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Player Features and Ideas Discussion

 
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Covert Ops Ships' Idea

Author
SandKid
Sunset Logistics Company
#1 - 2014-09-02 20:39:39 UTC
So I was thinking about the fact that Black Ops battleships (and for that matter recon ships) are rarely used for their original intent - covert raids. The covert ops frigates, bombers and scanners, are both heavily used...though mostly for farming in the case of the latter it seems.

So the idea revolves around getting black ops back in the game - starting with the problem of covert jump drives: they aren't covert. "Huh?" you may ask. Consider this: cov ops goes into a targeted system for raid (such as a miner group, or a lightly defended POS).

Problem 1: Scan ship shows up in local - if lowsec, not a big deal necessarily but depends on the target. If in null, busted most likely, target flees. In the case of a POS attack, depends on target's awareness. Ex: scanner is part of known war target corp, probably busted. This is the well known "AFK Cloaker" - even though he is not afk, the scanner ship (or the recon ship with cyno) is known to be present. If the fleet warps in, local will show a number of pilots have arrived and the target of opportunity will have ample time to escape or seek assistance...no different from if they had all been in normal ships warping through the gate.

So much for being covert. The cloaking module keeps you from being targeted and enables easy transit...to an empty target.

So before we even get to the fun part - cov ops jumps and a small (or not so small) army of bombers, recon cruisers, and ewar battleships warping in to wreak havoc for a short time - you're busted on all but the most idiotic targets...which, not surprisingly, are often not juicy enough to warrant the op in the first place.

THE IDEA...
(Not a remove local stealth thread...sort of?)

The local debate rages on, but what if the covert ships were given the "role bonus: Does not appear in local scan" - i.e. a player in a covert ship would not appear in local, as in WH space.

The effects for the ships:
1) Covert Ops frigates can enter systems undetected, enabling more emergent gameplay (i.e. explosions) throughout New Eden - nothing new in WH space.
2) Stealth Recons get a new lease on life for their primary role: covert ops cynos. By being undetected upon entering a system, a recon ship can get a cov ops cyno very close to the intended targets without their awareness.
3) Black Ops Battleships get a new lease on life because #2 allows them to fulfill their greatest role - not of mobility over large distances, but stealth mobility over short distances. Cov ops fleet (blockade runner in tow for loot hauling) get to target undetected, unleash hell, and make it home in time for dinner.

The overall effects:
1) Black Ops do not suffer from short jump distances - they suffer from useless jump systems due to the local intelligence system which, for the purposes of THESE ships, break them instantly. By enabling this mechanic to work again - total lack of detection (stealth) insertion - covert gameplay will become a viable tactic as a career and group building incentive.
2) Fly with Friends - covert mechanics functioning leads to more risky situations in lowsec and nullsec for solo pilots, especially in industrial capacities. While the new deployable structures are nifty, they could truly excel combined with covert gameplay. Industrialists, small and large (i.e. alliances) will need to dedicate more resources to protection/countering a stealth raid.
3) Piracy! So...yeah, pirates love this stuff when it works. And it doesn't. Yet.

Q: What about the local debate? Is this a foot in the door to remove it?
A: No, it is not.

The local debate has very strong reasoning on both sides - for and against - without a true example of what it would be like without. WH space is NOT an example: cynos don't work there, so black ops don't work any better than another ship with a normal cloak.

Covert Ops ships are inherently weaker combatants that specialize in two (intended) functions: stealthily engaging targets of opportunity (which it fails at), and remaining difficult to attack in transit (which it does just fine). The latter is the only real function of blockade runners since the former doesn't really exist except in systems with a highly diverse traffic.
EX: raiding a nullsec miner group is almost impossible with local.
EX: raiding a nullsec system with 50+ pilots from 2+ corps because of an existing fight/trade hub is much easier. Assuming none of those pilots are closely tracking local...

Potential tactics for large alliances could include using a large enough covert force (or forces) to distract an enemy into jumping defensive resources away from the true target of the main fleet of capital ships. The jump bridge debate comes in here, so I won't iterate further but you get the idea.

This change also enables smaller corporations of pilots to harass and maybe even chip away at significantly larger enemies through deprivation of industrial resources. This in turn leads to opportunities of additional conflict (emergent gameplay - explosions) that could destabilize power blocks. Can it solve the nullsec stagnation folks rant about? Probably not, but maybe a step in the right direction?

If anything else, the original reason suffices: breathing life back into the utility of the ships.

Thoughts?

Please, please, please do not argue about local being removed - this thread solely covers covert ships and the effect of the proposed idea relative to those ships.
Komi Toran
Perkone
Caldari State
#2 - 2014-09-02 22:09:56 UTC
Having been on my share of black ops raids, my thought is that your premise is wrong. Further, even if your premise that finding targets for a blops raid is unduly burdensome were true, your solution would simply tilt the field to the same degree in the opposite direction. You would need to nerf the blops cyno in order to counteract your proposal, such as making it vulnerable to cyno jammers.

And that's not even getting into what happens when you give recons an unprecedented intel advantage over every other ship; forget the black ops BS: just a roaming gang of 50 undetectable, untrackable combat cruisers.
Sara Tosa
School of Applied Knowledge
Caldari State
#3 - 2014-09-03 00:19:51 UTC
one side get all the intel and is completely immune from it, so imba it cry blood.
everybody gets to be in local or nobody, you cant have middle ground.
Rayzilla Zaraki
Yin Jian Enterprises
#4 - 2014-09-03 02:04:37 UTC
Local needs an adjustment for ALL ships, not just covops.

I say that no one shows up in local unless they use it. If they use it then they are shown as online for a few minutes or until they leave the system.

There is no "local" in real life. Why even have it in the game? It doesn't make sense. If players want to be social, they can invite to channels or broadcast on the open channel and risk being blapped with extreme prejudice.

There. Problem solved.

Gate campers are just Carebears with anger issues.

nahjustwarpin
SUPER DUPER SPACE TRUCKS
#5 - 2014-09-03 02:26:39 UTC
Rayzilla Zaraki wrote:
Local needs an adjustment for ALL ships, not just covops.

I say that no one shows up in local unless they use it. If they use it then they are shown as online for a few minutes or until they leave the system.

There is no "local" in real life. Why even have it in the game? It doesn't make sense. If players want to be social, they can invite to channels or broadcast on the open channel and risk being blapped with extreme prejudice.

There. Problem solved.


then why nullsec alliances would hold their space if they would lose ships on any attempt to do anomalies? everyone would jsut stay in hisec with their shiny ships or go to lowsec in nothing bigger than frig or cruiser.
Lugh Crow-Slave
#6 - 2014-09-03 03:13:55 UTC
Rayzilla Zaraki wrote:
Local needs an adjustment for ALL ships, not just covops.

I say that no one shows up in local unless they use it. If they use it then they are shown as online for a few minutes or until they leave the system.

There is no "local" in real life. Why even have it in the game? It doesn't make sense. If players want to be social, they can invite to channels or broadcast on the open channel and risk being blapped with extreme prejudice.

There. Problem solved.



there is a wonderful place for you... go live in a WH
Gizznitt Malikite
Agony Unleashed
Agony Empire
#7 - 2014-09-03 14:47:43 UTC

Your suggestion is retardedly imbalanced.

To balance it:
You'd need a 20 second targetting delay upon decloaking.
You'd have to prevent covert ships from using cynos.
and
You'd have to remove the ability of fleet members to warp to a covert ship.


Also, this idea has been posted before. You'll also find mention of it in the Insanely stupid and ridiculous 1-line terrible ideas thread.