POS Slapstick

Milling around our home system, Skip and I were awaiting the arrival of our newest recruit and decided to review our  defenses.  We have the WH-usual “Dickstar” with a few guns thrown in to annoy the casual interlopers.  But it can always be tweaked and Skip had kindly dropped a few shuttles into one of our new warp bubbles.  The idea is of course that some hapless scout finds himself trapped, decloaked and subsequently without a ship.  This doesn’t happen all the time but it does occasionally and is very satisfying.

So, I take control of the POS mods and am again reminded of the tale of how the POS mechanics was designed.  Apparently, years ago, CCP had hired a highly skilled workaholic programmer with a severe personality disorder.  They told him: “make a POS” and he did, from scratch and without talking to anyone, or documenting anything.  After 6 weeks of uninterrupted coding, he smelled so bad that his colleagues down the corridor assume he had died.  But he hadn’t and proudly launched the POS into the game, then went to Tibet where he now sits naked in a cave, meditating.  The result is a massive amount of “spaghetti code” that nobody at CCP understands and nobody wants to touch.  Like healthcare in politics, trying to fix it would be the third rail.  Touch it and die, career-ender.

So, thats how the tale goes and if you think it is exaggerated  go, operate a POS.  After 1 hour, you will believe the story.

Anyway.  A medium battery makes short work of Skip’s shuttle and we high-five each other.  Skip jumps into his crow to circle the POS at high speed and I see if I can scram him.  I can and his ship goes “boom”.  The POS had decided in its wisdom that he presented a threat (after all he dropped the shuttle that I blew up) and therefore opened fire with everything it has.  Ouch.  Slapstick number one.  Since both Skip and I are directors in the corp, we decide that this was a re-imbursable mistake and we are generously offering him to purchase a new  Crow from the corp wallet.  I love the power 😉

But Skip is annoyed, he liked that Crow and losing this way seems silly.  I agree and feel bad, after all, it was me who suggested all of this and me who targeted him.  I should have known.

Then I notice that the POS is still shooting at something.  Oh, there are more shuttles.  They are out of range of the small caliber stuff we had (we changed the POS since, so we can reach farther) and fecklessly expending ammunition on them.  So, Skip decides to jump into the shuttles and fly them to somewhere else  since he already carries the aggro.  How long he stays aggroed, nobody knows.

I decide its almost time for me to log and I jump into my scouty Falcon.  Skip’s Crow wreck is still floating close to the POS shield, un-looted and I decide to swing past quickly to get whatever he dropped.  Good plan.  But 5 seconds outside the POS shield our small batteries turn my Falcon into a second wreck.  Wtf?  I had done nothing to the POS to aggro it – ok, I scrammed a corp mate but we did duels outside the POS shield all the time (with ships), so, how can that be?

The story of the wild-eyed, smelly programmer at CCP is likely to be true, me thinks and I file a petition.   I am sure I get a beautifully crafted mail, saying that the POS was acting as intended – since nobody at CCP knows how it works anyway – and that I should suck it up.  In the meantime, I head back to high sec and go shopping for a new Falcon….


EDIT:  Oct 11 2012.  I have received a response from CCP with respect to this event.  The response was crystal clear, timely and very much answered my questions.  GM Dagon even reimbursed me a Falcon, so I am happy.  What happened however was rather odd.  When I shot at Skip, I aggroed (of course) Skip but also my entire corp.  This means, the tower (my tower) thought that my entire corp is a now a legitimate target and would have opened fire on everyone.  This evidently is different when players shoot at each other outside the POS bubble.  This is so non-intuitive that GM Dagon must have had pity on me and gave me a new Falcon 😉  But thanks Dagon, really appreciate your reply, help and I am sure you are relaying this story to your development team and have them change the POS mechanic, yes?  yes?


5 responses to “POS Slapstick

  1. Perhaps because you looted a directors wreck and received a flag. Besides that, nearly a welcome mechanic in my opinion. Could be useful with traitors and spies, who knows. You sure you’re in the same corp? As the flag is different shooting alliance members.

    • Hi Oreb, if the POS was designed to deal with traitors / spies, I am pretty sure it would not let anyone into the force field, access the SMA /CHA, and – with the appropriate rights, change the passwords, take the bubble down, disable guns etc etc. No, that can’t be it.

      I think the POS has its own AI. If I – as a player – shoot another player (even in my corp), the POS assumes that this person is a threat and destroys him on sight. So far, so good, that was the Crow. But there is no aggro timer. Will he be allowed into the vicinity of the POS in 10min? 1 hour? 1 day? never? Nobody knows.

      What prompted the POS to take my Falcon down is beyond my understanding. Also, it took it down in a few seconds – when I manually target a ship it takes >30 seconds. I smell a bug. I shall update here what CCP replies…

      • I am really curious about the response. As you said, duels outside of pos shields were had. Actually I remember shooting a POS module once to test how much damage my guns would do on one. This all smells really buggy.

      • A mystery. Hopefully they just introduce whole new tech 2/3 POS variants with new mechanics. Then they wouldn’t have to stress out about breaking anything else inadvertently. Good luck.

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