There are 3 topics of suggestion, 2 are fitting for the big afk cloaking thread while the third is somewhat related (so I included it here), but it wouldn’t fit there. So, a new post.
Now, my general opinions, if you don’t agree with them you likely won’t with suggestions either (no promises the other way around).
Local gives too much info - it should be a chat channel.
Cloak gives ship ability to dictate when and where it strikes - this is good. But it also gives it perfect invulnerability, which isn’t ok.
Hotdrop is a stupidity, as the only/best counter is your own hotdrop. There needs to be a better alternative.
So, all the suggestions are intended to do the following: Make space less safe, without any easy counters. There are 3 proposals:
- Nerf local
- Nerf cloak
- Nerf cyno
Decrease amount of info gained by local and put some extra in overview.
1) Local reworked. Make it delayed globally and stop showing exact number of people inside. It is a chat channel and I think it should not be a source of info or safety:
a. If you are undocked; or docked and blue (+5) to the station owner, you get a rough number of people in the system.
i. Blue works the same for player and NPC corps/alliances - at least one standing is +5 and none below -2.
ii. Rough numbers would be like in say HOMM (with some category merges and renames): “few = 1-4”, “several = 5-9” (possibly few+several = “gang = 1-10”), “pack = 11-25”, “horde = 26-100”, “swarm = 101-999”, “goonswarm = 1000+”.
b. (WH would be without even that rough number - as now)
c. (hisec and perhaps lowsec could have exact numbers too - empire gives that additional info)
2) Now, to counter that drop of info:
a. Blue station would give you the list of people docked there.
b. Overview merges info from other sources, such as probes and dscan. Can separately set what items are shown displayed “near” and “far” (near = on grid, far = up to player defined range). Aka current dscan gets away in favor of better overview.
c. Make stuff you no longer see semi-transparent, but persist for a while on overview (user sets time, about 10 minutes). It gets updated on sight. Again a setting what no longer seen stuff persists. So, if you ping dscan once, you will keep seeing stuff it saw for several minutes in overview, with that (possibly obsolete) info.
d. Multiple overviews, each with its own settings - so you could have the “current way” as well - just have one overview for dscan and the other for live stuff.
3) There is a possibility of perfect safety: bring 3 other chars (alts, corpmates, whatever) to stay in the same system as you. As you have knowledge of 4 people, “few = 1-4”, means there is nobody else… However:
a. When that turns to “several”, there could be 1 other player to get you, or 6. You need to be incredibly risk averse to run when there is high chance you have 4v1 fight if the person is even hostile. (note that I also propose cyno nerf, so that single person couldn’t insta-spawn friends to nuke you).
b. Bringing 3 people with you to rat in safety sounds like a huge pain in the ass and a significant loss to income per player (even if alt). This seems mostly viable just for mining.
c. Even corpmate entering the system breaks your “I am safe” feeling.
Therefore, it sounds too much hassle to have people really use this for their safety, except perhaps for mining to align fleet size to be at the size threshold. Plus, merging “few” and “several” to a single 1-10 group (“gang”) makes non-mining use of this rough info completely implausible, if 1-4 bracket isn’t wide enough already.
All this local rework should achieve the stated goal of “local is just a talk channel”. With a pretty significant nerf-hammer though.
Now, for the cloaked ships - just make them detectable.
1) T2 probes that can spot cloaked ships as well.
a. Slow (twice the time of normal T1).
b. Limited to selected ships - the ones with probe bonuses + destroyers
c. (To prevent PVE safety by simply using those probes to detect any ship including cloaked one).
2) Special destroyer-only module that uncloaks all in say 50km range. (EDIT: 100 km was too much. Even that 50km might be better if reduced to say 30km)
a. Smartbomb-like module uncloaking every cloaked ship, friend or foe. Single module per ship.
b. 50cu/10pg, 200 cap, 30s (15s) cycle time, 1 minute reactivation delay. Uncloaks ships at the end of the cycle (to make cloaked ship able to run away). T2 with 60/15, 250 cap, 20s (10s) cycle time, same 1 minute reactivation. Base/best cycle time depends on skills, maybe cloaking.
c. Does not uncloak ship that has cloak timer upon entering the system. (aka it remains pain in the ass to set up gatecamps hunting cloakies).
3) Both these points make invisible ships possible to detect and hunt, though if the player is careful enough, he should spot destroyer warping on him and possibly also destroy it… unless that destroyer has a few cloaked friends with him.
Everyone in space is now vulnerable, except the ones tethered (side change - tether doesn’t grand invulnerability) and people in POS shields (side change - remove them). So, you have to dock or log off to have safety.
Now, a rant about hotdrops will follow - this is related as it would change hunter-prey dynamics and is therefore relevant with the local and cloak nerf.
There is one thing I absolutely hate about hotdrop: the best counter is your own. I find this mechanic completely dumb and I cannot understand how could anyone ever appreciate it. There should be some other way to counter this, and make the practice riskier (against a non-hotdrop counter tactic). So, I propose a nerf to cynos in general:
1) Ship opening cyno has a 1 min delay to open it. Main purpose: this enables denial of cyno. Capital ships have a 3 minute delay to open cyno.
a. Resources used at the start of opening.
b. Ship needs to be constantly within ~10km of the cyno beacon, if it gets away at any point, cyno is not opened.
c. Ship is fully active during cyno opening - it can move, fight, warp etc as normal. There is only weapons timer. (This is the only cyno buff among all the suggested nerfs).
d. Once cyno is open, ship is not required to maintain it, it remains open for the next 5 minutes.
e. All covops ships can jump to covops cyno (but not while cloaked). No need for blops bridge because screw that, a recon gang shouldn’t need to drag a BS with them to keep jumping around.
2) Ships using cyno (or are jumpbridged in) are unable to dock, tether, cloak; as well as lock or activate any offensive thing for 1 min. They also lose most of cap (as now). Main purpose - this gives jumping fleet a significantly greater risk against any non-hotdrop tactic.
a. Offensive things are smartbombs, ECM bursts, drones, bubbles and such.
b. They can use AB/MWD/MJD, armor and shield tank and receive remote assistance, as well as activate bastion and stuff. (EDIT: they can warp and jump - no reason not to)
c. Capital ships (excluding JF - these would have 1 minute) have 3 minute delay to operation after jump.
These delays to open and for activity are both purposefully quite long - response from a fleet in the next system should be preferred (if possible) than cynoing the same fleet in. Plus it often gives enough time to destroy the ship opening it before people can jump through. Likewise, this 1 minute delay to proper ship operation enables hit and run tactics against cyno fleet.
Capitals have longer times so cynoing them in is way riskier and they cannot as easily call for help. It should enable killing them with something else than a big blob - as attackers would have 4-6 minutes to destroy it, instead of just 2.