Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Line of Fire

When I started in EVE one of the biggest disappointments was that asteroids did not block line of sight to targets, nor block weapon fire either. I found it immersion breaking; it was nonsensical that lasers and missiles would fly straight through a mass of rock with ease.

Before I played EVE I was in love with Star Trek: Starfleet Command and in that game the objects in space meant something. Get too close to an asteroid and *BOOM* you crashed. Go through a small asteroid debris field and see your shields deplete. Lose an opponent's lock on you by skirting behind a space station. It allowed a certain degree of tactical consideration and environment awareness in the heat of battle.

And then in EVE?


The only thing that structures and asteroids changed was the path of your flight, and even then you simply bounced off them. Sure, sometimes you could get caught up on the asteroid field and lose valuable velocity and transversal, but that's about it. I understand that CCP needs to make concessions to multi-player environments and processing limitations and gameplay accessibility, but it still sucks.

Over time I got used to it and adapted as we all have who have stuck around in this game. But I still lament the sameness of space. The new nebulae went a long way to breaking that monotony but it is still unfortunate that environmental effects are limited to one space mission where waves of a gas cloud damage your ship, deadspace pockets that limit warping abilities (and used to disable Microwarp Drives), and a few systems in wormhole space.

The ones in wormhole space interest me the most. I like the idea of all the common and well known rules of PvP combat being turned on its ear due to the system you just jumped into. It adds some spice to otherwise well known rules of engagement. I wish every region had one or two similar systems where things were just not quite the same. Something to give fleets a decision point: do we try and fight here where everyone's X module won't work, or next door? Does that hinder us more or less than our opponent? I like decisions, it makes life more interesting in game.

And yeah, I still wish asteroids blocked line of fire.


  1. I wish ships would block line of sight. Then I could bob and weave in my scimitar doling out space medicine and tracking links while letting the big fellows block shots for me.

  2. Heh, I just saw the manual for SFC II in a box in my office I was digging through looking for something else. That was quite the series, though I think only the original SFC caught the essence and complexity of the Star Fleet Battles table top game from which it derived. (And which I also played back in the day.)

    EVE Suffers from the same thing that a lot of MMOs have to compromise on, which is just keeping track of everybody and everybody in sync even when latency is all over the board for various people on grid. That's why we just press F1.

    My hope was that Star Trek Online would be the second coming of SFC... but it had the same need to compensate for network issues as every other MMO and ended up being very much a let down to me.

    1. I can only assume that STO has improved quite a lot since you played it. I find STO space combat very engaging and yes, asteroids and other solid structures DO block weapons. They also cause sensor disruptions. A detected cloaked ship can slip behind an asteroid and in so doing break the sensor lock of the ship that's detected it.

      (Note: cloaked ships in STO can be detected with strong enough sensors.)

      A lot of these questions come down to the design of the game itself. They're solvable problems. Witness Perpetuum which is basically EVE with giant robots but yet terrain, structures, and other robots will block your weapons fire. EVE's original design didn't include that possibility so 11+ years later we still don't have it.

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  4. (prior comment del'ed and reposted cause I kant spel... =\ )

    I will need some backing on this from older players but I have 'heard' that in the olden days of EVE this did happen as did friendly fire etc. ...

    The growth of the number of player and the size of fleets coupled with the fact that EVE is not a very good flight 'sim', IE the flight mechanics are very hands off in fleet moves and as to exactly where you land etc., these 2 factors made the negative effects from objects-in-space and friendly-fire far too common and so, we have the game we do today with a crap tonne of immersion and physics breaking mechanics such as a fleet that can fire devastating, direct, line-of-sight energy weapons directly THROUGH all of their fleet members ships and yet still strike a target ‘ship’... yet if the target ship is moving fast enough, and an tangential direction, the incoming damage can be mitigated... FFS.

    Imagine if you will, what it would take for even a small fleet of say 10 to 20 guys, each zooming in and trying and position their ships effectively to avoid rocks, structures and friendlies before engaging an enemy... EVE would become more infamous for its soul-crushing-clicking-in-space than it is as a front end for spreadsheets... But, with the inability to fly our ships via a joystick (or any other reasonable method) I really don't know what the answer is.

  5. Asteroids in Elite: Dangerous block weapons fire and will explode you if you hit them.


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