The next W-space. and Player Owned Gates


(Sean Roach) #1

The next W-space. and Player Owned Gates.

Okay, here’s a long one.
New Upwell structure(s).
Upwell gate, in three sizes, and effective ranges, just like the NPC ones. Usable in null, and to connect null K-space with a set of new systems that have no existing gates.

new ships
Establish three new hulls, all capital sized, (and capital levels of resources consumed in the making.)

  • The macrowarpdrive battleship
  • The macrowarpdrive “rorqual”
  • The macrowarpdrive freighter.

Whether or not there is one of each for each empire or not, doesn’t matter. Might be fun if everything but the freighter had two empires making it, while the freighter was an ORE design. Say, Amarr and Caldari for the battleships, and Gallente and Minmatar for the ship haulers. This puts a shield and an armor option on each type.

new “Probes”.
three new deployables, about frigate sized, that are, in effect, single-use jump-drive equipped probes.

  • One that can be used to scout a system, and relay back useful details about that system.
  • One that can be used to look for incoming ships, such as any of those mentioned above. (It might be more appropriate if this one looked like a pepperbox full of drones or missiles, since it is covering a swath of sky.)
  • One that can be used to, try, to shoot down (one of) those incoming ships.

Each ship should take one jumpclone. The “rorqual” should take many more. The battleship should be about as capable as a regular battleship, despite its much higher price. As heavy hitting, as tanky, as fast, maybe just pick two but it’s also going to be as easy to lock as a capital ship, anyway. The “Rorqual” should, naturally, hold a number of fitted subcapitals, and be able to deploy them using the jumpclones it has stored. The freighter would be just that, a very expensive freighter, capable of carrying anything a freighter can, including Upwell Structures.
All three would be single-use. Too big to go through a gate, (once assembled), and unable to bridge, or jump more than once. (Well, not too big, since supercaps can use a gate, but, maybe it has a funny resonance that makes it not jump by any mechanism but its own?

astronomy
A new module for stations, POSSIBLY only the largest, that can be used by someone with astronomy to a high degree to find new systems beyond known-space. It would be fair to require they also know Planetology in order to get a good report on the detected system. This should be a SLOW process, made faster only by having multiple stations in multiple systems searching under the direction of the same player. When a new system is found, the player should then be able to drop, and launch, an interstellar probe to check it out. Whether or not it’s launched from the corporate hanger bay, or hauled out in an industrial, assembled and deployed doesn’t matter. If the information that comes back is desirable, they should then be able to send a special ship, or a fleet of them, to whatever that probe found, BUT, there should be a real chance of losing the probe on any given day it’s in flight. Yes, any given DAY.
Once they launch the ship, or fleet of ships, there should be a real chance that any of them, individually, will be lost in the same way.

system defense
It should be possible to detect and defend the system from incoming long-warp ships. First, it should be possible to use astronomy modules similar to those used to find a prospective system in the first place to watch back toward known space, (or any direction, really), for evidence that there is a ship in route. I’d go with 4, 8, 12, 16 interconnected stations, with each station, in four, covering a different quadrant of 3D space, (with the option of leaving some quadrants uncovered, or lightly covered, if you’re confident nothing will attack you from that direction,) all with on-line astronomy modules. One, by itself, should give enough heads up warning to assemble the fleet. Maybe a weeks warning. 2 should provide more warning. Maybe 2 weeks.

Detection shouldn’t come cheap. The detection should depend on regularly manufacturing and launching early warning probes, one per station. If you have AT LEAST two weeks warning, you should be able to launch a frigate-sized, long-warp missile to TRY and kill ONE of the oncoming ships a week away. There should be no limit to how many missiles you should be able to fire at once, but any that “miss”, or any that are more than necessary to kill THEIR target should just be wasted. Such missiles should fly for a week, or more, and increase the CHANCE of the oncoming ship being “lost”. The missiles should give a diminishing return on the chances of stopping the ship. It should make firing a dozen missiles at a target seem like a good, though expensive, idea, but two dozen clearly a waste.

Mechanics. a scenario of a populated system and the taking of.
Littlebunnyfufuswarm has detected that there is a system west of ORE space that has a number of good planets, moons, and belts. (They also know, from their spies in Legionaires Outbreak, that the system is owned by them…probably, it looks right. Right number and type of planets, right number, composition and position of moons and belts.)

They detected it by having almost a dozen astrahouses, over as many weeks, scan that direction, looking for a hit, and wasting no time to spare no cost in sending probes toward any “hits”, 3, 4 at a time, to see what they saw, (one probe may be lost, but one of four is probably going to survive to report). The probes are small, and Legionaires Outbreak didn’t stand a chance of detecting them before they reported back exactly what the system looked like.

The system is some 36 LY away, that will take 36 days to traverse in the new macrowarpdrive ships. For most of that time, the ships will be unmanned.

Littlebunnyfufuswarm deploys a small fleet of the macrowarpdrive ships. Three, because there is always the chance of losing one, are freighters carrying new Upwell Structures Gates. Littlebunnyfufuswarm has already placed their counterparts deep in a staging system outside of Alliance space, waiting in hangers until D-1 day.
The rest are a mixture of the new, oversized battleships and ship haulers. There are far fewer ships than jumpclones, and most will be lost, unused. 3 of the massive new ships are the Battleship type ships, and the remaining 6 are carrying subcapitals…generally around 8 Strategic Cruisers apiece, or quite a few more Tactical Destroyers and even a few Frigates. The ship haulers have over 200 jumpclone pods apiece in them. Every member of Littlebunnyfufuswarm was told to set a jumpclone in each ship, and fit them with useful implants for the coming battle, just in case they were needed to fly on D day. (Also, one of their spies has been tasked with making as many sub-caps as he can get away with, to distribute among the pod pilots that didn’t get a ship from the warpcarrier.)

Legionaires Outbreak, however, know that they are likely to be attacked, and they’re pretty sure the attack will come from K-space. They have set up no less than 13 astrahouses with deep-probe telemetry modules, (they aren’t too worried about one of the quadrants, and skimped on stations that cover that direction.) Every DAY they launch 13 frigate sized probes in every direction.

Since they have enough stations for 4 weeks of warning, they get a ping 8 days after Littlebunnyfufuswarm launches its fleet of invading craft, and 28 days before it will arrive. They have a stockpile of interstellar missiles, but don’t know much about their targets, except there are 12 of them. They pick their targets blind, and shoot missiles at them. They don’t have THAT many missiles, but they’re quick to build. Less than a week, easy, (but not too fast.) They fire what they have, holding back an even dozen, at the twelve ships. The odds of losing a ship are small…ish, but the odds of being taken out by a missile when each ship faces five are …better than 75% chance of getting blown out of the sky.

Nonetheless, two weeks go by, and Legionaires Outbreak is building as many missiles as they can, while not impacting warship manufacture. At the end of this time, both sides are informed that there are only 4 of the original 12 ships still flying. (Hey, 75% of 12 may be 3, but that doesn’t mean that 3 survive every time. They could have scratched all but 2 of the ships, or gotten lucky and nailed them all.) All anyone knows is the ships are gone, but everyone pretty much “knows” why. 67% of your fleet doesn’t disappear on the same day by chance.

Legionaires Outbreak, still making missiles, (SOMEONE goofed, and started a batch that won’t finish until later NEXT week,) fires off their remaining reserve of 12 missiles at the remaining 4 targets. The targets are 2 weeks away, and the missiles will reach them in one week. This time, they decide to skip a target. It MIGHT be the one carrying a gate, but, if so, they can kill it easily, if it doesn’t have any escort. It might be any of the others, too, but if one survives, they may have a sub-cap battle on their hands, but nothing they can’t handle.

A week later, they’re informed that two of the three ships they fired on are gone, but the other remains, as does the one they didn’t fire on. (It was always possible the one they didn’t fire on would run into a dust particle and vaporize, but no luck.) They STILL haven’t finished cooking new missiles, (someone will be visiting the roles of their chief industrialist, you can bet,) so they’re out of missiles. They’re now facing two ships. Their spies in Littlebunnyfufuswarm tell them it SHOULD be one of the freighters, carrying an Upwell Gate, and one of the small ship carrier vessels. On D Day, they will have as many people on line as possible to take out these ships, and (try to) prevent the gate back to a little pocket that Littlebunnyfufuswarm controls, that is NOT swarm’s home space, or even all that close to it, from opening.

Meanwhile, Littlebunnyfufuswarm knows exactly which ships have been lost. Several pilots, checking their notifications, have been informed their jumpclone aboard Deep Space Probe AX2109-38, or whatever, has been destroyed. Some of these are the small ship pilots that were expecting to fly those T3’s against Legionaire’s Pandemic’s home fleet. Ten of them were the pilots that would man the macrowarpdrive capitals when they came out of warp.

The day before the big battle, they preposition one of the three gates they have sitting in inventory. On the day OF the battle, a few minutes before the other ship can even start, someone in a regular freighter, (or even a jumpfreighter,) will anchor one end, and stand ready to link it to their fleetmate who will be assembling the other structure. Fortunately, the structure goes up fast and is either invulnerable or finished within an hour, so the beachhead fleet only needs to fight for an hour before they can take a break, or have a large number of reinforcements.

Everyone who hasn’t been tapped to fly the T3’s has been told they Will be in the stating system, they Will be ready to use that gate, and no, their brothers wedding, or their own for that matter, doesn’t matter. They Will be there, ready to go through that gate and fight, or they Will submit their resignation. And they better submit that resignation sooner rather than at the last minute, or they’ll be KOS for the rest of their Eve career.

Meanwhile. Sorority of Sisters has warped well past that system, and set up a STAGING system on the other side of that one. It has only a couple Barren planets, no belts, and only one moon, so no one (else) who saw it wasted a ship to claim it, or very many probes to investigate it. They’ve managed to keep it very quiet: having learned their lesson about trusting even corp officers too much. They will be warping in from the back side, and no, Legionaires Pandemic doesn’t suspect a thing, because that’s the side they only covered to about a weeks depth.


(TheGuy Akachi) #2

I think they are already reintroducing player owned Stargates, as a way to replace the old POS ones.

I don’t think we are close yet to adding “new space” yet, and I don’t know if I like the idea of it being a built structure that you place in null to get to. Sounds like it would be biased toward bigger alliances who have a lot of ISK and space to build it.

I don’t get this? You mean ships that can fit a jumpdrive? What is a Macro jump drive?

On CCP’s roadmap they are going to add a new citadel like structure called an “observatory” which do some of these roles already.

I don’t like the idea of the last one being a deployable turret. I thought CCP was moving away from old POS mechanics of having 24/7 defenses.

Again, I personally feel we are a while away from “new space.” But also I’m against locking it toward the biggest player groups.

I think cyno jammers accomplish the same thing. But I might not just understand what you are getting at.

I guess this is the combined use of all the mechanics you proposed. It is a bit hard to follow, since I didn’t fully understand a lot of your earlier proposals.


Well in summary I think a lot of what you proposed is already coming or already exists in game in a different form.


(Sean Roach) #3

Sorry. I wasn’t clear enough.

I meant three new ships that warp for days, to travel, blind, the distance normally bridged by gates, bridges or jumpdrives.
The three ships would fly unmanned, and only need the pilot when they arrive in a new, ungated, (or about to be contested,) system.
One ship would just be for carrying stuff, but primarily for carrying a new gate so you can link this new space to the existing network of NPC gated spaces.
Two ships would be for combat. One to BE the big ship on the field, (but still only effective as a large sub-capital,) while the other would carry smaller craft, and their pilots pods, within it.

I was thinking in terms of making diligence more expensive. If you have to manufacture and launch 4 frigate-sized structures, every week, for every weeks worth of advanced warning you’d hopefully receive, it would incline people to cut corners. The frigates would essentially be fuel for the observatory, from the defense side, and more like a moon mining probe for the “offense” side, (which I put in quotes, because not every system would be contested.)

Additionally, we’re talking a missile that travels for some multiple of weeks to, hopefully, hit its target. That one would require that the operator pick a target, and fire the missile, knowing they can only pick one target for any one missile, and all the missiles for target “A”, might roll a hit, (but only one counts,) while all the missiles for target “B” could roll a miss.
And both sides would have to wait a week or more to determine if they thinned the ranks of the invasion fleet, and by how many.

These wouldn’t be for cynoing, or bridging ships. These would be for the first wave, that travels a lightyear a day to cover the distance between the staging system and the target system. Once a cyno capable ship arrives, you may have more trouble on your hands. Heck, that initial “Rorqual” might be carrying nothing but fully fueled Asteros with Covert Cynos, ready to bring in the Black Ops enabled follow on wave.
Besides, the best range for a cyno or bridge is 10 lightyears, and in the example I cooked up, would be better than three times too far to jump to. 8LY for a Black Ops, which puts it over 4 times too far to reach.

And if it’s an uncontested system, and you’re just an exploration corp, you might throw up your system in one of the NPC null spaces, and follow on with nothing but Black Ops bridges to get your toehold in that new system.
There are plenty of one-man corps with stations, these days.

Let’s see if I can give an overview of this for you.

One corp has found, and settled a new space, and two others have plotted to take it from them. I chose expies of existing corps for fun, but I could have named the corps XRay, Yankee, and Zulu, for all it’d matter.
XRay has the system. Yankee launches a fleet of ships that will fly through the gap between the stars, taking over a month to arrive. Most of that time, they’re just something that Yankee can check progress on, but doesn’t need an actual pilot. In fact, since they’d use jump clones, those pilots could be busy doing other things.
XRay attempts to defend their system. First, by diligence; they launch probes on schedule to watch for incoming invaders. Second by missile; they try to shoot down this, slow, beachhead fleet, when they’re still a week or more from arriving. Using missiles that are just as slow, and will take a week or more to reach their targets half-way. Third, by fleet combat; both sides know when the beachhead ships will arrive, and thus when the battle is scheduled.
Timing would favor the attacker, since they could time their launch to arrive at whatever time they choose, (It’ll take 36 days, 3 hours to fly that distance, so Yankee launches their invasion fleet at 2PM on a Thursday, local, so the flee will arrive at 5PM local, on a Friday), but the cost and size range of available ships, as well as the availability of a shorter logistics train and friendly stations, would favor the defender, at least at first, (Until that gate is anchored and paired up, Yankee starts out with only a handful of third-rate battleship wannabees, and a bunch of cruisers and smaller…and whatever ships their spies can make available to them on the day of the battle).
XRay takes down some, but not all, and the final two ships arrive on schedule. XRay has to assemble a defense force, Yankee has already tapped pilots for an assault.
The big ships that Yankee could have arrived with are limited. They’re capitol sized, but not capitol capable.

In the example given, the system is basically hotdropped, on a rigid schedule, by a rorqual-like ship carrying small craft and a specialized freighter carrying a gate. If they can prevent the freighter from anchoring that gate, and syncing it with one in territory Yankee controls, (but not in the heart of their territory,) XRay will only have the rorqual’s worth of frigates and cruisers to deal with. If they can’t prevent the anchoring, and it’s a quick anchoring, Yankee will send wave after wave of additional ships, likely including normal battleships and actual capitals, to take the system.

Had they not had the forewarning of their observatories, and the missiles to thin Yankee’s numbers a week or so in advance, they could have been facing three specialized freighters, hauling three gates, three “battleships” that are as big as a freighter, and six “rorquals” worth of smaller craft.

They are basically a roam that can be detected a week or more in advance, and bring ships appropriate for a roam.

Zulu, then, is a new threat that takes advantage of the fact that XRay isn’t expecting an assault from rimward, when all their enemies are believed to be coreward, and so didn’t “waste” observatories and (somewhat pricey) probe launches in a direction that has no enemies.
Of course, by then Zulu may be taking on Yankee, instead.


(Zander Exvirus) #4

I actually think this is a really cool idea. I think that there should be a super sized ship that has the super warp capable mod, then it moves other ships with it during the warp, allowing only the big ship to do the warping. Then you have the ships be jump clone able so you can clone back to the ship when it gets too the system to conquer it. Then from there the attackers can setup a gate allowing more ships to come through without the super long warp, then you conquer. I think this would be great resource wise, so large layer empires would have to fight over the super valuable WH materials like counties fight over oil in RL. Then you have the observatories like you said above, but you have XL, L, and S, with each having different ranges. The XL would be in k-space where the empire is, the L could be setup in the first conquered system so they can find more, and the small could be placed in other systems to expand. I think this would really make exploration in this game cool and valuable to large alliances. The systems would need to be very hard to conquer tho due to the null sec alliances being able to stomp the WH corps fairly easily.


(Sean Roach) #5

Well, in my original suggestion, anyone using such a system is committing the resources of building a freighter to every such invasion ship, whether it’s carrying a structure, Large guns and other fitted modules, or a bunch of smaller ships, and the (mother)ship is single-use. So, win or lose, they’re not getting that ship back. Oh, they might scrap it and build a new one from the raw materials and salvaged components, but at a loss.

This makes exploration pricey, but not too bad, and conquest downright expensive, if you can’t arrange to use the targets own gates and other resources against them.

And if the defending party gets to take essentially free potshots at your invasion fleet, while they’re in warp, that adds even more to the expense of any attempts to take a system by force.
The obvious balance knobs would be the price of establishing and maintaining one weeks warning, (and the multiple on that price for additional weeks warning,) from a given direction, (and how much of the sky that amounts to,) the price to launch one missile, the probability that that one missile would score a kill on one particular ship, and the cost of one invasion craft.
It might, for instance, be fair to cover out to one weeks warning with a single observatory, but you might need 4, (in a tetrahedral array, in practice if not in actual placement), to get out to two weeks warning, and some larger number, say 12, (covering sectors shaped like a regular dodecahedron) to get three weeks warning. Since each weeks warning, beyond the first, is potentially another free shot at the invasion fleet, it is appropriate if the cost scales, quickly, with range. It makes sense in a world-building way, too.
By this escalation, it might cost 36 maintained systems for a full coverage out to four weeks warning, and 108 to cover out to five weeks. All that have to be fed ice…fuel blocks, and all that have to be fed probes the size and expense of player ships. Weekly.
Also, naturally, the probes and invasion ships should probably consume ice.

I don’t know if the gates should consume ice or not, but, if so, they should probably draw from the ships stores, rather than have an alliance lock their doors to intruders by emptying out the fuel bay in their front door system.
(Although, by the current mechanics, that would certainly make it possible to STRAND such a group, since an unfueled gate would probably die a lot quicker to player attack…which is probably not ideal.)
Personally, I’d make the gates themselves indestructible so long as both gates in a pair are fueled and working, and not require a per-ship quantity of fuel to use.

Make the invasion craft TOO expensive, and defense TOO cheap, (let’s face it it’s probably pretty cheap, all things considered, to fire off a dozen frigate sized missiles at an oncoming invasion ship,) and there won’t be much in the way of interstellar invasion at all. Make it more expensive by requiring multiple lines of components to make, tying up production lines, and requiring materials that are challenging to collect, tying up player time.

Different sizes of useful facility are certainly a possibility. I only suggested the largest as a control rod. The smallest might be usable for planet hunting, if the game is balanced that way. Also, how many stations you need to network over a given cluster to get decent resolution, (to find prospective solar systems in a shorter period of time.)
It would be reasonable if one station could pick a good solar system occasionally, but two, set (at least) a light year apart (and, ideally, perpendicular to the line of search) did it in less than half the time.

Of course, there is something to be said for having observatories stacked vertically, too. If you need to get information like period of planetary orbits, having two “historical observances” that you could make at once, say from two posts that differed by a light year, or more, from the target, so you had two years of data being collected at once. It’d also let you more rapidly collect information on the health of the star, (although most of that should already be available, since there are probably very few visible stars that don’t have a record of their emissions being collated somewhere in EVE.)

It’s also an argument for why a planetary probe would be useful to refine the data. As it flies toward the star, it’s collecting wobble data in essentially fast forward. It doesn’t even have to make it to the star before you know the mass, atmospheric conditions, and orbital period of just about anything that occludes the star.

Really, you want a discrete part of the expense to be in finding a good system, rather than just any system.
You want to make it at least somewhat expensive to scout virgin systems, that have useful mixes of planets, moons, and belts, over taking one you already know the composition of. It should be entirely probable to discover a system that has nothing but one type of planet, no moons, and only a single belt of Veldspar. When you dip your hand into the bucket, you should occasionally draw out something that is essentially useless for your needs and not something that is guaranteed to be worth the cost of the probes you spent to survey it.

Also, this system should be unreachable by wormhole. You don’t want someone backdooring a virgin system by way of a K162. It either needs its own wormhole system, or no wormhole system.
…Although, you could argue that once a gate is set up, and starts getting used, the same physics that applies to the other wormhole anomalies also applies to this system.
Whether or not it can be found from observatories in K-space, or W-space, or both, and whether or not it can be reached by these new craft from those systems, is a matter of preference.

I’d say make the probes, which are small enough to pack into a industrial, need to be launched from the edge of space, but maybe let the observatories be anywhere and provide some useful info.
…Maybe less useful, what with all the electronic noise, in high-sec. I could see the resolution of an observatory being inversely proportional to either sec status, daily traffic, or both.
Surveying a system from JITA should probably be like trying to look at Mars, from a smog-enshrouded city, in daylight.


(system) #6

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