Log-on and log-off, the bastard son and his sister
As you have noticed, our previous countermeasures to the log-on and log-off have started to wear off. People find ways to circumvent them so we are going to add further countermeasures to this. Here is a revised design, suggestions very welcome. Our goals are to prevent log-on and log-off being used as a "tactic" while trying to prevent ship losses if a player gets disconnected, mostly in PVE encounters. As you can imagine, there is no solution that fulfills both 100%, hence a compromise is needed.
These improvements also include the fixing of a number of things that are done to circumvent the current design (such as pressing ctrl+space frantically at a certain time amongst others). You know who you are.
To counter log-off - the action where you intentionally disconnect to prevent ship loss:
- Ship starts to engage warp 15 seconds after disconnect. If it is warp scrambled the ship will not warp away.
- PVP timer is set to 3 minutes instead of 2 minutes. (This is to counter a number of other timers).
- NPC timer stays at 1 minute, but ship warps away after 15 seconds unless warp scrambled by NPC.
- When a ship is target locked by player, it should switch to the pvp timer (to counter it using the 1 min timer if it disconnects under circumstances where it isn't targetable until the timer is set).
To counter log-on - the action where you intentionally log-off friends to ambush the prey:
- After ship is logged off, you have 2 minutes to log back on to remain in your previous state, that then initiates immediate warp back to your original location of log-off (just as it is today)
- If you log-in after 2 minutes of logging off, you will not be able to target anything offensively for 2 minutes. Should someone target you, targeting back would be engaged, allowing you to respond. Preferably, high slot modules should be disabled (smartbombs, fof’s)
This thread has a number of good ideas regarding this issue, but many assume certain things we can't do and therefore can't be done. An example is we can't see the difference between someone getting disconnected from his ISP or if he intentionally pulled the plug from his computer, and we can't base rules on if the player ends the EVE.exe task, closes the client in window mode or quits from the menu. (For us there is no difference). The times in the timers are of course also up for discussion.
Some mention a way to detect logged off ships, this can't be done very easily but is being considered in system scanning, and that would take time to perform, so it's not something you can do automatically at every gate and the amount of ships that are logged off would quickly overwhelm any sensible amount of data processable by the pilot (More on system scanning later).
Others have mentioned decreased cap usage or a powerup period, this can be put in instead of the target lock prevention, but I think the target lock might be the cleanest way to do this. You would also be able to start travel immeadiately, since this is the most common thing to do after logging in while in space, not log-on trapping. I can't imagine anything more annoying than having to always hang around for 45 sec's after logging in to power up my ship :)