Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ideas about Cloaking

I’ve been thinking about cloaking a lot lately for some odd reason. There are many aspects to the discussion of cloaking –from the more controversial discussions regarding the ramifications of cloaking (there are many people who feel that people shouldn’t be able to sit AFK cloaked in space for an unlimited amount of time) to the general discussion of the mechanic itself.

The mechanics of cloaking are actually kind of strange in EVE. First, it is an all or nothing affect: you are either cloaked, or you are not cloaked. There is no such thing as being partially cloaked, or sort of cloaked.

Additionally, cloaks are one size fits all modules. The same module that will cloak your frigate will also cloak a battleship.

And, really the only ‘variety’ in cloaking is whether or not you can warp while cloaked –which is based off of whether your ship can use the Covert Ops Cloaking Device which allows you to do this.

What if cloaking was a lot more complex and diverse as a game mechanic? What if there were different types of cloaking, useful for different kinds of things? What if there were skills that allowed you to ‘cloak better’? Or skills and/or modules that allowed you to be able to detect certain types of cloaked ships nearby? Or even modules that could be used to prevent, or disable nearby cloaking?

What if there were..

Different sized cloaking modules that cloak different sized ships. Similar to how we use different sized rigs. These would have different fitting requirements, etc.

A kind of cloak that cloaks your signal on D-Scan and forces people to be closer to see you on scan. Perhaps, with skills that improve the affect –so that people have to be closer and closer to get you on scan. (For example, say that the module only lets you be ‘seen’ within 5AU, with the skill decreasing this to 3AU, or 1 AU, or et.—increasing the effectiveness of the cloak.) You can still do normal stuff on-grid, such as mine or shoot people but perhaps with some significant drawbacks to movement and etc.

A smartbomb-like module that ‘knocks’ people out of cloak within a certain radius once activated. Perhaps similar to a sort of EMP that turns off active modules –those requiring power.

Signal Boosting beacons. These would be mobile structures that boost or broadcast the signal of nearby objects (POSes, ships, etc. within a certain AU) and make them show up on scan at longer distances across the system.

A new module/anti-cloak probe to be used by HICs/Interdictors that prevents cloaking (even covert ops cloaking) within a large radius. This would give these ships a role that could be beneficial and useful in low-sec and highsec. It won’t prevent you from running, but it will prevent you from hiding.

Anyway, just a few ideas.


  1. some of those ideas are interesting, but the last one would kill blockade runners. activating it in HS should at least flag the player suspect if it uncloaks someone who isnt a valid target (someone with a suspect flag or valid war target) because that is just a stupidly strong tool for gate camps. balance wise, I would almost say that uncloaking someone who isnt a valid target should get a criminal tag, and everything that goes along with it. at that point it will only be used by suicide gankers in HS, somewhat negating the usefulness.

    1. i'm not sure how practical it would be in high-sec, as you say, as the aggression would get you CONCORDED unless done to a viable target.

      And it wouldn't mean that they couldn't make certain ships immune to it.

  2. I was thinking a new mobile structure - anchor it and over time it scans for traces of cloaked vessels and creates bookmarks of the vicinity of a cloaked ship. The bookmarks can be looted from the mobile structure by anyone. Say it scans every five minutes and needs two signals within an AU to confirm and produce a bookmark.

    It doesn't ruin cloakers fun, it just means they have to be more active. They still won't be visible when people arrive at the bookmark so they can in fact use it as a lure to draw people in. Hunters would need a smartbomb, or a cloud of ships, or something like your EMP device.

  3. It can be very difficult to think beyond what is and see what 'could' be.
    Cloaking is a very complex issue and so remains untouched but the ideas you talk about open the door to very interesting gameplay, taking the 'cat and mouse' gameplay which currently exists (where the cat loses often) and turning it into something more balanced where 'the hunter [can] become the hunted'

    It also fits with CCP's idea of making unique/distinguished ship types [like stealth bombers] that rely on a player's experience/mastery and not just on their ability to hit F1.

  4. The most people complain about cloaking the the afk cloaking in null sec.
    That is more like a problem of the free intel called local channel.
    Cloaking fore fine in w-space, only k-spacers have a problem with it.
    And that is because of local channel.