A proposal to combat AFK ratting

(Patrick Yaa) #1

To “solve” AFK ratting, especially with VNIs and Carriers, I would suggest:

  • Increase the aggression Drones are generating
  • Increase the speed of Drones
  • (optional: Add the ability for structure & armor repair to the Drone Bay of Droneboats)

1.: Increase the agression Drones are generating
This would mean that a player needs to attend his drones, or they will be targeted themselves, potentially causing the loss of the ship. This would need to be balanced against losing Drones on players that are active. To combat this, I would suggest two solutions:

2.: Increase the speed of Drones
This would be the most obvious solution, as this would combat the loss of the drones. It would need to be balanced against orbiting speeds, as to not diminish incoming damage too much. This would also cause a change in the meta/balance, so this might not be the optimal solution, since you could potentially start hunting frigates with heavy drones–> not ideal
(Lowering the sig radius? That would make shooting Drones in a pvp engagement less effective though… Still less influence on Meta?)

3.: Add the ability to Repair Structure & Armor Damage of Drones on Droneboats
This ability should only be added to ships with dedicated Drone Bonuses. It would not remove the need of active Drone Management, but would not disturb the Meta in such a big way as the potential increase of speed would.
In addition, increase shield repair speed on drones, so that you can potentially throw the drone out again after 10-20 seconds.

It’s a first draft, please be nice :smiley:

(Ptraci) #2

As a non AFK ratter - leave my drones alone they get popped often enough as it is! Geckos are expensive!

(Patrick Yaa) #3

Hence the compensation mechanics with repairing/increased speed

(Francis Raven) #4

I love this point actually.

(Old Pervert) #5

You cannot AFK rat in a carrier. At least, not if you want ticks.

This however I do like. It doesn’t strike me as at all unfair, provided the drone repairs proceed inside the bay and only affect armor and structure - leave shield untouched as an incentive to fit reppers and thus increase drone boat diversity.

(Frostys Virpio) #6

You can’t rat afk in a carrier.

This literally kill any non-afk drone ratting.

Now they become imbalanced for PvP unless you forget to give them enough tracking so they can still apply at those new speed. If you do give them the tracking, they are now just as good at applying damage as right now except exceptionally harder to counter.

That’s a QoL I’d agree to implement.

Why jump through all these hoops when you can just disable the auto-aggro of drones and kill afk-ratting in one move without affecting balance in a bunch of field?

(Erethond) #7

I don’t know about you, but I’ve looked at how carriers work since they show up so often and seem to be the natural follow up for the drone boats I love: So far I have not seen any hint that they can be used afk. Maybe you’ve only ever seen drone boats and thought carriers worked the same? Better do some research…

That may or may not need tweaking. Too much and they are not really useful anymore. “Yank the drone and deploy another” is not a very engaging gameplay, but it is often the only choice. Maybe, increasing the aggression of npcs towards drones bigger than their size classes could make sense (ie force people to first deploy smalls to kill frigs/destroyers, then meds for cruisers and maybe BCs, then heavies).

However, the aggression towards own size class is already annoying. If you’re a drone boat and npc frigs just eat your small drones, there’s nothing to do except MJD and sentry, so lights become useless. Raising general aggression would require increasing orbital speeds (and tracking) or something, so drones can fight their own size class of npcs and remain useful.

That is a cool idea. You can either keep them in the fight with active remote reps, or yank them and they’ll get fixed. It also seems like something a dedicated drone bay should be able to do (and as far as I know, something carriers already benefit from for their fighters?).

(Patrick Yaa) #8

Not a cap Pilot, so you might be right on that first one…

About the tracking: As mentioned, the orbit velocity has to be adjusted. I was mainly thinking about MWD velocity for return to the mothership and deploying to the fight. This would probably help to save a Drone, when it can pull away from a fight faster. I didn’t meant to impact the actual combat speed.

(Frostys Virpio) #9

They would still be flying in a straight line with a MWD bloom which mean next to 0 transversal. Either they still easily die from this or you make their sig so small they can’t be hit by anything.

So again,


(Erethond) #10

Good point… Most non-afk people run drones on passive any ways so they avoid popping triggers. That would be a thorough solution without changing much for anyone else at the same time.

(Patrick Yaa) #11

Hm, that’s true I suppose.
Although most of the large ships are shooting the ratter himself most of the time anyways (or at least that’s what I noticed), and the small NPCs won’t hit the drone once it’s ~20-25km away due to falloff.
But again, it’s a point that needs to be balanced, that is true.

What other options are there though, to save a Drone from being shot at, besides pulling it in?

(Frostys Virpio) #12

Being closer to your drones yourself.

(Kaitrei) #13

I think the drone repairing bay could work as a standalone module. Could repair a set amount of damage across all damaged drones in the drone bay.

(elitatwo) #14

As a logi pilot I say, fit your boat accordingly and logi your drones instead of making the game play for you.

(Old Pervert) #15

I’m not at all against your comment, I usually fit a remote repper on my VNI when I’m out ratting in it (cloaky campers keeping the bigger toys indoors, etc) but “as a logi pilot” you’ve got zero skin in the game so to speak. “As a drone boat pilot”, I say that having limited self-repair inside of the ship does not break or diminish anything. If anything, it would increase micromanagement for skilled players, allowing CCP the flexibility to take drones into the closet with them and do nasty things, without completely destroying the method of gameplay.

(Frostys Virpio) #16

Not really since in PvE, your window to react to drone aggro is not all that long and only really worthwhile to do if you are close to your drones. Pulling drones in while they have aggro either mean the drones gets in because it was close or it fly in a straight line giving the enemy near-perfect tracking on it to finish it off.

To fight afk ratting, you have to attack what make it possible afk, not other rule set that will produce complex mess of balance because you didn’t want to just go with the easy option.

(Old Pervert) #17

I never said it was a stand-alone fix nor perfect… just that it offered flexibility.

Imagine, for example, CCP tweaked rats to have a “different” tracking on drones… enough that they would do damage at a steady rate (some bursts to be expected) but at a rate that was slow enough that if you pulled your drone when it started taking damage, it’d be back in your bay before it was through armor.

Yes that’s a very subjective situation with a million variables, but it offers a possibility to work with. I don’t at all think that “tweaking the rats” is an unreasonable direction to take either, because they already do lots of things different. Diminishing returns, capacitor, etc.

If you want to target “what makes it possible to afk”, it’s simple really… remove the ability to orbit things. Manual control only. You’d still have brick-tanked battleships running afk sites, but they’d be at much greater risk of being killed by capital npc spawns, and they’re more expensive than VNIs.

(elitatwo) #18

I was talking about ratting in a sentry drone boat. There you a lot of time to put a rep on your drones. I do it all the time for my Dominix and my Myrmidon. And no, I don’t the most expensivsetestestest tools or a cheat-bot army but I do rep my drones on the field so they stay on the field.

And you old pervert, I am pretty sure I can do logi better than you.

(Frostys Virpio) #19

Why would you prevent people from orbitting things when you can disable the drones auto aggro? There is literally no way to afk sites in a drone boat if the drones no longer choose and attack target without your intervention.

(Old Pervert) #20

Right, except drone auto-aggro is an oft-cited counter to ECM. Barring that, FOF missiles are literally the only reactive counter you have. Certainly not saying it’s a GOOD counter to ECM, but it’s something.

By disabling orbiting, even just disabling orbiting structures found exclusively in pve content and deployables, the only way any ship (be it FOF ships, drone ships, or smartbombing) could AFK rat is by remaining stationary. That would make pretty much anything short of a heavily tanked T3C or a battleship infeasible for AFK ratting, which has the added benefit of being much easier for NPC capitals and players in fast tackle to catch.