Thank you very much everyone for placing me on CSM 6 and now on CSM 7 where I am currently serving as the Chairman! If you would like to contact me directly, do not hesitate to just send me an eve mail in game. Keep your eyes here and watch for new posts.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fighting for Industry


Even in the old days, shield supercaps knew thier place.
So a long time ago I was in charge of this rather infamous mercenary alliance which, from time to time, would go off contract and revert to an absolutely horrid state of pure carebearism. At the malevolent heart of any PVP alliance are typically a lot of players that built themselves up the old fashioned way - mining, building and selling, market PVP, etc... Basically, all that stuff we claim to despise? Yeah, you just passed one of our freighter alts jumping into Jita.

I've always felt that a heavily Industry-themed expansion is LONG overdue for EVE. Long time players like myself, and especially former CCP Game designers (like me), understand just how interconnected the different elements of EVE are. As a CSM member especially, I think the opportunity to push harder for iteration on long neglected features will exist in the next year far more than previously. Whereas in the past the CSM had to be a bit more careful in the things we pounded on the table about, CCP's re-newed focus on fixing / iteration will allow a bit more of a shotgun blast of proposals. I'd like to see what would happen if the fuzzy bears at CCP were allowed to just go wild for a full release cycle. Every good PVPer in EVE understands the basics of industry and market PVP.

When it comes to how I would like to see CCP use their resources in the near future, the top three things I would like to see happen are:

1.) Fix / finish null sec sov

2.) Improve Factional Warfare and life in low-sec

3.) A full blown industrial expansion

My reasons for that order are that I very much want to see CCP iterate on and complete the first two systems that have been lingering in apathy for years now. More importantly, I don't want CCP touching #3 until they can literally put a full expansion's worth of resources into it. It is not an easy task as everything in EVE springs from the way we mine, build and trade. I don't want them rushing it.

I want to see everyone happily blowing each other up and then I would like to see an industry expansion that allows us to invent / build new and fun ways to keep the violence going strong. I'm a builder at heart. When I play strategy games like Total Annihilation or the old Master of Orion stuff, even Shogun2, I tend to work toward building things as big and 'upgraded' as possible before sending my armies out into the world and conquering it. I like making something out of nothing, big things out of small things, etc... In EVE, I have probably spent just as much time building everything from cruise missiles to Titans over the years just so I could say I'd done it.

I'll bullet point a few obvious things and they should be familiar as everyone has been screaming about them for years:
  • New, dead regions of space waiting to be built-up / exploited
  • Region-specific resources
  • Dynamic resource allocation
  • Improved mining / Comet mining / planetary ring mining, etc... (as a caveat to this, I'd like to see mining become something that requires player interaction to some extent so bots are taken out of the equation as much as possible)
  • New probing / scanning mechanics
  • Finite resources of rare resources (moon goo)
  • Massive scale construction (stargates, etc...)
This is stuff just off the top of my head so don't treat it as anything even remotely resembling the beginning or end of what I'd want to see. One of the things I enjoyed most about being at CCP and working on Apocrypha was creating Wormholes. The sense of wonder and danger had been missing from EVE for so long; for the first time since the beginning of the game, we managed to re-capture some of that feeling, while also adding new stuff (T3) that made the risk worthwhile. I would challenge CCP to do that on an even larger scale.

Fix the fighting and then give us new and improved things to fight over!

BOOOOOOORING!!!! :(:(
Mining

Oh yeah, I almost forgot.  Mining in its current form is a soul draining, time vampire of an activity. I'd like to see mining become more interactive and require some form of actual DOING SOMETHING.
  • I'd like to see bigger rocks.
  • I'd like to see rocks with variable mineral content.
  • I'd like to see rocks with multiple layers / densities. (zomg, what if there is Kernite, Omber and morphite in the center?!")
  • I'd like to see finite resources of things like moon goo have a % chance to be in a rock.
  • I'd like to see skills affect the amounts / types of minerals you could extract from a rock.
  • I'd like to see planetary ring mining.
  • I'd like to see comet mining.
  • I'd like to mine / hollow out a giant asteroid and make a home there to live out of.
  • I'd like to see a variance in the 'purity' of minerals that are mined where some veldspar is worth more.
  • I'd like to see that same Veldspar refined into Tritanium that gives a ship 10% more hit points due to it's pure qualities...
  • ... IF you had the proper skills to use the proper blueprint that allowed you to take advantage of the improved alloys.
That kind of stuff. That's what I'd like to see happen with mining.

Now I'm going to post this and listen to my corp haze me for a week.  :)

18 comments:

  1. I know people that mining and via Alt-TAB working as a programmer.

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  2. Extraction, logistics, refinement, manufacturing, invention/reverse engineering: these are the fundamentals of industry. An industry based expansion will have to deal with all of these pillars. Note that these pillars (should) apply equally to industry based on minerals, sleepers and PI.

    There are a million (well, maybe not quite a million) posts about "how to fix mining" in the forums, so let's skip that bit for a sec. Planetary Interaction is decent for the moment.

    Logistics is too easy in all areas of the game. Everyone goes to Jita because everyone can go to Jita. Even people on the opposite side of the galaxy go to Jita: they just haul stuff in hisec using a freighter alt, then jump it out in a JF or carrier. Why do system star gates let through infinite freighters per hour? They aren't smaller than region gates due to distances involved. What if there was an order of magnitude difference in throughput possible between different sized gates? What if you could anchor a SBU-type item on grid to enhance or degrade the throughput of that gate (from either side)?

    What if NPC station refineries in hisec sucked? What if mining corporations had better refineries than navies (why does Caldari Navy have better quality refineries than Deep Core Mining)? What if POS refineries worked faster and took character skills and implants into account? Push button, receive refined product. What if NPC station refineries (and outpost refineries) had time delays too? Start the job now, come back in X minutes based on how much stuff you pushed into the hopper. What if all refineries had limited throughput? Thus your attempt to refine a few hundred units of Veldspar might take a day in Jita, but be almost instant in that Minmatar Mining Corporation facility in Aldilur.

    What if PI schematics worked just the same as blueprints? This would open the door for ME/PE and the associated increase in embodied value, and the risk of losing that value when some Dust Bunny blows up your factory. There is also the scope for LP stores to sell limited run schematics for things like (for example) Serpentis Dress Skirt.

    What if players could use invention to produce the meta 1-4 BPCs based on NPC-dropped data cores and special "tags" - kinda like sleeper industry. This would shut off a source of minerals competing with mining.

    What if drones dropped sleeper-like products that could be used to manufacture or invent drone-related goodies like modules, implants and rigs that impact drone DPS, tracking, range, velocity, control distance, etc? Again, addressing the drone-based mineral source by replacing it with an alternative industry stream.

    What if players could manufacture implants through PI? The Ressurection Men makes it quite clear where that remarkable intelligence in our implants comes from. So you have an "subroutine extraction facility" on a planet which is fuelled by … oh let's see … bipedal "livestock". That facility produces PI products (extracted hacking subroutine arrays) which can be combined with other products (transcranial microprocessors) to make implants (+5% hacking). The extracted hacking subroutine arrays might have a random variation in quality (e.g.: "low grade …", "standard …" and "high grade …" in 10000/100/1 ratios) which lead to the various quality of implants being manufacturable.

    Perhaps different livestock would produce different quality extracts: you talk to a Shady Dealer in a station who tells you that there's this particular guy who's good with computers. You hunt that guy down, maybe he's in a spaceship in space (y'know, hacking mag sites), or you have to contract some mercenaries to perform a small-team extraction run on the prey.

    Extraction, Logistics, Refinement, Manufacturing, Invention. That's my take on an industry expansion: it will have to address all those points for multiple industry streams.

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    Replies
    1. Discovery! I forgot discovery, being the way you find resources in the first place.

      The explorer who finds grav sites, the ratter who recovers dropped loot and creates wrecks, the shady dealer who knows this guy who is good with money. Some happen in space, some on planets, some in station.

      Blogspot doesn't work well with iPad. That should be "Some discovery activities happen …"

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  3. As for comet/planetary ring/special environment mining: these are places that grav sites could be spawned. Thus an "average Kernite deposit" might appear in a planetary ring, while a "technetium rich ice structure" might appear at a comet site. The presence of the comet would imply valuable stuff, so there would certainly be competition.

    An industry expansion might also include specialist non-combat ships and deployables such as "deadspace projectors" which act similarly to a warp bubble: they drop ships out of warp at extreme range, but don't disrupt warp, and have a much larger radius of effect. Or a StarCraft "Arbiter" style ship which can reduce the sig radius of all objects on the grid (thus increasing the difficulty that other players will have in probing that site down). Current warfare links will reduce sig radius of ships in fleet (evasive manoeuvres), but not all objects on grid (i.e.: the site you probed down): Mining Foreman Link - Deadspace Enhancement?

    Apologies for the explosion of verbiage into your blog comments.

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    Replies
    1. Holy crap, don't apologize. I want to take your posts out to dinner and make sweet love to them! (more detailed reply later as I have to :work:)

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    2. Resurrection Men Storyboard: http://mararinn.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/resurrection-men-storyboard.html

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    3. And further thoughts on industry here, expanding upon my verbal diarrhoea :)

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  4. The idea with comet mining is super. On top of that, I would like to see:

    * "Exciting" mining like when you mine, the dangerous gas leaks from rocks (you need to move your ship from time to time)

    * Mining near supernova and be "under attack" of radioactive fallout, adding some new type of hardeners for it.

    * Some random elements, like when mining the comet, the comet is moving and your ship is about to have adequate afterburner for it. Navigate manually through dangerous "fallout areas", randomly placed.

    * Something with stars, like study them, building some little shiny labs and some little profit from it.

    * Ore that actually breaking your shields / armor / hull when you have it in your cargohold, to make sure you have to have it only for limited time.

    * Etc. :)

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  5. Cool ideas in both your post and the comments. Perhaps some way of buffing mining parties would be neat to consider as a way of encouraging players to group up in the same way that Incursions do. You'd think that should already happen now as a way of going after more valuable ores in more dangerous places but it rarely did when I played. To build on what Mara said, maybe a fleet of mining ships would be able to deploy a time-based module in exploration sites that makes the site and everything in it harder to scan down for those outside it...perhaps with difficulty scaled to volume of ore in the site and adjusting as that ore is mined. As I recall, an idea similar to this was briefly mentioned to CCP at CSM5's first summit when talking about ways to attract more industrial players to Low Sec.

    There is no shortage of ideas about how to make mining more interesting and it is fun to think about.

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  6. With this blog post you got my vote and the vote of my fellow industrialists ! I wish you luck !

    S0m

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  7. Random thoughts, ideas

    Why do NPC stations have pretty much the best refining in the game? Why not POSs (poor choice), or how about player build refining ships that you can park at your mining op, turn on refine mode, and offload to haulers/orcas? Tech 2 Rorqual? Might obsolete the Rorqual though, but I was thinking of all areas of space. Make the highest NPC refine at 50%, or even 30% before skills.

    Making mining more interactive is a long wished for idea, although I'll put a caveat on it. Alot of people "like" the current mining system.. something you can just log on and do while you relax, read a book, watch tv or a movie, read blogs or the news, forum whore, ect. So removing this style of gameplay I think would be bad. However, nerfing the returns on it and simultaneously introducing more involved and interesting mining methods (comet, planetary rings, ect) is the way to go in my book.

    Ammo cargo holds for mining crystals please, or seperate ore holds for dedicated mining ships like the orca currently has. Not even asking for a size increase, just make it easier on me when i'm using a ship that requires mining crystals. Let me CTRL-A my ore hold without it trying to move my crystals as well every damn time.

    I agree with layered asteroids, and I'd suggest make getting to the deeper layers the interactive part. Make it something not macroable, so you have to react to visual cues (not overview ones) to activate certain modules that would prevent a resonance wave building up leading to the asteroid exploding into useless bits. Maybe that could be the only way to get better ore? High sec roids could be layered from outside to inside as Veld/scord/(region specific ore here, say pyroxerces in amarr)/kernite/ect. They should be somewhat randomized, with the chance to even get the ABC ores in high sec the rare time.

    As an aside, want to grief as a miner? Mine all the outside ore and then intentionally let the roid explode

    Low sec ores could be better, maybe skipping some entirely with the cores being made of higher quality ores. Similarly for nullsec, you'd simply have better chances of good ores (and more of them. I'd even argue that lowsec should perhaps have the best ore, since I personally view it as the most dangerous area of space.

    New mining ships or adjusting old ones? Why are mining ships some of the most paper thin and at the same time least agile in the game? Why is there no frigate class mining ships, or battleship class mining ships? Capital class? ;)

    I'm not even talking about being able to mine more, its more about having options for differnet situations (high sec mining vs low sec or null sec or wormholes, ect ect) The fitting options on current mining barges are really sad.

    I could go on, but blah blah, I'm sure this is all on the ideas and discussion boards since eve was launched (some by me over the years, lol).

    Anyway, I'm glad you're on board with this sort of thing. I've been waiting for this industrial expansion for half a decade. I remember getting all jazzed for Quantum Rise, the supposed industrial expansion... and then they go.. Woot! You can build Orcas now! end of expansion..... yeah... thanks and fuck you too for that one CCP. :P

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  8. Salvaging right now is stupid, destroying ships as the only way to get intact armor plates? Wtf?

    Salvaging should be more about retrieving more of what's left in the ship, modules, minerals, maybe components (imho ships shouldn't be build from minerals but from components)

    salvaging should give me stuff like armor plates, telemetry processors and the like, but I want to use them to build new ships, weapons and ammo, not rigs.

    a skilled salvager and recycler should be able to retrieve more loot and have an easier time to fix stuff like tripped power circuits

    Change drone loot so they now drop stuff needed for rig manufacturing and less components (since they have been heavily modified for usage from drones and therefore can't be fixed anymore)
    Remove alloys completely since they make no sense at all

    also drones should somehow be present everywhere, if a system is ignored for some time the drones might slowly take it over

    Ressources in general should be more region and constellation specific, Somehow like gas is now (but only somehow :P)

    Reintroduce T2 bpos (huge skill and material commitment to make one!)

    it makes no sense that a skilled industrialist has to invent the same item over and over again.

    Remove datacores

    Building T2 items should be more about upgrading, with less materials needed when I upgrade from a say meta 2 or 3 item instead of a meta 0

    ban jumpfreighters from highsec, nerf mineral compression

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  9. "EVE: Industria" make CCP plan it in after Inferno, I'll <3 you long time

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  10. So one of my biggest bug bears is that fact that PvP ships got lots of love while Exhumers got nada.
    I guess this is my wish list; A crystal bay for hulks... I like to be challenged but I am frustrated by mindless mechanics. Having a hauler run to-and-from a POS with a new set of crystals is not challenging.

    My proposal is that a Crystal bay is added to the hulk that can only hold T1/T2 Mining Crystals. It should be big enough that you cna store an entire set of crystals for all the mins. (Excluding Mercoxit obviously).

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  11. Seleene,

    In my opinion there are some small short terms things that would greatly improve nul-sec, whille we w8 fot the full industrial expansion.

    1- cloak hunter ship: It would remove the treat of afk cloakers so the time in the system will be more available for minners in null-sec. Also it will balance the game...

    2- Remove rogue drones drop: Remove their drop and replace with some other utilities... like specific salvages used for building new things... but not minerals... it ruins the economy....

    3- Add a Capital corporate hangar: Allow to store more ore in the POS. Instead of using the X-Large ship assebly array...

    4- Add tabs for each player in the corporate hangar, and Ship maintenance array. so a community can efficiently use POSes

    well, just some ideas... this page is full of great ones!

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  12. Having taken part in 0.0 industry as well as high sec, I feel part of the issue is that we as industrialists are at such a large disadvantage when dealing with the dangers in the more profitable areas. Granted its a more risk so the return is higher, however the risk is so high that the return is severely impacted by lack of up time or a blatent disregard for ship saftey, which then eats immensely into profits provided you can generate any. A ahip that we as a pilot can have some more faith in that it can withstand the abuse and dangers with some degree of decency. I have a proposal on the F&I forums that has gotten some eyes thrown at it but I believe its being disregarded with the "super hulk" mentality which is not the case. Some thing does need to be done to bring the industry back to the industrialists.

    https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=73380&find=unread

    We have tried to bring a balanced approach to the design of the ship and make an all encompassing design that on its best day performs close to its specialised counterparts do and can be altered to perform exceptionally well in other aspects but not as well in the industrial area.

    Our hope/idea is that the more durable ship would bring more industrialists back into those spaces, perhaps get those that are already there to higher levels of performance and shift things such as mineral amounts back from the drone alloys back to that which miners are gathering.

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  13. Drones are unique and should stay that way. Slash their mineral yield by 75% (so their part in the high-end mineral market goes from 40% to 10%). And only then give them a (reduced) bounty.

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