New Method For Moving PI Products Off-world


(Vaedon) #1

The increase in player structures means an increase in demand for planetary goods for structure construction. In my opinion, this will mean Planetary Interaction (PI) will need a design balance/overhaul at some point in the near future.

One mechanic that has always bothered me (and more so now in its current form) is the method in which players move products on and off world. I’ve never liked the Customs Office, but the current implementation doesn’t feel like Eve-themed game-play to me – that is the passive income generated by constructing and then leaving a Customs Office. No further interaction required (barring someone blowing it up).

I have a more interactive risk-vs-reward approach I’d like the community’s (and developers if they’re reading) opinion on.

With the introduction of the mobile structures mechanics, I began to think about something I started calling (for lack of a better name) an Orbital Storage Bay (OSB). A small structure that is anchored somewhere in orbit of a planet you have a base on and allows you to move product into and out of said base.

Let’s start with the Reward:
For the cost of a single OSB, a player could move product to and from a base for free. Not only that, but the OSB could be built into the production links of the planetary base so that product a player deposits into the OSB could be automatically moved into production facilities and finished product could be moved back into the OSB.

Anchoring an OSB would be require a player to scan for an optimal orbital location. Essentially somewhere near the planet, but off the warp in grid for said planet. Once the scan pinpoints to location, simply warp to the site and drop your structure. Link to the base and you’re good to go.

The Risk(s)
What fun is reward without some risk?

OSBs only last for two or three days (similar to a Mobile Tractor Unit) before they disintegrate, taking any material they contain with them, unless the owner returns to interact with it (pickup, dropoff, etc). Use it or lose it, so to speak.

I also thought that it should be possible for other players to loot an OSB. My first thought was simply scanning it down, blowing it up, and taking whatever it happened to drop. While fun on some level, it’s not very engaging. Not after the first dozen or so anyways. :wink:

Instead, I thought about using hacking to access an OSB. A player with nefarious intent can scan down an OSB, and hack into it just as they would a relic or data site. Successfully open the structure and all the goodies inside are theirs for the taking.

To give owners some manner of defense, I thought an EveMail or alert of some kind to the owner from the structure stating that it was being hacked would give him/her time to mount a defense if they so chose.

Additionally, a new skill I called Encryption (again, for lack of a better name) could be trained to increase the complexity of the required hack, or to add multiple layers to the hack. (For example, Level 2 Encryption means a hacker would have to go through 2 hacking ‘maps’ successfully, thus increasing the time they are at the structure and giving the owner more time to arrive and defend it.)

As far as blowing them up, I can’t decide which would be better; whether it should just explode like a Mobile Tractor Unit or be reinforced like a Mobile Depot.

Any thoughts, comments, or criticisms are greatly appreciated!


(Matthias Ancaladron) #2

I just want hex tiles and multi routing.

Personally I’d just make the launchpad upgradable into a space elevators. Anything routed to the elevator can be accessed from space from it.
(Works for getting down to the planet surface too in the inevitable return of Wis/out of ship exploration)


(Skarlock Tremillion) #3

Really interesting idea, but i feel the current design would strongly favour pirate looting.

I think a better solution would be first offer a range of OSB’s, from weakly protected structures, to long term, highly encrypted units. The speed of moving objects to / from the surface to the OSB should also vary, no more instant access to or from the planet surface. I don’t like the idea of an OSB degrading, other than if the PI command centre is removed. All OSB’s should be positioned in geosynchronus orbit above the command centre.

The concept of having to visit an OSB should be to reprime the protection. When locked down an OSB should be secure. After priming the OSB, its defences should degrade over time. After a certain period (based upon player skills and / or the type of OSB used) it should be possible for a player to try and break in. I think using the standard data analyser is a great idea. The difficulty of the attempt would change based upon the time the OSB has been left unattended and the type of OSB used.

I think a game mechanic like this will make PI more interactive and also introduce a new form of piracy that would even work well in high sec. You could even consider making abandoned OSB’s free for all if scanned down.

I would also suggest OSB’s could introduce an additional mechanism to enhance the PI colony. For example providing additional power and CPU.


(Sephiroth Clone VII) #4

Too complicated and seems to make things worse. Keep the point of conflict at the colony or the orbital thingy.


(Do Little) #5

I agree that PI needs a refresh but I’m not expecting one anytime soon. The current system is working - the markets are well supplied with product and those of us who do PI are well compensated for our time.

The customs office provides a point of conflict for people who want to destroy it and setup their own ( https://zkillboard.com/ship/2233/ ) or people who simply want to gank those coming to collect their harvest. You’ve always been able to avoid the player component of the POCO tax by launching from the command center but expedited transfer cooldown timers make it inconvenient - I have no doubt this is intended!

I expect change when it comes will encourage more active gameplay and expose more of that gameplay to risk. I’ve thought of moving advanced and high-tech processors off-planet where they are exposed to risk - possibly as service modules in a refinery structure but haven’t pursued the idea in any detail.