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Thread: Kill Warrant Scanner Feedback

  1. Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread. #1
    Lead Designer- Elite: Dangerous Frontier Employee

    Kill Warrant Scanner Feedback

    Hello Commanders!

    We’ve been going through the feedback for the Kill Warrant Scanner (as always, thank you for your input!) and wanted to clarify why the module has changed, as well as float an idea for your consideration.

    As part of the crime update, we now place bounties on ships, which are cleared one jurisdiction at a time. This means that when criminals are processed, their captors only care about crimes relevant to their jurisdiction. Because other bounties remain, there is more consequence, as Commanders risk losing their ship multiple times if they have multiple bounties.

    However, this caused an issue with the Kill Warrant scanner. The new system runs on the principle that only one bounty is cleared at a time at a detention centre, which does not work with the old version of the Kill Warrant Scanner, as it detected all bounties.

    Additionally, if detention centres *did* process all bounties the result would potentially be crippling, punishing Commanders too harshly for killing ships, even NPC ships, by forcing them to pay every bounty at once, especially considering that bounties will no longer expire.

    So we changed the Kill Warrant Scanner to detect the single largest bounty. This would allow the villain to be destroyed multiple times, and over time would allow all the bounties to be claimed. However, there is no denying that it significantly reduces the earning potential of the module.

    We think the updated crime system is better across the board, and ultimately, worth the change to how the KWS works.

    That being said, we are considering (and just that, no ETA or guarantee, this is just something we’re mulling over) a change to the KWS.

    It’s somewhat significant, so we’d like to get some feedback on the concept before deciding any next step.


    Kill Warrant Scanner Serving Suggestion


    • Upon a successful scan, the KWS will detect every bounty for factions aligned with the same superpower as the faction controlling the current jurisdiction.
      • E.g. if you’re in a jurisdiction controlled by an Imperial aligned faction, then the KWS will detect every bounty on the scanned ship issued by all Imperial aligned factions.

    • What’s more, the KWS scan will *legitimise* attack against the scanned ship for you and any wingmen. This freedom to attack will expire once the target leaves the location, via supercruise, hyperspace jump or the like.

    • The KWS will detect all Interstellar bounties on a target vessel. However, it does not legitimise attack, so you still will have to break the law to collect them if the Interstellar bounty is for a different superpower than the current jurisdiction is alinged to.


    This change would bring the Kill Warrant Scanners closer to its original specification, especially regarding earning potential, improve it in some contextually appropriate situations by legitimising attack, limit its power where appropriate by hiding non-local independent bounties and fit neatly within the lore of how the game deals with criminality and factions.

    So now, over to you. Do you think this proposal give the KWS enough kick? Does it punish/threaten criminals too much? Is the mechanic clear enough? In short, have a gander and tell us what you think. A final reminder, this is just a suggestion that we're looking at, not a definite plan.

    Your feedback is greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Hi Sandro.

    I think the main issue about the new KWS and the logic of "Commander risks ship destruction multiple times" is that it does not apply to NPC's, as they are not persistent. The logic presented indicates that you guys were thinking about KWS mainly as PVP module, where I don't think it's the case, as it was widely used for maximising profits for PVE as well. You have all the data from the players, so you probably know best, but I could dare an assumption that the KWS is (or was) much more popular with PVE players rather than PVP. And you have seemed to ignore that part of it's use completely.

    The proposal here seems good to me and it would indeed render KWS useful in PVE again, at least in superpowers. Still, what about the independent ones?

    ::EDIT::

    After reading some of the comments below I actually agree about the effect on reputation and in CG's as well... Give it some more thought. The proposal is a step in the right direction, but not big enough IMHO.

  3. #3
    Ok, I usually don't bother with a KWS, even if I am (NPC) bounty hunting, but I can understand the problems of the people who do use it.

    That out of the way - your reasoning for the KWS nerf sounds reasonable. Not because it might otherwise cripple the CMDR (I don't care if a serial killer is sent back to the starter Sidey), but sending them to a (different) Detention Center for every kill (ok, every kill in a new jurisdiction) - that I like .

    Your suggestions for the KWS change sound even better, and seem to be consistent. Including the non-legitimisation of attacks against ships that are wanted in a different superpower jurisdiction. So you could play as an Imperial bounty hunter, hunting for Empire villains in Fed space, and become a Fed most wanted while being the most loved poster boy of the Empire. So the superpowers (and superpower rep?) may actually become a bit more significant.

    So, when do I get the Slave 1Krait?

  4. #4
    I need to digest this a bit more but my immediate comment is that you still seem to be thinking about PVP here (maybe I'm wrong) and I just don't think that's relevant to the KWS.

    PVP players (Isinona and his wonderful roleplay aside) don't use the Kill Warrant Scanner.

    The Kill Warrant Scanner is a tool for PVE bounty hunting gameplay.

    In the context of PVE and NPC ships I'm not sure I understand this idea of "legitimising" attack against scanned ships. Are you saying that we might scan an NPC with the KWS (who might otherwise be clean and not legitimately attackable) and then find that he is wanted in others systems within the same superpower and now be able to attack him? If so ... hmmm, OK - interesting. How would this work if you used the KWS on an NPC in an independent or even an anarchy system?

  5. #5
    Sorry Sandro but not even close to good enough!

    A - It's overly complicated when there is a far more simple system available, in pseudocode...

    if KWS_Complete and target type = NPC then {link to current live code for KWS bounties etc}
    else if KWS_complete and target type = Player then {link to beta code for KWS}

    B - It does nothing to address the rep issue in many systems. Many systems have multiple aligned factions, many systems have none, so this is still an effective rep nerf over the current live build. Have you even considered how this works in systems with multiple factions aligned to multiple powers or where an independent faction is the controlling one?

    C - It's "no ETA or guarantee" IE: Suck up the system we've currently implemented even if you hate it for however long it takes before we can be bothered to work on this...

    What people want is the KWS to perform it's existing function in live on NPCs and identify all bounties no matter the faction, if your overly complicated crime and punishment system makes a very simple module that works effectivly "incompatible" then perhaps you should have thought about this earlier? Specifically why it was "incompatible" and what that said about the C&P system? And as all your "issues" with the current KWS and the New C&P system seem to come down to players then the solution is frankly blindingly obvious! And is mentioned in point A and has been proposed by scores of people already!

    In summary, and to restate my opening line: Not even close to good enough I'm afraid!

    In addition you handwavium on the lore seems dodgy at best...are we really to believe that in the future criminals get processed and detained for one crime at a time then get let go then get hunted down again? Really? Would then not at the very least be detained and punished for all crimes relating to the jurisdiction they were "caught" in? And while the KWS proposal moves towards this system you'd need to change the C&P system to match it if you wanted that to be some logically consistent lore safe feature...

  6. #6
    Sandro. Thanks for the feedback. However, the main issue with the KWS change for PvE isn't the money. it's the effect it has on gaining rep with the factions in that system.

    Potentially the effect on reputation or on a CG could be significant.

    E.g Bounty hunting CG for "somebody inc". currently, so long as an NPC has a bounty for "somebody inc" then that bounty will go towards the CG. In 3.0 if the empire, "Nobody ltd" or whoever are top then killing that NPC will give nothing towards the CG progress.

    And if it's just the controlling faction's bounties you want (say for above CG) then actually, using the KWS hinders you as it may wipe out the bounties you want due to a higher total somewhere else. That being the case, why fit one at all?

    This affects the bounty CG in other ways, often the actual location of the CG has poor res sites, and a neighbouring system is better. Currently not an issue because as mentioned so long as it's on the list it counts. Going over to a neighboring system increases the likelihood that other faction is going to be top of the list. Thus making, the completion of the CG significantly trickier.

    Since only the top one is used it is also entirely possible to become hostile with the CG faction or an unintended faction simply because only the highest value is only counted.

    But let's also reverse things. Let's say "Somebody inc" IS at the top of the list, and the empire is at number 2. That means that so long as the system has a controlling faction that isn't imperial then reputation gain with the empire is also going to slower and trickier because only bounties for "Somebody Inc" will count..

    Basically, this change will have a significant and detrimental effect on PvE and faction rep gain for what amounts as to edge cases.

    As an interim, why not just award the commander the top 3 bounties, thus minimising the effect on the killed player and not really affecting PvE

  7. #7
    I need to clarify - we are still talking about specific scanned ship bounties right? Just curious about this detail.

    As for KWS not being used in PvP...who cares, it should work there

  8. #8
    I can guarantee it's not used as a PVP tool as the reward/effort ratio for bounty hunting players is virtually non existent, the bounty's just aren't high enough.

    The proposal above looks better. If I've understood correctly it will still allow for us to prevent from becoming hostile in a system by earning rep from each faction as we cash in the bounty's (maybe someone could clarify this?) This was the main issue with the new KWS for me.

    Edit. Seems to still leave issues with non aligned factions and anarchy systems.

    It looks to me that it will still mean reduced income from bounty hunting which I don't think is right as it's already a low earner. Maybe something could be done by increasing rewards for the hunter but not increasing the amount the criminal has to pay? So in effect the Bounty hunter receives maybe triple what the criminal is charged.

  9. #9
    Originally Posted by Sandro Sammarco View Post (Source)
    Hello Commanders!

    We’ve been going through the feedback for the Kill Warrant Scanner (as always, thank you for your input!) and wanted to clarify why the module has changed, as well as float an idea for your consideration.

    As part of the crime update, we now place bounties on ships, which are cleared one jurisdiction at a time. This means that when criminals are processed, their captors only care about crimes relevant to their jurisdiction. Because other bounties remain, there is more consequence, as Commanders risk losing their ship multiple times if they have multiple bounties.

    However, this caused an issue with the Kill Warrant scanner. The new system runs on the principle that only one bounty is cleared at a time at a detention centre, which does not work with the old version of the Kill Warrant Scanner, as it detected all bounties.

    Additionally, if detention centres *did* process all bounties the result would potentially be crippling, punishing Commanders too harshly for killing ships, even NPC ships, by forcing them to pay every bounty at once, especially considering that bounties will no longer expire.

    So we changed the Kill Warrant Scanner to detect the single largest bounty. This would allow the villain to be destroyed multiple times, and over time would allow all the bounties to be claimed. However, there is no denying that it significantly reduces the earning potential of the module.

    We think the updated crime system is better across the board, and ultimately, worth the change to how the KWS works.

    That being said, we are considering (and just that, no ETA or guarantee, this is just something we’re mulling over) a change to the KWS.

    It’s somewhat significant, so we’d like to get some feedback on the concept before deciding any next step.


    Kill Warrant Scanner Serving Suggestion


    • Upon a successful scan, the KWS will detect every bounty for factions aligned with the same superpower as the faction controlling the current jurisdiction.
      • E.g. if you’re in a jurisdiction controlled by an Imperial aligned faction, then the KWS will detect every bounty on the scanned ship issued by all Imperial aligned factions.

    • What’s more, the KWS scan will *legitimise* attack against the scanned ship for you and any wingmen. This freedom to attack will expire once the target leaves the location, via supercruise, hyperspace jump or the like.

    • The KWS will detect all Interstellar bounties on a target vessel. However, it does not legitimise attack, so you still will have to break the law to collect them if the Interstellar bounty is for a different superpower than the current jurisdiction is alinged to.


    This change would bring the Kill Warrant Scanners closer to its original specification, especially regarding earning potential, improve it in some contextually appropriate situations by legitimising attack, limit its power where appropriate by hiding non-local independent bounties and fit neatly within the lore of how the game deals with criminality and factions.

    So now, over to you. Do you think this proposal give the KWS enough kick? Does it punish/threaten criminals too much? Is the mechanic clear enough? In short, have a gander and tell us what you think. A final reminder, this is just a suggestion that we're looking at, not a definite plan.

    Your feedback is greatly appreciated!
    As others stated, this looks like it was a PVP driven change, with that said, your suggestion for using it for the factions aligned with the superpower may be a good alternative however that leaves open the issue of non aligned system and anarchy systems.

  10. #10
    Originally Posted by Cmdr Eagleboy View Post (Source)
    As for KWS not being used in PvP...who cares, it should work there
    It should indeed but PVP should NOT be the driving factor in determining how this predominantly PVE utility functions. Otherwise you're affecting 90% of people's gameplay for the sake of the 10% (obviously these figures are pure guesswork but I'd be astonished if they're far off the mark).

  11. #11
    This affects the bounty CG in other ways, often the actual location of the CG has poor res sites, and a neighbouring system is better. Currently not an issue because as mentioned so long as it's on the list it counts. Going over to a neighboring system increases the likelihood that other faction is going to be top of the list. Thus making, the completion of the CG significantly trickier.
    KWS mechanic change really doesn't change this. FD can tweak bounties assigned to NPCs as they wish.

  12. #12
    One thing I'm concerned about (but that others won't agree with me on) is that the KWS being a tool for legitimate attacks can make a very simple tell more ambiguous. Right now, the one, only, and highly visible indicator for the legality of attacking someone is the "wanted" sign after the basic scan. There is no ambiguity, if and only if that light is on, you can go for it. So at the very least, care must be taken to tie any such changes to the KWS into that simple indicator. Please do not build something that ends up with any UI element becoming "the target is locally clean, but after a careful consideration of criminal records in other jurisdictions, we came to the conclusion that it is temporarily appropriate to perform hostile acts against this target.".

  13. #13
    Originally Posted by ecob81 View Post (Source)
    I can guarantee it's not used as a PVP tool as the reward/effort ratio for bounty hunting players is virtually non existent, the bounty's just aren't high enough. The proposal above looks better. If I've understood correctly it will still allow for us to prevent from becoming hostile in a system by earning rep from each faction as we cash in the bounty's (maybe someone could clarify this?) This was the main issue with the new KWS for me.
    It will resolve the rep issue only for systems where every faction is aligned to the same superpower as the controlling faction and where the controlling faction is not independent. I would speculate that that is less than half the systems in the bubble from my experiance...though I'm sure Sandro could get an intern to run a quick SQL query on the database to get those exact numbers which would surely help inform decision making? If I'm wrong and 95% of systems have a controlling faction linked to a superpower and all other factions are linked to that same power I'm willing to concede to this change....even though just 5% of the bubble would still be a large number of systems!

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by Alec Turner View Post (Source)
    It should indeed but PVP should NOT be the driving factor in determining how this predominantly PVE utility functions. Otherwise you're affecting 90% of people's gameplay for the sake of the 10% (obviously these figures are pure guesswork but I'd be astonished if they're far off the mark).
    They are most likely off the mark. Also C&P is changing not just because of PvP but it is full overhaul. So it was bound to change, and old ways most likely would get disrupted anyway.

  15. #15
    Originally Posted by Shadowdancer View Post (Source)
    One thing I'm concerned about (but that others won't agree with me on) is that the KWS being a tool for legitimate attacks can make a very simple tell more ambiguous. Right now, the one, only, and highly visible indicator for the legality of attacking someone is the "wanted" sign after the basic scan. There is no ambiguity, if and only if that light is on, you can go for it. So at the very least, care must be taken to tie any such changes to the KWS into that simple indicator. Please do not build something that ends up with any UI element becoming "the target is locally clean, but after a careful consideration of criminal records in other jurisdictions, we came to the conclusion that it is temporarily appropriate to perform hostile acts against this target.".
    You are correct....the logical outcome to such a change is also a huge number of threads of the " DID I JUST GET WASTED BY HORDES OF CHEATING ATR SHIPS" variety...the current system is nice and simple and easy to explain to a new player - "complete the scan and only fire if it says wanted". You can explain it in a tweet!

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