Wednesday, November 25, 2015

BB69 - Yeah! Science B*tch!

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 69th edition! For more details about
what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.

Because of Space-Magic
CCP sometimes get stuck between a veldspar 'roid and a hard place when they try to blend realism with sensible game mechanics in our sci-fi simulator. Sometimes they create a scientific answer such as 4th dimensional drag to explain our 'submarines in space'. Other times, not so much. When a null-sec Citadel is destroyed players 'stuffz' is to be magicked to another station. Why should a citadel be different to a titan? Should CCP ensure that 'space magic' always has a plausible explanation or do we need just to say "Well, its only a game!" and engage the willing suspension of disbelief? How should it work when a citadel goes boom, how do we balance risk with reward, and how should any "space-magic" be explained?

BB69 - Yeah! Science B*tch!

CCP has in the past referred to Eve Online not as a game but as a "Sci-Fi Simulator" in their press releases. I think that is a big part of the game. Its not Call of Duty or Fallout where you die and respawn/load saved game. The game mechanics have a scientific explanation. Mostly.

One of the problems with hosting the Blog Banter is that with my posting schedule people beat me to the punch. Rhavas over at Interstellar Privateer has stolen my thunder about wormhole space. Without gates and their fluid routers FTL communications should not work. I'm not 100% sure but I assume our brain scans when we are podded/clone jump travel via the fluid routers. Else how can they get 100 light years almost instantaneously? Fluid Routers explain the space-magic, other games just hope you'll not question.

So onto the crux of the matter. When your citadel in normal space is destroyed the player's stuffz stored there will be transferred to another station by......

Here we have space-magic. Firstly do we need this mechanic? I say yes. Eve is risk verses reward. We want people to use citadels as their "space-home". We want to encourage their use. However, if we let people blow up ALL THE THINGS then many people won't. I do feel we need a mechanic to save a players stuff. Yes if an outpost is captured you 'lose' your stuffz there but the thing is, its impounded. You have the chance to get it back by re-capture, use alts or just sell it via contact to the new owners. However again we could question the lore of this existing mechanic. "Hey guys we have captured the outpost! It is ours now!" - "Great! Can we raid the enemies hangers and steal their stuffz?" - "No, they locked the hanger door on the way out" - "Oh, the sneaky bastards!". What we don't want is for people to go on holiday for two weeks and come back with a sun tan and the discovery that 10 years of Eve Stuffz has been destroyed.

Anyway I need to get onto the mechanics problem of blown up citadel loot. In sov null-sec you are the boss. There is no law. We are the law. So we cannot have any NPC taking control of the site to recover stuffz. In the lore the powerful capsuleer alliances aren't going to let InterBus shoo them away from the spoils or war. In fact why would these NPC corps really care what happens in sov null-sec.

So its onto "YEAH! SCIENCE BITCH!" to explain how we get our stuffz saved. But, how do we explain the transfer of Mr Players stuff from the exploding citadel to another station without using "space magic" and breaking immersion?

My mind goes back to Fanfest.... erm...... damn which was it, I was drinking... could be any then.... 2012? CCP Soundwave, when discussing the POS/space base talks back then, said the line "We'd really like to let you put jump drives on these things". So there is an option. The cargo bays are self contained and shielded areas equipped with a jump drive.

Next problem, range. Your citadel might be out of jump range of the nearest friendly station. OK, say jump range is not limited by technology, but physiology. Several times in the backstory and lore CCP have said what an awful experience jump travel is for humans. If we are jumping non-organic stuff only can we say range is massively increased? Perhaps as citadels don't move and the destination is set in advance they can plot a jump much further as the navi-com has days or weeks to plot a jump between two static points. Your carrier cannot do that as it's always moving and never knows exactly where the cyno will be. A stationary citadel jumping stuff from a fixed point to another fixed point might have a much better range? Power? A citadel has much more power than a capital or super capital allowing it to jump further? There are plenty of explanations why range could be increased through science and not magic.

So my answer to this banter is that there needs to be that 'safety net' for citadels so if you go on holiday you don't come back to find all your stuffz atomised/looted. However it can all be explained by big feck-off jump-drives strapped to the hangers within a shielded environment so even if the citadel is bubbled, when it blows, they can jump. OK, I'm stretching science a bit but its only a game... isn't it?


  1. Science is not strictly necessary... just a really good insurance company. In a universe where you die and wake up in a clone in the next few seconds, having a company make an inventory of your cargo and replace it all in a safe spot is not inconceivable.

    The wonderful thing about Eve is that there's no such thing as a unique item... there's usually duplicates somewhere. It just happens to be an amazing coincidence that everything that was blown up is also on the non-capsuleer market in the station where the insurance company is working!

  2. Absolutely! This should get adopted into the lore - especially because it's a fan based explanation that is viable enough to pass the disbelief test. Nice job. For me this is the explanation.