Blog Banter #30: The Happy Place

Seismic Stan, AKA @Freebooted, proposed a great topic for the blog banter this month:

“With the Winter expansion possibly being named ‘Crucible’, it certainly is a melting pot of refinements and tweaks aimed at making the EVE experience smoother and more wholesome. If the developers suddenly found themselves some spare resources and approached you for an additional feature to include before release, what single concept would you pitch them and how would you implement it? For bonus points, the one thing lacking from this “patchwork” of iterations is a cohesive storyline to package “The Crucible” together. How could this expansion be marketed to potential new customers?”

Poor Stan, CCP almost immediately trumped him with this “little things” thread, more or less asking the same thing. The good news is, that means more asking and more listening! Let’s hope.

I agree with Kirith Kodachi – I can’t pick just one – so I’ll do a scale of requests that could even further add to Eve being a pilot’s Happy Place. :)

Little Thing: GCC Reform

Rixx Javix said it best. I’ll let his words stand. TL;DR – Reduce GCC to 5 minutes.

The bottom line is this: GCC doesn’t do anything much. It doesn’t deter anything much. All it does is kill game play and enjoyment. The vast majority of people in lowsec (which is the only place you realistically get GCC – in highsec you get CONCORDed instead, and in null you don’t get GCC) are there for either the fights or to take a known-risk run at greater riches (e.g. PI or missioning).

So if you’re there for the fights, GCC is meaningless. You want to fight. If you’re there for the mining, PI, missioning, etc., you know you’re in trouble from the start, and if you get popped you’ll run for the nearest highsec exit immediately. If you take more than 5 minutes, it’s a mystery to me why you would.

Now, if you want to leave people flashy (no sec status for attacking) for the full 15 minutes, fine. But call off the gate/station guns. All that leads to is people watching YouTube videos while sitting at a safe spot. Wasted time that could be blowing stuff up and pushing the Eve economy forward.

Medium Thing: Rebuild Unloved UIs: Drones and/or Dscan

The bottom line is that both of these interfaces are horrible.

The drone window could be fixed so easily, at a baseline level – add four buttons. With the group you have selected, you have the option to Launch (and orbit), Engage (selected target), Return (and orbit), and (return and) Dock. Sure, there’s lots of other little things you could do, but this would be a great step forward for minimal pain. I do want to give CCP kudos here as well, for making it possible to reconnect to lost drones. That is functionality that should have been in place long ago – it’s great to see it added.

Dscan is remarkably difficult to use, particularly compared to the newly-enhanced probe-based scanner. Again here, a few simple presets would be enough to take it from annoying to awesome. Allow me a handful of presets I could set myself. Say, “System” (max radius 360), “Planet” (2,000,000 Km or so, 360), “Wide Target” (max radius, 90), “Narrow Target” (max radius, 15) and “Pinpoint” (5,000,000 Km, 5). Then put in a pulldown like you have in the System Scanner so I can set up one for “Ships Only” and we’re off to the races.

PS I also love Kirith Kodachi’s “visible cone” idea.

Big Thing: Dynamic System Security

I’m not going to say a lot about this here, since I am planning a full post about it as Feudal Eve #3. But long story short, what if – within a given set of parameters – the security status, and thus effects on resources, of a given system fluctuated based on a set of parameters? Then you could truly balance risk and reward. No longer would certain highsec systems arbitrarily be 0.5 – those systems would be the places where the ganks were the highest. No longer would nullsec have arbitrary -1.0 systems with awe-inspiring resources that haven’t seen a combat ship since 2004. No longer would it be “not worth the risk” to go into 0.4 lowsec or -0.1 nullsec for a run at the riches. What if Amamake and Rancer had nullsec-level resources? Food for thought, more on that coming soon.

Bonus: Storyline

I had some thoughts on this but in the end, I’ve decided to defer. Why? Crucible is due out now in a hair over a week, and there have been rumors of new dev blogs from @Cloisterphobe (aka CCP Abraxas) “and others” – presumably CCP Dropbear or CCP Headfirst. Instead, I will take a stab at some bullet points that I think will be addressed in those blogs.

  • Jamyl Sarum started it. Why? She always does. Besides, the descriptions for the Amarr Oracle Tier 3 Battlecruiser says so.
  • Jamyl’s getting a bit crazier. Four years with the Evil Voice in your head and you’d get a bit kooky too.
  • The Empyrean War is too much of a stalemate. No one is winning. That’s why we need battlecruisers with battleship guns!
  • The Empyrean War is a stalemate because the empires are trying to keep it sterile – a simple fleet fight doesn’t progress the battlefield. For that, you need to take planets.
  • Jamyl is cooking up something evil. Maybe slave armies. Maybe Sansha cooperation for mind control of former Amarrian planets full of Minmatar ex-slaves.
  • The Jove have had about enough of Jamyl’s antics and are about ready to come out of hiding.
  • The Sleepers have figured out that they are running out of resources to keep fixing their drones … and want to find an ally.

Guess we’ll see soon enough. :)

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4 Responses to Blog Banter #30: The Happy Place

  1. Helena Khan says:

    This is good… really good. Especially the changing sec status. It might actually help with small but dedicated holders improving their null/low sec space and help with people migrating out of high.

    On another note: what about the Evil Voice being Dochuta Kasoth… a duplicate of Baron Harkonnen anyone…?

    • Rhavas says:

      Thanks! I’m a firm believer that right now both highsec and nullsec have, generally speaking, too many riches given the risk, and lowsec is a barren wasteland because it is orders of magnitude riskier but not much more rewarding than highsec. More on that coming soon. :)

  2. Michael Smith says:

    Great ideas!

  3. Pingback: Fifteen Minutes | Interstellar Privateer

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