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.

Friday, March 2, 2012

EVE's Industrial Revolution

What if prospecting for new, special ores was interesting?
At some point in the near future, once all of the sov mechanics and FW stuff has been given a good booosh, there is an industrial revolution coming to EVE. That statement isn't based upon any 'inside information' that I have, it's just something I firmly believe is on the horizon. There are too many people that want to see positive changes and interesting game play applied to that part of EVE and I am one of them.

On last weekend's 'Lost in EVE' debate, toward the end of the show, Two Step came out of nowhere to ask me directly what my thoughts about mining and industry are. It may have been meant and, admittedly answered with a bit of humor, but my mind shifted gears and I started to ~talk~, which can sometimes be pretty dangerous. Following up on that, on Monday I published a blog detailing some of my thoughts about this issue and making a commitment to Fight for Industry in the future of EVE. While there are a couple people running for CSM 7 that have decided to talk a little about this subject, or just focus on mining to the exclusion of all else, no one else with my varied background has stepped forward.

Combined with several forum posts on the subject, it seems the message has gotten out that I'm actually serious about following up on this and the reaction has been rabid. At first it was just a few eve mails, but it's snowballed past that now.  Over the past few days I have been invited to talk on three different Teamspeak servers to players that previously had little interest or faith in anything CSM-related at all. One of these was a Czech mining / production corp of about 80 players that had never once given a shit about the CSM and had all but given up on ever seeing anything come their way. I think I managed to change some minds about the CSM and, at the end of that particular discussion, walked away from it with about two pages of hastily scribbled notes that represent a small part of the laundry list of issues plaguing the builders of EVE.

How... exciting?
What follows is going to be a bit disjointed as it represents a lot of different ideas covering many of the problem areas in this aspect of the game.  Apologies ahead of time if it feels like I'm jumping around a bit. :)

Make Pretty!

One of the most common themes I have heard over and over is how completely lifeless industry in EVE is / feels. For example, when you are working in PI or installing a job in a factory, there's very little or no visual feedback that helps a player feel like they are actually accomplishing anything. One of the best analogies I've heard is that when you are flying your ship and shooting your guns, you have an instant sense of gratification - you can see what is happening, what your ship is doing and the results of that. What do you have with any U.I. facet of industry in EVE?  Countdown timers? A few spreadsheets? I would love to see what would happen if CCP Punkturis and her friends would be turned loose on helping create a more immersive and enjoyable experience for all aspects of industry.

Planetary Interaction is another example of a feature that obviously had much more potential but remains far behind where it should or could be. You have no way to 'pee in another player's pond' or do anything that even resembles conflict.  Don't bring up DUST 514 about this; both I myself and EVE Players I talk to think there should be some form of conflict activity (however minimal)  directly related to PI for us in EVE.

Less Button Clicking!

In terms of making things simpler for production, the less button clicking the better! I've always wanted to be able to do 'batch installs' of similar, multiple factory jobs. Like, I have seven blueprints that all need to go into ME research for ME 60... BAM!  I have 5 invention jobs that all use this decrypter and this kind of BPC... BAM!

Another big want of mine is being able to 'chain' blueprints together for more complicated manufacturing processes. The way it works now is nothing but a time vampire that requires you to log in to essentially repeat the same actions.  As an example, you want to build a Carrier - you grab the Carrier BPO and all of the requisite component BPO's, the new and improved and amazing looking factory U.I. tells you the total mineral requirements, then you 'batch' install them as a single group job.  How epic would that be??

What if you could create a 'shopping list' that took into account your BPOs and BPCs properties?  You could group together multiple blueprints, everything from frigates to capital ships and their component blueprints; the system would then analyze those blueprints and you would get a mineral requirement: "You need to go buy this."  Then, as you buy the minerals off the market, those amounts are reduced on your list.

Working Together

I've already touched on some of the things I'd like to see happen with the mining profession in my previous blog but I want to clarify one other point: at its core EVE is a social game. I understand that there are some people that just want to log into a game and play with themselves (pun intended) but I believe the game should encourage and reward more social activities. Achieving a goal with other people in EVE has always felt more rewarding than anything I've done on my own.

I strongly support the development of dynamically generated content that throws a few curve balls into established patterns of play. We're people, not robots, and as such should be required to think our way through even PVE situations from time to time. This also has the side effect of helping eliminate bots / macros, etc... which I loathe with a passion I can barely put into words.

Large Scale Cooperation

I want to see an emphasis placed upon people working together to achieve common, large scale goals. Let me step back in time a bit to frame my thoughts on this and I'll use a common 'large scale' example: building outposts.

In some respects, the financial aspects of this are something that aren't really appreciated today. When outposts were first released, 20-25 billion ISK was an IMMENSE sum of money that had to be pooled by dozens, if not hundreds of players. More importantly, in terms of actual construction, you could not load the outpost construction eggs with a freighter - you had to use a small fleet of normal Industrial haulers. From finances to the physical effort of construction, it required a level of teamwork that's been missing from EVE at all levels of play for years. Once it became essentially a 'one man job' to actually deploy and finance an entire dock-able space station, null sec outposts became as common as trees in a forest and we lost a vital part of what made null-sec feel like 'frontier space'. I believe it is possible to establish this feeling again and not just for people living in null-sec.

Work for the Unemployed

One more thing: industry contracts. I've spoken many times about the 'Treaty' system that I worked on right before I left CCP. One aspect of this was to be a new contract system which had the potential to be expanded upon to touch many areas of EVE. One thing that I was most disappointed to see not happen was the advent of possibly creating an actual 'job market' for industrialists in EVE.  It is probably easiest to explain like this:

You are a corp facility manager. You can set up 'job contracts' that need doing and they go into a queue. The prerequisites for these jobs are auto-calculated so no one without the skills to perform them can accept them. You can then set a job payment for acceptance and completion of the contract and, once completed, the finished products pop out into whatever hangar you wish.

This job contract can be set to be available at the corp, alliance or public level. Obviously the person that accepts the job cannot cancel it because it is locked.  As a factory or blueprint owner, this allows you to farm out work in a much more efficient manner and, at the public level, this system gives more possibilities for the "small guy" who doesn't run four extra accounts with production alts on each character to do major industry and make some space bucks!

Whale hunting!
I want to respond directly to a comment on my previous blog made by 'Anonymous'. This individual seems to make a lot of comments on different blogs; quite a busy person it seems! Anyway, this was the comment:
"It will be more then a year before CCP will devote an entire expansion to industrial improvements... you are not promising anything that can be accomplished in the CSM7 term."
This is where you are wrong, Anonymous. CSM 7 is going to be just as crucial to the future development of EVE as CSM 6 was. The Crucible and Inferno expansions are a direct result of quite a lot of effort put in by the past couple CSM's. Even though Inferno is not going to happen during CSM 6's term, that does not mean CSM 6 was not consulted or did not push for it.  If you want to see something happen in the development of EVE these days, you need to make sure that your CSM representatives are engaged and they understand how the processes inside CCP work to achieve results.

In order for something like this to happen, it is going to take more than just a team or two working a few sprints - it's going to require a concentrated effort of manpower and resources; IMO, a full named expansion.  That means as this year goes forward, the people in favor of seeing a proper overhaul of Industry are going to have to be as vocal and driven on this issue as possible.

There are a lot of things that CCP has on the drawing board which would help re-vitalize interest in what I believe to be one of the most neglected and unappreciated areas of the game. This is something that I've wanted to see happen for YEARS.  I grew tired a long time ago of hearing CCP talk about an 'industry expansion' and then nothing ever came of that talk. Now CCP finally has the resources to finish and expand upon the null sec and FW stuff and still tackle a full fledged make-over of industry. The potential is there, they are willing to listen and, with your help and your vote, I plan to be one of the leading voices on this.

24 comments:

  1. I agree that industry is a very solo activity for the most part therefore the overhaul will have to include the ability to share and cooperate between pilots, corporations and alliances. Not just via channels and external webpages but with real abilities in game. Simple things like being able to contract goods from a customs office for pickup by anyone in the corporation with roles (really does the CEO of CCP go and get all deliveries from the customs office when it lands in Iceland? Hell no he doesn't.) to being able to push product between multiple factories on a planet to build up complex reaction chains. Sure there will be arguments against multi-account players but it's not like they can't do this today. Make it easier for everyone ('cept bots)!

    Working for a few hours with corp mates or alliance mates on setting up industry projects should be no different that going on a 2hr roam. The only industry item right now like that is a mining op.

    Should be interesting how this all works out over the next year.

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  2. I wish CCP just remade the mining gameplay to something to not be AFK and bot proof

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    1. "to something to not be AFK and bot proof" a pretty nice statement cause of its construction. I will add some brackets...

      to something to [not be AFK] and bot proof <-- guess thats what you mean. But what do you have against AFK? It is not like you could go afk for an hour or say 10 hours like the afk cloaker. You need to do some thing actively every now and then. so that is fine for me.

      to something to [not be AFK proof] but(!) bot proof
      thats what i'm looking for. give it some entrance challenge to keep the bot from auto completing it but still make it relaxed. The people who currently mine don't want action or have to play minesweeper to get there ore. if they want to play mini games beside it, they can do already.

      Those question to you mister Anonymus: When did you mine the last time and what was your intention by doing so?

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    2. Well you got the point. And thanks for the correction. Gonna complete my statement:
      Mining needs to be a little more challenging, not just target, hit the strippers and move stuff every 6 minutes. There should be more planning at least, more "crunching numbers".

      Its the half of "fun" of any PVE in its current form too. Again, it only show how simple mining is.
      Contrary to real life, if you mine the whole asteroid field you still get all the stuff you can get, like milking a cow. Real life mining require processes to get the best stuff vs the time/cost, like planning routes, making surveys, external conditions contingencies, etc, etc.
      For example, change current belts to make them way more bigger but full of null-value (empty) asteroids, so people got to start surveying asteroids to find those with stuff. It would change the overview but it will fill the part of the "making surveys". But hey there are even more ideas or solutions CCP can make.

      If it changes to be more complicated (but not head killer Genius level problem, maybe junior engineer XD) it automatically kills bots, so it just needs a redesign to hit many problems with the same shot.
      And rouge drones need to stop giving resources.

      And to the question when I mined the last time... 1 year ago with 2 or 3 months. In a mining op because you know how solo sucks ofc.
      Mr. Anonymous

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    3. Everyone has its own definition of fun and some people have fun mining so it should not be more complicated just to annoy bots, although I like the idea of more probable asteroid fields which hold the named rocks with only basic rocks in the default belts.

      As a more controversial idea I like to suggest to introduce legal mining bots, meaning small player owned structures which are anchorable in limited numbers in sovereignity holded belts that can be taxed by the alliance and mine all day at a lower rate a piloted mining ship can. Those structures should have very low hitpoints to incapacitate (and maybe an option to steal from them after hacking), hitpoints low enough that npc belt rats would incapacitate them within several hours if they are not being dealt with.

      Just some thoughts you could consider, also looking forward to hear and see more ideas to bring teamplay back to industry which should actually improve industrial processes, rather then just making it more of a hassle when trying to work together as it is right now.

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    4. "And to the question when I mined the last time... 1 year ago with 2 or 3 months. In a mining op because you know how solo sucks ofc.
      Mr. Anonymous"

      Thanks for the answer. You are right, solo mining sucks. But only under the circumstance that you are looking for action.
      I really do enjoy mining solo in order to read through all this blogs and forum posts I'm interested in and it would be really awful if I couldn't do that anymore.
      Don't get me wrong here, I'm not against changes at all. The mining could use some iteration on it to improve the experience but that does not mean it needs to become more like PvP. If I want to play an FPS I go play one. If the mood strikes me for some RTS I play something in that area. Just because you don't like RTS does not mean it must be more FPS like (IMO), right?

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  3. cross-posted from EN24


    While I understand the "eve is social" aspect and I do almost everything with my corp, there are those times when I just want to do my own thing on occasion that may be considered "mindless" or "soul-training". Mandating that I play a mini-game or always have to cooperate to to play eve is just another way of making people play the game the way you think it should be played.

    tl;dr sometimes I like shooting rocks/ice just the way it is now...don't take that away.

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  4. You have a lot of solid ideas there, Seleene. EVE could definitely use someone to push forward industry reforms.

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  5. Spot on! I'm curious if you feel mining should be touched or if you think banning bots would be adequate.

    Someone on the forums mentioned almost turning it into a minigame. Mine an unnamed rock, it has different layers of minerals, when you hit them, swap crystals. Not a very solid idea, but a start?

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  6. I've been thinking about those dreaded industry clickfests as well. There's one option that really makes it easy on players to build the necessary workflow themselves. Make industry jobs available in moondoggie.

    Right now, especially since the inclusion of bpc/bpo difference + names, you can streamline your workflow and get nice shoppinglists already. Even buying them requires just a few clicks in the browser and on the market. Those mechanics are already in place.

    API and in-game browser are a fenomenally strong combo. What if you could start industry jobs that same way as well?

    Already we can create and handle contracts, interact with the market and have a complete view of stocks in our hangars. If you're seriously about your industry, only the in-game browser and it's lack of supporting industry (and research!) is stopping you.

    While you're at it: try and get them to enable drag/drop in the in-game browser as well ^^

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  7. There already exists a mechanism to get shopping lists for a ship fitting: drag the fitting to the market. Why can't the same thing work for a blueprint? Such a mechanism would allow for delegation through ISK proxy: you want stuff built, so you put up buy orders or contracts for those components.

    There is no need for some kind of industrial job delegation mechanism to be built, since we already have one. Again, delegation through ISK proxy: you post an order for the thing you want. The next step is for the "unemployed" industrialists to decide that they actually want work and go looking for it.

    Can someone please tell me who these miners are that are mining but want mining to be more "interesting"? Are they null sec combat pilots who have been press-ganged into mining? If so, I don't want their pleas to be acknowledged. Are the pleaders people who don't mine because it's boring? I don't want their pleas to be acknowledged either.

    Mining is boring. My ability to perform this task is my competitive advantage. Making mining "interesting" will destroy the industry.

    On the same note, having PI become a little more interesting than watching circles growing circles inside them would be slightly pleasing. But seriously, does anyone actually sit there and watch those circles grow? Why? Just set up the extraction job, leave it be, come back some hours or days later when it's finished.

    Sure, it might be nice to see the ocean extractors floating on an animated water surface. But how often are you going to be looking at that?

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  8. "One of these was a Czech mining / production corp of about 80 players that had never once given a shit about the CSM and had all but given up on ever seeing anything come their way. I think I managed to change some minds about the CSM..."

    I was there. Yay! That was a great experience :)
    Thx

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  9. LtCol LaurentiusMarch 4, 2012 at 4:25 AM

    Good blog Seleene. Another idea for the industry part is getting a 24 hour "order que" where you can set up jobs one after the other within the 24 hour period. It would reduce so much useless clicking and should increase productivity somewhat. This should only apply to starbases though, as to not clog publicly available industry slots, but also act as an added incentive for people to get out of NPC corps, into player corps and put up their own pos (risk vs reward)

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  10. People play games to be engaged and entertained. I am a soloer and I do industry, invention, mining and manufacturing.

    I regard PvP as a disincentive to playing.

    Buff industry!

    Seleene, you have my vote!

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  11. Most serious industrialists use out of game tools to support our logistics. Get CCP to take the API more seriously; it's often more important to our daily gameplay than that actual logging in stuff.

    Get us an ORE covops type scanning ship we can stick in our portals.

    Medium mining drones for Orcas and heavy mining drones fir Rorqals means more of them will be in belts.

    Mark, deploy a POCO - on sisi if necessary - to see what should have been rolled out for all industry, station and sov interfaces as a bare minimum standard of UK and interaction.

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  12. Making Mining more interesting?
    Hmm ... That's a difficult task, because many miners use more than more account to mine.
    If you are making it more interesting in a way it uses more work to do (let's call it a mini-ingame-game) you are making it impossible for them to do it this way.

    But I really like your ideas about automation and if I may add this:
    It is a real burden to use a Rhorqual to press the ore. It works like any other production, but you have to do it times and times again. An enormous amount of really silly clicks and when you are pressing a whole evening for your miner buddies you really get mad about the way this works.
    For example: You can only press at this ship, so why choose the ship in this process.
    Then there is a bug: When choosing the production slot (in your ship which you have chosen a click before) it shows production slots that have less than a minute time to finish as a ready slot! And if you choose this slot it gives you a few clicks later an error message so back to choosing/guessing the really empty slot.
    Why can't you press from the ore hangar? Only from the much smaller cargohold?
    Oh and for the number-junkies: Every type of ore has a different number of ore that is needed to make a compressed block out of it.

    Can it be so difficult to do it a simple way like the following?
    OK there is ore in the ore hangar or cargohold (or both), the BPO is in the corp hangar. One click at the press button and it does what it should: Pressing till the number of ore is too low for the next round.

    Another nice thing would be if you could mine directly into an orca, without making the detour via a jet can.

    But if you are serious with working for us indu-people you have my votes.

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    1. Can't u use the Orca's corp hangar to put the mined ore from the mining ship instead of a can?

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  13. "Another nice thing would be if you could mine directly into an orca, without making the detour via a jet can."


    Your miner right-clicks the Orca and selects OPEN CORPORATE HANGAR...drag your ore into whichever tab you want. Is that what you are talking about or you want to be able to mine directly into the cargohold, ore hold, and corp hangar? Or did you want some ability to have each cycle automatically deposit ore into the Orca...like a BOT?

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    1. Yes I am talking about diverting the mining yield directly into the Orca.

      But I am not talking about botting, because I hate botters, but I am talking about automation!
      And don't tell me it would make botting easier. Afaik botters are versy well able to do without this, but it would make life a little bit easier for the normal miner.

      But as I said it would be a nice to have, but really no must, the other things I adressed are much more important to me (especially the ore-pressing-clickfest).

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    2. I'd like a method to ore sucked into the Orca's ore hold from the mining ship's cargo hold. Kinda like the way that your guns will automatically reload ammo when the magazine runs out.

      Have you tried mining in a fully upgraded Osprey? Each laser cycle fills the hold, and you have three of them cycling every 60s. Making mining less click-intensive would be nice.

      Imagine if the same thing applied to your combat ships: having to load ammunition by hand into the weapon each time you want to shoot at something. Ha ha!

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  14. Mining semi afk is really good if you have to do dull work at home like sorting papers / bills into the right folder or doing some back round work like reading all the nice blogs out there. But there wouldn't be a problem if you have to scan the belts / meteors (or what ever) out and than start afking and a bot could only do that as long as it has accurate BMs from those spots (which will change more often).

    To solve the shortage of low minerals in 0.0 you could do simple things like increased hauler spawns if a (hidden) belt is mined out. Maybe even some bigger rats that would require active protection but provide solid tritanium income instead of some lousy bounties no miner needs.

    IMO everyone who claims that csm is only responsible for the here and now is pretty much short sighted. No project (including a major expansion in eve) starts out of thin air. There is always a schedule which targets for the time AFTER the current target. And it should be in the interest of every industrial that those new targets will be industry.
    I've been in doubt if I should sent a vote to you seleene but after this post I'm sure that it will be well placed. You got one.

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  15. PI can also use some more tweaking.

    Like there should be a default filter for each planet type for the factories, to only show those products that can be made from that planet's resouces.
    So that way less searching in the list, when u want to make a poduct chain from only that planet's resources. And u could choose what filter should be ur default when selecting a factory on a planet.

    Also, it would be nice if i can save a template of my PI infrastrucutre positions with the links to them, on a given type of planet, or without planet restrictions. So less clicking after i move to a new home system, and want to build the same infrastructure on the planets like before.
    I usually use the same layout for each planet. Only the extractors are in different positions.
    Maybe more then 1 template would be nice, independent of the planet type. So u can have templates for high sec panets, wich are bound to have shorter cycles on the extractors to feed the factories, in contrast to low sec and nul sec PI infrastrucutre, where u can achive the same or better level of productivity with lengthier extraction cycles, thus requires different storage and factory capacities and link bandwiths.

    Also, the creation of the resource flow on plantes are very click intensive still.

    And it would be nice, if the silos, and the launch pads can display a fill time, wich indicates that based on the current resource flow when will it be full, and maybe display that time, and the end of the last extractor cycle in the journal, or on the industry tab, next to the planet, on wich it is located.

    These would help a lot in managing the planets, especially on multiple accounts.

    Someone mentioned that customs offices should be accessible to at least corp mates, wich would be awesome too!:)

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  16. Basicly i agree with you
    Industry / Mining needs a revamp.

    I think the industry part needs a UI overhaul and somekind of cooperative building mecanics

    I think the mining Gas/Ice /Ore needs to have shorter cycles with lesser output / cycle this is important for Ice / Gas as a 5min cycle is just booring. it also forces a miner to stay in the belt if a entity enters. giving it shorter cycles and split the iceblocks down to smaller bits and require more to refine.

    I think mining have to be "more reactive" how about if you use a specific mining scanner you can enter a minigame to get more yeld.



    and my primary thoughs are why are there limits to none combat skills?

    why can i only have 11 industry slots ? i can't see a reason for it i wana be a industry morgul i want to have 1000 of slots. if i got the SP for it and don't want other stuff.

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  17. I got this.
    There's a big side of people that want mining reformed, and a big side of miners that want it to stay as it is.

    Promote social play.
    This is: The orca, or a new ad-hoc mining command ship, can redirect the exhumer's (and only exhumers) beams and play the minigame for all the squad.
    What do we get from this?
    - Multi-account miners are happy - They can multibox.
    - low-commit AFKers are happy. Hop in the corp's mining fleet and semiafk away.
    - Cooperation is promoted.
    - Less-boring mining systems are introduced, but not forced.

    Who gets the shaft? 12-account semiafkers, i guess. But really, if you're multiboxing 12 mining accounts, i guess you really like mining. And you won't mind actually playing it. I may be wrong, though.

    Now, for industry boost: Take out ALL the refinable loot. ALL of it. Drop BPCs for Meta stuff. Bounties for drones.
    And rebalance incursion iskflow, since mission iskflow is nerfed, but we're out of scope, now.

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