Jump to content

PVE Warfare - NPC Pirates


Recommended Posts

First off, I just want to say that I hope this comes off as a coherent and easy to understand thread. In this, my goal is to try brainstorm with you guys how NPC pirates might be implemented. I'll put forth my ideas first, of course, but feel free to put your own suggestions and also what you disagree on below.
I'm not certain if this has been suggested before, and if it has, sorry...
Hopefully, if so, I've at least added something new to the mix.

Let's start with the why.

Quote

"Why do we need NPC pirates? What purpose do they serve in the game? After all, we have real players playing as pirates, right?"

I'll be upfront, I don't have a whole lot of experience with pirates or combat in general. But, I'll take an educated guess at the current situation.
Space is quite vast and the number of pirates, relatively small. This is my first assumption. If I were to guess, 99.99% of pirates will patrol the pipes to planets since this is the most likely place for people to go. But even then, I doubt every pipe has someone waiting in it 24/7.
Therefor, the purpose of NPC pirates is to fill in the gap and add more life to the pretty much lifeless space. 
 

Quote

"Great, so we now not only have real pirates after us, but also NPCs? What's the upside here? You're just making it more difficult to transport goods around without requiring an entire escort." —Transport Pilot

Good point, we've just made it more difficult to transport goods around the solar system. However, I'm not saying the threat of NPC pirates appearing should be ever-present. (I'll discuss this a little more later)
This comes back to the "Why do we need NPC pirates?", one thing you can say is just an extra source of loot, but the other is to provide a need for other elements of the game. Right now, the lack of a threat, this is purely an assumption, means there isn't a need for escorts, or branches of an organization built around combat. I'll take the example of of the organization I'm in, the Imperial Military, a branch of the Empire. Right now, we're on fairly neutral terms with other organizations, so the military doesn't have much to do aside from designing ships. We advertise our services to the Empire as a whole to assist in hauling escorts, but we haven't had any requests as of yet. It could be because of other reasons, but it could also be because there isn't a need for a service like that because the cost of the one out of 10 times you actually lose a ship—this is another assumption—out weights the cost of hiring us 10 times out. But, if that ratio was more like 1:2, where the chance of a pirate encounter is far higher, the need for a military/contract organization for protection becomes necessary.
TL;DR
Upside—It will possibly introduce the need for escorts, thus involving more people to participate. 

Downside—Introduces the necessity to actually have escorts, increasing the cost to the hauler pilot.


The nitty-gritty details...

Quote

"Okay, so, let's say, hypothetically, they do end up adding it, what could it look like?"

First off, there should be a FOB and/or a headquarters of an NPC pirate organization. As to why it should, I'll explain shortly.
At these FOBs, they should have stations which act as both storage and a drydock, along with multiple ships used to defend those. These FOBs will act as single entities, producing its own ships using the resources it gathers from miners that it has hunted or as small base income. Optionally, the drydocks can have their own factory. But for the sake of simplicity, the ships can just be spawned in once the AI controlling it has enough resources for it.
From the FOBs, ships will be sent out in raiding parties to hunt down miners and get more resources. This is probably the largest thing to tackle programming wise, but is critical nonetheless.
Naturally, a FOB will be difficult to find and slowly gain in threat-level. By this, I mean it will gather resources over time; the more resources, the more it will send out raiding parties because it can afford to lose them. It will eventually become a problem, and until it is dealt with completely by attacking the FOB, some of these resources will also be shared to the HQ, where it would deploy more FOBs.

The vision of this is that it will create a persistent, but seasonal threat that will require either escorts for haulers, and eventually peaceful alliances or even other pirate organizations could launch an assault on these FOBs for their resources and to reduce the threat of haulers being engaged. Idealistic as it might sound, it could happen like that.

Of course, this all relies on the ability of NQ to produce an AI capable of everything I've said. NPCs are classically done poorly in most games, especially when done by a studio who hasn't done it before. But I'll just toss in my ideas here.

So, what kind of AI would be any good in this case? For the FOB/HQ, that's simple, the 4X type. Like in the game Stellaris, ships are with a predefined layout will be modified slightly with different weapons and configurations. I won't claim to know AI well at all, but it's been done before, so it could be done here.
For the sake of simplicity, the AI will know multiple all ships within a certain area and be able to look at the cargo. A basic threat value could be determined by what guns it has and the size of the ship and the ships close to it. If the AI believes it could raid them, it will send out its own ship or ships to try and attack.
Each ship will be controlled by a different AI. This somewhat of a key point I can't imagine myself, but the AI should react to what type of guns, if any, the ship it faces has and, depending on it's own armament, attack differently.

In the case that the pirate fleet is heavily damaged, if their warp drives are still operational, they will warp back to their FOB. This would mean, if you know the direction they warped in, you could estimate the position and have a cone to search for the FOB.

With that, I think my suggestion for AI is done.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, joaocordeiro said:

In summary:

 

Most players agree with pve with npcs. 

NQ agrees with it also. 

 

The amount of resources needed to make it happen makes it not viable for a release time frame. 

 

I've tried to outline a way the AI could be implement. Things like pathfinding aren't needed in space. I'm sure if they have people smart enough, or even just ask the community, people could come up with simple orbiting/chasing AI for the space combat, though, that is just an assumption.
As for the 4X side, it might be difficult, but I feel it wouldn't take more than a month if they tried.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, EasternGamer said:

I've tried to outline a way the AI could be implement

Sure, we can have that academic discussion. Just dont expect it to happen. 

There are 5 line code fixes not happening because priorities and budget issues. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, joaocordeiro said:

Sure, we can have that academic discussion. Just dont expect it to happen. 

There are 5 line code fixes not happening because priorities and budget issues. 

So, let's have that academic discussion, is there anything you want to add to this? Suggestions, things you disagree with—not because just dismissing the entire idea—and maybe things I forgot to take into account, gameplay-wise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, sorry to ruin it, but its exercise in futility. 

 

Currently we often begging for months about simplest QOL things without any results. Devs now preocuppied with survival basicly, they nor care about your ideas (there is 1000s others in line), nor can realisticly implement them next eternity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, le_souriceau said:

Yep, sorry to ruin it, but its exercise in futility. 

 

Currently we often begging for months about simplest QOL things without any results. Devs now preocuppied with survival basicly, they nor care about your ideas (there is 1000s others in line), nor can realisticly implement them next eternity.

The point of this post isn't really to say to NQ directly: Here add this feature. That never works. The idea is to have multiple people read this post and say "Oh, that's not a bad idea."
So if the suggestion comes up again when NQ is able to do something about it, they might just go for it.

People were saying the game lacked content over and over again, so I wanted to give my suggestion on what content they could add.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

44 minutes ago, EasternGamer said:

So, let's have that academic discussion, is there anything you want to add to this

Sure. 

 

I dont know much tecnical info about how AI works. So im not able to offer any technology over the other. 

 

But the main question here is if NPCs are beneficial to DU.

The idea it self is. But there are several ways to implement it that are not. 

 

If it is a oppressing force, by being too OP, it is not. (infinite ammo, instant radar detection and lock, overpowering numbers) 

If is too easy and exploitable, it is not.

If it adds major bugs, it is not. 

 

So the main issue is not to find and implement a technology but to find the balance. 

 

There are a ton of NPC types. But lets focus on the pirate construct npcs. 

 

Here are some questions:

  1. With pirate npc avatars inside? 
  2. Salvageable constructs or only container contents? 
  3. Same efficiency as player constructs or with boosts to compensate for weak IA? 
  4. What happens to destroyed ships? A timer deletes them or stay in game? 
  5. Allways 1 npc vs 1 player construct or dynamic numbers? 
  6. What happens if a player asks a friend for backup? Should a new NPC ship spawn? If not, can small ships bait NPCs to face large fleets? 
  7. Where should pirate NPCs spawn? Everywhere? PVP zone? Non PVP zone? 
  8. When should pirate NPCs spawn? 
  9. What is the relation between numbers players inside a construct, number of guns, core size, ship mass and the pirate ship spawning? 

There are all those variables to this question.

All of those require a significant ammount of code.

But the resources needed to implement this is not just the resources to code it. 

 

The main issue is that to make a challenging, fair and not exploitable NPC, all the answers and not just the questions need to be implemented, tested, balanced, reimplemented, retested, rebalanced....... 

 

Sure can go with version 0.1 of NPCs and improve from that. 

But how beneficial for the game would it be if we implemented NPCs to promote PVE but instead of that we give large pirate orgs a exploitable source of weapons and ammo for them to increase their oppression? 

 

Any implementation would exceed NQ budget for release. 

But a good implementation of it would be a new project on its own. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the one hand, the community complains that real pirates raid their events, and on the other hand, they want pve pirates?

Guys, it doesn't work like that. 

 

Why close the door on existing players who are pirates? First of all, we should generally have the features that allow for ship raiding in the first place. *cough AvA* Programming an AI for something like that is an effort that doesn't justify the result in my eyes. Not in the current state. 

 

We really don't need any more hand-holding. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, SirJohn85 said:

On the one hand, the community complains that real pirates raid their events, and on the other hand, they want pve pirates?

Guys, it doesn't work like that. 

It does. 

 

PvE pirates dont use meta ships. 

PvE pirates dont run away from fights when they feel there is a 10% chance they will lose. 

PvE pirates dont go on discord and forums with memes after they kill you. 

PvE pirates dont exploit the game bugs( note that having bugs is different from actively seeking ways of triggering those) 

PvE pirates dont loot you to the last voxel. 

PvE pirates dont mark you as "persona no grata" and make your (in game) life a living hell for defying them. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, XKentX said:

NPC pirates ? 5 code line fixes ?

 

They can't change the sign in rate of fire calculation so skills don't make opposite of what they are supposed to be.

Not sure if it's that simple. If they didn't start off right with a centralized system, for whatever reason, then it would require changing in multiple places. But yeah, I agree, things that simple should be changed regardless of if they were poorly implemented to begin with.
I'm also not siding with NQ at all on why simple fixes haven't been made yet. They should literally have 3 or more people going at it on that mega-thread I saw, the game would definitely become better.

 

51 minutes ago, joaocordeiro said:

If it is a oppressing force, by being too OP, it is not. (infinite ammo, instant radar detection and lock, overpowering numbers) 

If is too easy and exploitable, it is not.

If it adds major bugs, it is not. 

A agree with these last two points, but the first might be a requirement for the sake of simplicity.
Right, they shouldn't be too easy to exploit, but they should be a way to exploit them through tactics and planning.
However, one thing I know about AI is that they aren't human beings. They need things like the real-time position of a ship to know where to go. They don't "see" a ship. They see data. They see the ship's data says it has 10 cannons on it, is an L core, is at position X, moving to position Y.
If you wanted to balance this however, you could just say that it is old data, like from the 30 seconds. As for guns, you could just send an estimate, like between 8 to 12 guns.

 

51 minutes ago, joaocordeiro said:

Here are some questions:

  1. With pirate npc avatars inside? 
  2. Salvageable constructs or only container contents? 
  3. Same efficiency as player constructs or with boosts to compensate for weak IA? 
  4. What happens to destroyed ships? A timer deletes them or stay in game? 
  5. Allways 1 npc vs 1 player construct or dynamic numbers? 
  6. What happens if a player asks a friend for backup? Should a new NPC ship spawn? If not, can small ships bait NPCs to face large fleets? 
  7. Where should pirate NPCs spawn? Everywhere? PVP zone? Non PVP zone? 
  8. When should pirate NPCs spawn? 
  9. What is the relation between numbers players inside a construct, number of guns, core size, ship mass and the pirate ship spawning? 

I'll quick-fire answer this to what I think. Of course, comment on anything you disagree with here.

  1. No
  2. Salvageable constructs
  3. Mid-level efficiency, or no efficiency at all just for simplicity sake.
  4. Destroyed ships should act like they are now. However, if the pirates manage to kill your ship, there will be a timer to say, if no ships close by, and 5 minutes have passed, despawn ships. Value of destroyed ship is turned into components/raw resources.
  5. Completely dynamic, just like how in Stellaris they will send a fleet in when they think they can crush you, but won't send their entire fleet away just for a single hauler with no guns.
  6. NPC ships shouldn't "spawn in", there should be a response delay to anything since they wouldn't have a warp beacon deployed there at random.
  7. They should have FOB, from which they are sent out to attack haulers. This will be in the PVP zone since no one would be able to afford random pirates ganking you while you're going from Alioth to Thades or something.
  8. Pirate NPCs should only spawn if there is a FOB in the area. You could even have them do randomized patrols around their FOB in a 10 SU radius, but only have them as virtual objects, not real clients.
  9. That's just something that would require mass-player testing to decide on. That kind of thing isn't really possible to program in advance.

 

21 minutes ago, SirJohn85 said:

On the one hand, the community complains that real pirates raid their events, and on the other hand, they want pve pirates?

Guys, it doesn't work like that. 

This shouldn't close any doors and this shouldn't affect events any more than a real pirate would. Pirates shouldn't instantly spawn, they should have a timer to determine how long it would take to get there from their FOB and only spawn in the moment that timer stops. So for the upcoming Star Wars event, the NPC pirates would have the same issue in getting there. Additionally, FOBs shouldn't deviate from high PVP areas that much so that empty space is still safe to an extent.


I agree with joaocordeiro, they won't be OP and normal pirates will still have a place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, joaocordeiro said:

It does. 

 

PvE pirates dont use meta ships. 

PvE pirates dont run away from fights when they feel there is a 10% chance they will lose. 

PvE pirates dont go on discord and forums with memes after they kill you. 

PvE pirates dont exploit the game bugs( note that having bugs is different from actively seeking ways of triggering those) 

PvE pirates dont loot you to the last voxel. 

PvE pirates dont mark you as "persona no grata" and make your (in game) life a living hell for defying them. 

As I said, what you are describing is holding hands. You want to "pvp" with a pve pirate faction in a safe environment because you want nothing to do with other people or you fear losing because you don't feel powerful otherwise.

 

I then suggest we call the pirates BOO.  /s

 

@[BOO] Sylva would certainly feel honoured to have something like this named after her org.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, SirJohn85 said:

As I said, what you are describing is holding hands. You want to "pvp" with a pve pirate faction in a safe environment because you want nothing to do with other people or you fear losing because you don't feel powerful otherwise.

There's nothing safe about it. BOO can drop in at any moment and do a cleanup on what NPC pirates already did. For instance, if a fleet is dispatched to take out a FOB, BOO could come in mid-fight because some intel was leaked to them about the position.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, EasternGamer said:

There's nothing safe about it. BOO can drop in at any moment and do a cleanup on what NPC pirates already did. For instance, if a fleet is dispatched to take out a FOB, BOO could come in mid-fight because some intel was leaked to them about the position.

So far, no one has answered my question: Why do we need this in this state? If we already have pirates, in this case as players, why not put in the features that expand that first instead of opening a barrel and developing an AI?

 

I am not against an npc faction. But not in the current state. The game has completely different problems at the moment. I base this on the fact that I see in the Starbase introduction channel that many come from Dual Universe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, SirJohn85 said:

So far, no one has answered my question: Why do we need this in this state? If we already have pirates, in this case as players, why not put in the features that expand that first instead of opening a barrel and developing an AI?

For instance, more peaceful organizations, which I feel the majority are at the moment, will have a need to protect their shipments, even when they avoid the pipes. I sort of outlined this in the original post. Personally, I couldn't think of what you could add at the moment that would promote PVP. So I suggested a whole aspect that hasn't even been made yet in the game, PVE. There are PVE players who just are just forced doing PVP until such a thing happens.
I'll be frank, I'm more of a PVE player. I don't go out and shoot people often, and when I do I'm with an org with 8~ other people in the seat of the ship I fly. I think it would be great for solo players to have an "in" for some form of combat. I play EVE as a solo player doing purely PVE because I can't compete in the PVP space, personally speaking. (I haven't played EVE for a while)

I can't help but think that, in the current state, PVE could be great, if done right.
(Though, I feel like PVE is still at least a year or more away in the current state of the game)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, SirJohn85 said:

As I said, what you are describing is holding hands.

I did not reply to that. 

I replied to your statement that players cannot dislike PvP pirates and ask for PvE pirates at the same time. 

I explained how those are 2 diferent things. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, SirJohn85 said:

So far, no one has answered my question: Why do we need this in this state?

Op an I already decided to continue this discussion as a academic debate instead of a current feature request. 

 

Check the 1st 5, 6 comments. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, EasternGamer said:

I play EVE as a solo player doing purely PVE

That's the problem really with PVE in a mmo. 

 

It may look hard at first and when implemented ppl are all over it because they always die and noone knows how to deal with the new threat.

 

A month or two later you just chain solo double escalated C5 sites.....been there, done that. 

Pve gets really really hard to balance in a game like this so it'll end up

- either too easy/no good quanta per hour and noone bothering with it

- too easy and making ppl good money. So just a second grind like mining, a bit more exciting tho

 

And yes, That's also true for this idea - not sure how to balance that.

 

And thats exactly why Nq should first provide what was promised in the first place: atmo pvp, full pvp everywhere but the safezones, avatar vs avatar gameplay. Those three would be a major driver for sec companies and emergent gameplay 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, EasternGamer said:

For instance, more peaceful organizations, which I feel the majority are at the moment, will have a need to protect their shipments, even when they avoid the pipes.

What prevents people from hiring organisations that do mercenary work?

 

4 minutes ago, EasternGamer said:

Personally, I couldn't think of what you could add at the moment that would promote PVP. 

Territorial warfare (battle for tiles and atmospheric pvp inc.) and AvA (Avatar vs Avatar) would be 2 things that would immediately come to mind. One is supposed to come soon. 

 

6 minutes ago, EasternGamer said:

So I suggested a whole aspect that hasn't even been made yet in the game, PVE. There are PVE players who just are just forced doing PVP until such a thing happens.
I'll be frank, I'm more of a PVE player. I don't go out and shoot people often, and when I do I'm with an org with 8~ other people in the seat of the ship I fly. I think it would be great for solo players to have an "in" for some form of combat. I play EVE as a solo player doing purely PVE because I can't compete in the PVP space, personally speaking. (I haven't played EVE for a while)

I can't help but think that, in the current state, PVE could be great, if done right.
(Though, I feel like PVE is still at least a year or more away in the current state of the game)

In principle, there is nothing against PvE. I'm primarily weighing up what was said during the Kickstarter campaign about what should be in place for the release. I just wonder how you imagine it exactly, since the safe zones are supposed to be around 20km and everything after that is actually pvp and no longer "pve" in this sense. 

I also enjoy flora and fauna and would be happy to see that, but I knew then that it would not be a priority. If you now put the resources, energy and money into PvE, they lose the focus of the game in my eyes.

 

But otherwise, definitely. I'm totally with you and, in a long term view, would totally get behind your idea. But definitely not before official launch.

10 minutes ago, joaocordeiro said:

Op an I already decided to continue this discussion as a academic debate instead of a current feature request. 

And I've decided that I don't give a damn about what you decided in this post.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, Lethys said:

And thats exactly why Nq should first provide what was promised in the first place: atmo pvp, full pvp everywhere but the safezones, avatar vs avatar gameplay.

Yea i agree. Mainly because of the lack of resources to do a balanced PVE. 

 

But i feel like a middle ground is missing. 

 

I would love to see a duel system. Where 2 players or 2 forces would agree to have a duel in a PVP free zone, protected from 3rd party interrupts. 

Maybe even with the choice of a rule set, like loot able ships at the end, quanta bets, etc. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, SirJohn85 said:

And I've decided that I don't give a damn about what you decided in this post.

That does not mean "no one answered your question". 

Just means you are out of arguments. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, joaocordeiro said:

That does not mean "no one answered your question". 

Just means you are out of arguments. 

I'm not quite sure what you're alluding to now, but if you're speaking on behalf of op and think you have any say at all here, then you should sit down first and not dictate to people what topic is being discussed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Lethys said:

That's the problem really with PVE in a mmo. 

 

It may look hard at first and when implemented ppl are all over it because they always die and noone knows how to deal with the new threat.

 

A month or two later you just chain solo double escalated C5 sites.....been there, done that. 

Pve gets really really hard to balance in a game like this so it'll end up

- either too easy/no good quanta per hour and noone bothering with it

- too easy and making ppl good money. So just a second grind like mining, a bit more exciting tho

 

And yes, That's also true for this idea - not sure how to balance that.

 

And thats exactly why Nq should first provide what was promised in the first place: atmo pvp, full pvp everywhere but the safezones, avatar vs avatar gameplay. Those three would be a major driver for sec companies and emergent gameplay 

I am not one of those people, for the record. Also, that kind of solo player will never happen here. Think about it, in the current state, the game has you with 6 guns solo. You could maybe deal with 2 pirate ships solo if you have your tactics worked out, but not the FOB because there would just be too many ships defending it, unless you get it really early somehow.

A solo player would be able to ambush a single patrol ship, basically or maybe come in when both sides are weakened and score a kill.

 

6 minutes ago, SirJohn85 said:

What prevents people from hiring organisations that do mercenary work?

The post was made purely from my personal experience, so far in the org I'm apart of no one is hiring us to protect them. 
 

 

7 minutes ago, SirJohn85 said:

Territorial warfare (battle for tiles and atmospheric pvp inc.) and AvA (Avatar vs Avatar) would be 2 things that would immediately come to mind. One is supposed to come soon. 

I was more speaking of what wasn't already on the roadmap to be added. I couldn't find a post from NQ, though I didn't really look either.

 

9 minutes ago, SirJohn85 said:

In principle, there is nothing against PvE. I'm primarily weighing up what was said during the Kickstarter campaign about what should be in place for the release. I just wonder how you imagine it exactly, since the safe zones are supposed to be around 20km and everything after that is actually pvp and no longer "pve" in this sense. 

I also enjoy flora and fauna and would be happy to see that, but I knew then that it would not be a priority. If you now put the resources, energy and money into PvE, they lose the focus of the game in my eyes.

Yeah, that was my mistake really... I meant PVPVE.
PVE where PVP can happen at any time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...