The Local Problem: A Tale of Two Solutions

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Sounds like a plan that would kill the business.If easing the POS pain for thousands equates to nothing for CCP then changes like this would be deemed trifles for low/null sec convenience and not likely to rate. While many of these suggestions have merit they are simply not shiny enough and do not help with CCP's hopeful plan of herding bleating masses into the game to grow rich in High Sec.Besides, any serious spare cash will be spent buffing the Dust 514 turd, so find more than one item to campaign on is all I'm saying.
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I've long thought that something like this would be a great solution. Intel is a resource, and as such should cost something to obtain. The idea of making it destructible and/or hackable offer interesting small gang options and encourage residents to defend their space rather than just dock up and wait for the hostiles to move on. I think CCP should seriously look at implementing something like this.
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Ugh, is this going to be the reaction to every potential discussion now? Why don't you let CCP worry about making business decisions and we (as players) can put forward our ideas and suggestions for things we think will make the game better.If you think discussing improvements to game mechanics is a waste of time because CCP isn't interested, then why even bother reading and commenting on articles like this?
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The Crimewatch revamp is something which almost exclusively affects low-sec: why would something which would affect everyone in both null and low be so low priority?The idea that someone CCP is working explicitly for high-sec PvE folks, when the last expansion contained relatively little for them, is just plain stupid.
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Adding anything to the way dscan works giving away that much more intel in WH space is just a bad idea. I dont really understand why every proposal to do away with local comes with a plethora of mostly awful ideas. WH space does just fine with Dscan the way it is. If you really dont want local anymore then HTFU and deal with it like WH players do. no special uncloaking jammers no super duper dscan just good old probes and onboard scanner. These tools are more then sufficient
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Rhavas' proposal is more of an iteration upon Poe's than a truly alternate approach. Poe's "fixes" the local problem, Rhavas adds a set of new systems to make "intel" into a more explicit category of gameplay. More importantly, Poe's solution is simply the transport of code from one part of the game to another with a single gameplay addition, while Rhavas' plan involves some serious code work.Not saying that I don't like Rhavas' plan (I do), but to compare the two as equal is a bit silly.
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I think an idea that i read here ( i believe) a while back is simple and easy. Just delay local so that it spikes 10-15 seccs after you jump in. Its a simple easy solution. The afk cloaky problem is being wrongly grouped together with the way local works imho and needs to be looked at seperately. Keep local as is but with a delay ,
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I personally think Rhavas' solution is not a good one. The ideas are great and well constructed, the issue I have with it is that he is suggesting to remove local, yet give the equivalent of local to anyone that has sov in a system. I'm not too sure what hte details are for npc null/hi/lo-sec but it sounds like there will be just some random structure that does the same thing as current local. I think a merge of both ideas from Rhavas and Poe, bringing Poe's directional scanner ideas into Rhavas' proposed system, would be ideal.
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I agree afk cloaky is being wrongly grouped with the local problem. A simple solution to AFK cloaking is to add a fuel requirement to cloaks where a ship can hold maybe 30 minutes to an hour worth of fuel before having to acquire more fuel. Maybe a bit longer time would be necessary, but really if it was 2 hours or so this woudl only affect the afkers since anyone else flying a cloaky would probably have no issues docking up to refuel in a 2 hour period. Perhaps even make the fuel very abundant, or use an existing abundant resource.
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The problem with these remove local ideas is that it makes it much harder to get fights, but on the other hand makes it easier to get ganks. I know it's cool to think about no local from the side of the aggressor, but most people will have to deal with it from the side of the victim. After getting ganked without warning a few times they would probably stop going out in 0.0 space altogether - at least without a fleet behind them. Without local ratters will stop ratting because they will have no way of knowing if there's a hostile in local. You'd also have to consider how it'd function in reality with stuff like cynos and titan bridges.Not having readily available intel will also tend to discourage small gang fights as a roaming gang is going to have to stop by and scan every system in the hopes of finding something to do.I know the no local idea sounds cool but I think the reality of it would be incredibly boring after those first few weeks of ganks.Yes, there is WH space, but WH space has limited mass and entry points and no cynos so it's a very different environment.
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Why not just improve itRemove localNew Scanner probes /launcher called RECON probe launcher and recon probes : can scan cloaked ships and only cloaked ships.Need a big package of skills to use them ( astrometrics and subs to V) Black ops to 4 at least also this launcher can only be fitted by Black ops (in order to give them another role than just being a fancy jump driver).
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Wormholes are NOT K-Space = KNOWN SPACE!Changing K-Space to "act like" wormhole space, is about the stupidest idea EVER!
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Many of the best features in EVE are things that players were doing anyway, or trying to do anyway. One way to proceed would be to codify intel channels as a game mechanic. For example, there could be deployable structures that maintain automated "eyes" on gates and post to the intel channel on their own. Other players could destroy those structures, it could be somebody's job to maintain the intel network, they could have variable accuracy of intel (for example, just report numbers), et ceteras.
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Instead of having a time on when you show in local. Pause it until you break gate cloak.
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another issue is why local is sorted alphabetically?! this way if your nick starts with A you will be always on top and seen from everybody. This is a fact you are not aware when you create your nick and there is no option to change it later. My suggestion is that local player list is sorted by first come first serve i.e. sorted by time of arriving in local and on top is the one who stayed longest in the system
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Wormholes don't have the potential threat of a cloaked cyno warping in.
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Those of us who live in null fight for control of tcus, ihubs, stations and pos's. Why not add stargates as well? Like if you control the stargate, local functions as it currently does. If you don't own the stargate, you get a delayed local. Now there are some things you can do to reduce that delay such as the IFF probe or use the current hacking module to hack access into the stargate that will allow the hacker and his fleet to see what the local inhabitants see. Stargate hacking would be skill dependent like the current pve incarnation of the hacking module, so your forward scout would have to put some SP into it to be effective. Also skill can determine just how big a fleet can see what the hacker sees.Lastly, as much as any nullsec resident hates structure grinding, you would have to sbu the gate you wanted to take control of and maybe you could tie that into the current sov mechanics. IE gates need to be taken before the ihub, station, tcu.Try not to troll me too hard here, I'm just kicking around some ideas from my perspective (that of a year old player currently living in null)
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Simply make it so you don't appear in local before you have uncloaked from jumping into system through a gate.
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Also, forgot to mention that if the gate is sbu'd, then everyones local is delayed. This would also have the added benefit of making defensive sbu's less attractive
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A lot of these proposals look to me like they are just by people looking for easier ganking. The "no-local" wormhole model works because the entry and exit points are not fixed so systems gain security through a kind of system obscurity. Do the same thing to lowsec and especially 0.0 and all the greedy gankers will do is drive all of their targets into highsec.It's incredibly short-sighted and may quite literally kill 0.0.Also: Any model that allows for true cloaking (no local + extended cloak durations) will only work if the ships that can do that are only able to be used for intel. As soon as those ships can also be used to gank (especially weak indsutrials) then all you have done is created a one sided scenario that will cause my above prediction to happen even faster.
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this is silly, people would just cloak up in viator. how would you know if it's a blockade runner or a recon cloaked up?
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Exactly. Having no local works in wormhole space due to lack of stargates. If a hostile gang is fleeing from you, how many wormholes are you going to jump? In nullsec, the fight might cover 1/2 dozen systems. You may have an engagement, then have a second one 8 jumps later. It only takes 30-45 seconds to traverse most systems. Local provides that intel that allows a gang to chase another. Add in probe time and you've already lost the gang you're chasing.The ganking carebears already exists in high sec. Why try to make nullsec more like high sec? Or do we want wormhole space to be the last bastion of small gang PVP?
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I like the concept of removing local, but there does need to be some method of countering cloaked ships. Cloaked ships are able to move freely from system to system with impunity, and only getting caught if they make a mistake.My suggestion would be to add a new T2 Destroyer to fill a new role. The destroyer would be able to fit a covert ops cloak to operate with black ops teams, and would be able to fit a new type of probe launcher that allowed for the detection and location of cloaked ships. They would could then have a unique high-slot module which sends out a short-range AoE decloaking all ships on grid (friend and foe). The ship itself would have limited offensive and defensive capabilities like current interdictors. However, it would give destroyers another opportunity to fulfill its namesake (actually hunting down ships, and doing it better than everyone else) while offering another career path option for destroyer pilots besides launching interdictor probes.The scanning could be balanced through skills, time and/or effort as needed, but there needs to be some method of hunting down cloaked ships.
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if this retarded idea actually became part of the game, you'd need a fleet of fuel trucks for every op.
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I like Rhavas " idea, i could add even more tactical decision making.
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Local is fine. Focus on something important, like supers.
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Both of you are completely correct, I'll just add in my opinion that in the long run, Eve will lose a load of players because this will definitely be something they don't want to deal with let alone try out.
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Way to admit you didn't read.
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though local does need to be fixed, CCP already kinda of explained why local is like it is in the scientific article about FTL Communications. http://community.eveonline.com...
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Nullsec is already a pain in the ass to live in. Do you want nullsec empty? Apply this formula and you will see.Stupidest idea ever.
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I'm not opposed to this sort of change, but only as part of a greater 0.0 overhaul that increases the incentive of living out there, to balance the increased risk.
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Personally I am against any proposal that removes Intel in NullSec. I think the system works fine as it is, anything else only complicates matters. The way I see it, even with the way it works, you still get lots of people getting ganked while ratting because they are not paying attention to local. If you remove it, and people have to be even more active about making sure they're safe, you'll see alot of people stop ratting and maybe even quit altogether. There are enough opportunities for pew pew, no need to make ganging ratters extra easy. The way it works now is simple: Pay attention or die.
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That's a given, yes. I would push for a farms and fields style proposal first, then something like this second. Or concurrently, if they had the manpower to pull it off.
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^This. Whether there is a "local problem" that needs to be fixed, *The Rhavas Plan* provides deeper game play.
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I think if we made it easier to get ganks that would lead eventually to more fights that have a purpose. If ganks get to a point where they are a serious annoyance to an alliance they would have a strong reason to form up a gang and kill the gankers rather than now where people just agree on fair numbers for a fight and fight for no reason. Alliances will simply have to adapt by focusing their intelligence efforts and station more scouts around.Perhaps a combat flag should cause you to show up in local immediately wherever you jump making you easy to track after the first initial kill?
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Ill move out of 0.0 all together if nolocal hits. Why be there if If you can't do shit but wait for a fleetformup? Don't even try to sell me an idea where I have have to sit inteansly glued to the screen just to make a buck for my next ship. Highsec next stop, JC to formup, that's even if I remotely botther with accepting wardecs for the pewpew. All together shit idea. Well enjoy your even vastly empty space idea.
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The problem with removing local without dealing with AFK cloaking is the following:For about two weeks, you (and other blops pilots) will get to experience what it's like to hunt buffalo with a machine gun. After that, all PvE activity will move to highsec, and you'll go back to whining about lack of targets. We have a sector of space where there is no instant local. It's called wormhole space, and it is mostly empty, even though inhabitants can control access to a very high degree by collapsing non-statics and mass-criticalling the static, and even though there is no risk of hotdrops.AFK cloaking is a problem because while _you_ may know whether or not you are at the keyboard and have a fleet ready to drop, the local inhabitants do not. Nor do the local inhabitants often even know whether you are in a cloaked newbship, a bomber, or a Tengu. You pose the exact same level of threat to inhabitants regardless of your real activity or threat, because it is impossible for an outsider to determine how much threat you really pose. Asking people to go about their business with your cloaked alt in local, is like asking someone to close his eyes and ears while crossing the street -- _probably_ the oncoming cars will stop, but it'd be moronic to take that sort of chance.The second problem with removing local and replacing it with a set of cumbersome tools is, as has been repeatedly pointed out, that finding fights will be even more difficult. Currently, two fleets looking for one another can, if their scouts are competent, find one another on the map. Without local, or an equally effective tool, finding a fight, especially against an opponent who does not want to engage you, will become an exercise in frustration. Especially on any system which exceeds scan range.Your endorsed proposal does not address either of the above.
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Before we remove local lets make 0.0 pve actually make more isk that high sec.
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Thanks for the shout-out Mynna. For everyone reading, remember my proposal is a straw man - I'm evolving it as I read responses to try to come to something more solid. A couple of things I'll update in the original post when I have a second:1) I'm going to alter the Lowsec, and maybe NPC null, space IFF proposal to have a "raw count" of people in system specifically for the use of roaming gangs. I have felt their pain before, but thought the original plan might have more appeal. In reading responses from pirates and Syndicate gangs, I'm not feeling the love. I originally set up NPC null as I did because I have lived both in Great Wildlands and Syndicate. Syndicate is pew-crazy fun, but also full of stations. GW is the opposite - it's practically w-space in k-space. I like people having choices.2) Relative to the beacon leveling and features in sov null, I intentionally left a lot of room for interpretation relative to what "upgrades by sov level" meant. I think in the end this is up to the sov folks and CCP to determine, and sov null is the one place I have no experience doing anything but ganking stupid ratters, so I put it out there but make no pretense about being an expert in that space. That said, I did not envision it in my own head as being "sovholder knows all, everyone else gets nothing". Instead I would propose an incremental impact. Maybe something where the sovholder has perfect info, neutrals get delayed, and negative standings get raw count only. But if you built a beacon, everyone gets a little something.3) Cost of a cynojammer was a piece of data I didn't have. It makes me like the plan even better so thanks for sharing Mynna.
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one word . Dotlan. Or rather, the information dotlan collects.In one moment I can tell what any system in null is doing without actually being there. Is it ratters? Check the NPCs killed. Is it miners? Check the industry level. Is it a battleground? Check the ships/pods killed. Dotlan lets me do that on an entire region basis.Best part I know I can get there on a specific route that will never change.So you still have perfect intel for the gankers, but zero intel for the defenders. So you drop their isk per hour they fuck off to highsec or FW or WH (surprised?). The pvpers stay, but they can't find fights in the same systems constantly, because small gangs will avoid the high deaths systems looking for ganks that don't exist anymore. So they have to keep moving.So what you are left with is thousands of deserted systems occasionally prowled by roving small gangs that haven't gotten the message.But wait you say, you can build a module to give you local back. Which completely negates the annoyance that the patch to remove it caused. Saying "What the hell was the point?"Yes they can afford it. Yes its dead easy to install even if it costs 4 billion isk an upgrade it would happen. The point is why bother if they can just negate localchanges? Just to drive ratters to smaller numbers of systems so greater numbers of AFK cloakers can congregate in one system instead of five?By the way, if you want a basis that your targets would leave space that's to difficult to rat in. I point to IRC. They lost their ability to rat safely and the entire alliance caved in like a rotting shed.
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Yeah this is terrible, just delay local until a guy decloaks himself after jumping into a system. The session change gate cloak gives them long enough time to anom scan or dscan.
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Point conceded on the lazy thing, though POS system aside I think we'll be seeing less of that going forward. Properly executing their new development strategy requires it.
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A logical extension of the second proposal could be enriching to small-gang roaming and even coalition (region-scale) ops. Codebreaker finally becomes useful - send your scouts ahead not to sit in a key system but to decrypt enemy intel from their beacon. You're welcome
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Additional commentary on your statement on the decloak pulse.Mynna said: "Blackops hotdrops are not terribly common and adding a defense against them is not going to be incentive to maintain cynojammers one would otherwise not build."This was exactly my intent. My goal was not to make this ubiquitous or worth doing everywhere. Specifically, it was designed to make the cyno jammer have a method to also be effective against Blackops on a very limited basis. My assumption was that there would be no reason to build more cyno jammers, but that it would add capability while making it prohibitively painful to put them "everywhere".Mynnna said: "I do think the hour long spool-up is excessive, though. Waiting for a POS to come online is no fun, waiting an hour so you can hunt down that cloaked punk wouldn't be either, all the worse if the pulse triggers only to reveal that he's not actually there."This also was intentional on my part. My goal wasn't to make the cloaker easily findable, but rather to prevent the Blackops cloaker from literally sitting and waiting days rather than making a quick hit - within 1-3 hours from system entry to drop. In theory you would pair it with the IFF beacon and thus know if they were there or not. I could live with the first pulse being close to "on demand" but maybe with a short "GTFO Warning" for the spy - call it 10-15 minute first spoolup if you will.
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I think the problem lies more with Sov infrastructure, jump bridges, jump capable ships and isk/risk reward in 0.0, rather than local and intel channels. There is too many systems in place for PvP avoidance these days.Redo the Ihubs so that they can't hold all upgrades and increase the price for some of them. At the same time add a ihub module that enables local for a system at a price. Maybe implement a size and slot system for ihub upgrades that makes it so that you cant cyno jam and have local in the same system/etc. Maybe make it impossible to have a lv5 upgrade of any kind in a local system/etc.Make systems have drastically fewer anomalities, but let the payout be drastically higher. Refine some of the tools used to hunt ratters so that the risk would be more on par with the new higher reward. The point would be to make an anom spawn slower than they were usually run. This way it would make it harder for one single system to facilitate a huge chunk of an alliance and it would make the local upgrade more meaningful.(Ohh and remove the new rat agro mechanics to favor the aggressor again)Fuck jump bridges. They are cool if you live in the middle of a sea of blue and want to get to the edge of your empire to fight some random dudes. But they do limit time in space, and random encounters that can call for great fights are usually a lot less frequent because of it.Fuck jump capable ships and portals.Redeployments anno eve 2013 is BS. Everyone has enough titans to move their entire fighting force from one side of their coalition space to the other. This again favours the blob. If you mass your entire coalition on one flank today, you can easly bridge equal numbers to multiple fronts. So the strategy about where your corps and alliances stage out of is in many ways not a issue for campaigns, titans will get you there, regardless of where it is. Nulli could possibly have defended delve, if goonswarm and friends would have to leave the entire north undefended if they wanted to actively have numbers in the south. If you need to do gates, you're not going to do 50 gate jumps each way several times a day.I wouldnt cry if you cynojammed low-sec either. More pirate opportunities. And miners in null would be more useful than superbuilders.Tl:drMake people spend less time jewing, more time pewing, but make it a lot riskier.Make people spend more time in space where they can meet other players that want to boatviolence them.Make people spend isk on perfect intel to the point where its not economically viable to have it everywhere.More gate jumps for the locals means more roaming opportunities.
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I think too many people proposing removal of local are not considering the unintended consequences of this. And that is what individual players will do as a reaction. I think what will happen is exactly as the two above posters suggest. Economic/carebearing activity will drop to zero. Ratting in 0.0 can be nice, but level 4 missions are entirely risk-free, and not THAT much less lucrative. Mining will probably stop altogether, which is handy, because it will kill off the remaining 0.0 industry, as surely CCP must intend judging by their actions and plans so far, so hey, two birds with one stone. People will just dock up in stations, waiting for a fleet to form up; they will go and try to find someone to fight, and without local and the kind of intel we have today that will probably take much longer.Overdramatic? Perhaps. But all the "remove local" proposals are equally over-simplistic in their analysis. Gotta look more than just one step forward in the chain of consequences. Yes, you will have more ganks in the first week. After that what?
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Abloobloobloo ebil goonies kicked me out of my space.If those changes happen then they would be applied to all nullsec alliances, so stop your whining. We have our own set of cloaky gankers after all. Other alliances with less income sources want their ratters safe-ish as well, otherwise they won't have any income at all (=slums instead of empires and who wants to read about those?).
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"Abloobloobloo ebil goonies kicked me out of my space."Hey I know this is a popular line but what's happened is that people just transferred over to CFC or HBC alliances and, for the most part, haven't actually been kicked out of their space.
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Ironically, blackops buffs between the time I wrote and the time this was actually published might actually invalidate everything I said by making them more common. Or it might not. Still, I like the idea of letting people get some general anti-cloaking tools, but just having to pay heavily for them.The hour long spoolup is a problem, from my perspective, because it's boring for those using it. A gap of do-nothing between "press button" and "probe down the now-decloaked ship" is obnoxious for reasons similar to why the lengthy onlining times for POS are obnoxious. A shorter spool-up period and some sort of warning might be ok.
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I guess we saw what happened with Domminon, they changed structure grinding and random posing with more structure grinding and random SBU´s
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Just have a random timer decloak the ship (with the chance of decloak increasing with the time it's been active). Doesn't influence people who are piloting and AFK ones get ganked for being afk. Seems a lot more balanced than crazy fuel requirements.
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Spending a lot of effort crapping on a badly thought through plan to advocate another badly thought through plan. I sure don't hope you get voted into CSM8.
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There is no fucking problem with local. STFU and find something else to sperg about.
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>KIASANANSNigga you serious?
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I only rat to pay for my pvp warfare; by making it tough to rat - the contention over hubs in systems with upgraded intel will be appalling - you'll end up driving people out of the game because making money with their ships is now a chore and a half. This will end up driving down conflict as you'll drastically drive down the amount of money held by the line-member who needs to rat to pay for ships, it'll hurt alliances who depend on ratting taxes and it'll cripple new players who have no other means of making money.By making the terrible eve pve systems even more dire, you'll end up killing off nullsec money making. Instead we'll all roll hisec alts and do level4s, thus making nullsec even more of a ghostland and further punishing new players. Isn't that everything that we don't want to do?
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This will never happen, thankfully. I get everyone is hung up on roaming to suprise ratters, but this would really suck for small gangs, gate camps, etc. Its just adding way more hassle to trying to find a fight. Gankers already get plenty of hilarious shiny killmails daily, no reason to gimp null and low to humor them. Don't like local, live in a wh. And if you think the carebear pubbies would ever let eithet of things happen you underestimate their desire for no risk in high sec. Leave local alone and go fix my POSes.
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I don't know if this is an issue in nullsec or not but without a local count in lowsec, ships sitting empty in a POS would become really distruptive to the scouting of an empty system. Is this a good thing? Should the cloaked scout ahead of my dozen man gang have to check every moon on a planet to see if the tengu on scan is empty, sitting in a pos shield waiting and hoping people think its an empty ship to strike when unprepared, or a pve tengu not checking dscan enough and running a plex. It would make a home advantage stronger but some feedback would be useful.Also wondering how this will affect the income of lowsec with less secure faction warfare and plex running in a much less group based enviroment. Nullsec farmers will farm in their own systems with intel in channels as well as wormholers, but without having a faction warfare alt you will need to go far to make money plexing from the one system you call home.
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Remove local, alright. Make ganking easier. Make afk cloaking more annoying and dangerous to people trying to get money.But make it so that the one site I'm running before I get ganked gives me so much it'll be worth it to lose my 800 mil ship (not speaking of my own self here, I have a drake, lolz).Make ratting overly dangerous, but make it overly profitable. Give people a reason to form defensive fleets, gate camps, to take null-sec systems and upgrade them.Same goes for mining and industry, make it actually WORTH THE BOTHER: it is already painful as it is, if it gets more dangerous, make it more profitable.Unlike many here, I think removing local could actually benefit the game: it'd be more like 'real life', you don't know what's next door, BUT you're willing to risk it because the reward is really worth it. And if the reward is worth it, gankers won't run out of targets, because I'd risk my (hypothetical) Tengu every day if I know I'm gonna make big money.More people out, more people to gank, more reasons to undock and take risks...Remove local, make null-sec worth it.
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Heh of course a guy that does nothing but cloaky camping and ganking wants local removed! A change like this would necessitate every null pilot make his money through highsec means. Null would be deserted except for pvp. I personally would probably be frustrated enough to win Eve. More sov bills? More risk for an already paltry risk reward ratio of null? Like wormholes but a tenth the payout?I mean you want to pad your killboard even more but this would be easymode, get over yourself. You want a win button? You want ganking to be so easy you won't have any targets to gank.
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Any successful implementation of Rhavas' proposal would require POS/null-production revamps in advance to incentivize aggression against player-owned structures. It's a problem that gangs need to hunt each other down in the depths of space for 'good fights' because there's no way to damage an enemy alliance's income in any meaningful way. Local changes won't fix the core issue, that potential invaders can't hurt an enemy alliance without committing (and risking) massive conventional forces. If you make alliance income generation vulnerable to lightning raids, better fights will happen with or without local. There are infinite ways CCP can do this, but they'll involve fixing nullsec mineral/moon distribution, production, and PvE such that alliances must generate ISK from the majority of their playerbase doing things in space (bottom-up income generation), instead of a handful of industrial players farting around while the rest of the alliance complains about EVE on Jabber (top-down).

The concept of "the local problem" has suddenly sprung back into discussion as of late, and this time a few bloggers have thrown actual suggestions into the ring. Poetic Stanziel offered his entry up in his post "Getting Rid of Local." It's simple, but shallow, a fact which is probably less a reflection of his character than it is his self-imposed constraint to stay within existing systems as much as possible. More on why that's bad later; the other proposed fix offers a stark contrast with its thorough revamp of EVE's entire system of intelligence. It's authored by Rhavas and is titled "Unbreaking Local - An EVE Intel System Proposal." I really, really like Rhavas' system and can really only offer minor tweaks to it, but would like to elaborate on why I think it's so great.

If you don't care to read their respective posts, here's a quick recap of the two proposals.

Poe's "Getting Rid of Local"

  • Local is removed and becomes a pure communications platform, just like in wormholes. If you do not talk, you may as well not exist as far as those in the system are concerned. It's worth mentioning that this general concept, the unlinking of intel from local, is one CCP is onboard with; @erlendur is CCP Explorer.
  • Directional scanning takes the place of local intelligence in either active or passive modes. Several configuration options can be set and saved, much like overviews.
  • "Passive" scanning functions like d-scan does now, providing only the name of the ship and its type.
  • "Active" scanning provides all the information you get from passive scanning, as well as the pilot's name, affiliation and standings.
  • A new skill, "Directional Scanning", enables the use of active scanning and increases the range of both passive and active scans by 5AU per level, up to 35AU (provided CCP can overcome the 32 bit limit on scan range)

You see what I mean when I say it's shallow?

Rhavas' "Intel System Proposal"

Like Poe's proposal, Rhavas decouples local chat and intel, but the similarities end there.

  • The "IFF Beacon" is the first of a handful of new features Rhavas proposes. It would be a new structure that replaces local's current intel function. In highsec, lowsec, and NPC null they're NPC owned and indestructible, but with differing functions. Highsec beacons provide intel identical to local's current function, while lowsec is delayed. NPC null beacons function like highsec beacons in station systems and lowsec beacons one jump from stations; everywhere else they're not present. Meanwhile, they must be constructed (and thus are destructible) in player sov, and have better capabilities with higher sovereignty or upgrade levels. I'm sure it would be a heavily debated question as to whether they should be able to deliver perfect and instant intel; personally, I think it would be fine, but only at the highest levels, with all the associated cost that implies. Though Rhavas did not explicitly state it, player build beacons presumably only share intel with a whitelist determined by standings.
  • A "system security probe" would be launched by Covert Ops ships or anything that can fit the necessary probe launcher. I would characterize it as a sort of modified core scanner probe; it can detect ships, POS, structures, and so on and provide their rough locations and (if in warp) trajectories across a very wide range, but not provide strong enough hits to warp to. In this way, it provides many of the features of the IFF beacon.
  • "Constellation Gate Recorders" would be available to FW militias and owners of player sovereign space. These essentially keep a list of comings and goings by pilots not on the "approved" list (as determined by standings). Intel captured would include pilot name, affiliation, ship type, standing to the owner, and timestamp, with the quality of data improving a with higher level of upgrades. Personally, I think a useful feature (by default or as an upgrade) would be the ability to filter the list to exclude those who have both exit and entry logs, thus generating a list of hostile targets that may still be within the constellation.
  • Cyno Jammers get a tweak to become an anti-cloaking module... sort of. As he explains them, they'd be able to send out a pulse that scrambles the cloaking systems of a covert cloaked ship, but only if it also had a covert cyno fitted. It's the only part of his proposal that I'm not 100% on board with; I'll explain why later.
  • Finally, directional scanner tweaks. Unlike Poe, Rhavas settles for merely making the scanner more usable and intuitive; one very obvious example would be having the range of the scan set and expressed in AU, instead of (or in addition to) kilometers.

My Take

As I alluded to before, my problem with Poe's proposal is that it feels half-assed. "Lazy" might be a better term for it, since it really amounts to giving everyone the same system wormholes use, with a few tweaks to d-scan. While it's a classic application of KISS ("Keep It Simple Stupid"), it also shows why I favor KIASANANS ("Keep It As Simple As Necessary And No Simpler") as a philosophy. It's not as catchy, but it's always good to remember that lack of complexity can be as much a problem as overcomplexity.

Rhavas' suggestion, on the other hand, is more nuanced and offers plenty of depth. It's not a one-size-fits-all solution. In highsec and w-space alike, things don't change - and why would they? Things change a little in lowsec, but not much. I'm not a lowsec dweller myself so I'm not really sure what they think of it, although from Susan Black's commentary on Poe's suggestion, I suspect that those who do make it their home would find Rhavas' system more palatable (and incidentally, some of Susan's ideas are interesting too.) NPC null takes on a new character as well.

And player sov? That's where it gets really fun. The current paradigm is parity of intelligence: everyone has access to the same instant intel. In Rhavas' system, it would start that way by default as well, except everyone would have little or no information. The owners of the system can gain an edge, but to do so they must build them, pay for, and protect the beacons, which forces a choice of just where they want to cover. And the best answer isn't necessarily "the best possible coverage, everywhere." Naturally, instant intelligence would be preferable in favored ratting or mining systems, or important staging systems, but why pay for it in the deserted backwater? If, for some reason, IFF Beacons actually shared info with friend and foe alike... that would be strange, but okay, really, as it adds a different dimension. Perhaps the owners of an area of space purposefully leave areas uncovered to create pockets in which to ambush intruders.

Another upshot is that these structures, the IFF Beacon in particular, would be a legitimate candidate to qualify as a "small gang" target. Antenna are not exactly known to be the most robust structures, after all, and there would be no good reason to give them an inordinate amount of HP. An intruding gang could, with relative ease, eliminate the local beacon to provide a blind-spot for their gate camp... or perhaps in addition to being destructible, they're hackable, and invading forces can take control of them for their own purposes. In larger scale warfare, perhaps an invading force (subcapital or otherwise) is preceded by a smaller gang, knocking out their target's beacons to hide the presence of the inbound fleets.

That Cloaking Thing

To wrap up, I'm going to take a closer look at that cloaking thing, the anti-blackops pulse attached to a cynojammer. I mentioned that I'm not entirely sold on that idea, and there are two reasons for that. The first is that I think AFK cloaking is actually a symptom of the perfect intel offered by local. I admit that I'm part of the problem. I fly, when I can be bothered to log in and play, with the Goonwaffe "Blackops" SIG. Among other functions, we goes into hostile systems and disrupt their moneymaking; kill the ratters, run off the miners, and destroy or evade their (usually) futile and pathetic attempts to fight back. But more often than not, that involves a depressingly large amount of AFK cloaking. Even though my ship is cloaked, I remain visible in local, and so locals are perfectly aware of my presence. While I and many like me can use this to our advantage for area denial, it makes for decidedly boring gameplay. I'm on another character or in another game if I'm at the computer at all, while the ratter is doing the same or leaves the system in hopes of finding an empty place to rat. So, any decoupling of local from intel eliminates AFK cloaking as a strategy, because it won't be necessary anymore. If I'm caught on scan, but then vanish, there's no way to tell if I've left system, or if I'm simply temporarily cloaked.

I'll admit, however, that the idea of an anti-cloaking pulse is a common one, and isn't really meritless. That brings me to the second problem with Rhavas' solution: it doesn't really go far enough. As a side note, I'm sure some readers will take this as proof of their preconceived biases; you know who you are. Anyway, contrary to Rhavas' understanding, Blackops hotdrops are not terribly common and adding a defense against them is not going to be incentive to maintain cynojammers one would otherwise not build. However, extend the anti-cloak pulse to scramble any cloaking devices and you've got something useful, and probably reasonably well balanced. Improving safety in your most popular ratting or mining systems could be worth the additional sov bills (an extra 600m/mo), which combines with the downside of impeding your own cyno traffic to help make them something one uses with discretion. The two hour cooldown, meanwhile, means that they're effective but cannot simply be spammed; I do think the hour long spool-up is excessive, though. Waiting for a POS to come online is no fun, waiting an hour so you can hunt down that cloaked punk wouldn't be either, all the worse if the pulse triggers only to reveal that he's not actually there. Overall it is, in my opinion, a much better approach to the issue than the oft-proposed fuel requirement for cloaks.

So that's that. I've probably only scratched the surface of the new tactical and strategic depth Rhavas' system would open up for player owned nullsec, and that's part of why I think it's so great. It achieves the goal of nerfing local while offering replacements that expand gameplay potential. It also has the upshot of being something CCP could implement now. One major beef I have with most ideas to nerf local is that (unlike wormholes) the risk:reward ratio in nullsec is already a bit lacking. Rhavas' proposal addresses that by affording the option of maintaining safety, but only at a price. Needless to say, should I follow through with my not-so-secret plans for a run at CSM8, I'll be cribbing the proposal as part of my platform.

Seven year veteran & economics guru of EVE Online as well as CSM 8 representative. On the side I play PS2, WOT and Hearthstone.