Thoughts on Observatory Arrays


(Shriven Intaki) #1

If you want to start a heated discussion just toss the phrase “Cloaky Camper” around on the EVE Forums or reddit or in your own Corp Chat and you will get a litany of responses. There was a post on reddit ‘Discussion: How to make Cloaky Camping an active (less AFKish) activity?’ that has nearly 300 comments.

I lean towards the camp that feels that there should be some sort of counter to Cloaky Camping although with that said I don’t think it should be something that is easily attainable/sustainable.

Back in March of 2015 CCP released the Back Into the Structure Dev Blog in which they introduced their ideas for the new structure system and one of the new structure roles they discussed was Observatory Arrays…

From that Dev Blog:

Observatory Arrays

Dedicated to intelligence gathering.

  • Service module possibilities: Being able to increase, decrease or block Star Map filters in the solar systems they’re deployed, act as solar system wide D-scan blockers, disrupt ship intelligence in the solar system, take over player tracking capabilities from NPC agents or be able to affect or pinpoint cloak users. We are considering basing their effectiveness through a network coverage (like cell phones) so that a single one may not be that useful, but maintaining a bunch of them in space could give a significant advantage.

  • Rigs possibilities: anything affecting the duration or effectiveness of what’s mentioned above.

This phrase stood out to me - “We are considering basing their effectiveness through a network coverage (like cell phones) so that a single one may not be that useful, but maintaining a bunch of them in space could give a significant advantage.”

And I had a thought; If the number of Observatory Arrays that can be anchored in a System are strictly bound by that System’s Strategic Index and overall Activity Defense Multiplier then this could be a way to apportion their usage.

As an example something like requiring a System to have a specific Strategic Index Level for the anchoring of Observatory Arrays, not sure at what level that should be but here are how they are attained.

Strategic Index Level 1 = Sovereignty held for 7 days
Strategic Index Level 2 = Sovereignty held for 21 days
Strategic Index Level 3 = Sovereignty held for 35 days
Strategic Index Level 4 = Sovereignty held for 65 days
Strategic Index Level 5 = Sovereignty held for 100 days

And then allow one Array to be anchored for each level of ADM up to a maximum of six. If you want the Arrays to be purposed towards the ship intelligence or D-scan blockers then the fitting and rigs of each can maybe be deviating with more powerful ship intelligence/D-scan blocking if you fit multiple Observatory Arrays in the same manner. But for Observatory Arrays to have an ability as powerful as the pinpointing of cloak users I think requiring multiple Observatory Arrays (maybe even all six) to be fit and rigged similarly would be the way to go.

Then allow one Array to be anchored for each level of ADM up to a maximum of six. If you want the Arrays to be purposed towards the ship intelligence or D-scan blockers then the fitting and rigs of each can maybe be deviating with more powerful ship intelligence/D-scan blocking if you fit multiple Observatory Arrays in the same manner. But for Observatory Arrays to have an ability as powerful as the pinpointing of cloak users I think requiring multiple Observatory Arrays (maybe even all six) to be fit and rigged similarly would be the way to go.

Admittedly I’m no game Dev and these are just some of my random thoughts… there is lots that CCP can do with these new structures and I am looking forward to seeing what they come up with.


(Do Little) #2

All indications point to player built starbases as the next structure after refineries - replaces jump bridges and brings us a step closer to feature parity with POS. I doubt we’ll hear much about them before Fanfest. That would put observatory arrays at least a year in the future.

I don’t think it’s too early to think about high level objectives for these structures and agree they should promote active gameplay but it seems too soon to be discussing details.


(Corraidhin Farsaidh) #3

Personally I’d be against any mechanism that allows a cloaky to be pinpointed automatically, or by a structure ping, no matter how infrequent.

The only way to catch a cloaky should be an active scanning method, should be the absolute hardest thing to scan down, and even then only when the ship is active. Otherwise you negate the entire point of cloaking a ship and make scouting/BLOPS less effective for no reason.


(Black Pedro) #4

CCP Rise recently said that Observatory Arrays are coming up shortly after the Refineries:

cptbooniecrab: @CCP_Rise is there a patch planned for fixing cloaky campers like maybe a new probe type to scan them down or a timer on how long you can be cloak its one of the few things in the game that there is no counter to
CCP_Rise: @cptbooniecrab cloaky campers is always a tough question – I think when the structure team gets to working on observatories and other intel focused structures we will reevalute cloaky camping and see if we want to make changes, which means sometime early next year I guess

Given they need a function, beyond just finding cloaked ships, they will no doubt come with a nerf to local in nullsec, and possibly elsewhere, to leave some functionality for the Observatory Array to claw back. It makes sense for that to be their primary function, and make the increase in accuracy and speed of local scale with the number of them in a system, but they could then add the ability to find cloaked ships. As long as it takes a reasonable amount of time to give an semi-active cloaked ship time to move positions or prepare to be decloaked, I don’t see too much of an issue.

Since CCP will also want them to be used beyond just the nullsec context, they will likely have other functions for them as well. These could include things like locator agents functionality (and the ability to determine whether a target is logged in or not), sentry functions like reporting who is in a system or was in a system, automated cargo scanning (I like this one), scan or dscan jammers.

If CCP Rise is correct with “early next year”, we should hear something about them soon, maybe even by Eve Vegas, although given their recent track-record with timelines I wouldn’t bet very much on it. Still, it will be interesting to see what they do with them though as unlike the current structures which have largely just refactored existing functionality, the Observatory Array is the structure with the most promise to deliver new game play and perhaps fix some of the current issues with nullsec.


Main AFK cloaky thread
(Kathern Aurilen) #5

I think there could be 2 or 3 ways it could pinpoint a clocked without breaking the cloak gameplay system. I want to think the array as something like a sonar speaker and all the ships are listening for the ping.

1 maybe the with proper rigs only dedicated to finding cloak ships make a resonance that could potentially picked up by a combat probe, but the location it pinpoints is only accurate to 1000k* area of space. Leaving the home team with the job of flushing the whole area. Dscan couldn’t pick up the feedback from the area.

2 picking up the feedback from the array on dscan but not probes but only on grid


(Kathern Aurilen) #6

Maybe even a special scanning mod to be used in conjunction with the sonar pulse


(Greviouss) #7

its an activated module that should if it detects a cloaked ship (which should be easier the longer a cloaked ship has been sitting in sublight and even easier still if its sitting still)

if a ping occurs aginst a cloaked ship a 2 player minigame resembling hacking should come up for both players - and if the cloaked player is not there to respond then well they miss thier turn … and lose and decloak automatically

scanning a system should have a refire time and cumulative strength relative to the number of deployed observatories.

cloaky campers should have things like cloaking skill and thier electronics abilities weigh in on the difficults of decloaking a ship and the difficulty of thier side of the minigame.

these are all thoughts i had back in a lost post i put up in 2009 that ccp apparently read and thought was a good idea and never got around to implementing…

ccp devs, please, get these in already


(Sugar Smacks) #8

Lame attempt to open afk cloak discussion without naming the discussion anything about cloaking.