Deployables Part 3: Duty Now for the Future

Thanks to those of you who have stuck with this very long analysis of a very long thread. As promised, this post will be shorter! You can check out the full thread of responses to CCP Fozzie calling for deployable ideas here.

I gave my thoughts on the bad ideas here, and the good ideas here.

So, I’ve proven I’m a critic. Many of the ideas I initially thought of were already thought up and posted by others, so I won’t re-post them. But in the spirit of being constructive, I thought it was only right that I put up a few of my own that I did not see elsewhere in the thread for others to be critical of. So fire away. 🙂

Current State Ideas

How to Fix Local. As I mentioned earlier, I have lots of ideas on this topic, some of which could be done with a deployable. Take a look at that post if you want to know more.

A Cyno Inhibitor for Roamers. As I mentioned in one of the earlier posts, CCP Fozzie has made it clear that the current deployable cyno inhibitor is not for roamers. It is for people who are trying to interrupt the drop/counterdrop cycle or protect their gatecamp from hotdrops. I want one that is actually useful for ganking a hotdrop’s baitship. Based on Fozzie’s feedback, this might be a tricky balancing act, which I leave as an exercise for the devs.

But here is the scenario it needs to achieve: You jump in and grab the suspiciously solo (and secretly cyno) boat. Pretend the attacking roaming small gang has 4-6 well-fit cruisers. Give the gang a short time to kill it before the inevitable PL hotdrop. For a noobship/frigate cyno, that gang should wipe it easily. For a baitfit Prophecy, it should be a tight squeeze – maybe the BC should be in low armor or structure. For a baifit marauder, it should have a good bit of HP left but be dented enough to get its attention.

For argument’s sake, let’s say it anchors quickly, costs little, but has almost no lifetime – maybe 3 minutes. Discuss.

Dscan Booster. Allows anyone very close to it – say, 20 Km or less – to have a larger d-scan, say 30 AU.

Courier Drop Box. One of the things I’ve always wanted was to be able to have my main pick up the PI materials launched by my alt. Way back when, I also wanted to legitimately run cargo to nullsec, but I couldn’t dock at the stations. So… how about an anchorable that you can let people pick up and drop off courier contracts that is not a station? I picture two versions: one that could be bolted directly to a POCO/COCO (you could transfer directly any items from COCO to Drop Box) or standalone.

Built for the Future

Those ideas aside, Fozzie’s recent interview and some comments on various CSM blogs seem to indicate that this whole thread may well be missing the deeper point. What is that point? Fozzie says:

Our vision for the future of the game includes allowing players to build major projects together. One of those projects will be player controlled and player built stargates. I’ll say that the result of that may not be what people expect.

What I think he may have really been fishing for with this thread is … what should those collective structures be? And made of what other substructures? And what if we tied it to the existing lore and similar examples? Here are three ideas, from the most obvious to the “really a stretch”.

The Super-Station

Site One, Eram. Click to enlarge.

For myself, I don’t love this idea, and won’t list it specifically in the post for that reason. It smacks of an unbelievable structure grind to end all structure grinds. But it does seem to fit the limited info we have so far, and certainly fits the mold and could likely be done in the next couple of years relative to realistic code.

Maybe we’d end up with something like Arek’Jaalan Site One in Eram (go visit!). You can read more about it here or here. Long story short, this is probably the biggest single-site effort a group of players has put together. It took a ton of stuff, gathered by a disconnected mob (I’m sure Goons could do it more efficiently). And what came of it was a pretty amazing location. The huge grid contains two full-blown Outposts, a visitor center that hands out an info document, 18 depots that hand out project documents, and a bunch of ancillary structures. It also contains an acceleration gate, forlornly and presumably pointing at the never-completed Site Two.

What if there were a framework for making full-blown colonies in space, capable of potentially protecting and housing the first gates? It is quite evident that CCP isn’t worrying a lot about the little guy here, they want major battles, and particularly null battles, over these things. As Chief Marketing Officer David Reid says in another interview:

At some level there is this very intricate balance of power that’s been going on in Nullsec for many years. We’re going to open up a whole new gold rush if you will. There’s going to be a race to build the first Star Gate, and the corporation that do that are going to be the first to plant their ‘flag’ on the hills of new systems if you will.

So, how does one protect that gateway? A new superstructure. It could look a lot like a militarized version of Site One. Hell, what if it had propulsion, and you could actually use the new “gate” to shoot the thing into another system? Food for thought.

The Slow Path

Schematic: The Talocan Static Gate

If we are simply taking over what the empires have done, what has happened so far? Simple – they have found new worlds by slowboating. As clearly described in the Old Man Star chronicle, they fly until they get there, then build the “receive” end of the gate, and voila, live traffic. Clearly for a game, spending 10 years in slowboat flight won’t cut it. But a structure to launch you partway, let’s say a light year at a time, could work.

First, you could build a set of Triangulation Observatories. These new structures could allow you to pick and aim at a likely new star. It would be like a blessed Project Compass (and yes, I think Mark726 and Faulx should get ISK royalties).

Then you would build a catapult, maybe a Talocan Static Gate, and aim it. Then launch, build, launch, build until you get there. Then open the standard gate.

The game play potential for all these structures could be a lot of fun. You might have to space the triangulators in three different regions. Maybe one would have to be lowsec and one would have to be in a wormhole.

Maybe other people could use your catapult to get to your structures further back in the chain.

The New Sleepers

The Mirror – Click to enlarge

How about something else that fits the lore mold but is much more “out there”? How about the way Sleepers live? If we’re going far, far away, the Sleepers may be the best model. After all, they’ve done this before. What if instead of a “gate” off into space, instead … you would go to sleep, and be transported?

If you’re not familiar with the Sleeper lore, they are quite literally asleep and “jacked in” to a virtual world a la The Matrix (not 100% accurate, but good enough for illustration). Imagine hacking things from “the other side out”. Traveling from Point A to Point B the back route to “jack in” one end and “jack out” the other rather than jumpcloning.

The most important Sleeper site is in Class 6 wormholes, and is called The Mirror. We even have a recipe for it. Here’s the components:

1 Archive Enclave
1 Communications Enclave
1 Oruze Enclave
1 Medical Enclave
1 Research Enclave – Biogenetics
1 Research Enclave – Theoretical Genetics
1 Research Enclave – Virtual Genetics
1 Security Enclave
8 Sleeper Interlink Hub
24 Sleeper Preservation Conduit
8 Sleeper Thermoelectric Converter

What if this place was the “gateway” (CCP Seagull’s “right kind of stargate”) to the new place? A parallel place where she would say that “capsuleers … were no longer bound to the known universe”? What if you had to build the other components as well, from Isogen-5 fuel depots like the Strange Energy Readings site to the Solar Cell? Communications networks like the odd lost site in Barkrik?

Yes, it’s probably far more ambitious than CCP is even likely to attempt. But what potential.

I for one welcome our new Sleeper subjects.

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4 Responses to Deployables Part 3: Duty Now for the Future

  1. Nice post. Those are pretty interesting ideas.

  2. lowrads says:

    Merge POS or moon warpable locations with deadspaces. Give every moon a deadspace type of environment, and have the addition of POS somewhere within them change the deadspace dramatically. Objects like siphons can be placed within them, as well as other objects with different kinds of defenses. Industrial or defense equipment can be impaired by these spaces, and even dronelike npcs might exist there. Slow ships can really become separated from the fast ships for once, and the mechanics of probing, hot-dropping, and engaging ships changes completely. Deadspaces have multiple rooms and multiple paths, allowing for hide and seek as well as encampment options.

    This spreads people out, makes systems have more destinations, gives more places to fight or fly around, and helps both big and small gangs.

    • Rhavas says:

      One of the key mechanics that I like about POS is that a good d-scanner can find them without ever breaking out probes. I think that this provides a degree of protection but is well-balanced by a degree of “stealth discovery” capability. For this reason I don’t support any sort of “walled off” space behind an acceleration gate when it comes to POS. I don’t really love the idea that the current structures can be anchored at random safe spots in the middle of nowhere either, but that pales next to the fact that the depots are so indestructible from my perspective.

      That said, I like some of the ideas you mention. Maybe the “multi-room” thing could be a set of known side spaces that might be connected in a consistent manner so that you could predict how they would work and develop tactics for jumping around them. This however would require the “front room” to be anchored at the moon warpin. It is an interesting concept.

  3. Teg says:

    I think your cyno inhibitor deployable would work better as a med or high slot. make it take charges and have a long reload. so maybe you can lock out the cyno for x amount of time before a 2 to 3 x reload time. that makes it a choice for the attackers. (and if you think you see one, drop a depot and refit for it. Make it so that one can keep a cyno from being lit, but say 3 or 4 can disrupt a cyno enough to throw ships out at random (the collapsing cyno effect) and a 5th can close an active cyno. counter for this would be 2 cyno ships, or maybe a second “cyno disruption inhibitor” working similarly to a warp disruption inhibitor. the numbers of course could all change, but making it a module not a deployable means there is a choice, kinda like fitting your industrial with WCS’s

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