Defense of PI installation from EVE Vanguard mercenaries - and more

TL;DR
Let us store warclone blanks at PI installations then rent from Paragon IRIS AI service to “control” those warclone blanks as EVE Vanguard NPCs to defend our PI from EVE Vanguard player controlled mercenary attackers. Or hire other vanguards to defend it or do it yourself on your merc character if you dare to. Or mix all options up.

Use that warclone blanks in cargo/storage & Co in eve → NPC’s/player defenders in vanguard mechanics everywhere else something could be attacked by vanguards in eve

Below is one of The FF’23 EVE Vanguard panel answers that suggested ( ← like HINTED in non-binding manner, ok? ):

“It might be that the first objective is to build mining infrastructure on the planet. Set up mining rigs, landing pads, and that might be a shared experience to gather resources. Then the objective could flip. Others come in and it could be about defending your territory or even taking someone else stuff. Peaks and troughs in terms of numbers of people.”

There is just one step from here to search and destroy EVE Online players’ PI setups by EVE Vanguard mercenaries.

And that’s good news for PI :slight_smile:

Some PI background, what is wrong with it and why it is necessary for New Eden?

I am dedicated PI player I have maxed out my PI Skills on my few characters. One of them was created in 2013 when DUST514 took off. I maxed my PI Skills on that char and built my 6 PI Command Centers. And then I stopped playing EVE Online to return at the start of this year. I’ve picked up the rumor of new EVE FPS coming in December’22. To my surprise all my PI networks were still intact, production halted half-way with output waiting to be taken off the planet into Market.

Wtf? Planets are not ship hangars, are they? :thinking:

There are few player owned things in New Eden which, when left behind unattended, do not perish. Two of them are Player Owned Customs Offices and Planetary Installations.

PI is kind of sensitive topic. Despised by everyone who never done it as a source of passive income. Lamented on by all PI’ers as plagued with click-fest which is simultaneously absolved as a detterent and a timegate preventing from scaling it up across all those alts and reaping billions of ISK for doing nothing (almost true but not quite, debatable).

Putting those 20+ factories on a single planet to do nothing, requires doing it meticulously by hand. It is a show of patience, precision to connect them together, choosing schematics, tracing inputs and output. Every time from scratch. No templates, no copy paste, no keyboard shortcuts, nada (small QoL can be seen here and there - like when choosing same schematics for few factories - you just pick it for the first and it’s already highlighted for the rest in one click set).

Lots of precise manual work. And when you are done with that more clicks await. On your mining PI there are harvesters and mining heads to place and reset when their harvesting cycle ends. Also by hand. The resources mined change their locations and density what requires relocation of harvesters and mining heads also by hand. After all is produced PI owner must travel through another click path:

launchapd transfer → POCO hangar transfer → cargohold transfer → hauling to station → hangar transfer →
creating contract/market offer → accepting contract/market offer
→ cargohold transfer → hauling to POCO → POCO hangar transfer → launchapd transfer
to profit from their work or transfer commodities to another planet for further processing and higher profit.

And due to that massive amount of manual work this is understandable why PI installations are so persistent. Especially when one would need to start from scratch every time it would get destroyed by elements or other players. Nobody would care for PI. Which brings us to another aspect of it.

PI’s P4 commodities output is required for building Capital ships, Structures and Sovereignty structures hence, in the end, somebody needs to do PI to supply those components. Which makes PI substantial (as mining and industry is) to existence of big scale conflicts of Null space (yeah, CCP could just remove it from Blueprints’ BOMs :wink: and case closed, maybe they will one day …but now we are here)

PI can be fought with at present. It starts with sniffing out PI setups of other players networks and then you can:

  1. put your own operation and interfere with the existing one by mining out same resources causing diminishing yields to other players.
  2. wait for them around POCO then gank to loot their click-fested ISK
  3. negotiate POCO ownership from present owners then hike taxes through the ceiling
  4. if it is not an option wardec the POCO owner and take it down (requires gnawing into 14.5mil HP)

But it just makes it even more unpleasant to do instead of wiping it out and loot.

With EVE Vanguard on horizon this could change for good.

First of all, this points could be added to the PI warfare arsenal above:

  1. issue contract to Vanguard mercenaries to wipe out competition’s PI installations for good - contract would require to mark the location on the PI View planet map
  2. allow Vanguard mercenaries to freely roam planets surface in search for PI installations - allow to extort PI permit fee from the owner or just pillage it at once

Don’t panic yet, read on :slight_smile:

As that would make PI installations highly volatile, this would give CCP an opportunity to add several improvements and QoL to PI UI without raising any concerns from todays opponents of easy UI for PI:

  1. one click PI setup with templates (it is comming according to csm), it was also covered (well sort of) in New Eden news as Minmatar “Itinerant Forge” project
  2. keyboard shortcuts - to delete structure, tab through structures, group select, you name it
  3. one click harvester resets - for one, for selected or for all planets,
  4. commodity transfers between other players networks through launchpads or POCO
  5. contracts from POCO hangars - courier, exchange
  6. POCO hangars acls
  7. POCO corporation offices for corporation contracts
  8. remote POCO ↔ Launch pad transfers
  9. make area occupied by one player’s PI installation inaccessible to other players for building their installations
  10. POCO fuel? If fuel ends or POCO is wrecked after attack it begin to fall from orbit to the ground for vanguard merc to recover from its wreck what’s left on the ground - after a while InterBus installs new NPC owned Customs Office

Ok fine, but PI owners should have an opportunity to prove their dedication to PI and defend their installations on the ground. Otherwise abandoned PI installation should disappear overtime from the surface of the planet to make room for bolder entrepreneurs.

So… we’e built that PI installations and Vanguard mercenaries are at the gates ready to loot and raze. What would our options be?

How about CCP added this to the game:

  1. If we lack skills to do it ourselves let's use EverMarks and **rent** Paragon's IRIS service to control warclone blanks stored at our PI installation, as NPCs against Vanguard mercenaries. This was kind of hinted in New Eden news ([1, ](https://universe.eveonline.com/new-eden-news/new-itinerant-forge-leads-to-economic-migration-in-minmatar-republic)[2, ](https://universe.eveonline.com/new-eden-news/empress-catiz-proclaims-imperial-edict-offering-path-to-freedom)[3](https://universe.eveonline.com/new-eden-news/illegal-workers-union-condemned-as-protests-spread-through-caldari-state)) covering "Automated Industry for Democracy" legislation of the Federation.

    Paragon AI license could have two variants to choose from:
    1. paid every 30 days for unlimited number attacks that could commence in the future - we could choose how many renewal periods or infinite renewals - pricier option but more reliable
    2. paid upfront for limited number of attacks that could commence in the future - we choose how many attacks - cheaper option to have just in case
  2. We issue a security contract and hire other EVE Vanguard mercenaries to be ready at short notice to come down and defend our property.
  3. We create our own character (or use current if CCP allows it) and go down to stand our ground.

All of the above scenarios would require warclone blanks to be stored in new type of PI structure or simply in one of the PI storages.

There could also be installations for PI defense available for purchase and placement like turrets or drones and combat vehicles at the disposal of the defenders. IRIS or hired mercs or us. Or mix of the above.

The defenses could be configured for entire PI setup or separately for every structure. This could be done through familiar fitting window. Using up CPU and PG of the Command Center. And slots.

I think current CPU and PG output levels should suffice. This could create some decision crossroad:

  1. do I build less structures to accommodate for armament CPU/PG requirements and make less profit or
  2. do I go va banque max out profit and risk it all?. PI turrets and such should have less demands than S-size fitted to ships.

Fitted equipment would need to be bought on Market and shipped down to PI storage.

Warclone blanks could be made from BP (Input: biomass + nanites, Output: Warclone blanks) outside of the planets or from new factory schematics requiring the same components. In the demo action from FF’23 Keynote we could learn that vanguard clones have affinity for biomass and nanites (ofc that may or may not change in production release).

Successful defense of PI installation should enforce some cooldown timer to prevent infimie numbers of attacks one after another.

Having all this in place would create a dynamic circular flow of intertwined opportunities, replacing static drudgery of todays PI. With plenty of incentives at every stage. And ISK still to be made along the path.

But most important PI (along with POCO) would be freed from stigma of being passive and invulnerable source of income allowing for more diverse playstyle.

Universe aims for maximizing the entropy - or chaos. Atoms forced into order by humans don’t care and if not disciplined from time to time disperse into chaos again over time. Ships in hangars are ok. They are in active maintenance, shielded from hostile void all the time and it’s not surprise they do not fall apart or deteriorate when not in use. Maybe some dust cover :wink:

But POCO’s and PI? They should deteriorate. If they are left unattended they should fall apart back into chaos.

EVE Vanguard can change it.

Above described PI vanguards attack + defense mechanics with warclone blanks in storage, defense installations and possibility of using IRIS to control defense NPC’s in EVE Vanguard could be expanded onto every other place of New Eden where warclones could possibly sneak or squeeze in: POCOs, Structures, Big ships, Moon drills, Sov structures.

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This is quite a good idea for the new game integration. I always imagined PI to be a RTS, but your idea could also work…

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That’s quite a read, but a good one.

The very real issues with PI deserve attention, but what really grabs my attention here is that vulnerable PI could be a regulator for capital proliferation, one mediated entirely through gameplay, Vanguard gameplay.

But a lot of work for the devs… Could imagine null sec alliances not being thrilled, maybe a limited rollout in a restricted region of space.

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Im just sad i missed the early beta…Counting the day…till

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I hope by beta you mean DUST 514 beta tests :slight_smile:

EVE Vanguard had not beta tests yet. Only two 1 day closed NDA stress-tech-tests - very short duration - in the range of couple hours.

4 day First Strike, starting on 7th December after downtime is public pre-alpha test for omega players, sc. Founder’s Access. Event starts in less than 11 days from now :slight_smile:

Based on EVE Discord Vanguard thread hints from CCP and clips from Havoc trailers it will be a very basic setup for a humble start:

  • one map, the one we saw at FF’23 with a crashed Bowhead. It is said to be a huge map - we saw just a bit of it at FF’23 ~5 minutes demo
  • one gun of Minmatar make from Core Complexion - shooting kinetic or energy damage rounds
  • one dropsuit of Caldari origin maker unknown
  • it is a sandbox shooter: you do whatever you want during session just like in EVE
  • there are going to be contracts to pick up from a limited type list, for more structured gameplay and to add to the corruption levels during the Pirate Insurgencies

Oh, and there will be more “strikes” after the First and more features and improvements added with time hopefully based on our input.

So what is described in the OP is an idea that might be implemented in some form into EVE Vanguard in the future. I wouldn’t expect it in the next year yet

…but it’s inevitable :slight_smile:

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Suggestions for Eve Vanguard:

Revolutionary Module: Boarding Arsenal

Introducing an innovative module that propels boarding teams into enemy ships. A costly mercenary contract is established, and upon acceptance, the weapon is unleashed toward the designated ship. In the event of the ship’s destruction, a betrayal unfolds as you incur the cost of hiring the mercenaries.

Objectives include temporarily disabling various ship systems such as alignment, warp drive, weapon modules, subsystems, etc. The vanguards decide which system to disable, and failure to target the correct one is accepted as a part of the risk. Additionally, tasks involve cargo theft, ammunition acquisition, boosters, and ultimately reaching and destroying the capsule.

Planetary Conflict Dynamics

Explore the realms of planetary warfare driven by a rare resource found on select planets, facilitating powerful implants, boosters, and even novel ship types.

The planet is divided into hexagons, with capsuleers deploying infrastructure on a chosen hexagon to harvest the resource. A timer initiates the harvesting process, providing a window for counter-deployment. Failure in deployment results in the loss of infrastructure, while theft leads to the need for additional vanguard hires to reclaim it.

Scenario 1 - Uncontested Hexagon:

Capsuleers bring the desired infrastructure for deployment, with their skills determining the number of links the structures can maintain. Examples include mining rigs, central command structures (providing boosts for hired vanguards), clone bays, and other imaginative elements. The strategic choice of structures is based on the composition of the hired team.

Structures are launched into the sector, triggering a timer. When the timer concludes, the structures are deployed (timings vary based on structure type, with warfare structures preceding mining ones). Waves of vanguards are dispatched to accomplish various objectives in a meticulously planned sequence.

Scenario 2 - Contested Hexagon:

In the tumult of a contested hexagon, the deployed structures become the focal point of conflict, with the primary goal being either their capture or destruction—though destruction is notably easier than seizing control.

Vanguards are enlisted, and the battlefield is exclusively populated by players; there are no NPCs in this high-stakes engagement. Rewards are distributed to vanguards upon the successful completion of critical objectives, whether they be enemy kills, the attainment of main objectives, or the fulfillment of secondary tasks. The game yields no rewards for inactivity; hence, vanguards must actively contribute to the unfolding chaos to reap the benefits.

The provision of clones is a pivotal aspect, orchestrated by the capsuleers leading the conflict. At any juncture, these capsuleers can launch clone bays toward the sector, but the cost for each launch fluctuates in real-time. A dynamic pricing mechanism ensures that, if a team is prevailing in the conflict, the expense of launching clone bays escalates significantly. This introduces a strategic layer, requiring careful consideration of when to deploy clones based on the evolving fortunes of the battle.

Alternatively, capsuleers can opt for a more indirect approach by launching biomas toward the planet. However, in a twist of game mechanics, these biomas are accessible to everyone, adding an element of competition and risk. Capsuleers must weigh the potential benefits against the inherent danger of rivals intercepting these vital resources.

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Vanguard is still a thing?

Yes, Next Strike in late January 2024 with possibly contracts for rising Suppression upon completion during pirate Insurgencies. First Strike allowed adding to Corruption only.

If Vanguards meddling in Capsuleers affairs would become a thing I would expect CCP to prepare New Eden for that in advance. So that Capsuleers would not wake up next day among burning debris of their pillaged empires.

What I mean by that is every corner of New Eden that could be affected by Vanguards and is managed by Capsuleer:

  • PI setups
  • POCOs
  • Structures
  • Moon drills
  • Ships big enough to be eligible for boarding parties
  • any other thing that is big enough for few dozen Vanguards to spread and do damage

get best possible automatic defenses

  • AI scripts to control NPC Vanguard defenders
  • turrets
  • huge surplus of warclone blanks for spawning more defenders - AI NPCs or contracted Vanguard players

against Vanguards for free out of the expansion box.

All the above reinforcements would not last forever but would slowly tear and wear with every Vanguards attack. Nevertheless would be lasting long enough to buy Capsuleers time to figure things out and plan ahead how to cope with the new plague.

Optionally, CCP could restock all the defenses for a month or few, every downtime until everyone concerned wraps their mind around this and adjust to the new reality.

Then restock diminished automatic defenses or contract other Vanguards for protection by themselves.

C’mon every day someone complaints there is not enough ISK sinks in New Eden…

I’m optimistic about Vanguard and would love to see it integrated into the existing eve economy in a meaningful way.
Having Vanguard raiding &/or supplying PI into EVE would be pretty awesome.
Is also like to see the return of Orbital Strikes :smiley:

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