Archive for the 'game mechanics' Category


Dust weaponry by type

CCP Remnant was asked about which weapons are classified into which types, since many tech 2 suits get bonuses to their racial weaponry. He replied with:

Hybrid (plasma) – assault rifle, plasma cannon, ion pistol (not yet released), shotgun
Hybrid (railgun) – forge gun, sniper rifle, magsec SMG (not yet released), rail rifle (not yet released), bolt pistol (not yet released)
Laser (beam) – laser rifle
Laser (pulse) – scrambler pistol, scrambler rifle
Projectile – SMG, HMG, combat rifle (not yet released), precision rifle (not yet released)
Explosive – mass driver, swarm launcher, flaylock pistol


We’re still missing two heavy weapon variants (gallente and amarr).

As to what they’ll do… speculate away Blink

So, there’s a lot of weapons in the immediate pipeline.

ps: Gallente Heavy Flamer. Do it.


Throwing Uprising

New controls are profoundly unpleasant to use.

Unhappy times.


Fix for Factory Manager role?

CCP Masterplan is investigating the feasibility of fixing this long-standing issue:

For all you players asking about the roles for cancelling jobs (and this applies to regular station jobs also) I’m going to have a look and see if there is something we can do about it. Take this with a hefty slice of Expectation Management Pie, but one simple possibility I’m thinking of is restricting the ability to cancel corp jobs to director roles only. With just the Factory-Manager role, you’d still be able to cancel your own corp jobs, but not those corp jobs belonging to your corpmates.

What do you think about this idea? Be aware this is a very specific, focused fix to an problem that has come up a few times. Please don’t feature-creep on me, or there’s simply no scope for it happening!

Note that completing other people’s jobs would still be allowed.


Planetary Conquest: Building an Empire from the Ground Up

There’s a new Dust 514 dev blog out, detailing the game mechanics around planetary control by dust corporations.

This is a really promising rule set, from a game design point of view. It encourages corps to fight local battles, handles time zone issues fairly well, and rewards large corps that have the numbers to defend multiple attacks per day during the window of vulnerability.


Little things to fix gank exploiting?

A comment seen on Jester’s blog:

It seems harsh, but I’d even go so far as saying that members of noobcorps shouldn’t be able to engage in highsec (safety always on), and that you shouldn’t be able to biomass an alt with negative sec.

Although perhaps allowing the safety to be set to amber would be better, the suggestions have some merit. There are some loopholes that need to be plugged (mostly around joining and leaving a ‘pvp’ corp after every gank) but it would go a long way towards reducing zero-risk ganking.


Next-level thinking, as applied to alchemy

So, TMC has a new article about alchemy. It starts off fairly standard, then slugs you at the end with a spiel about how a particular reaction is really good guise everyone should try it it’s awesome, awesome.

Usually I expect my propaganda to be more subtle, like when Mittens carefully explained to the honey badger coalition that he still likes you guys, but the latest round of unpleasantness is solely due to your megalomaniac leader, and maybe it would be best if he stepped down for the good of your alliance, and – totally unrelated – to our benefit.

Or when he throws Boat under a bus over the recent Asakai debacle to save face.

Like I said, I generally expect Goon propaganda to be more subtle, so I was surprised at this article.

As Lord’s Servant on Failheap explains it:

To those of you not in the know, this might seem like your average news article.

To those of you in the know – HBC is making a cartel out of Neo just like goons are doing with Tech (we own most of it.)


Cold war has officially begun. Goons don’t want us making any money, as that is the ONLY advantage they have over most of the HBC(PL, Raiden, obviously excluded), and they’re scared shitless of us equalizing that gap. We both already know they lose every serious fight we have with them(not really a big surprise to anyone except the goonies circlejerking and sipping kool-aid), and this is them panicking as the only real option they have is to outspend us in a dirty ground war up north.

Do you feel those hands tightening around your neck Mittens? =D

EDIT-For the record, after reviewing PL’s actions and stance, I came to the conclusion that this is probably why they didn’t want to go ahead with the war. I don’t give any fucks about this sorta stuff, but they recognized that many alliances in the HBC don’t have the isk for a srsbsns war. Delay things for a bit, cartel neo as a source of income(alongside some other tricks we have going on), and beat goons in the last thing they have going for them.

So a conclusion can be made that CFC is preemptively spoiling the income stream of a potential adversary, and since they can’t really hide it, are doubling down by disseminating it widely.

Interesting times ahead.



Updates on Retribution 1.1 rebalancing

Since my last post

On Ancillary Armor Repairers:

A few updates:

We’re switching the AAR to use nanite repair paste instead of cap boosters. What we’re looking at now is for them to hold 8 reps worth of paste, with the smalls eating 1 per cycle, the mediums eating 5 and the larges eating 10.

I’m also investigating our options for reducing the base powergrid need for medium and large armor reps a bit.

We’re aiming to have all of this on Sisi before the weekend. Please note that just because things are on Sisi doesn’t mean they can no longer change. It just means we want to give people a chance to try it out in the game client.

A small change, but a welcome one. Armor tanking ships already have cargo issues with cap boosters, so this will alleviate the problem a lot.

On the battlecruiser rebalancing:

Ok time to get feedback on the next iteration.

Once of the things we have refocused on since this thread started is that with warfare link changes potentially on the not too distant horizon we needed to build these ships for the warfare links we want rather than the warfare links we have. The ability to use warfare links is a key part of what gives these ships their identity, even if that has been watered down in recent years.
As such we’re working to ensure that each of these ships can fit a warfare link without sacrificing a bonused highslot. We eventually want links to be something you use on field and part of that will be ensuring that you can use links while also also enjoying the normal on-grid gameplay.

To get these highslots back we’ve moved the new slot on the Ferox from low to high, and given the Brutix and Drake the “double damage bonus fewer weapons” treatment.

We’ve also taken feedback from this thread and Sisi testing to make some adjustments to some other ships.

Most notably:

  • The Harb was simply too hard to fit, and I had been too aggressive in reducing its fittings to go along with the slot change. So we’ve returned some fittings and brought it back to its old align time (while keeping the mass a bit higher).
  • The Myrm was suffering too much from not being able to hold two full flights of drones, so we’ve doubled the dronebay buff to ensure that you can always have a full set of spares.
  • The rep bonuses on both Gallente combat battlecruisers remain in this version. I do feel that they can be well served by the bonus and still remain unique to each other’s playstyle. I am however not set in stone on the issue and won’t rule out changing it either before or after 1.1 if it appears the current bonuses are not able to keep them both fun and unique enough.

I’m about to update the OP to the new values, our changes in this version relative to the originally posted version are:

Hull: -250

Powergrid: +100
CPU: +25
Agility: -0.014
Align time: -0.2s

Highslots: +1
Lowslots: -1
Powergrid: +150
Hull: -250
Agility: +0.01
Mass: -260,000

Change Kinetic Missile damage bonus from 5 to 10% per level
Launchers: -1
Powergrid: -40
CPU: -15
Hull: -250

Change Medium Hybrid damage bonus from 5 to 10% per level
Turrets: -1
Powergrid: -75
Hull: -250
Mass: +250,000
Align time: +0.01s

Dronebay: +25

Powergrid: -100
Shields: +250
Armor: -250
Hull: +250
Capacitor: +600
Cap Recharge time: +158s
Sensor strength: +1

Lock Range: +5km

The grid nerf to the Cyclone hurts, but was necessary to stop the XLASB+dual medium neut config, which was too easy to fit and maintain. The rest of the changes are looking pretty good.


Dat armor repper

Fozzie is at it again, with changes to armor tanking.

  • Nanobot Overcharger rig: After Fozzie rebalanced it, it is looking very strong: 70% more repping while overheated, while using 42% more cap (and generating an equivalent amount of heat) Definitely useful in PvP.
  • Active armor rig changes: The drawback is very low now. Big plus.
  • Armor Upgrades skill: A very welcome addition.
  • Reduced mass penalty: a nice buff to less popular plate sizes.
  • Ancillary Armor Repairer: A very nice module. Well designed, in that it is still viable for use after the cap charges run out, but still needs capacitor to activate, which ties in well with armor tanking ships having the option to fit a cap booster without impinging on their tank.
  • Incursus tanking nerf: a necessary sacrifice in light of the AAR’s existence.

Two thumbs up!


How to stop botting: remove the advantage of botting

Why bot?

My definition of botting is using a computer program to do boring, mechanical tasks for you.

The advantages of bots are:

  • a bot can do boring things so a human doesn’t have to
  • a bot can do things for longer hours than a human can
  • a bot may be better than a human at a task
  • a bot can be run by more clients compared to a human.

The reasons people bot are many, but a short list of the major ones is:

  • for convenience
  • for advantage
  • for smugness

Eve has a lot of good game mechanics that avoid or lessen the need to grind mindlessly, but bots still proliferate despite the best efforts of CCP Sreegs. Sreegs concentrates on the supply side, banning botters and detecting the programs they use. However, the war on drugs has shown that this approach expends a lot of effort for proportionally less gain.

A different approach would be to reduce the incentive to bot by adjusting game mechanics.

game mechanics that turn people into bots

It has been said that a human trader in Jita, playing perfectly, acts just like a bot. The bot rules are pretty simple: -0.01 isk your sell order until you’re the cheapest (down to a threshold), and +0.01 isk your buy order to a threshold.

The human decisions are much rarer in comparison, and are accepted as playing the game rather than botting: should I crash this market? Should I adjust my minimum and buy out all the supply here? Should I get out of this market now or manipulate the input materials and force others out?

Similarly for industry. Deciding what to build or invent is a legitimate decision. The mechanical process of clicking furiously to invent hobgoblin II blueprints every hour, on the hour increases bot demand.

Similarly for mining. Warp to belt, turn on lasers. The only non-lizard-brain decisions you make are deciding which rock to mine, and whether the intel you have (dscan or local chat) presents a threat to your operation.

Similarly for combat. Generally, PvE in Eve is fairly boring but lucrative, and scales well based on the time put in, so botters who seek to gain the isk advantage will take this option, whether it means a botting fleet, or just logging on a bot on an existing character for a few more hours each day.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Bot resistance

Planetary management used to be a massive bot-fest. It was basically all about clicking a bunch of stuff every 30 minutes, 23/7, so it’s no surprise.

Then CCP changed the rules. They added adjustable extraction lengths, so players would never feel like they were missing out on extraction while they were asleep or at work. They added depletion, so real human decisions would need to be made about whether to keep extracting, relocate heads, or even tear down the entire structure and relocate.

Yes, the planetary management feature still needs a lot of enhancements, but the game mechanics are considerably more bot-resistant.

Other examples of adding bot-hardening game mechanics are the recent changes to faction warfare complexes. CCP does have the tools and expertise; they just need a bit of prioritisation.

waht do

If CCP wants to reduce botting and bot-like behaviour, some fairly straightforward changes can be done.

  • Add an autoadjust feature to orders. Ebay has had a ‘bid up to x amount’ feature for years; it’s not rocket science
  • Add the capability to submit industry jobs from a queue, so a human can compete with a bot submitting ten x 1-hour jobs every hour
  • Add a deployable mining hub that will mine automatically for as long as you specify. You can’t choose what it mines, and it won’t mine much, and if hostiles come in, it’s probably toast, but it lessens the gap between mining bots and humans. However, a mining revamp to force humans to make more actual decisions would be needed too, or you’ve just killed mining 🙂
  • I have no idea what to do about ratting bots, but everyone acknowledges that belt ratting is boring, so making it less so would be a good start.

A tip for Retribution

People in high sec only need to care about kill rights.

People in low sec only need to care about bounties.