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blankseplocked Nullsec design goals feedback: Exploration
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CCP Greyscale

Posted - 2011.08.15 10:51:00 - [1]

This set of threads exist to collect feedback for the separate parts of the devblog "Nullsec Development: Design Goals", which can be found here.

This thread is about: EXPLORATION

Please read the blog and give specific feedback on this area of the blog. The more precise, reasoned and comprehensive you can be, the better we can utilize your feedback Smile

Posted - 2011.08.15 12:31:00 - [2]

+1 for the suggestion that smaller non-combat ships can enjoy high-end exploration content.

I solo explore (real-life unpredictable play timeslot = solo), in a small cloaky ship packed with scanners, codebreakers, analyzers etc. There's not much combat capability on that hull, but I don't want to retreat 10 jumps homewards for a BC everytime I find something juicy.

I love the idea of deep space exploration being geared for people like me, and I can always call in blues if things Escalate. Or come home and sell a map etc.

Hirana Yoshida
Behavioral Affront
Posted - 2011.08.15 12:40:00 - [3]

Tough one. Make it too good and super-blocs become even more powerful .. too weak and it ends in the 'meh' bin.

Mystery: Randomized naming scheme and 'dungeon' design. It is currently possible to read up on each and every plex out there .. giving each 'size' a random number of rooms, random room content and random names solves this.

Not just Combat: With randomized content you could make each plex have at least one hack/dig room that the small and fast could go for .. add a key to a weak'ish structure/rat if need be.

Nomadic Option: Unsettled space spawns better exploration content. Once towers and/or sovereignty is present quality drops to the point where high activity station systems get "lol exploration".
Gives you the nomad option as well as settlers desire to keep some space unoccupied -> WAR!

4 and 5: See #1. Can only be done through randomization, unless you want to increase the number of plexes in database a hundred fold or more.

Posted - 2011.08.15 13:11:00 - [4]

+1 for the nomadic aspect.

It would be really good for smaller corps to be able to operate in nul with no fixed position. Maybe have a high value movable station-ship that can be unanchored and moved however, is scannable maybe with some reinforcing mechanics? corps can invest in this ship similar to outposts, but is a lot cheaper, yet provides less protection. more POS like but mobile? i dont know, and rambling...

Galactic Rangers
Posted - 2011.08.15 13:18:00 - [5]

Mystery: Cant stress enough how much ive wanted some kind of exploration based stuff that can not be just read up on some site or easily predicted or determind when ya get in. and this is what the whole point of exploration is ment to be, something new and never seen before and also unpredictable, hopefully with the possabuility of something valuble nad extreemly rare hopefully some new and incredably rare items introduced in here also to add to that very rare jackpot moment.

Rrama Ratamnim
Posted - 2011.08.15 13:44:00 - [6]

+1 for making it nomadic
+1 for making it a random chance of huge reward but often ****ty reward
+1 for non combat possibility

I like the idea suggested above of randomization of dungeon design, random number of battleship types by class of the site, random number of rooms, random name etc... that way there really is some surprise when you go in.... "Holy crap is that a sansha mothership!?!?!?!?!"

Posted - 2011.08.15 14:19:00 - [7]

+1 to Mystery
+1 to Not just combat
Some connection to industry and storyline also be great

Thomas Turnpoint
Posted - 2011.08.15 14:35:00 - [8]

+1 to the exploration ideas. The idea of smaller ships being able to take part in it all with a little more ease is great for solo/nomadic individuals. Making it profitable might be a bit harder.

Would like to see a non-combat ship, exclusively for exploration, than can re-open wormholes with the restriction that they A) can only open to the system they previously came from (forcing the pilot to keep a trail of bookmarks) and B) a reopened wormhole has a time/mass limit that allows only that one ship to go through. This would allow explorers to map out systems over long periods of time, and, if a system is devoid of any value, they can choose to go to another system, or turn back.

Janos Saal
Posted - 2011.08.15 14:56:00 - [9]

Edited by: Janos Saal on 15/08/2011 14:57:27
My big problem with exploration is that a frigate with bonuses to probing and lots of mids for codebreakers, analyzers etc... seems tailor made for the task, but can't actually fight its way through the sites to get the goodies.
There should obviously be challenges, but (as the proposal says) they should challenge you to think, not press F1-F8 and wait 5 minutes until the red boxes disappear.
I'm imagining archaeology as some kind of detective mission, where you visit various sites, gathering clues from each which lead you to the final location, where you may be tested on your knowledge gained throughout the adventure. Maybe you have to placate some guardian of the ruins by demonstrating your knowledge of his cultre's history (which you learned from tablet fragments gathered elsewhere), or maybe you have to piece together a map which shows the only safe route through some ancient defensive system that leads to the treasure vault.
In these scenarios the ship you fly should be less important 9although having higher grade scanners and analyzers should make things easier). The limiting factor should come from having to learn and remember bits of ever lore. Some people won't be interested in that, but then they can run missions.

Daedalus II
Helios Research
Posted - 2011.08.15 15:36:00 - [10]

If we're talking about nomadic lifestyle, perhaps we could take a look at this old thread of mine that amazingly still haven't timed out Wink

Hive Ships

Posted - 2011.08.15 16:14:00 - [11]

Edited by: MeBiatch on 15/08/2011 16:15:55
for me the idea of a dedicated exploration vessel (larger then a frig) would be awesome...

could be a science vessle the size of bc or bs...

basically give it bonus for probes and hacking mods plus enough tank and some drones to defend its self...

IMO the ship should be made by sister of EVE... and should be the size of a bc...

Originally by: Daedalus II
If we're talking about nomadic lifestyle, perhaps we could take a look at this old thread of mine that amazingly still haven't timed out Wink

Hive Ships


Posted - 2011.08.15 16:45:00 - [12]

Dinta Zembo
Posted - 2011.08.15 16:46:00 - [13]

Originally by: Daedalus II
If we're talking about nomadic lifestyle, perhaps we could take a look at this old thread of mine that amazingly still haven't timed out Wink

Hive Ships


Posted - 2011.08.15 16:52:00 - [14]

What about a "plex content randomizer". Currently, you have x amount of plexes, and each plex of a certain name is exactly the same as another plex of the same name. What if you take the plexes, still give them names, but randomize the layout, and to a lesser degree the contents, of these plexes? I realize that plexes are built very specifically to give certain challenges, so this randomizer wouldn't be able to randomize everything about the plex, and would have to have certain constraints to prevent it from being rediculous. For instance, if a plex now has 5 rooms, each are set up the same way with same enemies, and an end room with a station to kill, the randomizer could knock it down to 4 rooms or boost it up to 6, while randomizing the content of each of the rooms (while still maintaining, more or less, the difficulty).
I liken the effects of the randomizer to be like shooting an arrow at a bullseye. As it currently stands with plexes, the arrow is always hitting the bullseye dead center, creating the exact same content from one to another (assuming the name of the plex stays the same). The randomizer would take that arrow, and instead of it hitting the bullseye every time, it would spread it around some, within acceptable limits.

It'd be a lot of work, but it'd make it so people would have some variation in the plexes to make them interesting and different while maintaining the ability of the players to know, more or less, what to expect.

Freeport Exploration
Posted - 2011.08.15 18:08:00 - [15]

Edited by: Gogela on 15/08/2011 19:18:06

  • Going through a wormhole is not fun (exciting like starting an adventure, scary because of the unknown, greed-excitement for anticipated riches treasures, etc...) because it's really easy to get out. You don't feel like you are committing to anything going into one. Once you get into a wormhole, it should take a long time to find your way back. In essence, Wormhole space needs to be "deeper"... it needs to be more remote. If there's no commitment people's give-a-shi77er will break.

  • There ought to be things nobody can explain or do anything about. How about bringing in another ancient race... except this time they are impervious to our weapons. Say you are in a wormhole sitting on a planet and a huge fleet of 1-200 huge, invincible ships drops by. They don't see you and just take off... pretty neat experience! ...or you are doing a sleeper site and the same fleet drops by, destroying the sleepers, the facility, and you and your gang. Part of the mystery of space is that it is big. It can kill you. There are things so many magnitudes of 'powerful' over what we can even dream that it's kind of scary (Black Holes, Magnatars, White Dwarfs, etc). Having a ship that can "take anything"... hell even knowing about a player who has a ship that can "take anything"... breaks that immersion. CCP REALLY needs to show the players how big space is... and how small we are.

  • Hay devs... I know you like games. Go check out Freelancer from Microsoft. Play it through. They did isolation and player environments really well. You could really take something from that... from the dust fields by Freeport 6 to the mined (exploding kind) asteroid fields to the radiation belts and odd spacial anomalies... they did it right. There were random wrecks in space... sometimes you couldn't see them until you were right on top of them. Sometimes you would be looking for one thing (a wreck) and completely by accedent stumble on a wormhole (yah they had them first) or a dockable pirate station or something... when is the last time anyone found something in EvE they weren't looking for? (that wasn't a nub...)

  • Read about Nomadic Hive Ships here (forum link) (Daedalus II ftw!)

  • Add odd ancient race gates requiring hacking AND archeology to activate that take you somewhere really weird and scary!

I may follow up w/ more later.

Just some initial thoughts... am interested...

Mimidae Risk Solutions
Posted - 2011.08.15 19:03:00 - [16]

I think one of the biggest challenges faced is making all that empty space functional.

One of my friends who recently stopped playing EVE online (not necessarily for game displeasure), said something to me...

"I just wish CCP would not make all the zones look exactly the same."

To him, the zones meant the solar systems. To me, the "EVE zone" represents multiple systems and multiple locations that are the landscape of moving around. But there is validity to the concept in that why does to many people a single solar system feel so "empty" or so "simple".

How can you make each system feel more expansive, than simple 1 star, 8 planets, 23 moons, 3 stargates, and 1 station?

I know it's space, I know it's mostly empty, and exploration helps resolve that... but there must be a way to make each solar system feel like it can hold more players (especially for null sec).

One of my ideas i put in the "Home" topic was to let players create their own DED spots for themselves. With the right balance, I think you can have players fill up that environment for you in the exact way a Sandbox is designed to do.


I like the idea of differentiating between "inner" sites and "deep space" sites.

I think that's a strong step in the right direction.

Also, the content for multiple ship types is also great way to move forward.

I think the escalation system should also be reviewed. At the end of a site, ONE person gets the site escalation to the next location, why not make it the whole group if it comes? it seems random as to who gets it with every escalation.

Inherently providing content for 2 people provides double the content than was previously available in a single location. By increasing content to require 4, 8, 16 people, you've increased the amount of players that can live in a single system.

Helena Khan
Posted - 2011.08.15 19:04:00 - [17]

Firstly +1. Outstanding.

For me the issue is not just content, but that warp to zero has removed any sense of distance or any real effort to get somewhere. Once you've scanned something down, it's a simple click and 30 seconds later you're there.

There are no places on the map that say "here be dragons". There is no great unknown, and by consequence no sense of achievement of either finding something no one else has or by going somewhere no one else has.

The beyond 10 AU idea is awesome. Needs a travel component though otherwise it will fall into the too easy basket. Perhaps disable warp to at the boundary and have another prop mod for "interstellar" travel, and maybe balance the difficulty of getting there with a greater variance in the chance based income.

Just my 2 cents :)

Nikita Alterana
Kumiho's Smile
Posted - 2011.08.15 19:25:00 - [18]

+1, it seems pretty damn awesome as ideas go.

I'm going to link this its an old topic on exploration I started a while back, its a lot of big, huge, probably unworkable concepts, but I think there are quite a few gems in there, and a lot of it could be used in differing ways.

Freeport Exploration
Posted - 2011.08.15 19:36:00 - [19]

Edited by: Gogela on 15/08/2011 19:51:17
Originally by: Nikita Alterana
+1, it seems pretty damn awesome as ideas go.

I'm going to link this its an old topic on exploration I started a while back, its a lot of big, huge, probably unworkable concepts, but I think there are quite a few gems in there, and a lot of it could be used in differing ways.

Understated. I thought the thread linked here was a good read, and there's a lot of good ideas... nice thread. I really like the idea of the Pathfinder class ship. The Deep Space Mobile Operations Base was better realized in the Hive Ship concept though, imho.... my fav part of your thread though was this (I'm going to put it in this thread because I want to see these too):
Originally by: Nikita Alterana
Deep Space Objects
So why go to Deep Space? lets look at some of the risks and rewards able to be found in deep space.

Of course there are rats. The rats in deep space are very numerous, this is their home turf after all. The number and difficulty of the rats is determined by the following:
Sec status of closest system
Distance from closest system
Distance from rat outposts
So you can find places with no rats at all, or you can find a place where hundreds come running if you so much as sneeze.

Superrats are the gods of the rat world, these guys make the officers look like childs play, able to one shot a lot of improperly tanked battleships, these things WILL destroy you with ease if you are caught with your pants down. Of course if you can kill

Pirate Stargates
Pirate run gates connecting systems that might be far off.

Pirate Outposts
pirate run outposts that you can dock at, provided you have decent standing with the pirates in question.

Dark Nebula
dark cold nebula that dampens your sensors and can leave you wandering around for hours looking for a way out, these nebulas might also hold untold riches, or terrible secrets.

Moon Mineral Asteroids
Thats right, asteroids with moon minerals, just the idea of dysporium Asteroids would be enough to send hundreds of players rushing to train for exploration ships.

Hidden Systems
Entire star systems, cut off from the gate network, run by pirate organizations. These systems would not be like normal 0.0 systems, you couldn't claim sovereignty and the longer you stay, the more rats you might attract, of course if you think you can handle them...

Old Wrecks
smashed hulls and the ruins of ships left from a forgotten era, possibly holding the key to some great secret, or maybe just a tomb best left undisturbed.

Black Holes
A system with a hole instead of a star, the intense gravity can cause rare and valuable minerals to condense in large volumes, as long as you don't get too close to the edge.

Interstellar Nebulas
This is one of those things I'm surprised isn't in yet. systems, entire areas, filled with dust and gas, with the amount of color the backgrounds have, there must be a bunch of nebulas somewhere. Valuable pockets are scattered throughout, but in the murk, other things might lurk, things best left alone.

Anomalous Gravity Wells
A point in space your sensors say hold an object, but when you arrive, there is nothing there...or is there?

A hot soupy mixture of gas and dust, collapsing into a star, in billions of years, people might walk on planets orbiting it, but for now its just you and the minerals forced to the surface by the heat, provided that heat doesn't melt your ship along with the asteroids.

Nemesis Factor
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Posted - 2011.08.15 19:51:00 - [20]

Thought the idea I posted a couple days ago went pretty well with some of your points.

Nomadic Exploration

Actually, I just saw 'deep space?' and thought I was a genius and wanted everyone to know it.

Dinta Zembo
Posted - 2011.08.15 20:53:00 - [21]

Originally by: Nikita Alterana
+1, it seems pretty damn awesome as ideas go.

I'm going to link this its an old topic on exploration I started a while back, its a lot of big, huge, probably unworkable concepts, but I think there are quite a few gems in there, and a lot of it could be used in differing ways.

I just read all that and it sounds just like my dream EVE Very Happy

Ghost Festival
Posted - 2011.08.15 21:10:00 - [22]

+1 for mystery, definitely. Exploration needs more of this, especially if it will contain tiny pieces relevant to significant EVE lore.

+1 Not just combat -- BUT when things go wrong (like you terribly fail at hacking a mainframe), there should still be some sort of consequence for getting caught in the act.

+1 Nomadic option - Thukker style, for sure. That's the life of an explorer, after all. More escalations (even on radar/magnetometric sites) would be nice - see below.

+1 Chance-based income, but with more escalations; i.e., you hack/analyze a site and there's no direct income, but it gives you clues to find another site where you might find something valuable (or not).

+1 Dynamic and challenging, of course. What explorer wants routine? Perhaps having to figure out a site instead of just getting close and activating a module would go a long way. Or if the codebreaker/analyzer gave the user additional options/choices to make upon successful attempts so that these choices can also affect the end result.

Stranger Danger Jr
Posted - 2011.08.15 22:05:00 - [23]

I can actually give you a few simple fixs for exploration.

1. All exploration should be done in low or null sec. Nothing like not know what lies in the system ahead of you. High sec exploration is to safe and lets face it your exploring not just going to system A to run a site. In my eyes the whole Idea of risk vs reward cant be pulled off if your in high sec unless you make all sites in high sec null sec rated . Meaning you can be attacked by anyone at anytime within the site.

2. All exploration should escalate to another site within 2 regions of the current site and might escalate into a mag site , unknown, radar or even grav site. This will give you you nomatic people that travel from site to site. I would also suggest that the timer be changed to 72 hours instead of 24.

I have run alot of sites in my time playing eve. One thing i would also suggest is take the site classes out. While probing as soon as i see the type of site that pops up I stop probing if its not a mag or combat site.

Geormike Deninard
Posted - 2011.08.15 22:23:00 - [24]

Edited by: Geormike Deninard on 15/08/2011 22:39:13
Yes, exploration needs a revamp, more mysteries anyone?

Guy De'Station
Posted - 2011.08.16 00:21:00 - [25]

How about some deep exploration sites in high sec that have a aspect about them that prevents gcc? Put ice, and higher isk rewards in them.

Helena Khan
Posted - 2011.08.16 01:11:00 - [26]

Actually, this is more of a question, what do people think of a delayed/no local... i.e the further you are out, the slower the comms, up to the point where it drops out completely...?

Rees Noturana
Red Rock Mining Company
Posted - 2011.08.16 02:15:00 - [27]

Originally by: Helena Khan
Actually, this is more of a question, what do people think of a delayed/no local... i.e the further you are out, the slower the comms, up to the point where it drops out completely...?

The delayed local conversation is going on in the intel feedback section.

The answer is that we've been asking for it since at least Apocrypha if not before.

SFM Hobb3s
Vanguard Frontiers
Intrepid Crossing
Posted - 2011.08.16 02:32:00 - [28]

Well, it would be nice if we had some use for all those pith spa-cards and tags and whatnot.

Mistah Ewedynao
Posted - 2011.08.16 06:26:00 - [29]

Originally by: Guy De'Station
How about some deep exploration sites in high sec that have a aspect about them that prevents gcc? Put ice, and higher isk rewards in them.

Another Goon troll alt.....heck put pictures of Mittanus's nads in a can. You guy's would pay top dollar for them with yout Jita bots.

J Kunjeh
Posted - 2011.08.16 10:23:00 - [30]

This was one of the best sections of the blog. Some very exciting sounding ideas here.

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