A simple idea from me, which I think would make the game more new pilot friendly, and resolve what to me is one of the most irritating factors of the game. Yes… I just lost yet another 100m+ Garmur to a gate camp and I’m salty.
You are in one system. You want to jump into another system. You open up the map and check “ships destroyed in the last hour”; this is 0. You then proceed to check "average pilots in space over the last 30 mins; this is also very low. Deciding that you can probably go into the next system without seeing fireworks, you click “jump” on the gate.
You land… there is a sea of orange. You are in a 100m ship that took a few hours to earn. You can’t burn back to gate, you will blow up long before you traverse the 10km. You can’t warp out. The gate campers have sensor boosters and can immediately lock and warp disrupt you.
You are in fact 100% fudged and could not have discovered this fact before jumping into an absolute death trap with the set of tools provided.
This doesn’t make for a very good new player experience. Players spend an age grinding up a nice swanky ship, only to see it popped with very little chance to evade or avoid.
Gate scanning/viewing - 100km… Gates have inbuilt paired scanning capabilities. While close to the gate you can click on it and request to “scan”. The gate on the other side scans 100km and provides a data link back to the first gate. The scan could take a while to come back… Say 30 seconds. The scan would show you everything that is within 100km of the gate.
What does this do? It provides capsuleers with a choice & chance.
They have the ability to see if there is anything on grid that will immediately pop them. They still need to request the scan and to sit around waiting for it, which people will likely not do unless they particularly care about not blowing up. If they warp to the gate before scanning it, then they are still in trouble. If they jump the gate before requesting a scan from it, they are still in trouble. If they sit around for 30 seconds on the 1st gate, rather than orbiting it or manually piloting, they could still get caught.
It isn’t fast enough to make people want to do it all the time, so there will still be opportunity to catch people if they are being lazy.
People who like to gate camp can still work it.
So in summary… The idea as it stands:
Low-sec ONLY wandering NPC faction specific fleets visiting gates frequently, but for only 5 mins at a time every 15 mins (3 periods of danger, 3 of safety per hour). 75% dangerous. Randomise the timers on a per gate basis. Add a gate specific indicator to signify the NPC fleet’s presence.
How this would impact the game:
Gatecamps can exist, but they will need to be mindful of when they can and can’t camp that specific gate (move to another gate when the navy come to yours). Windows of opportunity would exist for the mindful capsuleer, for safer passage into low-sec. This would be beneficial for new players, allowing them to experience a higher level of danger than high-sec, whist still allowing them to be relatively safe if they pilot well.
For example, A player explorer could check the gate before jumping into low-sec, but can still get caught by a combat probing ship - if they don’t diligently watch D-Scan whilst hacking their slightly juicier relic sites. If they jump when the gate is red, that’s their choice and they may or may not die (just like today). A player would have to gamble if they don’t wait for an open window. There is a conscious choice that must be made and a risk assessment.
Complicated routes of multiple jumps through low sec, with the benefits of heightened safety, would be less feasible (which is a good thing) due to the fact that not all gates are in sync. Want to jump through 10 low-sec gates in safety? You had better wait a good long time for all those green lights.