As I am pretty bad at drawing I will try and give you the reader a good read to visualize what I mean, Enjoy my idea! ^^
So for EVE Online to have VR isn’t a new idea, and I agree with many, it wouldn’t really work well for how you currently play eve, so let me visualize for you how I see that VR could definitely work and be useful in eve, and yes this would be a different way to play the game, but it would be in addition to how eve is already played.
-If you have been in VR then you know how it is and feels, you’re in a first person view and you have either your hand controllers (sometimes with finger detection) or your free hands (currently less reliable, but in the future could be extremely usable).
You’re sitting in VR, you just clicked the PLAY button to play the game and it boots up from your PC and onto your VR. You find yourself sitting in a little half dome, sides are of glass, small lines of metal here and there is holding it together (I’d imagine also a triarch of pillars in some cockpits), you see a representation of you and your immediate area (as far as your sensors allows you to see), here you can steer and control your ship and it’s smaller drones and “Semi-sentient Drones”, you are a new type of “Mothership Play”, you have squads or swarms of drones instead of a few that are very powerful (as the normal PC users have… yuck!) You guide and command your squards and drones as you would in a 3D battle in front of you, with your hands you can guide a specific path for them in 3D or you can give them simple commands of offensive and defensive and utility functions (depending on the drones you have employed), of course your own mothership is… Quite large and slow, let’s face it you’re a form of a carrier regardless of your size, even at the “smallest” size of your (VR gameplay) ships, you are still at minimum a Battleship, and yes when you’re that small in this form, it’s needless to say your drones aren’t exactly “big”, so you gotta win in numbers! !!Do watch out for Smartbombs, they’re nasty to ya!!
So I hope from that little description you now have a general idea of how you sit and control and how you’ll be seeing stuff, and for clarification, you would still be able to see the actual combat out of the window(s) of your little dome (with a function to turn the floor into a thick’ish glass’like surface so you can look through that too, with a few Zoom windows that you can open by gesture and then zoom in on stuff that’s far away (to be used towards your windows) you can then see what is happening around you, Lock one such windows to an enemy ship, and it’ll follow that ship and show you where it is.
Now that’s the Combat focus, but EVE is more than just combat.
For mining you could have a few ship options, you’d still in general would be using these “semi sentient” drones, but now they’re not nessecarily swarms, with your increased minimum size and interactibility capability, you can launch out a few “pretty darn dumb” miniature ships (think velator size x2-4), I’ll list a few with some of their functions that I suggest.
The Mover - A little supply ship that will fly to an allied ship (or structure) and pickup what you told it to (or you tell it what to pickup when it arrives if you haven’t preset it) then tell it where to take it next, it’ll have a queue of 4-10 actions. (ie. go & picking - Return - Go and deliver - Emergency dump and warp - Emergency return to Mothership(VR), Emergency Dump & return to Mothership(VR)) -Could be useful for redistributing resources between allies ships ect.-
The Miner - A sizable little ship, once it arrives at an asteroid it’ll attach to it and pull out 3 arms around it, you’ll then get a Visalization in front of you, an asteroid with 3 rings and 3 levers on each ring, you’ll adjust them according to, 1. “the mining speed” 2. “The Volatility” 3. “The Yield efficiency” of the asteroid, once set (can be changed later upon selection of the drone) it’ll mine away at the asteroid with those settings and output small packages on its back, for some “The Mover” drones to pickup and return to your ship (or put some tractor beams on your ships and do it yourself, I’d recommend drones for this instance tho). You can set the drone to mine another asteroid with the same settings, but beware, if the other asteroid is too volatile for (VR) Mining, it might explode and take your drone (and potentially others in the vicinity, or at least damage them) with it into oblivion.
The Scrap Collectors 1 - Moves wrecks ect. closer to you (within a set distance that you set), they’re basically just huge thrusters using a drone to get it out and attach it to the wreck. -It can run out of power, and will return to recharge if it can’t do it’s next trip within its current charge- (invest in drones with larger power banks!)
The Scrap Collectors 2 - Salvages wrecks around your ship (max 10km range), these drones have 2 versions. The first version focuses on getting out crucial parts more carefully and with greater precision where your usual salvager drones would wreck a lot and get a lot less out of a wreck value wise (This could be an interesing side/mini game to do). The second version focuses more on “Raw material salvaging”, it can be set to “precious” or “Common” mode, in precious mode it’ll focus on regaining as many rare materials as it can from a wreck and just get more usual materials and raw resource for any remainder it can (like titanium), in common mode, it’ll focus on getting only pure raw materials (so Titanium, noxium ect.), these drones takes quite a while longer to do their work than your usual salvager done, the minigames for this drone would only “speed it up” and they would be very simple ones that you could speed run 1 after another to speed it up.
Now for some more “Utility” drones, use these at your own risk, they could be used offensively, defensively, utilitarian, or just plain “F YOU!” and you run off, beware of cops! Using these against other pilots or federal ships is a crime in Federal and Imperial space.
The Thief - it’s a small (50m3 space) drone that’ll ram another ship and steal (randomized) items from the target’s cargohold (if such items can fit within 50m3, will NOT take items inside of Containers or Vaults that are inside a ship’s cargohold), The drone will take damage entering through the targets shield (and spends a lil bit of time trying to bypass the armor), it will be slowed by 50% on its return and can be shut down (50% change of losing its cargo if shot with NON-Energy damage, that’s losing as in “Item destroyed alongside drone”), drone can be fitted with a resistance mod against target shield, if drone is not Repaired between sendoffs (must be command manually by the player) the drone might die upon reentry to targets shield barrier (the weaker the barrier, the less damage the drone takes from this.
The Hi-jacker - This is a “limited Fielding” drone (max of 2), the drone will laungh towards the target ship and clamp onto a gun or launcher and will take control of its targeting system, the new target must be manually set by the (VR) player, or the weapon will simply not do anything. (Set a missile launcher to self target, anyone? ) - The gun will still be disabled if the “Pilot” of the target ship chooses to power down/turn off said weapon, The drone will stick onto the gun until commanded back, it will detatch and go offline if the “Commander” of the drone dies or gets out of range (500-2500km). OBS: Drone Increases the time between hijacked gun’s shots by 20% (so a fire rate of 1 per sec would now be 1 per 1.20 sec).
The Enforcing Shield Redirector - This is a drone that will launch towards the target ship at high speeds, latch onto the ship’s shield generator (ony takes damage upon initial entry of shield) and then redirect (up to 50%) of the target’s shield regeneration. OBS: can be redirected to both the ships Allies & Enemies, use it as offensively or defensively as you see fit commander.
The Bulk drones - Drones made up of scrap and heavy armor (they can fill a bunch) they will orbit the (VR)Commander’s Mothership(VR) and attempt to align themselves to be inbetween the Mothership(VR) and any enemy that is targeting the Mothership(VR), Do note that the enemy targeting the mothership must be target back by the mothership for this drone to do its work, otherwise the lot of them will just orbit around and their protection is all up to chance if they happen to be in the way of the enemys shots or not. (not bad against enemy missiles or railguns, but don’t use em against those real large Lasers, they’ll melt rather quickly…)
Now you might be wondering “What about non drone weapons?”
Well sadly my idea is mainly about Drones, BUT it’s not entirely about drones!
The weapons would mainly consist of “spread” or “number” focus versions of weapons, so imagine an array of smaller railguns instead of a single larger one, they’ll of course have worse tracking (due to how you, a much different type of pilot works their ways) so you’ll have to make up for it with larger number of shots, if you really do want to field a large Railgun, well get ready for an aiming window with 2 handle bars on the side and you trying to predict where the enemy is going to be! then fire away!
OBS!: A module for the ship would be the target predicter, predicting where to shoot to hit the enemy ship, the lowest level one will spawn 4 different circles of prediction, the highlest level will spawn a single one, but it’ll still only be as accurate as the one aiming
The decreased need for aiming processing hardware and some other hardware paired with the increased minimum size should allow plenty of power and drone hold capacity and functionality for this to be feasible!
So I hope this, my initial idea for expanding on the gameplay (a second way to play EVE) alongside support for VR (and more interactive gameplay) could be a spark to not only add more fun and longevity to eve (and your upcoming ideas!), but also to give some justice to the lacking “mothership gameplay” so many of us have dreamed of X___X
P.S. Tiny side note: If there ever should be any other way to use VR for EVE (After this idea is tried) then it’d be directly controlling an infiltration drone to try n shut down parts of a space station ect. and/or sneak around inside and attempt to hack them and/or open cargo holds so their loot would be jetissoned into space, bye bye ammo to defend with! (or just disable the power connections to the shield generator) Good luck crawling around in a megaplex! XD
P.P.S in additon, a graphical small game of some kind of industry machine where you setup the machines and conveyers could be an extra interactive way for VR players to help with increased efficiency for processing things in an active way, give it more 3d space to work with and ya got a fun puzzle/factory game on the side ^^