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Daedalus II
Helios Research
Posted - 2010.11.18 16:47:00 - [1]
 

Edited by: Daedalus II on 18/11/2010 18:24:12
I don't know if people would accept this, but I think it would make things easier, both for players and the server, while possibly looking better at the same time.

Imagine that instead of controlling drones one and one, we had a "drone swarm". There would be three different drone swarms:
* Light drone swarm
* Medium drone swarm
* Heavy drone swarm

These encompass the different drone types:
* Combat drones (light, medium, heavy)
* Sentry (heavy)
* Mining (light)
* Other types like EWAR, repair and so on (mostly light and medium)

In a swarm each "drone" entity eats bandwidth just like today. The number of drones in the swarm increases or decreases depending on the available bandwidth from the ship controlling it (but can at most contain 5 drones). For each drone added the swarm does more damage and can take more damage, like it would with separate drones.

As a drone user you would buy 1 swarm of light drones instead of 5 light drones. When you launch drones you launch a single drone swarm instead of 5 separate drones.

If you attack drones you attack a whole swarm instead of separate drones. And drone swarms lose power as you attack them, just like a clustered missile would lose power when hit by defenders. When they reach 0 the swarm is dead.

Each drone swarm has a specific size (in drone holds and when hauling):
* Light - 25 m3
* Medium - 50 m3
* Heavy - 125 m3

All ships keep their current drone bay size (except some smaller ships that will have to have their drone bay increased to 25 m3). Ships that can field more than 5 drones at a time, like carriers, have to field more than one swarm. Fighters work as they do today as separate entities.

Each swarm also has the option to keep a number of drones in bay when launched. This allows those who want to have mixed setups to field many different swarms where each swarm isn't full (given that the ship has a drone bay large enough to keep many swarms).

Positives:
* Much easier to manage, both when buying, hauling and using.
* Much easier on the server, roughly reducing the number of drones on the field to 20% of what it is today.
* Much easier on clients in large engagements.
* Each swarm is animated on the client side and cool stuff can be added to make drones appear more active and fighterlike than today.

Negatives:
* Ships that can only field less than an entire drone swarm still has to pay for the entire swarm.
* Ships that should only be able to carry one light drone will and must be able to carry a whole swarm instead.
* Some ships that today can mix drones can't any more, as their drone bays will be too small to contain all the swarms needed (a whole swarm must be stored even if only one drone from it is used). Maybe possible to increase the drone bays in these ships?

Infinion
Caldari
Awesome Corp
Posted - 2010.11.18 17:31:00 - [2]
 

This is a rock solid idea that I can agree would ease the footprint on server lag. I was wondering if you could clear up and discuss the following for me:


Originally by: Daedalus II


1* Carrier pilots get a lot of drones "for free".

2* Not possible to mix different drone sizes to get the maximum damage output, essentially limiting most ships to less than or equal to 25, exactly 50 or exactly 125 in bandwidth. Any other values can't be used anyway.



1. I'm not completely sure what you mean by carriers getting drones for free, are you implying that the change would give carriers 15 base drones? What about the carrier skill that provides 1 extra drone per level and the Drone Control Unit? Would they be removed?

2. I can see this being the biggest issue in grouping drones to be a swarm. Some configurations serve to use variations of a certain size of drone, like hammerheads and infiltrators for example. Other variations include mixing drones of different sizes together. The idea would definitely fix lag in large fleet fights, but it would take away some of the small-scale warfare tactics players use drones for.


An example of some small-scale tactics using drones is the EWAR and combat utility drones. Some EWAR drones, like sensor dampening, webbing, target painting, and tracking disrupting drones would be rendered completely useless given that they could only be used in a swarm since not only is their effectiveness laughable now, but overly penalized from stacking penalties(not to mention players have to dedicate their entire bandwidth to field a swarm of target painting drones)

To make this change acceptable for players and optimal for the eve servers at the same time, I strongly argue that drone groups of different sizes and types should be allowed in the same swarm.

Deviana Sevidon
Gallente
Panta-Rhei
Butterfly Effect Alliance
Posted - 2010.11.18 17:42:00 - [3]
 

Edited by: Deviana Sevidon on 18/11/2010 17:43:05
I think something has to be done about drones. Five years ago their AI was just brain-dead stupid. CCP fixed it, but with each fix the old bugs seem to have remained in the code, so right now they are not simply stupid but also very erratic in their behavior. Examples are Drones that ignore orders of focus fire and so on.

By now the developers of the original code probably moved their permanent residence into a madhouse and the other Devs will not touch the drones AI code with a 3m pole.


De'Veldrin
Minmatar
Norse'Storm Battle Group
Intrepid Crossing
Posted - 2010.11.18 17:52:00 - [4]
 

Originally by: Infinion


To make this change acceptable for players and optimal for the eve servers at the same time, I strongly argue that drone groups of different sizes and types should be allowed in the same swarm.


I'm not even sure they're buy this. Sometimes I want to change how my drones are mixed when I launch them, based on what I am fighting. If I can't do that from my ship, while in combat, it's a significant nerf to drone boats like the Domi, never mind what it would do to carriers. And if I still can do it in combat, then you're still having to treat drones as individuals at some level, which defeats the purpose, imo.

Daedalus II
Helios Research
Posted - 2010.11.18 18:07:00 - [5]
 

Edited by: Daedalus II on 18/11/2010 18:25:12
Originally by: Infinion

1. I'm not completely sure what you mean by carriers getting drones for free, are you implying that the change would give carriers 15 base drones? What about the carrier skill that provides 1 extra drone per level and the Drone Control Unit? Would they be removed?


What I meant with this was:
A swarm of light T2 drones would cost about as much as 5 light T2 drones do today as most ships would get only 5 drones out of it. However a carrier can with max skills field 15 drones at once. This means that they get 15 small drones for the price of 5 as the swarm internal number increase to comply with the huge number of drones that are allowed by the carrier.

Originally by: Infinion

To make this change acceptable for players and optimal for the eve servers at the same time, I strongly argue that drone groups of different sizes and types should be allowed in the same swarm.

I agree this is quite a problem. I do think most people use only a single drone type at once, but most people isn't all people.
I also thought of a way to group drones into swarms allowing different drone types in a swarm. But this opens up a whole new can of worms:
* You won't be able to sell drone swarms on the market.
* The server still has to calculate the damage/effect from each drone separately.
* They don't have the same hp so it's hard to say which drone gets what damage.
* They don't have the same speed so the faster drones are slowed down by the slower ones.

One way to solve it might be to be able to setup the drone swarm so you can keep any number of drones between 1-5 in the drone bay (like an option on each swarm). If you have bandwidth left after a swarm is fielded you can field a second swarm and even a third one. This unfortunately creates more entities, but typically most people would only use a single swarm anyway.

Edit: come to think of it, this is a pretty neat way to handle it.
One could even limit the amount of drones in a single swarm to max 5 even if the swarm is in a carrier. If the carrier wants to field more than 5 drones it has to field a second swarm, more than 10 it has to field a third swarm. Any excess drones will just stay in the bay.

Edit 2: I actually modified the first post to work more like this. It removes some of the negatives but not all.

Culmen
Caldari
Culmenation
Posted - 2010.11.18 21:10:00 - [6]
 

Edited by: Culmen on 18/11/2010 21:10:19
One issue is that this would punish people who like to micro manage their drones.

For example if one drone starts taking fire, many drone users would pull that particular drone off (rather then all 5), and launch a replacement if they had spares.

Other then that, I still like this idea in principle.

Perhaps a more refined approach would be to group drones together like you would currently group guns or missiles.
So launching a group of drones would be tracked as a single drone by the server.

This would also resolve the issues with ships with sub 25m3 drone bays, but would sadly leave your logistics problem unresolved.

Another thing is determining how this drone swarm would react to fire.
Obviously a swarm should not have the HP of a single drone, that would make shooting drones overpowered.
On the other hand giving the entire swarm the total HP would make shooting drones too difficult, as you would not see a drop in damage out put you would get by shooting a single drone.

Perhaps a solution is that drone DPS starts to drop as damage is inflicted(sort of like grouped missiles and defenders).
But I'm not sure there are server side tools inbuilt to handle this.

Arklan1
Dunedain Rangers
Posted - 2010.11.18 22:42:00 - [7]
 

i like the general concept of this. supported and whatnot.

Kabaal S'sylistha
Caldari
Caldari Provisions
Posted - 2010.11.18 23:38:00 - [8]
 

Easier to control, could be cool graphically, can disable graphics for fleets, less server load.

I could almost completely ignore the lack of being able to mix types, and even that isn't completely impossible to fix.

+1


Daedalus II
Helios Research
Posted - 2010.11.30 12:55:00 - [9]
 

Bump.

LiBressa
Posted - 2010.11.30 13:26:00 - [10]
 

The main advantage I see from this is the reduction of server load caused by multiple drones.
Server load caused by drones could be reduced by a factor of 5 (max).

However... once apon a time you could field 10 drones... they effectively did what your suggesting by merging 2 drones into 1. Doubling their hp and damage (Reducing load by a factor of 2).

There was uproar then... but they still did it.
Why not take it further.

Narisa Bithon
Caldari
The Motley Crew Reborn
Posted - 2010.11.30 13:51:00 - [11]
 

drone swarms would add moar lag...... so noooooooooo to this

Proteus Maximus
Caldari
New Eden Outcasts
Malicious Intent Gentleman's Club
Posted - 2010.11.30 14:00:00 - [12]
 

I support & agree with this approach.
In an attempt to address mixed drone flights. The ability to configure the swarm in a station interface. Maybe even in the fitting window. I am thinking drone slot layout replacing a bay. The only other alternative to losing varied damage types IMO would be to have all damage inflicted by the swarm to hit for the same amount of raw HP across all damage types. Not to sure what type of anarchy would in-sue from that lol.

Mikael Izra'il
Posted - 2010.11.30 14:04:00 - [13]
 

Originally by: Narisa Bithon
drone swarms would add moar lag...... so noooooooooo to this


What? Did you even READ the OP?


@OP: Supported.

De'Veldrin
Minmatar
Norse'Storm Battle Group
Intrepid Crossing
Posted - 2010.11.30 14:04:00 - [14]
 

Originally by: Proteus Maximus
I support & agree with this approach.
In an attempt to address mixed drone flights. The ability to configure the swarm in a station interface. Maybe even in the fitting window. I am thinking drone slot layout replacing a bay. The only other alternative to losing varied damage types IMO would be to have all damage inflicted by the swarm to hit for the same amount of raw HP across all damage types. Not to sure what type of anarchy would in-sue from that lol.


Well it would make amarrian drones less terribad - or it would make all drones equally terribad.

Gemberslaafje
Vivicide
Posted - 2010.11.30 14:23:00 - [15]
 

Originally by: Narisa Bithon
drone swarms would add moar lag...... so noooooooooo to this


No, it would, in fact, create less lag, as you'll have 1 object being handled by the physics system, and 1 object being loaded when you enter grid.

However, I'd personally say make it optional, like Gun Grouping, but then Drone Grouping. That way, people can either have their optimal drone layout with 2 ECM, 1 webber and 2 heavy damage drones or whatnot, or they can have their optimized single drone fleet which does 1 damage value (avg of drone randomized x5 like weapon groups do now)

Gray Phantom
Posted - 2010.11.30 14:23:00 - [16]
 

Quote:
If you attack drones you attack a whole swarm instead of separate drones. And drone swarms lose power as you attack them, just like a clustered missile would lose power when hit by defenders. When they reach 0 the swarm is dead.


my only issue would be that an enimy would only have to target one swarm instead of targeting all 5 of your drones.

Gelvina
Posted - 2010.12.01 06:22:00 - [17]
 

the main problem with drones is the lag they bring to fleet fights.
So if controlling them in "swarms" wil reduce lag that sounds like a good idea.
But otherwise changing the drone system... don't think thats priority accept for fixing the bugs with their behaviour

GizzyBoy
Posted - 2010.12.01 06:46:00 - [18]
 

How about you can group drones like guns into flights if you want, and they work as op suggested,

Or you can run them individually with the current code.

I think part of the problem is there behavior is server controlled, and its not your client semi working out what they ought to be doing. And attacking clients in the right order

Matrix Massim
Posted - 2010.12.01 09:29:00 - [19]
 

Edited by: Matrix Massim on 01/12/2010 09:32:15
Read OP, not replies

I do Not support this idea.
being forces to have my 25 or 50 mbits bandwith only have 1 type of drone
is lame. what about the ships with 75. or people who want 2 heavy 2 medium 1 light
this would gimp those set ups.

or what about the (silly) people who want to put 2 of one type and 1 of each of the
others (damage wise) granted this idea is iffy. but its their Choice. and thats
what eve boils down to, Choice. dumbing down drones to this would decrease choice
limit tactics and creative thinking.

Drones are a major damage giver to alot of ships the same way guns are. if you are going to do that, you might as well sell "Full rack of weapons (X)" cause obviously everyone uses all their weapon slots for guns right?

As stupid of ineffective doing anything other than what was recommended might be. it is still the users choice to make, and should remain that way.
if you want to and simplicity, add it to things that either dont have choices already
or make the choices equal to what they are now (mainly not changing anything at all)

Edit: 430 am hour 11 of 12 of this work shift. i no spelling errors abound. im not fixing
/lazy

Glyken Touchon
Gallente
Independent Alchemists
Posted - 2010.12.01 10:55:00 - [20]
 

You do realise that this would require a complete rebalancing of every ship with:
  • <25m3 dronebay/bandwidth (eg sacrilege)

  • 75m3 bandwidth

  • 100m3 bandwidth

  • ships with 40m3 dronebay



That's a lot of ships to re-work

Enilonee
Posted - 2010.12.01 12:00:00 - [21]
 

Edited by: Enilonee on 01/12/2010 12:04:28
Edited by: Enilonee on 01/12/2010 12:03:43
Edited by: Enilonee on 01/12/2010 12:02:39
Most of the disadvantages can be avoided, if a swarm would be just like a container.
You buy drones as usual.
You put 'em in your bay as usual.
You mark several and launch them as a swarm. That's it.
The server just needs to calculate the attributes of the swarm on launch and from then on a swarm is a entity with unique attributes.

There are cons however, that cannot be righted with this approch:
Drones will become impossible to snipe, you need to take out all of them (except when damage is being calculated individually within a swarm; but still no sniping - and a little less performance)
All drones will be crammed in one place. No mixing in some sentry drones...

Having multiple swarms on the other hand just ends us up where we began - performance issues.

-1 to this proposal.


If it were possible to employ multiple swarms (as i briefly described them) and with this *increase* the number of single drones without creating any performance impact (5 swarms or 5 drones - it shouldn't right?; It could even be just 3 swarms) i'd be in favor of it.

Edit: I know that this would require rebalancing the whole drone system. But still - i think 5 drones on a designated drone carrier like the dominix is ridiculous. On capitals even more. MOOOARR drones (with less lag!) ;)


 

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