Intro and example
Hi there, I will be unknown to probably everyone who reads this, I have been playing this game since 2006 and have fought through a lot of eves history but as you can see I personally am a largely unknown pilot in a largely unknown alliance posting on a public forum asking you to spend some of your precious time reading my thoughts and to honestly discuss an issue that seems to be getting worse and worse. I fully expect to be flamed and belittled but in amongst it all I hope there will be some cogent thought and discussion.
Yesterday I was involved in an operation to kill a tackled Nyx, that’s awesome and the sort of thing we all log in for, my problem is what happened next, in the space of time it took for reinforcements to get to the tacklers location further super caps were being dropped without support to save this super carrier, essentially a handful of pilots were able to extricate 1 pilot from the clutches of a vastly outnumbering force.
Yes I know, old problem, HTFU, bring more bubbles etc, but I am looking at this as a failure of game mechanics and design. I thought recent changes were aimed to make supers more vulnerable, and maybe they are slightly more vulnerable now, but I think this situation and many similar proves they are still not balanced.
The saviours of the particular Nyx in my example were PL (though the Nyx was not) and this may not be a surprise to many, personally I have no problem that they turned up, they have made there reputation on being ready and capable of making rapid responses, my problem is that when faced with “friendly super tackled by numerous support fleet” that the response was “drop more supers” as opposed to “we need to deploy a support fleet to neutralize their support fleet”, something I am sure PL could have done if that was the most efficient response.
What I am saying is not that I have a problem with the super being saved, more that the way it was saved seems dreadfully imbalanced even after such a well publicised attempt to make them less OMGWTFBBQ at everything and give them a more dedicated role (kill caps and structures).
But old news is old, they have been this way for a while and the current well meant changes failed so what can be done so they are still good for their intended role but not the answer to all situations in sufficient numbers?
So what’s the problem?
Well we can argue that the problem is tracking this and sig radius that, and I will touch on that shortly but I feel there are other sides to this as well, currently the only way to hold onto them and put them in peril is with bubbles and focussed points, and with enough supers you can currently clear all bubbles in fairly short order so even though they have nerfed there hit points it is difficult to keep fleet deployed supers held long enough to make use of it.
I found a super being silly, but it got away….
I feel a mechanic already in the game but only used minimally should be expanded. Currently some ships (blockade runners) have an improved warp strength which can be improved by (uurrrggghhh!) warp core stabs. This means that you need multiple points to successfully tackle the target. A few reading this have probably already guessed where this is going but bear with me.
Eve has scalable mechanics in place to handle the behaviour of different ship types and modules like warp strength (under utilized but apparently working), E war (jury is out on if this is working but that is for another time) tracking and sig radius(wow now there is a can of worms, for the record I think the mechanic works but individual sig radius’ and weapon res need a rebalance but that is my opinion). If we have solid scalable mechanics in place for most ship behaviour why do we have a class of ship that is just blanket immune? Why not give super caps a stat for warp strength, sensor strength etc, by all means make it really high but I do not feel that any ship should be immune to an entire part of eve mechanics and tactics. Hard to do definitely, improbable maybe but not impossible. It makes entire areas of tactical and strategic choice null and void.
For my example here I will use warp disruption as an example, I agree, no single rifter should be able to point a titan (I saw this extreme example given by Selene in his blog with the phrase “No. Because of No. “) and I agree, but a fleet of rifters?
Y’know I think just maybe they should be able to point it and lets not fool ourselves here, its unlikely even a fleet of rifters is likely to be able to kill a titan any time soon (though for the record if you have deployed your super capital without support and this happens I would say you deserve to loose it, but again just me). So let me just come out and say it.
I think supers should loose there e war immunity and be given an actual warp strength like the rest of eve. A high one to be sure (that will need some pretty hefty balancing on sisi) I don’t think this should or would end the need for bubbles, on the contrary I think bubbles should also be given a warp disruption strength if they haven’t already (I vaguely remember it being 6 in the past but I could be dreaming and infinite point should also be given a actual disrupt strength). Bubbles will always be useful as there is no other way of sticking an entire fleet in place, I just do not think they should be the only way to stick supers in place.
To me it seems consistent with the aims and spirit of recent changes, in particular these “spiffy” new tier 3 BC’s that were supposedly aimed at cap killing and cheap rapid deployment fleet dps (and not high sec ganking 😉 ). This one change may make them able in sufficient numbers with sufficient skills to tackle and hold tackle on a super long enough to put the super in jeopardy or for reinforcements to arrive with further tackle.
I caught the super, then his mates happened….
well bad luck! Eve is a social game, boo hoo for you and HTFU!
Or maybe not…..
If “his friends” were a well equipped sub capital fleet that wiped your tackling fleet out then I am sorry, you just got outplayed, learn from it, if however as happened in my example he got away because a handful of his buddies cyno’d in in ships that are supposedly designed to kill other capitals and structures but still successfully blapped your fleet into submission that to me seems unbalanced as well.
I am not talking about realism here, we already live in an age where a guided missile can fly right up to the door of a bunker from a continent away. Realism has little to no place in games unless the game in question is a simulation, if you want realism you already have it, its called RL and a job, they are generally tedious but necessary to pay for your leisure time.
What I want is game balance. The potential solution I give above may go some way to solving this issue simply by making the number of tacklers that need to be cleared larger and thus more difficult to clear but I think it needs to be twinned with upholding “the web of death” as I see it (as opposed to Disney’s “circle of life”) but what do I mean by that?
The “web of death”
Roughly speaking my belief is….
Support excel at killing other support fleets and in sufficient numbers will kill capitals but are poor at structures
Carriers excel at supporting (repping) support fleets, cap fleets and structures while adding a certain amount of dps, a force multiplier if you will but not a force in and of themselves. (try telling that to rooks and kings)
Dreads excel at killing structures and well lead in sufficient numbers will kill other capitals but are poor against support fleets.
I feel Super capitals should…
Excel at killing other capitals, in sufficient numbers kill structures and be poor against support fleets.
But currently they are more like
Excel at killing other capitals, Excel at killing structures and in sufficient numbers will kill support fleets.
This seems unbalanced to me I feel there weapons need to be rebalanced to make them more ineffective against support vessels, again the actual balance would need to be made carefully, but I truly believe it is not there yet.
But this is all take take take…..
Yes it is and I fully understand why super pilots feel entitled to there pwn mobiles as they are, they currently represent a long term investment of time and resources to train for and acquire and once you have them you are also largely stuck to them with a character which means you actually now have reduced use of that character, you have literally skilled yourself into a corner and into a ship that you may not potentially be able to use very often, stopping you from being able to play the game in extreme cases.
That from a game balance, business and just plane common sense point of view makes little or no sense, if we are to make super capitals roles more defined and the ships more vulnerable and eve more balanced it must be done with support to allow the players effected to adapt to the new necessities.
That means there need to be easier ways to allow these pilots to get out of there shiny ship and into the support ships they may now need to be in. If this means station add-ons to allow super capital docking or more options for storage at pos’s then this needs to be facilitated. A true and lasting balancing of ships cannot just be about what you take away but also what you add to the mix to make more tactics and stratagems viable. Give the player base the tools to work it out, then it is for them to adapt (or die).
I swear I am nearly finished….
While were on about super capital immunity, we need to remove the super cap immunity to all warfare, it seems crazy to me that they are just plane immune for the same reasons listed on my arguments about warp disruption, I do think any sensor strength should be high enough to make random jams improbable but it seems to me that again the current situation is reducing tactical choice needlessly, do I think e war against super fleets should be effective? Probably not but it should be possible if you plan for it sufficiently.
Currently the e war mechanic (particularly drones) is broken and needs work and rebalance
but again I feel we need to be given the tools (once balanced) and then left to adapt (or die).
At the moment eve is suffering because not enough is being blown up at high level, which means those with super cap fleets just attract more super caps with little risk of losses, we need more opportunity for them to die to well planned attacks or more likely poorly planned use, and we need more strategies to be viable to keep eve combat vibrant and attractive to new players so the community can grow and I feel that means that some of our shiny end game toys have to die more regularly and easily to players that are newer but only if they are well coordinated. The fallout of more dead super caps and more risk will hopefully be a more considered approach to alliance and coalition level deployment where if you have a given number of pilots you have to decide on relative numbers and percentages of support, cap and super cap fleet deployed.
So there you have it, the opinion of a pilot you never heard of from an alliance you never heard of with a history your not interested, an opinion you may agree with or not but I ask you to consider my point of view and respond with your own structured thoughts from your own experience. I am honestly interested in the views of fleet pilots, fc’s and through to people who plan campaign strategies.
No I will not be running for the CSM
As a final comment, no this isn’t me trying to get a platform together for csm7, I again refer you to the “unknown pilot in an unknown alliance” comment (yes this is my main 😉 ). I have absolutely no interest in running for the CSM personally though I could see this discussion used by those who are, lets make our thoughts known.