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Reducing the gap between PvE and PvP: Rats

Author
Trik Star
Jabbersnarks and Wonderglass
#1 - 2014-03-04 23:35:36 UTC
So it comes up a lot. I start this thread in the hopes to give one place for ideas about rats (mainly mission rats) and how ppl would like them to behave if they want them to be more PvP like.

Ppl want PvE to be better, but often dnt really say how they want it made better. Ppl want PvE to be more like PvP, but often dnt say how it could be made more like PvP. so the following is me thinking out allowed and an invitation to discuss/criticise in more detail what ppl would expect or want from a more PvP like PvE part of the game.

It focuses on Rats more than any environmental aspects of PvE, and a lot on missions. A lot of it is asking questions that i hope serve as food for thought and are aimed at particularly no one. Answer at ur own discretion, add to/flesh out the discussion at ur own discretion, troll me into the ground at ur own discretion.

If u read through this thread and decide that u cant be arsed to answer the million questions, but do want to leave something of feedback, i offer this:

1) Should rats keep their identity, even though it makes them predictable?
2) Should missions be quick brutal fights where more typical active tanking is less useful than buffer or burst tanking?
3) Should missions (in particular lvl 4's) be reasonably solo-able? or should they be at least much more beneficial when ran in groups?
4) Should mission runners expect to never suffer loss? and should they expect to always succeed?
5) Would it be interesting to give newer players rolls in higher end missions?
6) Would it be interesting, and a good teacher, if rats mirrored tactics of capsuleers (even if it was rarely updated?)

Cheers
Trik Star
Jabbersnarks and Wonderglass
#2 - 2014-03-04 23:36:26 UTC
omni damage and tank- currently rats have their 'flavours', and this makes them fairly interesting, but entirely predictable. How do u get around the fact that serpentis use gallente blasty brawly tactics? how are they going to deal omni damage? drones? so to replace the blobs of rats ships, we have a few rat ships and blobs of drones?

The same applies to most pirate factions and even their e-wars as well. And some pirates predominantly tank armour or shield, thus we can predict which damage types to use all the same even if they are made more like capsuleer ships. Pirate factions are allocated to different areas of space, so we can expect to find certain rats in certain area's and change out accordingly.

so to make things unpredictable we either remove the identity of pirates, and make them all the same dealing omni damage, tanking randomly and/or using random e-wars, or the consistency of the missions and area's rats are found are mashed up such that rather than fighting a pirate faction, u are fighting just Pirates, which can come in any shape or form of ships/doctrines just like capsuleers can and sort of like mercenary rats do.

If the latter, pirate factions can still appear here and there, but less often and with more firepower? much like empire faction rats. no?

Fewer, tougher rats & quick, brutal affairs - so upping the dps, tank and speed, more e-wars and better AI makes them harder. easy enough to implement. However, a lot of skirmish level pew is fierce but brief, sometimes lending a benefit to buffer tanks and burst tanking over active tanks, or gank heavy fits over tank heavy fits.

so should (some) missions become short lived brawlfests? making mission that last 30 minutes take a mere few. will this **** up the isk/hour ratio of hi-sec? so bounties, loot and mission rewards will need balancing. And will quicker missions devalue typical active tanking? will armour reps suffer and typical shield boosters die out? will the cap recharger and CCC rigs become obsolete in the face of cap boosters? is this ok?

With fewer rats does e-war become useful against rats? would a griffon make a good ally in a mission? will tacklers be useful? might it just make group missioning with players of varying age significantly more attractive?

Rat strategies and meta- I'd like to think rats could one day work together by more than just shooting the same target and instead of seeing a cluster **** of various rats that have independent thinking, they use purpose designed fleets consisting of characters with roles. We sort of see things like this happening when serps have rail ships backed by damps with frigs as blockers. But then half the serp rats, including most the damp ships, fly right upto their targets as if they didnt know what is really going on. Now using damps to snipe from afar, great. Using damps to force ur target in close to ur brawlers, great. doing both at the same time? errr...

Now i appreciate the current system has benefits. For one, it means that all bases are covered. U dnt come into a mission with a snipey fit and never not have to deal with close range brawlers and vice versa it doesnt mean ur completely screwed because u brought the wrong ship.

So would it be more interesting if rats brought ships from various different backgrounds and put them together in purpose designed fleets to make things as hard as possible for u? What would ppl think if we started seeing T2 ranged web and point frigs tackling for glass cannon laser snipers supported by damps? Ships of all sizes and race tackling and neuting? Bhaalgorn style neut ships working along side Vindicator brawlers? Mordus kiting missile ships with huginn style T2 cruisers?

It would probably create a situation where u dnt just have one ship that u refit for different damage types and tank, u instead have a few ships that are designed to counter the various rat tactics, or one extremely versatile ship (ahem! T3). In which case should u know what tactics the rats are flying before u get there? Which might defeat the purpose of making missions less predictable and boring. Does it make flying solo more difficult? is this a good thing or a bad thing?

I ask especially as e-war in missions is currently considered far too powerful. but would it be ok as the e-war could be centralised to fewer ships, and in that respect, easier to dispose of?

Another result of the above might be that some capsuleer set-ups stomp rats with barely a fight, where as other set-ups become impossible to win with, forcing a re-fit, or maybe even buying a whole new ship. is that good?

spawning/de-spawning - Rats dnt have warp ins as such. They just spawn. And when sniper rats spawn right on top of u, or brawler rats spawn 100km away, they then attempt to move to their orbiting range at a very, very slow pace. could a mechanic be created where they spawn on top of or a distance from their buddies? like warping in on a fleet mate. Whichever and what distance could depend on the rat and its role.

Could spawns be triggered by rats reaching and tackling a target? getting tackled resulting in a couple BS's to spawn right on top of u, or a group of snipers 60km away from u.

Like belt rats, could mission rats try to bail out when things go to ****? can a target rat try to warp out after a certain time or when it takes so much damage? tackling such targets would become important as might tackling as many targets as possible to make sure ur bounties dont run off. would ppl find that interesting? or would it become another tedious job in a mission? and would the possibility of failing the mission invoke nerd rage?
Trik Star
Jabbersnarks and Wonderglass
#3 - 2014-03-04 23:38:10 UTC
Victoria Thorne
Science and Trade Institute
Caldari State
#4 - 2014-03-04 23:46:19 UTC
I wrote this before you added the 2nd post... Will have to give it a read... Big smile

Personally, I'd like to see randomized spawns and triggers on missions.

If you skip the guides which are available the first time you run the existing missions, many of them are actually fun or challenging the first time or two. After that, not so much.

Throw in a random chance of a group from another pirate faction spawning, vary reinforcement locations & consists, have a wave of pirate interceptors occasionally spawn directly on top of the players location. If you did all that, missions would gain a bit of replay value, along with being more challenging. All of that could be done without changing the overall rewards of the missions, making mission running a little more interesting and fun.
Trik Star
Jabbersnarks and Wonderglass
#5 - 2014-03-04 23:54:03 UTC
i agree adding uncertainty would make things more interesting and challenging. and the more random, the more replayable (hopefully)

but i wonder if thats what ppl really want. do they want their missions interesting and replayable? or do they like their farms?
Arthur Aihaken
CODE.d
#6 - 2014-03-05 00:00:08 UTC
The biggest impediment to mission-running is now travel time, so if they were shorter missions with tougher rats - you'd just have to adjust the bounties/rewards a bit to compensate.

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

Trik Star
Jabbersnarks and Wonderglass
#7 - 2014-03-05 00:13:22 UTC
well if a mission takes a 10th of the time to run and turn in, the rewards for the mission would need to be a 10th as much. perhaps a little here or there for the increased difficulty/unpredictability...assuming they are more difficult and more unpredictable.

otherwise the isk/hour ratio goes out of whack. hi-sec really does not need to be made more valuable.
Zan Shiro
Alternative Enterprises
#8 - 2014-03-05 00:51:44 UTC
Trik Star wrote:
well if a mission takes a 10th of the time to run and turn in, the rewards for the mission would need to be a 10th as much. perhaps a little here or there for the increased difficulty/unpredictability...assuming they are more difficult and more unpredictable.

otherwise the isk/hour ratio goes out of whack. hi-sec really does not need to be made more valuable.



but then you are making missions not worth running. 10th of the pay a deep pay cut. As someone who has done pvp and pve....in this case I'd say leave my level 4's alone please and jsut sign up for RvB when you feel like pvp'ing. RvB is non-commital really. You'd be joining hundreds of other new peeps at pvp. But thats me...I pve to pay for pvp (well did when I did do pvp in 0.0).

Be a weekend warrior. Mission you ass off Monday through Thursday. PIck a side in RvB Friday-Sun (or hell just Friday if all you want). Gets you your cake and you get to eat it to. I personally am eyeing this option.


You also have to factor in the markets going to crap. I like my cheap meta gear when I have no reason to fit t2 over it. Current missioning keeps that named gear flowing.

And t1 salvage flowing keeps rigs reasonably priced. You change this model and bad things may happen.

Will end with the same things I always say. You can pretend pvp in pve right here, right now. Tackle a rat and practice your manual orbitting. Its min/maxing isk per hour that has people stuffing in say max resists for shield tankers and not fitting tackle gear. Nothing in this game is forcing this.

run lv 3/lv not in an uber machines of pve death. I for example run lv 3's in wolves/jags to spice up things. And I even keep their pvp fit on them while doing this.
Trik Star
Jabbersnarks and Wonderglass
#9 - 2014-03-05 01:00:26 UTC  |  Edited by: Trik Star
1/10th was a number i pulled out of my arse

missions like this would affect ur loot per mission, but not necessarily ur loot per hour. the system could be balanced so that the affect on ur meta fit ships and the market should not be significant
Dr Cedric
Independent Miners Corporation
#10 - 2014-03-05 01:34:57 UTC
Another option is to add in a different type of agent that supplies "missions" of this type. A sort of hybrid Incursion/Mission idea where the rats are hard(er) to kill, a small gang approach (or solo, depending) gets you the best reward, and Tactics are actually a valuable component of the mission.

In this way, the current Mission/Isk Faucet/Loot situation is not messed with. People have options and reasons to do other things in high sec (or why not make it Low Sec...?)

Personally, I don't mind the monotony of Lvl 4 Missions, and I also really enjoy the teamwork of Incursions, so I'd think a good mix of the two would do well.

Cedric

Trik Star
Jabbersnarks and Wonderglass
#11 - 2014-03-05 01:44:08 UTC
Dr Cedric wrote:
Another option is to add in a different type of agent that supplies "missions" of this type. A sort of hybrid Incursion/Mission idea where the rats are hard(er) to kill, a small gang approach (or solo, depending) gets you the best reward, and Tactics are actually a valuable component of the mission.


ive considered this, and am fine with it as long as there is incentive to run the mission that doesn't disrupt isk/hour. personally i dnt like how u get so much money from incursions. but thats another discussion for another thread. if the rats described became part of an alternate mission type, then i'd like the reward to also be alternate so that the two dnt compete.

i liked someones idea where group missions could offer increased corp standings boosts as a reward.

any thoughts on the rats themselves?
Arthur Aihaken
CODE.d
#12 - 2014-03-05 03:11:47 UTC
Trik Star wrote:
well if a mission takes a 10th of the time to run and turn in, the rewards for the mission would need to be a 10th as much. perhaps a little here or there for the increased difficulty/unpredictability...assuming they are more difficult and more unpredictable.

It's not the time to run, it's the travel time to and from the mission.

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

Trik Star
Jabbersnarks and Wonderglass
#13 - 2014-03-05 03:18:05 UTC
do u auto pilot to ur missions?

rarely are my missions 3 jumps away, and that takes 1 or 2 minutes to reach in a battleship.
Trik Star
Jabbersnarks and Wonderglass
#14 - 2014-03-06 00:55:46 UTC
Would have thought this topic was a tad more controversial than this
Ines Tegator
Serious Business Inc. Ltd. LLC. etc.
#15 - 2014-03-06 01:03:23 UTC
Trik Star wrote:
Would have thought this topic was a tad more controversial than this


It's just been discussed ad infinitum- the conversation is years old. There's nothing here most of us haven't seen before. The last post on the subject was less then a week ago, IIRC.

Now, I'm heartily for the idea. But it gets very tiring popping in to add support to every thread about it when they are so common.
Foxstar Damaskeenus
Brutor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#16 - 2014-03-06 14:12:25 UTC
Trik Star wrote:
Would have thought this topic was a tad more controversial than this



Well I'm mostly in complete agreement. I would like to see just a couple rats that hit hard and you have to scram/ewar in missions. I have always wanted my pve and pvp ships to be the same but then maybe that is part of the strategy.

"[this thread] is a cesspit of trolling and flaming" ISD Buldath

Silvetica Dian
Imperial Shipment
Amarr Empire
#17 - 2014-03-06 14:36:14 UTC
Foxstar Damaskeenus wrote:
Trik Star wrote:
Would have thought this topic was a tad more controversial than this



Well I'm mostly in complete agreement. I would like to see just a couple rats that hit hard and you have to scram/ewar in missions. I have always wanted my pve and pvp ships to be the same but then maybe that is part of the strategy.



You can already get all this.
lvl 5 missions, null anom, null plexes, incursions, and sleepers.
If lvl 4 missions bore you then go do one of these for a while.
incursions and c4+ wh's need a group but the others can all be solo'd

Money at its root is a form of rationing. When the richest 85 people have as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion (50% of humanity) it is clear where the source of poverty is. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/20/trickle-down-economics-broken-promise-richest-85

unidenify
Deaf Armada
Deaf and Daft
#18 - 2014-03-06 14:50:40 UTC
Trik Star wrote:
do u auto pilot to ur missions?

rarely are my missions 3 jumps away, and that takes 1 or 2 minutes to reach in a battleship.



I kill so fast in golem that I spent more time to drive to accelerate gate than I spent time to kill rats.
Batelle
Filthy Peasants
#19 - 2014-03-06 15:43:54 UTC
Trik Star wrote:
So it comes up a lot. I start this thread in the hopes to give one place for ideas about rats (mainly mission rats) and how ppl would like them to behave if they want them to be more PvP like.


Any PVE that puts you against 12 battleships and a bunch of tacklers and ewar hacs is doable only because rats are weak and stupid and shoot predictable damage. Making them more PVP like would require scrapping missions and plexes and starting from scratch. People that want PVE to be more like PVP should be careful what they wish for. I think more intelligent, interesting PVE is a good idea, but I think its silly to say "make it more like PVP" because this is pretty much fundamentally impossible.

2) Should missions be quick brutal fights where more typical active tanking is less useful than buffer or burst tanking?
Burst tanking is already preferred in many cases for missions, especially for high-sp players.

3) Should missions (in particular lvl 4's) be reasonably solo-able? or should they be at least much more beneficial when ran in groups?
Yes they should be soloable. No they do not need a buff to give them high income per person while also being ezmode group play.

4) Should mission runners expect to never suffer loss? and should they expect to always succeed?
That's pretty much the case right now. I don't see anything particularly wrong with that.

5) Would it be interesting to give newer players rolls in higher end missions?
New players already solo high end missions, and if you're creative and want to involve them in missions you can create roles for them.

6) Would it be interesting, and a good teacher, if rats mirrored tactics of capsuleers (even if it was rarely updated?)
The tactics that capsuleers use are the tactics that make a 1v4 generally unwinnable. If you're going to have a lot of rats, they either need to be weak/dumb, or spread out into a series of encounters, or have very little access to ewar.

"**CCP is changing policy, and has asked that we discontinue the bonus credit program after November 7th. So until then, enjoy a super-bonus of 1B Blink Credit for each 60-day GTC you buy!"**

Never forget.

Notorious Fellon
#20 - 2014-03-06 16:00:15 UTC
If we want rats (PVE) to be more like PVP enemies, then mission rooms should be empty on arrival. There should be one or more NPCs cloaked up just to make you nervous.

One of the cloaked NPCs should batphone the entire enemy alliance and then light a cyno.

Your ship should explode within seconds, likely before you see the entire fleet on grid. If you are lucky, you can maybe pick off a couple of them before the glorious fireball that was your ship.

Sounds fun.

Crime, it is not a "career", it is a lifestyle.

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