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[Rubicon 1.3] Drone Assist change

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C C P Alliance
#1 Posted: 2014.02.06 14:18  |  Edited by: CCP Fozzie
Hello, some news:

Coming soon, in a Rubicon point release, we are planning to add a hard cap to the number of drones that can be assisted to a single player. Currently, we are planning to set that cap at 50.

As most of you surely know by now, drone assist has been a very hot topic over the last 6 or so months. Archons began showing the power of sentry doctrines before that, and the addition of tracking and optimal bonuses for drones on the Ishtar and Dominix catapulted this philosophy into the forefront of fleet warfare. The resulting meta is causing two major problems that we hope to address through this change.

  • We feel that drone assist, at a large scale, leads to passive gameplay that most players do not enjoy. Assist places too much control in the hands of a single person and leaves the majority of the fleet with little to do. note: we spent a lot of time considering the value in delegation of ship systems and navigation overall (why not have assisted turrets? why have fleet warp? etc) and while this discussion will likely continue, we feel it depends heavily on the amount of delegation taking place. Amount might refer to the time something is delegated or the importance of the system being delegated (is it a primary system or a secondary one). Moral of the story: while some cases of drone assist can be fun, large fleets based on assist are not.

  • Drones, for the time being, are the most taxing weapon system for our hardware, which means overall play experience has suffered some because of the popularity of sentry doctrines.

  • We are making this change primarily to address the first point, but also hope to have a positive effect on performance by allowing more room for other weapon systems in the fleet meta.

    Why a flat cap?

    We believe a flat cap will:

  • Limit large scale assist substantially
  • Leave room for smaller scale assisting (there are several use-cases for assist that we wanted to preserve, such as incursion drone managers)
  • Be very easy to communicate to players
  • Affect carriers more heavily than sub-caps (because they can field 10 drones per ship rather than 5)

  • This solution meets each of these points in a more effective way than any others we considered.

    Why 50?

    To arrive at 50 we began by starting at complete removal of assist, and worked our way back up until we had caught all the use-cases for assist that we didn't want to impact negatively. That included frigates on gates trying to catch cloakers, small fleets trying to use assist to avoid e-war, logistics pilots who are too busy to manage their drones, and most importantly, incursioners. We believe 50 will leave all these uses unharmed while also heavily discouraging large fleet use. If it turns out that fleets are still able to rely on assist easily at 50 (which we feel is unlikely) we can and will make further adjustments.

    Before I go, I want to say that we've been looking at this for some time now. We've watched the discussion in the community evolve and also kept a close eye on TQ behavior. We began discussing this change with the CSM via internal forums just prior to the summit, and then spent significant time discussing it in person with them during the summit. Their feedback was valuable, as always, and gives us confidence that this is a good direction.

    As always, leave your feedback and we will do our best to answer any questions.
    @ccp_rise
    Sleeper Social Club
    #2 Posted: 2014.02.06 14:20
    Ship it!
    CSM8 Member
    Twitter: @ChitsaJason
    Skype: Casparas
    Sanctuary Pact
    #3 Posted: 2014.02.06 14:20  |  Edited by: Sheeana Harb
    Yay! Looking forward to it.
    Goonswarm Federation
    #4 Posted: 2014.02.06 14:20
    you're killing eve by adding decent changes

    keep killing eve rise
    #5 Posted: 2014.02.06 14:21  |  Edited by: Omnathious Deninard
    Why 50? That still seems too much.
    I can only control 5 drones from my ship natively, but for some reason I can use 50 from others?
      - 
    DARKNESS.
    #6 Posted: 2014.02.06 14:21
    We went through alot with ccp for this. And for now this is a good change.
    SOLAR FLEET
    #7 Posted: 2014.02.06 14:22
    BB N3
    The Volition Cult
    #8 Posted: 2014.02.06 14:22
    Seems legit.

    Will you also limit the number of people that receive a target broadcast in fleet to 10?
    DARKNESS.
    #9 Posted: 2014.02.06 14:22  |  Edited by: Crysantos Callahan
    Mehehehe, will have to learn to read :P
    The Initiative.
    #10 Posted: 2014.02.06 14:23
    We went through all the use cases we could think of, and 50 dones was enough for every reasonable use. If we missed any (EVE is big!), then let us know. But it's pretty hard to think of a non abusive case that 50 dones won't be enough for.
    Here is my CSM9 endorsement list - vote for diversity of expertise : Ali Aras  Mangala Solaris  Mike Azariah  Steve Ronuken
    James Arget  Xander Phoena  Sugar Kyle  corbexx  mynnna  progodlegend  Psychotic Monk  Jayne Fillion
    DARKNESS.
    #11 Posted: 2014.02.06 14:23
    Crysantos Callahan wrote:
    So we just use 5x Wing leaders with drone assists on them for a full fleet?

    Just saying...


    Sigh learn to read.

    And ffs you are in my alliance too.
    C C P Alliance
    #12 Posted: 2014.02.06 14:24
    Crysantos Callahan wrote:
    So we just use 5x Wing leaders with drone assists on them for a full fleet?

    Just saying...


    As long as the members of those wings only have one drone each, then sure!
    The Initiative.
    #13 Posted: 2014.02.06 14:24
    Crysantos Callahan wrote:
    So we just use 5x Wing leaders with drone assists on them for a full fleet?

    Just saying...


    Um, for a full fleet you'll need 50 squad leaders with drone assists. The limit is 50 drones, not the drones from 50 players.
    Here is my CSM9 endorsement list - vote for diversity of expertise : Ali Aras  Mangala Solaris  Mike Azariah  Steve Ronuken
    James Arget  Xander Phoena  Sugar Kyle  corbexx  mynnna  progodlegend  Psychotic Monk  Jayne Fillion
    Ineluctable.
    #14 Posted: 2014.02.06 14:24
    Ok, so only 5 carriers and 10 Dominix can assign drones to one person after this change. That sounds reasonable and leaves sufficient room for smaller fleets to still benefit form the delegation mechanics. Blink
    #15 Posted: 2014.02.06 14:25
    So that means Squad Commanders can take up to 10 assists with 5 drones per assisting player. Squad commanders are finally relevant.

    efb by malcanis
    lol
    Pandemic Legion
    #16 Posted: 2014.02.06 14:25  |  Edited by: Forlorn Wongraven
    Sort Dragon wrote:
    Crysantos Callahan wrote:
    So we just use 5x Wing leaders with drone assists on them for a full fleet?

    Just saying...


    Sigh learn to read.

    And ffs you are in my alliance too.

    He made two mistakes. Lol
    SOLAR WING
    #17 Posted: 2014.02.06 14:25
    We feel that drone assist, at a large scale, leads to passive gameplay that most players do not enjoy

    absolutly agree.

    BUT u just incresing target callers count. 50 dominix - 250 drones - 5 target callers.
    The Initiative.
    #18 Posted: 2014.02.06 14:25
    Sort Dragon wrote:
    Crysantos Callahan wrote:
    So we just use 5x Wing leaders with drone assists on them for a full fleet?

    Just saying...


    Sigh learn to read.

    And ffs you are in my alliance too.


    Don't feel bad, there are people in INIT. who unironically think that removing AoE doomsday was wrong. It just goes to show.
    Here is my CSM9 endorsement list - vote for diversity of expertise : Ali Aras  Mangala Solaris  Mike Azariah  Steve Ronuken
    James Arget  Xander Phoena  Sugar Kyle  corbexx  mynnna  progodlegend  Psychotic Monk  Jayne Fillion
    Villore Accords
    #19 Posted: 2014.02.06 14:25
    CCP Rise: Was the idea of disallowing drone assist for sentries ever discussed?
    Moira. corp | Villore Accords alliance | Gallente militia | Crossing Zebras writer
    @Niden_GMVA
    The Initiative.
    #20 Posted: 2014.02.06 14:26
    C0NRAD wrote:
    We feel that drone assist, at a large scale, leads to passive gameplay that most players do not enjoy

    absolutly agree.

    BUT u just incresing target callers count. 50 dominix - 250 drones - 5 target callers.


    Well that's 5x as much gameplay as there was before!
    Here is my CSM9 endorsement list - vote for diversity of expertise : Ali Aras  Mangala Solaris  Mike Azariah  Steve Ronuken
    James Arget  Xander Phoena  Sugar Kyle  corbexx  mynnna  progodlegend  Psychotic Monk  Jayne Fillion
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