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[Future Release] Removing Wh systems from the map/kills EVE API

First post First post
Goonswarm Federation
#81 - 2014-05-06 17:45:36 UTC  |  Edited by: Querns
CCP FoxFour wrote:
Max Kolonko wrote:
CCP FoxFour wrote:

The gist of the change is that we would like to remove information about NPC kills for wormhole systems in the API.

Just to be clear, this is only for NPC kills and not ship/pod kills?

Well we would remove that but you can just go and get it from zKill or something and be about 96% accurate anyways.

This also makes sense considering that, during fanfest, talk was made about making ALL kills be publicly exposed via the API.

Though, in that case, I could see simply turning off the "number of kills" endpoint strictly for the purposes of reducing server load, considering that players are all but guaranteed to write software to curate the data and provide those kind of statistics anyways. There wouldn't be much point in maintaining an endpoint that serves duplicate data in that case.

This post was crafted by the wormhole expert of the Goonswarm Economic Warfare Cabal, the foremost authority on Eve: Online economics and gameplay.

War Fairy
Gallente Federation
#82 - 2014-05-06 17:46:41 UTC
Cue Who wrote:
The only thing this change does is make it easier to PvE. EVE has always maintained a balance between risk and reward, with WHs being the best ISK in the game, why are you decreasing risk? As it stands, it's too safe in W-Space already, now it's going to be even safer? As it stands, WHs are dead empty. There's a limited number of people who want to live in wormholes. Removing the ability to tell when a wormhole is active will make them even more empty.

Trivial use of D-Scan will show if a worm hole is active.

All this prevents is automated notification that a WH has PvE activity within the last hour.
War Fairy
Gallente Federation
#83 - 2014-05-06 17:47:51 UTC
Aryth wrote:
Arguments to delay it pending a game design decision though I think have a lot of validity.

Goonswarm Federation
#84 - 2014-05-06 17:47:57 UTC
Laurici wrote:
Querns wrote:
Laurici wrote:
I'm still curious why this wasn't even discussed at the wormhole roundtables that happened at most 5 days ago where significant player feedback could have been sought.

Can you give us any detail on WHY design don't want us to have access to this other than "because". As Mike azariah puts it "what's the design goal". What play are you trying to create? How will you ensure that this doesn't lead to run away farming because nobody fears a logon trap? Do you honestly think that removing the api information will create more gameplay? If so, what gameplay?

Most likely, it was brought to their attention after the roundtables had occurred, perhaps during a pub crawl or other social event. Or, perhaps, it was just reading the forums. Does it matter?

This is not a player idea, it's a design idea. And unless the design idea has gone from idea to discussed idea to proposed idea in 31 hours, it's information they chose not share with the engaged playerbase.

Sure, but talking shop and general fraternization has the ability to expose these sorts of weaknesses.

Here's a vignette: a developer overhears a group of players at a bar discussing their new software. While eavesdropping, he or she learns that their tool uses the NPC kills API endpoint to curate their wormhole map and provide a determination of what systems to concentrate forces at. Said developer takes an internal catalogue of the client's capabilities, determines that there's a discrepancy, and then submits a change request to remove that ability.

This post was crafted by the wormhole expert of the Goonswarm Economic Warfare Cabal, the foremost authority on Eve: Online economics and gameplay.

Harry Sullivan
Caldari Provisions
Caldari State
#85 - 2014-05-06 17:49:02 UTC
Querns wrote:
Harry Sullivan wrote:
But to hell with you if you even mention that we could arrange fights in between our groups for the sake of having good fights and PvP in WH space if CCP removes the data that enables us to have "arranged fights" in the first place.

How does removing NPC kills/hr data from the API somehow preclude two wormhole corporations / alliances from having arranged fights? Wormhole connection maps are curated manually; just wait until the chains connect, then duke it out in an e-honorable fashion as much as you like.

I added "So what you are basically saying is:" in front of my reply to clarify if the text following after that was what he`s trying to tell me.

Because as said in the reply before, from my point of view there is no problem of having arranged fights in W-Space between groups if they wanted to and I also don`t see how that missed the point of W-Space gameplay.

I also think the best PvP you can have is with people who are actually willing to PvP themselves. But a lot of people in W-Space are actually there to enjoy the PvE aspect just as there are groups who mainly do PvP and enjoy that. The problem is that Group A doesn`t have any advantage or use of the data group B is able to aquire from the API to interfer actively with Group A`s gameplay experience while doing nothing to actively aquire those statistics.

I`d be totally fine with a deployable that replaces the API function in question in a modified way, also I think that the WH PvPers are totally right about that it`s sometimes too easy for me as a w-space carebear to avoid fights / tackle etc.

Still I think it would be the right decision to remove the function in question because the reasons for it are actually more than valid.

Vincent Athena
#86 - 2014-05-06 17:51:33 UTC
CCP FoxFour wrote:

The reason we're proposing this change: This is data that is available via the API but not in the client in any way.

Yes, it is. Park a cloaked alt by every site in a W-system and take data. Warp about as needed. Yes, it is a very hard way to get the data from the client, but it is a way.

Thus your statement "This is data that is available via the API but not in the client in any way" is wrong. There is a way, a very cumbersome way, but there is a way.

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Goonswarm Federation
#87 - 2014-05-06 17:51:41 UTC
Or you can ask CCP to address what makes w-space farming as safe as it is in future iterations rather than screaming "you can't remove this because Reasons"

Twitter: @EVEAndski

"It's easy to speak for the silent majority. They rarely object to what you put into their mouths."    - Abrazzar

Napoleon Aldent
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#88 - 2014-05-06 17:52:39 UTC  |  Edited by: Napoleon Aldent
It may take me a bit longer, but I would like to echo what Two-Step said, but in a slightly different way. The information gleaned from the NPC kill API call has one concrete use that WH residents can hang their hat one, and that is long term statistical analysis of a system including active hours and pattern recognition. Anything more than that is noise in this discussion. Since the data is delayed up to an hour when obtained via the API, it provides no immediate intel when jumping into a new system about ongoing activity. In fact, one would argue jumping in and checking d-scan for wrecks is faster and more accurate at determining activity in a system.

The only reason long-term statistical information is valuable is it allows people to know which systems are occupied and active over time to warrant seeding ships for a log-on trap. While this certainly is a content driver, it's one that can be done using in-game mechanics (keeping a scout in system for a week to observe activity). That shifts it to more of a quality of life argument. Do you want to force someone to count wrecks and keep a log, or do you want to let the API provide that information for you? There is certainly a gameplay rationale for both cases, but given that the API already exists, a case for change must be made.

Many would argue that WH space has been neglected and subjected to the worst Eve has to offer for some time now (POS UI, Permissions, etc.). In an environment in which both intentional and unintentional barriers exist for pilots, many have found resourceful ways to thrive. Any change which takes away from the resources we have available will be to the detriment of the community and the people occupying the space. Even though this may seem like a small change, the discussion here clearly shows it's bigger than it seems. It's also expanding into larger game design topics such as what drives content in WH space.

I think CCP should take a step back from this change and look at the bigger picture of WH space. In many ways, WH space is the future of Eve. Exploration and colonization has been pitched as the future vision for Eve. Yet, what CCP seems to forget is that this has been happening for years. We have an undiscovered frontier already in Eve, and we have pioneers blazing the way in spite of many technical and mechanical limitations in our way. Technical changes like these have ripple effects not just in WH space, but potentially in precedent for future iterations on new space. Since this does drive content in WH space, then it needs to be looked at within the scope of what WH space content is supposed to look like, not as a simple technical correction that's years overdue.

If this change were being proposed alongside a list of improvements to WH space, POSes and third party tools in an effort to improve daily life for WH residents and drive content, then I think the reaction would be significantly different. Instead, it appears to the community that you're playing Jenga with our sandbox, with no consideration for the years of content that has been supported by the individual block you're removing.

TLDR: It's probably not a big deal, but throw us a bone once and a while.

Our angle is that we care about objective game balance, regardless of who it benefits or hurts.  -Goonswarm 2014

Krops Vont
#89 - 2014-05-06 17:55:09 UTC
I support this change as well. Speaking about wormhole mapping tools, removing it would be a good idea since most now rely on it. It has become a custom for so long that they don't know D-Scan can tell you if the system has had activity.

Why not make NPC kills api non existent? I don't see a good use to this other than a kill counter.



Wormhole Finding & Selling

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Nightingale Actault
Borderland Dynamics
#90 - 2014-05-06 17:55:51 UTC
I would just like to point out, for those who are stating that we don't have any other way to tell what kind of PvE activity is occuring in a WH without access to the NPC kills in question, that you can in fact make an educated judgement of the PvE activity in a WH without this information. Is there 30+ combat sites in the WH or are there exactly 5 combat sites in a C5 with an online tower and nothing inside? This is definitely not so straightforward as having the number of sleepers and the timestamps available, but I do not believe that is a problem.

Those saying that you can escalate in peace are the most likely to be caught off guard when the clever hunters come calling at your doorstep. Those who are willing to work to find your schedule by scouting your system and gathering intel on your activities are going to be rewarded for the work they put in with your capital kills, the same as they always have, and will continue to do.
Def Monk
Phoenix Naval Operations
Phoenix Naval Systems
#91 - 2014-05-06 17:56:17 UTC
First, I'd like to say I'm in full support of this change. Keeping wspace a mystery is exactly what it should be. From a design point, it makes sense in both how wspace should ideally be, and in the case of the API, it gives information not normally available. I'd like to try and put my two cents out without bias.

Now, my reasons why it shouldn't happen anyway:

1. From an in-game perspective, this information is the primary method for both FINDING and AVOIDING other pilots in wspace. The previous thread (and a few times here) stated that it gives a large advantage to the aggressors, but that's not true. It gives an advantage to anyone doing something somewhere other than the system in which they live. Considering the original design for wspace also didn't expect us crazy fucks living in wspace at all, being a 'defender', you simply accept this fact as a danger of living there. Other people have an idea when you're active, but you have no idea they're coming.

People looking for a fight know when a system is likely to be active, and people looking to avoid other pilots to run sites can subvert people they normally would not be able to deal with. Personally, the latter chance is my primary use for this information. I live with a small group in wspace, and while we love PvP, we CANNOT deal with 50+ man T3 clusterfucks, and as such, much prefer to mine C5/C6 gas when no one's online. I also have a general idea when one of those large groups have a straggling pilot that I can engage at the end of their activity, or if I'm likely placing myself in the middle of the aforementioned clusterfuck.

2. It's currently acting as a workaround. Currently, almost every wspace system LOOKS inhabited. This is due to POS mechanics. The large number of abandoned POSs make it very difficult to assume a system is empty and unused. This information gives us a better guess.

When you're looking to move into wspace (something we desperately need more people to do), trying to find people to attack, or trying to avoid people and run sites, this information acts as a workaround for knowledge of whether a wspace system is abandoned. If POSs weren't largely placed pointlessly in systems, we could use that simple fact to know how to approach local system residents. If this were fixed, this information would be a lot less useful.

Removing a workaround for an inherent problem with another system without giving us an actual fix is just bad software design. Not bad game design, not bad vision choices, but bad software. This is true in any type, not just video games. Until we can be given a better fix (aka, taking abandoned POSs over, or removing them somehow), removing the community's workaround will do nothing but anger people (as this thread is proof of).

3. It won't change nearly as much as you're thinking. If this is removed, people will simply rely on using player killmails to determine who lives where and when they're active. This is not difficult. As you stated in another thread, zKill hits 95%+ of killmails, and you were looking to give us access to ALL mails anyway. It's true, then, that this information will be available both in-game and via API, and that makes more sense. If we can be supplied this ALL killmails log in real time, it can help work as another workaround to problem #2, and it would be fine. Not ideal, and certainly slightly worse, but fine.


I can't agree more that this information does not have a place in the IDEAL wspace situation. But wspace isn't yet ideal. It's far from it, and hasn't been iterated on since it's introduction (which is a problem CCP lately has been getting good about, and I hope wspace sees some love soon). Until it can be closer to ideal, this information, while out of place, is OUR workaround. Living in wspace is hard. Living with the mediocre mechanics in wspace is harder. Living with nothing to do and all these problems are the hardest. This information is (currently) necessary.
Goonswarm Federation
#92 - 2014-05-06 17:57:33 UTC
To be clear here, I'm not necessarily arguing against the ability for wormhole dwellers to more efficiently collect intelligence data about their surroundings. I am, however, against this data being collected over the whole of wormhole space, automatically, at extremely low cost. Any changes that aid the ability for hunter/killers in wormhole space to gather information MUST be constrained to only work on the systems that they can physically reach, or otherwise must have some sort of human component that limits their effectiveness in such a matter. Providing perfect information about all of wormhole space is clearly broken and simply incentivizes rolling holes until ham comes out.

This post was crafted by the wormhole expert of the Goonswarm Economic Warfare Cabal, the foremost authority on Eve: Online economics and gameplay.

Powers Sa
#93 - 2014-05-06 17:57:48 UTC  |  Edited by: Powers Sa
CCP FoxFour wrote:
Hey guys,

as a heads up as soon as I can find the time I will be removing WH systems map/kills endpoint. This is data that exists in the API but not the client and is incredibly powerful. As with everything I am open to discussing this, but I will admit that you will have a damn hard time convincing me of not doing it.

Please continue this disscuission here:

I applaud these changes. It brings the adventure and wonder back to wormholes. For too long, us lazy wormholers have relied on this data for spoonfed content. Now, like everyone else, we must work for it and actually scout and look instead of sitting back and relying on the API.

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John Caldr
Inner Hell
#94 - 2014-05-06 18:01:31 UTC
All WH PVPers agreed that this feature helps create PVP content. Sometimes forcefully, yes Lol
All who live in WH agreed that removing this feature will make WHs isk-farming paradise that will harm all.
(if you go for numbers - you can farm 80billions in few days with just few hours per day and only 2 people. now we can stop it, after change - we would not be able to)

And the reason to make the change - there is no "ingame" data for NPC kills.

Dont change things that are not broken. Lets just make this data available in client.

There were suggestions for deployable structures, but there is more simple solution.

Make this info available in WHs after clicking at the system sun.
Bronya Boga
Ministry of War
Amarr Empire
#95 - 2014-05-06 18:05:05 UTC
Andski wrote:
This is a good change. Intelligence gathering should be made an involved, active process wherever possible.

Tell that to the discovery scanner
pierre arthos
#96 - 2014-05-06 18:08:19 UTC
I find myself in shock after agreeing with every word of a post by Lords Servant, well put Sir.

I think what this discussion reveals are some deeper problems with the risk/reward balance and gameplay in wormhole space. I don't really like the idea of using an api based tool to find targets to fight, but current game design makes it really difficult to catch people without it. It's all too easy to farm isk already with very little risk as it is. Just ask a certain well known pvper how he buys his AT ships - he farms the **** out of C6's with very little chance of getting ganked.

I'm not against people living in w-space primarily to make isk, not at all, but there must be some risk or cost if unable to defend. This tilts the balance ever more in favour of those who do jack all day then log in, farm sites with almost no risk and then log off with assets in orca/carrier. I can see game play narrowing as well - soon the only fights will be either getting lucky by meeting pvpers in the chain, or by pure rage rolling where lucky timing becomes the main factor (rolling in just after the inhabitants enter siege). Unless you have got a scout for nearly every system, keeping chains open will become almost pointless!

Also, I feel for people like BU, because although it isn't how I would like to play the game, you have to admire it when someone takes a form of emergent game play and really refines it.

TL:DRI'd like to see some nerf to threat detection when running sites before this data is removed from the api.
Nooonnnnnoooo notme
#97 - 2014-05-06 18:15:26 UTC
Durzel wrote:
If you remove more and more sources of intel pretty soon you're left with blind people who are just scrabbling around in the dark on the off chance that they might bump into someone to shoot.

that just gave Prism X a chub
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#98 - 2014-05-06 18:16:47 UTC
I'm gonna copy my post from the other thread, explaning how these statistics are usefull for us.

Let's say, we open a new wormhole. This wormhole has had some activity (either pvp or npc kills) in the last 2 hours. It is very likely that the people who did those activities, are still connected and there is content to be had if we are able to find said people.

If said activity is pvp, it is likely there is no more connection, as the winning entitiy will have likely rolled their connection. The losing entity has had a hit and is most likely afk or got podded out.
If said activity is pve, it is likely they are still there, or have moved futher down the wormhole chain, where we can find them. We find him/them running anoms, he calls his friends, a fight occurs = content.

This is how many of the `random` fights currently happen in wormhole space and this happens in all classes. Remove this intel, and there is no incentive to scan and hunt futher down the chain.

This is bad for wormhole space, because no one likes putting effort (scanning chains in this case) when there are no rewards (the reward being a fight), chains will no longer be scanned down and more people will just roll the wormhole after the first one or two systems they come across. This means shorter chains and less entities will meet and thus less fights will happen, thus will there be less content, thus will there be more bored people thus will there be less people in wormhole space, this cycle will repeat until wormholes are unused.

Note that for all our steps, we still need to actually scan everything. It's not like this API is giving us free bookmarks. We cannot actually use this information becuase it is always atleast an hour old, but it's giving a damn good indication wether or not the current wormhole chain is worth exploring.

If the change is purely because this information is not accessible ingame, then make it accessible ingame. For example, I could image that you hit F10 in a wormhole and that you get these stats, but only if you're in the actual system itself.

I'm not gonna even mention the reduced risk for pve activities because of this, enough people have said something about that one. Wormhole are not only supposed to be unkown, but also to be dangerous. Were is the danger if would be attackers have no clue there is prey to be found? Risk vs Reward?
Blodhgarm Dethahal
Moist Towelettes.
#99 - 2014-05-06 18:20:21 UTC
Better make this so in K-Space as well... that information is not publicly available in client either you know...

If you go through with it of course...
eXceed Inc.
Plucky Adventurers
#100 - 2014-05-06 18:21:36 UTC
MaxDEL wrote:
Over 5 years of Wormholes CPP did nothing new in them .
There were no interesting innovations that would be used only for WH (new scanning, scan ships - is more for beginners)

You , CCP, for several years now talking about new classes WH, new anomalies , new activities , changes POS structures ( this is the only way to live in WH if you do not know )

Now you want to remove the only entertainment for active residents WH. Do you think what happens after that ? I personally stop disburse about 30 accounts.

You do not see the world that you created and do not even know that there are people doing .

I'm sorry that something that is close to killing bloody retrievers in a mining belt in terms of skill required, is the only entertainment you get in this game.

Tell me how hard it is to kill PVE caps usually multiboxed? Judging by your own killboards bloody easy aint it?

As for this change i fully support it tbh, you want to gank them carebears ? Spend some time and actually gather the information by scounting... you know keep eyes on them... literal eyes not mindless rolling holes till you see a 1-2 day spike of ratting at the same hour on a daily basis.

Work for the kills maybe ? Who gives a **** about the farmers farming anyway... they'll still do it and the price of nanoribbons will go even more south than it has. You ganking them doesnt stop them either.

Maybe you'll actually form a decent fleet from time to time and engage in some sort of pvp with any wh group? Log on traps or just capital blobing feel rather dull to me :)

I will agree that there could be more time spent on iteration in wh space and in EVE in general than "fixing" **** that should have been fixed years ago. But such is life this change probably takes a few lines of code changed/removed. "New" stuff takes time and resources that clearly CCP does not wish to invest in/or deems unnecesary :)

30 accounts x 3 chars i'd dare say you have more than 10 scanners just yourself? what keeps you from actually logging them in from time to time to see if the ppl you wanna kill actually play/do sites/whatever ?

CCP is so bad, cuz it wants ppl to play the game? Instead of watching a movie on one screen and refreshing a web page on another. BAD BAD CCP...