AFK Drone Solution

There are several situations where drones can be left AFK and still generate income for a pilot. I was thinking that CCP could create an artificial timer, say 5 minutes, at the end of which all drones attempt to dock with the controlling ship. This timer could be attributed to restocking ammo, recharging cap, etc. If sentry drones are used and out of range, they will still attempt to return and will not engage targets.

This timer would limit the AFK ability to 5 minutes before the pilot has to relaunch and activate drones.

This is… interesting. Not saying I like it, but it is interesting. Particularly if there is no combat involved (ie. timer starts from the last combat interaction/deployment).

No, the root cause is they made Industrial COMMAND ships profitable AFK miners.

It was a design error that stems from the misguided bigger is better mindset.

All they have to do is revert command ships to not have mining bonuses or be able to use mining drones.

So many things in the sandbox then fall back into place.

Which then breaks Command ships in a different way and makes them into an Alt only ship, not an interesting active ship to fly. Your ‘solution’ destroys a whole lot of active players gameplay.
For a start changing mining drones to 25 bandwidth each and therefore Orca’s only use 2 of them would be a step towards reducing the AFK without destroying gameplay for active players.

If this is about orcas then they can just wind the yield down bit by but until things become at the desired level.

If this is about combat drones they can simply remove the auto-aggress and drone-assist functions of drones.

In to regards to mining commands ships specifically, this is not a bad thing. I actually think it would be a good thing for them to become shitty solo ships - it would all but force players to use regular barges, which are what should be used for mining.

Removing all mining rigs from the game and compensating with an updated flat mining drone bonus that isn’t on par with barge yield would probably address a lot of balance issues (force the ships to fit toward fleet support, including rig utilization) and minimize the use of these ships as mining craft (Orca in HS, Rorqual in NS)

So what exactly is a player meant to do flying a command ship most of the time again?
Forcing ANY role to be a shitty alt ship no-one ever mains is a bad thing.

There is nothing wrong with an orca mining. Just like there is nothing wrong with a Vexor ratting.
The issue is if they can do so in a truly AFK manner. (i.e. more than just nipping away to grab a cup of coffee or bio breaks). So we need to solve the AFK manner without destroying gameplay or mining.
They already mine less than an unboosted barge and dramatically less than that when AFK.

It would be no different than a logi ship: logi ships are completely and totally useless without others to support. In terms of being useful outside of mining, they’re not terrible transports as non-freighters when it comes to assembled ships (which none of the freighters can carry, save for the Bowhead), ore, and misc goods in the fleet hangar. I generally agree with your sentiment that all ships should be usable solo, but I believe this is a unique situation where, by its nature, an exception applies.

I’m not saying “Orca mining” is a problem per se, but I think the fact that it is a trend suggests that barges aren’t attractive enough to be used instead of Orcas - that suggests there is a balancing issue (not merely an AFK issue). When an Orca can be aggressively fitted rig-wise for solo mining and have an mining yield comparable to a low end barge (esp relative to hold size), you’re having a ship that wasn’t intended as a mining vessel be used instead of a proper mining ship - that suggests a balance issue. In particular, Orcas are taking the place of Retrievers and Mackinaws (and to a lesser extent Procurers and Skiffs), which I consider to be a problem. With fixed, unmodifiable mining bonuses (ie. no more mining rigs), barges will be substantially better than mining command ships, and mining command ships will be delegated to supporting mining fleets (via both boosts and the usual mothership support capabilities) and freight.

Were this rebalancing to happen where, among other things, the mining rigs are removed, then the existing fitted rigs, unfitted rigs, and rigs being manufactured would probably be grandfathered in and continue to exist, but they wouldn’t be able to be produced anymore.

I consider the above changes to be solving two problems at once. As I’ve said, I find the “Orca mining” meta to be indicative of balance issues: if barges aren’t sexy enough to be used instead of mining-rigged Orcas, we have a balance issue. Rebalance the mining command ships, and we solve two problems at once.

This can be reduced even further, which I think would be a great thing for both the Orca and the Rorqual. The Orca’s yield in particular should not compare to a barge.

I love AFK Orcas. Well, my Vagabond does anyway…

Having said that, “Fleet” ≠ Solo, and “Command” ≠ Solo…

It would be totally different.
Logi ships don’t press a button and have reps repeat once a minute for about… 4 hours before they run out of ammo. Logi ships are constantly locking targets, unlocking targets, checking positioning.
Command Bursts do not do any of that. This is why the Command Ships have guns. And why the Orca has mining capability. In order to provide active gameplay. It is not about ‘unusuable solo’. It is about non active gameplay that you are trying to promote.
Yes we want active gameplay, I’ve already dropped a suggestion that would reduce the full AFK yield to 40% of what it currently is.

P.S. This is wrong, it WAS intended as a mining vessel in the rebalance that occurred. It was a specifically stated goal.

Perhaps. But this can be undone :smiling_imp:

There’s always Project Discovery! Score 45m + numerous rewards every hour. Try AFKing that.

Sure, so can everything.
CCP could decide Orcas are now the premier combat ship.
Just because it can be done doesn’t mean it should. It was a deliberate design to make them able to mine and to make the amount they mine meaningful so that it’s not just an AFK alt slot that doesn’t mine enough to matter. Remember they don’t get boosts so as soon as you have an orca on grid all the barges jump in effectiveness. So they don’t match barges in anything but pure solo.
And as always, Active gameplay is important. This is why I’m suggesting dropping them to 2 mining drones which mine more each. That reduces afk since afk is done by sending 5 drones to 5 different rocks, without impacting an active player in a major way.

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No that is the way they always were.

The design change was a mistake because it removed an important counter that prevented AFK which is when using barges you have to move the ore, in a command ship you don’t have to move the ore, this is the enabler for AFK mining.

The other alternative would be to have ore arrive in the normal hold of the command ship so that they have to move it to the ore hold, breaking AFK mining.

And sure, people can bot, but that is crossing a line with its own risks. AFK and botting are not the same.

Anything is an alt ship for anti social players.

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Fewer ultrapricy faction mining drones to gank - would also impact the market since there would be crudely 2/5ths demand but supply stays the same unless BPC drop rates were altered :thinking:

Yes, yes, your idea has merit if you want to keep the existing meta. I’d rather break the meta, of course, but your idea definitely is easy to implement and would dent the “benefits” of AFK mining immediately, esp. if CCP decides to maintain the status quo. :+1:

By the way: tractoring and scooping jetcans is pretty damn active… just two barges can keep you pretty busy clicking away nonstop.

This ^ x 1000

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Sure…
Except they can just dump straight into fleet hanger. So hmmmm.

If CCP want to change the design then sure, there are a million solutions.
But within the current design which isn’t broken with regards to active players there are steps that can be taken.

While true to some extent, as usual you manage to totally miss the point in your effort to make a smart ass comment.

Not a smart ass comment, I suppose it may feel that way to you, because you were wrong.

You know there’s a hotkey that does this, right?

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