Usage of programmable buttons for a _limited_ in-game automation (dscan)


(Kyon Rheyne) #1

Hey, everybody.

I’ve seen some discussions of proposals dscan automation feature, which don’t seem to lead anywhere (somebody mentioned that it may create excessive servers’ load, for one). But what I’m curious about is whether it’s a bannable offense to automate this one feature on my side? Assuming I’m still actively playing, just don’t want to hit the darn button all the time. Like, for example, using a programmable mouse or keyboard button which repeats an action each 5 secs?


(Steve Ronuken) #2

Yes, it’s against the rules, and is thus a bannable offence.


(Trevor Dalech) #3

Automation isn’t allowed.

I have bound the d-scan button to one of the side buttons on my mouse, and developed a little twitch in my thumb which presses it every second.

Only problem is that I now also continually press this button when doing EVE-unrelated things, like browsing the internet. In which case it’s bound to the “back” button of my browser…


(Kyon Rheyne) #4

That’s why I still say it isn’t good at all. The whole thing needs reforming in some way or another. It’s okay if it will need you to constantly evaluate some sort of controls (which are being updated automatically with a certain interval, still allowing you from time to time to issue a command to get more detailed data) to gauge whether there is a threat nearby, but it must not need this constant, tedious twitching of this one darn button, for hours. This is neither healthy, nor interesting gameplay element at all.


(Memphis Baas) #5

First of all, CCP’s policy is to not allow add-ons or UI customizations like other MMO’s. You must use the default UI and the default capabilities it has, and as far as programmable keyboards the only thing that’s allowed is reducing a ctrl-shift-alt-x combination down to a simple one-button press. All the other functions of programmable devices, such as delays, repetition, triggers, or sending walls-of-text with a button, are not allowed.

Second, nobody will like a d-scan automation. Because:

  1. CCP is bound to make it not-optional, like if they decide on a 5-second delay then it will just repeat every 5 seconds for EVERYONE, no options to press it more often. That’s typical CCP quality programming, and yes I’m attacking them but it’s based on previous experience.

  2. D-scan is an important evasion tool. CCP needs to make it possible for people with probes to find prey. Right now they’re using the fact that it’s cumbersome and carpal-syndrome-inducing to balance the fact that paying attention to d-scan makes you uncatchable. If they automate it, they are very likely to put in a long delay (it takes 30 seconds for a good scout to probe out a safespot).

  3. And they’re likely to remove the refresh button. Because right now some people are twitchy with the d-scan, but a large number of players don’t bother with it or don’t use it, or don’t use it as twitchy as you do. For these people, an automated d-scan would provide MORE warning than right now (not using it). But everyone has to be “equal”, “fair”, whatever, so CCP is likely to force everyone down to the common denominator that the automated feature provides.

These are my opinions. I can’t actually predict what CCP will do, of course. So, sure, whatever, let them change it, and then it’s likely everyone will complain, here and on Reddit.


(Steve Ronuken) #6

CCP aren’t too likely to do d-scan automation, for performance reasons.

(It’s relatively expensive time wise to run the math for the ranges to all objects in system, for every person in system, when it gets above a certain number of people. Or items. )

So you’ve got that going :smiley:


(Kyon Rheyne) #7

That’s why I said “to reform it”. It doesn’t simply imply “to make it repeat automatically by default” or “set a fixed interval you can’t exceed”. Something like when in low/nulls/wh, you must still click a button once per, say, 1-5 minutes. This engages your general surveillance sensors array which gathers some basic data of your surroundings. Internally it still works like the good old dscan, just getting repeated each 3-5 seconds (and you can’t now make it repeat faster than that). So you still must activate it on regular basis and keep your eyes on results, thus it won’t be working needlessly for a prolonged intervals of time, and yet you won’t need to hit a button every 5 seconds either. In highsecs it will be working exactly as before, so no additional load at all from it.

Additionally, there could be now new slider which allows you to “tune” your dscan sensors. By default dscan automatically repeats every, say, 10-20 seconds. The only way to decrease this interval is to redirect more capacitor to the sensor array, in this way you can achieve aforementioned 3-5 seconds repeat interval - but for a price of huge capacitor strain selected in such way that no ship will be able to keep it stable for a while. So if you suspect something fishy is going on, you can for a short time to increase dscan frequency to be more aware, but you won’t be able to keep like that for too long. Of course, any vessel which can fit covops cloak + bops are completely free from this restriction as their systems intrinsically geared towards intel gathering by design.


(mkint) #8

I’ve got some mixed feelings about any kind of automation on this one. The idea of having it be another thing you have to juggle among whatever else you’re doing to keep safe, rewards people who have better multitasking skills. EVE already struggles to reward skill.

However, as far as mechanics go, your ideas are interesting at least. It could benefit from a more concise description, as verbose descriptions tend to cause misunderstandings.


(Memphis Baas) #9

So you want to add the equivalent of a session-change timer to it. Can push the button all you want, does nothing for 5 minutes. 5 minutes is a huge nerf to D-scan, but let’s ignore that, and let me invite you to please search for the threads discussing people’s hatred of session change timers, General Discussion, here, and on Reddit.


(mkint) #10

I don’t think that’s what he’s suggesting. I think what he’s suggesting is to do it semi-automated. Push a button and then for up to 5 minutes it runs d-scan (he’s saying you wouldn’t be able to set it for something like 3 hours, it would be more like an AFK timer.) I wouldn’t suggest it’s a good idea, but it would ameliorate some of the load issue. I suspect that it would still add too much load under certain circumstances, but that maybe they could balance it to dynamically adjust the scan interval based on load.


(Keno Skir) #11

It’s not hard to click Dscan if you happen to want to know what’s around you.


(Kyon Rheyne) #12

It’s not, it’s hard and extremely mind-numbing to hit the button each 3-5-10 seconds for hours, to survive, every day. It’s not gameplay, it’s a chore. It should be more automated. Gameplay would be to analyse results it returns and evaluate situation.

What @mkint said is correct: “I don’t think that’s what he’s suggesting. I think what he’s suggesting is to do it semi-automated. Push a button and then for up to 5 minutes it runs d-scan (he’s saying you wouldn’t be able to set it for something like 3 hours, it would be more like an AFK timer.”

Though after some thinking I would go with 1 minute, 2 at best. Here is how it works:

  1. You tick some checkbox near the dscan button. From now on a click at it will spool up a continuous dscan loop which repeats dscan probing each 3-5 seconds automatically, you just need to observe results. After 1-2 minutes has passed, it stops and you need to hit the button again (prevents unnecessary load on servers at times you don’t need dscan at all)
  2. At any time you can just hit the button and send manual dscan probe still, you don’t need to wait till the current loop will end. Though I don’t really see a reason for it, 3-5 seconds intervals seem decent already to me. Or we could make it run at 10 secs intervals automatically, for, say, 3 minutes loops, and allow to still click it manually when you want to get a more frequent results.
  3. Works only in low/null/wh space, hs is “safe” enough, they will do without straining servers even more.

(Keno Skir) #13

You have to look deeper. Dscan is just one of many chores that can either be endured or not as the player chooses. The decision they make effects content in a big way, because it’s the people who do not work as hard as everyone else who are inevitably cut from the flock with violence. There’s a constant battle between risk free ISK printing and rewarding PvP hunting, and it is the “chores” much of the time that allow for holes in security. The more situational awareness mechanics you automate the less a player has to do to remain safe, which is to the detriment of the game.

You’re well within your rights to disagree, but you cannot label it as “not gameplay” because you find it tedious. The tediousness serves a purpose and is deliberate.


(Kyon Rheyne) #14

Don’t want to :slight_smile: I just know it’s a bad, flawed approach, gameplay-wise. If they have to use it to back up another such chores which are needed to balance something - it just means the whole system is flawed. It’s a game, first of all, not a work. the more it like work, the less people want to play it, as it exactly what they want to run from, most of the time.

More likely people will just burn out/get feed up with all this and either will drop the game, or will start to PLEXing their isks (though the latter still means somebody will have to endure this anyway, to provide them isks in echange for plexes). In the end we have what we have - extremely boring, mindnumbing “gameplay” in everything that is not a PvP in space or some assets/people management activities - which looks even more like a chore than in most of korean grindfest mmo with cute girls and cool combos. If it’s seems like okay result for you, than I dunno what.

I can say it because it’s not gameplay. Sit still at your chair, place your hand at your keyboard (with Eve not running) and start tapping one button constantly. Do you feel like you’re playing something? It’s not a gameplay element, it’s a very cheap workaround they came up with to make you more vulnerable. Without thinking much about how it feels to be that human being, forced to do it for hours, months long.


(Keno Skir) #15

Childish approach.

That’s how you play command and conquer too. It’s more about the bigger picture than just the button you’re pushing isn’t it…

Either way go ahead and automate it, see what happens :stableparrot:


(mkint) #16

There’s this idea floating around in the sailing community over the past couple years. It’s the concept of the fun:suck ratio. Living on a sailboat and traveling the world is fun, but it also sucks (for lots of various reasons.) The question as to whether the experience itself is worthwhile and rewarding depends on the ratio of the fun to suck.

I like to think the concept applies to pretty much everything a person might voluntarily do. Some parts of a video game are supposed to suck. It makes the fun more worthwhile. There are a lot of things in EVE that suck that shouldn’t. I’m not entirely convinced d-scan is one of them… I think maybe d-scan is a better game experience if it has at least some suck to it. I guess the question is whether or not it sucks too much. Or maybe it’s already too easy and needs to suck some more. Or maybe it’s the wrong kind of suck, and just needs to shift. I suspect automation in this case might be too powerful, at least not without deliberately adding some additional suck to the equation to keep it in balance.


(system) #17

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