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Variable stats for ships with active ship building game

Author
Terraniel Aurelius
Space Wizards.
Tactical Narcotics Team
#1 - 2015-02-13 19:36:58 UTC
I don't know if people would be interested in something like this, but I think it could increase the value of skilled industrialists and possibly drive some more content in the game.

Basically I'm suggesting a building mini-game that affects the final stats on a ship. Be it max hp, speed, fitting, etc, something to make it better than a regular version. The variability would be small 0.5%-1.5% increase, depending on success level of building. The worst outcome would be a ship with base stats. I haven't really thought about what the minigame would look like, but maybe something that pits precision component placement against a timer, with higher tier ships being more difficult to succeed at. This would be optional, and could be bypassed for people who really just need to build 200 rifters and get it over with.

Essentially I would like to create a role for people who like to build things well, and for them to be able to make a ship that can give their buyers a bit of an edge. Obviously these ships would be then more desirable (expensive) than base models, which I think could be an interesting market driver. It would give industrialists something more to do other than simply selecting the number of runs and where to build. I feel like it would really give industrialists more value within alliances as well. Exceptional builders would be sought after and could be an indirect conflict driver.

Just some whimsical musings really. I don't know how hard something like this would be to implement. Can't be any worse than trying to fix how poses work, eh?
ShahFluffers
Ice Fire Warriors
Infinite Pew
#2 - 2015-02-13 20:32:10 UTC
I can see four problems right away...

1. Old subject. It has been brought up and many of us have shot it down for the following three reasons...

2. It is a database nightmare. Each time an item has unique set of stats (or even a paintjob) it becomes a unique entity that cannot be sold on the market (unless that specific entry is added on by CCP).
Think of in terms of the way Blueprints are handled. Once used, it cannot be resold or stacked with others of the same kind (even with similar stats). It is entirely unique unto itself.

3. In a game where every percentage "matters," cost is not always a factor, and many people with massive number crunching abilities exist... there is no "optional" aspect to this idea. You either "do it right" or you make a sub-optimal ship that has to be trashed... resulting in the process beginning again.

4. Certain stats are inherently better than others. What this means is that you will not get a wide variety of different ships with many different types of stat increases (as you intend)... what you will have is a much more potent ship variant and "everything else."
What this does is actually homogenize ship fits and tactics according to what is popular.
Terraniel Aurelius
Space Wizards.
Tactical Narcotics Team
#3 - 2015-02-13 21:44:21 UTC
I shall try to address each of your points.

1. Having detractors does not invalidate an idea, nor indicate its merit.

2. I would actually propose that these ships be handled in a similar way to blueprints. There would be few stats that are actually affected, but they would be variable on each ship. The stats would have tiers, similar to ME or PE on a blueprint, giving a set bonus per tier. The difficulty of the minigame would be set sufficiently high enough one would need to be at least one std deviation above the average skill of eve players to even be able to attempt to create a ship in this manner, and that of those attempts, only a few would be successful. I'm talking old-school level 90 tetris hard here.

That these ships would not be able to be sold on regular market is not actually something I would have a problem with. BPOs and BPCs get traded all the time with varying meta values. I think that this would actually add to the feel that this was a custom built hull worth some serious extra iskies.

3. Every percentage mattering would actually increase the value of this ability. Sure, if you fail, the ship ends up being a regular version, but that is hardly sup-optimal. If you want to waste the minerals trashing it and re-trying, then that would be a cost associated with attempting this.

4. I think this will always be an issue in eve. The best thing that can be done is to have the stats be balanced (as much as possible) and make the mini-game indiscriminatory as to which result was achieved. This is similar to the module tiericide issue that ccp is dealing with. I'm not talking about just making the new meta-4 version of everything.
Swiftstrike1
Swiftstrike Incorporated
#4 - 2015-02-13 22:07:06 UTC
+1 for more customisation.

I always wanted the invention system to work something like this instead of its existing form. You play some mini-game and your score determines the stats of your T2 blueprint. That blueprint would be a BPO, not a BPC and the T2 BPO market would revolve around the best T2 BPOs rather than limited edition irreplaceable blueprints.

Casual Incursion runner & Faction Warfare grunt, ex-Wormholer, ex-Nullbear.

Danika Princip
GoonWaffe
Goonswarm Federation
#5 - 2015-02-13 23:28:19 UTC
Terraniel Aurelius wrote:


3. Every percentage mattering would actually increase the value of this ability. Sure, if you fail, the ship ends up being a regular version, but that is hardly sup-optimal. If you want to waste the minerals trashing it and re-trying, then that would be a cost associated with attempting this.




Yes, it is. If you don't have the most optimal version of the ship for what you're doing, you're going to die to the people who DO have said version. Don't forget, we pay billions and train for months for 2% bonuses. Every edge you can get counts.

Think of the old style meta levels. When does anyone actually use anything below meta 4, barring some INCREDIBLY niche cases where only a meta 3 will fit? Your proposal would see a standard rifter used about as often as a meta 0 autocannon.
Terraniel Aurelius
Space Wizards.
Tactical Narcotics Team
#6 - 2015-02-14 17:14:11 UTC  |  Edited by: Terraniel Aurelius
Danika Princip wrote:


Yes, it is. If you don't have the most optimal version of the ship for what you're doing, you're going to die to the people who DO have said version. Don't forget, we pay billions and train for months for 2% bonuses. Every edge you can get counts.

Think of the old style meta levels. When does anyone actually use anything below meta 4, barring some INCREDIBLY niche cases where only a meta 3 will fit? Your proposal would see a standard rifter used about as often as a meta 0 autocannon.


Oh, I understand completely what you mean by this. However, if you refer to the level of difficulty I indicated to achieve any meaningful result with this building method, I intended that this would be an incredibly rare result to achieve, such that the lowest level of increase was slightly more rare than navy/pirate versions of ships. The highest level of increase would be an order of magnitude more rare, thus commanding a substantially higher price.

Price would be the limiting factor in the propagation of these ships. The price being determined by the scarcity relative to demand. As you said, you would die to someone with a better version (assuming equal skills and tactics). Just as you would lose to someone in a vindicator if you are flying a megathron. Or to someone in a mega navy issue. Why do people still fly regular megathrons then? Because they can afford to. They can't all afford the 200-330% premium to get one of the harder hitting versions.

edit: Though I should clarify that the purpose of my idea wasn't to try to introduce new ship types to the game, but rather to give some more feedback on their building, in a meaningful and valuable way for the ship-builders.
Arden Elenduil
Unlimited Bear Works
#7 - 2015-02-14 20:25:28 UTC
Remember when CCP thought that the price was going to be the limiting factor on the proliferation of supercapitals.....
Yeah, we all know how that turned out. Simply put, no. Aside from the balancing nightmare it would be (even small percentages can make a HUGE difference), the technical issues it would cause would be staggering (and no, the solution isn't as easy as you think, just look at the ship skin system for an example)
Terraniel Aurelius
Space Wizards.
Tactical Narcotics Team
#8 - 2015-02-14 21:46:55 UTC
Arden Elenduil wrote:
Remember when CCP thought that the price was going to be the limiting factor on the proliferation of supercapitals.....
Yeah, we all know how that turned out. Simply put, no. Aside from the balancing nightmare it would be (even small percentages can make a HUGE difference), the technical issues it would cause would be staggering (and no, the solution isn't as easy as you think, just look at the ship skin system for an example)


I'm not talking about creating end-game ships here. It's not like supercapitals are hard to build once you've got sov. It's not even a relevant comparison, as anyone with the isk can do it. The idea behind this would be that the difficulty of the minigame would be tailored in order to reduce the proliferation of these ships.

I'm also not suggesting a whole new visual package. The ship skin system is also not a relevant comparison. A better comparison is researched blueprints, of which there are hundreds of thousands. I'm not talking about infinitely variable ships here. Just a few base stats that could be influenced by a high degree of skill/patience/luck.

And yes, I know all too well the difference some small percentages can make. But let's face it. If your ship has 1.5% more armor hitpoints than the next capsuleers', it's not going to be the major deciding factor in any naturally occurring encounter. Where I see these ships shining are among that crowd that has maxed out everything else, and they are looking for that slight, slight edge, and are willing to pay through the eyeballs for it. And those builders who are competent enough to be able to painstakingly assemble these ships would be sought after and well compensated, even fought over ideally.
Agondray
Avenger Mercenaries
VOID Intergalactic Forces
#9 - 2015-02-14 22:15:50 UTC  |  Edited by: Agondray
no, again a database nightmare as every ship with a different stat would be a new item. unless repackaging destroys the stat you wouldn't be able to but a market or a program code for a ship to have every possible tweak stat.

you would have a ship/line of code for every stat you could change multiplied the amount of percent you could get.
IE say you can change 6 stats up to a total of 5%, that's 5 ships for every stat being 30 ships of 1 type




Quote:
And yes, I know all too well the difference some small percentages can make. But let's face it. If your ship has 1.5% more armor hitpoints than the next capsuleers', it's not going to be the major deciding factor in any naturally occurring encounter. Where I see these ships shining are among that crowd that has maxed out everything else, and they are looking for that slight, slight edge, and are willing to pay through the eyeballs for it. And those builders who are competent enough to be able to painstakingly assemble these ships would be sought after and well compensated, even fought over ideally.


Also no it would be with the crowd that has maxed everything I see 1 month olds get vindi's with faction gear in order to make up for their skills

"Sarcasm is the Recourse of a weak mind." -Dr. Smith

Raymond Moons
Parallactic Veil
#10 - 2015-02-14 22:56:41 UTC
Maybe there could be an additional rig slot added to every ship that allows you to play a minigame to alter one chosen stat.

I could see this working by an optional dialog being dsisplayed when you "deliver" a manufactured ship from the industry screen, allowing you to select "modify" and then select one attribute item from the list of stats. You then play the minigame and if successfull the stat is added to the ship as an additional fixed rig and if unsuccessful you still get a regular ship.

The modded ships would behave like any other rigged ship so they couldn't be repackaged, or sold on the market, but that's a small price to pay. The rig slot would be unusable unless you had just built it.

I suppose the minigame would have to cost you something if you were unsuccessful. Maybe it uses up raw materials or something.

It would also make it beneficial for null sec alliances to build their own ships in their home systems rather than importing.
Terraniel Aurelius
Space Wizards.
Tactical Narcotics Team
#11 - 2015-02-15 04:44:03 UTC
Agondray wrote:
no, again a database nightmare as every ship with a different stat would be a new item. unless repackaging destroys the stat you wouldn't be able to but a market or a program code for a ship to have every possible tweak stat.

you would have a ship/line of code for every stat you could change multiplied the amount of percent you could get.
IE say you can change 6 stats up to a total of 5%, that's 5 ships for every stat being 30 ships of 1 type


what you are describing is a pretty inefficient way to code items into a database. And it would actually require 7,776 items to do what you are describing.

Either way, it is a completely pointless argument unless CCP confirms that this is how they have coded their database. I suspect it is not. Or else we would would need one new item for every ship that had a different fitting. And if that was the case, then my idea would a tiny drop in the bucket of their already massive database of individual ship information, considering the spectrum of combinations that are possible with any fit.

Agondray wrote:
Also no it would be with the crowd that has maxed everything I see 1 month olds get vindi's with faction gear in order to make up for their skills


These are outliers and I don't consider them reliable statistics to support any sort of rational argument.

Raymond Moons wrote:
It would also make it beneficial for null sec alliances to build their own ships in their home systems rather than importing.


This was in part what got me thinking about how to drive more of the industry within nullsec, instead of industry guys just sending most of their stuff to Jita. Granted, this doesn't do anything at all to adress the issues facing nullsec industry at the moment, but I thought it could add interesting and valuable complexity to Eve.
BeBopAReBop RhubarbPie
Stimulus
Rote Kapelle
#12 - 2015-02-15 04:57:41 UTC
Industry in eve is mass production, not crafting. Forgetting implementation issues, this ends up being a nightmare. You are essentially suggesting that when I go make a large number of frigates, and ship them to Jita, I will now have to take the time to price each one individually. This does not sound fun in any way. Even worse, as a pvp-er, I have to check each one of my purchases to make sure there is no reduction in speed, power grid or cpu, as a lower value in any of those could make the ship useless. On top of that, what do you do against the guy who managed to roll a bonus to speed or inertia in a kite ship?

In short, Hell No to RNG.

Founder of Violet Squadron, a small gang NPSI community! Mail me for more information.

BeBopAReBop RhubarbPie's Space Mediation Service!

Colette Kassia
Kassia Industrial Supply
#13 - 2015-02-15 05:09:06 UTC
*shrug* As long as there are balanced trade-offs I don't see any problem with it. But allowing ships with superior stats across the board doesn't pass game-balance muster. Making a ship 1% better in one way should make it 0.5% worse in some other way. And of course, as others have pointed out, each ship created this way would be unique and couldn't be traded in the market. You'd have to use contracts.

I don't agree with ShahFluffers's points #3 and #4. He basically made a case against rigs, tiered modules, modules in general, faction items, and having a selection of various ships to choose from.
Terraniel Aurelius
Space Wizards.
Tactical Narcotics Team
#14 - 2015-02-15 05:13:29 UTC
BeBopAReBop RhubarbPie wrote:
Industry in eve is mass production, not crafting. Forgetting implementation issues, this ends up being a nightmare. You are essentially suggesting that when I go make a large number of frigates, and ship them to Jita, I will now have to take the time to price each one individually. This does not sound fun in any way. Even worse, as a pvp-er, I have to check each one of my purchases to make sure there is no reduction in speed, power grid or cpu, as a lower value in any of those could make the ship useless. On top of that, what do you do against the guy who managed to roll a bonus to speed or inertia in a kite ship?

In short, Hell No to RNG.


I believe you may have missed most of what I wrote. To clarify for you:

Quote:
This would be optional, and could be bypassed for people who really just need to build 200 rifters and get it over with.


Quote:
The worst outcome would be a ship with base stats.


In answer to your question about encountering someone who is in a better ship for the role than what you are currently trying to do? Probably the same thing you do in eve now, when you try to kite a dramiel with a kestrel or similar such ill-conceived idea. You die in a fire.
ShahFluffers
Ice Fire Warriors
Infinite Pew
#15 - 2015-02-15 07:39:48 UTC  |  Edited by: ShahFluffers
Terraniel Aurelius wrote:
Agondray wrote:
no, again a database nightmare as every ship with a different stat would be a new item. unless repackaging destroys the stat you wouldn't be able to but a market or a program code for a ship to have every possible tweak stat.

you would have a ship/line of code for every stat you could change multiplied the amount of percent you could get.
IE say you can change 6 stats up to a total of 5%, that's 5 ships for every stat being 30 ships of 1 type


what you are describing is a pretty inefficient way to code items into a database. And it would actually require 7,776 items to do what you are describing.

Either way, it is a completely pointless argument unless CCP confirms that this is how they have coded their database. I suspect it is not. Or else we would would need one new item for every ship that had a different fitting.

Actually... that is EXACTLY how the database is coded. Read up on CCP's ongoing work (in the DEV blogs) regarding ship skins and painting in general. There is a reason they are having problems implementing such a seemingly "simple" system.

The gist of it is this; each time you alter a packaged ship in any way (even for a simple paintjob), a new database entry specific to that particular ship variant has to be created.

For assembled ships... they are all pulling from the same base entry in the database and applying player skills and mod effects to it. The ship IS unique in a way (which is why assembled ships cannot be sold on the market)... but once it is packaged again is ceases to be unique. It is simply a stackable "number" in the database.
A good way to test this (sorta) is by jumping out of your ship while it is in space. The ship will literally revert back to its base stats + the base stats that the modules provide (with none of your skills factored in).


BPOs and BPCs operate under a similar principle... but due to the VASTLY lower volume they are traded at (on Contracts) it isn't as much of a problem.


Terraniel Aurelius wrote:
This would be optional, and could be bypassed for people who really just need to build 200 rifters and get it over with.

Terraniel Aurelius wrote:
The worst outcome would be a ship with base stats.

Anything that gives a tangible enough of a reward ceases to be "optional"... especially for those willing to pay.

This is not something to be taken lightly as it does upset balance in the grand scheme of things.
Terraniel Aurelius
Space Wizards.
Tactical Narcotics Team
#16 - 2015-02-16 16:02:24 UTC
ShahFluffers wrote:

Actually... that is EXACTLY how the database is coded. Read up on CCP's ongoing work (in the DEV blogs) regarding ship skins and painting in general. There is a reason they are having problems implementing such a seemingly "simple" system.


So your biggest point of contestment is that this would be too hard for CCP to do. Noted.

ShahFluffers wrote:
Anything that gives a tangible enough of a reward ceases to be "optional"... especially for those willing to pay.

This is not something to be taken lightly as it does upset balance in the grand scheme of things.


And yet we don't see everyone running around in officer fit revenants and titans. It would appear that money is indeed a limiting factor for the vast majority of eve players. Will it affect balance? Of course it will. So do T3 destroyers. So does nerfing the hurricane into something more useless than a bucket full of rusty nails. However, simply affecting the balance does not equate to being a negative event.

If that change can create new economic drivers, industrial incentive and gameplay enjoyment, then I think it should be a possibility that is considered.
BeBopAReBop RhubarbPie
Stimulus
Rote Kapelle
#17 - 2015-02-17 00:06:43 UTC
Quote:
Anything that gives a tangible enough of a reward ceases to be "optional"... especially for those willing to pay.

I think you missed the point of this. Shah is not referring to this being optional for the consumer, hes talking about the producer. If ships are able to be produced with strictly better than normal stats for the same inputs, producers will be forced to compete. Besides, isn't the point of mass production being able to produce the same item for minimal cost on a large scale with minimal variance in quality? This isn't industry, this is crafting. Leave it out of eve please.

Founder of Violet Squadron, a small gang NPSI community! Mail me for more information.

BeBopAReBop RhubarbPie's Space Mediation Service!

Iyacia Cyric'ai
Stimulus
Rote Kapelle
#18 - 2015-02-17 00:25:34 UTC
Unless the price is ludicrously disproportionate to the performance increase (.e.g most officer mods), I as a PvPer will almost always buy the best. Meaning all the ships with "base stats" will simply be redundant. That's not really adding content. The only people I see buying the sub-optimal stat ships (or "base stat" ships as you call them) are suicide gankers.
Mornak
Exotic Dancers Union
#19 - 2015-02-17 01:55:20 UTC
Terraniel Aurelius wrote:
ShahFluffers wrote:

Actually... that is EXACTLY how the database is coded. Read up on CCP's ongoing work (in the DEV blogs) regarding ship skins and painting in general. There is a reason they are having problems implementing such a seemingly "simple" system.


So your biggest point of contestment is that this would be too hard for CCP to do. Noted.
This is a valid argument given that the resources for developing EVE are limited. If this requires a lot of time to implement, other things will get delayed quite a bit. Depending on ones personal views, this can be quite a downside.

Terraniel Aurelius wrote:
ShahFluffers wrote:
Anything that gives a tangible enough of a reward ceases to be "optional"... especially for those willing to pay.

This is not something to be taken lightly as it does upset balance in the grand scheme of things.


And yet we don't see everyone running around in officer fit revenants and titans. It would appear that money is indeed a limiting factor for the vast majority of eve players. Will it affect balance? Of course it will. So do T3 destroyers. So does nerfing the hurricane into something more useless than a bucket full of rusty nails. However, simply affecting the balance does not equate to being a negative event.

If that change can create new economic drivers, industrial incentive and gameplay enjoyment, then I think it should be a possibility that is considered.


I think you should differentiate between the balancing of 4 new T3 Destroyers and "almost every ship in eve". Changing a lot of things at once is never a good idea when it comes to balancing. For this to work, it would have to be done over time in a lot of small iterations. So again, this is a rather "big thing" and would require a lot of DEV time. I don't think it's impossible or so... just very time consuming to implement.



I see another problem with this idea. In solo or verySmallScale-pvp it's of utmost importance that you can estimate the strengths and weaknesses of your opponent(s).
If I engage a Dramiel in a Kestrel... well, i know what I'll get myself into. But if i engage a Rifter that can have substantial boni which i cant detect in any way, it's a different story.
Now either you make the boni not really that good, so this does not become a problem (i'm not sure though if you'll get a much higher price for the Rifter in this case), or it will indeed make a noticeable difference, but then it adds a lot of uncertainty to the estimate of your opponents abilities.

There already are such elements in the game, you can never be certain of a ships fit, but you can (in most cases) make a good guess with knowledge and experience.
This change would add another "random" element to the fight which has nothing to do with player abilities. I don't think we should add more of them.

Imho competitive PVP-Games should have as little random elements as possible and focus on player skill.
Iyacia Cyric'ai
Stimulus
Rote Kapelle
#20 - 2015-02-17 02:10:54 UTC  |  Edited by: Iyacia Cyric'ai
Terraniel Aurelius wrote:
And yet we don't see everyone running around in officer fit revenants and titans. It would appear that money is indeed a limiting factor for the vast majority of eve players. Will it affect balance? Of course it will. So do T3 destroyers. So does nerfing the hurricane into something more useless than a bucket full of rusty nails. However, simply affecting the balance does not equate to being a negative event.

If that change can create new economic drivers, industrial incentive and gameplay enjoyment, then I think it should be a possibility that is considered.
Except what you're proposing isn't comparable to officer mods. What you're proposing looks to be relatively affordable.

I'm assuming the stat variation you're talking about isn't to the degree that it'll make a Tech 1 Hull exceed its T2/Navy/Pirate variation in performance? In which case its price will be capped below the price of those advanced hulls which will mean it will be affordable to the average PvPer which means the best made variant will be the one everyone will fly and the inferior variations (or the ships with "base stats") will be made redundant and won't be flown by anyone except maybe suicide gankers. Depending on whether the "base stats" are based on the current stats of the ships, you're essentially just proposing a nerf/buff to every ship in the game (thus achieving essentially nothing) while making the manufacturing process more complicated (whether that's good I don't know, maybe its fun for you guys, but it just sounds like a headache to me).
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