Once again, at it’s current iteration, this feature doesn’t have any of the advertised appeal from the Phoenix Quadrant trailer.
You are supposed to fast board a fresh ship and get straight back into battle, and not be insta killed in your pod by capital smartbombs…
Taking directly from the EVE Uni wiki, from the Jump Clones page:
Clone Vat Bays are rarely used in the current metagame, although they can offer a specific advantage or utility in extremely specific circumstances. Titan Bridges are more effective means of transport to the battle field over remote distances.
For those who aren’t aware, the current respawn mechanic is just a Clone Vat Bay without any downtime attached to it, so you respawn outside the closest super, in the middle of a battlefield, in your pod…
It simply doesn’t work.
If the intent here is to make it into a widespread and valid strategical feature of supercarriers, then you need to make it more convenient than simply dying, respawning inside a structure(while being 100% safe), and having more than enough time to get into a new ship of your choosing from your personal hangar.
You should know when your feature isn’t working as intended when the Battleship frigate escape bay manages to do a better job at getting you back in space in a new ship ready for battle as soon as your previous one dies.
First of all, if there’s more than one super on grid, you simply spawn near the closest one, which might not have any of your ships inside, or any ships which you can fly to a decent level… or even able to fly at all…
This can be adressed by requiring the player to set one jump clone inside the supercarrier they wish to respawn at, as if setting up a “temporary” home station.
Getting into a new ship in the middle of a battlefield filled with capital smartbombs isn’t that easy, especially as you have to browse through a convoluted right click menu to access the super maintenance bay.
First of all, there should be easy access buttons in the Selected Item window for features like ship mantenance bay and fleet hangar.
Second of all, capital ships are supposed to be the behemoths where you can dock your puny sub-cap ships into and even live inside.
Considering this, why the heck are capsuleers being pooped out in space in their capsules, without any protection, after having JUST DIED!?
Rather than just supers, all capitals that can equip a Clone Vat Bay need a proper rework, getting the ability to allow players in sub-caps to board them, and the various features which a mobile mini-station should have, such as:
- jump clones
- switching ships
Maybe not the last two, but would make sense for a mothership to be able to manufacture new small-scale vessels as a mobile battle station, besides the very own resources that are needed for it to remain as an independant vessel in and of itself, like fuel, replacement parts, etc.
In any case, the main problem with this respawning feature is that the player respawns out in space, meaning they can be killed over and over again, without a proper chance to even get the supercarrier bay window open.
Spawning inside the super would give much more strategical chances for fleets, able to reorganize their composition and get back into the battlefield at specific timings in a more coordinated fashion, rather than simply die, respawn, try to get back in a ship ASAP before you die again.
No apparent downsides to dying within very short time frames, or a limit to how much you can respawn.
If the intented limit is having players leaving the fleet in frustration of being killed over and over again by smartbombs while still in their capsules, then let me tell you, that’s not a good limit.
I’d suggest that rather than every player being able to carry their entire skill points to these “disposable clones”, instead they have a limited amount of SP they can set up to respawn with.
Thus, the Supercarrier Tactical Capsuleer Recloner only spends the least amount of time and energy necessary to make a copy of these “core skills”, and prints out a lower quality clone faster, as a proper clone with all skills would require more time, and give the player the jump clone downtime.
If a player only gets the chance to play around with, let’s say, 5M skill points, then there’s a certain limit to what they can feasibly fly to a competent level, having to carefully choose which skills they will keep in these “tactical clones” while they last.
Regaining the full skills could work just like a lapsed Alpha char with Omega skills regains access to them after upgrading their account again, and would only require to lock the unselected skills from the player while in the “tactical clone mode”.
Being in a tactical clone would be a pseudo Alpha state, and jumping to a proper clone would be the Omega upgrade, getting rid of the disposable clone in the process and giving the jump clone timer.
Maybe this feature actually works as advertised and I simply don’t have enough combat experience to see it’s full advantages, but it definitely didn’t feel “fun” or “convenient” for me.
From what I could have seen from some simple search around the old forums and reddit, the Clone Vat bay is seen as just a meme feature of the titan and rorqual, with jump bridges being much more effective at their job, so this probably won’t fair much better.
As a great zkill guide once mentioned, “don’t let your dreams be memes”, so if the dev team hasn’t gotten any proper feedback from FCs and people who would actually be making use of this feature in both small and large scale battles yet, please do it now.