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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

8th Blog Banter

Welcome to the eighth installment of the EVE Blog Banter , the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here . Check out otherEVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month's topic comes to us from me, Ga'len at The Wandering Druid of Tranquility. He asks: "What new game mechanic or mechanics would you like to see created and brought into the EVE Online universe and how would this be incorporated into the current game universe? Be specific and give details, this is not meant to be a 'nerf this, boost my game play' post like we see on the EVE forums."

Well I'm going to suggest a twofer:

1) What I would like to see is something fairly simple. I'd like to see diminishing returns as far as focused fire goes. One of the biggest advantages EVE has is that it supports some rather large PvP battles. The problem is that tactically these battles are only interesting in their run-up and post phases. Pas a certain point they become pure slugging matches with little tactical finesse.

The way to implement this would be fairly simple: Have incoming fire degrade the more target locks are slapped on a target. Ideally this would start kicking in above the squadron level. In other words up to 10 target locks and in coming fire is un-affected. Over 100 and there is so much sensor interference that effective fire on the target is effectively neutralized (guns and missiles miss 99% of the time. This would mitigate the blobbing effect we currently see, and cause battles to become more tactically interesting. It would also foster true squadron tactics.

In case anyone wonders whether I'm pulling this effect out of the top of my head, I'm not actually. During world war 1 there was a similar effect when a bunch of ships tried to target the same vessel at the same time. In those days, the distances were so large compared to the accuracy of the guns that they tended to watch for the fall of the previous salvos and use the results to correct the next salvos. The problem being that when multiple ships fired on the same target, it was very hard to determine which splashes were your own salvos and without correction you were always firing by pure chance.

2) Rats need to learn to run away. This is one of the biggest problems I have with the current PvE in EVE. PvE in eve will never teach anyone tactics close to PvP until this is resolved. Due to the "death" penalty of EVE, most PvP encounters are between pilots with well developed senses of preservation (or lack thereof). When outnumbered and not expecting reinforcements, most people try and get away. This is why tackle plays such an important part of any and all PvP encounters. You can total ignore this in any and all PvE encounters. They always stay till the bitter end. There is no attempt to do a tactical warp off (warping away to a safe spot and warping back to the battle) for the targets of focused fire, nor is there plain old running away.

The rewards would have to be adjusted to simulate the increased difficulty involved. Missions could be fail-able if key targets were allowed to escape, and so on. But this would do two things. It would make bringing friends along to PvE encounters much more enticing (more tackle = less NPCs getting away = more rewards). It would also teach newbies tactics that would be much more like PvP.

That's my 2 suggestions. Probably never get implemented but oh well.


Kirith Kodachi said...

I was skeptical at first of your point 1 but on second thought I can appreciate the logic behind it. Definitely agree on point 2. If rats tried to make a run for it, interceptors to assist in making rat tackles could be considered good ships to gang with for ratting. Mkae rewards slightly higher to compensate for the fleeing though.

Letrange said...

@Kirith - point 1 needs work as we'd need to take into account friendly targeting somehow. But at least it's a concept to look into - possibly to discard, but it bears consideration.
Point 2 That's why I mention that the rewards would need to be tweaked.

John Holt said...

Both your points are interesting and I would like to see them implemented. Thanks for challenging our thinking.

Angus said...

I really like point 1. How would this impact ecm heavy fleets like the EUNI runs?

I can see point 2 working if there were far fewer, and far stronger mission rats. The biggest problem with missions is that they are designed to be solo content. The large number of ships means that you can use a weaker ship and good pve tactics (aggro management). If there were only one to three big ships per mission (so that the solo guy has a chance to keep some of them from running away), the range of ships that can be brought to any one mission would significantly decrease. And so would the diversity of possible fittings.

Gorgoleon said...

Main problem with number 1 is that you will almost never get any capital kills, you need a good sized gang to comfortably take down a cap ship. Also would you exclude POS's from this rule? Mission rats? Structures?
Number 2 would be more relevant if the missions weren't all the same, if you got scrammed by battleship sized rats and if the rats used mwds.

Chainer Cygnus said...

@Gorgoleon I think that you could take into account the size of the target ship and how many ships can have it targeted to accurately do damage. i.e. Frigates have a lower cap before damage goes out the window, and Caps have a very large number due to their immense size.

Erbo Evans said...

A side bonus of your Point #2 would be that missioners who fit ships to combat the new, able-to-run-away rats would probably also be better equipped to deal with pirates busting in on their missions to gank them...

Anonymous said...

I've not seen the new AI in action so can't really comment on the rat behaviour. I know the aim is to make them more like proper players and encourage PvP fits for PvE so we'll see, I guess.

As far as the anti-blob idea goes I can see the logic but not sure if I buy it. There's a lot of difference between computer-guided space artillery and manually calculated ocean artillery. Blobbing is always going to happen. Maybe a better solution would be that you actually need a line of sight to shoot things. Lets face it, even in small fleets bullets magically pass through friendly ships at the moment.

Sara Pickell said...

Your amendment to point 1 could make for some interesting play with target painters. Not saying that in a bad way either.

Anonymous said...

I really like the point 1 but would make near impossible to kill certain ships, so maybe allow more targetting peeople as the targetd ship increase in size? so that way you could be up to 1-200 (whatever is reasonable)to kill a titan but anything over 5 on a frig is overkill.


CrazyKinux said...

No1 make a hell of a lot of sense to me! With a bit of refinement, I think it's something CCP should really look into!

As for No2, if they start to run away, what happens when killing them is part of the mission objectives?