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wizardoftrash

Require a Declaration of War to Attack a TU

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EDIT: To preface this, I'm aware that currently the plan for protecting constructs is with some kind of "bubble". For the purposes of this discussion I referred to a potential function of a TU to be protecting constructs in the space from damage. I consider these to be interchangeable, since we've got no idea what the "bubble" is or how it works, needless to say this suggestion revolves around a method to nullify those defenses that takes hours and notifies the defending player of when they will be vulnerable. The other backbone suggestion here is that both tiles become vulnerable not just the defender, but they become vulnerable only to each-other. This turns the "cyber-warfare module" into a raiding or conquest tool instead of a griefing tool.

 

It has already been hinted by NQ that in order to attack and claim a tile controlled by a TU, that the attacker might need to own an adjacent tile with a TU as well. Since this is a function meant to make taking territories more like a war and less like a raid or grieving run, lets keep that ball rolling.

 

How about also requiring a declaration of war?

 

This would serve as both a warning and a raid timer for the defending player, setting it so that a player must declare their intentions to attack the adjacent tile basically 24 hours in advance, opening a fixed window of time to actually raid and attempt to secure the adjacent tile. That the defender has time to gather a militia or hire mercenaries (since otherwise the attacker could mass a group and attack the defender while they are afk, like rust, which is not really what DU is striving to be).

 

Some factors

 

Each group of controlled adjacent territories would contribute to an overall score that would be a factor in the amount of notice and length of window permitted to attack. If the attacking side is attacking from a single hex, and the defending side is 5 or 6 hexes that are continuously adjacent, then the attacker would have to provide a lot of notice, and would be granted a narrow window to secure their first hex (narrow being a couple of hours or something), and if the attacker is able to successfully secure the hex, their window would be extended for attacking other adjacent hexes until they capture another hex (extending the window further) or the window expires. If the attacker and defender each had roughly the same number of hexes, it could be around 24 hours of notice for something like a 4 hour window. Once you reach a point where the attacker's tiles outnumber the defender's tiles by a wide margin, you might get 12 hours notice for a 6 hour window or something.

 

What would this look like implemented?

 

When a rival org might try to invade a planet, they would be forced to start by claiming an unclaimed hex to use as a "staging area" effectively. Even if for some reason a planet ends up 100% claimed, then the attacker could claim a space-hex (if that end up getting implemented) and launch their attack from orbit.

If the attacker starts by claiming a tile that's adjacent to the enemy right away, they risk getting preemptively attacked is high because of the short window for being badly outnumbered. The attacker might instead claim a hex that is 1 or 2 spaces away to construct a base of operations, claim tiles leading to the territory they wish to conquer and go from there. Battles for large territories could take weeks (if the attacker declares war, waits the wait period, then claims only 1 or 2 hexes and repeats), or it could be done in a weekend (if the attacker declares war, waits the wait period, and systematically and successfully claims all of the interconnected hexes 1 by 1 extending their raid window enough to continue, but this would require overwhelming force, organization, and supplies in the part of the attacker.

 

To take hexes from other players in this proposal, you'd have to be really committed to making it happen since it is unlikely that you'd be able to place your TU and also attack all in one play session (due to the wait period). The TU's would then serve their purpose very effectively in protecting structures and ships from random acts of looting.

 

Some of the nitty gritty here, to ensure that you'll actually be online during the attack window as the attacker, when you declare war, you basically schedule a time for that attack window to start and the system would send the warning to the defending player 24 hours in-advance of the window set by the attacker (and of course, it wouldn't let you set a window for sooner than you'd have to wait based on the number of hexes).

 

Some variations to consider

-After the declaration of war timer is over and the window starts, it could mean that both the attacking and defending hexes are up for grabs, meaning that if someone attempts to steal a tile from you and you defeat them, you could use the time remaining in the window to launch an attack on their hex, preventing continued harassment and attacks. This is probably the best way to go.

 

-This system could use different timer lengths for TU's owned by individual players vs TU's owned by organizations. Organizations might benefit from shorter or longer attack windows, or it might be that Orgs with at least 10 players get a slight boost (but not beyond 10 to limit dead alts, and not counting trial characters for the same reason).

 

-Players might be able to raise temporary shields to affect the length of that attack window, or prevent the attack from spilling over into more adjacent hexes. That or it would come down to how they physically built the structures on those hexes, its possible for a player to make it very difficult to take more than one hex at a time.

 

-Player count in those hexes might affect the length of the window as well, it would check to see how many players are present on the "smallest" of the two teams and scale the length of the window accordingly, more players means more time.

 

-Raid windows could instead be determined solely by actual static-core elements (such as temporary shields or siege weapons).

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30 minutes ago, Lethys said:

How does linking tcus play into this?

Protection bubbles?

 

Cause I don't see the benefit or fun in having two timers. That just sucks

So the "declare war" timer, and the "protection bubble" timer would be the same thing here.

 

the idea would be that the TU would not just delegate mining and modification rights, it would physically protect all of the static constructs there from damage (sort of like a soft safe-zone) if you set permissions that way. That window after the "declare war" timer expires would basically disable those functions of the TU on that hex only for the duration of the raid. You could call it a defense bubble unstead of a "declare war" timer, the key factor here is that it would require action on the part of the attacker other than just shooting at something.

 

as far as linked TU's go, it would either treat them all as one large tile with the same "weight" as several adjacent tiles (for the purposes of timer duration) or each tile would be considered seperate for raiding (and just as proposed before, the attacker would start the raid in the designated tile, and get a time extension if they can sack it).

 

EDIT: some more juice - 

I could also see there being an actual static-construct element, in addition to a TU, that is used in this raid process. Probably some kind of a shield-interferance device that is there to bring down a TU's defenses and make it suceptable to being re-claimed. This opens up the possibility of building more expensive, higher tier versions of the construct element that makes the "declare war/shields down" timer quicker or extends the raid window.

 

Moreover installing such an element and operating it could be tied to a cyberwarfare skill (since this is basically hacking here), therefor requiring raiding parties to use a combination of cyberwarfare and physical force to take claimed tiles.

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First of all, I'm seriously opposed to any sort of timer system. Been there done that with EVE and it's simply no fun. EVE only has it in the first place because the nature of the game requires it. DU can and should avoid creating that sort of system because it's absolutely obnoxious and is easily abused, and I think I expressed my opinion on the matter rather well in this post.

 

So, overall, I would oppose any and all timer-based systems because they're silly, annoying, and actually encourage griefing (such as setting off timers just to get people to show up, then blue-balling them). Furthermore, they divide the community into groups based on timezones, with various timezones not competing at all because of how the timer system prevents them from attacking in their enemies downtime. Then there's those groups in EVE that win conflicts simply because they have people who can log on in the middle of the night with no consequences. I've been on the receiving end of that, and its incredibly frustrating to lose territory simply because your opponent's pilots don't have families or jobs, and so they can log in at 4 AM and spend hours sieging your towers, and you just have to let them. Timer mechanics encourage this type of nasty behavior, and it's bad for the game overall.  I'm much prefer a weak asset protection system that forces people to work together and protect each other in their down-times.

 

That being said, I totally support the idea of having to conquer hexes "inward", because it will provide some sort of protection and will turn conflicts into prolonged wars, rather than lighting strikes at critical infrastructure. However, that's going to require some serious ground rules, because currently you can place a TCU anywhere. So, what's to stop an org from placing their outer TCUs on the very edge of the hex, and then building huge defense turrets right across the border in an adjacent hex that would be totally immune to damage? That's completely broken, so any such system would mandate that TCUs be placed more centrally in the hex.

 

Regardless, you prevent greifing and pointless wars by making it take serious investments of resources and time to take a territory, not by implementing arbitrary timers that say when people are "allowed" to fight. Such a system goes against the very nature of PvP and the open-world experience. 

 

Edit: I'm also very against the idea of war declarations, for many of the same reasons already mentioned, and because they're restrictive and contrary to the very nature of an open-world game. There should be no arbitrary gateways for PvP in a single-shard, open world game. 

 

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31 minutes ago, wizardoftrash said:

the idea would be that the TU would not just delegate mining and modification rights, it would physically protect all of the static constructs there from damage (sort of like a soft safe-zone) if you set permissions that way.

To put it with your words: that's not the system nq is going for. That's why there are protection bubbles. That's why you have to power those - to prevent anyone from shooting you inside (he can still enter though, nothing prevents him). tcus creating a mini safe zone like you said there is just not what this is about.

 

Jc mentioned (in some devdiary iirc) that they want fun and hard mechanics for invading (that's NOT attacking!) Tiles. 

 

We have to see how this works and how protection bubbles are implemented (build cost, fuel cost,..). Maybe it's too hard to build them and we end up with players complaining that they constantly lose all ships because they can't build a bubble. Maybe they're too strong and ppl complain because it's just impossible to attack anyone. 

 

I'm with vorengard here, I don't like timers. They make stupid and boring gameplay while adding nothing fun

 

Edit: it wasn't fun in eve, it sucked hard. First the grinding of outposts then those stupid citadel timers (wait days to kill shield, days to kill armor, days to kill structure). Just creates boring and extremely tedious gameplay.

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Alternatively, when declaring war, you must decide which TUs to attack, which will be set as war goals. Each war goal has a cost value associated to it, and the objective of that war goal influences said cost. For example:

 

- If the war goal for a TU is set to raid, you can attack anything on that tile, but the TU itself remains unconquerable and indestructible.  You can still destroy buildings and loot containers though.

- If the war goal is set to destroy, you cannot capture the TU, but you can destroy it, rendering the territory uncontrolled.

- If the war goal is set to capture, you can capture the TU

 

Now, for each war goal you have, it increases the conflict points of that war. The purpose of this is two fold. First, the defender can set war goals against your territory, with the points from those war goals being less than or equal to the conflict point total made by the attacker. Second, the more conflict points a war deceleration has, the longer it takes for the war to start and the longer the war is allowed to go on for. This also works in the way that if you are raiding an area, you may only choose to have one raid war goal, which means it takes a short amount of time to have the protection dropped, but it also limits the amount of time you have to do damage/loot.

 

EDIT: To clarify for this example, TUs have inbuilt protection that activates after it is powered

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I'd just like to add that I'm against timers for many of the reasons already on here.  Something I haven't seen mentioned is that these kinds of organised battles also shutdown a whole host of war strategies and grant additional advantage to the side with the most numbers - organisations with more members already have a numbers advantage, they don't need that advantage artificially swelled. 

 

I'm also against war declarations for similar reasons.  It's also too rigid.  I'd like to see, as part of the organisation management tools, a relationships management system, completely customisable by and for each organisation's needs.  These shouldn't have any effect on who you can and can't attack though.

 

I also am not in favour of requiring an adjacent territory to be owned by the aggressor.  This also shuts down gameplay and warfare options.  An organisation should be able to own vast swathes of territory without ever once planting a TU if that is the MO they choose.

 

The difficulty of conquering a territory should be proportional to the strength of that territory's defenses and the effort its owners put into its defence.  It shouldn't be arbitrarily difficult or time consuming.  If there's no resistance, it should be quick and easy, but that doesn't mean that it should be easy just because you attacked when the owners were asleep.  It also shouldn't require shooting at structures by necessity.  It's not an easy puzzle to solve.  I'm sorry I don't have answers, but at this time I just know what I don't want to see.

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I have to agree with the others on this one. There should be a deceleration of war, but in no way at all would I ever agree with a simple timer system. I think it’s similar to what @KlatuSatori said.

 

This is not a system that compliments the gameplay of DU. It’s actually one that goes against the idea of quick paced strategies and complex plans that are set in real time. It makes everything feel... blocky in format ironically. This just doesn’t feel like NQ is trying to aim for.

 

Think of it this way in Civilization games. A surprise attack is a good tactic. Even at this pace of game, declaring war on someone instantly and attacking is possible. Doing this system similar to EVE does not play well to how we want to attack. Things need to feel like you are really trying to examine things. You need to make sure that this enemy doesn’t do this or that to outwit you in defense. This feeling is gone with a timer system.

 

In short, it’s the pace of the game that matters. A timer system doesn’t compliment DU. It just makes things feel more disconnected.

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Without some regulatory system like "re-inforced states" on shield-bubbles (a.k.a. timers), we can look forward to raids and surprise attacks whenever most of your org is logged off.

 

So, if you want to be a viable org in DU, make sure your org is large enough to include a significant number of members from all the world's RL timezones. If not, don't be salty if your base is attacked at 4:00am by an org on the other side of the world whose RL primetime happens to occur at that point. You may even face "alarm clock raids" from motivated groups in your own time zone.

 

Timers and "windows of vulnerability" came into being in online games for a reason. They weren't arbitrarily invented to make combat more tedious.

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And such timers do make sense @NanoDot 

 

Attacking a tcu should always be possible - if they go with an adjacent tile you must own so be it - then people have a bit of a head start thaton smth could happen.

 

Build a protection bubble to protect the tcu and all the constructs inside. First attack on that shield (with a certain dmg) triggers a timer. Wait for that timer (I actually liked the old pos mechanic with strontium here - made better gameplay then stupid plain timers) then kill shield. Defenders have time to prepare, attackers may not be able to blob it (dmg threshold of the shield) and everything's fine.

 

If you want to avoid that timer, then infiltrate the base. Make black ops actually a thing and useful. Let them find the tcu/protection bubble generator and manipulate it (every 2,4,6,8 or 10 hours - numbers, idc) at least 2-3 times to shut it down. 

That way a police force and military actually is useful in that waiting period and has to search for intruders with possibly fake name tags, fake ids or whatever. Make it an interesting and exhilarating cat an mouse game.

 

I agree that you have to have certain timers, but I'm just against introducing more and more of them. See eves citadels - that's the worst and most boring mechanic they could've possibly thought of. Discouraging players via timers to not attack a tile is just a bad mechanic. 

The attacker should be discouraged because it's hard to do, involves logistics and commitment and not because he dies of boredom

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EVE has timers cause EVE has Hi-Sec space, where if you have not War-Deced a person, you wil lbe shot on sight for shooting at them.

DU is more like Wormhole Space - at any moment, you can be attacked, the only thing keeping yo usafe,. is your ptoection bubble + Shields and if th eenemy runs out of ammo or fuel before they can destroy it.

So, you are asking for a feature that has no merit in DU, as War-Decs in EVE are only used so people can gank the enemy faction in places like Jita 4-4,which is the main trade hub and has a lot of police.

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11 hours ago, KlatuSatori said:

I also am not in favour of requiring an adjacent territory to be owned by the aggressor.  This also shuts down gameplay and warfare options.  An organisation should be able to own vast swathes of territory without ever once planting a TU if that is the MO they choose.

 

While I agree with everything else you said Klatu, on this particular point I have to disagree. While I also don't like the restrictions an adjacency system would place on PvP, I think it's necessary to make warfare meaningful. If you can always attack anywhere, then all warfare would devolve into attacking the largest and most important infrastructure of a planet, while ignoring everything else, and so owning large swaths of territory would be completely meaningless. Such a system would also invalidate most defenses and any form of protracted warfare, as all combat would devolve into attacking and destroying high-value targets only. Furthermore, under such a system all buildings would have to be fortresses. There wouldn't be any room for elegant designs or non-combat structures because you'd have to build every single building with imminent attack in mind.

 

An adjacency system is what this game needs to provide some modicum of protection and safety for builders and industry guys, while adding depth and longevity to conflicts. It would prevent lightning raids from being the dominant form of combat, and would allow for some level of stability and protection for new players.

 

(See @Jack_Trent, I do believe in protecting builders and soloists)

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5 hours ago, seennotheard said:

How would this work for privately owned tiles? Would you have to declare war on a single person?

Point is: why declare war at all? For political reasons - ok.

But if you want to attack - you attack. The protection bubble will save your constructs anyway and you have 2days time to organize a defense.

 

I just don't see what magical system hinders people to just go there and attack people.

Except for a police force....by players

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There may actually be a use for formal wardec's, but not by imposing some game-determined limits.

 

An org or alliance could integrate war declarations in their RDMS system. That way, anyone that declares war on an alliance is automatically flagged as being at war with all members, for instance. Being formally at war could trigger all kinds of rules and actions in the RDMS.

 

Making wardec's a formal concept in the game allows players to use the concept as they see fit. But if the concept doesn't exist in the game code, it can't be referenced in RDMS rules or Lua scripts.

 

Making wardec's a concept in the game does not imply that the game rules should attach meaning to the concept, other than recognizing it as a status attribute of an org or a player. The players can decide how they want to use that status indicator.

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There was something I had in mind here that I guess i managed to omit from the original post. The concept of a TU protecting your constructs from damage here can be interchangeable with the protection bubble for the purposes of this suggestion. My thought is that whatever action a player takes to actually secure a tile, it should require a long enough period of time to negate those defenses that the player has a chance to respond.

 

Allow me to make the case for "timers" here (and by timer, we could easily just say the ammount of time it takes an anti-bubble cyber warfare module to bring down a bubble). Scenario A has a timer, scenaro B has no timer.

 

Scenario A: The attacking player sets up their TU in an adjacent space, sets up their cyber warfare module, and wants to attack the adjacent tile on Saturday at 8AM EST. They input that command on their cyberwarfare module, and with all factors considered in the attack, it comes down to a 24 hour timer (24 hours to disable the bubble, leaving both tiles vulnerable to attack from each other). The defending player gets a warning notification on Friday at 8AM EST that their base is being bombarded with radiation, and that the bubble will fail on Saturday at 8AM EST and will take 3 hours to reboot (the length of the raid window). The attacker still gets to attack when they want, the defender knows when the'll need to be on to defend and has a chance to hire a mercenary if they are stuck at work. If the defender shows up and the attacker doesn't, the defender can now attack the tile with the cyber-warfare module because it collapses both bubbles. Thats right @Vorengard no blue-balling with this suggestion, if an attacker drops defenses with cyber-warfare here, defenses drop for both sides (but only to each other). If both attacker and defender shows up, you get a sweet battle.

 

Scenario B: The attacking player has the supplies needed to set up their TU in an adjacent space, set up their cyber warfare module, and wants to attack the adjacent tile on Saturday at 8AM EST. The attacker can log on at 7AM EST, slap down the TU and cyber warfare module, turn it on to bring down the shields and attack right away. Defender gets a notification but since they aren't on there is no one to defend. Attacker wins, no chance for the defender to protect their tile. No actual battle, just an open invitation to grief or conquer.

 

So the argument is that Timers split up the player base into timezones? If the attacker and defender were in different timezones here, a 24 hour timer actually gives the defender a chance to defend their space from attack or counter-attack, but more importantly it allows enough time to actually create an interesting PVP experience. With no timer, being in a different time zone gurantees that the defender will never be able to stop you from attacking and vise-versa.

 

If the point of having pvp and conquest mechanics for tiles is for players to actually be fighting each other, then some kind of timer is necessary for protected spaces, especially since unmanned weapons or turrets will be limited or nonexistant. Without some kind of time-based shield drop mechanic, it will be 90% AFK raiding (and no actual fighting), or 90% perfectly shielded tiles (and no actual fighting).

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On 10/7/2017 at 9:18 PM, seennotheard said:

How would this work for privately owned tiles? Would you have to declare war on a single person?

For privately owned tiles the system would be the same. If a TU has ownership set to personal instead of to an organization, it would basically be a personal declaration of war, or a declaration of intent to seize or something.

 

I prefer instead making this more about having some kind of cyber-warfare module attacked to the attacking-player's TU that is taking time to crash the defensive properties of the territory unit itself. It would be a lore-friendly way to explain why the attacking player couldn't dig or damage stuff prior to the timer expiring, but could after.

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I don't get it. Right now the system is:

 

Attacking: dmg protection bubble at ANY time as you want, wait 48h, attack again to kill it and get that loot

 

Invading: set up a tcu besides the tile (which needs time), attack protection bubble, wait again 48h, attack again, get that loot and switch ownership.

 

Hmmmm

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5 minutes ago, Lethys said:

I don't get it. Right now the system is:

 

Attacking: dmg protection bubble at ANY time as you want, wait 48h, attack again to kill it and get that loot

 

Invading: set up a tcu besides the tile (which needs time), attack protection bubble, wait again 48h, attack again, get that loot and switch ownership.

 

Hmmmm

I'm not sure what you are referring to there. Is there already a detailed system in-place for damage bubble implementation? Are you talking about the rumored damage bubble feature? or are you trying to talk through my suggestion?

 

My suggestion still only brings down the protection/damage bubble for a window of time before it raises itself again (a matter of 30 minutes to 3ish hours). So it would be...

 

-set up the tcu beside the tile, turn on your cyber warfare module, wait 24 hours, then attack during your ~1 hour window while both their and your shields are down. If you miss the window or fail to capture, you'll have to turn the cyber warfare module on again, wait again, and try again during a similar window.

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No I'm talking about the features and mechanics NQ and jc described. 

 

So I'm not quite sure why you say that attackers can just start to kill which isn't the vision nq has and which is untrue, as I explained there. 

 

So no, your system of more timers still doesn't make any sense

 

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Timers are a necessary thing, though I do agree Eve does overdo it.

 

Offline raiding aside, I think the biggest reason for timers is the fact there is no instant-travel options in DU.  In Eve, you can jump clone around, or even jump in a Interceptor and get where you need to go in a max of 20 minutes or so.  With travel possibly taking hours or days in DU, if your base is attacked, you're going to need time to even get back to your base.

 

The way I imagine it is that your automated defenses are strong enough to deter anyone not willing to commit enough power to reinforce your base, but are underpowered compared to when they are manned and the base is being manned by defenders.  Once reinforced, that gives your org enough time to rally or evacuate.  A smart and dedicated attacker will watch for people trying to get back or try to prevent people from evacuating. 

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I have several serious problems with your most recent analysis Wizard, specifically that you're consistently presenting a false dichotomy of the possibilities.

2 hours ago, wizardoftrash said:

The attacking player sets up their TU in an adjacent space, sets up their cyber warfare module, and wants to attack the adjacent tile on Saturday at 8AM EST. They input that command on their cyberwarfare module, and with all factors considered in the attack, it comes down to a 24 hour timer

The first problem here is that this proposed system requires very little player input. The process of setting up a TCU with a "cyber warfare" unit (or whatever) is something that could be accomplished by a single person, which would lead to afk greifing tactics with alts setting off timers all over the place just to piss the defenders off. This type of behavior is a staple of warfare in EVE, and it's really an un-fun and toxic type of gameplay that DU should avoid at all costs.

 

You seem to be under the impression that this will prevent blue-balling due to the cost of losing the involved materials, but that attitude is also unsupported by reality. Did the cost of SBUs in EVE ever prevent people from SBUing systems on a whim just to be annoying? No, it didn't, because those costs were insignificant to an alliance of any size. I know, your immediate counter argument will be that NQ should deliberately inflate the prices of these elements in order to prevent people from throwing them away, but the problem with that argument is that it will essentially price small or poor organizations out of the PvP market, and grant huge advantages to rich players who can afford to throw money at the problem. Such a system will inherently favor the rich and advanced players, and will make guerrilla warfare impossible. 

2 hours ago, wizardoftrash said:

the bubble will fail on Saturday at 8AM EST and will take 3 hours to reboot (the length of the raid window).

Another problem here is the idea that PvP should only be allowed in specific, regulated, and highly restrictive windows. This type of behavior will lead to risk-averse and highly defensive strategies where the goal becomes less about winning the fight and more about delaying until your enemies timer runs out. That not fun or engaging. Such a system would encourage orgs to, for example, surround their TCUs with a massive layer of armor with repair units inside, designed simply to wait out the attackers until their timer expired. EVE saw similar strategies, with fleets made of carriers sitting just outside POS shields to rep the structure for hours and hours, until their opponents got tired and left. No actual PvP happened, it was just people shooting inanimate objects for hours. This might be your definition of fun, but it isn't mine. 

2 hours ago, wizardoftrash said:

defenses drop for both sides (but only to each other).

This is another terrible idea, because it grants major advantages to large coalitions, restricts the emergent nature of warfare, and promotes strategies that encourage the manipulation of mechanics, rather than actual battles. If only members of the involved sides can participate, then large orgs will fundamentally have more people available in each fight. Smaller orgs wont be able to call on allies without having every one of them join their org, and the mercenary system will be nerfed by extension. This also leads to awkward situations where people are shooting at structures that are taking no damage because they're not in the right org. Furthermore, what's to stop people from transferring the ownership of structures(on either side) at the last second, either to negate the timer completely, or to place the structure into a much larger organization that can now bring hundreds more players into the fight? This will encourage people to go around setting off timers with alt organizations, or smaller holding corps, only to transfer the structure at the last second to some major alliance that can now attack with their full membership, catching the defenders off guard. That might be a clever mechanic, but it isn't a fun one. 

 

Sure, you could make a rule that prevents structure transfer while the timers are active, but then you'll have people reinforcing things just to greif people by preventing them from selling or transferring specific assets. Overall, the entire idea is suspect at best. 

2 hours ago, wizardoftrash said:

Scenario B: ... No actual battle, just an open invitation to grief or conquer.

All of scenario B is a contrived mess that assumes the only options are Timers or Nothing. In contrast, I currently favor a system like that in EVE which required people to engage the target structure with a certain amount of damage, over a relatively flexible amount of time, in order to bring it to a reinforced state. This prevents solo alts from setting off timers willy nilly, and actually forces orgs to commit valuable ships and manpower to attack structures. Those fleets would then be vulnerable to attack, and would engage players in the process of warfare. It would also prevent people from sending solo alts around to set off timers in their enemies downtimes, so that they get a favorable timer without having to risk anything of value. An added benefit is that it allows anyone to participate in the process of taking territory so long as they can afford ammunition and a decent gun.

2 hours ago, wizardoftrash said:

With no timer, being in a different time zone gurantees that the defender will never be able to stop you from attacking and vise-versa.

This isn't simply wrong, it's inherently illogical, and your own argument proves the fallacy of it. If the timer system is designed to allow for attacks 24 hours after the system is engaged, then the attacker's window will always fall in their own timezone, thus guaranteeing that the attacker always gets to choose when the timer happens, which can and will be in the defenders downtime whenever possible. However, if you flip the system and make it an odd number of hours, say 32 or so (as the old EVE system did), then you force attackers to initiate attacks at times that are awkward for them, just so they can generate a timer that is favorable to them. For example, if I wanted the attack window to be at 8 pm EST, then I'd have to initiate the attack at 12 pm EST the day before (while I'm at work). Either method grands significant advantages to one side at the expense of the other, which is bad. 

 

This is the fundamental problem with any timer system: no matter how you implement it, it always enforces arbitrary divides in the community based on timezone. That's why timers are bad, and why you can't build a game based around making PvP conform to the timezone of one side or the other. DU needs to implement an open system that encourages people to seek allies in different timezones because that's ultimately good for the community. The alternative is a crappy, gimicky, obtuse timer system like in EVE that encourages greifing and discourages risk.

 

Yes, such a system will result in people losing structures while they're at work or asleep, but the timer system in EVE often resulted in many of the same problems, with the added (and absurdly frustrating) problem that there were people you couldn't attack simply because they could play in a different timezone from you. I was once in a situation where my 100 man alliance couldn't take the structures in a neighboring system from a corporation with a single member, even though he was also USTZ like us, because he would just set all of his timers for 3 AM and alarmclock to repair them with a dozen alts, because he didn't have a job or a family and could afford to stay up all night. 

 

By allowing people from separate timezones to attack each other, you at least allow for some tug of war in the combat system, with each side accomplishing objectives instead of senselessly setting off timers they can't actually capitalize on. This isn't unbalanced for either side, because if I'm attacking you while you're asleep, then you can just attack me while I'm asleep. While not a perfect solution, it's at least more fair than arbitrary nonsense designed to enforce stagnation and turtling. 

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