Where I would take Eve Online

Eve online, this is my input as to the progression of the features in the main “flagship” product of the EVE persistent universe. There were several spin-off efforts within eve like Valkyrie, Dust 514, and Eve Echoes and the main progression has been to favor these outlets for new development and view the primary product as static. The core decision makers within CCP viewed the product as untouchable and functional and, to avoid any potential risks to earning, shied away from touching core mechanics or major overhauls.

Several Years ago I proposed in the article “Eve Sovereignty Revamp” a series of rewrites to the 0.0 scene and a few other elements that would improve the relevance of the game and keep the player-base interested instead of soft-pedalling the reinterested phase of old players who again come to leave the game again due to blue donut or pet peeve features that seemed to be on the “frustration ware” scale. Posted Below:

I don’t intend to posture for or against my old article and there may have been the slightest mirroring to already planned faction warfare features that are now well established coming up on two years now. What I am looking at now is a different list of concerns that are of separate interest from those posted above, and since they are opening the hood of 0.0, it would seem that CCP does feel pressured to make changes that will re-invigorate the gameplay and to keep up with the modernity seen in other releases, or soon to be releases. I’ll touch on a much broader scale here of what I would do in their position.

  1. Yellow Brick Road: Everyone knows of the tale featured in the Wizard of Oz of the four friends skipping along gayly down the yellow brick road to meet the wizard. This game can often feel like this even on deeper levels. It has the quality to be played, receded from, and returned to with deeper understanding once you’ve taken time off from it. Even elders within the game get the scene of multi-layered progress within their own grinding for isk, and navigating the social scene amongst other highly experienced group-leads. So where does Eve stand to improve within this regard?

*Make the game progress chain set up the intended optimal end state. There are new categories of game progress trackers that allow you to understand what’s out there and how much time you’ve spent in each field within the game. What that system does not do is set up pick-up groups that will vie for areas appropriate to their skill levels or lead to any pressures on the map of lowsec or 0.0 based on players following a structural lead. I think a big element of solving the “big blue donut” problem would be to look at the player experience tree as a method to guide incoming new players and low commitment returning players into a mold that would potentially set them down the paths the top players reminisce positively about. A Few months here in highsec getting up to level 3 missions, month or two in a c1 or c2 wormhole. Back to highsec but now I do level 4’s, out to lowsec for a period, then into nullsec as a junior group. You could even choreograph the process by offering XP rewards for maintaining the set group-goal for the set period and receive isk and LP blocks at the end of each period. Not all groups will be successful, and not all groups will remain overrun by infiltration and attack from other groups, but I think the more area you have here the better and with an objective system, and a few dev/player guides playing ball, you could place pressure zones on groups that are viewed as “too comfortable” or having too many blues, and see a serious potential for strategic shift towards the underdogs.

The intention is to use simple features within the game design to remove “social luck” from the equation of if a new player who is showing up, and demonstrating consistent interest in their pilot progression, to reach a point past the current divide mark: Moving from understanding the basics of modules and ships within EVE and possibly a small amount of exploration into wormholes, into the upper-echelon of earning, industry, and competing within a moderately powerful PVP fighting force.

  1. Fighters “light.” I take my heightened states whilst watching Hollywood depictions of space war as guide here. Films like Star Wars, Independence Day, and Battlestar Galactica (series) show the first-person adrenaline rush style of space fighter-style combat. What you will notice in these dramas is the existence of bigger style vessels flown in EVE. What small style craft in eve do is very different they are not fast-moving guns escorting bombers or firing payloads of torpedoes or missiles with limited ammunition and the need for resupply. They are simply Tackle, effective E-war vessels that grab ships that might be tempted to warp off and keep them there, keep them webbed, scrambled, disrupted, and be a time commitment to remove from the field in terms of locking time and potentially signature tanking against a fleet unequipped for their small signature.

*My proposal is: Introduce a new layer to EVE. Player flown Fighters and Bombers. You see this gameplay in Star Wars squadrons and with gaming technology moving away from single screen play towards surround screen arrays or VR headsets and IR function, adding this to EVE future proofs the title against new releases that might captivate the audience who enjoys this. All the classes of fighters and bombers that right now exist would still function and the “dumb variants” within their function, but the player flown snub craft get the benefit of high close-range damage, and “movement tanking” doing lazy Eights and moving unpredictably against systems that are only firing at their lead angle. This represents a major overhaul to the damage detection system within EVE which I will delve into later on.

Fighters and Bombers would be a simple two tier per race on release, one for economy and one for performance. They are not piloted as stand-alone vessels but are a munition-based deployment in a larger craft that the joystick pilot is then handing over to fleet control mechanics for the duration of their time in the smaller cockpit. I’ll address that system later on. Fighters function on an insta lock forward gimballed weapon that fires automatically at everything within a small circle at front of the pilot’s view and no other direction. Trade off being high damage at close range vs, less versatility meaning when you flee, you cannot fire backwards at your attacker. Bombers would function the same way launched from larger craft and be capable of maneuver tanking and getting into tight ranges and dealing extensive damage, mostly being vulnerable to snag attacks from the rear from hostile fighters who have already cleared the field enough to engage them.

What would current frigate class vessels do in this new environment? Current frigates, Interceptors, Assault frigates, etc. fit in as effective fighter killers, locking quickly and able to fire while retreating or side tracking without jumping into the fighter cover lines. The new rework around catering to joystick audience would undoubtedly pick up the adrenaline for flying frigates in the new “swarm” meta. Classes as large as cruisers would see significant improvement to their perceived EHP maneuvering with joysticks at full speed and dodging significant firepower during the munitions travel time by jinking to and fro. You would also need to introduce some anti-missile options like flares or chaff to keep missiles from breaking the intended function of snub fighter warfare. Anti-missile support packages on frigates with E-war specialty could give an additional signature radius bonus to fighters and bombers they are near while taking missile fire from larger craft.

  1. Object Based Hit Registry. Ever wonder what it would be like to hide behind your astrahus and not be able to be shot by the enemy? Obviously: they insta-volleyed you off field right after this because you went off tether. Eve is known as “Spread Sheets Online” because of their very simplified targeting and hit registry system. Appropriate for the early 2000’s but this will not keep up with industry expectations forever.

*Object Based Hit Registry is a massive overhaul and that means that all munitions and craft would now be considered as space junk waiting for your collision. Want to shoot at something behind a structure like the astrahus example I spoke about earlier? The shots will just hit the astrahus and do petty shield damage. Want to shoot at a craft that is behind a nice blob of drakes? It’s just going to hit random targets in the blob and do insignificant damage. Want to shoot through your allies? Think again, your own weapons won’t fire unless you override them (would need an extra safety switch). What you get here is also the need for movement formations that the FC and pilots can relate to each other on. Also consider ramming as a last-ditch effort to do damage if you’re out of options. Make a nice wall or cascade wall (rows with partial line of sight) that lets you shuffle and shoot out with safe spots in the back for you to retreat to, and any other options players can come up with. We need to have a player made formation editor so FC’s can field test their most wildest dreams.

  1. Logistics Rework. Most cycles people are asking for logistics to be nerfed and here is the reason: Logistics gets people excited about that one time they won some fight outnumbered and things went their way in the heat of the moment, and they got to brag about winning against the odds and so forth. What logistics adds up to in the bigger game is (what some regard as an) unfun position for people to be required to fill before you can fly. What logistics often leads to in medium scales is where fights end up very one sided based on which team’s logistics were more intuitive and basically one side will lose very little other than a few tackle ships like sabres or frigates. The entire other fleet welps and gets to go back home with almost nothing to show for it on the killboard. This gets to be a bit less of an issue at the larger scale as the chances for logistics to even lock in time goes down, but the logistics cap nerfs still targeted that dynamic to mixed effect.

*Take Logistics off the fighting grid in current form and add damage mitigators as the replacement for the current role highslots. What this means is you drop a logistics beacon off the fighting grid for a few of the currently fit logistics to hang out and do speedy repairs at safety, then replace the current repairs systems on grid with damage type specific (or weak multi) damage mitigators that reduce incoming firepower and have a chance to reset entropic beams spool up cycle. What this looks like is tiny, deployed mirrors that eventually melt and block pulse/beam lasers, Anti-missile missile pods, anti- hybrid lead plumes, and anti-artillery tractor pulse beams. Last but not least anti-entropic ray beam hackers that block damage and have chances to cancel the beam cycle reducing the damage increase back to start. What this means is damage that is applied on the field is final and it’s up to the pilots under fire to maneuver behind their own ball and warp to the safety of a logistics beacon. Also breaking line of sight breaks the tackle cycle from repeating. The logistics beacon gives logistics an unprobable grace period and shows up on the overview to your fleet only. Once the timer runs out on it, it can be probed, and they would need to move grids to a new beacon or risk being probed down and hit.

The FC giving holding positions and angles to ships in the fleet to flee allows for a form of automation similar to regroup in the current build, but under the design of the FC’s position and retreat movement plan that he designed in the editor prior to the fight. When pilots deploy into their fighters or bombers, their main craft still follows the basic fleet function of holding in the intended position, locking and firing on the FC’s targets, and retreating if queued to and broadcasting for damage mitigation logistics, all within acceptable average human reaction speeds; meaning staying alive in your fighter means you literally cannot screw up to badly in your battlecruiser or battleship since its under launch protocol and essentially under your FC’s command until you run out of snub craft. Battlecruisers can field one fighter or bomber Faction Battlecruisers field two, Battleships field three, and Faction Battleships field four. Carriers and Supercarriers would get the option to run lead pilot on you’re own fighter or bomber flight with six craft and eight craft respectively.

The current drone ball on a drone wand still exists and many of you expect that fighters would vanish to swarms of light drones as fast as this combo could lock on to it. The normal automatic drones and fighters still do what they do, they just don’t dodge shots or retreat as effectively. Fighters and bombers are in a class harder to lock than frigates and to prevent excessive defensive predisposition, make them unlockable outside 40 km with a falloff curve on lock time making them only reasonably lockable within 20km at the speed of a frigate lock time. 30km like a light drone lock, and 39 km, you are locking it but it’s going to take about twice as long as a light drone lock cycle. The lock math considers movement in so if you start lock at 39km and they move to 20 then you get the benefits to lock time as they move closer. This in combination with e-war applied to identified drone wands, and lock awareness and rapid retreat keeps fighter and bombers squall advances relevant to the battle.

This model makes the games damage dealt to ships more significant and really paves the way for the fighters and bombers snub tussle to make or break primary targets on the field as bomber damage will not be countered in any way by the mitigation logistics high slots capability. Hits will always get through some on targets and switching targets “because they are getting reps” will be replaced by “they have moved around the corner”, or “we have a better target based on where our fighters and bombers are positioned tactically."

I’d allow current frigate logistics to function in battle as they currently do, mostly to allow circling fighters and bombers a chance to get their health back, but also as a small trickle of repairs to targets in need. Also requiring line of sight to begin cycles but not required the effect of one cycle, just stopping the beginning of the next if lost.

  1. What’s bigger than a Titan? Well right now, only Keepstars and you won’t be taking of those for a joyride.

*Trawlers. Trawlers are the stations that move. They feature buff tethers that do not make you invulnerable and have combat boosting potential to those within range (Racial damage and ROF bonuses and whatever else you can come up with modularly). They are a mobile fighting grid that moves at extremely slow warp speed ~10 au per hour and feature added firepower and support to your movement. Gate travel only no cyno jumps. Two sizes: one on par in cost to an upscale titan fit (cand dock subcapitals), and one much more expensive than a keepstar (say 150%) and can tether capital to it for bonus (docks carriers dreads and force aux but limited count.) They can move in flocks too on the same grid and be reinforced while in movement and stranded in position for the timer. It makes for a major broadcast of intended attack and complication for any retreat. It makes a great way to sport through static structures with risk on the field but behind an invulnerability timer. Can we get some obnoxiously large Tritanium cost? That should keep the miners mining.

  1. Jump Freighter Nerf. It’s too easy for jump freighters to just chain jump with dirt cheap industrial cynos to dockable structures.

*Put in and no-dock timer (say 3 minutes) after completion of a jump to force them to bounce safes or make safe POS chains for their repeated routes. Even then someone might get lucky and get the bounce off once and while. Taking aggression resets the no dock timer to 3 min.

  1. I had all sorts of ideas about expanding the overall map with star exploration (similar to elite dangerous) and players dropping massive sums to build gate chains out into the blackness outside known nullsec but I guess I’ll leave that for another time.

What happens with CCP’s new features and tying together their new Vanguard FPS into the game may never have anything to do with this article or the one I posted on 0.0 based on scored 24/7 line wars. I don’t have an expectation to make a dent as it’s a private company and I’m just a player out here making his isk and killing time and occasionally scoring a nice PVP memory. I’m just here to drop my cents in the bucket, and say hey, take it or leave it. You’ve got my considerations, and the input alone is a token of consideration and gratitude for taking the lime and maintaining the single shard universe MMO.

PS. I had another off topic thought a few months back. Since botting is such an issue and a ton of deviant genius’ keep finding ways to do it. Why not just launch a second shard for botmasters and then make it internationally illegal to bot on the main server (eg handcuffs and prison time). Just a thought.


Pacolipse / JetCanPlumber

leptan class titan

While I have heard of The Wizard of Oz, I never found it intriguing enough to watch an adaptation of it. A ‘yellow brick road’ doesn’t mean a thing to me.

The whole of your ideas sounds so fundamentally different to me that I doubt it can be done within a reasonable timeframe based on the current Eve.
All the mechanics required would call for a new game. Or years of stagnation until these mechanics can be built.
How is Star Citizen doing? Because that game sounds a lot like what you imagine with the fighter stuff.

On the P.S. About botting: The biggest reason why people run bots is because fools buy the generated ISK from them. It’s called Real Money Trading (RMT), you may have heard of it.
I can’t see how a second server would improve that situation.

If you Haven’t seen the Wizard of Oz :slight_smile:

There are literally a ton of versions and a book too. Worthy content for side-viewing and backdrop audio.

The whole of your ideas sounds so fundamentally different to me that I doubt it can be done within a reasonable timeframe based on the current Eve.

Nothing that I have posted about in this article or the one from two years ago requires any remarkable amount of changes to the coding of the game. Its not a “small” tweak that people have been conditioned to accept as major changes since the grid-lock of differing ideas are constantly keeping everyone locked in place, however, EVE does have some antiquated concepts. If it is to survive in the long haul, there eventually has be a leave no barrel unturned approach to keeping up with industry standards.

As for Star Citizen, I don’t see that game as legitimately progressing, and I didn’t join the bandwagon of people seeing for return on investment (I only spent 276 dollars), It looks like an abandoned project that is just a graft zone for party goers and patrons of the vaporware hype/ditch cycle.

As for what you said on botting its thievery of displacement vs the user. Gamers will always have Real Life comfortable people (financially) that will addictive grind and get lost there intentionally as an escape from reality. The real matter is if the game ever tries to enter a full liquidity state (legitimized earnings in game) the pot of gold held by botters has to be identified and drained or an entire wipe would be the only option to keep the valuation of the in game assets and money reasonable in the eyes of financial authorities they would need to seek accreditation from.

I would love to grind from 9am to noon and cash out and buy a sandwich at the supermarket, currently not an option partly because of RMT.

You know this how? Have you seen whats under the hood?

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wow. I have, in my younger days, played tie fighter, elite and freelancer. But to imagine that cobbling joystick flight sim into eve would not be a massive change? That is impressive optimism.

Cool idea but I seriously doubt that Eve will become a fighter sim (although I do miss Valkyrie)

Bigger ships? Always a cool idea

Okay, this one I downright disagree with . . . there is no right path, no end goal and that is one of the beauties of Eve. I will fight strongly against such a measure being implemented.