As some of you will now have seen from Fanfest the idea of compact “mini games” is coming to our gaming
universe, at the moment it will be confined to exploration but I think this small “toe dip” into the murky waters of “mini gaming” is the tip of what could be some pretty big changes. It reminded me of a proposition I put forward some years ago on the eve-o forums that was also mini game based and I thought I would post it here for interest and maybe to spark debate. Shown below is the post in pretty much it’s original form……
Idea 1: Copying is the sincerest flattery…
Mass effect 2 style probing mini game using a audio/ visual queue as you hover over a asteroid representation to find the best areas of the asteroid to hit with your mining lasers. if you choose poorly (or not at all in the case of afk miners) you get a poorer yield (mining skills could improve the accuracy of the audio/ visual queue or the resolution you could scan at maybe). You could also have the rare “ultra dense” drops show as a special anomaly on this that you may miss if you do not check thoroughly) If you have not played mass effect 2 there are loads of vids on youtube of the probing mechanic but my forum foo is weak and I cant make a working linky. Sad face.
Idea 2: use a similar mechanic already in place….
How about the “heat map” from PI also becomes audio and is adapted to be used on asteroids to again show relative potential yield areas with the same “if you choose poorly (or not at all in the case of afk miners) you get a poorer yield mechanism I mentioned above. Obviously the visual heat map will need to be robust enough or the colour scale changeable to allow for visual impairment. Also as with PI you could simulate resource depletion so it rewards people interacting more and finding the best mining laser site at any given time. Skills can effect the audio/visual representation in a way similar to PI and through properly exploring the asteroids you may find the “super duper dense officer
mining equivalent” that an afk miner will not further rewarding people actually actively mining.
Possible fall out of proposed mining “improvements”
Okay those are 2 ideas that someone elsewhere may have already had but I didn’t spot (sorry if this is the case and its not intended as an offence) but what could be the result of making mining better through a “mini game mechanic”?
As is already known people like to min max where possible, by adding a new element to the equation to take concentration you run the risk of not spotting other things (like that hostile that just came into system or the new belt rats etc). I am not actually saying this is a bad thing (I am actually a null sec raider and would love more chance that a miner may not spot my entry into local but I feel this mini game idea, due to concentration required to attain the best results will actually help keep the “risk/reward” mechanic in place.
Also on the subject of min maxing fits I had a random idea, why are asteroids only a resource? why not make them the trigger for rat spawns or even have them shoot back? using the two potential mechanics listed above how about not having all finds positive?
While were at it why are asteroids “only” positive? You could have some asteroid anomalies that are negative, for example…
1. You accidentally spooked a hidden pirate hideout and they boil out of hiding to protect their hideaway (maybe handled as simply as a player generated belt spawn)
2. The asteroid actually has camouflaged weapon emplacements and starts shooting at you itself and you must now incapacitate the defenses or even leave its vicinity if you cannot.
3. There is a pocket of explosive minerals/ gas/ compounds, the asteroid goes off like a smart bomb.
Hell go wild people, I am sure others can come up with cool alternative asteroid anomalies both positive and negative.
The mechanic of system sec status could be used to govern the likely hood of these “negative and positive anomalies” and the severity when they occur and skills could help you spot these special anomalies more easily and avoid them or not as required. This will add an element of balance into people fitting there mining ships as they have to consider if they can survive a potential “negative anomaly” which again helps the risk/reward mechanic.
Some final thoughts
As I said this is a post I made some years ago, the thing that worries me though is that is one area that even with the re balance of the mining ships there has been no iteration off, a rarity in Eve these days, I actually spoke with CCP greyscale at Fanfest about the “why are all “anomalies” positive idea, can we have some negative ones and he sounded genuinely interested so who knows maybe in the near future we may be hearing about actually interesting “once when I was mining” stories that don’t involve a mass smart bomb gank, who knows?