Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Toll booths

[Editor's note: Well, TQ is dead by now, and the announced dt is to be at best 19h long… I'll go check how EVE looks in a couple days after the inevitable post-patch kinks are worked out.
No big posts until then, I'm afraid, as I'm doing non-EVE stuff in the next two days, unless I find time to spare to go for a full breakdown of the patch notes, which I've read and researched a bit by now, and I must say there is a majority of nice-smelling stuff in there — botched sovereignty mechanics aside.
In the meantime, I have this old bit of fodder I exhumed, and  which would fit nicely in the new pet-heavy resident-friendly landscape of Dominion sovereignty system.]

Jump Bridges 
 …are a cool feature,
and one of the few places where holding sovereignty actually makes a difference in the relationship one has to the environment, compared even to cyno-jammers, whose raison d'être is to help defend sovereignty, thus echoing the pre-Dominion circular joke of fuel discount on POSes that are deployed only to hold sov.


As interesting as the ability to basically create your own custom gate network may be, jumpbridges are also a royal pain to operate and maintain for their owners.

One of the main grudges logisticians and officers hold against bridges is the lack of control over who can use them: anyone with + standings and the knowledge of a unique shared password per bridge (ergo anyone with + standings, really) can jump through at will as long as the bridge has fuel in the tank.

Which brings us to the second and most frequently sore spot: fueling and attached costs and workload.

Long story short, only members of the alliance owning the POS/bridge can be allowed to top up a bridge fuel tank with Liquid Ozone, but since they have very little control over who can use the bridge, these tend to run out quick. This is made worse by the absence of any logs stored or relayed by the bridge about who jumped through when and in what ship class.

Toll booths.
Without even considering — for now — changing the access management system that rules over bridge use, simply add the option for the bridge to demand fuel before activating.
Either you have enough fuel, or you pay in ISK.

In practical terms, on right-clicking to jump through a bridge, you'll see a dialog pop up with a warning and two quotes, going roughly like this.

This installation needs fuel to displace
your ship through the magic spacetubes.

Do you want to allow this bridge to take Liquid Ozone
from your cargo bay, or do you prefer to pay in cash ?

Liquid Ozone required: {insert number} units
Cash price: {insert number} ISK

[Rape my bay !] [Rape my wallet !]

  • If you don't have enough LO or ISK at the ready, the number will be red-colored and the [Rape my…] button will be greyed-out.

  • Assuming you click on either available option while sitting in activation range, your cargo bay or wallet will be syphoned for the required amount of fuel or ISK, and you'll jump through.

  • If both buttons are greyed-out, you can't jump until you beg somebody for ISK, or get enough Liquid Ozone in your cargo bay.
The base ISK price per Liquid Ozone unit should be defined on a per-bridge basis, and a profit margin could discretionarily be added at the POS owners discretion, to compute the quote from ActualFuelRequirements+Margin(%).
Standings and alliance affiliation could be used to compute a discount or mitigate the overtax, much like is done on Outposts' station services.

Simple way to limit abuse of bridges, stop them from running dry, and maybe even make a buck on them to recoup the operation costs.

Happy expansion all !


1 comment:

  1. Dont leave us in the grey area for so long man, we depend on your blog for the breakfast! :)