Energy Neutralizers and Energy Nosferatu Modules work very inconsistently in PvE as most older NPCs simply have no capacitor, so neither Neuts nor NOS have any effect on them and you also can’t drain anything from them. Some of the newer NPCs do use some capacitor, but the effects from neuting/nossing them are almost neglectible for practical puposes.
Why is this situation bad:
- inconsistent behavior that also is nowhere explained ingame leads to confusion among the players, bad fitting choices, frustration
- it places neut/nos bonused ships (namely BloodRaiders) unnessessarily at a disadvantage compared to those of other factions that simply have bonuses that work perfectly against NPCs (hello Worm, Gila, Rattle…)
- the actual examples where the mechanics do work are hard to understand how they work and barely have useful advantages
Suggestion: Since NPCs are not capsuleer-piloted ships, there is no need to have these modules work exactly the same way on them as they would work in player-piloted ships, instead very simple rules could be put in place.
- each cycle of a small neut on an NPC reduces the chance of this NPC using any kind of special ability (active tank, propmod, webs, points, scrams, damps, ecm, paints, nos, neut, RR) by 12.5% (8 cycles to completely shutting down NPC special abilities); medium neuts: 25% (4 cycles to complete shutdown); heavy neuts: 50% (2 cycles to complete shutdown)
- certain special NPCs can have resistances against player neuts, but these show up in their attribute tab
- do work on NPCs if you own capacitor is below 50% (unbonused ships), bonused ships (Blood Raiders) can drain even when above 50% own cap
- do drain 10% less per cycle, so you can drain at most 10 cycles with diminishing returns
- the effects are similar to those of neuting them, but with a 50% reduced effect (need 2x as much cycles to shut down their special abilities compared to a neut)
Why is this situation better than the current one?
- rules of use are simple to understand and consistent for most engagements (special cap-warfare resistant NPCs still need to be learned!)
- players could create fits to take advantage of these modules in utility highs and use the boni of faction-bonused ships in PvE (for example breaking NPC tackle, slowing them down, preventing NPC ewar, countering NPC energy neutralization).
- PvP fits that often carry neuts can at least have some additional effect when ratting with them
Is this solution very complex/hard to implement?
- not from my point of view, because the stats of the NPCs don’t need to be touched or considered at all, it can all be worked into the effect of the module itself which simply applies a global chance multiplier on the targeted NPCs activation chance for special effects
- the only thing to consider is which NPCs would CCP want to give resistances/immunity to these effects (Drifter Boss in C5/C6? Officers? NPC capitals/supercaps?).
Could there be unwanted side effects?
- hmm none that I would consider game-breaking, Abyss-Fittings might get a better cap situation, but only if they give up something else that currently uses that high slot (Drone Link Augmentor, Tractorbeam, Smartbomb…), but I am open to concerns here.
Concerns, recommendations and hints welcome.