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Odyssey: The Big Lie - Let's bring back exploration in exploration.

First post
Author
Ranger 1
Ranger Corp
Vae. Victis.
#21 - 2013-05-24 18:48:55 UTC  |  Edited by: Ranger 1
Vincent Athena wrote:
For things to explore, we can always look at what is actually out there in the real world. For example:

Real asteroids are isolated from each other. Even in the asteroid belt they are on average a million kilometers apart. To some extent we already have these: Whenever you find an anomaly or signature that has asteroids its like finding one of these RL rocks.

Comets. Most are out in the far solar system and are single isolated bodies. There are most likely millions per solar system. Procedurally generated, they would always be a new discovery.

Rogue planets. Estimates range from 2 to 100,000 of these floating between the stars for every star. Imagine building some sort of scanning array for finding one, then having to fly out thousands of AU to get to it. By going from one to the next we could even get interstellar travel without gates.

Player built space stations. Let us build them at all sizes and at (almost) all locations and space will be full of stuff to find.

But we need stuff to be there to make it worth finding them. The content quickly become documented and repetitious if there is not enough of it and its not expanded. (Oh look is a type 3 rogue planet. The guide says we need to do X, Y, and Z to claim it, and then we get A, B, and C). A huge amount of content is a huge amount of work. A player can find, do, and document a site in maybe 1% of the time it took CCP to make the site.

I wonder if there could be a way for players to add missions and exploration sites to the game. That is I write a mission, CCP approves it and adds it to the list. I pay Aurum to CCP to cover their time. When any player does it I get ISK. Not sure if that could work....... but it sure would cause an explosion of content.

Just to build on one small segment of this very good post,
I've always thought that asteroids should be fewer in number but hold more individually.
A good roid should be difficult to locate, and should be something to keep secret and protect.
They should be something that could keep a dedicated group busy for hours if not days before it is mined out.
Claim jumping should be a very real and serious occurrence.

View the latest EVE Online developments and other game related news and gameplay by visiting Ranger 1 Presents: Virtual Realms.

Pertuabo Enkidgan
Center for Advanced Studies
Gallente Federation
#22 - 2013-05-24 18:57:05 UTC
CCP Bayesian wrote:

stuff


Hey Bay, while you're here; Were Landmarks considered for this expansion? like, Divinity's Edge, Pool of Radiance, etc
Trii Seo
Goonswarm Federation
#23 - 2013-05-24 23:38:49 UTC
Johan Toralen wrote:

But that's the point that i'm on about. Expeditions that lead deeper into null as you normaly would be comfortable with (especialy explorers with no friendlies in null). Sure you can do it just for pure adventure but thers the problem of logistics and economical viability. Expeditions would be a great reason to risk it anyway.


There's a solution more simple than "varying it up" - it's called "putting shinies into null/low sites."

If I'm not mistaken, I've heard that we're going to see some shiney things in sites that spawn outside of hisec. Chasing people that 'ninja' sites in our space isn't exactly uncommon so it's not like people don't explore.

Even without complicated "arcs" and "expeditions" there is always something that draws people deeper into nullsec systems - greed and confidence that they can get away. Now, most people go after combat sites because they drop expensive mods and bpc's. A "Jackpot" in such site can make you a billion ISK. WIth common exploration sites 100 million ISK is a good haul.

Random content cannot be 100% random and whatever non-random elements will be created, will also be put into a neat guide by some people and status quo will return. Forcing a player to do something is a bad idea - a good one is give him incentive.

Creating an artificial journey and forcing the player to look back on a trail laid out by events following a scenario is a step towards a good ol' theme park - there is one thing I could agree with here however.

Exploration-related events that dangle a shiney thing before the eyes of a player in hisec if he ventures out into low security space or has to go against another player in some way. Sometimes all it takes to kick off a story is one step and this content should help make it.

Proud pilot of the Imperium

Arek'Jaalan: Heliograph

Veshta Yoshida
PIE Inc.
Khimi Harar
#24 - 2013-05-24 23:55:35 UTC
Trii Seo wrote:
There's a solution more simple than "varying it up" - it's called "putting shinies into null/low sites."...

Problem with that is that it doesn't actually solve or indeed address the problem. We don't need more ISK or shinies, we need exploration to be and feel like exploration ... Throwing money at it does nothing but increase competition for the available sites.

We (as in I) want to be able to limp home and tell a tall tale of opening a can in some remote location only to find it contained whoop-ass ..
We (still as in I) want to feel the need to pick up a buddy or two to be able to open that can and only get the Whoop!, prefereably with another tall tale to tell as I swagger back home.
Trii Seo
Goonswarm Federation
#25 - 2013-05-25 00:39:55 UTC
Competition is good. It's a match between two pilots in the end, and there's a tale to be told in how you outsmarted him or got outsmarted.

I'm also pretty sure there are tales out there. There's at least one explorer that can tell a story without a happy end - how he moved in the shadows of a certain region of null security space. How cautious he was to avoid a few local pilots hell-bent on chasing him. So cautious in shaking his pursuit that he ran face-first into a camp set up by another group of locals.

Or one that tried to smuggle a viator out and failed after no less than four attempts to decloak. Or one that succeded in escaping with his naga, carrying an expensive faction module onboard. A sudden spawn of rats from a failed access attempt will be put on a website with a warning and months ahead everyone will know what to expect. As they are, rats are also easy to tank and dispose of if you come prepared.

It's the players that will surprise you when your perfectly laid out plan fails and you are found. Removing rats from exploration sites (and, I suppose, a message "you cannot access this container while it's being guarded") could actually go a long way in making explora-boats not into something that falls into bits the second a pvp ship hits grid and tosses it an angry look.

Proud pilot of the Imperium

Arek'Jaalan: Heliograph

Rayzilla Zaraki
Yin Jian Enterprises
#26 - 2013-05-25 00:50:24 UTC  |  Edited by: Rayzilla Zaraki
Johan Toralen wrote:

- create new exploration content once in a while without informing the players. Let it be a surprise that can be discovered


By far my favorite idea.

The problem for CCP, however, is that, as a business, they kind of need to too their own horn. Rolling out an expansion without even a hint about something "extra" in it might cause the paying public to think they got shafted.

Perhaps, roll out the big expansion then on the smaller follow up patches they sneak in some new exploration stuff. You know, a secret, discoverable wormhole to Jovan space. Just sayin...

Barring that, they should just maybe sneak in a few hundred new systems (W- or K- space).

This goes hand in hand with another suggestion I saw not long ago. Rather than introducing new modules or ships, allow players to discover them through R&D. Again, CCP doesn't get to toot their horn but the immersion is enhanced.

Gate campers are just Carebears with anger issues.

Johan Toralen
IIIJIIIITIIII
#27 - 2013-05-25 01:37:18 UTC
Trii Seo wrote:
There's a solution more simple than "varying it up" - it's called "putting shinies into null/low sites."

If I'm not mistaken, I've heard that we're going to see some shiney things in sites that spawn outside of hisec. Chasing people that 'ninja' sites in our space isn't exactly uncommon so it's not like people don't explore.

Even without complicated "arcs" and "expeditions" there is always something that draws people deeper into nullsec systems - greed and confidence that they can get away. Now, most people go after combat sites because they drop expensive mods and bpc's. A "Jackpot" in such site can make you a billion ISK. WIth common exploration sites 100 million ISK is a good haul.

Random content cannot be 100% random and whatever non-random elements will be created, will also be put into a neat guide by some people and status quo will return. Forcing a player to do something is a bad idea - a good one is give him incentive.

Creating an artificial journey and forcing the player to look back on a trail laid out by events following a scenario is a step towards a good ol' theme park - there is one thing I could agree with here however.

Exploration-related events that dangle a shiney thing before the eyes of a player in hisec if he ventures out into low security space or has to go against another player in some way. Sometimes all it takes to kick off a story is one step and this content should help make it.


I think thers a difference between adventure for adventure sake and the isk grind that is PvE in Eve. We can't get rid of the grind because everbody needs isk. Let's not fool ourselfes, PvE isn't what most people do "for fun" in Eve. So the least we can do is to make the grind more compelling.
As it stands for isk making i have no reason to go 40 jumps deep into null. I can look for sites closer to my home base. The profession sites, at least to my knowledge, don't get more lucrative the deeper you go in. So from an economical perspective it's bad idea risking to haul back that billion isk jackpot over 40 jumps when i can try to find it much closer to home base.

To solve this with theme park ideas is a valid concern that you have but since Eve has this long established dichotomy between PvP and PvE play i'm not sure how it could be solved without any compromises.

One compromise could be that expeditions from profession sites work in a less stringent way then combat site escalation.
What if the expedition site spawns randomly somewhere in a constallation. You can't directly warp to it. You only get a journal entry where to look for it roughly. And other people can actualy probe it down before you even get there. Sorta like it works for some epic arc missions. Hell some ppl could actualy make a living probing down these expeditions instead of sites or wait for you to finish it and let you walk in an open knife. But of course these expeditions shouldn't be as easy to find as looking on the new system scanner.
Trii Seo
Goonswarm Federation
#28 - 2013-05-25 01:47:36 UTC
Driving the wedge between pvp and pve will only hurt the game in the long run - it's already bad as it is with people getting discouraged from pvp after attempting it with a pve fitted ship.

There is no reason to go deep into null - give one. Make proffession sites worth it (and they're getting revamped anyway, for now it does seem like a buff.) and not just for this one player that is a special snowflake and wants to explore - what about sov null holders. All the more reason to be out there in space, on the lookout for some Indiana Jones wannabe trying to nab your shinies.

One is a target for a patrol of three. Patrol of three is a target for a gang of ten. A gang of ten is a target for response fleet of thirty. There's content for more than just one pilot - and maybe he'll have a nice story to tell how he barely escaped with the shinies by leading his pursuit into another gang.

Proud pilot of the Imperium

Arek'Jaalan: Heliograph

Nevyn Auscent
Broke Sauce
#29 - 2013-05-25 03:03:36 UTC
Trii Seo wrote:
Driving the wedge between pvp and pve will only hurt the game in the long run - it's already bad as it is with people getting discouraged from pvp after attempting it with a pve fitted ship.

There is no reason to go deep into null - give one. Make proffession sites worth it (and they're getting revamped anyway, for now it does seem like a buff.) and not just for this one player that is a special snowflake and wants to explore - what about sov null holders. All the more reason to be out there in space, on the lookout for some Indiana Jones wannabe trying to nab your shinies.

One is a target for a patrol of three. Patrol of three is a target for a gang of ten. A gang of ten is a target for response fleet of thirty. There's content for more than just one pilot - and maybe he'll have a nice story to tell how he barely escaped with the shinies by leading his pursuit into another gang.


If it is worth flying 40 jumps deep into Null for an outsider, the locals will farm the sites, so the outsider won't bother flying 40 jumps deep into null as the sites will be gone already. This circles back to Null Sov mechanics.
Trii Seo
Goonswarm Federation
#30 - 2013-05-25 03:16:45 UTC
Not necessarily.

- there's lowsec and npc null.
- sites respawn (and quite quickly, actually)
- regions tend to be pretty big.

In the end, exploration sites require a certain type of skill - you need the ability to scan and for profession sites relevant can-opening skills (that will be relevant even post-odyssey). Not everyone does it, not everyone has the patience to fly around scanning.

Proud pilot of the Imperium

Arek'Jaalan: Heliograph

So'Cari
State War Academy
Caldari State
#31 - 2013-05-25 03:20:41 UTC  |  Edited by: So'Cari
Some good, honest posts from Bayesian over the past week or so.

This was less good:
CCP Bayesian wrote:
To be fair I don't see a disconnect with the copy and my point of view which I stress is mine rather than speaking for CCP as a whole.

We all appreciate you have to play nicely with the other children, but whilst technically correct (the copy and your PoV aren't outright inconsistent) this does carry the flavour of rather weaselly backpedaling. It's painfully obvious from the voluminous criticism of the new scanning and probing mechanics that Odyssey is a step in the wrong direction compared with your ambitions to improve upon the dynamic and player-generated aspects of the EVE universe.

Now here are two extracts which are, IMO, right on the money:
CCP Bayesian wrote:
Exploration essentially has to involve going into the unknown and making it known whilst having adventures. This can only really happen if the universe is reasonably dynamic and more unpredictable. Probably the best way of doing that is giving players the tools to shape the universe and making the universe itself more dynamic.
Source

CCP Bayesian wrote:
... if any player from a completely new character through to a ten year vet can have perfect information about the Universe and it's contents true exploration is never going to exist.
Source

Really that whole post was excellent. But I think it also tells you why some players like AutumnWind1983 have been critical without being explicitly constructive. Sleeper Social Club are a wormhole alliance. W-space is the closest thing right now to genuine exploration. It has dynamic routes between systems and the absence of local chat contributes towards imperfect information. And even though wormhole mechanics are now well understood and the once-challenging PvE elements are routine, at the time of release they too were new and forced players to explore and experiment with things. [Hint: recovering some of these aspects might have been the way to go!]

Odyssey is supposed to be an expansion in the style of Apocrypha. And, rightly or wrongly, in many players minds it is what we are getting instead of a POS-based expansion. POSes are undeniably one of the major tools with which players can shape the universe. But instead, development time has been spent on things like recasting a perfectly functional navigational tool into a flashy but rather unwieldy new UI.

So yes, they might look like "off-topic scattergun complaints" but I think there is more of a theme here than meets the eye at a first glance. I could go on and talk about some concrete changes which I'd consider if I were trying to bring about the sort of exploration experiences you and the players in this thread want, but this post is already long enough.

TL;DR to make the constructive element of this post absolutely clear:

I think your approach towards exploration is absolutely the right one to have. I think the game environment where you are most likely to be able to realise some of those ambitions is W-space.
Manssell
OmiHyperMultiNationalDrunksConglomerate
#32 - 2013-05-25 16:17:51 UTC
I have to admit this expansion is kinda bumming me out too. I though we would be getting more stuff to do, not the same amount just made more clicky and annoying. It doesn't even feel like an expansion. I keep looking at all the stuff we know about and think "is that it?!".

I was thinking we would be getting things like new DED/hacking areas. New hacking sites in addition to the old ones. These new sites could be built to actually be engaging. Now leaving aside the question of wether forcing group mechanics a good idea or not (feels very unsandboxy), if CCP was going to do it then why not do so by site design rather than this awful loot spew?

You could have sites that have multiple gates from the same room leading to two or three different rooms in them and so on, maze like. Thus making it so it could probably be run solo, but would be so much faster to do in a team that bringing friend makes sense (the way everything else works in this game). And sine you could split up the rooms, everyone has something to do rather than sit and wait for loot spew. Make it so the mazes can be jumbled up occasionally (so they don't get old). Hell have some sites that use the Incursion AI in some rooms, make them bring frigate logi or something, make some without rats but natural dangers like gas clouds and suck. Apply wormhole effects to some places.

You could even make some sites that if something is hacked in two different rooms at the same time a wormhole opens up at the end and leads the explores to some WH system that has some loot somewhere in it. Make it so other DED/hack sites can also spawn into the same WH and let the explores fight (or sneak) it out for the loot. Just like regular DED plexs ship restrictions could be put on the gates so that you would have an exploration WH that only let in frigates, or cruisers lets say. Heck maybe even let in mining barges so that some explores may sell the location to some miners to mine some hi-end ore in these special wormholes that would be more safe that a regular WH, but may also be jumped into by other exploders so still dangerous.

There is just so many better ideas than the basic same sites with no rats and loot spew.
Chirality Tisteloin
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#33 - 2013-05-26 10:54:39 UTC
Very interesting thread! My thoughts are centered around the idea of player build hideouts.

I would like to see more features that support sandbox exploration. Let the players create the content. Let exploration sites be more than just locations for player interaction.

If players are supposed to explore other player's activities, this means that one has to be able to hide in the first place. Otherwise it is not really a search ==> Let players build hideouts in space. Deadspace would be the obvious choice but there could be different classes of locations where this could be possible, such as interstellar space, comets in "Oorts clouds"... Let's call them deep space signatures.
Make players build acceleration gates to reach these places. Make player built acceleration gates hackable by other players. Alternatively/in addition the users of an acceleration gate have to carry a key in their cargo hold which drops when they are killed and can be reused by the new owner.

Make deep space locations interesting in terms of actually flying a space. A labyrinth of deadspace pockets connected by player build acceleration gates would be straight forward. But I also could imagine labyrinthian gas clouds which block the view (and the overview) on the structure and ships hidden inside. There are conduits of clear space through the clouds that can be navigated but if your ship touches the gas itself it takes damage. Make asteroid fields which are actually a challenge to fly in because they are more like a cloud than like a string. One class of player build hideouts could be anchored on large asteroids inside these fields. Players could set up perimeter defences using the natural environment as anchoring points. Make it a kind of 3D tower defence. All structures hackable of course :)

Finding things and getting there must be difficult. The exploration scanner provides a nice canvas which could be enriched. Deep space signatures should not show up initially. Maybe the blue cloudy structures in the scanner overlay actually mean something. Mouse-over highlighting instead of the brackets could be used there to indicate interesting structures. To find objects farther out of the solar system make a new class of ship (or module). Two ships have to work together to perform a triangulation of an object. The ships have to establish a baseline by positioning themselves at different places in the system and lighting a certain beacon each. Then each ships can measure the angle of a deepspace signature relative to the established baseline. Combining both measurements allows to locate the object, a comet or deadspace pocket for example. A third ship in the triangulation chain would improve the result. The outcome of the operation would be a datacube which is needed for the manufacturing of the acceleration gate that will lead to the deep space signature.

Why would people want to go there? Make hideouts the place for booster production. Any illegal or outlawed activity can go there. Unlicensed clone production for example? Mercenary equipment production? Or simply move some moon minerals there. It would be super cool if the installations were hard to destroy but exploitable by the clever explorer. Thieves and hackers

Please, make exploration sandboxy, give us deep space hideaways!
Chira.

See you at my blog: http://spindensity.wordpress.com/

Robert Caldera
Caldera Trading and Investment
#34 - 2013-05-26 11:02:31 UTC  |  Edited by: Robert Caldera
there is no exploration, you can read up everything in web - whether one exploration site is worth the efforts doing it and what the final drop might be. Exploration doesnt work in a predefined and repetitive world. But if you change it to real exploration somehow, where no final result is known until you finished, people would moan about possible non-existing rewards for 5 days of exploration gone into dead end.
Mara Rinn
Cosmic Goo Convertor
#35 - 2013-05-26 12:30:12 UTC
I reckon destructible stargates is a great place to start with making exploration a more interesting part of the game.
Sylana Sif
Scarlet Devil Industries
#36 - 2013-05-26 13:18:50 UTC
To summarize, most people here suggest:

-exploration sites to escalate
-possibly into wormholes
-those wormholes should be specificly designed for those exploration sites with a timer till collapse (24hours like regular escalation sites) -this is my suggestion-
-player left inside after the collapse should die with his ship and respawn in station
-those "escalation wormholes" should give better then average loot in comparison to their difficulty, should contain sites for single players and for fleets of say 10 people (could vary)

feedback please, blue post would also be nice
Bar0th
Arasaka Security Corporation
Arasaka Security Trust
#37 - 2013-05-26 13:19:26 UTC  |  Edited by: Bar0th
I hope the fact Signatures (not anomalies) showing up on the ship-board scanner is temporary, and not part of Odyssey. Tested it last night:

B274 wormhole - collapsed it, and using only the on-board, was able to see the new sig appear

This same thing applies to K162 wormholes - no surprise PVP for those not being cautious with probes watching. You are able to get their perfect base signal strength (10% for a B274/K162) using your onboard scanner, but launch probes, and hit scan and it drops?? The anoms in the space overlay are fine (and good for directional scanning to locate targets), but signatures should only appear if you scan with probes.

The next problem are the anomalies themselves. If you switch ships (at an SMA for instance), your anom list is cleared, and the only way to restore it is to jump systems and return, or relog. Ugh
Veshta Yoshida
PIE Inc.
Khimi Harar
#38 - 2013-05-26 13:32:33 UTC
Mara Rinn wrote:
I reckon destructible stargates is a great place to start with making exploration a more interesting part of the game.

For all the people who haven't read it yet .. do so .. surprisingly good.

If I were to niggle then I'd say access control of erected gates should never be introduced. Combined with changes to cynos/bridging that will come at some point the defensive power of isolating a system completely from the rest of the cluster would be game-breaking. Better to have some meaningful upgrades available such as a large T2 scrambling effect, activation delays/restrictions etc. .. all of which can be hacked and temporarily deactivated of course.
Robert Caldera
Caldera Trading and Investment
#39 - 2013-05-26 15:50:12 UTC  |  Edited by: Robert Caldera
Bar0th wrote:
I hope the fact Signatures (not anomalies) showing up on the ship-board scanner is temporary, and not part of Odyssey.

it is final. Idiots shouldn't be gimped in their play by challenging probing system so more idiots subscribe for eve.
For the same reason DSP are getting removed.
Schmata Bastanold
In Boobiez We Trust
#40 - 2013-05-26 18:09:13 UTC
Finally something good at F&I :)

Whenever I feel like doing some exploration I instantly have a need to open eve survival or just google "eve online exploration sites" just to have my scan results right there in my face the moment probes get good reading. And I think this is main problem - already mentioned by various people in this and not only this thread. EVERYthing is documented, cataloged, dissected and served on a silver platter.

Procedural generation of NPCs and sites could shake up state of things but it would still be just shooting red crosses and hacking cans. But I think that would be only fix for symptoms not real source of the problem and problem is: there is no unknown space in this universe.

Imagine if we could just open "map of universe", point somewhere outside of known/mapped network of dots and say "frakk it, this is where I want to go". And then just shoot our ship(s) towards that point and discover new worlds, NPCs, shinies and take pictures, a lot of frakking pictures.

And we could map our route by coordinates and we could share it with others or keep it "my precious". And those routes could be a subject for espionage and scams and traps for those daring to follow.

And it wouldn't matter if you go alone or with your alts/corpies. If you run out of ammo, cap charges, drones, probes, etc. you either go forward until something gets you or you self destruct and wake up in new clone. And you could go one same trip again up to a point you died and continue or just chose another point to go.

And yes, you could go alone and play this MMO like a single player X3 kind of thing. But fleet would be better because of logistics just like pioneers did with their caravans.

This is what I want to call it exploration not more red crosses and shinies.

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