What I would do with mutaplasmids

Okay, so this topic is going off several premises right off the bat. Premise 1: mutaplasmids are not reaching anything near what their full potential could be in EvE. Premise 2: A large part of “why” has to do with everything revolving around the RNG portion. Premise 3: Equipment with clearly defined traits that you CAN plan fits around is better for the game, better for the feature, and easier for players to accept. Premise 4: CCP, not wanting to waste the immense amount of effort they put into this feature (which is roughly 20% of the entire Abyss expansion), would be willing to completely overhaul it to save it.

In my opinion, the RNG nature of the mutas is basically the entirety of what’s wrong with it. I don’t see any way whatsoever to maintain a RNG element to producing modules while saving the concept. With RNG in place, nothing can be fine-tuned or balanced, only ranges adjusted. Fits cannot be planned, items cannot be marketed, supply cannot be maintained. There has been no effort to create a balanced place for these modules within the meta, nor can there be, because RNG. RNG bricks not just the modules, but the entire concept itself.

So what would I do, to change mutas and try to make the feature more popular? Honestly, I think it’s best to adhere to well-trodden ground on this one and make them parallel tech-1 named items. In that, I mean that they have one or two benefits over their base item (in this case, it will be a tech 2 stasis webifier), but have drawbacks elsewhere.

In this case, the mutas would work solely on tech 2 equipment and not work on anything tech 1, faction, deadspace, or otherwise. Combine that with defined penalties, and we have modules which will have a niche use in some cases, a more broad use in others, and yet never obsolete or overlap with standard tech 2 equipment or higher since unmodified tech 2 general stats will always be better for a broader use-base.

For this example, I will be using webifiers as my go-to prop. The numbers and examples that will follow are for demonstration purposes only - I do not claim these particular numbers would be the final balanced result we ought to anchor ourselves to. They’re only here for illustration of concept.

For reference, these are the stats of a tech 2 stasis webifier as they currently stand.

  • Activation cost: 6 j
  • Velocity modifier: -60%
  • Powergrid: 1
  • CPU: 30
  • Range: 10km
  • Overheat bonus: 30% (3 km)

The first thing I’m going to do is to define the penalty. I think the line of mutated modules should have a defined and consistent penalty across the board. For the webifier example, we will go with this.

All mutated webifiers
Activation cost: 18 j (3x)
CPU: 40 (+10)

Okay, now we have some penalties carved out. This is done so that normal tech 2 is not obsoleted by this expansion, and power creep has a factor to keep it in check. So with that done, let’s get into the more fun stuff, the benefits! There’s actually a lot of room for having niche equipment, and I’m not saying we should have all these variants either, just illustrating what we can do with this.

*Tech 2 “Reaching” webifier: 15% bonus range. Module cannot be overheated.
With the penalties already outlined, this webber would give you better long-term range, though you wouldn’t be able to out-range an overheated tech 2 base module.

*Tech 2 “Unhinged” webifier: +50% overheat bonus (from 30% to 45%) . This gives you a bigger bonus to using that overheat, but you’re still paying extra fitting and activation for having that bonus.

*Tech 2 “Liquid-cooled” webifier: 25% less heat damage, heat dissipation rate +50%

*Tech 2 “Stout” webifier: +50% structure HP

*Tech 2 “Frantic” webifier: +100% overheat bonus (from 30% to 60%), +25% heat damage, heat dissipation rate -50% (yes that’s two additional penalties)

From there, it’s just a matter of plugging in different modules that are included in the mutations at present, and giving them a similar treatment. Webs have a few limitations in things like strength because it can break the game’s math. However, other things like neuts could get options for increased strength which wouldn’t break the game in ways that stronger webs do. So those other modules would have more possibilities we could explore. In particular, I think that being able to block out overheating or enhance it in different ways opens up a plethora of possibilities that people would really enjoy tinkering with.

And of course, if the penalties seem harsh, or if you want a module that’s simply better, you can always get a faction or deadspace one!

With that outlined, what would I do about how we mutate? Well like I said, I think only tech 2 items should be up for mutation since they are the baseline for the new modules. And secondly, I think I’d keep the failure chance. What the failure chance would be, I don’t know and I think that’s open for debate. But I think we should also increase the plasmid drop by a large factor to open up real markets and opportunities to supply these new items.

The failure rate will keep a steady supply of destruction to eat up surplus on the market. These new items having set stats will make them available on the market, viable for theorycrafting, and so much more.

As for the Abyss space loot…I think that having trig ship and weapon blueprints and skillbooks in tiers 4 & 5 is good incentive for those. Have ammo blueprints and minerals in 3 through 5. And have mutas in 1 through 5 so there’s always a reason to run even the lower-tier spaces. Make it so that some loot is guaranteed in each box (mainly speaking about mutas, fibers, OR some minerals), although room one gives pitiful loot, room two a bit more, but you really want to get that loot from room three to make the venture worthwhile in any tier.

And that’s how I’d do it.

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Thanks for the writeup. I largely agree with you premises, but think one important factor is missing: the droprate.

Generally I think it is necessary to consider risk and effort, droprates and failure rate (if current model or new model) as well as potential effect on the module and hence both fitting and gameplay options.

For me it is the combination of all those factors that make Mutaplasmids fail their goal of shaking up the PVP meta. The low droprates and high chance of failure result in lower tier Mutaplasmids being largely useless, due to being too expensive. Especially so since 90-95% of the times the module will be bricked due to vastly increased PG or CPU and sometimes unfixed bugs in the stat % range. As you’ve said before this leads to a situation in which interesting modules can only be created by using unreasonable amounts of money and ressources, as there will either be a better and cheaper Meta X version or they’re outright too expensive for all but the richest players. The cheaper a fit is, the less risk averse people are, the more fights they are looking for.

It’s a typical case of several slight wrongs creating a really large one.

In your example, there is no reason to not allow them for T1 or faction, as with the limits of how many stats are influenced, there is not going to be much if any overlap. Right now Mutas are completely useless on most T2 items and this is indeed a problem. So I agree that something needs to be done there, but limiting it to T2 might not be the best or most realistic way.

Okay, but for the purpose of this example, we’ll need to discuss them anyway.

Now T2 modules already have the worst fitting costs in many cases. Put a hefty penalty on that and lots of fits will simply not be able to fit it anymore, no matter the advantages. Let’s say you are willing to compromise somewhere else, this new item must offer some real advantage over the regular T2 item in order to be considered.

If so, I think the +50% overheat bonus is actually a good example, as this would probably find at least some use and certainly shake up some types of meta. Not sure if the penalty isn’t too hard though.

One could even go so far to say that within the current RNG system, one could entirely focus on heated stats. Many stats are not currently influenced by heat (and some can’t like PG or CPU), so it would be interesting if Mutas could offer that.

The problem I see with your proposal is that it excludes non-T2 items and that it needs to statically enforce a penalty that will usually be a fitting penalty. Many of the possible (too expensive) things Mutas can currently offer have to do with fitting space though. Less CPU or less PG is sometimes all you really need in order to do something completely new. And that’s also their main issue: they focus too much on power creep and offer too little in terms of fitting relief.

One thing I really did not want to do, was to create versions that had easier fitting costs. You and I seem to have a differing philosophy governing this point. When the developers were creating modules, creating ships, and seeing how they interacted, fitting costs were leveled off in such a way that it ensured that certain fits simply could not happen. That was done intentionally. Or if a fit could happen, it would need a fitting module thus taking up one more lowslot. That was one of my complaints with the current RNG system (it allowed a bypass of the previous fitting balances), but it was only kept in check by the fact that the mutas system is largely unusable. I feel that creating variants that ease fitting is itself a form of power creep, since it allows you to make less sacrifices elsewhere in the fit (to reference your last sentence).

I don’t quite understand where you’re going with this. In my example, mutas create a tech 2 module variant. If we allowed them to be used on tech 1 items, that would completely bypass the construction and consumption of a tech 2 item and give you a tech 2 item with some penalties. Is that your intent with this statement? Or that you’d take a faction item, say a Federation Navy stasis webifier, and mutate it down to a tech 2 variant? Because that one doesn’t even make sense to do.

I ask because the other way I see in interpreting your statement is that you’re thinking of the variants posted as something to be done with any pre-existing item. That would lead to such a thing as a “Federation Navy Unhinged webifier”. That is not my intent for several reasons - the two most important being power creep, and market function.

One of my goals was to prevent mutated modules from encountering the “ECCM clusterf**k”. Back when each of the four sensor types had it’s own ECCM module group, including meta variations. Eventually it was decided having a few hundred different types of the same thing was not preferable, so they were streamlined/merged down to what we have now.

If we decide to limit mutas to creating just three new variants, the number of items on market would balloon dramatically. Using the webifier as the current example, there are 17 variants in my “compare” tab when I open up PYFA. That would end up being 51 variations on market. I think that’s rather unnecessary and bloated. This is something that would get worse and worse with each new item that eventually gets added for mutation possibility (hence why I focused solely on mutating tech 2, there is only one tech 2 to mutate). And again, I approached this idea specifically looking to avoid that. So if this is a point you disagree with, I respect that, it’s just not a road I want to go down.

I would like to speak a bit more at length about balance and how I approached it. As I stated earlier, I feel that “fitting relief” is itself a form of power creep since it allows for fewer sacrifices in the fit. And if one needs fitting relief, tech 1 variants already offer that with the downside being reduced item strength or range. I feel that is working as intended.

The reason I introduced two penalties was to specifically counteract power creep and make it known these items would be “side-grades”, not simply upgrades. I had a goal not to obsolete the tech 2 equipment by making any variant too powerful.

Now I’d like to mention the two specific penalties I focused on: fitting cost and activation cost. I felt that it was necessary to always have at least two penalties because there could always be too many scenarios where one penalty, or the other, was readily circumvented. Although typically not on frigates or destroyers, some cruisers and many battleships already have ample fitting room. So a simple +10 CPU penalty by itself isn’t much of a consideration for fits that already had that to spare. In that case, what you would have with a mutated module is a simple upgrade. You got enhanced performance just by eating up some CPU you might have already had as surplus.

The second one, activation cost, I felt was necessary so that using the module had an impact on use. To be able to fit something and not worry about additional penalties afterwards felt too easy. So, I settled on activation cost being a good secondary penalty for mutated modules. That gives us one fitting penalty so that one must make sacrifices to fit it, and one penalty for use, so that one must be careful about how he uses his newfound enhancement.

These two things also ensure there is no obsolescence of faction or deadspace gear which sometimes does provide similar or better enhancements without any such penalty. That was also one of my core goals with this proposal.

-1 instanced space should not even be in EVE, much less improve rewards.

I see your point and I partly agree, but also have to argue that this really heavily depends. Sure, on high-end DED modules lowering the fitting cost easily becomes power creep. On the other hand, for cheap modules on cheap T1 Cruisers (many of which really suffer from fitting), giving a bit more options can hardly be considered power creep.

As a possible solution: separate Mutas who can give ease on fitting from those who give additional power in “offensive” stats. Maybe even go so far to limit the first to Meta T1 and possibly T2.

No. The intent is to say that the choice to exclude any non-T2 modules from mutation is arbitrary. You’ll find some arguments for it and some against, like for any other module group. It means that any idea to change how Mutas work, must account for all module groups - although not necessarily equally.

As a general “rule” I’d think that Mutas, at least if their outcome is positive, should not transform into the next higher Meta module. Because, if the system works like that, the Muta droprate needs to be super low in order to not devalue modules all through the chain. A low droprate leeds to where we are now: Mutas being practically useless for really shaking up the meta.

That means, they need to tackle stats in a way that doesn’t go parallel with the Meta stat progression.
It’s easy to come with something for T1 (Decayed limited to them, only influencing PG/CPU), but needs some more thought between T2 and Faction, as Mutas shouldn’t turn T2 into Faction or DED-alikes, but give them their own special advantages, which none of the others can have. And Faction should not get any chance to ease on PG/CPU for example, as you’ve said before.

One way to do this would be to get rid of the 0.01% changes and rather have a much more simply system with maybe 10 possible states per stat. If a Decayed Mutaplasmid would be limited to T1 and only influences 2 stats (PG/CPU), there is no danger to become as powerful as T2 all the while limiting the number of possible outcomes enough to make it more easy to deal with them.

But isn’t it that we have hundreds of thousands of versions for each mutatable module now?

It depends again on the ship-classes. Personally I don’t see any reason to not give a chance of further ease on fitting limited only to T1 modules with a T1 module mutaplasmid (Decayed).

Yeah true, the activation cost could easily be the thing that makes the most insane fits possible if higher grade Mutaplasmids allow for that on higher grade modules. Maybe - just a thought - if we had Gravid Mutas limited to T2 and those could receive some ease on cap usage, that could be okay.

While such a modification would limit the bloat, the modules would still not be marketable. Again, part of my goal was to get these items to market. In essence, it would still be…

To answer your question. Yes. And that’s part of the problem. Even if we did 10 states per stat, and limited it to two stats, that’s 100 variants of the same item if my math is correct. That’s still bloat, that’s still unmarketable. That’s why I’m aiming for fixed stats, fixed number of variants.

Now I think you’re onto something. Instead of all mutas being used on T2 stuff and creating solely T2 variants, certain classes of mutas work on certain classes of equipment. That still feels a bit wonky since that would result in some t1-named equipment being loot drops and others being t1-named-loot-dropped-then-mutated, but I’ll say this, I’m intrigued by the idea.

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I don’t get why you want them marketable.

I agree that being able to have values on the market is better ^^ yet that could be made with contract-access through ESI (which is being worked on) and a player-made market app.

The matter, IMO, is that now we have too many variations for each modules.
We could restrict them to eg 4 different values (-1, 0, +1, +2) for each attribute with constraints specific to the type of muta :

  • decayed : one attribute +1, one attribute -1 (5*4=20 possibilities for 5 attributes)
  • gravid : one attribute +2, one attribute -1 (same number of possible outcomes)
  • unstable : two attributes +2, other attributes -1 (10 possible outcomes for 5 attributes)

With those limited possible values it would be easier to find more easily interesting items in the contract, or even to model them : a mutated item is one that has a base, and is applied one of the 50 possible mutations for 5-attributes mutaplasmids.

Primarily because the market is where most other players get most of their equipment. I’ve done some selling and trading via contracts, sure, but the market is there for a reason. To introduce modules that can’t be traded normally is cumbersome and clunky. That this was a known problem ahead of time and a proper trading system was not in place prior is just…wrong.

I mean, wouldn’t it be just as clunky if we had ships with variable stats, and instead of buying and selling them on the market, you could only trade them through contracts, until a new sub-market was programmed and implemented? And that meant you had to open contract windows and browse through thousands of unique and mostly worthless entries to find the one ship that might be useful to you?

We currently have a class of modules that can’t be marketed, can’t be balanced, can’t be supplied, can’t be planned, can’t be theorycrafted. They may as well not exist. I’m sure like everything else in EvE, there’s a handful of people whom have already gotten good rolls on good equipment, and would very much like it to never change lest they lose their precious toys. But I’m trying to think of the big picture here, and if the devs spent ungodly amounts of money and time thinking this up and implementing it just so about thirty* people can benefit…that sounds like an abject failure. I’m sure more people benefited from Resource Wars than mutated modules.

*Obviously just a number pulled from the dark region. Point is that this isn’t a part of the broader game.

Your quick idea is nice and better than current mechanics, but that still adds up to at least 50 variants of any given module that is mutated (probably exponentially more if we sat down and hashed out the math). Even if they are given their own drop down menu in the market module tree, that’s an insane amount of market bloat, and that’s per every item brought in under the mutation umbrella.

Your post also doesn’t lay out a limitation as to which items can or cannot get mutated. In my example I focused solely on tech 2 items, with approximately five variations possible as the new modules. So that limited the new modules to five per module introduced as mutatable (probably not a real word). If yours has no such limitation, that opens up (for example) all 17 stasis webifiers to each have at least 50 new variants, resulting in 850 new market items just for the category of stasis webifiers.


I don’t propose to create those Items in the database. I propose to keep them on contract, with a specific tool made for finding them as I said in the beginning.
eg a tool which asks you a mutaplasmid family, its base module, and one of the 50 possible mutations, and lists you the price for given couple (item - mutation).
This could be a tool made by CCP or by the players. I can make one if the ESI is fixed - I guess other players can too.

I actually think that 5 attributes is too much, I think having only 4 should be better . Fitting includes cpu and powergrid, when those values vary.
web : speed, fitting, capacitor strain, range
point/scram : warp str, fitting, capacitor strain, range
propmod : fitting, capacitor strain, speed, malus reduction(includes mass and sig bloom)
plate/extender/cap battery : fitting, raw bonus, malus reduction, secondary bonus( resistance for shield/plate, cap warfare res for cap battery)
neutra/nos : fitting, range, quantity, efficiency( efficiency of nos is % of cap created in addition)

All of them, as of now.

BTW that’s a nice discussion.

Um…all items in game…from the mission debris fields to the items on market and contract…they’re all part of the database. That includes past, current, and future mutated items.

In theory that’s kinda nice and interesting, but still a lot of hoops to jump through and unnecessary complication to sift through mostly worthless junk. But I’m against having players make such a tool, at least in the beginning, because it’s CCP’s job first and foremost to support their own game. For over a decade they refused to have a ship fitting program in their own game - a feature 99% of players needed and would use daily, because CCP kept citing “oh players already made one so we don’t want to tread on them and obsolete their work”. It was a cheap cop-out, always has been and always will be. And they still don’t even have a proper skill planner in-game for the same reason. And I’m sorry, players shouldn’t be subsidized because a company can’t be bothered to support their own product.

If and when CCP produces such a tool and it works properly, I’m all for players making their own version with perhaps more features and a better UI. But I strongly advise against doing it for them in the meantime.

I want my mutaplasmids to have really really low chance of turning into shavronne’s wrappings

you KNOW they will ■■■■ it up at the beginning.
Look in my eyes, and tell me you expect CCP to release something working. And stop laughing.

so from what I understand, you are suggesting that instead of RNG mutaplasmids, you instead have a variety of set modifiers that they can apply, that will be applied every time. resulting in a standardized outcome… in that case why not just make more officer mods that have those baked in already and have those drop?

Several reasons.
1: New “officer” mods would be de facto upgrades, and not “side-grades”, resulting in power creep.
2: Officer modules do not come from the Abyss space.
3: Mutating an existing module to produce a new variant creates consumption, whereas a new drop would not.
3b: Mutation failure is a mechanic that already exists, to create extra consumption, something which cannot be duplicated by another “drop” module.
3c: I kept as many of the current mechanics (or some form of them) as I could.

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