AFK Cloak and how does cloak work exactly?

Last night, and possibly still today, our corp had a couple of afk campers cloaked somewhere in system. It was annoying, yet somehow thrilling to go about your daily tasks knowing that, at any moment, one or both campers could decloak on your six and catch you by surprise!

From what I’ve been reading there’s little you can do about cloaked AFK campers, as long as they remain cloaked, short of bumping into them. If you know some likely lurking points and the cloaker is inexperienced then you might have a good chance of finding them?

This got me wondering why cloaking is so perfect at hiding a craft. According to thermodynamics any waste heat generated by the cloaked vessel would have to be expelled to avoid vaporizing the ship and contents, including crew, thereby providing a thermal signature. Any transmissions emitted by the cloaked vessel should immediately pinpoint its location as that’s leaking radiation that also provides a signature. Warp fields likely also create a signature, gamma rays if IIRC the white papers on the Alcubierre drive. Finally, thrusters should also provide thermal signatures, and possibly propellent spectrometry signatures, as the ship trundles along as sub light velocities.

So what in game mechanics are required that cloaked craft are impossible to find except by chance? I’ve heard that cloak capable vessels are quite vulnerable compared to most combat vessels, is this one reason?

Just curious. Thanks.

Lore-wise, that’s not the technology used in EVE drives. See:

In our normal space, yes, thermal signatures could be located. In EVE however, when a ship cloaks, it enters Hyperspace and your ship “phases” out of normal space.

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That’s a very nice resource. Thanks for pointing me to that. It does leave me with more questions though and I’m pretty sure this physics is all ret conned. :grin: All in good fun.

I don’t see why it’s not possible to have sensors poke through the subspace floor, via peg, and scan for objects and signatures there. Is this not done in Eve? It seems obvious so I can’t imagine that this hasn’t been thought of or isn’t a game mechanic.

The balance of the cloaking device is this:

  • you cannot activate any modules while under cloak,
  • you need the more skill-intensive (and compatible with only a few ships) T2 Cov-Ops cloak to warp around while cloaked.
  • as a positive - you cannot be detected by any means - except you appear in Local so they know you’re there.

If you want to change this balance:

  • let people detect a cloaked ship
  • but remove the negatives of being unable to shoot or jam while cloaked, and let us stay cloaked and shoot / jam your ass while you futz around with whatever probing system you want to be able to probe out the cloaked ship
  • or remove the pilot from Local altogether so you don’t know he’s there.


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Oh yes, me too.

Each probe itself would probably need a set of pegs, and I don’t know how subspace mechanics work, since it’s a mix of energy and mass depending on depth, where deep subspace has no dimensions so no position to be “detected”.

I’m not looking to change it, I’m trying to understand it and probe the concept for any vulnerabilities. I fully realize that how Eve uses cloak is to provide some sort of balance. Also, I’m just pointing out that IRL all the disadvantages would fall to the cloaked vessel and we couldn’t have cloaked vessels if Eve operated under known physics.

I’m sure that there’d be some way of mapping such phenomena if it were actually a thing. It’s interesting to think about though.

Working backwards through your reply, we totally CAN and DO have cloaked vessels (well, airplanes), because the (radar, and even optical) sensors aren’t sensitive enough to pick up heat or electronic signatures if they are decreased below a certain point. Huge bomber looking on the radar to be a dot as big as a sparrow, out among all the other natural sparrows out there type thing.

For space, we can’t even track big things like asteroids, with the telescopes, and/or find lifeboats, people, or even airplane debris out at sea unless we can narrow down the volume of space somehow BEFORE we try to use the optics or radar for the actual search.

It’s a matter of the huge volume of space they could be hiding in.

EVE is already unrealistic that all space weapons only function at melee range (seriously, 300 km max range for lasers, in space?). They do that so the game isn’t reduced to “look at the dots on the radar”, so we can see the ships they put effort into designing.

Cloaking has no purpose other than to introduce some gameplay strategy. Why does the knight piece move the way it does in chess? It makes no sense if you think about it.

You know that afk cloaker is there because of the Local chat channel list. Some people want to remove Local. In wormhole space, Local doesn’t work, so cloaking provides the opportunity to “hunt” in PVP, and that’s the point of it. Local takes that away, reducing the whole thing to just psychological games. Still, it’s a bit of excitement, though you’ll get used to it and ignore it.

Don’t think about how to find the AFK cloaker. You can’t do that, it’s impossible, and he/she will come to you anyway. Think about how you’ll lock them down and kill them as soon as they uncloak.

Actually, scratch that, most of them will observe your waiting fleet for a bit before uncloaking, and won’t uncloak if you’re too strong.

Think about how you can bait them into uncloaking.

In any case, that’s the concept of cloaking - specific game rules that are designed to make you think a little and try to come up with outside-the-box solutions.

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Hrm, I thought it was evident we were talking about spacecraft. Also, I don’t think vehicles on earth are lost to sensors because their heat signatures are too low. You have atmospheric or oceanic disturbances that can mask signatures, heat or otherwise. You can hide behind the curve of the planet as well

[quote=“Memphis_Baas, post:8, topic:28291”]

In space the only way you can dump your heat is via radiation and, if you have a network of sensors in stellar orbits you can’t count on duck behind without being caught by sensors elsewhere in the solar system.

Indeed, the stealth technology is tailored to defeat active sensors from which the meaning of the data has to be inferred. If such craft didn’t have an atmosphere to conveniently sop up their excess heat, which also acts to obscure their heat signature over large distances, they could be detected that way too. Again, thermal signature dispersion not by atmosphere does not apply in space.

Firstly, these asteroids are only a few degrees above CMBR, so yes they are hard to spot. However, scientists are regularly able to find asteroids fairly often despite this. The reason we don’t find more is that there is a current lack of political will to spend the money on a global sensor net that’s scanning the entire sky 24/7. We already have the technology to do this at the civilian level.

A full fledged space faring civilization is likely to have several of those orbiting sensory nets I mentioned earlier. This only makes sense when you have a large number of vehicles come WMD and you want to make damn sure that you know where each spacecraft is.

Secondly, I don’t think one could seriously think that one could pilot a spacecraft at near absolute zero for months on end just to blow someone up. Since this thread turns on current technology and known physics, this is what you’d be looking at as we don’t have the tech we find in Eve.

Yeah, I get that. A lot of Eve is fantasy and adventure, designed to be playable, and not hard sci-fi.

I think I mentioned that I did find it thrilling in my OP.

Little old me would never try that. :wink:

Thank you for taking the time to discuss this with me. I honestly appreciated it I definitely will take this advice to heart.

I haven’t been around here long but I haven’t seen the word “Fair” used often.

All these people complaining about AFKCloakies. Here’s my solution. The glitter bomb; High slot module, doesn’t need to have anything targeted to fire, covers small area (5000m maybe?) with glitter. One shot before reloading, takes 5 minutes to reload. Effects last for a very short amount of time (15-30 seconds maybe?) before “solar winds” dissipate the glitter to being useless. If a cloaked vessel is in range of the glitter bomb, it’s decloaked for the rest of the duration of the effect. And can only be fitted to a specific type of frigate (don’t know which kind would be the best option.) Should probably also use an insanely high amount of powergrid to fit it also. Probably needs to be some other offsetting effects as well, since space was just carpet bombed with 10 pounds of tinfoil, (ships in the affected area are more difficult to target due to having sensors have to sort through the clutter?) Was just a thought.

This is a topic that has been around since well before I started in Eve. Nothing has really been done, because there is valid game play behind the mechanic.

I won’t talk about how I would change things if I could or even wanted to, but 5,000m is 5km. Now if we convert an Astronautical Unit to kilometres (The distance we measure systems in Eve) 1 AU is the same as ~1,500,000,000km.

But if we assume that every system is only 8AU wide (And this is by no means the case), we are now in the 10s of millions of km, all and all a module with a range of 5000m doesn’t have any worthwhile affect.

note: Numbers are approximate values only to show the vastness of space.

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The point was to be useless, but at least make it seems like there was something that could be done, and perhaps someone would get lucky once a year on a cloaked gate camper. It was a thought, and I know it won’t happen. Just having fun with the idea. (Maybe should go into the bad ideas thread?)

Sure, always fun to see ideas in there. I’ve put a few in for my own entertainment. The discussion AFK cloaking limits my game-play is an interesting one, but not one that could be easily solved. To that end, if anyone wants to comment on how to improve the mechanics this is the correct thread to make those posts: Main AFK cloaky thread. But I do want to thank @Tannia_Ambrye for asking a good question rather than just getting mad. Well done! o7.

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Think of a cloaked ship as a submarine sat on the ocean floor (or just under a convection layer) running silent. The only way you are finding it is if you run into it, or it breaks silent running.

In game terms cloaks don’t just affect null, they are vital in WH’s, break cloaking and you hugely effect WH play.


IIRC, cloaking was introduced in the original Star Trek episode “Balance of Terror” for just this reason. The screenplay writer wanted a space version of “The Enemy Below.”

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How to understand cloaking in EvE is actually very easy.
Simply suspend any and all thoughts of how things could, would or should work here in our real world, then remind yourself that this is a game and real world physics do not apply. Once you have done this then simply remember that CCP does not want you to find cloaked ships that are out and about in space.
There I told you it was easy.

The mechanics of cloaking are even easier to understand, pilot pushes cloak button, the game marks the ship as cloaked and in the most basic of explanations the rest of the game ignores it.

There is no need to waste your time looking for vulnerabilities in the cloaked ship mechanic because we already know what they are.

  1. they can be de-cloaked if you can get something within 2,000 meters of them.
  2. they can be destroyed even when cloaked if you can get a bomb close enough that they are in the blast radius.

And we are done so I can move on to a few other things that you can ponder and try to make sense of.

How and why are our missiles limited in speed even though they have fuel left to burn, in the real world of outer space they would continue to accelerate until they ran out of fuel.

How is it possible for a 1400mm (55.118") gun to fire a shell fast enough that it hits a target 60km (60,000 meters) away instantly. The closest we have would be the modern experimental rail guns which fire projectiles at roughly 2,400 meters per second (7,874 feet per second) so they would take 25 seconds to hit that target 60,000 meters away. Just for comparison a T2 cruise can easily attain a speed of 10,000 meters per second or more so it would hit that target in roughly 7 seconds accounting for acceleration to speed after launch.

While we are on the subject of guns a 9 gun broad side of the 16" (406.4mm) main guns on the Iowa class WW II battleships would drive those 861 foot long 57,000 ton vessels 15’ sideways in water, and yet when you fire a full broad side of those 1400mm guns our ships do not move, how is this possible?

Giant secure containers occupy 3,000 m3 of space and yet they hold 3,900 m3 of stuff, how is this possible?

If you want them I can continue to list things in this game that make no sense compared to the real world we live in. However I think you will now understand why I simply say when you enter EvE suspend any and all thoughts of how things could, would or should work in the real world and simply enjoy the game.

How can you quote me and yet miss me saying this?

Which renders your diatribe rather null and pointless. But yes, I have noticed all those things you mentioned. Believe, I’ve noticed and more. I’m not upset by the cloak mechanic, but it seems asking about possible vulnerabilities bothers some people.

In this Newbie section, I’d rather thought about “how does cloak work” as a question of game mechanics. Like “why do I only cloak while moving, is it possible to stand still cloaked with better skills?” Which I actually want to know :slight_smile:

You question is not really a Newbie question. I stopped thinking about Eve as a space simulation right at the tutorial, I see much more resemblance to a board game - you roll dice and put a figure around and buy cards etc. E.g. all gravitation is disregarded, and collision damage doesn’t exist, debris does not scatter, there appear fluffy clouds in space like from a truck by mining barges, sound in space, …
So from the physical site, that game was just nonsense to me if I’d stay serious.
But it’s fun as I take the mechanics just as they are in the game and try to optimize my decisions in these special “laws of physics”.

I’m not sure how to take that. I’m still a newbie, with an sp ~874k. There’s a lot of things I’m still learning every time I play Eve. What I did do is read up a bit on the topic of cloaking in Eve and discussions of future technology is something that I have a bit of a passion for. So, well I would like clarification of what you meant here. Thanks.

Sure, I enjoy the game too. I don’t play it for the simulation, I’m just the sort of person who wants to understand why some things are the way they are. Sometimes some sort of in-universe explanation and sometimes how thorough the game mechanic is.

Honestly, I’m really not looking for a fight and hoped my question was non inflammatory.