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"Smartbomb" Warfare Links

Author
Petrus Blackshell
Rifterlings
#1 - 2015-09-01 20:05:03 UTC  |  Edited by: Petrus Blackshell
Updated with feedback from comments below

The current implementation of boosts is a mess, and CCP knows it. They have cited the reason for not being able to bring boosts "on grid" as a computational limitation -- the number of "is it on grid?" checks needing to be made, in addition to skill bonus calculations, would bring the node to its knees. Barring "Brain in a Box" being completed and stable, or CCP inventing the world greatest 3D calculation system, no change to links can happen. Except... if the link mechanic itself changes so it requires less power.

Proposal (tl;dr): Warfare Links now apply their bonuses as a time-limited status effect in some area around themselves (limited to fleet members).

Potential numbers:

  • T1 -- radius: 15 km, duration/cycle time: 1 minute
  • T2 -- radius: 20 km, duration/cycle time: 1.5 minutes
  • +30% bloom to sig radius per active link module, and active link modules prevent cloaking, docking, and jumping
  • Command ships get a +100% role bonus to link radius, in addition to current bonuses.
  • T3 Cruisers with the link subsystem get a +50% role bonus to link radius, in addition to current bonuses.
  • Supercarriers get a +300% link radius bonus (60 km T1, 80 km T2)
  • Titans get a +500% link radius bonus (90 km T1, 120 km T2)



Nitty gritty example: Petrus is a solo / small gang PvPer who multi-boxes his primary ship (a super blinged-out Rifter), a Falcon, a Scimitar, and a boosting Loki. The boosting Loki has T2 links, so its bonuses last 1.5 minutes. That means that if Petrus wants boosts, he will need to do one of the following things:


  1. Keep the Loki (probably cloaked) near his Rifter. When a fight starts, Loki decloaks, pops boosts, and warps away. Petrus's Rifter has 1.5 minutes of boosted performance, which is enough for a small fight, but not for a prolonged one involving kiting, gangs, etc.
  2. Keep the Loki in a safe spot (or just outside a POS or whatever). The Rifter has to bounce by there to "pick up" 1.5 minute chunks of boost. Along with the limited boost time, this also runs the risk of targets escaping (thus adding a performance cost to having your booster be super-safe).
  3. Keep the Loki on grid, within 30 km of the fight. The Rifter gets indefinite boosting, but the Loki is in real danger. This option would work best for gangs.


Once the Loki has activated its 4 boosts, it takes certain penalties until they are off-cycle, no matter where it goes. During this time, it has a 4*30% = 120% penalty to its sig radius, taking it from its regular 150 sig to 330 sig, the sig of a Typhoon! Since it can so easily be scanned down and cannot tank damage, Petrus must actively work to keep it safe until the cycle time wears off and it can dock or cloak or whatever. More multiboxing fun for Petrus! He must now work a bit harder to keep the advantages he gets from controlling a mini-fleet of ships by himself.



Pros:

  • Resolves performance problems associated with boosts by making them act like giant super-slow smartbombs. (seriously, this is big)
  • Decouples stuff from the really janky fleet hierarchy system.
  • Makes positioning, timing, and piloting matter to boost ships, making flying them more engaging and active for people who are not alts.
  • Attempts to add much-needed purpose to capital ships. Not quite enough, but a step in the right direction, maybe.
  • Nerfs alt-boosting "pro" PvP; yes, I have an axe to grind.
  • About as weird as the idea of entosis links, therefore likely to get implemented.


Cons:

  • How to handle boosting ship hiding in POS shields? Low duration makes this an ineffective tactic.
  • If it ignores fleet hierarchy, what is the point of having more than one boosting ship?
  • How are ridiculously many boosts (I have 12 boosts!) or overlapping boosts processed?
  • Insufficient nerf to Caldari.


Your thoughts? It's a rough idea which I'm sure has a lot of holes in it, but hey, who doesn't love telling someone how dumb their idea is?

Accidentally The Whole Frigate - For-newbies blog (currently on pause)

Frostys Virpio
KarmaFleet
Goonswarm Federation
#2 - 2015-09-01 20:09:58 UTC
Petrus Blackshell wrote:

  • Resolves performance problems associated with boosts by making them act like giant super-slow smartbombs. (seriously, this is big)


  • What happen if I move out of the new link range during it's duration? Does it drop?
    Petrus Blackshell
    Rifterlings
    #3 - 2015-09-01 20:11:07 UTC
    Frostys Virpio wrote:
    Petrus Blackshell wrote:

  • Resolves performance problems associated with boosts by making them act like giant super-slow smartbombs. (seriously, this is big)


  • What happen if I move out of the new link range during it's duration? Does it drop?

    No. The point of the "duration" existing is that you get that status effect for however long the duration is, no matter what you or the boosting ship does.

    Accidentally The Whole Frigate - For-newbies blog (currently on pause)

    Milton Middleson
    Rifterlings
    #4 - 2015-09-01 20:11:20 UTC
    For one, this makes it even more impractical to try and run your links on-grid. For another, it makes roaming with links a massive pain, encouraging people to sit in one system to minimize the amount of time spent topping off the link timer.
    Petrus Blackshell
    Rifterlings
    #5 - 2015-09-01 20:13:09 UTC  |  Edited by: Petrus Blackshell
    Milton Middleson wrote:
    For one, this makes it even more impractical to try and run your links on-grid. For another, it makes roaming with links a massive pain, encouraging people to sit in one system to minimize the amount of time spent topping off the link timer.

    Or to trigger the links only as necessary before/during a fight. There's no reason to have increased tackle range if you're not tackling anything, no? Ed: it also means that when you activate your boosts you are making a commitment to stick around and fight if you're to take advantage of them (or to make the amount of time your booster is stuck there worth it). Binding commitment to a fight/location is something that is sorely lacking in the current Eve meta, in my opinion.

    Accidentally The Whole Frigate - For-newbies blog (currently on pause)

    Frostys Virpio
    KarmaFleet
    Goonswarm Federation
    #6 - 2015-09-01 20:18:57 UTC
    Petrus Blackshell wrote:
    Frostys Virpio wrote:
    Petrus Blackshell wrote:

  • Resolves performance problems associated with boosts by making them act like giant super-slow smartbombs. (seriously, this is big)


  • What happen if I move out of the new link range during it's duration? Does it drop?

    No. The point of the "duration" existing is that you get that status effect for however long the duration is, no matter what you or the boosting ship does.


    So they are still off grid as long as your engagement time is below a certain duration threshold like 15 mins in your example?
    Petrus Blackshell
    Rifterlings
    #7 - 2015-09-01 20:23:05 UTC  |  Edited by: Petrus Blackshell
    Frostys Virpio wrote:
    Petrus Blackshell wrote:
    Frostys Virpio wrote:
    Petrus Blackshell wrote:

  • Resolves performance problems associated with boosts by making them act like giant super-slow smartbombs. (seriously, this is big)


  • What happen if I move out of the new link range during it's duration? Does it drop?

    No. The point of the "duration" existing is that you get that status effect for however long the duration is, no matter what you or the boosting ship does.


    So they are still off grid as long as your engagement time is below a certain duration threshold like 15 mins in your example?

    Correct. As much as I would like to force them on-grid, I do not see a mechanically sound and reasonable implementation. Instead, triggering your boosts off grid means your booster is stuck and bloated for a while, and you might not even get a fight. The motivation for using the booster on-grid is to provide the boosts immediately when they're needed (eg. when a fight is starting). You could even do stuff like hot-swap the right boosters at a depot before warping to the fleet, to give a use case to situational things like Info links.

    Ed: for forcing the links to be on-grid more, the numbers for the boost duration and cycle duration can just be turned down enough to the point where it is impractical to warp back and forth to pick up a boost from a safe-spot, or to warp your booster ship back and forth. Something like 3 minute duration, 2 minute cycle time?

    Accidentally The Whole Frigate - For-newbies blog (currently on pause)

    Sara Navorski
    Sebiestor Tribe
    Minmatar Republic
    #8 - 2015-09-01 21:39:29 UTC  |  Edited by: Sara Navorski
    So I give my main links, and then dock my links so they are invincible.

    :\

    Why would I even give my main the links "on grid"? Why wouldn't I just do it in a safe, dock up the links and go pwn t1 frigs in a t3dessy?
    Petrus Blackshell
    Rifterlings
    #9 - 2015-09-01 22:31:35 UTC
    Sara Navorski wrote:
    Why would I even give my main the links "on grid"? Why wouldn't I just do it in a safe, dock up the links and go pwn t1 frigs in a t3dessy?


    The intention is to make the process of acquiring your links either be inconvenient/time-consuming (thereby making you possibly lose out on catching someone, or miss a fight), or convenient but risky for your link ship. Would lower cycle times and effect durations bring the idea closer to that?

    One big problem with the idea is "what happens to the links if the link ship undergoes a session change?" Answer: I don't know. This is not (yet) a complete idea with all the angles worked out.

    Accidentally The Whole Frigate - For-newbies blog (currently on pause)

    Bobb Bobbington
    Tribal Liberation Force
    Minmatar Republic
    #10 - 2015-09-02 01:19:37 UTC
    What if they simply made it so that you could not run links while another client is running? Eliminate linked solo Pvp, doesn't harm fleet warfare terribly, gives more options for small fang work. Although people with 2 computers get an advantage.

    This is a signature.

    It has a 25m signature.

    No it's not a cosmic signature.

    Probably.

    Btw my corp's recruiting.

    Reaver Glitterstim
    The Scope
    Gallente Federation
    #11 - 2015-09-02 01:38:12 UTC  |  Edited by: Reaver Glitterstim
    Petrus Blackshell wrote:
    Potential numbers:
    [list]
  • T1 -- radius: 15 km, duration: 5 minutes, cycle time: 4 minutes
  • T2 -- radius: 25 km, duration: 10 minutes, cycle time: 5 minutes
  • [\list]

    Why not 1000km? Also, I think they should cycle more rapidly, like once every 30 seconds. T1 and T2 need no difference in range or cycle time.

    10 minute links allow fleet to periodically warp to POS for links and spend most of the time away in combat, getting cheap links from safe booster. 30 seconds makes it so the links almost always wear off before you leave warp, so you can't carry them away from the boosting ship. That won't significantly increase total computational power, lots of things happen much more rapidly.

    FT Diomedes: "Reaver, sometimes I wonder what you are thinking when you sit down to post."

    Frostys Virpio: "We have to give it to him that he does put more effort than the vast majority in his idea but damn does it sometime come out of nowhere."

    Cristl
    #12 - 2015-09-02 01:46:31 UTC
    I quite like this. Some comments:

    T2 should only be a bit better than T1, maybe 20% more range. Make all durations about 2 minutes to stop hopping on and off grid (or make it very annoying).

    Only allow any given ship to receive a maximum of, say, 3 link effects. That's not as good as hierarchy I'd say, but limits effects somewhat. Different groups could roll with different gsnglinks. Might need a nippy command destroyer to keep up with frigs, bombers etc.

    Finally, the suggestion below is hilariously impractical and must be quoted:

    Bobb Bobbington wrote:
    What if they simply made it so that you could not run links while another client is running? Eliminate linked solo Pvp, doesn't harm fleet warfare terribly, gives more options for small fang work. Although people with 2 computers get an advantage.

    Petrus Blackshell
    Rifterlings
    #13 - 2015-09-02 03:19:41 UTC
    Reaver Glitterstim wrote:
    Why not 1000km?


    Because of fits like this, and because of grid-stretching games. It encouraged weird extreme fits and exploiting obscure game mechanics, and neither of those makes for very interesting play.

    The short range is there to reward good positioning, and dedicated boosting ships get a significant increase to help with that.

    Reaver Glitterstim wrote:
    Also, I think they should cycle more rapidly, like once every 30 seconds. T1 and T2 need no difference in range or cycle time.

    Point taken. I have seen this suggestion brought up repeatedly, and I agree that lowering the cycle time would be effective.

    Cristl wrote:
    I quite like this. Some comments:

    T2 should only be a bit better than T1, maybe 20% more range. Make all durations about 2 minutes to stop hopping on and off grid (or make it very annoying).

    I was following the lead of entosis links with T2 vs T1! P It might be good to tone that down, though, since the T2 bonuses are still higher than the T1 ones (I don't think any changes to the boost values are needed for the purpose of this post).

    I think I'm going to settle on the cycle/duration of 1 minute for T1, and 1.5 minutes for T2. It lets risk-averse people "pick up" boosts then warp into a fight, so they have the option of being late to the fight but having their boosts for a little bit. It also almost completely stops shuttling back and forth to have boosts.

    Cristl wrote:

    Only allow any given ship to receive a maximum of, say, 3 link effects. That's not as good as hierarchy I'd say, but limits effects somewhat. Different groups could roll with different gsnglinks. Might need a nippy command destroyer to keep up with frigs, bombers etc.

    The intention is good, I am not sure of how to limit it to 3 link effects without creating a whole new sort of trolling your allies, almost as bad as bumping a titan. "Oops I accidentally overrode all the skirmish/armor links of the fleet with info links! Tee hee!"

    And yeah, giving T1 destroyers a role bonus for links would be a very neat thing.

    Accidentally The Whole Frigate - For-newbies blog (currently on pause)

    LT Alter
    Iron.Guard
    Goonswarm Federation
    #14 - 2015-09-02 05:37:36 UTC
    Interesting new take on the subject, though it would create some very interesting gameplay if the effect wasn't only limited to fleet members...

    I don't fully support the idea but I think it is valuable input on the matter.
    Dr Cedric
    Independent Miners Corporation
    Care Factor
    #15 - 2015-09-02 22:50:23 UTC
    LT Alter wrote:
    Interesting new take on the subject, though it would create some very interesting gameplay if the effect wasn't only limited to fleet members...

    I don't fully support the idea but I think it is valuable input on the matter.



    Was just about to comment that "smart bomb mechanics" means that the effect hits everyone in range. If this was the case, then you really could have some fun fights and a few "oops" moments when your Booster Loki accidentally buffs their svipul gang!

    Seriously though, the "buff" role in this game needs to get looked at, hopefully soon. Not to mention, if CCP can make a useable "buff" role like this, then I can see "de-buff" role coming right along behind it. Wouldn't it be more fun to try and organize keeping your gang in formation around your buffer, while your de-buffer is trying to get in range of their gang, and vice-versa.

    +1 for good start of this idea

    Cedric

    Hopelesshobo
    Hoboland
    #16 - 2015-09-03 01:43:50 UTC
    So overall, something like this has potential, however I have a few issues with some things you suggest.

    Petrus Blackshell wrote:


    • T1 -- radius: 15 km, duration/cycle time: 1 minute
    • T2 -- radius: 20 km, duration/cycle time: 1.5 minutes
    • +30% bloom to sig radius per active link module, and active link modules prevent cloaking, docking, and jumping
    • Command ships get a +100% role bonus to link radius, in addition to current bonuses.
    • T3 Cruisers with the link subsystem get a +50% role bonus to link radius, in addition to current bonuses.
    • Supercarriers get a +300% link radius bonus (60 km T1, 80 km T2)
    • Titans get a +500% link radius bonus (90 km T1, 120 km T2)




    • The bonus radius should be much larger. Assuming your numbers, a T2 linked command ship would have a bubble diameter of 80 km, which means that the booster would have to sit perfectly between your logi and your main fleet. So the bubble would have to be much larger. A titan should probably be able to boost most of the grid, if not an entire grid.
    • The signature radius bloom is self defeating if the target is already on grid, why make it so they can get alphad by a dreadnaught as well (Slight over exaggeration may apply, but my point is there)? This is especially true on the shield variants.
    • The ability to not cloak is pointless because you can't cloak with an active module anyways
    • The ability to dock, could be treated like a bastion module.
    • There should be no penalty on jumping or warping. It already has to land on grid to boost the fleet initially, it should be your responsibility to keep it there. These things are not immune to bubbles, and if it jumps through a gate by itself, it will be a sitting duck for anyone on the other side.

    Lowering the average to make you look better since 2012.

    Dr Cedric
    Independent Miners Corporation
    Care Factor
    #17 - 2015-09-03 16:22:02 UTC
    Hopelesshobo wrote:
    So overall, something like this has potential, however I have a few issues with some things you suggest.

    Petrus Blackshell wrote:


    • T1 -- radius: 15 km, duration/cycle time: 1 minute
    • T2 -- radius: 20 km, duration/cycle time: 1.5 minutes
    • +30% bloom to sig radius per active link module, and active link modules prevent cloaking, docking, and jumping
    • Command ships get a +100% role bonus to link radius, in addition to current bonuses.
    • T3 Cruisers with the link subsystem get a +50% role bonus to link radius, in addition to current bonuses.
    • Supercarriers get a +300% link radius bonus (60 km T1, 80 km T2)
    • Titans get a +500% link radius bonus (90 km T1, 120 km T2)




    • The bonus radius should be much larger. Assuming your numbers, a T2 linked command ship would have a bubble diameter of 80 km, which means that the booster would have to sit perfectly between your logi and your main fleet. So the bubble would have to be much larger. A titan should probably be able to boost most of the grid, if not an entire grid.
    • The signature radius bloom is self defeating if the target is already on grid, why make it so they can get alphad by a dreadnaught as well (Slight over exaggeration may apply, but my point is there)? This is especially true on the shield variants.
    • The ability to not cloak is pointless because you can't cloak with an active module anyways
    • The ability to dock, could be treated like a bastion module.
    • There should be no penalty on jumping or warping. It already has to land on grid to boost the fleet initially, it should be your responsibility to keep it there. These things are not immune to bubbles, and if it jumps through a gate by itself, it will be a sitting duck for anyone on the other side.


    I disagree with your range thoughts. It would be better to have different boosters in different places. In other words, we're trying to get away from the "hierarchy" version of boosts, and make it so more people are on the field giving more boosts. In your example, the logi wing would have their own booster in their blob, and the dps/tackle wing would have their own booster.

    Cedric

    Markus Reese
    Deep Core Mining Inc.
    Caldari State
    #18 - 2015-09-03 17:30:08 UTC  |  Edited by: Markus Reese
    I do not think the on grid vs offgrid might be so tough. We have the watchlist which shows ongrid/offgrid. So if boosters in fleet track same way? The short duration timer would be a fair level of calculations. Those who have ever been in a blob when a SB goes off... The range idea is interesting all the same. Bits about bigger ships also interesting but a more effective use might be position in heirarchy. So wings need a minimum size command ship and then a new t2 bs for fleet flagship. T3 and battlecruiser can squad.

    To quote Lfod Shi

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