Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mobile vending machine

CCP Fozzie requested players to give ideas about more mobile structures. The forum already has lot of good ideas. And zillions of stupid ones, half-screen quotes and other nonsense. I wish they could afford more moderators.

So hereby I introduce a genius idea, the Mobile Vending Machine. Wait, Fozzie mentioned it in his opening post? Well, I'm not sure he was serious, because it's actually great. But it should be able to do much more than simply sell mining crystals in a belt.

Like, buying ore. The structure is player owned and only he can make orders in it, according to some new trading skill. Others can complete the orders. Not too many orders of course, like 20 buy, 20 sell with maxed skill, and only one structure per player to avoid overloading the market interface. It has a beacon on the overview as it's openly broadcasting its orders, everyone can find it.

By accessing it, you can buy items it sells and sell to its buy orders from your cargohold. Now let's see its own cargohold. To be any useful, it must have huge cargohold that makes scooping impossible. I mean if you use it to buy ore in a belt, even a million m3 is filled in 11 Hulk-hours, so a mining fleet quickly renders it unusable. Also if you'd try to sell ship hulls, it wouldn't work. So scooping is out of question, if you deploy it, it stays until you either abandon it or someone destroys it. The same reinforcement method applies as the depot and it stops trading while reinforced, but the contents can be removed. It has a fuel bay where it takes cap booster 800 charges, one per hour, housing only 100. If it's out of fuel, it loses its reinforcement ability and also disappears next downtime. I think 10M m3 cargohold is enough.

To buy something, it must fit in your cargohold, with one exception: if you are in a pod, you can buy a ship hull and you get it assembled and you boarding it.

While the Mobile Vending Machine can be deployed in a belt to sell mining crystals and buy Ore, its most important feature is that it can be deployed under a POS shield, acting as a trading module for WH players. It would be revolutionary in W-space, allowing players to use formal methods of exchanging goods instead of using commonly available hangars and hope no one steals it. You could set up an ammo, fitting and small-ship store for your corp or buy their salvage, PI and ore and when you log in, just empty the cargo into your freighter and off you go down the chain to Jita.

Wouldn't this be a great structure?

13 comments:

GWI said...

I already mentioned having a caravan module. Basically a limited market, for use in places where stations are hard to come by, sort of a travelling salesman thing

Alkarasu said...

That's one of the most awesome ideas for an EVE structure I've ever heard. While there is a way to store your stuff in WH with no risk of someone stealing it (personal hangar array does that, and as most WH assets are not that large, it's capacity is decent), the ability for offline interactions is sadly lacking in WH space, while people in larger corps tend to have weird schedule intersections. Though, it would be better to use several types of such structures - like a cheap personal one for deploying in a belt (best with a limited lifetime, like a week or so), and corporation one to use in a POS shield like any other POS structure, with possible corp taxes on transactions and such.

Oska Rus said...

That sounds as a great idea. Some way of contracting or trading in w-space is needed if you dont want to play solo.

Although this vending machine needs some further thought to prevent being abused as immense storage space.

Maybe having no storage space at all and "routing" bought stuff into some other storage nearby. (freight containers, hangar array...)

Anonymous said...

Within pos shields? No thanks. Services need to come out of the safety of pos shields, just like the new anchorables

Lucas Kell said...

The main issue I have against this idea is the memory of so many MMOs turning into heaps and heaps of characters standing around with little markets for buying stuff from the "player shops". This would just be allowing that, without the need to be logged on.

Not to mention it adds safety to trading that simply shouldn't be there. If you can't be bothered to haul your goods back to a station, then the only way to trade runs the risk of theft. Adding another way to safely trade via a mechanic is another nail in the coffin of the sandbox.

GWI said...

yeah, it's not that it's less risky, its that people are transefring risk to the person buyiung, instead of the hauler. but courrier contracts already shield the trader from the risk for a nominal fee lucas

I do agree, limits to the amount in system, perhaps making them corporation anchorables, not personal ones, and not being able to anchor them in systems with stations, or near certain celestial objects would be the details that the devil is in

Alkarasu said...

@Lucas Kell
"This would just be allowing that, without the need to be logged on. "

But you already can trade while offline, that feature was in EVE since the very beginning. And somehow it never made trade a hazard-free activity before. You still need to transport your goods to and from the marketplace, you still can be ganked, the structure itself can be destroyed (currently no CONCORD comes to protect mobile structures).

"Adding another way to safely trade via a mechanic is another nail in the coffin of the sandbox."

Safely? Really? Safely from exactly what? From the need to catch your counteragent online? Every station in HiSec will gladly provide you with a marketplace and contract services, working no matter how online you are, also - with unlimited and free of charge storage of anything less, than a supercapital ship (actually, you can store multiple supercaps in form of spare parts with no charge). It doesn't even needs to be protected - NPC stations are pretty much invulnerable, and no one will ever have access to your hangar, but CCP and yourself. So, please, clarify, what safety will provide bulky, costly, limited in volume, and very vulnerable structure, that players of most EVE regions don't already possess? The only place, where offline transactions via market are impossible is WH-space, and even there this limit doesn't have any viable reasoning behind it, it can be easily implemented, will make WH much more desirable place to live in (so more action where it supposed to be), and won't break any lore.

Anonymous said...

Awesome idea, didn't you say you wanted to have an effect on EVE.

I think you found your way, the way you've had an effect since you've been playing.

Just popularise your blogg even further and get some good solid design features/ideas out on the Ether.

The success of WGBWC was not only the 'numbers' but the anti-tears.

I had no idea about tanking in Highsec, my mission running Moa had been tanked similraily for months.

I just tough of my build as 'ALL IN', I had the pro of always been cap stable on low skills, 12K shield and 60-70% resist with no holes. My tank would be broken from the first shot because I'd only have passive regen of 80 or so to keep me alive during combat, but runnign level 2 missions I'd be sat at 75-80% safe in the knowledge that no one could profitably gank me.

Since you're project I've grown in confidence of the things im happy to do within the game and the risks I'm prepeared to take.

I never wanted to try mining because I saw it as low income, high investment and high risk (due to ganks), now I just see it as low income high labour work...

A slaves wage...

But as a solo player without an income I feel that Id be happy to mine on a uber tanked barge while I duo screen my universatiy study and then run combat missions when I'm online.

You know if you want another project perhaps consider running a scrub school.

Kurtizzle

Lucas Kell said...

@Alkarasu
"But you already can trade while offline, that feature was in EVE since the very beginning."
Yeah, but many games have a bazaar/auction house, the traders however pop up anywhere there is people. So rether than a single place to shop theres hundreds of tiny shops, most of them offering junk at inflated prices. They don;t add any content, they just make it ugly as sin to look at. These would be no different.

"Safely? Really? Safely from exactly what?"
Safely from the ability of the buyer to try to steal from you. This would just mean that outside of a station, you can still have guaranteed trading. That's not how it;s supposed to be. outside of a station, if you want to trade you're supposed to have that added risk.

And yes, high sec offers risk free trade, that's why it's high sec. You say there's no viable reason behind it, but there is. WH space is supposed to be for smaller teams of people who work together and trust each other. Sure, POS mechanics need work to better give out levels of trust, but these structures would simply add a means of dividing players in wormholes rather than pushing people to work together. You wouldn't need to care who else is there, as long as there was a market stall selling stuff you need.

Alkarasu said...

@Lucas Kell
"They don;t add any content, they just make it ugly as sin to look at. These would be no different."

...why? It's still EVE we are talking about here. Unlike most games out there, you can and, actually, supposed to destroy anything you think is unworthy of existence. So if you don't really like traders depots popping up - take your fleet out and clean those pesky traders out. Selling junk on inflated prices works only because it doesn't cost anything. In EVE it doesn't work that way, in EVE there are no free stuff. Even to set up a simple marketplace order you have to use up one of your trading slots, and that's before you get your trade out of the safety of the NPC stations to places people shoot each other.

"Safely from the ability of the buyer to try to steal from you."

You sure? And what will stop that buyer from just blowing up your trading station and looting it contents?

"if you want to trade you're supposed to have that added risk."

...and you get all of it with just being outside. Again. it's EVE, people shoot at each other's property all the time for no reason, and find it immensely fun.

"And yes, high sec offers risk free trade, that's why it's high sec. "

NULL offers such "risk-free trade". Lowsec offers the same. If there is a station, you can set up your trade regardless of security status, and that station is invulnerable, to boot.

"WH space is supposed to be for smaller teams of people who work together and trust each other."

WH space is supposed to be so remote and hardly accessible, so people must rely only on themselves to get all necessary supplies in and out, as NPC corporations don't have any means to establish their presence there. And that's it. You can have only what you have brought yourself. That limits the size of operations you may maintain, but that doesn't mean you can't bring a simple exchange automation - after all, you have everything is needed for that anyway.

"You wouldn't need to care who else is there, as long as there was a market stall selling stuff you need."

...and how that stuff gets there, eh? By some magic loot fairy? Or by the grace of the Almighty CCP? No? It should be brought there by someone you supposed to not care about? But that means you actually need to care about who that guy is and how well he works together with you - or one day you may find your market stall empty, and your POS surrounded with dreadnoughts with the eviction notice. The only thing that little market stall will do is give you ability to express your needs and reward your corpmates without necessity to be online every time you need to do it. Which is great.

Lucas Kell said...

@
"It's still EVE we are talking about here. Unlike most games out there, you can and, actually, supposed to destroy anything you think is unworthy of existence. So if you don't really like traders depots popping up - take your fleet out and clean those pesky traders out."
Right, so a trader can pop one of these up, then I have to go shoot it to reinforce, the trader can then empty it and a day or 2 later I get to finish shooting the empty structure? All so a trader can make another split in regional markets? Much like how secure can get anchored and sit about with dumb messages on them, they simply wouldn't be worth the time investment to shoot. they would be clutter, probably most used for scams.

Honestly there's loads of better content CCP could be working on that adding stuff like this.

"You sure? And what will stop that buyer from just blowing up your trading station and looting it contents?"
A reinforce timer and drop chance. Waiting a day to get ~50% of whatever the trader didn't rescue while it was in reinforce mode.

"NULL offers such "risk-free trade". Lowsec offers the same"
Low, sure, but that's high sec without concord. Null not so much. You can wake up and find out you have no access to your stuff anymore. Besides, null sec you have to pay billions in setup and billions a month to have a station. If you want the same in wormhole you should have to pay the same.
And either way, that's not what WH space is for. It sound like you just don't like WH space.

"but that doesn't mean you can't bring a simple exchange automation - after all, you have everything is needed for that anyway."
Yes, it does. The whole idea is that it isn't the same type of place and you are supposed to work together. How does allowing automated offline interaction at all work towards that? It's just makes you all independent players that happen to house yourself in the same place.

"You wouldn't need to care who else is there, as long as there was a market stall selling stuff you need."
"The only thing that little market stall will do is give you ability to express your needs and reward your corpmates without necessity to be online every time you need to do it. Which is great."
No, the only thing it would do is clutter up systems, make things easier through automation (instead of through interaction), and encourage further lack of personal interaction between players.

Alkarasu said...

@Lucas Kell
"and a day or 2 later I get to finish shooting the empty structure?"

...which spent day or 2 not trading, yes. You were saying something about safe, no? Well, this one don't look too safe to me, to be honest. Should that trader come too late - and he loses goods and, probably, expensive structure as well. And all of that trouble for selling overpriced junk to morons. Doesn't sound like a sound business plan to me.

"Much like how secure can get anchored and sit about with dumb messages on them, they simply wouldn't be worth the time investment to shoot. they would be clutter, probably most used for scams."

That's very easy to avert during the design of the structure. Simply make it expensive enough to make people think, where and why they may want to put that, make it immovable - so you'll have to choose where to put it carefully or spend all the ISK again to place it elsewhere, make them one-per-character, so you'll be able to make only 3 with any account (and will have to pay full price to relocate any of them) - and you'll mostly never see any of those doing bad stuff, as it will be too costly a prank in a game, where cheap ones is accessible.
Good thing you mentioned secure containers - they are cheap, they are easy to set up, yet there are very limited number of them hanging about. There must be some reason to that, no?

"Honestly there's loads of better content CCP could be working on that adding stuff like this."

This one can be done easy and fast. Everything needed is already in the game since Rubicon is out.

"A reinforce timer and drop chance. Waiting a day to get ~50% of whatever the trader didn't rescue while it was in reinforce mode."

That won't stop the possibility of stealing, just drop it to sensible level. Remember, on station you don't risk even that, no one can take your stuff no matter what. Yet, stations are still in the game and are not considered gamebreakers.

"You can wake up and find out you have no access to your stuff anymore."

Works like a charm in NPC null as well, yes?
It's still 0.0 to -1.0, you can kill people and no one will say a word. You can even shoot things with a doomsday gun and bomb a fleet away. But you can't steal a single unit of ore from someone else hangar or block that someone else from doing anything he likes with it.

Alkarasu said...

"that's not what WH space is for. It sound like you just don't like WH space."
And what is it for? I do like WH space, I tend to live there a lot, but I fail to see any WH-breaking potential in a simple automated exchange unit, that can be used only by corporation members anyway.

"Yes, it does."

Really? Why? I can bring an array of sophisticated lab equipment, I can establish armored stronghold with self-defence capabilities above any single player-controlled ship, titans included, yet my immortal and highly trained in many IT disciplines character can't run a simple script on my huge POS computers, that will allow some trade. While I can do it in 10 minutes in real life with a computer, that is so old and slow, it's unable to do simple graphics. Lore-wise it is extremely stupid. Especially in WH, a place, where NPC empires hold no power at all and can't actually prohibit anything.

"How does allowing automated offline interaction at all work towards that?"

It allows you to work together even more, naturally. By allowing you even more forms of such interaction. Nothing is taken away, remember? You can still trade via corp hangars and loot containers as much, as you like. You can even ban trading units from your system, that's WH-space, that's where you set the rules.
If one is to use your "logic", corp bookmarks should be banned from WH - as they allow people to scan entire chains for the others without the need to talk. Yet, somehow, that unholy capability hadn't broke the game for WH.

"No, the only thing it would do is clutter up systems, make things easier through automation (instead of through interaction), and encourage further lack of personal interaction between players."

...because one Lucas Kell want very much to believe that? Well, that's an argument. Bad one, sure, but one nonetheless.

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