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[Winter] Changes to NPC AI

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Author
Jarin Arenos
Card Shark Industries
#201 - 2012-10-21 19:11:12 UTC
L4 The Guristas Spies

Managed to get my sentries aggro against enemy battleships (first half of mission was a massive clusterup, due to me using the wrong domi, and not useful for testing). They seemed relatively durable. Primary complaint being that I couldn't see missile or turret shots directed at my drones. The enemy might as well have been using magic invisible mind bullets.

Recalled drones, activated one turret on each target to spitball aggro, and launched again. The enemy never so much as glanced away from me again.

But I'm not CCP Soundwave, so what do I know?

Rengerel en Distel
#202 - 2012-10-21 19:19:08 UTC
Mund Richard wrote:
Dinsdale Pirannha wrote:
As for the AI breaking down after a drone is killed or recalled, yeah, I agree.
One technique that seems to "work", if you want to call it that, is to launch a sacrificial T1 drone, let it die, then launch the real killing drones.

But what scares me is you managed to lose a heavy in a relatively easy mission.
Given how fast drones die if they do get targeted, if they every sort out the aggro AI to work as designed, I will stand by my original statement that drone users are toast.

AI-bait drone group for missions... Ugh

Heavy drones were hard to use due to their travel time even before the AI upgrade, now that they can be targeted and popped suddenly, by the time you notice they took agro (which is, they are already locked on to, and taking damage), they will not make it back with their huuuge sig and low speed. Since they already took at least a salvo,by the time you click they take at least a second, and a third is more than likely even traveling a short distance, not to mention 50km.

But that's true to all drones, just heavies are most vulnerable, while lighter ones have the issue of higher chance of being scrammed/webbed due to their sig radius.

Not unexpected, is it?

What issue is with it from balance POW is that when you opt to use T2/faction ammo, you accept the increased cost, but know that you would have an increased efficience, and you will prolly make up for the cost.
With drones, you accept that T2 ones cost half a mill a pop, but now you run the risk of them going pop. Increased risk of going them pop, and a higher chance of not getting back your investment (not to mention that non-drone ships may not have the luxury of being able to carry a second flight! Attention - most of us posting here use drone boats with 3-6 flights, but there are ships with 125/125 or 50/50, these changes affect them just as bad, only differently).
But any interface that would help to maintain drones in PvE, would make them harder to use in PvP, thus upsetting "balance", and that would be bad.


You can't compare drones to ammo, they compare more to weapons. So it would be like if 7 frigates swarming around you suddenly all targeted your turret and destroyed it before you could do anything. Now you're down a gun, and the only thing you can do is go dock up and replace it, or take the dps hit for the remainder of the encounter.
Some indication that a drone is being targeted doesn't upset any pve/pvp balance, as it's something that should have been included with drones on day 1. If they really do plan on a drone UI upgrade, it should simply come before this change goes live. If the AI change has to wait for the spring expansion, but it's really polished, I don't think anyone is going to mind.

With the increase in shiptoasting, the Report timer needs to be shortened.

Adigard
RubberDuckies
#203 - 2012-10-21 19:43:57 UTC  |  Edited by: Adigard
Mund Richard wrote:
With drones, you accept that T2 ones cost half a mill a pop, but now you run the risk of them going pop. Increased risk of going them pop, and a higher chance of not getting back your investment (not to mention that non-drone ships may not have the luxury of being able to carry a second flight! Attention - most of us posting here use drone boats with 3-6 flights, but there are ships with 125/125 or 50/50, these changes affect them just as bad, only differently).
But any interface that would help to maintain drones in PvE, would make them harder to use in PvP, thus upsetting "balance", and that would be bad.


I expect non-drone boat drone user's will just have to accept the fact that their drones will be lost. If CCP implements the current "Sacrifice a single T1 light drone to buy drone safety for the rest of the mission" then all boats with more than 25m3 of drone room will start carrying that single T1 drone.

Rengerel en Distel wrote:

You can't compare drones to ammo, they compare more to weapons. So it would be like if 7 frigates swarming around you suddenly all targeted your turret and destroyed it before you could do anything. Now you're down a gun, and the only thing you can do is go dock up and replace it, or take the dps hit for the remainder of the encounter.
Some indication that a drone is being targeted doesn't upset any pve/pvp balance, as it's something that should have been included with drones on day 1. If they really do plan on a drone UI upgrade, it should simply come before this change goes live. If the AI change has to wait for the spring expansion, but it's really polished, I don't think anyone is going to mind.


I seriously doubt CCP will delay unleashing the AI on us for... well... much of anything. Conversely I expect in 18 months when tiericide finally hits BS's and faction BS's will all have more drone bay space than we'll know what to do with. Of course, again, it's the time between now and then that's likely to cause some pain.
Dinsdale Pirannha
Pirannha Corp
#204 - 2012-10-21 20:27:12 UTC
Well, glad to see at least one other person has done some testing recently.

I am still grinding ISK on TQ for my plex. Actually swapped for fun to my Drone Proteus, since that boat will be obsolete in 6 weeks.

It is kind of fun watching my Ogres whiz around at 1700 plus m/s.
After New England destroys New Jersey Jets, I will probably get back online to test out a Mach and maybe this Proteus fit.

But fundamentally, if I can't get the AI to target my heavies, any testing has zero value.

As for CCP delaying this, forget it.
They have a long long track record of deploying broken code, over the screams of protests of testers (UI anyone?), and then using TQ as a testbed.

That is what is happening with the drone decimation.
Goliath has stated he has zero interest in knowing if this AI is "fair to drone users", and only wants this test window to show any bugs in the code. Fox Four, who actually built the AI, and should have the most invested in this, is persona non grata.

Taking it to the extreme, this could be the equivalent to CCP saying, "we are increasing all rats' EHP 10 fold, and increasing thier DPS 10 fold. But for for the purposes of testing, we ONLY want to see if there are any bugs in the new code. We really don't care if it makes most missions and plexes unplayable. We will release the bug-free code onto TQ, then deal with the fallout from the players, and scale back the impact , when there is enough screaming."

Oh, and one last thing. There is no way I can dig up the posts, but I have seen one interview from one dev, and read the post of another dev, and they both HATE drones, and wished CCP had never introduced the weapon system. That may give you some indication of why this is happening.
Rengerel en Distel
#205 - 2012-10-21 20:55:51 UTC
FoxFour was on for hours yesterday. Just because his TZ isn't the same as yours, doesn't mean he wasn't there. He is more likely to be around during his mass test, and will have a lot more feedback then as well.

If 10 people post before you start your tests, and only a few after, that doesn't mean you're the only one testing. It just means you're the only one that will post the same thing over and over and over and over, even though everyone else has said the same thing.

It is pretty obvious that the NPC AI isn't working properly. One sacrificial drone, or simply recalling drones shouldn't break the AI, but it seems to. The server has been so laggy the last couple days though, it's hard to know if that's the problem, or it's a fundamental problem with the AI. More non-drone boat pilots in fleets posting would be good though. Would be nice to know how it breaks with logi, or just 2 ships warping out and back in, or if they can drop 1 drone to lose aggro from the logi, etc.

With the increase in shiptoasting, the Report timer needs to be shortened.

Adigard
RubberDuckies
#206 - 2012-10-21 21:00:22 UTC
Dinsdale Pirannha wrote:
Oh, and one last thing. There is no way I can dig up the posts, but I have seen one interview from one dev, and read the post of another dev, and they both HATE drones, and wished CCP had never introduced the weapon system. That may give you some indication of why this is happening.


CCP hates drones because of the massive lag they add to massive fleet fights.

Let's not confuse our contexts here. I'm fairly certain there's a fair amount of hatred towards the missions that are completed AFK via drones... but considering the massive amount of ISK injected via bots I'd think AFK drone boats would be pretty damn insignificant.
Mund Richard
#207 - 2012-10-21 22:53:02 UTC  |  Edited by: Mund Richard
Rengerel en Distel wrote:

You can't compare drones to ammo, they compare more to weapons. So it would be like if 7 frigates swarming around you suddenly all targeted your turret and destroyed it before you could do anything. Now you're down a gun, and the only thing you can do is go dock up and replace it, or take the dps hit for the remainder of the encounter.
Some indication that a drone is being targeted doesn't upset any pve/pvp balance, as it's something that should have been included with drones on day 1. If they really do plan on a drone UI upgrade, it should simply come before this change goes live. If the AI change has to wait for the spring expansion, but it's really polished, I don't think anyone is going to mind.

Your comparison explains it better.
Mine uses ingame mechanics.
Yours was better, mine does in fact work something like that on TQ.

Somehow I don't see CCP pushing back on the AI change for spring saying it needs more time, and will be deployed when it is done.


Yes, a drone UI upgrade would be nice with the AI change.
Something like a different-pitched locking on sound and visual next to the drone in the control, so you know damage will be incoming there before it gets shot at. If it's right as it's locked onto, you'll see the red HP bad anyways.
But in the case of sentries it wouldn't be much of a change (can just sweep them back), in the case of heavies it may be too late even afterwards.
Just one of those adapt things I suppose. Ugh
Using nano repair on drones in bay would be nice.
Them being auto-repaired would be even better.
Or just being able to see their damage/shield while in the bay... (though I can just just dump severly damaged ones out of the control group).

Something to make our drone-loving lives easier for the increased effort required and reduced efficience (if recalling/managing/extra repping drones instead of having another gun on, or EWAR in the mid instead of a cap/tank/omni module) would be nice.
Well, drone damage amp will get beefier, pvp in drone boats is looking better and better, plus it's unaffected by any of these (unless you gank missioneers/ratters in a drone boat). But droneboat PvP can use all the buffs it gets.

"We want PvE activities to require active participation and mirror PvP more closely." Stacking penalty for NPC EWAR then? Lock range under 9km from over 100 in a BS is not fun. Nor is two NPC web drones making me crawl 10m/s. PvP SW-900 x5: 75m/s.

Adigard
RubberDuckies
#208 - 2012-10-21 23:10:19 UTC
Mund Richard wrote:
Yes, a drone UI upgrade would be nice with the AI change.


The ability to add drones to the watch list. Ensures no real change for PvP (how many fleet engagements today DON'T use watch lists?) and it's enough of a hassle that non-drone boat pilot's CBA'ed to mess with it.
Planktal
Kenshao Industries
#209 - 2012-10-22 03:56:17 UTC  |  Edited by: Planktal
Ran Intercept The Saboteurs and The Score, both lvl4 in my Kronos with my logistic alt in her Oneiros. No drone aggro at all, Hobs and Hammerheads, alt got a fair amount of aggro tho, had to adjust her tank a bit but overall did fine. It looks like having a second ship in mission makes the new AI forget that drones are there.
I'm liking this new direction, makes running missions more interesting, will be testing more missions tomorrow but overall I think this will work.

Here sanity, nice sanity.....THWOOK Got the bastard

Adigard
RubberDuckies
#210 - 2012-10-22 11:24:57 UTC  |  Edited by: Adigard
Ran a handful of missions with a Rattlesnake.

The AI seems to vary between:

Disabled, but attempts to shoot sentry drones without dealing any actual damage. Which was humorous. Odd but humorous. Gone Berserk, Attack of the Drones, etc... I actually found this behavior more often than the "rats attack the drones, sac a Light T1, kill everything with drones".

Or in full effect vs. Light drones. Intercept The Saboteurs for instance has the potential to be horrible vs. a properly implemented AI. I just dropped some T1 light drones until one died, pulled the drones back in, and proceeded to clear the mission as on TQ with drones.

I suppose this change is sort of wonderful in that it does give player's choices. Do you deal with the drones attacking your drones, causing you to sacrifice a single T1 Light drone to appease the AI. Or just ignore the AI entirely and kill everything without drones.

I am curious, and was unable to test it, but will the AI shut down if a drone dies in the mission? IE - launch a flight of T1 drones, let one die. Pull it back in and have a SB land on grind and tackle the mission-goer.
zer0t
Yuuzhan Vong Warrior Caste
#211 - 2012-10-22 11:42:46 UTC
Dinsdale Pirannha wrote:
.
...
Goliath has stated he has zero interest in knowing if this AI is "fair to drone users", and only wants this test window to show any bugs in the code. Fox Four, who actually built the AI, and should have the most invested in this, is persona non grata.
...


As a heavy drone boat user, i hate these changes. They will make a drone users life harder without any benefits but he is right, from a developers point of view. He and FoxFour are the one who implement the Drone AI and all they have to care about is if their AI works or not. So i dont understand your hatred against them. It probably wasn't their decision to implement these changes. The decision probably was made from a game design team and i have no idea who' s responsible there. Maybe we should hear something from them how these changes suppose to influent Drone Boat users.


CCP FoxFour
C C P
C C P Alliance
#212 - 2012-10-22 12:27:23 UTC  |  Edited by: CCP FoxFour
I will be responding to feedback later today, but for now I need to let everyone know that today's mass test has been cancelled.

We have cancelled today's mass test due to performance issues in the current build.

We will be scheduling it again ASAP, stay tuned.

You can still test and provide feedback, but the mass test will not be happening.

@CCP_FoxFour // Technical Designer // Team Tech Co

Third-party developer? Check out the official developers site for dev blogs, resources, and more.

Ganthrithor
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#213 - 2012-10-22 13:51:34 UTC
Dinsdale Pirannha wrote:
The only way he, Fox Four, and the other null sec zealots will scale back the devastation this does to high sec income will be when this mechanism hits Tranquility, and the posts start flying in the forums. Even then, it won't matter until sub rate drops can be directly attributed to this attack. And given all the other changes going on, plus the addition of Dust, it won't be possible for months to sort out how many players quit over this destruction of high sec PvE.


This AI change will be way worse for nullsec than highsec, just saying. We get all the income problems plus the negative effects on PvP (it will be much harder to tackle ratters).
Vincent Athena
Photosynth
#214 - 2012-10-22 14:09:35 UTC
Ganthrithor wrote:
Dinsdale Pirannha wrote:
The only way he, Fox Four, and the other null sec zealots will scale back the devastation this does to high sec income will be when this mechanism hits Tranquility, and the posts start flying in the forums. Even then, it won't matter until sub rate drops can be directly attributed to this attack. And given all the other changes going on, plus the addition of Dust, it won't be possible for months to sort out how many players quit over this destruction of high sec PvE.


This AI change will be way worse for nullsec than highsec, just saying. We get all the income problems plus the negative effects on PvP (it will be much harder to tackle ratters).


"it will be much harder to tackle ratters": Won't that make it easier to make isk in null sec?

Did AE4 with a Navy Domi. Managed to recall the drones each time they caught aggro without losing any. The main issue seems to be that sometimes you launch the drones and instantly they pick up aggro, and can take damage before you even see them in space. If there were more frigs about, or I had lower drone skills, I would have lost my main weapons system.

Fortunately drone aggro does not happen very often, and hence although the above can happen, it only happens a few times in a mission. But for some players, that will make drones nonviable.

I did notice the new NPCs got the same timer the sleepers do. You launch drones (don't send them out to an enemy, keep them close), wait for them to catch aggro, recall them, wait for aggro to switch back to you then launch the drones again. You now got about 2 minutes before you got to worry again. The NPCs seem to have a two minute timer between reevaluating targets and possible switching.

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Derath Ellecon
Lotek Academy
#215 - 2012-10-22 14:12:30 UTC
Adigard wrote:
Mund Richard wrote:
Yes, a drone UI upgrade would be nice with the AI change.


The ability to add drones to the watch list. Ensures no real change for PvP (how many fleet engagements today DON'T use watch lists?) and it's enough of a hassle that non-drone boat pilot's CBA'ed to mess with it.



It wouldn't help. You already have essentially a watch list in the drone window, as you can see damage. The problem is with drones you don't have enough buffer, so that by the time you see them taking damage it may already be too late.

As a pilot I have indicators telling me when target switching is happening. What drones really need is some sort of alert to the pilot alerting that they are being targetted.

And being able see damage while in the bay is critical. In the middle of battle relaunching without knowing which ones are damaged or not is a serious PITA.
Tippia
Sunshine and Lollipops
#216 - 2012-10-22 14:23:57 UTC  |  Edited by: Tippia
I tried out a couple of missions just now using a freshly trained Domi (because who the hell trains BS on TQ? Lol) — (Guristas) Assault, (Guristas) Vengeance, Rogue Slave Trader / Downing the Slavers, Duo of Death, and Cargo Delivery — with a (nearly) drone-only setup.

Aside from doing pathetic damage with Gal BS trained to II, I can't say that they presented much of a problem. Yes, at some points the drones took aggro and needed to be recalled, especially (and unsurprisingly since it's already the case) in conjunction with new spawns, but nothing catastrophic and I didn't lose any of the drones used… so that was 2,500 test-ISK wasted on spares that saw no action. P

The one real difference I noticed was that, when pulling aggo from new groups that had been passive, they would not automatically go for the ship like they do on TQ now, but might actually spread out among all the enemy vessels (i.e. my ship and the drones). As expected, though, this incarnation seems to hate ewar just as much as the previous level-1 AI — hopefully that's not just confirmation bias speaking. Poking at the rats with TDs would make them pretty exclusively target me (hence the “nearly drone-only” description of the setup). In the mission pool I got for this brief test, there might not have been enough sampling points, but I tried to do one room without employing the TD and I had to pull the drones in far more often in that room than in the others.

The only question is whether the drones being left alone was due to the AI forgetting about them when they were recalled, or due to my ewar tagging me as a bigger threat…
Bugsy VanHalen
Society of lost Souls
#217 - 2012-10-22 14:28:05 UTC  |  Edited by: Bugsy VanHalen
Well I did not get as much testing done as I wanted, But I did get on as much as I could.

LVL 4 missions seem fine. They are slightly more challenging but were way to easy before. So no issues there.

LVL 5 missions I ran 4 of them. Lost my logi 3 times. The amount of DPS that switched to the logi was insane. considering it is all NPC's that can actually hit it. Droping two shield reps and going with a more tanky fit on the logistics, and throwing some logi drones on another ship to rep the logi was not enough. Switching out all my drones on the other 3 ships was enough to keep the logi alive, but droped my DPS so much that it was almost impossible to finish the mission. It may be possible to complete them with 3-4 ships using a different strategy but based on my initial testing this change has made lvl 5 missions almost impossible for a reasonable small gang of 3-4 ships to complete. The same set up that could complete them easy before.

I did not test 6/10-8/10 plexes but did try to run a 9/10. It was a disaster. I used to run them with a heavy tanked BS with about 500 DPS, a DPS BS doing over 1200 DPS with a weak tank, a Smaller DPS ship to help clear frigates and cruisers(either a HAC or T3) with a balanced fit doing about 650 dps, and a logi orbitng the main tank. This was done mutiboxing 4 accounts.

between dropping some drones for logi drones to keep the logistics alive, and droping DPS on both DPS ships to give them enough tank, my DPS ended up being to low to complete the plex. I managed to stay alive but was not able to finish the plex in 3 hours.

It would seem to do the same small gang stuff I previously did with 4 accounts I will now need probably 6 accounts for. I will not be subbing two more accounts. If anything I will drop two accounts as the only reason I have 4 accounts is for muti boxing a small gang. I also use these 4 accounts for mining but have been doing this less and less in favor of less boring game activities. The changes to mining ships have made mining easier, but also more boring. It is almost to safe now. So if I can not run level 5 missions, and higher end plexes mutiboxing my 4 accounts then there is no point in having 4 accounts.

One other question for CCP FOXFOUR; When you run this content for your internal testing do you use a god mode dev character with all skills at lvl 5? If so to get a acurate feel of what most PVE players are facing you should be running them with a character with not more than 20 mil SP. I would guess the BULK of the PVE player base is in the 15-30 mil SP bracket. Most players with more than 30 mil SP have moved on from PVE. The difficulty of a mission is drastically different from 20 mil skill points to over 40 mil which is what my two main combat toons are at. I can only assume it gets even easier with over 100 mil SP as I still have much left to train on my 40 mil SP pilots.

Also keep in mind that a very large potion of the community is not active on the forums, and do not read developer blogs. They will be blindsided by this change.
Rengerel en Distel
#218 - 2012-10-22 15:10:01 UTC  |  Edited by: Rengerel en Distel
Bugsy VanHalen wrote:
Well I did not get as much testing done as I wanted, But I did get on as much as I could.

LVL 4 missions seem fine. They are slightly more challenging but were way to easy before. So no issues there.

LVL 5 missions I ran 4 of them. Lost my logi 3 times. The amount of DPS that switched to the logi was insane. considering it is all NPC's that can actually hit it. Droping two shield reps and going with a more tanky fit on the logistics, and throwing some logi drones on another ship to rep the logi was not enough. Switching out all my drones on the other 3 ships was enough to keep the logi alive, but droped my DPS so much that it was almost impossible to finish the mission. It may be possible to complete them with 3-4 ships using a different strategy but based on my initial testing this change has made lvl 5 missions almost impossible for a reasonable small gang of 3-4 ships to complete. The same set up that could complete them easy before.

I did not test 6/10-8/10 plexes but did try to run a 9/10. It was a disaster. I used to run them with a heavy tanked BS with about 500 DPS, a DPS BS doing over 1200 DPS with a weak tank, a Smaller DPS ship to help clear frigates and cruisers(either a HAC or T3) with a balanced fit doing about 650 dps, and a logi orbitng the main tank. This was done mutiboxing 4 accounts.

between dropping some drones for logi drones to keep the logistics alive, and droping DPS on both DPS ships to give them enough tank, my DPS ended up being to low to complete the plex. I managed to stay alive but was not able to finish the plex in 3 hours.

It would seem to do the same small gang stuff I previously did with 4 accounts I will now need probably 6 accounts for. I will not be subbing two more accounts. If anything I will drop two accounts as the only reason I have 4 accounts is for muti boxing a small gang. I also use these 4 accounts for mining but have been doing this less and less in favor of less boring game activities. The changes to mining ships have made mining easier, but also more boring. It is almost to safe now. So if I can not run level 5 missions, and higher end plexes mutiboxing my 4 accounts then there is no point in having 4 accounts.

One other question for CCP FOXFOUR; When you run this content for your internal testing do you use a god mode dev character with all skills at lvl 5? If so to get a acurate feel of what most PVE players are facing you should be running them with a character with not more than 20 mil SP. I would guess the BULK of the PVE player base is in the 15-30 mil SP bracket. Most players with more than 30 mil SP have moved on from PVE. The difficulty of a mission is drastically different from 20 mil skill points to over 40 mil which is what my two main combat toons are at. I can only assume it gets even easier with over 100 mil SP as I still have much left to train on my 40 mil SP pilots.

Also keep in mind that a very large potion of the community is not active on the forums, and do not read developer blogs. They will be blindsided by this change.


Now consider you have 750000 skillpoints doing level 1s in a nice 1 or 2 drone boat with crappy gun skills and being surrounded by 12 frigates. Normally, the drones are doing almost all the dps, but now they're gonna get destroyed and you're going to have to keep going back for new drones. Olders toons will have options, younger players will decide their option is picking non-drone boats.

edit: oh, and consider those same new players deciding they want to try out the logi cruisers and such. how much fun is that going to be when you want to play the "healer" but die all the time?

With the increase in shiptoasting, the Report timer needs to be shortened.

Nicolonia
Native Freshfood
Minmatar Republic
#219 - 2012-10-22 16:35:47 UTC  |  Edited by: Nicolonia
I tested a few anomalies in a sentry carrier this weekend while paying varying degrees of attention --

Guristas Forsaken Hub -- fairly close to being 'not game breaking', lost ~3 drones mostly all to elite cruiser focus fire
Guristas Sanctum -- (ring version) similar to Forsaken Hub, ~6 drone losses to elite cruiser focus fire

The common theme in the high end anomalies likely to be run by sentry battleships and carriers is that elite cruisers are too aggressive to sentry drones, probably due to their relatively high DPS and low sig. The frequency with which they targeted drones was a bit high, but more than that the damage they dealt to drones was excessive. With a couple elite cruisers a T2 sentry drone would die in ~20s or less. With up to 4 on a single spawn in a Haven/Sanctum, the level of micromanagement was tedious.

Infrequently full pocket aggro would switch to drones and straight annihilate a drone practically before there was a damage indication.

Guristas Hidden Hub -- (I had trouble finding real anomalies to run) The enormous number of elite frigates and smaller ships in this site (and I suspect all of the mid / low-end sites) made it effectively a waste of time. Even paying full attention I lost around a full flight of T2 sentries completing it, not sure I broke even on bounties. Focus fire frequently volleyed or near-volleyed drones, large portion of NPCs in the pocket consistently switched immediately to another drone upon recalling one taking damage. Very tedious 'whack-a-mole' side game in the horrible drone UI, very much hope this is not representative of intended game play with the changes.

It is worth noting that this is *not* the sort of anomaly you'd usually run with a high-skilled character in an 'end-game' PVE setup, but it does seem strange that as a consequence of the AI as tested it is the lower-value / lower-end PVE content that becomes disproportionately more costly and difficult. This flavor of site was already avoided except by newer players due to the tendency of the rats to tackle and low battleship density. With the new AI the lower end sites may be excessively challenging for newer players ratting in groups, particularly if they are relying on drones from smaller subcap drone bays for any significant portion of their DPS.
Tippia
Sunshine and Lollipops
#220 - 2012-10-22 16:49:44 UTC
Rengerel en Distel wrote:
Now consider you have 750000 skillpoints doing level 1s in a nice 1 or 2 drone boat with crappy gun skills and being surrounded by 12 frigates. Normally, the drones are doing almost all the dps, but now they're gonna get destroyed and you're going to have to keep going back for new drones.
…or he can learn how to keep them from being destroyed by managing aggro and reading up on what makes rats tick. This isn't something that's going to hit newbies in any particular way. They're going to have the same problems newbies have had since time immemorial — their biggest problem is that they're surrounded by 12 frigates, not that their drones might get some of the aggro.