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New NPC AI, how about no?

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Ferguson Alliance
#301 Posted: 2013.01.15 09:21
Freighdee Katt wrote:
If they took this chance to also fix "focus fire" once and for all, and to make drones simply shoot at what you tell them to shoot at, and keep shooting at that thing until it's dead, then so much the better.

Dude, my drones already do that. Your drones must not like you.
C C P Alliance
#302 Posted: 2013.01.15 10:55  |  Edited by: CCP Ytterbium
Hey folks, here is an update on our earlier post.


NPC Tracking disruptor update:

After looking at this thread feedback this issue has been reopened internally (we thought it fixed a few weeks back). No promises on a resolution yet but we are currently looking into this.


A bit of further explanation on our previous post as well, since there has been quite some conversation about it:

EVE PvE systems, mainly mission running, are terribly outdated and are due for a change. Exactly how and when is not something we can state on the paper, but we had having several internal discussions on how this could be done.

One of them is to bring PvE closer to PvP as mentioned before. What does that mean exactly? It means significantly reducing NPC numbers and bringing their attributes, AI closer with what you would expect from a PvP encounter. NPC bounties could be merged, or moved on progressive secondary objectives that require more and more skill from the player to achieve, while possibly having more risk. For instance, saving the Damsel could pay less or the same than it does today, but you could get extra rewards for completing special, more difficult objectives like rescuing her in a specific period of time, or blowing the evil Zor up before he runs away with her sister in his ship cargohold. Keep in mind this remain just an theoretical idea though that is most likely going to change if and when we start work on this particular point.

Reducing NPC numbers also allows us to better scale EW player faces on a regular basis (mainly, we are referring to missions like the Blockade here). Assigning strong EW effects to few NPCs is fine, but it becomes horribly frustrating when faced with 5 full waves of NPCs sensor dampening you, as there is little the player can do to counter it. We should be relying on gameplay players can overcome if they are smart instead of brute force mechanics.

Why are we considering changing PvE like this? That is because we are running missions and PvE content ourselves, and we are not particularly fond of the stale state PvE is in EVE Online right now, except for the most recent content (Incursions and Wormholes). Missions and exploration should let players gamble with risk if they feel up to it. While people looking for quick and relaxing content should still be able to do so, we also want players to find excitement from accomplishing missions and feel great about it. You should not be forced to shoot the same dull and repetitive encounters if you don’t feel up to it. It is a tricky thing to achieve though, as it does not mean we want you to lose ships every mission either.

This would also be done to put mission runners more on an equal footing with hostile players when moving into hazardous space. People accomplishing missions in low-security or null-security space should not be at a disadvantage when engaged by other players because they have ship fittings tailored to fight NPCs. Ideally, battling NPCs should teach players how PvP works, how to defend and be better prepared about it should they choose to move into dangerous areas.

We often hear "EVE is a PvP game, PvE is secondary". To this we would like to respond that EVE is a sandbox and shouldn’t necessarily favor one side over the other. What you do with it is up to you: all player activities should feel as appealing and rewarding no matter which choice you take, as long as you are willing to live up with the consequences of your actions.


You are murdering our drone ships!

We are aware of the recent changes brought by the NPC AI. As said in our previous post, the first NPC behavior deployed for Retribution was too extreme and has been corrected. However, we are aware that drone ships are receiving the short end of the stick here and have been ignored for quite a bit.

This is especially valid since as the tiericide initiative continues, we are adding more drone hulls, but not looking at the drone mechanics themselves, which do need much love. Again, while we are not in a position to state how or when such revamp will happen, this definitely is on our to-do list not only to rebalance drones in general, but also update their behavior, improve their handling through the UI and finally add more combat options for players choosing to specialize in such gameplay. The need for such drone rebalance will only grow with time as we keep on rebalancing ships, so we do hope this can be done as soon as humanly possible.


Oops, now I've written a wall of text Oops Well anyway, we hope this do help a bit.
#303 Posted: 2013.01.15 11:01  |  Edited by: Caldari Citizen20121206
Hello again!



When i created this topic its purpose was that to change the npc AI somehow, because my small community didnt like it in many ways. After a few weeks it was obvious that others have similar ideas. CCP Ytterbium now answered my first question and demand, that CCP CARES and they intend to CHANGE THE NPC AI. I am completely satisfied with what the community and this topic achieved here. There was several ideas on this topic that it seems CCP considers and that is proof that CCP can work together with us (tough only after some poking). Reducing npc numbers and making them individually stronger may solve the problems with the ewar, and indeed it brings pve closer to pvp.

Still the best part about your answer in my opinion is this:

Quote:
NPC bounties could be merged, or moved on progressive secondary objectives that require more and more skill from the player to achieve, while possibly having more risk.


This is awesome, and a really good step to making the game optional! In many aspect the game lacks options, for example when incarna patch came out a lot of players didnt want to use the captains quarter and (after some poking) CCP decided to make it OPTIONAL to use. If you are able to implement the possibility of choosing inside a mission that would open a new dimension, and would be satisfactory for lazy and hard core players both! Big smile


The only objection remains from me, that while these changes would be wonderful but they are only plans for the moment. To be realistic a change of this degree would come out with the next big patch or even later, so technically were talking in years here.

But the problems that were talking about are online on TQ and i dont think it is wise to leave it like this for long. It feels like were playing a beta for the upcoming patch, and as Were playing on TQ, we dont mean to test stuff.

So the temporary solution should be to undo the changes regarding npc AI for the moment and give us the fully COMPLETE edition after proper testing and FEEDBACK. But let the people of the community talk and write ideas about a temporary solution, they posted really useful ideas before. Blink





As for me, i have achieved what ive made this topic for. I stop bumping the topic, but keep looking for ideas.

Thank you all for the cooperation until now.




ps. many asked for my main pilot name before, if someone really wants to know it he can check this pilots background. Its not that hard to find out.
The Fourth District
#304 Posted: 2013.01.15 11:15
Awesome to hear that Ytterbium. However I have a request. It is my long pet peeve that loot drops usually have very little to do with what NPC rats were using against me, so when you get to do missions and rats overhaul please consider adjusting loot drop tables so that rats drop modules that they actually use, not some extraneous nonsense.
Jessica Danikov > EVE is your real life. the rest is fantasy. caught in a corporation. no escape from banality. open up yours eyes, peer through pod good and seeeeeee. I'm just a poor pilot, I need no sympathy. because I'm easy scam, easy go, little isk, little know. anyway the solar wind blows...
#305 Posted: 2013.01.15 11:18  |  Edited by: Duke Atreus
Thanks CCP Yttcerbium.

TBH NPC AI shouldn't have been implemented until you revamped the PVE system seeing how the EWAR was too rampart with the number of ships and how drone users got the short end of the stick but I am glad you know there are still issues and are working on them.

Obviously it seems it might be a while yet before we see changes which is understandable so how about you revert it till then *wink wink* :P

Take care.
#306 Posted: 2013.01.15 11:41
CCP Ytterbium wrote:
EVE PvE systems, mainly mission running, are terribly outdated and are due for a change. Exactly how and when is not something we can state on the paper, but we had having several internal discussions on how this could be done.

One of them is to bring PvE closer to PvP as mentioned before. What does that mean exactly? It means significantly reducing NPC numbers and bringing their attributes, AI closer with what you would expect from a PvP encounter. NPC bounties could be merged, or moved on progressive secondary objectives that require more and more skill from the player to achieve, while possibly having more risk. For instance, saving the Damsel could pay less or the same than it does today, but you could get extra rewards for completing special, more difficult objectives like rescuing her in a specific period of time, or blowing the evil Zor up before he runs away with her sister in his ship cargohold. Keep in mind this remain just an theoretical idea though that is most likely going to change if and when we start work on this particular point.

Reducing NPC numbers also allows us to better scale EW player faces on a regular basis (mainly, we are referring to missions like the Blockade here).

Hello and thank you for the post.

Awesome plans, only one question: why the cart before the horse?
Why first the more agressive AI with the zomfg numbers of rats, and only sometime later the reduced rat number and scaled payment, wouldn't it have been a LOT better to do the two the same, design the whole thing from bottom-up like as you have with WH/Incursion, instead of putting the AI from there on top?

Yes, it's a trick, I pretend it to be a question.
Apologies for that.
"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.
#307 Posted: 2013.01.15 11:44
dexington wrote:
Barrogh Habalu wrote:
Please, don't come up with suggestions that are intended to fix PvE, but directly affect more than PvE even in theory.

If drones don't automatically target npc's, the change has very small impact on pvp.

It has a deliscious side-effect on "PvP", as in when a SB de-cloaks next to you in a plex/site to blow you up with the help of rats (since it couldn't do it alone)...
He has point + web + TP on you, and we know how much the new AI loves those! Twisted

I imagine the tears I harvested in local were about as delicious, as some found those of carebears.
"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.
Northern Coalition.
#308 Posted: 2013.01.15 11:45  |  Edited by: Signal11th
CCP Ytterbium wrote:
Hey folks, here is an update on our earlier post.


NPC Tracking disruptor update:

After looking at this thread feedback this issue has been reopened internally (we thought it fixed a few weeks back). No promises on a resolution yet but we are currently looking into this.


A bit of further explanation on our previous post as well, since there has been quite some conversation about it:

EVE PvE systems, mainly mission running, are terribly outdated and are due for a change. Exactly how and when is not something we can state on the paper, but we had having several internal discussions on how this could be done.

One of them is to bring PvE closer to PvP as mentioned before. What does that mean exactly? It means significantly reducing NPC numbers and bringing their attributes, AI closer with what you would expect from a PvP encounter. NPC bounties could be merged, or moved on progressive secondary objectives that require more and more skill from the player to achieve, while possibly having more risk. For instance, saving the Damsel could pay less or the same than it does today, but you could get extra rewards for completing special, more difficult objectives like rescuing her in a specific period of time, or blowing the evil Zor up before he runs away with her sister in his ship cargohold. Keep in mind this remain just an theoretical idea though that is most likely going to change if and when we start work on this particular point.

Reducing NPC numbers also allows us to better scale EW player faces on a regular basis (mainly, we are referring to missions like the Blockade here). Assigning strong EW effects to few NPCs is fine, but it becomes horribly frustrating when faced with 5 full waves of NPCs sensor dampening you, as there is little the player can do to counter it. We should be relying on gameplay players can overcome if they are smart instead of brute force mechanics.

Why are we considering changing PvE like this? That is because we are running missions and PvE content ourselves, and we are not particularly fond of the stale state PvE is in EVE Online right now, except for the most recent content (Incursions and Wormholes). Missions and exploration should let players gamble with risk if they feel up to it. While people looking for quick and relaxing content should still be able to do so, we also want players to find excitement from accomplishing missions and feel great about it. You should not be forced to shoot the same dull and repetitive encounters if you don’t feel up to it. It is a tricky thing to achieve though, as it does not mean we want you to lose ships every mission either.


We often hear "EVE is a PvP game, PvE is secondary". To this we would like to respond that EVE is a sandbox and shouldn’t necessarily favor one side over the other. What you do with it is up to you: all player activities should feel as appealing and rewarding no matter which choice you take, as long as you are willing to live up with the consequences of your actions.


You are murdering our drone ships!

We are aware of the recent changes brought by the NPC AI. As said in our previous post, the first NPC behavior deployed for Retribution was too extreme and has been corrected. However, we are aware that drone ships are receiving the short end of the stick here and have been ignored for quite a bit.

This is especially valid since as the tiericide initiative continues, we are adding more drone hulls, but not looking at the drone mechanics themselves, which do need much love. Again, while we are not in a position to state how or when such revamp will happen, this definitely is on our to-do list not only to rebalance drones in general, but also update their behavior, improve their handling through the UI and finally add more combat options for players choosing to specialize in such gameplay. The need for such drone rebalance will only grow with time as we keep on rebalancing ships, so we do hope this can be done as soon as humanly possible.


Oops, now I've written a wall of text Oops Well anyway, we hope this do help a bit.



It's great you have actually take the time to write the above wall O' Text but the TL:DR basically is we realise we have made ****-ups by forcing this on you (apparently without testing properly) but we are not in such a rush as to fix it for you.

Personally I don't really give a monkies how easy or hard it is to kill a NPC ship but I'm more interested in the mission story and content, thats what makes it interesting not how hard/easy it is to kill something.

The problem from my perspective is that you have a static amount of missions you basically boil down to shoot everything and retrieve the final can/woman/slave/scientist/transsexual cyborg etc. There is no randomness in the missions, everything is static
How about something like purely random ship spawns, that way nobody can do the mission to the 'nth degree and then write a post about it telling everyone how to completely afk it.

How about a random spawn by a friendly to the NPC faction to come and help them out.
As I've said many times before it's not the way we do missions/site/plexes that it boring it's the actual content and limited number of these missions.

Also doing any kind of PVE isn't going to teach you PVP no matter how hard the rats are because they will never have the inbuilt sneakiness of a human, doing PVP will do that for you and also I'm doing PVE because I want a break from PVP..........
Powered by reaTh Filter V1.23 "All posts by this pilot are personal held views and not representitive of any corp or alliance I am currently a member of. Like I'd give a sh*t anyway.
God Said "Come Forth and receive eternal life!" I came fifth and won a toaster.
#309 Posted: 2013.01.15 12:00  |  Edited by: Funky Lazers
CCP Ytterbium wrote:
One of them is to bring PvE closer to PvP as mentioned before. What does that mean exactly? It means significantly reducing NPC numbers and bringing their attributes, AI closer with what you would expect from a PvP encounter.

and

CCP Ytterbium wrote:
Ideally, battling NPCs should teach players how PvP works


Please tell me one thing. Why do you want to teach a player how to PvP, when that Player chose to PvE?

I lived in Null for 4 years. I did all of that null stuff with a huge successful alliance. I know well how EvE's PvP works.
So after those 4 years I found out I don't like PvP the way it is. I decided to do missions and other PvE things and liked it!

So please tell me, why do you want me to experience the same thing I did in null?
I chose PvE exactly because it doesn't look like PvP and the experience is very different. Yes, a little boring, but not because it misses PvP aspect.

I'll say it again in a rephrased way: Why do you want to teach (force to experience) someone how to eat oranges when that someone likes apples?
Whatever.
#310 Posted: 2013.01.15 12:07
Funky Lazers wrote:
I'll say it again in a rephrased way: Why do you want to teach (force to experience) someone how to eat oranges when that someone likes apples?
Or, why not let a bloke coming home from a 12 hour shift, too frustrated to sleep, have a bit of non-frustrating Red Plus hunting?

I like pies!
"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.
Initiative Mercenaries
#311 Posted: 2013.01.15 13:45
Mund Richard wrote:


Awesome plans, only one question: why the cart before the horse?
Why first the more agressive AI with the zomfg numbers of rats, and only sometime later the reduced rat number and scaled payment, wouldn't it have been a LOT better to do the two the same, design the whole thing from bottom-up like as you have with WH/Incursion, instead of putting the AI from there on top?

Yes, it's a trick, I pretend it to be a question.
Apologies for that.


lol, I know. That's the drum we've both been beating from day one and i doubt we'll ever get an answer. WHY did the new AI have to happen 1st?

It hasn't been a terrible huge ordeal for me in fact it's made things easier for me in many aspects (I actually use drones now since I know how to keep aggro mostly off them and don't have to pull them in all the time in Anomalies).

it's just the way they went about it that sucks and caused all this commotion. CCP does some brilliant stuff (incursions and Wormholes) then puts out something that even rookie game makers should know was premature (NPC AI retrofitted over old mission and complex content). it has been frustrating to watch.
Initiative Mercenaries
#312 Posted: 2013.01.15 13:55  |  Edited by: Jenn aSide
CCP Ytterbium wrote:
Hey folks, here is an update on our earlier post.



Thank you for the reply/update.

I would like to mention that you talk a lot about "missions" (a term that we , the community, understand in a very specific way, referring namely to Agent Missions). I hope as you move forward you guys continue to realize how interconnected EVE PVE is and changes to Agent Missions might be good but NOT if they affect "Exploration, Anomalies and Complexes"

Exploration and Complexes serve different purposes than agent missions and require their own special care. A lot of the mess in null (plexes like Blood Raider Naval Shipyard) and low sec (lvl 5 missions are doable but some are not horrible) seems to have come from you guys making sweeping changes to content you didn't seem to understand. FoxFour admitted not being familiar with Fleet Staging Points (probably the most commonly gained escalation as it comes from the popular forsaken and forlorn hubs), which to me begs the question "why not review the content THEN change it".

It's hasn't been a disaster, but this whole thing IMO has been badly implemented (which is sad after the GENIUS of incursions and wormholes) and I hope going forward you guys don't repeat this kind of "cart before the horse" mistake. y'all can start by remembering that exploration and complexes ARE NOT the same things as agent missions.
#313 Posted: 2013.01.15 13:59
Overall, sounds good. But to cherry pick one part for a clarification (emphasis is mine)...
CCP Ytterbium wrote:
Missions and exploration should let players gamble with risk if they feel up to it. While people looking for quick and relaxing content should still be able to do so, we also want players to find excitement from accomplishing missions and feel great about it.

Does this mean something like the current/previous system will continue to exist for the casual player looking for a little brain-dead 'sploding of things? Or are you trying to make new content that will cover all playstyles? Because that sounds really hard.
Yulai Federation
#314 Posted: 2013.01.15 15:46
Mund Richard wrote:
CCP Ytterbium wrote:
EVE PvE systems, mainly mission running, are terribly outdated and are due for a change. Exactly how and when is not something we can state on the paper, but we had having several internal discussions on how this could be done.

One of them is to bring PvE closer to PvP as mentioned before. What does that mean exactly? It means significantly reducing NPC numbers and bringing their attributes, AI closer with what you would expect from a PvP encounter. NPC bounties could be merged, or moved on progressive secondary objectives that require more and more skill from the player to achieve, while possibly having more risk. For instance, saving the Damsel could pay less or the same than it does today, but you could get extra rewards for completing special, more difficult objectives like rescuing her in a specific period of time, or blowing the evil Zor up before he runs away with her sister in his ship cargohold. Keep in mind this remain just an theoretical idea though that is most likely going to change if and when we start work on this particular point.

Reducing NPC numbers also allows us to better scale EW player faces on a regular basis (mainly, we are referring to missions like the Blockade here).

Hello and thank you for the post.

Awesome plans, only one question: why the cart before the horse?
Why first the more agressive AI with the zomfg numbers of rats, and only sometime later the reduced rat number and scaled payment, wouldn't it have been a LOT better to do the two the same, design the whole thing from bottom-up like as you have with WH/Incursion, instead of putting the AI from there on top?

Yes, it's a trick, I pretend it to be a question.
Apologies for that.


Awesome plans, only one question: why the cart before the horse?
It seems that the ones that tested the changes had never done any complex/mission, and were satisfied with the new AI else they would have written this post before/with the expansion.

Gallente Federation
#315 Posted: 2013.01.15 16:05
Hazen Koraka wrote:
Surely npcs are subject to the same sensor rules for lock-on time as players?

They can hit orbiting small drones with battleship sized guns and damp your optimal range and tracking to zero from 200 km away. Since they don't obey any of the other rules or limits that player ships are subject to, there's no good reason to think they're subject to the same rules on lock time either.
EvE is supposed to suck.  Wait . . . what was the question?
#316 Posted: 2013.01.15 16:45
CCP Ytterbium, thank you!

You have made my day, and most likely a lot of other players days as well.
#317 Posted: 2013.01.15 18:03
Just putting drones out on aggressive and going for dinner is bad. But current mechanics are worse. Way worse.

You can improve/change UI and drone behavior all you want, current setup is unworkable, especially for dedicated droneboats. Gun and missile ships can get other ways to deal with frigs (webs, painters, those missile rigs...), dedicated droneboats use drones as their dominant damage source (you don't say!), if you lose your drones in first 5 minutes of mission or site you have to leave and replace them. Lost time lost isk.

Currently only sentries are viable, but there are no small and medium sentries so non Ishtar non battleship droneboats are kinda in a bad place. Still with constantly pulling your drones back and back out you are loosing effective dps and decreasing your income/time and greatly increasing your stress/time.

To go back to original line. Yes afking without a worry and letting your drones clean out the site is bad. But for one it takes forever and as second you aren't really earning that much isk trough real "afking". But with current mechanics if your drones actually have to fly away to to the targets, they will die. Losing 10Mil in a set of large drones to kill one NPC battleship with a bounty of 1 mil is kinds counterproductive.

Even on hulls with drone hp bonus the amount of NPC love that drones now receive makes them live very very short if they draw agro. If they are at distance and webbing frigates get them, they won't be coming back.

Sentry boats still have to release lights when they need to clear tackle frigs that got in close, and still its a race will a single npc frig die before your drones do. Then you have to pull them back so npcs lose lock and agro, release again and repeat this for every single npc frig that got under 10k.


While Tengu is still just happily spewing HAMs or HMs at everything and really bothering himself. Less range then before, less damage, but principles have barely changed.

You have added a insane amount of work for drone pilots who now have to watch drone hp bars like hawks, never send them too far and pull them back at first sign of aggro to avoid loosing them. Other than turret BSes against Sansha I don't think any single class of ship is now as a chore to fly as drone-boats. Guristas may jam you, Sansha will TD your guns to 0 effectiveness... but every single group of NPCs will devour your drones.


If your only goal is to prevent full afking just have npcs switch agro to drones OCCASIONALLY. Not "must destroy all drones, all the time", just have them occasionally switch to drones so you can't be asleep while doing stuff.
#318 Posted: 2013.01.15 18:07
Dzajic wrote:

Currently only sentries are viable, but there are no small and medium sentries so non Ishtar non battleship droneboats are kinda in a bad place.

3 or 4 sentry setups are viable, but I like your idea for smaller sentry drones. Maybe bigger ones, too.
http://www.mud.co.uk/richard/hcds.htm
Richard Bartle: Players who suit MUDs
#319 Posted: 2013.01.15 18:56
Mund Richard wrote:


Awesome plans, only one question: why the cart before the horse?
Why first the more agressive AI with the zomfg numbers of rats, and only sometime later the reduced rat number and scaled payment, wouldn't it have been a LOT better to do the two the same, design the whole thing from bottom-up like as you have with WH/Incursion, instead of putting the AI from there on top?

Yes, it's a trick, I pretend it to be a question.
Apologies for that.

Because putting the cart before the horse works.
http://www.mountlowe.org/mount-lowe-history/the-one-man-and-a-mule-railway/
The Fourth District
#320 Posted: 2013.01.15 19:17
Thank you for the reply CCP Ytterbium.

Most of what you said sounds good and I look forward to it but I would like to offer one piece of advice.
Make the new "PVP-PVE" Missions something NEW I will be playing them that's for sure but here is the thing, sometimes as people have said you just want a mindless grind for ISK and to try and make some money.

I love running some anomalies or missions while just chatting away with people in channels I am friends with, if PVE becomes something that requires the same focus as a solo PVP fight? I'm not going to be chatting much during that.

The older missions could still use a nice revamp I wont complain about that, but maybe you should be thinking about giving people more options rather than one style of missions?
Lieutenant Turelus
Caldari Independent Navy Reserve
The Fourth District

I post on my main... shocking I know!
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