Okay we all know that Rats randomly attack you While u are mining. And they are so easy your drones can take care of them? Well what if there was a Log in mode or mini-Game option where you as a player can control one of these rats ships? (or a group of you can)
Log into the mode. This locks u out from your pilots ability to fly any of your ships. If in space your ship is locked in place (no cloaks allowed). [see below for why this is not fatal.]
You sit there until the server normally warps a rat fleet into a belt and randomly assigns you into one of the NPC ships. At the same time notifies you and does a warp in animation. Which also gives u a few seconds to check out what functions the NPC has. (the HUD changes to the one assigned to the Rat Ship). at which point u are now in control of one of them.
You can now attack any players on grid. If the other Rat ships are also player controlled u can Coordinate with them (u get an instance of shared chat).
Let the fun begin.
I can see Shooting the other rats ships (u acting to defend the friendly fleet) as problematic to the intent of this mini-game. So banning that might be considered. But not by disallowing targeting since inter-rat remote effects or other effect might be desired.
Yes when a Player controls these rats - you can even allow Modules or modes not normally on AI rats. … Remote Shield reps for example. Having the Rat ship carry the Players name may also be a thing. (making new friends is also the goal here, lol)
Rewards for this could be that the Wrecks belong to you so u can loot free of consequences, Bounty points, SP, Pirate LP for pirate stuff, Improved Pirate NPC Standing, etc. Or Redeemable Item rewards. For me it would just be fun. On the other side players who successfully defend themselves can get enhanced bounties or other rewards as well.
I would not suggest them to be too valuable - as tradable goods or income - because that would lead to abuse. [there is a way around this by implementing a combat analysis (did they really fight to the death or not) rating to scale the player rewards. But that is probably a soon™ thing]
- Keep in mind this is NOT normal PVP between players. You are using somewhat inferior and limited ships with possible capabilities above what a normal AI rat may have. But you won’t have the full capabilities you can find in a fitted player ship. (for now)
Fleeting with friends ahead of time improves your chances of landing in the same NPC group together. Also increases defender’s choice of detectable targets. All normal fleet windows and abilities are available.
An advanced version of this where a fleeted group of players can actually control the roam of the NPC fleet (but not pick which ships they can control … mmm, or maybe they can, lol) by the server forming up a group - in a random spot in system - and then players being able to select destinations to warp to. These destinations can be any that you would normally be able to do. For instance a fleet member who is NOT logged to the mini-game can combat scan other players and/or provide warp ins to the ones who are logged in.
- This would allow NPCs to show up ‘anywhere’ at ‘any’ time instead of just randomly. Even to the spot where another Remote NPC player is hiding, lol.
Might also consider adding Consequences to this play style - like a player going suspect upon ending of rat control as a result. Maybe without ability to dock or jump gate during the Suspect period. Maybe with a separate 5 minute deny cloaking timer. This might break up the players sense of fun however. Maybe have it determined by RNG? so it only happens occasionally?
The playing field would be the system you are in only.
There may also be options for rat type, such as reg belt rats, Anom/Signature/Mission Rats, Roaming FOB rats, etc… with of course limitations so not to allow you to easily screw people up, Like allowing a Mission goal rat ship to warp off grid to deny progress (player warp should be disallowed anyway) or making the controlled ship too OP for a mission runner.
For belt or combat site rats - the goal is to kill another player… for mission rats it could be limited to just to give them a challenge and make missions somewhat unpredictable and surprising in some ways. with just a ‘slim’ chance to ruin their day.
Can also have abilities for player to form up rat fleets designed especially for this game mode. That allows players to control them and the AI handles those ships in the group not controlled by a player, but allow player to have some control, like telling the AI ships as to which target to attack or warp destination, etc. This would be more complex version of the mini game, but worth consideration in the future.
- Allowing Player skills/boosters/implants to come into play may also be considered.
The purpose of this - other than a new and fun game mode - is to give AFK’rs a shake up at the same time you provide a wider variation of ability to rats (with no way for the players being attacked to anticipate or document these abilities beforehand, other than the inherent limits determined by the pirate faction or race of the area).
It also provides Meta game-play possibilities as you can enter a hostile player system and work against them alone or as a fleeted group. Not in a huge way, but definitely in a noticeable one. Redefining the cloaky Camper issue into one where campers can scratch their itch - but at the same time allow the people in the system to fight back. Sov systems may have an inhibitor or limiter system for this… or maybe there could be a deployable for use anywhere (one that can be attacked and not easily anchorable or cheap please).
- Might be prudent to make this player’s ship invisible and invulnerable while they are controlling an NPC ship. Also would shut off all running modules and remote effects).
I see fitting ships to be harder to detect, being able to haul loot, etc might be a new fitting consideration.
They in turn can alternately try to find you and destroy you. Players in system can coordinate to catch the person. Ie., in extreme cases - they all stop ratting to disallow him chances to enter active game mode, which makes him normally visible to sensors.
Alternatively (with limitations) you can design the game mode to be available only to players who are docked up or stationary anywhere in space to activate the mini-game and be randomly inserted into a rat ship anywhere in the cluster. Normally you have to wait and be patient for the server to determine it wants to send a rat fleet to a belt AND have a player target on-grid there before the game goes into combat mode.
- So like real PVP there are long periods of inactivity and waiting punctuated by a few minutes of frantic action. However if you play it in cluster or region wide mode then u can get action almost continuously.
You can escape out from the combat or action mode at anytime and the rat would revert to AI control and abilities. AND allow you to do your own things like delivering jobs, mining, continue on your journey, so on and so on.
This really is a game mode that can be randomly played for a few minutes OR allow you to completely immerse yourself into with ability to effect other players at the same time.
This idea also allows you to Upgrade how Rats work without having to invest billions in an AI mainframe to do it. This is not a good idea anyway due to the increased chance of it going Skynet on you.
There are so many new possibilities with not really that much programming compared to having to create assets and mechanics from scratch.
If this mode is popular (and why would it not be?) it could:
Attract 100’s of Thousands of new players who rather enjoy arcade style FPS only. While still requiring them to ‘play’ the game, IE., learning skills, learning how it works, so on.
It would give players a solution to the complaint that Eve Is a grind and nothing to do most of the time (it wont change the grind - but it might make them care less about complaining)!
It could change the desire to be a cloaky camper to an interactive game instead. And allow them to scratch that itch in all parts of space, not just Null.
Saving CCP millions on new programming to enhance the NPC Combat AI. Don’t tell Bill Gates.
Not to mention it would be a game changer in possibly a big way. Think of the increased player excitement for the game. … Come on CCP - You Know You Want To.
If you like this idea, in whole or just in part. please comment like and subscribe, lol. Unless they love the idea by itself, CCP won’t consider it unless other players also express their like or dislike to promote it.* Please submit likes only. I don’t take criticisms well, hehe.