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[Winter] Changes to NPC AI

First post
Author
Logix42
Taxation Damnation
#421 - 2012-11-01 18:21:19 UTC
CCP FoxFour wrote:
Hey guys,

Duality is back online. I will personally be online for as much of it as possible, especially during the day on Monday to help people with the testing, to do the testing myself, and to get your feedback.


  • Duality is online now!
  • Duality will remain online until the morning of Tuesday October 30th.
  • If you are going to be on Duality join the channel Duality. I will be in that channel offering any support I can for people testing, answering questions, and testing myself. If you need to be moved I will be happy to help you from that channel while I am online.


MASS TEST!
On top of this we would like to run a mass test on Monday, October 29th, at 14:00 EVE time. During this time we would like to test the performance impact of the new AI having been applied to everything. To do this properly we will need as many people as possible running missions in one of the following systems:

  • Motsu
  • Dodixie
  • Ordion
  • Emolgranlan


Those who complete a minimum of 5 missions in one of those four systems between the hours of 14:00 and 18:00 on Monday October 29th will receive 2 million SP on both Buckingham and Duality. Both CCP Bettik, myself, and other members of team Five 0 will be online during this time. Again, please join the Duality chat channel during this mass test and we will do whatever we can to help assist you in testing missions.

CCP FoxFour



Next time you do a mass test could you please send an email out to the 'Mass Testing Info' mailing list on Tranquility? I would have joined you if I had known

Go beyond the edge of space... Explore

Bugsy VanHalen
Society of lost Souls
#422 - 2012-11-02 15:11:40 UTC
Dinsdale Pirannha wrote:
Jacob Holland wrote:
I'm not sure that drone boats are going to be the worst hurt by this change...

The Golem in particular... Marauders in general already take a lot of micromanagement (select target, activate weapons, select different target, activate tractor beam, select different target, activate tractor beam, select different target, activate weapons, select different target, ativate salvager, select non-target, lock target, select different target...) and the Golem is particularly sucky in this regard because not only must the weapons be deactivated and a volley count kept but the Target painters need to be switched around ahead of the weapons. Not only that but unlike the turret Marauders it cannot attempt to remove all of the frigate sized targets while their transversal is low and is therefore particularly reliant on drones for anti-frigate work.

If, added to all of the micromanagement issues implicit in the operation of a Marauder, the drones must be constantly monitored and maintained, sent to specific targets and recalled...etc.

Light drones in use by a good drone pilot in a well-skilled drone boat are one thing, less well skilled drones without bonuses (or full Drone Durability) are very fragile indeed and regardless of how good the experience of killing NPCs might become the experience of constantly losing ships because a Guristas Koyukan or an Angel Viper has you scrammed and you have no way of actually breaking his tank is going to get old very quickly...


I tried a Vargur in several missions.
The last one was Sansha L4 Vengeance.

A couple things:

1. The test itself was pretty valueless, since the HUD coding was broken, and not showing which NPC's were TD'ing me.
2. Point #1 being said, the Vargur was pretty much toast anyway, because even if I could identify which ships were TD'ing me, the guns could not reach them anyway because of said TD'ing. That meant I had to rely on drones to wipe out the TD'ing frigs and cruisers. But given the drones were being insta-popped, the boats was useless.

I had every mid-slot dedicated to tank, and the initial spawn in Vengeance still had way more firepower than my faction shield boosters and hardeners could handle. The only reason the Vargur got out of that mission was because there were no pointing frigs, only TD.

There are going to be a lot of tears and rage posts when this disaster hits TQ.


I only wish more players actually logged onto duality to test. The majority of players on duality are going to get blindsided by this. A lot of mission runners are going to lose ships worth many billions of isk when this goes live. And telling them it was on duality for two months and they should have tested it will only infuriate them further. This A.I. change is going to create an outrage when it goes live. Yet CCP just refuses to see the negative side of this change.
Bugsy VanHalen
Society of lost Souls
#423 - 2012-11-02 15:12:38 UTC
DJ P0N-3 wrote:
Charlie Jacobson wrote:
I picked one hell of a time to start training into a Dominix :<


There, there. Every time something gets upended in a patch while someone has just started training into it, an angel gets its wings.

more like a demon gets their pitchfork
Rengerel en Distel
#424 - 2012-11-02 17:53:35 UTC
Bugsy VanHalen wrote:
Dinsdale Pirannha wrote:
Jacob Holland wrote:
I'm not sure that drone boats are going to be the worst hurt by this change...

The Golem in particular... Marauders in general already take a lot of micromanagement (select target, activate weapons, select different target, activate tractor beam, select different target, activate tractor beam, select different target, activate weapons, select different target, ativate salvager, select non-target, lock target, select different target...) and the Golem is particularly sucky in this regard because not only must the weapons be deactivated and a volley count kept but the Target painters need to be switched around ahead of the weapons. Not only that but unlike the turret Marauders it cannot attempt to remove all of the frigate sized targets while their transversal is low and is therefore particularly reliant on drones for anti-frigate work.

If, added to all of the micromanagement issues implicit in the operation of a Marauder, the drones must be constantly monitored and maintained, sent to specific targets and recalled...etc.

Light drones in use by a good drone pilot in a well-skilled drone boat are one thing, less well skilled drones without bonuses (or full Drone Durability) are very fragile indeed and regardless of how good the experience of killing NPCs might become the experience of constantly losing ships because a Guristas Koyukan or an Angel Viper has you scrammed and you have no way of actually breaking his tank is going to get old very quickly...


I tried a Vargur in several missions.
The last one was Sansha L4 Vengeance.

A couple things:

1. The test itself was pretty valueless, since the HUD coding was broken, and not showing which NPC's were TD'ing me.
2. Point #1 being said, the Vargur was pretty much toast anyway, because even if I could identify which ships were TD'ing me, the guns could not reach them anyway because of said TD'ing. That meant I had to rely on drones to wipe out the TD'ing frigs and cruisers. But given the drones were being insta-popped, the boats was useless.

I had every mid-slot dedicated to tank, and the initial spawn in Vengeance still had way more firepower than my faction shield boosters and hardeners could handle. The only reason the Vargur got out of that mission was because there were no pointing frigs, only TD.

There are going to be a lot of tears and rage posts when this disaster hits TQ.


I only wish more players actually logged onto duality to test. The majority of players on duality are going to get blindsided by this. A lot of mission runners are going to lose ships worth many billions of isk when this goes live. And telling them it was on duality for two months and they should have tested it will only infuriate them further. This A.I. change is going to create an outrage when it goes live. Yet CCP just refuses to see the negative side of this change.

The first testing period with the change really showed everyone what was to come. The 2nd one still had faulty code, and was using faulty code from the HUD changes, so was even worse than the first. Further testing won't do much until FoxFour adjusts the code however he's going to with regards to drone aggro.
I'd personally still go with scrapping it until it can have more work and more testing done. Retribution 1.1 or 1.2 with 3 or 4 more months to tweak it wouldn't be a horrible outcome.

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

Dinsdale Pirannha
Pirannha Corp
#425 - 2012-11-02 18:13:55 UTC
Rengerel en Distel wrote:

The first testing period with the change really showed everyone what was to come. The 2nd one still had faulty code, and was using faulty code from the HUD changes, so was even worse than the first. Further testing won't do much until FoxFour adjusts the code however he's going to with regards to drone aggro.
I'd personally still go with scrapping it until it can have more work and more testing done. Retribution 1.1 or 1.2 with 3 or 4 more months to tweak it wouldn't be a horrible outcome.



You should have read the crap I received when I created a thread on GD about 10 days ago suggesting they slow the whole thing down. There are way, way too many moving parts with all these overhauls to get a clear picture how they will all interact.

I keep imagining new Bounties are sodium, and Crimewatch is water.
Both are pretty harmless alone.

But TQ will be the container they are mixed in and then...oh boy.
Adigard
RubberDuckies
#426 - 2012-11-02 23:15:12 UTC  |  Edited by: Adigard
Bugsy VanHalen wrote:
I only wish more players actually logged onto duality to test. The majority of players on duality are going to get blindsided by this. A lot of mission runners are going to lose ships worth many billions of isk when this goes live. And telling them it was on duality for two months and they should have tested it will only infuriate them further. This A.I. change is going to create an outrage when it goes live. Yet CCP just refuses to see the negative side of this change.


I actually expect the CCP Dev's are hoping this happens... It'll probably fuel a few more 30 PLEX sales on release day as well.

CCP is becoming famous for doubling down on terrible (and not very terrible in some cases) changes... regardless of the outrage of the player-base. They still insist they understand this game better than the people who pay to play it. Who knows, they might be right. Certainly doesn't look that way from the outside, but who knows.

They certainly aren't reporting logged in numbers, or anything about the economy, or anything else these days... So draw your own conclusions. And the logged in numbers will be worthless once this patch goes live, because they'll be including the Dust Bunnies in those numbers. I expect the irony of that decision won't be lost on many people.

Rengerel en Distel wrote:
The first testing period with the change really showed everyone what was to come. The 2nd one still had faulty code, and was using faulty code from the HUD changes, so was even worse than the first. Further testing won't do much until FoxFour adjusts the code however he's going to with regards to drone aggro.
I'd personally still go with scrapping it until it can have more work and more testing done. Retribution 1.1 or 1.2 with 3 or 4 more months to tweak it wouldn't be a horrible outcome.


There's no way they'll scrap nor delay it. Those days are gone.

The first testing period lasted for all of a day or three... before being yanked for more "important" projects, IE - Dust.

The second testing period was nearly a month later, and lasted for a short period of time, but was essentially using the same code because there had been no major 'published' tweaks.

The third testing period lasted for longer... but likely still used the same code. Remember we've been discussing this thing since September. It's November now.....

Unfortunately we still don't know how the code changes will pan out. If CCP releases the current AI on TQ we'll quickly adapt, because the AI is an absolute joke in most cases, and there are very simplistic work-arounds for those edge cases where the AI actually functions as intended.

If FoxFour and co. have actually spent time working on the AI, instead of all the new projects they've been derailed to (IE - containers and something else) we should expect some nasty shocks on release day.

Ultimately I expect CCP has already forgotten about this change, and it's been dumped into the abandoned features dust-bin before it's even been released.
ZhaoMin
Tennyson Court
#427 - 2012-11-03 01:57:11 UTC  |  Edited by: ZhaoMin
Quote:
I only wish more players actually logged onto duality to test. The majority of players on duality are going to get blindsided by this. A lot of mission runners are going to lose ships worth many billions of isk when this goes live. And telling them it was on duality for two months and they should have tested it will only infuriate them further. This A.I. change is going to create an outrage when it goes live. Yet CCP just refuses to see the negative side of this change.


Have no idea what CCP is trying to do and accomplish with this AI change when in essence that the code is flawed and AI really doesn't exist in this game nor before nor after. A meager set of 2 or 3 fixed templates with static conditions to be met is just open for exploitations and nothing innovative. People will find ways to get around it, and if it worth too much effort, simply they'll abandon the playstyle or content for something more fun that they can go after easily. For gaming companies, what's good for you when your new contents or modified contents is going to make your existing ones almost obsolete?

It's been awhile since the drone changes, and what's been done? nobody bothers to do drone missions anymore with subpar rewards.

It's been awhile since the inventory changes and the last iterations and what's been done? make the new inventory to mimic the old with subpar performance and more load for the client side (perhaps server side too?), it is still sluggish as hell just to open up a few containers (more than 5) in space while multiboxing.

While the test servers are good places to look for what's new and test setups, it by no means should be a test ground for feature changes like this AI thing. Not especially when there are only 2 people making a game-wide change that affects pretty much for dwellers of all of New Eden and their test only revolves around solo missioning / anomaly with minimal research on the statistics of the wide variety of playstyles employed by it's playerbase. Worst of all is that they simply ignore the feedbacks for those who even bother trying.

People are disappointed with the changes to AI that's coming to TQ and we don't see any hope of positive changes that will let the benefits of the change outweigh the cons yet like how it's been for the past 2 years, CCP won't listen or show any real interest.

I'm fine with changing my playstyles, i'm a PVE carebear, I do missions just to relax and shoot red crosses. It only means that my fleet of 800dps sentryTars gets abandoned and skill points mostly wasted in the drone category, trade them in for 1 tengu, instead of finishing blockade IV in 10min multiboxing 4~6 toons, I'll spend less real money by using FOF tengu and still sit afking doing the mission 3~5 times slower and let my other toons game time lapse. To the point I don't feel fun anymore and find something more worthwhile to do in my life to enjoy. It'd be hilarious though to see when I came back to my computer screen that wrecks of gankroyers lies about my afk tengu because the smarter NPC AIs decided that they love those pocket new comers more than the one who's really killing them.

Yes, I'm a hiseccer and Escalation gimped my rare mineral sources, Inferno burnt my POS, now Retribution effed my SPs by reset them to some worthless number of non-importance....

Edit:
CCP dismissed concerns for PVP'ers who like to ambush PVE'ers
CCP dismissed concerns for Highend anomaly runners
CCP dismissed concerns for heavily drone dependant users
CCP dismissed concerns for drones will not be able to complete their jobs b4 getting popped or wasted (CCP's solution, why dun yall train for missiles so you don't have to worry about TD, FoxFour and team: "We test and ran all missions/anomalies in Tengu most of the time and dun feel any difference with the new AI, it's a marketing gimmick")
CCP dismissed every other opinion you'd like to add to this list as long as the opinion is not from them

PS. Posting on an alt because my other alt's account has already expired....
Pak Narhoo
Splinter Foundation
#428 - 2012-11-03 13:41:31 UTC
Dinsdale Pirannha wrote:
Rengerel en Distel wrote:

The first testing period with the change really showed everyone what was to come. The 2nd one still had faulty code, and was using faulty code from the HUD changes, so was even worse than the first. Further testing won't do much until FoxFour adjusts the code however he's going to with regards to drone aggro.
I'd personally still go with scrapping it until it can have more work and more testing done. Retribution 1.1 or 1.2 with 3 or 4 more months to tweak it wouldn't be a horrible outcome.



You should have read the crap I received when I created a thread on GD about 10 days ago suggesting they slow the whole thing down. There are way, way too many moving parts with all these overhauls to get a clear picture how they will all interact.

I keep imagining new Bounties are sodium, and Crimewatch is water.
Both are pretty harmless alone.

But TQ will be the container they are mixed in and then...oh boy.



You got crap because you lack proper communication skills, politeness, charm and refuse to take information to you.
Don't kid yourself you got what you asked for.

Lol
Dinsdale Pirannha
Pirannha Corp
#429 - 2012-11-03 17:37:01 UTC
Pak Narhoo wrote:
Dinsdale Pirannha wrote:
Rengerel en Distel wrote:

The first testing period with the change really showed everyone what was to come. The 2nd one still had faulty code, and was using faulty code from the HUD changes, so was even worse than the first. Further testing won't do much until FoxFour adjusts the code however he's going to with regards to drone aggro.
I'd personally still go with scrapping it until it can have more work and more testing done. Retribution 1.1 or 1.2 with 3 or 4 more months to tweak it wouldn't be a horrible outcome.



You should have read the crap I received when I created a thread on GD about 10 days ago suggesting they slow the whole thing down. There are way, way too many moving parts with all these overhauls to get a clear picture how they will all interact.

I keep imagining new Bounties are sodium, and Crimewatch is water.
Both are pretty harmless alone.

But TQ will be the container they are mixed in and then...oh boy.



You got crap because you lack proper communication skills, politeness, charm and refuse to take information to you.
Don't kid yourself you got what you asked for.

Lol


Your personal attack against me might be true.

But ultimately, I am still right about how much chaos and huge huge problems Dec 4th will bring.
My personality is irrelevant to the facts we have seen so far in testing this mess.
Bugsy VanHalen
Society of lost Souls
#430 - 2012-11-05 15:13:18 UTC  |  Edited by: Bugsy VanHalen
Well the fact of the matter is, I play games to relax and unwind. If EVE becomes more of a frustration than enjoyment I will simply move on.

Many of the games I used to play have gone FTP so If I leave EVE I can play all my old games for free. The money I am spending now on subs keeping 4 EVE accounts active can easily be spent on MT in those FTP games. Many of which I already have max level characters in. I Am just a casual gamer with a good enough job that game subscriptions are not a burden to me financially. But if EVE starts to feel more like a second job then an enjoyable pastime then those subs will be dropped like yesterdays news.

I assume most of the player community has a similar view of their game time they are paying to play. If CCP is not careful they could lose a lot of subs from a single botched expansion. If that happens the game director will be looking for someone to point a finger at. About 2 years ago they botched an expansion by focusing all their development on near useless features like new character creators, 3D models, WiS, and other graphical changes. A lot of players where upset that the expansion was such a waste and introduced a lot of bugs with no real added content. A lot of subs were lost. If I remember correctly there was even a formal apology from the game director for losing focus and ignoring community feed back. And that expansion did not really hurt anyone's play style, it just failed to add any thing to the game.

A game update that forces thousands of players to change their game style just to keep playing will not go over well with the majority of the community.
Miss Silv
Garoun Investment Bank
Gallente Federation
#431 - 2012-11-05 21:42:24 UTC  |  Edited by: Miss Silv
Bugsy VanHalen wrote:
Well the fact of the matter is, I play games to relax and unwind. If EVE becomes more of a frustration than enjoyment I will simply move on.


This.

Honestly, I thought CCP had it figured out by providing these two options all this time.

A. Fit a DPS beast and keep your eyes on the aggro and cap control.
B. Fit an impermeable tank and only utilize part of your damage potential to do semi-AFK missioning at 3-4x slower rate.

What is so horrible about having those options?

One of the reasons why I prefer EVE over other MMOs is because the inescapable grinding elements are greatly dampened, allowing for slow but decent progress, and instead focus the active playtime on PvP and actually interesting parts of the game.

Afraid this will be the end of it, the moment I start wasting hours on end doing mindless grinding is the moment when I go "Why the **** am I playing this again?" and quit.

The only halfway solution I can see is to provide an audio alert for drones starting to take damage, in order to allow semi-AFK missioning, but not fully AFK.
Mund Richard
#432 - 2012-11-05 23:04:53 UTC
Miss Silv wrote:
The only halfway solution I can see is to provide an audio alert for drones starting to take damage, in order to allow semi-AFK missioning, but not fully AFK.

Not quite enough, drones can die even in a drone boat and higher drone durability.
Specially if webbed/scrambled, all wont make it back even if you recall while they still has some of it's shields left.
Type of rat also make a difference, the longer their optimal (the further they are from you, and thus your drones are from you, and the better they deal damage to something with an MWD sigbloom), the deadlier they are.
Sentries, as always, a totally different case. But even among droneboats, not all of them are for sentries. OFC I'm all down to the myrm getting 125 bandwidth, when two cruisers have more than it Twisted

"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.

Miss Silv
Garoun Investment Bank
Gallente Federation
#433 - 2012-11-06 06:14:40 UTC
Mund Richard wrote:
Miss Silv wrote:
The only halfway solution I can see is to provide an audio alert for drones starting to take damage, in order to allow semi-AFK missioning, but not fully AFK.

Not quite enough, drones can die even in a drone boat and higher drone durability.
Specially if webbed/scrambled, all wont make it back even if you recall while they still has some of it's shields left.
Type of rat also make a difference, the longer their optimal (the further they are from you, and thus your drones are from you, and the better they deal damage to something with an MWD sigbloom), the deadlier they are.
Sentries, as always, a totally different case. But even among droneboats, not all of them are for sentries. OFC I'm all down to the myrm getting 125 bandwidth, when two cruisers have more than it Twisted


I agree that it still puts a serious dent into missioning, but if their aim is to force missioning to be more interactive it's the difference between losing one or two drones every now and then to a web/volley, or to otherwise watch miniscule bars constantly and risk losing a full flight without any notice if distracted.
XxUltradmbxX
Imperial Academy
Amarr Empire
#434 - 2012-11-06 08:36:51 UTC
-fly in 0.0 a Blood Raider hidden rally point in a Paladin.
-I fly active not afk
-use drone to kill tackle frigs , that means i tried to use drones against tackle frigs , after launching my hobs got insta agro from elite frigs....
-i need to return / launch them many times to kill only one frig .. thanks ccp im not happy with this !

sorry 4 my bad englisch
Adigard
RubberDuckies
#435 - 2012-11-06 11:24:52 UTC
Miss Silv wrote:
I agree that it still puts a serious dent into missioning, but if their aim is to force missioning to be more interactive it's the difference between losing one or two drones every now and then to a web/volley, or to otherwise watch miniscule bars constantly and risk losing a full flight without any notice if distracted.


This could be, but even CCP has agreed that this change makes the totally AFK RR'ing sentry Domi a stronger option.

So... welp?

Way to punish casual drone users and casual PvE'ers while doing nothing to stop totally AFK drone users?
Dinsdale Pirannha
Pirannha Corp
#436 - 2012-11-06 13:22:00 UTC
Adigard wrote:
Miss Silv wrote:
I agree that it still puts a serious dent into missioning, but if their aim is to force missioning to be more interactive it's the difference between losing one or two drones every now and then to a web/volley, or to otherwise watch miniscule bars constantly and risk losing a full flight without any notice if distracted.


This could be, but even CCP has agreed that this change makes the totally AFK RR'ing sentry Domi a stronger option.

So... welp?

Way to punish casual drone users and casual PvE'ers while doing nothing to stop totally AFK drone users?


I am not sure I am even going to log on to this new Duality build and do more testing.
I am almost to the point that I think it is better of NO ONE gives them any feedback, and just let CCP release this disaster to an unknowing player base.

The screams will be so many, so loud, that they might be more entertaining than the game is. (BTW, I find the game less and less enjoyable every day, and am sticking around through sheer bloody-mindedness.)

We are staring right down the barrel of another UI type gun, and CCP is operating in precisely the same manner as they did with that one. It would be nice if someone gets fired if this release is as bad as I and many others have predicted, but no one at CCP ever seems to take responsibility.
Jame Jarl Retief
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#437 - 2012-11-06 14:17:37 UTC
Bugsy VanHalen wrote:
I only wish more players actually logged onto duality to test. The majority of players on duality are going to get blindsided by this. A lot of mission runners are going to lose ships worth many billions of isk when this goes live. And telling them it was on duality for two months and they should have tested it will only infuriate them further. This A.I. change is going to create an outrage when it goes live. Yet CCP just refuses to see the negative side of this change.


What I am about to say will be selfish and make me sound like a total jerk, but I'm actually looking forward to this disaster.

As Incarna showed, to get positive change we need massive outcry and massive cancellations. It happened after Incarna, which was awful, and we got Crucible, which was OK. This upcoming AI change, like you said, will cause many a multibillion ISK ship to go pop. The amount of ragequits it will generate will be prodigious indeed. Thus likely causing positive change in Spring's expansion, which maybe will overhaul missions or AI and make the game better. In other words, I see it as a sacrifice now for game improvements later to lure people back.

My second reason for looking forward to this really is selfish - drones. I like drones. But currently, let's face it, they're meh. And have been for a good long while. And aside from that damage mod, there's been no drone changes in what, 3-4 years? Still no drone damage implants, still no decent control UI, drone AI still sucks and splits damage for no reason, etc., etc.

This coming AI change will put these drone problems right at the forefront. Like the guy above said, when his Vargur was being TDd, drones were his only hope to deal with frigs, and since drones were getting insta-popped, he was dead in the water. This is one of the major drone issues - they're popped way too easily, especially while MWDing to and from target. This needed to be addressed for a long, long, looooooong time. So perhaps tons of people losing their shiney ships in L4s is what it'll take to finally see this happen.

Further, CCP kinda painted themselves into a corner here with the whole "drones for frigates" thing and new AI. They really have two choices:

First choice, they can make the AI extremely unlikely to attack drones. As in, once in a blue moon. In which case, AFK drone boats will arguably become even more viable than they ever were. I mean, currently, if you have drones out and new wave comes in, they are 95% likely to all attack your drones. With the new AI, they'll all go straight for your ship, and AFK mission farming in a drone boat like the Rattler will be bliss. As a drone user, I'd be happy. It's not as fast as turrets, but you can't put a price on convenience of AFK farming.

Second choice, they will actually have to address drone survivability. So that even when targeted, they won't get instantly popped, giving a player time to react. This might include better UI, better controls, smaller drone sigs, no MWD for travel, whatever. Once again, as a drone user, I'd be very happy to see these changes. Even a change to drone boat bonuses would be welcome at this point, the boring old hybrid/drone split damage system bonus has never worked well.

Bottom line, on a very personal level, I firmly believe the upcoming PvE nightmare will finally force them to make some decent changes that should have been done years ago.
Meditril
Minmatar Secret Service
Ushra'Khan
#438 - 2012-11-06 15:20:32 UTC
One thing I really don't understand: Why does everybody here seems to think that missions (especially lvl 4 and 5 ones) or other NPC spawns should be runable in full-AFK mode?

CCP wants to make PVE content being more similar to PVP content. This is a good idea and improved NPC-AI is a good first step. Drones have their benenfits like providing you a lot of flexibility and good damage etc. however they have the weakness of being able to get popped by enemy, which frequently happens in PVP too. A way to avoid drones being popped is constantly babysitting them and making sure you engage only enemies which are close to you.

As said, this is just a first step. The logical next step is that NPC ships should simply warp out (with a chance of let say 50%) when you get them into hull if they are not disrupted/scrambled. And they should come back after some time, slightly repaired. This would make PVE content even more PVP compliant.
Vatek
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#439 - 2012-11-06 15:38:30 UTC  |  Edited by: Vatek
Meditril wrote:
One thing I really don't understand: Why does everybody here seems to think that missions (especially lvl 4 and 5 ones) or other NPC spawns should be runable in full-AFK mode?


PVE is already mind-numbingly awful. There's no need to make it even more tedious for the same reward.

Meditril wrote:
CCP wants to make PVE content being more similar to PVP content. This is a good idea and improved NPC-AI is a good first step. Drones have their benenfits like providing you a lot of flexibility and good damage etc. however they have the weakness of being able to get popped by enemy, which frequently happens in PVP too. A way to avoid drones being popped is constantly babysitting them and making sure you engage only enemies which are close to you.


Gun and missile boats don't have to manage their guns beyond locking a target and pressing F1, why do droneboats need to be punished when drones are already the weakest weapon system?

Meditril wrote:
As said, this is just a first step. The logical next step is that NPC ships should simply warp out (with a chance of let say 50%) when you get them into hull if they are not disrupted/scrambled. And they should come back after some time, slightly repaired. This would make PVE content even more PVP compliant.


So the next logical step is to force every single PVE ship in the game to engage within 24km and punish shield tanking ships by forcing them to give up tank for a disruptor?

Trying to make PVE "PVP compliant" is what got us into this disaster of an AI in the first place and nobody has really been able to explain what the benefit for players is.
Jame Jarl Retief
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#440 - 2012-11-06 15:56:29 UTC
Meditril wrote:
One thing I really don't understand: Why does everybody here seems to think that missions (especially lvl 4 and 5 ones) or other NPC spawns should be runable in full-AFK mode?


And why do you feel people should be unable to run missions in full-AFK mode, when it is 3-4 times slower than non-AFK? What is so inherently bad about that?

Further, consider that EVE is one of the few games where you can't just leave the keyboard willy-nilly at a moment's notice without serious repercussions. Case in point, say I'm playing, and suddenly there's someone knocking at the door. Say a neighbour came in to tell me that my tree just crushed his shed, like happened last week during the storm. I happened to be playing GW2 at the time, so I stood up and went to get the door. NPCs I was fighting tore me to shreds. What did it cost me? A couple of silver in repairs, peanuts really.

Now, what would be my choices when I'm playing EVE, and I'm in a mission, warp-scrambled and getting hammered in a multi-billion ISK ship? Even assuming I'm in high-sec, it's a very dicey proposition. If I'm away for more than 4-5 mins, event he best tank can fail. And then what? A week's worth of farming, or more, gone because I had to answer the door?

This is one of many examples why so many people avoid playing EVE. It is not designed for normal human beings.

Further still, what's so awful about giving players a choice? I can choose to go active and have the mission done in 15 mins. Or I can choose to go passive and be done in 45-60 mins. How it the second approach any worse? And this is not totally AFK gameplay - you still have to clear rooms, travel to gates, deploy drones, whatever. It is just, let's say, "reduced stress" gameplay where you don't worry too much about things like range, transversal, etc.


Quote:
CCP wants to make PVE content being more similar to PVP content. This is a good idea and improved NPC-AI is a good first step.


Trouble is, like you said it is the "first step" only. Let's face it, missions in EVE have always been...how do I say this nicely...poorly designed? That is, you come in. You have waves and waves of ships coming at you. You kill them all. This is a pretty shoddy way to do it, but fine, whatever. Thing is, this expansion they're changing the AI without changing the missions themselves. You will still be hit with waves and waves of ships, still (at least theoretically) doing the same DPS, only this time they do it a little smarter.

This is not "similar to PvP". This is "similar to getting ganked". Granted, the AI is still a far cry away from players in lethality, but their sheer numbers in many missions more than make up for it. Off the top of my head, there's missions where you get attacked, in a single pull, by 5+ battleships, 5+ cruisers and 5+ frigates all at once. When you are alone, even in a Marauder, things can go downhill quickly. Especially if AI is intelligent enough to take out your drones.

I would have accepted the AI change, if ALL missions got an overhaul at the same time. That is, number of NPCs severely toned down. As it is, there's high probability that the patch will kill missioning for a lot of people.

Quote:
Drones have their benenfits like providing you a lot of flexibility and good damage etc. however they have the weakness of being able to get popped by enemy, which frequently happens in PVP too. A way to avoid drones being popped is constantly babysitting them and making sure you engage only enemies which are close to you.


Only engaging the enemy close to you is what you call "flexibility"? Funny, because CCP claims drones have excellent damage projection. Which I never really saw, because many would die traveling to or from target that's up to 60km away. And if they don't travel there, they do no damage. Obvious exception to the general rule is sentries, but not all ships (even drone boats) work with sentries.

I'm sorry, but the drone issue IS an issue. A major one. And it has been an issue for a very long time now. Which is why we haven't seen drone boats in the top 20 most used hulls since...oh...2006? Relatively speaking, drone boats are severely underutilized. Too many issues. Time to target, destructible, can't be overheated, hard to replace (this is especially true in a FW roam in hostile space, where you can't just dock up and replenish the drones), etc., etc.

Quote:
As said, this is just a first step. The logical next step is that NPC ships should simply warp out (with a chance of let say 50%) when you get them into hull if they are not disrupted/scrambled. And they should come back after some time, slightly repaired. This would make PVE content even more PVP compliant.


This is a nice idea, but again fundamentally unfair. High alpha weapons would have a huge advantage, being able to volley a ship from 5% armor to dead with no chance of it warping away. While low-alpha weapons (like rails, low alpha, high rate of fire) would see considerably more warpouts, causing the mission to take MUCH longer to complete if the mission objective is to kill all hostiles. Unless of course warpout counts as a "kill".

Bottom line, I'm optimisitcally pessimistic about the AI change. Or pessimistically optimistic? It has the potential to utterly wreck the PvE element of this game for a large portion of the player base. PvE element which, I might add, has been considered notoriously bad since the game's launch, and only tolerated for the income it can generate.