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blankseplocked -Proposal- New Populus (crew) Release (Gallenteans rejoice?)
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Kaelie Onren
Posted - 2011.07.28 07:30:00 - [1]

Edited by: Kaelie Onren on 29/07/2011 03:20:21
Edited by: Kaelie Onren on 28/07/2011 07:46:27
Okay, so this isn't a new idea, but a summary of my thoughts on it's potential implementation and how it can both add new depth to the game, while at the same time allowing for some rebalancing issues that gallente players have been whining about for a while.


Yes it's not my idea. It has been around for a bit. I'm not going to go into the details of the proposals already out there on the topic, as the credit for them belong to others. The most popular to date wasthe one by Greg Vaganza which made crew gives bonuses to mods

My proposal is aligned to the one where crew affect the performance of your modules on your ship. Each ship needs a complement of crew, which you can buy on the market. Price should differ depending on region as npc corps will sell crew just like skillbooks.

Now here is the other point. Crew will not Boost any existing performance of a module, it will instead become a requirement for modules to function at 100% spec. Lose crew and your modules start underperforming. Game terms this will be penalties applied to mods due to losing crew. But Kael, you ask, this will gimp people as is and add a 'fuel' to the use of modules, in a manner of speaking. Well, yes, it does in a way, but the alternative is more dangerous. Having crew add bonuses to existing modules may break existing game balances of module performances. Okay it's a risk either way, but I'm leaning on the making crew necessary as opposed to a optional bonus. The reasons for this hopefully will be obvious later on in the post.

When your ship gets structure damage you will start losing crew lives. Hardy crew may be able to withstand more damage before dying where weaker breeds of crew will dies quickly. Perhaps base this on crew experience which cab be earned. ( making players attached to their veteran crew) perhaps veteran crew can even give bonuses to select modules or overheating mechanics.)

The gallente problem.

Gallente pilots complain all the time about their ships being 'generally' unfavorable when compared against their racial equivalents. These arguements while flawed because they always come from people speaking purely from a pvp and fleet battle perspective, still have a bit of merit after the web nerf.
The common response is to buff hybrids. But this is a messy solution as it will also affect caldari causing a potential buffnerf tailspin to infinity.
Why not instead give gallente ships a very small crew complement requirement? They are the lords of drones and automation afterall. Minmatar should require the most crew or have system failure penalties higher than other ships, they are made quite flimsy afterall.

But Kaelie what about wormholers? Yes they will have to now carry some extra crew with them into wormholes. It's a but of a hit, and I'm hoping others may have some good ideas on how to mitigate this.

Side effects to game mechanics:

Battleships, with lots of crew can take a lot of structure damage ( and resulting crew deaths ) without much affect to their performance.
Frigates on the otherhand, will suffer the most from loss of crews as they have small composites and cannot afford to lose too many.

This potentially opens up a new type of tank, the crew tank. Ships that can suffer huge crew losses without much penalties to their performance.

Other Possibilities:

Weapons that attack and kill crew. Essentially inflicting damage on the enemy ships performance while leaving the ship itself undamaged.

Minmatar crew can be used in place of amarrian crew for amarrian ships.

Emp damage to stucture does not harm crew.

This is just a rough idea thread, and stands on the shoulders of many older crew proposals.
But I felt the need to put my thoughts on this with the angle of using it to 'bring balance to Gallente' without changing any other game balance, using this tunable mechanic which adds depth to the game, involves the market as a commodity, and fits within the gallente story somewhat.

Kaelie Onren
Posted - 2011.07.28 07:54:00 - [2]

Edited by: Kaelie Onren on 28/07/2011 10:21:07
Also to the hybrid lobbyists out there, the fact that hybrids cannot use onboard guidance systems most often quoted as a gripe about hybrids vs projectiles, actually becomes a boon with crew dynamics. Not using inboard tracking means losing crew doesn't affect hybrid tracking!
While on the other hand, kill off enough of a Matari crew and the projectile tracking speeds get a serious penalty. As do lasers, and missile rate of fires etc.

I'm thinking along the lines of each module having a crew requirement, and unless your ships has the excess crew available to man the module, you won't be able to online the mod, something like CPU or grid requirements. As you lose crew in mods or structure damage you can refill the mods with crew if you have excess in the ship, or live with reduced mod performance.

The inspiration for this idea came from Starcontrol. For those of you too young to remember, google it. Starcon ships hitpoints were it's crew complement :) the crew served no other purpose other than as a tactical target for your enemies to exploit, thus you need to protect them if you want your ship to continue functioning. Currently eve has no damage mechanics. ( damage does not affect your ability to fight, besides thermo damage which is binary ).

Crew gives the possibility of this new dynamic and tactics that will come from it.

Flynn Fetladral
Royal Order of Security Specialists
Posted - 2011.07.28 08:34:00 - [3]

I like some of the ideas and general direction, adding a lot of depth to ships. For the most part crew on ships are their to maintain and repair systems, they are not manually reloading missiles as such all of this is being done by automation and controlled by computer systems on your ship. So crew dying only is really going to effect the ability to maintain and repair systems. All of the core functions of the ship are controlled by the capsuleer.

With this in mind you could have it so modules take damage like when you overload them. The damage they take is dependent on the incoming damage to your ship. The more crew you have a live and or the better trained the crew the longer they can repair module damage and keep them from burning out. So what happens when you actually want to overload? You do away with thermodynamics and heat system, replacing it with ship crew. When you overload, your push your systems beyond 100% they will burn out and fail after a certain amount of time like they do now, however the quality of your crew allows you to run them for longer before a burn out, replacing the 25% heat damage from thermodynamics. The other nice thing would be crew repair modules over time like nanite paste. So crew has a peak performance to repair modules, better trained crews have higher peak performance allowing you to take more module damage or overload for longer before the crew is overcome and unable to keep the module working and it burns out.

Then ad a new aspect to the game and treat crew a little like BPO's where you can research them and improve their production quality. You can buy cheap crew hands at any station but they wont be highly trained, a rag tag crew of misfits. However, you might invest training your crew. It would allow you to train and sell crew on the market, better longer trained crews selling for more money obviously. Other rare or not so rare items might be combined with the training to specialise them making faction navy crews or whatever and these crews might sell for a lot more isk but be way better training or even specialise in certain areas where you might get a bonus to heat and or operation of the modules.

Kaelie Onren
Posted - 2011.07.28 08:45:00 - [4]

I like your crew training idea.

Though I'm not convinced on the getting rid of thermodynamics mechanic completely. I wanted to keep the proposal as minimally disruptive to existing play balance as possible, which means not uprooting any existing system which may upset balance. But I'm willing to bow to the popular opinion on this. It is a valid variant to the idea.

I don't think its necessary have the crew only just to repair things. The capsuleer may control everything, but the performance of the mods can very easily depend on crew. For instance, you have a turret with 0.4 rad/s tracking. You have always taken for granted that it works at 0.4. BUT the unsaid fact is that it works as designed when sufficiently crewed. If you lose sufficient crew for the turret, then it starts to under perform. The only diff between a capsuleer ship with this turret and an NPC ship with the same turret is that the NPC boat will need much more crew for the turret to work @ spec. (basing from some of the arguments put forth in the latest EON article on crew).

Darth Helmat
Posted - 2011.07.28 11:16:00 - [5]

Originally by: Kaelie Onren

Crew will not Boost any existing performance of a module, it will instead become a requirement for modules to function at 100% spec.


Why not instead give gallente ships a very small crew complement requirement?

So that doesn't help Gallente at all, it just makes them cheaper?

Laechyd Eldgorn
Posted - 2011.07.28 13:40:00 - [6]


Kaelie Onren
Posted - 2011.07.29 02:23:00 - [7]

Originally by: Darth Helmat
Originally by: Kaelie Onren

Crew will not Boost any existing performance of a module, it will instead become a requirement for modules to function at 100% spec.


Why not instead give gallente ships a very small crew complement requirement?

So that doesn't help Gallente at all, it just makes them cheaper?

No, nothing to do with price at all. It makes them more resilient to penalties to mods due to damage (crew loss).


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