Thursday, November 5, 2009

Some thoughts about clones

Vol has a discussion about PVP and suicide ganking:
"Put on the cheapest high-damage, suicide fit that you can and find your hub of choice, or your 0.5-system-with-good-traffic of choice. I hypothesize that one could nearly strike at random and at least break even. I hypothesize that if one were to sack a good sample rate of suicide ships in this manner, one would find that they aren't losing nearly as much money as one would fear, if in deed they were to lose money at all.

To me, that is what is broken. One should have to think about it. One should have to lay in wait and strike targets carefully, with some thought, and with some great risk."
You know what? Even though he's crying, I actually agree with him.

The reason why we have 'rampant ganking' going on throughout the galaxy is because of clones. There's no actual risk involved, apart from financial. Everyone updates their clones and ensures their continued lifestyle choice.

I know that clones were a game mechanic implemented by CCP to guarantee people were able to continue playing their character even after dying. However, death is non-existent, and all pod pilots are immortal. Immortality creates recklessness.

Maybe it's time to change the game mechanics.

Now, please understand I'm not discussing this to support the crying carebears. Nor am I discussing this because I've been hard-done by. Instead, I have an idea on how gameplay can be made more interesting...

If character death had stronger repercussions, entire methods of gameplay would change. There would be less suicides occurring, because the repercussions would be more severe. Combat would be more strategic and tactical, rather than 'blob combat'. Pilots would care more about survival than the financial cost of losing a ship. (Finances would still have a major influence, but survival would outweigh it.)

I know that implants go some way towards providing repercussions to losing a clone. But that is avoided by using jump clones, or just not using implants. The problem is still there.

What if we didn't have clones any more?

How do you think gameplay would change if cloning facilities were no longer able to be used, or there were some major issues with using them?

People don't want to permanently die and lose all their hard-earned skill points. I agree with that.

So I have another idea that I thought I'd present for discussion. I'll present it according to in-game reasons, but with the mechanics of how it would work being very obvious.
  • Current technology allows us to access up to 3 different people, available as clones, but we can only have one of them training at a time. New technological advances would allow all characters to train simultaneously. However, we decide which character is our main character, and skill training for this is at 100%. The clones not being consciously controlled are in 'storage' until activated, but they're still able to receive training at 25% of normal.
  • When an inactive character's skill has completed, the system advises your active character with an evemail, allowing you to change characters and set more training.
  • When you change characters to one of the 2 alts, their training speed increases to 50%, while the main drops to 50%. This encourages continued use of the main instead of the alts, which are mainly 'backup characters'.
  • When you die in any of your characters, you cannot activate another clone of that particular character for 24 hours. You have to either sit there and watch a blank screen while still having the chat windows available, or you can log out and activate a new character.
  • You can only control 1 character at a time, so you can't login with multiple clients.
  • If you have up to 3 characters and they all end up dead within the 24 hours of the first character dying, you'll have to wait until you can access a new clone of that character before you can inhabit a new clone again. During this time, however, you can look at your blank screen while still being able to access the chat windows. You can not engage in any active manipulation of the market, fittings, etc, as all your clones are still waiting to be reactivated.
  • The reason it takes so long to reactivate a new clone of a dead character is because the multiple clone training takes up system resources all across the galaxy. You can't have all clones training throughout the galaxy without some disadvantages...
How would your style of gameplay change under such conditions?

Do you think you'd love the increased options for character advancement and multiple career paths? You could have a main for combat, and an alt for trade, etc.

If you had to wait 24 hours before your character is restored, how would that change what you currently do?

Please discuss your thoughts.


  1. As a new player, it would pretty much turn me off the game completely.

    This plan would leave no ability to go out there for the first time and learn how to pvp.

    Already there is a frustratingly long time when u start playing the game before you can do anything useful, so if the first time I got to pvp I died (likely) and had to stop playing for 24hrs, I'd likely flag the game at that point.

  2. I'd rather see the problem fixed by no insurance payout when you get blown up by CONCORD. What you write here punishes the whole player base, which imo is not the correct approach.

  3. I think any harsher penalties would lead to even more blobbing in PvP. Already, Eve is a game where you do all that you can to ensure superiority before engaging. If the penalties were even higher for death, most would just ensure that a victory was guaranteed before fighting. And that means more blobs.

  4. Lets face it one major reason for jump clones is logistics. In this game logistics SUCK ASS. Without JC's things woudl indeed change I think for the worse. The 'fix' for suicide ganking is simple. Survive 15-20 seconds. Concord does the is that not a simple fix ?

    Someone tell me what is wrong with a BIG mass of ships? Why do all these people complain bitterly that a 'blob' is a bad thing? I happen to quite like them. 150 vs 180 200 is kick ass fun.


  5. I love the idea of slower training alt accounts. This would affect the market for purchasing pilots through CCP sanctioned account transfers. I think a compromise would be to make a "rush" clone much more expensive, scaled by skill points as current clones are. That way, newbies learning PVP aren't penalized much, but more developed pilots would find dieing multiple times in 24 hours very costly.

    Using a rush clone system would still allow for trading or other pursuits, while waiting for the new clone to be delivered in 24 hours if you don't want to pay for an instant clone. This also allows defending alliances a way to keep fleet numbers up, while penalizing losses in ISK.

  6. I do like the concept of split training time on your 3 character slots. It's something that did lead the the skill queue created. I would still like to see your idea become a reality as it would allow people to really get into the game with ready characters.

    I see a 24 hour lockout where you can't play a character as an issue as people will want to know why they can't play when they are paying 15 bucks a month to play.

    If and when ambulation comes out however, this may not be such a bad idea. If you think about it, many people emo-quit when they loose their pod. Having them stuck in station for 24 ours allows them/motivates them to play the ambulation side of the game. Could add to the immersion factor.

  7. As someone "newer" to the game, I would love to be able to train multiple characters without having multiple accounts. I wish I could have an industrial or exploration character without having to pay another monthly fee or having to stop training combat skills on my main. That being said, I doubt it would ever be implemented because:

    (1) It would take away from a lot of the multiple accounts money that CCP makes.

    (2) People would probably just farm characters in the background while playing their main and then sell the alts once their SP is high enough.

    As far as locking people out of their accounts, I don't really think that is the right way to get at what you're trying to accomplish. Telling people they aren't allowed to play the game that they spent money to play will never go over well. Your general idea of trying to make death have more of a penalty is definitely worth looking into, especially when it relates suicide ganking. Removing insurance payments from ships destroyed by CONCORD or NPC police would probably be a good start.

  8. I don't believe this would work as well as one would think.


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