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Dev Blog: Probe Scanning and other Goodies for Odyssey

First post First post First post
Author
CCP Falcon
#1 - 2013-05-28 15:05:35 UTC  |  Edited by: CCP Phantom
Hello internet spaceships pilots,

Today we have a new blog for you from Team SuperFriends!

CCP SoniClover is here to tell you all about the new scanning and probing system that's coming with EVE Online: Odyssey.

You can read all about it in his new devblog here.

CCP Falcon || EVE Universe Community Manager || @CCP_Falcon

Happy Birthday To FAWLTY7! <3

James Amril-Kesh
Viziam
Amarr Empire
#2 - 2013-05-28 15:07:43 UTC  |  Edited by: James Amril-Kesh
Quote:
You launch all probes in your launcher at once, regardless of how many you currently have loaded. You can have a maximum of 8 probes in space at the same time. All players can use 8 probes now by default as the Astrometrics skill no longer limits the number.

This is a bad mechanic.

Quote:
There are two pre-set formations coming in Odyssey for players to use – Spread (probes aligned to cover a large area) and Pinpoint (probes aligned to focus on one point). These are not intended to be the absolute best possible formations, but rather a solid starting point for budding explorers.

This is a good mechanic.

Quote:
The probes launch into space next to your ship, but the formation view in the solar system map is centered around the sun and is not indicating the current position of the probes until you hit scan and they warp to the positions you've determined.

This is a bad mechanic.

Quote:
The default method for moving probes is a single handle for all probes you have out. Holding Shift will give you an individual handle for each probe, same as the current default. Holding Alt allows you to move your probes closer together.
Probes will also resize together by default, holding Shift allows for individual resizing. Note that this is the opposite of the previous system. Resizing probes keeps them centered. We’ve also made the celestial brackets be less in the way when moving/resizing probes.

These mechanics are fine.

Quote:
The recall and expire options have been changed a bit – recall is now instantaneous and happens automatically on system jump or dock. Probes still have a timer, but instead of being lost when the timer is out, they automatically recall instead. The system remembers your last probe setup before they were automatically recalled so they can be quickly deployed again in the same pattern (by activating the launcher). No more forsaken probes in space!

I was ready to say this was a bad mechanic, but with the caveat that the previous position and formation is restored on deployment this mechanic is fine.


And removing DSP and any indication of signal strength on the scan overlay and in the window is an absolutely awful, awful mechanic that requires much better justification than what we were given. Justification (and mention) strangely absent in your devblog.

Enjoying the rain today? ;)

Sentient Blade
Crisis Atmosphere
Coalition of the Unfortunate
#3 - 2013-05-28 15:15:05 UTC  |  Edited by: Sentient Blade
Nice, but is there any chance of slipping in the ability to "tag" signatures with our own text? Using the default codes is a pain and it would be really nice to be able to right click -> rename to say "Taken site" or "Wormhole to ABC".

Could still show the native IDs along side it.
James Amril-Kesh
Viziam
Amarr Empire
#4 - 2013-05-28 15:17:58 UTC
And I'll just quote this here:
Domanique Altares wrote:
Mara Rinn wrote:
CCP Soundwaves' response was along the lines of, "we probably broke some playstyle that you were used to but we don't care."



This seems to have been the Dev attitude from the get-go with these changes. There was apparently little to no actual player input solicited before CCP hurriedly moved forward with what they thought was best for the playerbase, and when the feedback threads didn't go their way, they started enacting bug fixes and requested changes with the digital equivalent of a middle finger in the air.


You want to be able to save formations? Sure. Have two that we chose for you, since we didn't ask what any of you were using beforehand, and you can't actually save your own.

Want to use 8 probes? Sure. Now you can launch all 8 at one time instead of all 7.

Want to launch only one probe for some reason? Sure. Just load only one probe in the launcher, and you can launch just one.

Want to use less than our proscribed number of probes? Sure, just launch them all and recall/offline the ones you don't need.

Want to deliberately leave your probes behind for some reason? No. That's just silly. And think of the children.


Every single change to probing thus far stinks of being a rush job. CCP had stuff on the whiteboard, and made it go as quickly and with as little effort as possible. Perhaps if they had spent the time between Retribution and now actually working with the playerbase on the probing systems, instead of eyecandy windshield wipers and mobile phone minigames, we would have the widely featured, robust scanning system that could have been possible. We might have had a system that makes it easier for those that are new or casual, yet had the ability to unlock advanced functionality for others who want to be able to do things beyond the simple, without stepping on the toes of either group. Having a sandbox with multiple choices doesn't mean that everything has to be difficult. It means that if you're ready for the training wheels to come off, you shouldn't find that they're welded to the bicycle.

Enjoying the rain today? ;)

Monistat Seven
House Singularity
Sixth Empire
#5 - 2013-05-28 15:24:07 UTC
I look forward to these changes.
Vakasho Umi Kenshar
Doomheim
#6 - 2013-05-28 15:24:08 UTC  |  Edited by: Vakasho Umi Kenshar
James Amril-Kesh wrote:
Quote:
The recall and expire options have been changed a bit – recall is now instantaneous and happens automatically on system jump or dock. Probes still have a timer, but instead of being lost when the timer is out, they automatically recall instead. The system remembers your last probe setup before they were automatically recalled so they can be quickly deployed again in the same pattern (by activating the launcher). No more forsaken probes in space!

I was ready to say this was a bad mechanic, but with the caveat that the previous position and formation is restored on deployment this mechanic is fine.


Nah, this is a bad mechanic.
It will impact the probe market for no needed reason. The warning message when leaving probes out was already there for wormholes to remind people of their probes.

I don't see the point at all. This will not help new players in any way, unless the same mechanic is applied to everything we deploy. CCP, I want my drones automatically recalled when I jump or dock, thank you very much for implementing this ASAP.

Edit: oh, and the "polishing" of the scanner window now requires to R-click, then L-click to activate/deactivate the probes (instead of the current single clicking). So add this to the steps we'll have to perform to use a custom number of probes/set our own formations. If you frequently online/offline probes, enjoy!
Mara Rinn
Cosmic Goo Convertor
#7 - 2013-05-28 15:29:40 UTC
Vakasho Umi Kenshar wrote:
CCP, I want my drones automatically recalled when I jump or dock, thank you very much for implementing this ASAP.


I want my drones automatically recalled when I warp, use an acceleration gate, or when they get shot at.
Kitanga
Lowsec Border Marshals
#8 - 2013-05-28 15:30:27 UTC
Quote:

Deep Space Probes (DSP) are being removed. With the overall changes to scanning (not just probe scanning, but also the addition of the Sensor Overlay), players are getting a fairly good overview of non-ship objects in a system. Combat probes exist to track down ships and are intended to become the new main avenue of scanning down ships. The other changes and additions coming in Odyssey speed up scanning down ships and removing the DSP counters this a bit. This means that on the whole, scanning down ships is going to take approximately the same as before, but with greater variations depending on circumstances. Existing DSPs will be changed into their corresponding combat versions.


please consider expanding the range of combat probes to at least 128 to compensate for the removal of dsp...
Gilbaron
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#9 - 2013-05-28 15:31:30 UTC
Quote:
The probes launch into space next to your ship, but the formation view in the solar system map is centered around the sun and is not indicating the current position of the probes until you hit scan and they warp to the positions you've determined


This is okay for signature scanning but extremely bad for combat scanning (in fleet fights)
Vincent Athena
Photosynth
#10 - 2013-05-28 15:35:09 UTC
Faction POS structure BPCs will drop... does that include towers?

Know a Frozen fan? Check this out

Frozen fanfiction

Castor II
Pandemic Horde Inc.
Pandemic Horde
#11 - 2013-05-28 15:35:31 UTC
"Scorpion Ishukone"

WHAT? Shocked
James Amril-Kesh
Viziam
Amarr Empire
#12 - 2013-05-28 15:37:47 UTC
Gilbaron wrote:
Quote:
The probes launch into space next to your ship, but the formation view in the solar system map is centered around the sun and is not indicating the current position of the probes until you hit scan and they warp to the positions you've determined


This is okay for signature scanning but extremely bad for combat scanning (in fleet fights)

Yes.

Enjoying the rain today? ;)

Zorok
The Guardian Knights
#13 - 2013-05-28 15:40:03 UTC
Quote:
As part of the work Team Five-0 is doing, Ore sites (aka Gravimetric sites) are being made Cosmic Anomalies instead of Cosmic Signatures, meaning you no longer need probes to find them.


So basically what you are saying is that mining Ore sites in any place other than high-sec is going to become a lot more dangerous since covert ops ships can warp right in without the need of using probes to find you? You had shown concern for the DSP probes causing the system to be overpowered but what are you going to do for the exploration miners to give them some kind of chance or was that the entire point of making the Ore sites easy to find without the use of probes?
CCP Paradox
#14 - 2013-05-28 15:40:08 UTC
Vincent Athena wrote:
Faction POS structure BPCs will drop... does that include towers?


Yes, the towers are included.

CCP Paradox | EVE QA | Team Phenomenon

Space Magician

Destination SkillQueue
Doomheim
#15 - 2013-05-28 15:41:39 UTC
Quote:
The probes launch into space next to your ship, but the formation view in the solar system map is centered around the sun and is not indicating the current position of the probes until you hit scan and they warp to the positions you've determined.


Why? Why don't the probes just appear in the solarsystem map where your ship is located in the predifined formation? If I deploy probes in a hurry, I expect them to be ready to probe the place I just dropped them. Does this change mean, that they will stop doing that and will instead fly off to probe some CCP predetermined location, because that would suck.
Seth Asthereun
Blank-Space
Northern Coalition.
#16 - 2013-05-28 15:41:45 UTC
Zorok wrote:
Quote:
As part of the work Team Five-0 is doing, Ore sites (aka Gravimetric sites) are being made Cosmic Anomalies instead of Cosmic Signatures, meaning you no longer need probes to find them.


So basically what you are saying is that mining Ore sites in any place other than high-sec is going to become a lot more dangerous since covert ops ships can warp right in without the need of using probes to find you? You had shown concern for the DSP probes causing the system to be overpowered but what are you going to do for the exploration miners to give them some kind of chance or was that the entire point of making the Ore sites easy to find without the use of probes?


Better buff high sec
James Amril-Kesh
Viziam
Amarr Empire
#17 - 2013-05-28 15:43:40 UTC
Destination SkillQueue wrote:
Does this change mean, that they will stop doing that and will instead fly off to probe some CCP predetermined location, because that would suck.

Yes. They fly off to the sun.

Enjoying the rain today? ;)

Syrias Bizniz
some random local shitlords
#18 - 2013-05-28 15:43:42 UTC
I would really like to see the 'auto-recall' a feature that the player can toggle by himself and being set to recall by default.
There's a lot of possible applications in leaving behind your probes in a solar system.


Also, i'm slightly sad about the skill changes applied towards Astrometrics and the specialisations.
If you are currently a dedicated prober, you make a huge investment in time to get Rangefinding to V - after all, it's a Rank 8 skill that provides a significant bonus. After the change, it will still be a rank 8 skill that however is by far less important to max out, especially with new scan-strength modules.
I'm not asking for a reimbursement of SP here, however, maybe you should consider the 'nerf' of this skill and reevaluate.
A solution to this might be, for example, tweaking down the efficiency of the modules that grant scan strength, and have rangefindiung to provide a 7.5% bonus for example, so that the skill-time investment allows you to reach equivalent scanstrength with less mods.
Or whatever you feel like. But investing (and have invested) ~1.7m skillpoints (what is this? 40 days?) for such a small bonus that can be circumvent with new fitting possibilities just doesn't feel right.

Also, with the ability to launch several probes at once, it would also be very enjoyable to remove the reload-time of the module completely, just like lasers have none.




Rest looks fine to me
Graygor
1kB Realty
#19 - 2013-05-28 15:45:03 UTC
CCP Paradox wrote:
Vincent Athena wrote:
Faction POS structure BPCs will drop... does that include towers?


Yes, the towers are included.


My babies... have them! Lol

"I think you should buy a new Mayan calendar. Mine has muscle cars on it." - Kenneth O'Hara

"I dont think that can happen, you can see Gray has his invuln field on in his portrait." - Commissar "Cake" Kate

Mara Rinn
Cosmic Goo Convertor
#20 - 2013-05-28 15:45:49 UTC  |  Edited by: Mara Rinn
Deep Space Probes were very useful for filtering out signatures that we weren't interested in paying further attention to. Most of the functionality of DSP is now lost: the system scanner display only shows the presence of "stuff", the signal strength having been removed from that display. The DSP was previously useful for saving time, and was in itself a decent reason to train Astrometrics 5 (the other very good reason being that more probes in space means better quality probing, faster pinpointing, and bragging rights).

The automatic recall of probes means that there is less chance of people being stranded in unknown space and having to find their way out by contacting locals, asking for help on the forums, or suiciding their way home. You are actively removing consequences. Sure, you have lots of new players complaining that the consequences are too severe: this is a reflection on their unreadiness to face loss, rather than loss in the game being a bad thing.

So with each little hand-holding exercise you undertake, you are going to remove the opportunities that players have to learn about loss and failure, meaning that their first PvP loss is going to be all the more traumatic.

EVE needs the little niggles to help people cope and learn to stand on their own two feet and/or establish friendships with people who complement their skill sets: everything from leaving that distribution mission cargo 6 jumps away, losing probes when jumping through wormholes, through to forgetting to insure their combat ship before heading out to look for a fight.

If filtering out signals using a DSP wasn't an intended mechanic, a better solution would be to randomise the signal strength of the signatures present in space, and to review the signal strengths of signatures that explorers have tabulated over the years. If you notice that there are only 12 categories of signature, perhaps that's an indication that you need to smear the possible signature strengths over a larger potential signal strength range.

Deep Space Probes were also useful for quickly narrowing down groups of signatures in very large systems (anything larger than 30AU radius). This functionality is partially replaced by the system scanner overview, so I'll hold my judgement.

Ultimately though, I feel your attempts to "simplify" content and make it "more accessible" are going to end up dumbing the game down, removing the consequences of failure, and turning EVE Online into "WoW in space."
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