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blankseplocked Factional Warfare: An End To Fleet Camps?
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Posted - 2008.07.25 08:49:00 - [1]

I have had an idea, and I want to throw it into the public arena to see what people make of it.

One of the problems I have found with fleet warfare is the fact that two fleets detect each other on opposing sides of a gate, and a standoff begins, which only ends when one fleet jumps in on the other. To me, this standoff exists mainly because the scouts that check out the enemy can discern too much information on numbers, ship types and the like. What we need to introduce is an element of uncertainty. Enough so that the scout knows something, but not everything.

What I suggest is to have a dedicated ship to creating a 'fleet cloak' (bear with me on this). This ship would have no other purpose than do this, and would have no offensive of defensive capabilities, except maybe have it's own cloak. The 'fleet cloak' that it would engage would not make the whole fleet invisible to the naked eye, just make them invisible to scanners (and the local channel). I would like this ship to have a unique hull design, which would help mark it out for destruction by eagle-eyed offense, but also give it that aestehtic style of a dedicated task.

This would prevent an enemy scout from immediately knowing how many enemies are in a system, except by sight, and even then it would be difficult to be accurate with numbers. This would force the scout to check out the system more throughly, as a fleet could hide at a planet, rather than at a gate, hoping to surprise the enemy. The fact that they would still be able to 'see' the enemy would mean you wouldn't be walking blindly into a trap, but you wouldn't be sure of numbers, which would help shift the deadlock, as the 'fight or flight' response would be prompted.

To counter the 'fleet cloak', the scout could have a module fitted that could detect if one is active in the system, but not where or how many it is hiding. This would help avoid having to scour systems needlessly. The scout could warp in, activate the module and detect if there is a 'fleet warp' active. If there isn't, they will move on, and if there is, they can start investigating all the landmarks. Of course, it will be impossible for them to find a fleet at a safe spot, but the fact that they know that the fleet is there would make the scout cautious.

I feel this would help move the fleet battles away from the gates themselves, and help lessen the gate standoff situation. What do you all think? Don't flame, just give me reasoned opinions. I would hope that this is popular enough to encourage CCP to consider adding it to the game.

Astria Tiphareth
24th Imperial Crusade
Posted - 2008.07.25 11:14:00 - [2]

How does this stop entire fleets or indeed single ships hiding in safespots and being totally undetectable? Sure, there's cloaks already that can do it, but this way you can conceal an entire fleet from ever being engaged until they choose to.

What about probing? Are they cloaked from that as well?

Sounds thoroughly overpowered to me.

Nice effort, but it needs refinement. I don't think it moves battles away from gates, as the fleet can stay on it, and just ambush whatever comes through anyway.

The intel war is a controversial one to begin with, as local makes it incredibly hard to move in concealment (your idea doesn't cover that, so a large presence of wartargets will still be obvious, just unknown ship types; that's usually enough to either cause people to avoid the system, or large fleets to start hunting).

Posted - 2008.07.25 13:51:00 - [3]

All they need to do is add in more gates between the various FW contested systems. Some could be one way gates (that have no gate at the destination), some could be size restricted, and some could be normal. You could have worm holes that randomly drop you into system and scatter fleets.

If I had, as an example, 5 different ways of jumping into Tama from Sujarento, it makes the system pretty hard to lock down and puts the manuever back into Fleets and would prevent them from getting stalled in dual blob gate camps.

Posted - 2008.07.30 08:36:00 - [4]

With the 'fleet cloak' on, this should remove the numbers from local. However, the caveat of the 'fleet cloak' would be that it is very cap intensive, so it can only be on for a limited amount of time. Another limiting idea could be that ships have to be within the specific range to be under the influence of this cloak.

As for the scout scanning the system, I thought that making the 'fleet cloak detector' would instantly show that there was a cloaked fleet on the overview (without a range), or maybe a message box on the screen. This would alert the scout to the fact that there was one there, but they would have no idea where.

I hadn't thought about probes, but maybe we can answer that by having the fleet cloak jam all normal probes except the 'fleet cloak detector' module.

I don't think this makes the 'fleet cloak' overpowered, as a well-organised scout will detect something is going on. This may lead to a cautious fleet not jumping into a system, but they may suspect a double-bluff and that the cloaked fleet is only 5 ships (this is where the scout can scour the system to visually confirm the fleet). The safe spot issue is a good one. Maybe we can avoid that by having the 'fleet cloak' activate only near recognised landmarks (perhaps it needs recognisable landmarks in order to successfully hide such a large mass, fooling scanners into thinking that they are part of the asteroid field, or planet, or station, which couldn't work in empty space).

Like I mentioned, I think this adds the right level of uncertainty to the proceedings. Gate-camping blobs will still occur, but it should help reduce their frequency.

Any other thoughts?

The Rat Patrol
Posted - 2008.07.30 09:06:00 - [5]

A sensor suppression field is an interesting concept.

Not sure if this would be the correct implementation though.

Jaketh Ivanes
House of El
Posted - 2008.07.30 09:59:00 - [6]

I think the one counter to blobs, would be limited weapons range and friendly fire. If you have 20 ships with a weapons range of 50km, they can easily hit any target. If the range is only 5km, it would be harder to have all ships hit the same target. Especially if you could hit friends in the line of fire.

Ydyp Ieva
Amarrian Retribution
Posted - 2008.07.30 10:31:00 - [7]

Line of sight would be nice to have, blob a target with drones and you better don't shoot the target as well cause one of your friendly drones can fly through the path of the bullet or laser Rolling Eyes
I already hear the whining, but sure could be fun and puts in more tactics as positioning is even more important then just get at your optimal range. Only problem I see is the tackling profession that just got a whole lot more dangerous with the speed changes and now you also have to watch out that you don't accidentally get hit by the fire support Shocked
And even then blobbing won't be solved. Not even sure if there is a solution for it.

But then we have the scout and intel part. Now a scout is mostly someone in a fast disposable frigate. He just jumps in the system and counts the people in local, launch up directional scanner to see what shiptypes. Now this last is indeed what a scout should do. However counting the targets in local is the bigger problem. As you can hide ships from scanner by cloaking them. Also a new shiptype should be nice as suggested, but I wouldn't make it a cloak, but more like someone else said a sensor disruptor. The ship itself should always show up on the scanner. This gives away that there could be a fleet hided and the ship could be scanned out and see the fleet itself. This wouldn't be possible with the fleetcloak as you won't see cloaked ships. This at least would also make a cloak still useful.

So now the scout have to scan the system to see if there is such ship that could hide a fleet from scanner. And to be sure will have to scan it out to find if it isn't only the ship to misguide or if there is a fleet there. Making intel a bit harder to get and counters the use of an alt (newbie corp, no skill training done) in a disposable ship (shuttle).

Kiki Arnolds
Allied Caprican Heavy Industries
Posted - 2008.07.30 16:38:00 - [8]

OP - you identify a problem: standoffs on either side of a gate, and then you propose a solution that does nothing to solve it, as the ships would still be seen on grid when the scout jumps in...

Consider also the defender advantage, the defender will have ships at optimal, while the fleet jumping in will all be around the gate, toss in a bubble to stop the incoming fleet from easily repositioning and you can see why the standoff develops... regardless, a proper scout will have noticed your fleet if they are on the incoming gate...


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