so well.

"I'm not a fan of nerfs"

.....

"let's basically make a new mod that lets you scan down cloaked ships"

*facepalm*

You decloaked your stealth "afk cloaking whinethread" too early. Better luck next time.

Learn to pilot ffs. Stay aligned while you rat, watch d-scan (not usually useful with cloakers but meh) and your HUD for things decloaking. It's not that hard, really.
Jack Miton
Perkone
Caldari State
#7 - 2013-02-03 00:48:05 UTC
there is no issue with cloaking. like at all.

There is no Bob.

Stuck In Here With Me:  http://sihwm.blogspot.com.au/

Down the Pipe:  http://feeds.feedburner.com/CloakyScout

Petrified
Old and Petrified Syndication
SONS of BANE
#8 - 2013-02-03 03:11:10 UTC  |  Edited by: Petrified
Machiavelli's Nemesis wrote:
And it started out so well.

"I'm not a fan of nerfs"


I am not, nor is this a direct nerf as Cloaking is unchanged. There is just a counter which at best is an indirect nerf.

But knee jerk reactions such as your are not unexpected. ;)

I am content if cloaking remains unchanged completely, but if there was a change, I would prefer something that was indirect such as this. I spend a lot of time cloaked, as an FYI

Cloaking is the closest thing to a "Pause Game" button one can get while in space.

Support better localization for the Japanese Community.

Sura Sadiva
Entropic Tactical Crew
#9 - 2013-02-03 04:39:45 UTC
I'm admired, now they started to title the "argh nerf afk cloacking!" threads as "make covert ops mpre challenging" :)

Sura Sadiva
Entropic Tactical Crew
#10 - 2013-02-03 04:44:58 UTC
I've to admit, I always considerated AFK cloacking like something stupid. But lately reading all these threads I started to have fun, I fly in hound in some 0.0. system,leave it there cloacked and go to bed giggling thinkink to all those people barred in their station terrorized and whole systems and farms shutted down :)

Petrified
Old and Petrified Syndication
SONS of BANE
#11 - 2013-02-03 05:11:25 UTC
Sura Sadiva wrote:
I've to admit, I always considerated AFK cloacking like something stupid. But lately reading all these threads I started to have fun, I fly in hound in some 0.0. system,leave it there cloacked and go to bed giggling thinkink to all those people barred in their station terrorized and whole systems and farms shutted down :)



You're my kind of gal. Lol

Cloaking is the closest thing to a "Pause Game" button one can get while in space.

Support better localization for the Japanese Community.

Rajere
Garoun Investment Bank
Gallente Federation
#12 - 2013-02-04 05:05:04 UTC
Jack Miton wrote:
there is no issue with cloaking. like at all.

Morgan Torry
Arma Purgatorium
#13 - 2013-02-04 05:47:47 UTC
>An proposal
I should'e stopped there, but I continued.

As noted above, you're attacking the symptom and not the actual problem - which is your confidence. If a cloaky ship makes you scared (even though he's likely afk or just watching for intel purposes) then you let him win the game. No different than if you went out and made a nice shiny fleet with your buds. Should we nerf that because we'd have to do something besides look at it to get rid of it? Absolutely not, they put in the effort to fly it. Likewise, put in the effort to play the game around these guys. If they jump you, have buddies. Or a plan. Or something. It's only rocket science if you keep getting caught in a ship that should've made mincemeat out of 'em. Kind of like how a Domi with a full flight of warriors died to a SB simply because he didn't understand one thing or another. So instead of learning, he turned around and posted how OP covops is.

These threads are one reason why I've moved my indy alt around in his cloaky industrial and parked him at a safe in a random mining system in null. Everyone freaks, fearful of the threat. It's a cloaked industrial ship that's afk for 23 hours in the day until I move him. But because carebears freak and see this OP mechanic they keep a lock on their undock.

Arma Purgatorium - What is Podded May Never Die

Dracvlad
Taishi Combine
#14 - 2013-02-04 07:15:24 UTC  |  Edited by: Dracvlad
Simple way to deal with AFK cloakies is to assess the risk, look at the cloaker, when did he enter system, when did he change corp, is he on any kills, work out a pattern of his activity. Find out who he is linked to, assess that risk, is he linked to anyone major or just some random scrub with no hotdrop capacity. If he is linked to someone major assess their capabilities in your TZ.

An example, before Razor invaded CE, they did a month of cloaky camping backed by BLOPS, initially the system we were in was not directly affected, but evantually they did, each toon they sent in was assessed and his time of activity was worked out, we then used our system in total security, noting even the silly and regular 10 minute before DT log off used by one bot AFK cloaker, as if that makes them active... Evantually they realised we were assessing their camper so put in one who we could not assess for activity, but we knew their capabilities at this point in terms of BLOPS, so we set up to be able to defeat the capacity they had in our different TZ's and kept ratting. It was only when Razor took HB and had supers in CE that we stopped ratting efficiently, at that point we changed to a cheap and cheerful ratting approach with frigates, destroyers and cruisers.

Also with the change to AI the rats now target that single SB which can be very funny...


A poster here attempts to link AFK claoking with Local, even without local people would AFK cloak, because all they have to do is get in system, say something in local and off you go. Also people who cannot get around the gaps in Local based intel systems are fail, there are so many gaps that you can get around them easily, you need to understand the area you are roaming through and what systems offer no coverage, which are empty or have afk people in them, in fact all this pap about local based intel is the same as whining about AFK cloaking.

When the going gets tough the Gankers get their CSM rep to change mechanics in their favour.

Blocked: Teckos Pech, Sonya Corvinus, baltec1, Shae Tadaruwa, Wander Prian, Daichi Yamato, Jonah Gravenstein, Merin Ryskin, Linus Gorp

TheGunslinger42
All Web Investigations
#15 - 2013-02-04 13:03:40 UTC
Petrified wrote:
I am not a fan of nerfs nor do I think there is anything about cloaking that should be nerfed. I have read a number of arguments for and against covert ops and they all boil down to this: we can see someone in local and after scanning and checking stations are pretty sure he is cloaked and we don't like it. Having lived in null I know the feeling: you see a neutral or red in local and you have no clue what they are up to - AFK or gathering detailed information on your operations and defenses.

All the suggestions I have so far heard end up nerfing cloaking: putting it on a timer or using fuel being the most popular.
Let us take a thoughtful approach to the matter: You have 4 empires and numerous pirate organizations in whose best interest it is to know if someone is skulking about. From a story line perspective it would make the most sense that detection methodology improved as opposed to suddenly ships needing fuel they didn't need before. Cloaking retains its typical functionality, but now the player must play the game with more advanced rules: they can be scanned down to a close approximation and if they are not paying attention, become uncloaked once the properly equipped ship warps to the area.
How this would work: A specialized probe dedicated to scanning down the unique emission frequencies of cloaked ships is developed. This would be a Tech II item requiring extensive training given the overall sensitivity and difficulty of cloaking in general. The scanning does not de-cloak a ship. The scanning gives an approximate point the scanning ship can warp to - say within 20 KM of where the ship was detected by the probes.

Once on grid, the scanning can be further narrowed down to determine the direction the ship is in. Since the UI already has lines introduced in an number of capacities, it is possible to essentially draw a line from the probing ship along the direction the cloaked ship is in (not to the ship, but through the general area where the ship is). This requires the probes to be active and scanning. While on grid where the probes scanned the cloaked ship down the de-cloaking range is doubled from 2.5km to 5km. It will also become plain to the probing ship if their target is moving by rescanning with the probes and noting any change in the directional line.

Additionally, while Covert Ops Cloaking devices allow a ship to warp cloaked, they make is slightly easier (5%?) to scan the approximate location down. A ship that is moving as opposed to being stationary at the time the probes scan will decrease detection by a % based on overall movement speed.

If the covert pilot is paying attention, they can avoid being de-cloaked by proximity detection by either warping off or changing direction of travel. A cloaked ship being probed will receive a 'ping' once their area is considered warp-able (maybe... maybe not but the probes will at least be visible to the cloaked ship if they run a direction scan).

This could also be an opportunity for a new class of ship to be introduced based on the new Destroyer hulls: a Tech II Hunter Killer Destroyer (HKD for short). This ship would receive bonuses for covert ops scanning. The ships equipment also makes it possible to share co-ordinate data allowing a non-equipped ship to use the probe data to align in the directional line the cloaked ship may be on (line based from the HKD through the area the ship is in). Also, if two or more of the HKDs are on grid they can Effectively 'see' the cloaked ship enough vector in on its position while bumping the already boosted de-cloaking range from 5km to 10km.

People can play the game the same old way, but if they fail to adapt to the new probes, they will inevitably lose ships. I also believe this method will make the game interesting by adding a new, challenging element for the hunters.

Also, while they are at it, CCP can take the opportunity to fix the loading cloak all ships receive when jumping by removing the ability to de-cloak a loading player. This will also clear up some gates of certain 'clutter' further reducing load and system lag at some gates. No one should die because their ship was de-cloaked while their screen is loading - once the timer runs out or they move, the ball is in their court to survive.

edit - thinking about it, it will be crucial for CCP to change the gate loading cloak players get. Otherwise you just gate camp with a new HKDs with probes out and auto-decloak anything that comes into the system.


Destroys wormhole space, is also massively unbalanced because you now have local telling you exactly who is in system AND ways to find them.

Summary: No
Batelle
Filthy Peasants
#16 - 2013-02-04 16:12:45 UTC
whole lotta no.

"**CCP is changing policy, and has asked that we discontinue the bonus credit program after November 7th. So until then, enjoy a super-bonus of 1B Blink Credit for each 60-day GTC you buy!"**

Never forget.

Unsuccessful At Everything
The Troll Bridge
#17 - 2013-02-04 18:54:43 UTC
Please show us on the doll where the AFK CLOAKED person touched you.

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

Dracvlad
Taishi Combine
#18 - 2013-02-04 22:45:37 UTC
Unsuccessful At Everything wrote:
Please show us on the doll where the AFK CLOAKED person touched you.


Is it the same place where the AI change touched the single SB in CA's?

When the going gets tough the Gankers get their CSM rep to change mechanics in their favour.

Blocked: Teckos Pech, Sonya Corvinus, baltec1, Shae Tadaruwa, Wander Prian, Daichi Yamato, Jonah Gravenstein, Merin Ryskin, Linus Gorp

AFK Cloaker
Imperial Academy
Amarr Empire
#19 - 2013-02-05 00:23:04 UTC
.
Mike Whiite
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#20 - 2013-02-05 08:45:05 UTC
Petrified wrote:
ILet us take a thoughtful approach to the matter: You have 4 empires and numerous pirate organizations in whose best interest it is to know if someone is skulking about. From a story line perspective it would make the most sense that detection methodology improved as opposed to suddenly ships needing fuel they didn't need before.



Luckaly these things work both ways, do I get to bomb you cloaked?

Because from a storyline perspective, all the empires would be searching for that option.


all you ask from the prober is to bing an extra probe.


That cloaker can't hurt you, and no one is realy afraid of that one cloaker, you're arfriad of being hot dropped, maybe you should go for a module dat disallows hot drops within a scertain area of your ship, so you'd have more time to evade the attack.




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