Introduce Blackout Deployable

Idea: Blackout Deployable for use in nullsec


  • A lot of people want blackout to be reintroduced in some form or another.
    • One idea that has been previously raised is to anchor a module in a system (at most one at a time) to blackout the system while the deployable is active.
    • Whenever the blackout deployable is active, a beacon is visible in the Overview that anyone can warp to either
      • destroy it because blackout hurts their opsec
      • defend it because blackout helps their opsec
      • or attack whoever shows up because they don’t care one way or another but love PVP and NPSI fleets are fun.
  • It would serve as a great PVP magnet just like the previous deployable ESS did before being replaced by permanent ESS, and also makes PVP more exciting for hunters and prey and mutual foes alike given that the system can be blacked out or lit up again at (almost) any time.
  • In order to prevent near-constant blackouts with a redeployment of a blackout deployable upon the destruction of the last one, there could be an anchoring timer where the blackout doesn’t actually take effect until it is fully anchored, but the beacon still spawns so that the PVP magnet kicks in from the very beginning. So while you could begin anchoring a blackout deployable immediately upon the destruction of the old one, the blackout itself wouldn’t kick in for quite some time afterward (eg. 15 minutes)

The community is split over whether or not nullsec blackout (in some form or other) is good or bad - now you can duke out your differences in opinion out on the battlefield and exert control over the visibility of Local in nullsec. The only real losers with this idea are the thieves who will no longer get away with their ill-gotten gains… but really, ESS was about PVP (and nerfing bounties, which can still be done alongside this change) more than it was about one person scoring ISK.

(Edit: This post has been revised in light of CCP’s announcement of “Permanent ESS”. The original post suggested replacing deployable ESS with deployable blackout; however, since ESS will continue to exist in non-deployable form per recent CCP announcement, ESS does not need to be replaced but can co-exist with this blackout deployable.)

I had mentioned this in some of the interviews and streams I have been doing, well something very similar. It is an interesting idea with some potential.

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I was on my phone so typing any sort of response is inherently harder on mobile platform.

I am now at home on the laptop and will elaborate on my idea I had for something very similar. The goal was to create a blackout instance where local could be disrupted in the Null sec areas (Maybe even low). With a deployable that has modes. One mode would sit there silently siphoning ISK bounties from ratters and can only be scanned down to be destroyed with the second mode being a localised blackout of the system.

This was a very under worked concept which we also concluded like yours above could have something plausible hidden within. The aspects that I liked about it was that there is work involved in keeping the local in your space which I advocate for in my CSM campaign. I also like the idea of being able to steal something form your enemies that also creates a small conflict driver.

Alternative ideas was to use the “Observation Tower” structure that was mentioned but unsure to its intended purpose and make that into a structure that can be fueled to provide the local we all know, but an observation tower would need to be able to observe a ship to say it is there. This brought me into thinking that if a ship cannot be found on a Dscan then it shouldn’t display in local. Combat Recons, while gate cloak is on, etc.

This again got interesting as you would need to fuel and protect this structure to maintain your local but also can allow it to be hacked, destroyed etc to pull it down. It also allows certain ships to be used to infiltrate areas potentially undetected.

There have been some great ideas around Local and deployables which I hope to be able to start a concentrated think tank and thrash out some completed ideas with lots of the kinks worked out and present them to CCP.

I think the lore justification is that deploying it allows the empires more control over how bounties are awarded for killing pirates in that system, with a reduction in bounties by CONCORD because they don’t appreciate that meddling.

If you don’t get robbed your ticks are 10% better. That’s before LP. LP is earned at a rate of 1 per 5000 ISK earned at max. So if I shoot a rat that would normally be worth a million ISK, I get 1,100,000 ISK AND 200 LP, which should be worth at least 1000 ISK/LP, so you get an additional 200,000 ISK on top of that. So you can make 30% more ISK ratting. That’s big money if you’re in a capital ship.

By who, your corpmates or hostiles? If the former that sounds like a recruitment issue, if the latter maybe you need to man up and protect it. After all, that’s the point, to encourage fights.

This makes me think you don’t know how it works. The ISK generated is going to be equal to or greater than the ISK generated without an ESS, so unless you’re talking about how the LP store is an ISK sink this is patently false.

Oh yeah sure, there’s lore justification and whatever. Still kind of silly, though.

Perhaps I’ve made myself unclear and for that I am at fault: yes, obviously the ESS generates a net gain of ISK/LP over not deploying it at all - this I’m well aware of and goes without saying. However, in general the more ratters there are, the more losers there will be when the pool is ultimately stolen by someone other than themselves (it is almost never shared). That is, almost all ratters in system will end up having nerfed income as a result of ESS being deployed - that is the context I was referring to.

I don’t think this in itself is a bad thing, by the way - the issue with ESS is in conceptual silliness, not because I think money grabbing is bad (which I don’t). I also don’t think ESS is as meaningful as something like a blackout deployable which has a strategic significance that affects everyone rather than just the ratters.

This “man up and protect it” factor is preserved with my proposed replacement, so it’s not as if this would go away. People will want to destroy/defend the blackout deployable based on its strategic impact, and then third parties will want to show up to engage whoever is attacking/defending it just because they enjoy PVP.

The critique on ESS is that the concept is dumb, but the PVP magnetism is good as is the way it nerfs payouts to the majority of ratters the majority of the time. The PVP magnetism can be preserved with the replacement, and the bounties can be nerfed alongside the ESS replacement so that nullsec earnings from nullsec ratting remain tame after ESS is removed.

Today CCP announced they are removing ESS Deployables in favor of making ESS Permanent; therefore, I have revised this post (it’s shorter!) as an “Introduce Blackout Deployable to co-exist with Permanent ESS” pitch instead of “Introduce Blackout Deployable to replace Deployable ESS” pitch.

@Mike_Azariah @Brisc_Rubal as the only two CSM members active on the forums - thoughts on Blackout Deployable proposal fleshed out in original post?

I campaigned on something similar, so I like it.

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Honestly I’ve thought it should be the reverse. Reintroduce blackout. From a lore perspective why would the empires pay for all these local connections anyway?

Then add a SOV module that gives you back local. It needs to be maintained and defended. Higher levels of system upgrade levels give it more capabilities. For example at its base level maybe it is local, but not 100% real time accurate all the way up to maybe even adding a covert pulse at the highest levels (something that helps those fighting over AFK cloaking without having to actually change cloaks).

It also adds to combat. Thinkng of invading? Knock out communications first.

anyhow lots more details can be thought up, but I’m short on time.

Part of the problem with this is that it is entirely possible that the controlling power wants blackout, so all third parties have no way of influencing this because they cannot install the module to light up local. By contrast, if nullsec was blacked out and there was a deployable to light it up using the exact same mechanics I described, that would make sense because it can be controlled by anyone at any time, not just sov-owners.

@Brisc_Rubal he brings up a good point: thoughts on identical mechanics, but “in reverse” with all of nullsec blacked out and this deployable would light up Local rather than black it out? Personally I like this idea more and I think it makes more sense lore-wise, but I think either approach would be an improvement over the status quo, esp. if the deployables have a long life of several days like mobile depots do.

We are talking about SOV null. If you hold SOV you can install the module. I think it fits far better from a lore and gameplay perspective to have it as a SOV mod. Also that way it can be tied to the SOV indexes to vary its effectiveness and becomes another alternate structure to knock out to gain advantage in war.

I understood you completely, but I consider the inability for non-SOV players to affect blackout (other than by claiming SOV to install the module themselves) in SOV systems to be a bad thing. But anyway, let’s see what Brisc has to say.

I guess it depends on your goals. I would see a deployable that you are proposing more of an active offensive type module. What I’m talking about is more of a complete overhaul of how local functions in SOV space.

One issue I’d have with your module is it will be used as a grief mechanic. Even with an anchoring timer players will either bring a force and keep going over and over, or wait until the system is idle to anchor them. If people complain that AFK cloaking is bad, they will hate this even more.

I don’t think this will be any more or less of a grief mechanic as gate camping (esp. w/ bubbles) or roaming are, or constantly contesting ESSes now that they’re going to become permanent per recent announcement. Most complaints from blackout are with blackout period in any way, shape, or form- I would imagine very few people who were previously fine with or indifferent to blackout are going to complain about blackout because of any one specific deployment or other. I do imagine, however, that if it were tied to SOV, players would complain because it would be very difficult to change blackout status without changing SOV status. I know I would be extremely irritated, asking myself “what’s the point of supposedly-changable blackout if it can’t easily change? If I am powerless to change it?”. Deployable blackout/lightup provides for co-op play in attacking and defending it the same way deployable ESS does.

I actually like your night-into-day suggestion better than my day-into-night suggestion - “lightup” vs “blackout” (exact same mechanics, except that one defaults nullsec to blackout unless lit up w/ deployable), I just don’t like the SOV tie-in as I see many problems and frustrations that come with it. At least any frustrations that come with blackout don’t have to last long (esp. if the anchoring delay is well calibrated based on observing player behavior and getting feedback, probably between 15 to 60 minutes). Really looking to hear from Brisc, though.

Well except there is one major difference. With all of those you can at least gain some information about what you are rolling into because you can see who is in local. It’s much different when you log in to find someone put in a blackout device outside your timezone playtime. Now you have no idea who’s hanging around.

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