The Simulator - Arena Feature Updated: 2022.6.10

I understand some people won’t care for this because it could take people out of space, but I would like to see an arena feature that gives simulated pre-fit ships (specifically t1 frigates, destroyers, and cruisers) to players in an arena environment. Both to use against npcs and other players, but also as an npe tool for new players to learn fleet combat and other advanced tactics against ships that are just as strong as the ship they themselves are flying.

Primarily this is to give new players an environment where they can practice flying their ships before they get into space during the npe. However, with the addition of a leader board and league of legends style match making, I could foresee it being a fairly popular feature in its own right among veterans as well, due to the level playing ground where expensive modules and character skills wont affect the outcome of the battle.

While the no consequence pvp might be a draw for some, I don’t think there’s much of a risk of it taking over the game in it’s entirety, in the same way people haven’t flocked to playing EVE on sisi. The greater draw from veterans, in my opinion, will be from those who don’t have time for a hunt, but have 5-10 minutes to spend shooting other people. There’s also the added bonus of knowing that 1v1 at the sun will be perfectly on the up and up without any titans intruding.

If this were to be implemented in game, I highly recommend not giving any rewards for matches (except maybe for an end of season leaderboard skin that’s automatically applied to the character it was earned on,) as its main purpose is for a learning tool for new players, not to replace in space activity.

Edit 2022.6.10:

I’ve been thinking a little about the criticism Gerard Amatin made below in this thread, about the simulator ships being not in space. So, I’ve come up with a way to get a bit of both. A way to get the effects of the fast paced simulator, while also keeping everything in space so player interaction can happen in a more dynamic way.

With the faction warzone being given some love, there’s an opportunity for players to control some of the npc ships in the warzone.

With that said, I dub this feature WARZONE.

What this feature would achieve:

  • Fast paced action
  • Worry free gameplay for new players without them having to be concerned about fitting the ship they are flying. These ships would use base t1 modules, and no capsuleer skills.
  • The fits used for the warzone pre-fit ships would be in the community fittings, so players could grab them later to fit their own capsuleer ships if they grow comfortable with it.
  • New players getting practice flying their ships in an environment where they don’t have to grind for resources to replace the ships.
  • Onboarding into factional warfare and pvp
  • Liven up fw systems, far more than would be possible with the current EVE environment
  • A way to integrate Valkyrie into the wider EVE universe
  • A path for friends who enjoy different genres to play together.
    (A friend of mine says EVE isn’t for him, but he does seem to be open to playing Star Conflict with me, which is a f2p game that’s similar to Valkyrie. I think it would be fantastic to be able to fly an “npc” carrier into the warzone, and have him, as a fighter pilot, spawn on me. Or, for us to both spawn on the same carrier, flown by someone else or an npc, and fly as each other’s wingmen.)

The Implementation:

From a station friendly to the faction warfare pilot’s militia, they may enter the warzone using the warzone tab in the militia window. The lore for this will be something like a captain with remote control over an npc navy ship. Or even a fully automated drone ship at first, since it’s likely they wouldn’t trust the lives of their personnel to a novice.

Specific solar systems along the fw front line would house faction fobs from each contesting faction in the systems that ai generals select. From these fobs, after the player has selected a warzone fob to deploy from, the player would spawn in a pre-fit t1 ship, with base t1 modules (or named if the balance team prefers.) Without capsuleer skills to help the warzone pilot, the ships will be relatively weak, even compared to the newest of capsuleer pilots.

Warzone players will not receive LP rewards, wont be able to leave the system (either by gate, wormhole, or any other means,) wont be able to jettison cargo, wont be able to leave their ship without it self destructing (since they don’t actually have a capsule,) and the warzone player will only be able to dock in the Warzone fob. They will also be locked out of trading with non-Warzone pilots.

For the rewards, I propose using something similar to the economy Infinity Battlescape uses. Destroying enemy structures, ships (bonus points if they’re flown by a capsuleer and / or have advanced modules fit to the ship,) or completing militia objectives would award players using the feature with feature specific credits (hereafter to be called warzone credits) to be used for purchasing these Warzone ships.

If a Warzone ship explodes, in addition to the cheap t1 loot the ship was fit with, the loot table will also have the potential to drop: commanding officer (rank based on ship type,) surviving faction navy crew (the amount depending on ship size,) and a faction navy tag that matches the class of ship they were commanding (if the commanding officer died.) This will be balanced based on the amount of effort it will cost the Warzone pilot to requisition the ship to prevent exploitation.

Loot collected from wrecks by Warzone pilots can be be turned into the Warzone agent in the fob for warzone credits. Loot that is not available to be requisitioned by the agent for warzone credits (namely, ammo, and t1 fittings) will be auctioned off from the fob agent to militia members.

To rearm with ammo or drones, the player will have to dock at their faction’s fob in the system, and requisition supplies from the Warzone agent in the fob.

In the overview, capsuleers viewing Warzone players, would see their ship icons displaying the same color the viewing player has set for their militia and the enemy militia (purple and orange are the defaults.)

Neutral players seeing these ships would see the icons as gray (with a faction colored outline) when not engaged, and then red if engaged. A neutral capsuleer engaging a warzone pilot will follow the normal flagging rules for players.

Warzone pilots shooting friendlies, or neutral ships would not be allowed, as Warzone pilots would be forced to use green safety (this is to prevent suicide ganking or awoxing abuse. I would prefer yellow safety here, but I’m not sure how to do that without causing problems for capsuleers.) The lore reason for this, would just be that the navy officers aboard would refuse to fire on those vessels.

If the feature is popular, and the technical limitations are worked out, Valkyrie could be added to the feature. Any physics simulation related to Valkyrie would be handled on it’s server, and then the damage calculations would be served to the EVE server in the manner it understands. And likewise, EVE damage calculations would be handled on the EVE server, and then served to Valkyrie’s server in a manner it understands.

I would prefer if the Valkyrie pilots could fly all over the system, with free fire between all individuals involved (using the ROE as discussed above,) but I understand if that’s too much for the server and networking code to handle.

An alternative would be to allow Valkyrie pilots of each contesting faction to spawn in fw complexes that host an npc carrier or on fw pilots with the proper ships (whether they be capsuleers or Warzone pilots.) Eve ships that show up in these complexes would then show up in the Valkyrie match. The complex would be finished when one of the complex npc carriers was destroyed or another objective was completed. (For an assault themed complex, there may only be one carrier in the complex, with the other faction having a fighter base that’s a structure.)

If the Warzone player disconnects or exits the client while not docked in the fob, an npc will take over the ship and attempt to flee back to the fob. If the fob in the system is destroyed, the player will “lose signal” to the Warzone ship and find themselves back in their station looking at the warzone screen in the fw window. The npc taking over the former Warzone ship, will then group up all of the ships in the system, and either harass the opposing faction or flee to the nearest friendly fob system.

Warzone Ship Classes:

All T1 Fittings

fully automated with no crew.
requisition cost: 0 WC
reward for killing: 5 WC

Attack Frigate:
requisition cost: 10 WC
reward for killing:

  • npc: 5 WC
  • Warzone: 20 WC
  • Capsuleer: t1 fit: 40 WC
  • Capsuleer: t2 fit: 80 WC
  • Capsuleer: faction fit: 160 WC

Support Frigate:
requisition cost: 15 WC
reward for killing:

  • npc: 5 WC
  • Warzone: 20 WC
  • Capsuleer: t1 fit: 40 WC
  • Capsuleer: t2 fit: 80 WC
  • Capsuleer: faction fit: 160 WC

Combat Frigate:
requisition cost: 20 WC
reward for killing:

  • npc: 10 WC
  • Warzone: 30 WC
  • Capsuleer: t1 fit: 60 WC
  • Capsuleer: t2 fit: 120 WC
  • Capsuleer: faction fit: 240 WC

Disruption Frigate:
requisition cost: 30 WC
reward for killing:

  • npc: 10 WC
  • Warzone: 40 WC
  • Capsuleer: t1 fit: 80 WC
  • Capsuleer: t2 fit: 160 WC
  • Capsuleer: faction fit: 320 WC

The higher grades of ships will follow the same philosophy. Destroyers being around 100 WC to requisition, Cruisers 1,000 - 3,000, battle cruisers in the 5,000 range, Battleships in the 50,000 range.

And finally …

Can create spawn zone for a Valkyrie match.
Only damage output is: 5 light drones, 5 medium drones, or 5 heavy drones.
Comes with cap warfare or logistics modules in the high slots.
requisition cost: 1,000,000 WC
reward for killing: 1,000 per person on the killmark.
Destruction serves as a completed objective in the faction warfare system.

As for what other militia members would receive upon killing Warzone ships, I suggest roughtly 10 -30% the LP reward of a capsuleer ship.

Take all those numbers with a grain of salt, I’m just tossing some stuff out to give people an idea of what it would look like.

  • no consequence PvP
  • instanced
  • ‘safe space’ for players to practice
  • without ties to the player-run economy

I don’t see how this fits into EVE, a game that is at it’s core all about consequential player interaction in a single shared dangerous universe.

Also, matchmaking for a niche activity in a niche game that will maybe track the few dozen players that participate in this activity? :joy:

(If you wish to try out your ship fits, I recommend the test server. You can get any ship there for pretty much free and PvP is inconsequential there.)

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Yup, that’s pretty much the type of response I expected to see, :stuck_out_tongue: And believe me, I understand your reticence, I kind of feel the same way about arenas. However, something needs to be done about the new player experience.

Even if the PVP aspect of this feature is removed, at least giving them a simulated environment to test themselves against npc ships that are the same level of strength of their own ship would be advisable.

As I said, the purpose of the proposed arena isn’t to replace in space activity, but to give new players a place to learn how to fly. Getting insta-popped coming out of their fw staging system wont teach them how to enjoy pvp. Colerain | Character | zKillboard My hope is the idea would aid in new player retention, thus providing more players in space over the long haul.

One quick note about the matchmaking though. For the pvp aspect of the proposed idea, there isn’t much need to develop that unless the feature became popular enough. We could achieve a similar goal with a custom lobby type of environment, where each player would have a k/d/a displayed prior to the match. That would allow players to find suitable opponents their own games.

I’m aware.

While I’m necessarily not opposed to a mode that allows players to “try out fits,” that also isn’t the purpose of this game mode.

So, the feature would take the most common successful fittings applied to each type of ship and provide them to the player in the simulated environment, in order for them to get accustomed to pvp. It would also teach them how to fit ships in a more effective manner. Also, from an immersion standpoint, I find it absolutely daft that the players first experience in a ship, is when they’re actually flying it rather than being in a simulator.

It’s not that I ‘don’t care about it’…

… at the contrary, I certainly care about such a thing.

Taking people out of space is bad for gameplay that involves playing with other people in space. If there are fewer other people in space, there is less interaction, less content, less fun. Additionally, if CCP spends development time on such a feature, they aren’t spending that time on features that improve the core gameplay.

I do care, and wish them to not implement this.

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I understand that point. I updated my last comment after the initial post, so you might not have seen most of the content there. As I said in that post, the purpose of the feature is to get more people in space, not less.

I know it might seem counterintuitive, but giving players an environment where they can learn without having to grind isk for their next ship will only aid in getting more players in space over the long term. Some community members recognize this, which is why they work toward giving away isk and ships to new players.

This has two issues though. First, because of EVE’s reputation, new players often think its some sort of scam when someone tries to give them something. Secondly, it doesn’t help those players develop the skills they will need for pvp, so they’ll still have to slog through getting stomped by other players with better personal skills, better character skills, and much better ship fittings.

EVE has a massive learning cliff that hasn’t really ever been addressed by the game. Community members try to help through video tutorials but the client practically does nothing, and what it does do even provides false information in way of the career agents. A lot of people will just drop a game when presented with that cliff.

Why can players not get accustomed to PvP like everyone else has until now, by flying cheap ships in PvP? There they can learn how to fight effectively in a real EVE environment, while also making sure that there are ships in space for other players to interact with.

If everyone would fall for the ‘PvP readiness fallacy’ before they could engage in PvP in EVE, there wouldn’t be any players fighting in space right now.

Get a cheap ship, get your experience. No need for some ‘simulation’ that takes people out of space.

Agreed. This is why many corporations offer new players free ships (player interaction!) to use in fleets in space (players in space!) while those new players learn how to PvP.

It’s a great concept that builds upon all the pillars that make EVE strong: player interaction, hostile space with other people to fight.

You wish to take all that player interaction and players in space out of the equation and put players in a simulation until they’re ‘ready for PvP’.

People will never be ready for PvP until they’ve been participating in PvP for a long time, and even then they often make mistakes (which is what makes PvP fun because it’s unpredictable).

New players do not need to learn PvP in a simulation, what they need is an environment in which they can get into PvP with a very low bar of entry.

For example, by joining a newbie-friendly ull sec corporation of which there are many, like my own. Of course there are players who do not wish to immediately dive into corporations or null sec politics in order to learn how to PvP, but for them there are better low entry PvP options as well: faction warfare.

Your suggestion does what faction warfare does. At least, what faction warfare was supposed to do: a place for new players to learn solo or small groups how to fight in cheap ships that they can easily replace.

Faction warfare however hasn’t been touched for years and has some trouble.

Luckily, as we have seen in the fanfest presentations, CCP is going to spend a lot of effort to improve faction warfare. I really look forward to that.

I’d much rather have them spend their development time on faction warfare than on simulation arenas. After all, faction warfare is in space, about player interaction and connected to the economy, but also does exactly what you want the simulator to do: teach new players to PvP with a low bar of entry.

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Players can, and we’ll receive the same new player retention we’ve always had.

Everyone doesn’t, but we also have low new player retention. Perhaps that’s enough for you, but we could have more. Obligatory: "eve is dying." I don’t actually think eve is dying, but the difficulty of retaining new players is certainly a leg of support for people who claim such.

That’s not exactly what I said. I wish to provide a learning environment players can utilize to help them learn. Its the players choice to decide when they would take the next step. Some people never make that step because they lack the confidence, and providing the environment for people to gain that confidence will only help to put more people in space.

Sure. I’ll agree to that. But tell me something, is facing an insta-lock legion on your faction warfare staging system undock qualify as “low bar of entry?” Now, I’ll admit, by removing the ability to dock in enemy highsec, that will help, but it wont remove the problem.

I think the bigger issue is the knowledge of those organizations even existing. Red vs. Blue was also a new player friendly environment for highsec pvp, but I’m not even sure if they’re still operational.

CCP could of course highlight new player friendly organizations, but then you’d have the issue of CCP having to keep someone on staff to make sure those organizations were actually holding up their obligations.

I actually agree with this. The faction warfare revamp could be the key to making this game take the next step.

That said, developing the proposed simulated arena would take less than a month before they’d have a feature ready product. CCP already has the code for simulated fittings and proving grounds. Most of the time involvement would be meshing it seamlessly into the npe, which is something they’re already working on.

That is one of the things that stopped me from trying faction warfare (that, and I don’t wish to leave my current corporation to do so), but I thought this is going to be one of the things that will be changed about FW. At least I hope so.

Yeah, I expect it will be. Faction warfare will no longer be relegated to specific systems, though there may be some systems it can’t touch to prevent the empires from being entirely overwhelmed.

With the addition of being able to “declare” against specific factions though, I expect we’ll see an influx of veterans involved in fw, which will make the environment even more unfriendly toward new players. I guess we’ll see how it all plays out. Hopefully my fears will be unjustified.

Or even more friendly.

One of the issues for new players is that most people in FW know how to fight in 1v1. When it opens up, people like myself who know nothing about 1v1 fights will go there and join the fight as well, giving everyone, new players included, an easier way to get more fights.

Just getting stomped wont necessarily teach them how to pvp. Sure, you’ll get some that will learn and stick around, but you’ll get a lot who will wash out.

Overall, I think more people in fw is good for the game, but I’m skeptical on how new player friendly it will be. It really depends on how the community embraces the new players.

updated the original post after the quoted text

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