Planetary Drop Ships

Just In Case This Has Not Been Contemplated. (yet :wink:)

With Vanguard (as in Dust) players land on a planet and fight over ‘Stuff’. And While Vanguard has a variety of styles in what the players find - some not directly involving PI - we all know that at the top of the list is to somehow integrate PI into the PvP world. I support this goal.

What I would offer up as an idea to go along with this is a Covert Ops Version of a drop ship capable in carrying a group of Capsuleers and their gear. A ship capable of providing a good chance of surviving behind enemy lines, one that can support these players as well as get them in and out of enemy territory.

The reason for this is obviously not only is there a need for explaining how attackers (and defenders) get to and from a planet but to also generate mechanics and processes that can add to the content generated by players trying to mess with other players. Content not just for the attackers but things that the defenders also need to take into account but can use to reach their own goals.

At first this may seem OP, but realistically since the ship is unique in its mission, being protected by a cloak is pretty much necessary in its goal to be covert. Yet it is also allows defenders to determine that they are coming.

  • While the pilot is visible as normal - The players being carried will not show in local while they are being transported in the ship.

  • While in all other respects the cloak works as any other cloak does, it will deactivate when it enters warp, and can immediately cloak again once it leaves warp. This will allow some ability for defenders to be aware of - and track - the ship as it traverses through sparsely populated Null-sec, encountering few players here or there. This will generate Intel reports such as “just saw a drop ship at XXXX gate headed for X-XXXX”

  • Has equipped (or can be fitted with) a special booster similar to AB/MWD, that increase its acceleration into warp dramatically. This is a heavy ship that normally would take allot of time to accelerate). [Specifications subject to balance requirements]. This module would only operate if the ship is under cloak. Making it very slow otherwise.

  • If the ship is managed to be scanned by a Ship or Cargo Scanner it may reveal the number of players aboard Their equipment, etc in addition to ship fittings.

In effect the ship can be seen and identified by people on grid as it warps off or onto a grid. But is otherwise under cloak*. These requirements will allow the ship to be covert but also allow skilled players to track it while it is warp, to gather intelligence about the threat and to be aware that there is one on grid. But unlike other ships under cloak, it has the ability to move fast while cloaked to avoid being easily de-cloaked.


Over each Planetary installation, there is a beacon in orbit (this can be a feature of PI itself or a temp beacon activated when attackers select a target). In order to Drop its attackers it must be within a set distance of the beacon and traveling towards it at maximum speed for a specified time in order to successfully deploy its cargo. The distance at which the pilot activates the drop has a relationship to the distance the troops will be dropped (as well as from what direction). this allows the attackers to determine where they initially land as well as supply this information to the defenders - in a less accurate form.

The drop sequence is something the pilot has control of which allows him to make certain decisions that will control the drop.

  1. The ship aligns (under cloak if the pilot so chooses) towards the beacon. This starts the sequence.

  2. Once a few seconds elapse (Outer Marker) he has the option to press the deploy command.

  3. The longer the pilot delays past the Outer Marker the more accurate the drop will be and the more options he has.

Measured as a circle on the ground this circle (the Drop Zone) would get smaller and smaller. Flying past the point where the circle stops shrinking (The Inner Marker) will not be an improvement, but will allow the drop ship to move the Drop Zone (within limits) - to pick a spot to make the drop. Successfully passing the Inner Marker (Max speed between Outer and Inner Markers in a straight line) will increase the Drop Zones radius to the max but will now give the pilot an option to select any spot inside that zone around his current position on the ground.

Otherwise when activating the Drop option before reaching the Inner Marker the actual placement will be a random spot inside the current Drop Zone circle (again a circle which shrinks from a large size to a smaller size at it travels from Outer to Inner Markers).

Some sort of Popup Window will show a flat map of the terrain under the grid around the beacon with the ship’s Position being at the center, the Drop Zone circle and the Inner and out Markers shown. The map can be a rough topography map suitable to show hills, valleys, roads, and major features. Detailed enough to allow the pilot to pick an advantageous spot to drop his people.

Activating the drop will place the attackers (OR a selected subset) at the spot inside the Drop Zone. This map can stay open so he can monitor his people and allow him to plan and maneuver to do the pickup or to make further drops. The ground details, and current activity, on the map can all be revealed all the time or Fog Of War conditions may be imposed.


Pickups are done virtually in the same manner however the pickup can be achieved at any point after passing the outer Marker AND while the people to be picked up are within the Drop Zone as indicated. The players and the pilot have options to select who will be picked up and who will not.


The pilot can also drop off supplies (he selects which ones will be ejected). In addition if the game employs loot or prize items - that a player can’t carry - they can be picked up in a similar way that players are, players can be retrieved at same time. The items must fit into the cargo hold.


The ship is vulnerable to all attacks as normal EXCEPT when it is in Drop Sequence mode. The time during its drop and pickup sequences are special in that realistically it is in atmosphere away from spaceships. We simulate this with the following mechanics.

  • The ship must be uncloaked when it activates a Drop Sequence and traveling at max speed (special booster previously mentions gets it to max in only a couple seconds.

  • While the sequence is active the ship is not invulnerable to normal damage. However it will take only 1/2 damage to shields and 1/4 damage to Armor and 0 damage to structure from Space based weapons. (IE. 50% Shield resist will only take 25% damage vs 50%, 50% armor would be 12.5%, etc.) it can be targeted and any fire it takes from spaceships will also effect its Drop Zone accuracy, essentially extending out the distance to be traveled to the inner marker.

  • However once it makes the drop - the ship will be twice as vulnerable to damage for a few seconds (Atmospheric Transition Timer). It will also be unable to cloak during this time. All this simulates it dropping into atmosphere and climbing back out.

(this could be replaced with actually piloting into atmosphere at some later time… yes, looking at you CCP).


If such things are set up by CCP and/or defenders have the capability so see, target and fire on the drop ship as it does its run? then the ship would take the damage dealt to it from the ground. Possibly doing damage to clones as well as equipment and supplies.


This is a special purpose ship that essentially is an armored brick that can survive atmosphere and the damage inflicted on and and still fly. So its not an agile race car that can bob and weave to escape detection or incoming fire. To try to compensate for this it has overpowered acceleration, but can only be used sparingly due to the power or fuel requirements.

In addition it has cloaking capabilities but again due to its need for large power plant and armor it can only use it at times it is not otherwise needing the power. In effect this means it can only be used while at sub-warp velocities while in space. Cloaks don’t work in atmosphere. However like its brother the Covert-ops battleship it is capable of high speed maneuvering while under cloak in space. Possibly even above its normal sub-warp maximum. This is good since it may be called on to maneuver around the grid to configure itself for drop runs with enemy present on grid as well.

In addition to the acceleration booster it has a built in Micro-Jump drive bonus. It has a shortened cool-down period and a shorter activation delay. Both Timer delays are nullified when it does an atmospheric drop (Air cooled) and the activation timer is replaced by the Atmospheric Transition Timer (while it is unstable due to it’s Atmosphere to space transition). the MJD can be pre-fired, but the ship will still be vulnerable to incoming fire during the transition Timer.

Also because of its need to be configured for atmosphere, its size and weight it can’t be fitted with the equipment that would normally come with the Covert-ops cloak and it is therefore incapable of using a ship-based jump bridge. With some anticipated improvements it might able to use a Titan’s jump bridge in the near future.

The main mission for this ship is to travel using gates to the target system either by itself or with a support group to protect it. But once it is system it can stay hidden for long periods and have the ability to quickly get on or off grid.

In addition to the complications due to the need for Atmospheric design, armor and power requirements it also has a limited clone bay and the fluid router equipment to use them locally. This allows it to supply replacements for battlefield loses while in hostile space. It will have to hot-drop the replacement clones. It can’t make a clone, instead these blank clones have to be fitted while in dock. There fore there is a limited supply. The pilot can determine how many there will be since they also take up hold space.

Special models of this ship may come with a ship maintenance bay allowing it to carry up to two destroyers or a light cruiser as well as a frigate escape bay. This would allow the ship to travel with some combat capabilities for defense while on deep space missions as well as a fitting and minor repair service for the smaller ships.

Future special versions may also come with orbital strike capabilities, intel scanners for organizing ground offenses, as well as other abilities yet to be declassified.

When the ship logs out while the smaller ships are docked and their pilot clones are onboard all pilots will log out as well. Future updates may allow the carried pilots to log in with limited maintenance abilities (skill training, fitting, chatting, etc)

Forgot to add.

The ship may have a Planetary Interaction Materials Hold for hauling off PI loot they may capture.

After taking out any automated defenses and defending players of course, lol.

1 Like

Youd be better off posting this to the discord as this relates to vanguard and not eve online

In case you hadnt read this yet

I like the idea, but not the details.

Instead of a one-ship-does-all, maybe a variety of ships each doing a little bit of the over all project.

its a starter Idea, i flesh it out just in case others have variations, plus CCP might like the details lol

nope, this is about the integration of eve with Vanguard not the stand alone games we have now. that is the ultimate goal . merging them… Which under those conditions the only Vanguard thing I discussed were the clones, everything else happens on the EVE Server.

I really would like a whole fleet of ships too. But even here with my idea there is already a group. the Pilot and the fighters. that could be 13 or more right there. Separate ships is counter to the drop ship idea, unless they set it up so people use their own ships to land on planet.

In addition this generates activity in space that goes a long with the planet side combat…The attackers would be hunting the drop ship, trying to prevent it from dropping more players or supplies and picking them up as they try to run.

Even though I wrote it as a fleshed out idea, its far from that. I just tried to illustrate one way of doing it. However, even though I thought of it as I wrote it, I am falling in love with the Drop Sequence Mechanic I mentioned.

I think of the ‘drop ship’ as being from ‘*Aliens’. Leave a ship in something shuttle size and a handful of Space Marines. Land on the planet and wipe out the bad guys. :grinning:

That was my idea to start out with as well. But its ability to get deep in enemy territory would be limited unless it was a delivered there by an even bigger ship that transports it. Which means a new ship again anyway.

I also wanted to avoid the situation where a Cyno would suddenly drop a few of these into a system. By making it have to sneak - or otherwise travel to the system via gates. Thus giving opposing players ‘some’ notice that a Planetary assault is in the future. Allowing them time to gather people to fight it off. Remember the defenders have to drop players into the fight just like the attackers do. So if an attacker also has combat ships then the defenders are at risk and may have to fight the combat ships too.

But in any case by combining them into one ship I was able to illustrate some of the new mechanics I thought would be useful without being overly confusing.

[All ideas are subject to Developer Alteration, Balance needs or even be subject to Summary Execution] – I have yet to meet an idea which survived contact with a Dev.

The bottom line of what I am asking in my submission; is if players would like to see:

  1. Planetary Drop Ships that carry players.

  2. And whether they would want it simply be a ‘warp to planet and drop’ mechanic OR have more or complexity into the methods of doing it.