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Improving Archaeology and Hacking

Naomi Tichim
Sovereign Hospitaller Order of Saint Katherine
#1 - 2013-12-19 10:37:50 UTC
I love the idea of deep space archaeology, but in practice it's pretty much identical to hacking. I'd like to see more flavor and variety to both. In particular, I want archaeology to have more of a mystery to it.

New item: Artifacts
Artifacts are historical items that have no functional value, but great historical or cultural value. Every artifact would be tied to a specific corporation, although some would be tied to corporations that no longer exist. If the corporation still exists, its agents would be very grateful for their return. An example would be the nameplate from a Gallente warship lost during the Caldari-Gallente Wars, which the Federation Navy would love returned. Players could have the option to donate them to earn faction rating and/or loyalty points. They could also sell them on the market, with the buyers being museums (probably represented by the academies) or private collectors. Artifacts from extinct corporations could only be sold, but would be worth more. Older artifacts could be harder to identify, requiring higher archaeology skills.

Exploration Missions
I think it would be nice to add exploration agents who would send you to a system with orders to find a specific artifact and bring it back. This change could be implemented alone, with the "artifacts" being just another type of mission-critical item.

Data Sites:
The main change is that I'd like to see data sites from all factions. In fact, data sites could be from specific corporations - namely, militaries, pirates, and the empire manufacturing corps (e.g. Roden Shipyards, Ishukone, Boundless Creations, Khanid Works). Hisec would have mostly local empire sites, where nullsec would have mostly pirate sites.

Relic Sites:
This is where most of the changes would be made. Where data sites are implied to be recent, relic sites should vary in ages. I'd divide relic sites into three major categories: recent, old, and ancient.

Recent relic sites are from the last 50 years or so. Most of what you'd find would be salvage, with some intact modules. Some (not all) would have faction gear. Those from military corporations might have military artifacts (ie insignia). All recent relic sites would be from contemporary factions.

Old relic sites are older than recent sites, but date to within recorded history. They'd pretty much all be from the empires, as they would predate the other factions. There would be little useful salvage, but quite a few high-value artifacts.

Ancient sites predate the empires themselves. They'd belong to one of the various extinct civilizations (Sleepers, Takhmal, Talocan, or Yan Jung), the Jovians, or even the Terrans. Those sites would mostly have a mix of ancient components and relics, some datacores - and, very rarely, intact pieces of technology. The last one opens the door for CCP to introduce rare and powerful items.

A general distinction is that data sites should be reliably valuable, where relic sites vary. Most aren't that great, but many are very valuable, some can turn you very rich very quickly... and a few could start a war.
Malphas Inanis
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#2 - 2013-12-24 13:25:05 UTC
I love it

This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous – indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose.

The Dark Space Initiative
Scary Wormhole People
#3 - 2013-12-24 14:14:49 UTC
maybe im a masochist, but for exploration missions I would like it to be possibly as vague as " recover this item, our best guess is its in _____ kind of space. Make it truly a treasure hunt, go to X system and find Y isnt exploration. Too easy.

Event Organizer of EVE North East

Sean Parisi
Blackrise Vanguard
#4 - 2013-12-24 14:22:04 UTC
You have my axe.
Malphas Inanis
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#5 - 2013-12-27 15:56:15 UTC
I like this idea I to have felt that archaeology should be different than hacking and your idea seems pretty sound!

Thank you for taking the time to post it here!

This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous – indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose.

Saunkar Madrot
#6 - 2014-01-14 07:56:34 UTC
I would also like to see the Archaeologist elaborated upon. I like the ideas you've posted. Despite the similarities to Hacking, and the raw state of it , I've found the profession to be fulfilling and enjoyable thus far. The rawness lends itself very well to RP. We Archaeologists are left to fill in a lot of the blanks for ourselves. Which can be very exciting for some, and terribly boring for others. Until we see any changes to how it plays, it may help some to try and take notes, keep a Captain's Log, document your expeditions and discoveries.. get into it. It could help make up for the things that are lacking. And could possibly lead to some great fiction. Overall, it seems to be a path worth sticking to in the long run.
Nevyn Auscent
Broke Sauce
#7 - 2014-01-14 09:20:00 UTC
Really both need significant changes.

Let me throw a theory out there that could integrate your options.

Any already 'dead' LCO could have an archaeology scanner used on it. This would reveal 'cores' as you went through it. There would be multiple cores per structure, of which you could only choose one. All of which would have value. I.E. You discover an LCO 'Damaged station part'. One core would be salvage, another BPC, the third Decryptors potentially. You might not hack through to every core, so you might have to take what you got and get out with it, you might press forward. The BPC could be anything, it might be a T1 Frigate BPC, it might be a T2 Frigate BPC etc, so it's got some gambling to it, salvage should be more consistent. Means the player must make choices which are good.
In order to stop this getting too over the top, possibly some structures would have no 'cores' at all. I.E. Worthless. But it should be a factor per structure rather than hard coded so you can never outright ignore something, you might just learn which are more likely to have value, but even that random low chance one might hold the valuable BPC. And no ship scanning option means no easy cherry picking.

Hacking can then be done on any 'live' structure. I.E. Habitats, Ship yards etc. Same sort of thing. Multiple possible cores. Not everything would have a reward. Once successfully hacked it would result in a dead structure from internal systems failure. Failed hacks put it into lock down instead.

Then remove relic & data sites. Put combat sites in to replace them everywhere. But.... make the combat sites start without combat ships spawned. And make the Exploration frigates & Covert Ops ships (Including SoE maybe) not trigger rats. Or a green/yellow/red detection system. 'Warning, scanners detected attempting to localise ship, recommend cloaking to avoid hostile response'. Then you have the option of getting in first in a scanning ship to scan without hostile action, but if you make a mistake or if a combat ship warps onto grid you have to run somehow. Or you can fit scanners to a combat ship and try and make a little extra while you fight. Or you can have a friend follow you and clean the structures with a scan ship behind your combat ship.

One site, multiple ways of making money from it, end up removing the site as a scanner and it might despawn entirely even. This then creates conflict over the sites between people, while allowing several people fitted differently to all use the same site at the same time, but do different things in it.
Corraidhin Farsaidh
Singularity Expedition Services
Singularity Syndicate
#8 - 2014-01-14 11:27:59 UTC
+1 for me, ties nicely with the other thread currently running with regards to non-scannable regions in space
Sura Sadiva
Entropic Tactical Crew
#9 - 2014-01-14 12:29:10 UTC
I like a lot OP ideas and in general data and relic sites need to become more complex and in deepth than now.

Some random toughts:

a new type of item/artifact that need to be studied and identified. Basically you don't know what you find and to identify it you need a supplementar process (and related skills) in specific station slots/laboratories; similar to research/invention.

Relic sites age. Could be done as progression/escalation: you fine an artifaxct that lead to a more ancient relic site/level and so on. of ocurse: more ancient more chance to find something evaluable.

Rivr Luzade
Coreli Corporation
Pandemic Legion
#10 - 2014-01-14 12:44:42 UTC
Definitely very interesting ideas. Regarding the exploration agents and researchable artifacts I want to bring in this idea of mine: Random Agents in Natural Phenomena Sites.

UI Improvement Collective

My ridicule, heavy criticism and general pale outlook about your or CCP's ideas is nothing but an encouragement to prove me wrong. Give it a try.

Corraidhin Farsaidh
Singularity Expedition Services
Singularity Syndicate
#11 - 2014-01-14 13:01:37 UTC  |  Edited by: Corraidhin Farsaidh
How about clues that you hack out from relic sites regarding the location of further sites that do not show up as anomalies. You need to track down and gather so many data sheets to then reverse engineer out site co-ordinates (yes, like piecing together a hi-tech treasure map...someone pass me my fedora and bullwhip...)

edit: thinking further on this it shouldn't be too hard to implement. Add a new loot item of data slate/shattered data chip or some such. Use the existing reverse engineering skill and mechanism to extract the data, provide the co-ordinates as a warp to location for a further data/relic site in the same way that agents provide deadspace co-ords. All the elements required are already in game one way or another.
A Big Enough Lever
#12 - 2014-01-14 14:48:58 UTC
also - there should be a location balance, so:
anything giving sleeper, jove/takhmahl/etc tech, should almost only be seen in W-space,
whereas the 'recent' sites should be high and losec, since the empires have already been there,
and the 'old' sites, in w-space

..... maybe the (small) chance for any site to spawn outside of its natural zone,
so every once in a while someone in k-space might find sleeper stuff (this should be very rare, and not predisposed towards any particular sec status),
whilst every once in a while - someone in W-space finds some empire stuff, or (more likely) some generic stuff like salvage

there should also be a 'drop' balance taking into accout sec status - so getting an ancient site in HS isn't likely to yield much anyway, but recent sites in true null/w-space might still be worth it

For posting an idea into F&I: come up with idea, try and think how people could abuse this, try to fix your idea - loop the process until you can't see how it could be abused, then post to the forums to let us figure out how to abuse it..... If your idea can be abused, it [u]WILL[/u] be.

Corraidhin Farsaidh
Singularity Expedition Services
Singularity Syndicate
#13 - 2014-01-14 14:59:34 UTC
agreed on the sec level limitation as already occurs with other anomalies, but there should always be a chance of rare items from any faction making there way into any space (exploration probes, lost stations etc.

In terms of using reverse engineered data to find locations perhaps the more data sources used will increase the value of the derived anomaly located. More effort = more reward in the usual manner. The player chooses when to run the reverse engineering at roughly the point where they will generate the kind of anomaly they seek.

There could also be the chance of finding a cluster of high-sec instead of one low-sec and so on too. Even then if you are lucky the hi-sec cluster could be worth more...or not...