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Command and Control to enhance the small gang meta/ nerf blob

Author
Dinsdale Pirannha
Pirannha Corp
#1 - 2014-02-24 18:47:46 UTC
Some will say that the small gang meta is fine.
I would suggest that many others disagree: http://jestertrek.blogspot.ca/2014/02/blue-and-amber-white-and-green.html
If we assume than the small gang is in trouble, and blob warfare is too powerful, and more importantly, CCP believes it, I have a proposal.

Warfare is chaotic. And the actual fighting, whether on the ground, in the air, or on / under the oceans is even more so.
Lines of communication get broken, orders get garbled or missed. And that leads to bad things happening.

Great Command and Control is among the keys to winning a battle, and eventually a war. And Command and Control is based on communication. Clear, concise, accurate lines of communication that get to the target audience as quickly as possible.

Keeping a small group operating cohesively is much easier than a larger group. There is a reason that a squad operates better on a man for man basis than when compared to an army. And that is because the lines of communication are much smaller, which leads to far less lag and potential for error.

So here is the Eve-related proposal:

One of the methods of communication in the game is fleet broadcast.
It is used by most fleets for target selection, ship repair, warp directions, etc.
All of which assume perfect lines of communication, instantly, and perfectly, every time.

Yes, I recognize that issuing commands across space should be perfect, assuming no interference.
But let's examine the game mechanism CCP has set up. We have the FC/WC/SC/squad member mechanism, and assumes in and of itself that bigger entities have limitations to size, and penalties attached, and that can easily be abstracted to include commands being issued and perfectly understood by all, immediately.

So why not abstract that potential of weakened Command and Control by allowing for the potential of weakened or disrupted lines of communication?

Create a mechanism in the game that has a sliding scale of lag based on the size of the fleet. And that lag targets fleet broadcasts. Or even stops them.

I don't know what is a reasonable level of disruption would be. That can only be found through testing.

But let me throw some numbers out there:

We have the baseline today of zero disruption.
Let's say that works up to, I dunno, 25 pilots in a fleet. They have perfect communication, as we have today.
25-50 ships: 2 second lag from when someone does a broadcast, until it is actually sent. 1% chance that a fleet member does not receive the broadcast at all.
51-100 ships: 4 second lag, 1.5% chance of total disruption.
101-200 ships: 5 second lag, 2% disruption.
201 plus, 6 second lag, 2.5% complete disruption.

Does this hit the large fleets hard? In some ways, yes.
Does that give a relative benefit to the smaller gangs? Yes.

Does it play into the hands of the alpha gangs as requests for logi are slowed? Yes, and I can see this as a huge argument against the concept.

Can this nerf to large fleets be circumvented? Yes, in some ways no doubt. An over-arching FC can be on voice comms picking targets and he can relay those instructions to actual players in the FC positions in smaller fleets. But that introduces a potential communication issue itself.

But in general, this nerf to large fleet communications may counteract to some degree the fact that the small gang is being hammered by larger and lager sized fleets, and may hurt the blob meta a bit.

This concept can be taken one step further as well:
What if the effects given by fleet boosters shrunk as the size of the fleet increased?
One has to assume that fleet boosting is part of the Command and Control concept, and boosting a larger fleet with more entities should be harder than a smaller fleet.
Zan Shiro
Alternative Enterprises
#2 - 2014-02-24 19:39:45 UTC  |  Edited by: Zan Shiro
how does ccp stop jabber/ts, etc?

When I did fleet work primaries called in voice comms as with crap dying and such it seemed to be much easier to key voice and say player x is primary,drop him.

Warp to's also called this way. had a thorough fc....minny warp to A, gallente warp to B, etc.

Calls for reps and such may be affected but I know I have answered these via voice comms as well.
Xzanos
Tribal Liberation Force
Minmatar Republic
#3 - 2014-02-24 19:46:29 UTC
And on the issue of voice comms where much of the actual fleet communication happens brodcast is more of a clarification tool although more intensly used for reps, It is not uncommon for ts/vent servers to be ipbombed or completely hacked for that matter in the middle of fleet fights true this is out of game mechanics but its enough of an issue as it is.

*activates thermal hardeners for incoming flame

Anhenka
Native Freshfood
Minmatar Republic
#4 - 2014-02-24 19:56:06 UTC  |  Edited by: Anhenka
Posting in a Dinsdale nerf nullsec thread.

Intentional creation of inefficiencies for the purpose of making playing a game a greater pain in the ass is terrible game design.

"I need to defend this location from being taken, but I don't want to deal with lag, so I'll only bring 30 people"
Said no FC in charge of a stratop ever.

Introducing information lag would be largely counterproductive. In a typical situation, targets are called out 3-4-5 or more in advance in high lag situations, so as long as you kept broadcasting targets in advance, there would be little change.

Information lag would also reduce the effectiveness of logi to near uselessness unless you had spies relaying enemy primaries in advance. This then removes the potential of excellent logi/triage from significantly contributing to larger fights and reverts the win condition back solely to "Who can bring the more warm meat in dps ships".

TLDR: No, bad Dinsdale, go back to making buff highsec threads, bad dog!
Dinsdale Pirannha
Pirannha Corp
#5 - 2014-02-24 20:22:47 UTC
Xzanos wrote:
And on the issue of voice comms where much of the actual fleet communication happens brodcast is more of a clarification tool although more intensly used for reps, It is not uncommon for ts/vent servers to be ipbombed or completely hacked for that matter in the middle of fleet fights true this is out of game mechanics but its enough of an issue as it is.


When I ran in fleets against PL/DRF, broadcasts were a pretty key item.
As you said. TS/jabber are always important, and can/will be a target.

But I always saw targets being broadcast in fleet.
Scrolling through an overview filled with targets was never fun if the FC verbally called out a target, even if they are sorted in some kind of optimal method (alphabetical if by name?).

But yes, as the broadcast lag became longer , voice initiated selection would become more important.
And that does add some lag to the larger fleets, though likely not enough to have a large impact.
Arthur Aihaken
CODE.d
#6 - 2014-02-24 20:27:13 UTC
How about we start penalizing fleets with an expanded signature instead, starting with anything over 10 ships and increasing exponentially...

I am currently away, traveling through time and will be returning last week.

Anhenka
Native Freshfood
Minmatar Republic
#7 - 2014-02-24 20:54:15 UTC
Arthur Aihaken wrote:
How about we start penalizing fleets with an expanded signature instead, starting with anything over 10 ships and increasing exponentially...


Arbitrary modifiers that heavily impact low sig ships like AHAC's, Lokis, RailGu's, interceptors, dictors while not significantly influencing BS's and capitals are horrible. Also meet the new Ultra Tracking Titan: Blap dreadnaughts capable of oneshotting even a frigate easily given the sig bloom from a 256 man fleet.

Dinsdale Pirannha wrote:

When I ran in fleets against PL/DRF, broadcasts were a pretty key item.

But I always saw targets being broadcast in fleet.
Scrolling through an overview filled with targets was never fun if the FC verbally called out a target, even if they are sorted in some kind of optimal method (alphabetical if by name?).

But yes, as the broadcast lag became longer , voice initiated selection would become more important.
And that does add some lag to the larger fleets, though likely not enough to have a large impact.


As long as the FC continues to broadcast 4 or more targets in advance, the delay for transmitting to the fleet would be of no importance at all for target calling.

It would however introduce a 6 second delay on Logi broadcasts, making them nearly useless for large fleets since delay time + human reaction time + lock time + armor rep cycle time = ship dead long before you can lock them. And I rather doubt the intent of this would be to throw out logi as useful and rely even further on just bringing more DPS ships than the other guy.
Zan Shiro
Alternative Enterprises
#8 - 2014-02-24 21:08:16 UTC
Anhenka wrote:
Arbitrary modifiers that heavily impact low sig ships like AHAC's, Lokis, RailGu's, interceptors, dictors while not significantly influencing BS's and capitals are horrible. .



gonna say this.

At some point enough BS' on the field and well if you can't hit them...lack of skill or tracking mods probably the reason. Unless its a speed tanking mach fleet you should be hitting more often than not. Its not like my rokh can spiral in on someone even on a good day, let alone playing traversal games against a 15 man primary call. me fighting tidi/lag in worst case makes this even less likely.


Only thing this helps out is phoenix pilots really. they can finally hit stuff that moves. Ofc the other 3 dreads already do that so they'd jsut be even better at it still lol.
Dinsdale Pirannha
Pirannha Corp
#9 - 2014-02-24 21:08:27 UTC
Anhenka wrote:
Arthur Aihaken wrote:
How about we start penalizing fleets with an expanded signature instead, starting with anything over 10 ships and increasing exponentially...


Arbitrary modifiers that heavily impact low sig ships like AHAC's, Lokis, RailGu's, interceptors, dictors while not significantly influencing BS's and capitals are horrible. Also meet the new Ultra Tracking Titan: Blap dreadnaughts capable of oneshotting even a frigate easily given the sig bloom from a 256 man fleet.

Dinsdale Pirannha wrote:

When I ran in fleets against PL/DRF, broadcasts were a pretty key item.

But I always saw targets being broadcast in fleet.
Scrolling through an overview filled with targets was never fun if the FC verbally called out a target, even if they are sorted in some kind of optimal method (alphabetical if by name?).

But yes, as the broadcast lag became longer , voice initiated selection would become more important.
And that does add some lag to the larger fleets, though likely not enough to have a large impact.


As long as the FC continues to broadcast 4 or more targets in advance, the delay for transmitting to the fleet would be of no importance at all for target calling.

It would however introduce a 6 second delay on Logi broadcasts, making them nearly useless for large fleets since delay time + human reaction time + lock time + armor rep cycle time = ship dead long before you can lock them. And I rather doubt the intent of this would be to throw out logi as useful and rely even further on just bringing more DPS ships than the other guy.



Well, like I said in my original post, the one serious issue I see with it is that the alpha ships gain a larger advantage over logi supported fleets, which is a bad thing. Perhaps lag could be focused on offensive based commands and navigation commands only. I would think that nerfing the response time of a fleet warp would also have a significant impact.

And yes, I am looking for ways to essentially nerf large fleets with these suggestions. If I could see a way to enhance small gangs without impacting the large fleet performance, I would suggest those. But the only way I see to enhance the small gang meta relative to the blob is to nerf the blob.
Anhenka
Native Freshfood
Minmatar Republic
#10 - 2014-02-24 21:19:01 UTC
Dinsdale Pirannha wrote:

And yes, I am looking for ways to essentially nerf large fleets with these suggestions. If I could see a way to enhance small gangs without impacting the large fleet performance, I would suggest those. But the only way I see to enhance the small gang meta relative to the blob is to nerf the blob.


Proposing a system where smaller fleets can make contributions towards harassing or removing sov or disabling sov structures as an incentive to fly smaller gangs around does far more than any contribution that attempts to make smaller gangs better by making it even less fun to play in heavy TiDi. Mechanics solely dedicated to making a game less fun and less rewarding in groups will never, ever, be introduced.
Dinsdale Pirannha
Pirannha Corp
#11 - 2014-02-25 00:08:54 UTC
Anhenka wrote:
Dinsdale Pirannha wrote:

And yes, I am looking for ways to essentially nerf large fleets with these suggestions. If I could see a way to enhance small gangs without impacting the large fleet performance, I would suggest those. But the only way I see to enhance the small gang meta relative to the blob is to nerf the blob.


Proposing a system where smaller fleets can make contributions towards harassing or removing sov or disabling sov structures as an incentive to fly smaller gangs around does far more than any contribution that attempts to make smaller gangs better by making it even less fun to play in heavy TiDi. Mechanics solely dedicated to making a game less fun and less rewarding in groups will never, ever, be introduced.


The issue with your framing of the small gang meta is one where the small gang is still being used as a tool in sov warfare.
It used to be small gang warfare was used in all aspects of the game, and tying it sov wafare is not what is needed.
Anhenka
Native Freshfood
Minmatar Republic
#12 - 2014-02-25 00:15:39 UTC
Dinsdale Pirannha wrote:

The issue with your framing of the small gang meta is one where the small gang is still being used as a tool in sov warfare.
It used to be small gang warfare was used in all aspects of the game, and tying it sov wafare is not what is needed.


People already roam to kill people, roam to scare ratters, roam to wave their epeens. They might be trying to inflict military, psychological, or economic damage to the locals.

That's all still there. It never went away.
Like it or not, tying the harassment ability of a moderate number of ships to incapacitating structures of convenience like Ihubs or ESS's is an excellent way of provoking fights, creating content, and blah blah all that other small gang goals.

Making large fleets more annoying to fly in though does nothing to promote small gangs, it just makes fleets already a pain even more of a chore.

As I said earlier: Promote what you want to encourage, don't try and nerf everything else until nobody is willing to do anything but what you want to promote.
Zan Shiro
Alternative Enterprises
#13 - 2014-02-25 01:37:11 UTC
Dinsdale Pirannha wrote:
Well, like I said in my original post, the one serious issue I see with it is that the alpha ships gain a larger advantage over logi supported fleets, which is a bad thing. .



funny thing about this statement....


a few years back we were getting a fair amount of nerf logi threads as they took off in popularity and fleets were running in semi-god mode. Want to know what was said (besides HTFU of course)....bring the alpha to smash them. Or the numbers to spread out the damage to make the logi chain break under stress.

Imagine that...people actually took advice given here. and now its a problem?
Nevyn Auscent
Broke Sauce
#14 - 2014-02-25 02:33:59 UTC
I can see potential in the idea. However the plan is going the wrong way.

Instead of introducing arbitrary RNG based & delay mechanics for Broadcasts, introduce levels of detail.

Looking at Broadcasts 'Downwards' to people under a position.
FC's have high level idea broadcasts. They are responsible for managing the overall battlefield the fleet is fighting on. They have Broadcasts such as 'Warp to, Align To, Set Destination to'.

Wing Commanders become responsible for on Battlefield coms. 'Primary Target' 'Secondary Target' 'Anchor on'
In the event the WC does not have an FC, they get the FC coms also.

Squad Commanders get fine detail type commands. Such as 'Ewar Target' 'Tackle Target' 'Close With Target' 'Scan Target' etc.
Again if there is no WC & FC, they get all the commands.

Individual Pilots just get Rep commands.

Then going back up the chain you get 'Suggest Target' 'Suggest Align' etc. So that any pilot can suggest calling someone as a primary, or going somewhere, but it needs to be escalated through the layers by the appropriate positions.

Now we haven't punished people arbitrarily for having a larger fleet by random mechanics or automatic delays, but instead created a system where different layers of commands belong to different fleet positions. Meaning the various layers all have to interact as actual people. Not just have the required skill to pass the bonuses from the fleet boosters down but actually do a job as a player also.

So skill is rewarded, but a highly skilled large fleet is still possible with no penalties. <---- This being the important part. Small is easier than large to organise, but if Large can organise just as well, they should be rewarded for it.
Secret Squirrell
Allied Press Intergalactic
#15 - 2014-02-25 05:42:04 UTC
Broadcasts are 80% convenience, 20% for people who can't handle selecting the right target for themselves. Not using broadcasts at all vs un-disrupted broadcasts, the broadcast side is going to win, all else being even, but its not going to make a bit of difference 200v100. It will **** people off, in a way that looks like an error on the part of the game, and not actually achieve anything useful. All around bad idea.