Before I begin I should make some excuses for my inactivity on this blog. What started with a simple break to visit Iceland (it’s well worth going, Fanfest or not) turned into an extended break for several personal reasons, as we as some changes in game taking up more of my blog writing time. This is mostly all in the past now, and I should begin to see my free time expanding once again, well at least I hope so. But onto the main topic…
Balancing ships might be likened to a tightrope walker, a little too much weight on one side and you start to tip. So far, so obvious; of course that’s way over simplifying the balance in eve, we have other dimensions to the balance which need to be considered, for example rather than a simple left and right balance we have 4 factions, all needing to be equally useful. We also have the fact that ships can be used for multiple purposes each with its own requirements; a change to the Panther might bringing it in line with the other BlackOps Battleships in terms of small group PvP but as a consequence suddenly make it an OP mission runner. So our tightrope walker can now fall off forwards, backwards, left and right; but at the same time he is tied to another tightrope walker who is walking in a completely different way, and every balancing move either of them makes can pull the other off their own rope.
But it gets even more complex (let’s see if I can torture this analogy any more), and this is the extra dimension of mass. Think of our PvP tightrope walker, tangled up with connections to others, already concentrating on balance in every direction, suddenly he has to deal with every balance adjustment he (or any of the others) makes being amplified hundreds of times. He may need to shift a tiny bit of weight to the left, because the (Harbinger in small gangs) balance is off, but he has to remember that the smallest adjustment he makes (increasing its bonus to damage say) will be amplified a hundred times (400 Harbingers suddenly hitting harder) and he could end up falling off (Threadnaughts of tears about harbingers being too powerful in PvP) as a result of a miniature change.
This will be the effect the NullSec fleet will have on teiricide once CCP start to hit Battlecruisers and above in Tech 2 Balancing commences (look at the Hurricanes fall from grace). At the moment CCP’s balancing is only affecting small/solo pvp ships (although if jester is to be believed, the Cruiser changes could change the face of NullSec Logistics), but once they start balancing the BC class they will need to balance for both Small gang/solo/Fleet pvp. Here is the real kicker thou: Things NullSec Fleets care about; Small Gang Pilots couldn’t give a rat’s arse over, and indeed, vice versa. Therefore to promote a vibrant variance of virtually equal vessels, promoting the concept of a choice of different, but equal ships, CCP is not going to have to so much tightrope walk, as balance a randomly generated spinning Polyhedron, on a pin, in several dimensions each of which has different laws of physics. I believe that the most interesting changes to eve will occur in the period after the next patch, when Tericide starts to hit these multi-purpose ships (doubly so once T2 ships start changing). It’s going to start to test which groups can adapt the fastest, which can spot a balance tipping in a direction they can exploit and just how quickly CCP can react to an unbalanced ship and rectify it without tipping it to far the other way.
Get ready for some fast paced changes, and be prepared to find yourself buying ships people would laugh at you for even looking at today.