Greedy Goblin

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Phoebe of PvE

Phoebe patch of EVE introduced a very unintuitive change: a direct nerf to PvP in order to increase PvP activity. Using the jump drive of a ship or taking a jump bridge placed a timer on the pilot that barred him from quick re-jumping. A fatigue was also introduced that penalized re-jumping in a moderate amount of time by increasing the next timer. As travelers could calculate with these timers and simply include AFK stops, this change intentionally hit hunters who wished to travel fast to catch their prey.

The straightforward result is less successful hunts, so less PvP. On the contrary, PvP increased in nullsec after Phoebe. The reason was that smaller entities dared to undock and fight as the threat of being squashed by huge entities diminished. They created lots of small encounters which outnumbered the few big hunts of the big ones, resulting in increased PvP activity.

PvE is in an even worse shape. PLEX prices nearly doubled in the past year, showing serious devaluing of time spent doing PvE. Why? Because multiboxing no-lifers and bots pour out ISK and minerals in ridiculous amounts. The casual player who could do PvE 1 hours a day with his one account is stomped by the no-lifers and bots who are "playing" 10+ hours with 10+ accounts. A casual miner can earn 20M/hour max in highsec, demanding 40 hours of mining to be where his buddy is who bought an extra PLEX. In the meantime a ratting botter gets his PLEX in a night while asleep.

Just like it was unreasonable to undock a solo carrier before Phoebe, it's unreasonable to undock a solo mining or ratting ship. The players who liked this aspect of the game had less and less reason to log in.

The solution is a Phoebe for PvE: making room for the countless little guys by stopping the few big guys to stomp them out. The PvE-fatigue should be introduced: if you are in combat with NPCs, running mining modules or using the PI interface, you accumulate PvE fatigue which diminishes over time. If your fatigue gets over the limit, your DPS against NPCs and mining yield starts to diminish, penalizing continuation. After a high fatigue you are also locked out of PI interface. Since PvE alts are much cheaper to train than proper PvP pilots, so fatigue must be account wide or would be bypassed by alts. This way the no-lifer or botter needs to use extra PLEX-es to keep running.

Let's calibrate the fatigue to kick in after 1 hour/day farming - which is more than enough for a casual player if we want him to do other things than farming! Of course give enough buffer before penalties so he can spend all his weekly farming time on weekend. This way low-efficiency activities like highsec mining and battlecruiser bot-ratting would become unsustainable: if you can mine just 30 hours a month, you simply can't earn a PLEX. This would stop many farmers and would take the edge of multiboxing. Of course high-intensity activities like carrier ratting, gas mining or incursions would allow a good player to still go infinite.

The real result would be the same as with Phoebe. The PvP-er of a local small corp don't have to travel to use his carrier, so he is unaffected. The casual miner or ratter already pays for his account, and wouldn't PvE enough to get fatigue penalty so his PvE has no new costs. Without the insane competition of no-lifers and bots, his earnings would actually worth something and he'd be encouraged to continue.

You can find the same suggestion on the forum, which is already locked and will be petitioned as soon as the servers are back.

PS: if you are a moron who can't comprehend that trading is PvP activity, you'll be moderated out.

PS2: here is the video of the battle of X-7OMU. Here is a later battle, with smaller scale but same participants and ISK ratio.


Little PvE dude said...

I found this idea to be pretty interesting but now the thread is locked for trolling :(

Alessandro said...

I would love a PvE fatigue system like that, Bots/Multiboxing destroys the gameplay for me.

But, is it good for CCP income? Maybe the system in place makes them more money, I don't know.

Sjaandi HyShan said...

It's interesting how they already locked your forum post. With the similarities to Phoebe they might as well have locked out the Phoebe dev blogs...
It shows the deplorable state of the forums when a post is locked based on name recognition and not content (just look at the suggestions that are orders of magnitude worse that are never locked).

Дончо said...

Ha! The forum thread is closed for trolling?!

The only "trolling" of this thread is directed to bots and multiboxers! Does that mean that CCP protects those? I thought it's the opposite...

Nevermind though, I'm quite happy now in my WoW garrison, with both my EVE accounts in frozen state (~22 bln ISK in both, btw). EVE could not sustain my interest more than few months in a row, unfortunately.

I like your suggestion, but my guess is it'll never be there. CCP does not seem to understand the problem you're describing and they seem to care more for € than ISK 😊

Anonymous said...

PLEX prices haven't doubled in the past year, they've remained consistent.

Compare with

They both show an almost identical price.

S Riojas said...

The ban on input multiplexing/broadcasting, has certainly effected PLEX prices. They have stalled and are hovering in a holding pattern. If anything, the Phoebe of PvE has already been implemented: multi-boxing using broadcast input is ban-able.

That is a better solution in my mind.

S Riojas said...

Darn, forgot a point I wanted to make:

Jump Fatigue and the nerf to jump range was only to a certain aspect of PvP itself. Applying the same reasoning to PvE you get something else:

System fatigue - you spawn fewer and fewer rats forcing you to move out of the system to continue ratting. Missions could simply be limited by volume: Osmon has so many mission runners, it is amazing that Sister Lozdod Pousel still has missions. Eventually, based on sheer volume, all the work she has should dry up forcing mission runners to look elsewhere. Reducing mineral availability in High Sec would force greater movement of miners. The faster Ice is mined, the longer it takes for the next ice field to be found. Etc.

That is closer to the spirit of Phoebe than a dry and unimaginative timer restricting you from activities. It is also a system that will spur greater PvP: people who consider an area "theirs" will be more amenable to war deccing their true competition: other mission runners, other miners, other PvE=ers. And that is what CCP wants: more strife from people combating each other.

Gevlon said...

@S Riojas: the ban of multiplexing is just an adjustment acknowledging that this is a form of automation.

I'm here suggesting what Phoebe did to PvP: to limit legitimate PvE overpower. No one said that the PL supercaps are cheats. They just said that they stomp out the life from lowsec by showing up anywhere, and the game is better since smaller entities are capable of fielding capitals in small-scale conflicts.

Anonymous said...

"if you are a moron who can't comprehend that trading is PvP activity, you'll be moderated out."

Trading is no more a PvP activity than any other activity in the game. If you mine you are directly affecting other people's mineral prices, that's PvP. This reeks of "Everyone's income should be nerfed, but not mine".

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: no, mining isn't zero-sum. If more people mine, more minerals are mined. While it indeed decreases the mineral prices, but as demand increases for minerals at lower prices (more ships explode if they are cheap), everyone is making more money.

In case of trading or profitable ganking, no value is created. What I gain is lost by someone.

Luke said...

That is actually very good idea.

Also, it indirectly helps PVP activities: with less isk sloshing aroud, the costs of sustaining losses might go down.(market deflation)

Another side effect would be limitation of use for all those faction /pirate ships -> less drops

Then there would be a matter of taking isk already injected, off the board. It is similar problem as finding a way to remove whole supercapital blob (and way you think about it, the reason ships that were supposed to be rare are fielded in 100's by big blocks, is tied directly to bot-infested renter empires)

Anonymous said...

So, can someone explain what is the problem in a plex seller getting more isk for the plex then a year ago?
And dont start talking about the woes of those bying plex for isk because quite honestly if you want to play for free I hear facebook has nice games.

Gevlon said...

PLEX seller getting more ISK means that PLEX selling is a better alternative to playing the game.

If PLEX prices are high, someone with a few bucks have no reason to ever PvE nor he ever experiences loss in PvP.

Anonymous said...

What would stop people using up their full 30 hours, then topping it off by trading for the rest of the time, still being able to plex?

Also, how does this balance with the different activities. 30 hours mining isn't enough time to make a plex, but 30 hours of incursions of mission blitzing is more than enough time. Things like PI can be done efficiently meaning you only need to spend a minute or so at a time in the UI, but can still make just as much as you can now.

All in all I think an artificial restriction to PvE is a bad idea in a game to be honest. I don't see the benefit in trying to punish people for playing the game their way. Trading is by far more of a reason for plex prices being so high because of how much they are traded and held onto for speculation.

Luke said...

If you mine more than 30 hrs/month .. seriously, do you have a life?

This is all economy 101.

If central bank prints money and gives it for free, the value of work is diminished. In the end there is no economy, even if people are willing to work, as whole system got destroyed. See Zimbabwe.

In eve, the value is in reward/time spent playing.

In case of "time is free" - bots and no lifers diminish real value of other people "work". You cannot compete with that. Moreso - given that such activities do happen in almost risk-free space - they are not even content.

Add RMT to the mix (because how you think all this isk to be sold is generated).

Most of blandness associated with EvE is because of systems that favour "time is free" people, and entities that feed on them - that grown to the size no group of normal players can tackle.

With isk from no-lifing gone, all other activities could become much more meanigfull, at least in reward/time sense.

So - all losses and no gain for player in way things are.

Pashko Zpc said...

People always whine. They find hundreds of reasons why their gameplay is ineffective/broken/unfulfilled because of some bad guys.
Botting tengus and afktars are competing your poor highsec l4 income? Go sell drones, paste and rockets to these guys at local hub. Highsec multibox miners are pouring countless minerals? Place ore buy orders. FW lp runners are doing five times more isk than you? Go manipulate tag market and make billions/day. Cap escalation octopuses are cooking 1b/hour? Set blue loot and salvage buy orders on lowsec edges, get 50kk from every 1kkk of bloot. Manipulate t2 markets (they are tight and yield nice returns in short time).
Adopt. Make profits off these material and isk streams. Be smart.
You are not evolving, not getting better and refuse to learn? Your whine is irrelevant then.

Anonymous said...

So you want a progressive tax on those who work harder and invest more to subsidise the slackers who barely work at all, isn't that......socialism?

Anonymous said...

A "easy" way to implement Fatigue in PvE is to make system deplete.

A system that is constantly ratted or mined would downgrade with time to the point that anomalies would stop spawning or only low grade anomalies spawn or belts.

You would have to let the system regen and move on to another system. Upgrades could increase this regen rate.

Gevlon said...

@Pashko Zpc: so you are saying "players should only get ISK from PvP, PvE is limited to botters and nolifers"

@Anonymous: a video game is not real life. In real life if everyone works hard, we have more food, bigger house, more medicine. In-game stuff have no inherent value, it can only be valued against the wealth of the next guy. If everyone has 10x more, no one has more, just the decimal was placed away.

@next anon: depleting resources don't touch the problem: player is stomped by no-lifer and botter. Ice is already depleting, go mine ice! You'll start mining, then 50 procurers warp in at once and before your hold is full, the ice anomaly is gone.

Anonymous said...


Ice belts deplete but not there regen rate.

There is no "fatigue" in it.

Anonymous said...

Most people think a certain level of socialism in the real world is necessary since the thing *are* real, whereas the pixel world is the perfect place for laissez-faire to run wild since no one dies of starvation or gets poisoned by toxic waste dumped and so on if they don't/can't work.

Also I wonder about the definition of a no-lifer. The average American watches 4 hours of TV a day so, assuming that the average person in society "has a life", then your limit of PvE would have to be 4 hours, providing they are using computer games in lieu of TV as recreation.

Gevlon said...

One can also add that in real World neither multiboxing, nor botting is possible.

You can't just create clones out of nothing to do your bidding, nor can you send your body to work while your mind is watching TV.

Also, in real life everyone is expected to work 8 hours a day and no one is capable of working more than 16 for a day. On the other hand in a game you can be online 10x longer than an average competitor.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with this sort of idea in principle. Lots of botting and no-life-ing do drive down the value of my activities. However, usually people prefer some sort of positive reinforcement, rather then negative. Something like a mission that resets after so many hours of account inactivity would be better in that regard. After 36, nonconsecutive, hours of inactivity you get a mission that rewards you say 50 million for 10 minutes of work.

As a semi-casual player this sort of thing would blow up my income/hr to 190+ mill or so, but only for the first 40 minutes a day, which is all I tend to play during a day. A botter would still make more isk over a 24 hour period, but at something like one three quarters to one tenth the rate.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the other poster, your definition of casual is very conservative. I work full-time and have a family. I play 1 to 4 hours at a time 4 to 6 times a week. So I could play 4 hours or 24 hours in week depending upon real life demands.
If something like this were to be implemented it would need to target the real power players not the average.
You use 10+ hours per day as your no lifer example. You would need a system that discouraged that style of play not mine.
I'm not really for this idea, but if it were done: Maybe something where if you spend more than 8 hours in a 24 hour window doing PvE activity you would get diminished returns for the next 24 hours. Biggest issue is how to measure this. I can't think of a way that would be fair and measurable.

Anonymous said...

I don't think we need an artifact like fatigue to solve the problem. We need dynamic asteroid/ice belts with rocks that move and require attentive pilots to harvest efficiently. We need intelligent "burner" style rats that can kill any ship that doesn't have a pilot at the controls. This won't eliminate multi-boxing but it will reduce the size of fleet one player can control and bots are unlikely to be effective in a dynamic, unpredictable environment.

Pheredhel said...

@Anonymous no his definition is quite good I think...

30 hours a month, you have 24 a week so something like 100 hours a month.
Now just to make the math a bit simpler, assume the "diminishing returns" are, "nothing after 50 hours"

so your output is suddenly only 1/2.
The same is true for every other "normal player", if we assume you were the average player, so your result is suddenly worth two times as much, as the supply is only 1/2. Nothing lost for you but you just gained half of your time to do different things.
However, there are the bots and "nolifers" that go for about 3-600 hours a month. Those are also downto 50 hours or 1/6th-1/12th of their output... but they only get 1/3-1/6th of what they used to make.

So, while you can't use all your time for farming anymore, your income should actually be better than it currently is.

So, while the low treshold would seem to hurt "normal players" as well, it actually benefits them! You use less time for the same/more gain.

Anonymous said...

But it makes all rich players with big bank rolls even richer without lifting a finger. Hmm I wonder where this idea originated?
This is a bad idea. We need more ISK sinks. More items purchased from Npcs and isk leaveing the universe making everyone's ISK more valuable.
I'd find any reduced benefits of my in game time a waste and less fun, this is a game. And if I stopped farming when a low ceiling kicked in to do other things it wouldn't stop the bot farmers from keeping me from pulling ahead.

Endo Saissore said...

Telling people how to play isn't a great strategy. There are some people who legitimately enjoy PvE and not much else. No need to punish them.

Also what about the incursion community? Say you will about it being an isk faucet but the relationships and communities that incursions have built is great for the game. They shouldn't be punished for enjoying PvE in groups.

I love PvP and its my favorite aspect in Eve. But Eve isn't a PvP game. Its an MMO. Bitters should be removed, but it shouldn't also remove entire communities in the process

Anonymous said...

My solution would be to buff pve complexity and difficulty. To the point where bots can't complete them, and players get physically tired of them.

This is a far better solution then
an artificial limit.

Burner missions are a good start to this.