Wednesday, March 30, 2016

BB73 - Eve Online: The Colony

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 73rd edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.

Blog Banter 73 - The Other Eve Game?

So soon(tm) we will have Eve Online, Valkyrie, Gunjack and the as yet untitled FPS to replace DUST514/Project Legion. Are we missing anything else? Are then any other games CCP should be looking into? Colony building simulators in the style of Sim City or Rimworld. Should it be on a grander scale link Civilisation or Stronghold Kingdoms. How about RTS games ala Command and Conquer. Survival games such as Rust? Planet based combat like World of Tanks? Would you like to see other game types expanding the Eve Universe or should CCP stick to what it knows?

In the dim and distant past I have already blogged about this. I'd love to see two other of my favorite games, Rimworld and Stronghold Kingdoms merged and dropped into the Eve Online Universe.

Rimworld is an early-access title. Three survivors of a spaceship disaster have their escape pods land on a distant planet. You build a base, grow food, research new technology, fight off pirates and mad animals, tackle natural disasters and eventually build a spaceship to escape. "Dwarf Fortress Lite".

In Stronghold Kingdoms you build multiple villages and castles, trade, research and fight other players.

I see Eve Online: The Colony as an amalgamation of the two. You pick a planet (server) and start with four colonists landing in your 'Quafe Corporation EZ Colony Hub'. The dropship-cum-colony hub touches down in your chosen area. Did you go for near the mountain range, more metal deposits but less flat area? The Forest for a nice flat area but a little lower on resources? Or one of the other biomes?

Your Quafe Corporation EZ Colony Hub then deploys. It has a reactor giving a bit of surplus power, a metal extractor that drills down into the ground to start bring some metal up, a small hydroponic garden for food and a laboratory for research. It can also accommodate up to six colonists. More people could wander in and join your colony if it gets a good rep!

You then need to go about expanding your colony. But what's your priority? Build some extractors because you need metal? Those extractors need power so you'll need more reactors or solar farms. However you'll not get anything built if your colonists aren't happy so a bar is going to be important. Plus the new arrivals will want somewhere to live. Plus you need money so do you make trade goods or search for gold? Oh yeah, and some defenses would be nice as there is a Serpentis base 200km south, a rogue drone mini-hive to the north and those big elephant type creatures that wander around are known to be easily pissed off!

A launch facility would also be a good idea to blast trade goods into space to the orbiting trade centre. Here all the other colonies also fire their goods into space and have their purchases fired down. Excess metal? Sell some of it and buy what you are low on!

The game would be free-to-play. You can buy Aurum and rent advanced AI programs from Quafe for a fee. Low on metal? Then the Quafe Advanced Mining Algorithms might help. 12 hours of 1.5x extraction. Therefore if you do not want to pay you don't have to, but these micro transactions do really help.

The game would also be "always on". Whilst you are logged out everything is still running. Your colonists will work, extractors will extract and you may even be attacked.

There would be PvP like in Stronghold Kingdoms. You can send raiding parties to other colonies. Steal their "stuffz" or even kidnap their colonists.

There would be random events occurring. Earthquake, global meteor strike causing a nuclear winter, fires, solar flare, rare massive animal that dislikes colonies.

It wouldn't be a game you'd sit down for hours and play. You'd log on, check whats happened since you last logged on in the messages. Place a new building (could take 6 to 24 hours to build), queue up some research, do some trading, make some repairs, make sure everyone is happy and log out.

Then again 'GrrrGoon794' who has the colony south of you is a bit of an asshat and he and his friends have banded together in a collective (the game's version of corp or guild) and declared war on your collective. You need to log on more often and also are burning Strontium at an alarming rate. However it does make your base invulnerable for a set period of hours so you can sleep soundly or relax at the office knowing those asshats cannot get to your colony. Wait.... you did do 12 hours of reinforcement right? Right????? (number of times I've been at work wondering if I did set enough monk interdiction on my villages to protect them until I got home).

Strontium would probably be a rare resource that cannot be traded and needs a special extractor built into the colony hub so you cannot build any more. You can upgrade the amount per day it makes through research but it's a limited resource. Again the effects of the reinforced mode can be modified by rental AI programs. The Quafe 'Nope!' Colony Shield Reinforcer Algorithm. Extends the period of invulnerability by 1.5x so the normal 100 stront = 4 hours of invulnerability is extended to six. So if you are AFK for the weekend and want to make yourself immune to attack you can spend 1200 stront (for 12 x 4 hours to give 48 hours total) or play the AI program and need only 800 units to give you peace of mind for whole two days. During war time you might spend a bit more time online to save you burning Strontium by leaving your colony in reinforced mode.

Of course your enemy can use their strontium based EMP weapon before you are reinforced and stop your shields going into reinforced mode for 6 hours a time. However that's 1200 strontium in an attack? You could reinforce your own colony for half a day for that. Are they going to burn that much? Even if they do, your defense drones, turrets and expensive AI controlled tank mean they'll be losing a lot of their attack force if they try.

All combat would be a simple "place troops on a map and click send". You do not control the battles, just get to watch them replayed after the event. Of course your opponent can see them coming and can beef up their defenses if they spot them in time. Its a 5 hour trip for your attack force to get to the other colony and during that time they are visible on the map. You could play an AI program that would speed the travel up. Then again they could be playing the Quafe "GTFO" turret upgrade program which doubles the fire rate of automated defense turrets for 6 hours. That could hurt! Worst of all you could commit most of your forces and then one of your targets mates sends a force to attack you. You cannot attack when your own base is reinforced so you are leaving yourself exposed!

So there you go. You start of with four colonists and a small hub and can build up a huge base with farming, mining, manufacturing, research, power, defenses and strip clubs (well may be not the later). Its a base building game... until someone falls out and starts a war!


  1. This is my favorite idea for linked game in the EVE universe. Could be played on iphone or android, and items launched into space are hauled by interbus to trade hubs and sold -> you get a cut, interbus gets a cut(isk sink). Or you could set it up to sell directly to an EVE player -> they have to pick it up from the POCO though (would be a contract in EVE). Anyway, like this idea and would play it. I am currently trying to avoid the war in my area in Stronghold Kingdoms. Great idea, hopefully CCP is reading this.

  2. I want an app on my phone that allows me to play some EVE-related game... but here's the kicker. I want it to benefit my pilots in EVE. Maybe a way to make ISK while on my commute?

  3. You may forgive the comment, but this sounds very much like Clash of Clans, but with an EvE facade.

    And there are hundred of CoC clones out there.

    1. I understand where you are going with this comment, but the games he referenced have a lot more depth and gameplay choices than CoC. I have played both CoC and Stronghold Kingdoms, and while CoC is no longer on my phone, I am still very active in Stronghold Kingdoms. Probably has something to do with more open environment/gameplay.

  4. You forgot to define who the celebrity spokesperson would be... Chris Pratt? Older and more washed up? How about Dustin Hoffman? Jack Nicholas?

    This could replace PI in game. Cue the capsuleer demigod who can orbital bombard to save your colony and you pay all your tribute to them. Training PI in game, enables upgrades for your colonies that are managed by the out of game app...

    Very interesting Mr. Drakarn...