Monday, January 5, 2015

About Dscan Undetectability

I had a message from a reader the other day about the revamp to recons that CCP is going to do.  The specifics are found in CCP Rise's Features and ideas posting (also see the second post, pointing to his followup posts).  Quoting it:
  • Combat Recons will now be permanently undetectable by directional scanners
  • All eight Recons will have the capacitor cost of warping reduced by roughly half
  • Where appropriate, bonuses will be adjusted to match ship developer trends
  • All eight Recons are having their capacitor pool and capacitor regeneration buffed (roughly 20% increase in cap regen)
  • The average maximum velocity across the class is going up by around 20m/s
(My emphasis.)  What are my thoughts?  OK, there are the latter four adjustments, which are quite anodyne.  Recons do need something, and better speed/range seems to fit.

Then there is the dscan-undetectability.  This is a major change, and one I dislike.  Still, CCP seems resolved to it.

I have seen a lot of people of the general PVP community disliking it.  You fly to a complex, and dscan.  There's a frigate on scan; you think you can beat it.  You warp into the plex, and it tackles you, and then it and its combat recon buddy (or three) roundly squash you.  Fun?

Of course, people can do that now, with cloakies.  Falcons.  Proteuses.  Do they?  Well, I don't know, not being a kspace PVP person.  In known space, you do at least have the ability to see if more than two people are in local, and become accordingly paranoid.

Here's my take on it, from my wormhole perspective.  I dislike it because to us, dscan is what local is to y'all squares.  It is our means to know whether a system is active.  Any system I enter, I fly around and look for people.  Of course people can still cloak, and they do.  But at least I can see with relative ease if anyone is out on grid doing stuff.  If a system has nobody visible, and no probes, and you watch for a while and don't see any, then it is most likely empty.

The new combat recons will change that, perhaps drastically.  No longer can I enter a system and find people earning money to gank.  The new combat recons will be able to earn money while "cloaked".  A ship that can earn money while dscan-proof is a new thing in EVE.  For PVE, at least the wrecks will give them away.  (Though they still may be worth using for small sites, instead of the site-running Tengu I am using.  I'll have to see about DPS.)

But what about those new null-style data/relic sites?  As my correspondent pointed out, those sites will be perfect to run in a combat recon.  Nobody even knows you are there to look for you, unless they are hunting using combat probes, which is rather rare.  You do lose the hacking bonus, which kind of balances it.  I suppose I will adjust by simply warping into every single relic/data site to check. But even then I cannot gank in my Manticore; it requires a second account, probably also in a combat recon since they can now make it onto grid before being detected.  Or I will have to bite the bullet and upship to a T3 to hunt in.

I probably will get a Rook to use for null sites.  Currently I use a Buzzard.

Overall, I am sure I will adjust.  Grumble.

One other thing I have to mention: it's ugly.  I am the sort of person that likes clean rules, such as "if a ship is not cloaked, you always see it on dscan."  Throwing one more exception into an otherwise clean rule is not a step in the right direction, in my opinion.  Violate it with ship fittings (i.e. cloaks): that's OK.  Violate with ship hulls, and it's not OK.  Whatever that magic stuff is that they build Rooks out of, can't they make my Buzzard from the same stuff?  Or at least a Heron?


  1. I will be curious to see if this d-scan void effect is expanded into other effects or hulls. I get the feeling that this will not be an isolated bonus, but rather recons are a control within an experiment. On the opposite side of the coin - I find that local is perfect intelligence - zero Fog of War. And that like not having local, not having d-scan is a variance of flavor.

  2. I would vastly prefer if they tried this "experiment", which is what it is you know... via a module... similar to Cov Ops CLoak but with CPU/Pwr reqs that are matched to ONLY the Recon class...

    Then we would have (1) a reasonable mechanic for Dscan cloaking and (2) a better and more rational methodology for balancing the cost for that ability. But to have a particular hull suddenly invisible to dscan for no reason I have yet heard? That doesn't even fit the lore much less acceptability from the playerbase.

    As for OPness and how it will fit into EVE? Well, I will as always refer all back to CCP Seagull's well stated ideal...

    from CSM Summer Minutes, ‘Veteran Player Retention’ section (pg 120)…

    "...predictability is boring everyone to death now."

    “For the record. This was so many years ago and we have done so much work to reach now. I, as the executive producer, am in a risk taking mode. But, in the new way that we work. Not just random things. We need to be bolder. We should be able to get over our trauma of Incarna. We need to own our game and be courageous with it. I think our players want that of us.”

    "We, internally, have become scared in a sense of making bolder changes to the game so that we know we can control the outcome. Because we do not want to be perceived as messing up again. We can predict what is going on. That predictability is boring everyone to death now. We need to challenge and move forward with solid plans owned by teams that are building the vision in their hands. We need to turn up the volume."

    1. Agreed on having a module being a better way to go about it.

      As for CCP taking risks... well, this is one I suppose. And I generally favor risk taking. The problem is CCP inevitably comes up with such CCPish ideas. Still, I have to take the good with the bad. Maybe it will work out well.

  3. "One other thing I have to mention: it's ugly.  I am the sort of person that likes clean rules, such as "if a ship is not cloaked, you always see it on dscan."  Throwing one more exception into an otherwise clean rule is not a step in the right direction, in my opinion."

    Kind of like bubble immunity for interceptors? CCP opened up that Pandora's box already. But the community loved that. Well, now they have to live with the ripples of that particular rock.

    1. Yes, like bubble immunity. I disliked that change for the same reason.