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Comprehensive Plan for Improving Intel in EVE (Local Chat, Cloaking, Probes, Dscan)

Author
Xorv
Questionable Acquisitions
#1 - 2012-04-12 05:21:51 UTC
A comprehensive first draft plan to address issues and improve EVE's existing Intel system. I've avoided going much into justifications and why this and not that, so that it's easier to read and understand. However, in general the goal is to make intel something players need to work for, and to encourage guerrilla warfare and sneaky gameplay giving smaller ship classes and CovOps a distinct edge in this field. I welcome comments, suggestions, and criticisms by those who acknowledge EVE as a Sandbox MMORPG built around player conflict.

PART ONE:

Local Chat Intel Changes:

New Delayed mode:
- Automatically applies to High and Low Sec

Players will now appear in Local after a set time of entering the system based on ship class:

Frigates, Shuttles, Pods: 5 minutes delay
Destroyers: 3 minutes delay
Cruisers, Transports, Mining Barges: 1 minute 30 seconds
Battlecruisers, Industrials, Exhumers: 30 seconds
Battleships: 15 seconds
Capital Ships or Player Docked in a Station: Instant

* Cloaks will end the timer and cannot be picked up by Local Intel if not already registered or unless the player broadcasts in the Chat.
* Once registered on a systems Local Intel only logging out or leaving the system will remove you. Cloaking after this time will not remove you from Local.

Note: None of this applies to WH space which remains the same.


- Null Sec:

Local Chat Intel is no longer automatically part of Null Sec, the default state being the same as WH space.

Outposts in Sov Null provide the new Delayed Mode Local Intel in the system they occupy. Much like docking rights, who has access to this Intel in controlled by those that own the Outpost.

Stations in NPC Null will provide the new Delayed Mode Local Intel in the System they occupy to those Players or Corps that have 8.0 or higher standing to the NPC Corp holding the station.

A new mod for Titans and perhaps other Cap Ships that will allow them to provide the new Delayed Mode Local Intel for the System they are in for all Corp and Alliance members. Active mod that will not work in POS shields or while the ship is cloaked. Also will not function in WH Space.

A new deployable The Scanner Array: When deployed will provide the new delayed Local Intel in the system in which it is deployed to the Corp and alliance that owns it. Cannot be deployed in or near a POS. Will not function in WH space. Has a large volume that no subcap combat ship can carry one. Is relatively expensive to produce and relatively easy to destroy. Also shows up on Overview.


PART TWO:

Cloaking Changes:


* A Cov Ops Ships that logs off cloaked stays cloaked until it leaves the game or is uncovered during the time it takes to log off.

* Space Junk no longer uncovers cloaked ships, only ships, structures, and deployables controlled by players or active NPCs (Ships, drones, fighters, mobile warp disruptors, stations/outposts, POS and associated deployables, and gates, NOT cans, wrecks, asteroids, abandoned drones, corpses etc)

* Reverse the change where cloaked ships do not decloak each other when they get close.

* Add Advanced Cloaking Skill used to reduce targeting recalibration to 0 for CovOps ships.

* Black Ops get CovOps Cloaks, lose speed bonus while cloaked.

Cloak Detection is Introduced: (Based off an Idea by Rek Seven)

A new Cloak Hunting Ship. I favor a ship based of the existing Recons that lose their Cyno bonus and one EWAR bonus to be able to equip the new tools I discuss below. However, an all new ship would be ok as well, but it should be T2, cruiser or smaller, Cov Ops, and skill intensive.

New Advanced Probes used with Expanded Probe Launcher and a specialized ship. The Probes would give the Approximate location of a cloaked ship (25-50km depending on skills) and the ability for the ship to warp to that location.

Rek Seven wrote:

The next stage in cloaky hunting would involve another new ship module - The Special Distortion Field Detector (SDFD). This would be the first ship module in game that can be activated while cloaked. It has a 10 second cycle timer but once the cycle timer ends, it displays a “ghost image” of all cloaked ships within [up to] 50km radius. To update the location of the ghost image, the cloaky pilot would need to re-activate the SDFD.


New Skills

Advanced Recon: Requires Recon V and Cloaking V, 20% Bonus per level to SDFD Range and Pulse recharge time (max 50km 10sec) Also Prerequisite at level 1 for flying new Cloak Hunting ship

Advanced Cloaking: Requires Cloaking V, -10% Bonus per level to Targeting delay with CovOps cloaks.

SDFD Operation: Requires Cloaking V, Bonus, Reduction in Cap use and fitting requirements for the SDFD Mod.

Astrometric Subspace Detection: Requires Astrometrics Pinpointing and Rangefinding V, Bonus in reducing possible range deviation of the scanned cloaked ship from the warp-in point using the new Probes. Max skills 25-30km, minimum 50km.


PART THREE:

DScan Changes:

* DScan can be set to an automatic pulse. In automation there are three factors Pulse Frequency, Scan Range, and Scan Angle. In order to have more of one you must have less of the others. So a frequent pulse scan of 360 scan angle would be possible but it's scan range would be very short. You could increase the range by reducing the pulse frequency.

* DScan can be locked to a celestial object rather than camera view.

* Gates in Null can give ghost signatures on it's grid, random false positives that may come up from any DScan covering a Gate. The reason for this is an anti bot measure for anyone using DScan as a means to protect boting operations.
Xorv
Questionable Acquisitions
#2 - 2012-04-12 05:22:16 UTC
Reserved
MushroomMushroom
Blackwater USA Inc.
Pandemic Horde
#3 - 2012-04-12 05:58:46 UTC  |  Edited by: MushroomMushroom
The biggest thing I see missing is that nothing has been done to protect the viability of using a cloaked covops ship for intel gathering. For instance to monitor the comings and goings of a hostile station/jb/staging pos. Maybe exempt the non-bomber covops frigate from being decloaked?

Second, this eliminates any hope of using a cloak on grid to escape from the enemy, for instance by cloaking when you get bubbled and slowboating away in a non-covops ship. A good gang will likely catch you, but sometimes you get away, AoE decloak/detection would ruin that. Generally, this would make it riskier to try to run a bubbled camp.

Still, this is a great proposal, and I commend you on taking seriously the need to address intel as a whole, rather then trying to deal with individual elements. This probably the best proposal I've seen.

Edit: Also, as a followup to point 2, this would also eliminate the effectiveness of prepositioned cloaked dictors on the battlefield. Which like the gate camp issue, is a balance change not really related to the goal of fixing intel.
Gerrick Palivorn
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#4 - 2012-04-12 06:57:48 UTC
Overall a very good post and a comprehensive grouping of what needs to be addressed when looking at local, cloaking, and anticloaking theories. Something to be looked at seriously is the viability of the anticloaking probes ruining the WH practice of scouting a system; it has been brought up that even detecting a signature on these probes will send people into a frenzy and they will dock up or get ready really ruins the ambush element of W-space. Cloakies need to keep the ability to not decloak when in proximity with another cloaker, reverting that does nothing for the rest of the OP.

A possible work around for the cloak detector probes is the fact that false readings should happen and frequently. I don't like the idea of being able to scan somebody down in deep space, the cloak should be able to mimic background noise well enough that anything but a direct scan of your immediate area should reveal your general location.

+1 from me, still not keen on any cloak detection probes but the rest is good.

MMOs come and go, but Eve remains.  -Garresh-

Xorv
Questionable Acquisitions
#5 - 2012-04-12 07:59:31 UTC
MushroomMushroom wrote:
The biggest thing I see missing is that nothing has been done to protect the viability of using a cloaked covops ship for intel gathering. For instance to monitor the comings and goings of a hostile station/jb/staging pos. Maybe exempt the non-bomber covops frigate from being decloaked?


I'm not sure I follow what part of the proposed ideas make you feel this way. With the new Delayed Local Intel it's extremely unlikely a CovOps Frigate would ever get displayed in Local. It would have to be uncloaked for more than 5 minutes, and in a scouting role there's no reason for that to ever happen. In respect to the Cloak Detection, it's only on a very specialized ship that must launch special probes to get your approximate location. The special probes like all probes would show on DScan potentially giving you lots of warning. Plus if your constantly moving you're a very hard target to detect and uncover. The end result is that a CovOps Frigate would be a very valuable scout in this system, but it would require someone at the keyboard being vigilant and paying attention.

MushroomMushroom wrote:
Second, this eliminates any hope of using a cloak on grid to escape from the enemy, for instance by cloaking when you get bubbled and slowboating away in a non-covops ship. A good gang will likely catch you, but sometimes you get away, AoE decloak/detection would ruin that. Generally, this would make it riskier to try to run a bubbled camp.


I think a good gang would catch you regardless in this case. The reason I really liked Rek Seven's ideas for cloak detection is precisely because it didn't work that well on gates or encourage blobbing. It's the best Cat and Mouse type Cloaking hunting idea I've seen suggested thus far. Keep in mind how it works, it's probes at best give it a warp point 25k from your actual location, and it's cloak detection cycles every 10 seconds and gives a ghost outline of your position at the time of the scan to the pilot of that ship (not to everyone). On a gate Interceptors with a load of drones set to them is probably a much better bet than the Cloak Hunting ship.
Xorv
Questionable Acquisitions
#6 - 2012-04-12 08:43:34 UTC  |  Edited by: Xorv
Gerrick Palivorn wrote:
Overall a very good post and a comprehensive grouping of what needs to be addressed when looking at local, cloaking, and anticloaking theories. Something to be looked at seriously is the viability of the anticloaking probes ruining the WH practice of scouting a system; it has been brought up that even detecting a signature on these probes will send people into a frenzy and they will dock up or get ready really ruins the ambush element of W-space. Cloakies need to keep the ability to not decloak when in proximity with another cloaker, reverting that does nothing for the rest of the OP.

A possible work around for the cloak detector probes is the fact that false readings should happen and frequently. I don't like the idea of being able to scan somebody down in deep space, the cloak should be able to mimic background noise well enough that anything but a direct scan of your immediate area should reveal your general location.

+1 from me, still not keen on any cloak detection probes but the rest is good.


I think if the consensus was that the probes would be damaging to WH dynamics, then they could be made not to function there. A lot of the ideas I posted already had in mind that they were not for WH Space. Frankly if none of these changes made it to WH space I'd fine with it, the balance was with Nulsec mostly in mind. I don't think false positives on the probes would work given that the system is already so hit and miss, it could make it too ineffective with players spending ages literally chasing down ghosts, better to make it not work at all in WH space.

Note also that unless there's cloaking hunting ships after you that it would be much safer to log off in a cloaked ship with this system, since you wouldn't be decloaked automatically when you do so and would remain off Local. With the other changes to Local there's no need anymore to "AFK Cloak". There's also less emphasis in just finding the CovOps ships because gangs of non cloaked Frigates and Destroyers can make fast strikes through space as well without ever showing up on Local Intel. Cruisers too with a minute and half to pass through systems could arrive at a target without ever having shown up in Intel Chanels if no ones watching gates. I don't expect that there will be loads of these cloak hunting ships around in every system.

One of the reasons I said reverse the change of cloaked ships not decloaking one another was for the functionality of the Cloaker Hunting mechanics. The cloak hunter doesn't have any inbuilt decloak functionality, granted people would likely fit a smart bomb to it, but to be really sneaky it would try to bump to decloak and if it had the new Adv cloaking skill trained up it would be able to quickly lock and scram it's target. Another thing I wanted to encourage was not blobbing with cloaked ships while hunting for other cloaked ships. Blundering into one another decloaking and giving away your presence to the hunted would have worked nicely for that. However, I can also see where the reverse would annoying for Cov Ops gangs and squads of bombers in large engagements. Suggestions?
Gerrick Palivorn
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#7 - 2012-04-12 10:04:50 UTC  |  Edited by: Gerrick Palivorn
When CCP reintroduced the 'cloaks don't decloak each other' system, the reasoning for it was because it was a mistake that they didn't do it that way in the first place. So I'm guessing that won't be something that will happen, also if they are all in a cluster, it would be easier for them to be detected. The switch has made bomber groups standard for fleets and gangs in sov warfare, there isn't any 0.0 engagement now where bombers aren't used somewhere.

It also seems a little wierd that W-space isn't getting love from the cloaky detection. Maybe have the false positives be native to W-space and operate with limited capability. Just some suggestions as you will get flamed pretty bad soon (1,000,000 ISK on that wager)

Edit: Have the probes that can detect cloaked signatures able to detect Anoms and Signatures but not show the ID number, that way signatures can be confused and it will provide the chance for additional cat and mouse. The lore behind it would be that the probes are specialized in detecting the electronics/thermal signature of the ship and any other equipment on the probes would disrupt the scan, thus causing the ability to pick up signatures but unable to accurately distinguish between them.

MMOs come and go, but Eve remains.  -Garresh-

Xorv
Questionable Acquisitions
#8 - 2012-04-23 03:08:13 UTC
Gerrick Palivorn wrote:
[...]


Regarding Cloaked ships not breaking other cloaked ships. What if it was based on standings? So blues won't decloak blues, but neutrals and reds will? That way Bomber fleets aren't nerfed, but the cloak detector can still work by decloaking a target simply by being within 2k.

Regarding the probes, I think the idea that a cloaked ship shows up mixed in with anom/exploration site signatures and have them all without IDs isn't a bad one. Although if you had two probers, one regular and one specialized Cloak detector, it might result in being able to bypass that shortcoming by simple process of picking the sigs that don't match. Otherwise it would be a great idea.

Wormholes I don't want to mess with, if any of the ideas have a negative impact on that part of the game, better for them to simply not function there. The problem is with known space.

Anyway keep the criticisms and suggestions coming, hopefully will get some more intelligent ones from other posters as well. I won't hold my breath it's usually the trollish threads on these issues that get all the responses ...including my own Oops