Posts Tagged ‘Fanfest’

Large fleets, impressive but stagnant?

While I was at Fanfest I had the fortune to actually be seated on the front row during the ship balancing round tables, watching the interaction between CCP fozzie, CCP Rise and CCP Ytterbium, was great, each of them are very different people with differing opinions, the three of them together I feel are going to give us the most well thought out ship balancing I think eve has seen.
The Grid

The Grid

I could go on for some time about the many topics that came up but one particular area interested me: Fleet Boosters. I should say from the outset that I am pro boosting ships being on grid, I feel that no role should be so dull or easy that it should be done effectively afk. I suspect this will get me flack from the many people who like to fight solo (even though they are fighting with at least two ships); I even enjoy flying solo myself, but Eve at its heart is a mmo, if you want to fly solo that’s great, but in general flying with friends is what makes this good game great.

That personal opinion aside one of the ideas that was floated was that boosting ships could be changed so that they effectively boost ships within a sphere around them (kind of like a hictor bubble), this would mean that the pilots of these ships would require actual flying skills to place themselves in the correct places and large fleets may even require multiple boosting ships, it would also mean that your average grunt would need to check their position relevant to the boosters as well as the logistics.
This to me sounds like if it was implemented that we may actually end up in much more dynamic mobile fleets where actual flying skill would be needed. It would mean that highly skilled pilots (or budding pilots) would be able to aspire to roles within fleets that could make or break an engagement, reliant on their flying skills.
This however started my evil mind turning and led me to have a conversation with the CCP devs after the meeting finished and here I will outline where my evil thoughts went…
Boosting Radiance Ships? Maybe not...

Boosting Radiance Ships? Maybe not…

As some people who have read my posts before may have noticed I do not understand why most random events in eve are positives, some of the most interesting stories are about when an unforeseen event has occurred and how people have managed (or not) to cope with them. All this talk of ships creating bubbles of “ship boosts” had me wondering, would it not be fair to have ships that do the opposite?

My thought was if CCP want more people flying command ships and for it to be a much more active and responsive role then surely the obvious way to make this happen was for there to be something for them to have to actively counter? At the moment there is a class of ships post tiercide that only has a single ship in it: The Battleship disruption line, and in it the scorpion. This currently has a bonus to ECM burst modules, what if this ship was changed to create a Hic like bubble of effect around it with an ECM effect and balanced against  sensor strength boosting command ships? Suddenly you would have pilots of these two ships attempting to counter each others effects, the command ship defensively while the disruptor would be attempting to fly his ship so he didn’t impact his own fleet but not so far forward he was out of range of his own support, suddenly fleet and even individual positioning within a fleet become more complex, dynamic, responsive and even rewarding of flying skill, not just skill points.
At this point you can expand on the idea, if you stick with current racial ewars then a how about an area effect tracking disrupting Amarr ship? A area effect sensor damping Galente ship? ( think of the effect on logi) How about an area effect target painting Minmatar? (that could mess with AHacs).
I think that if you gave people the opportunity to fly these ships that could negatively impact enemy fleets you would actually reward pilots with the experience and ability to fly well with a whole new class of ships that would really bring something new to fleet combat and that would then have the knock on effect of making command ships much more interesting, responsive and fleet combat much more dynamic. Each Disrupting ship would require a different command ship to counter.
And this idea carries on again, currently bombers have only two forms of ewar covered “lockbreaker” and “void” seems to me that some are missing here but I think you can all follow that idea on to a logical conclusion, I suppose here is the point to say what the devs had to say about the suggestion.

Press F1 for help

The idea was met I feel with guarded interest and support, it appears that the main issue that is holding up what they want to do with command ships (and by effect potential disruption ships) is a system issue. Currently bubbles are a problem, interdiction bubbles work because when a ship attempts to enter warp a single check is made by that ship “am I in a bubble?” if the answer is yes warp fails. currently ecm burst, lockbreaker and void bombs send out a single pulse and ships in the area are effected once. The problem with what they want to do with “boost bubbles” is that the server would need to know which ships at any given time were being effected by positive (or even negative) effects from one moment to the next and as fleets get larger the number of checks on this gets larger as well and can rapidly become a large resource hog, it is something they are looking at a solution for apparently but they could not say anymore at this time.

Personally I am very pleased that they are even looking in this direction and I am hopeful that they will find an elegant solution so that soon we will see much more interesting fleets flying in elegant shoals of death responding to each other in much more dynamic ways than the current “everyone anchor on x at 10km, follow targets and hit f1 in time. I can but hope. [Editors note: even worse. “Every one stop your ships and assign drones to XXXXX”]

EVE: Conquests (EVE the board game)

20130527_173843

It was the first day of Fan Fest 2013, we had just finished collecting our passes and picking our Quafe t-shirts when Hark runs off like a kid who’s had too much candy, he had spotted “EVE: Conquests” in the store. Hark has wanted “EVE: Conquests” for a long time, but due to the fact that if he had bought it from the “EVE Online” store it would have cost him more in shipping than to buy the game itself, he had restrained himself. So before fanfest had even ended, we found ourselves in a hotel room giving the game ago. As many of you will have seen the game set up in the “Games Hall” at fanfest: I would like to tell you a little something about the game:

EBG

EVE: Conquests is a strategy board game for 2-4 players set in the EVE Universe (It reminds me of “Risk: the game of global domination”), where the board is made up from regions in EVE Online connected together in the same way they are in game, the players choose to play as one of the four main races in EVE, as you should all well know they are the; Amarr, Caldari, Gallente, and Minmatar (We will skip over the fact that there’s a fifth race in EVE online, the Jove as it’s not in the board game)

In EVE: Conquests you can set the winning conditions for the game so as to try to control how long the game will last, but going by the few time we played the games will last around 2-3 hours when you know how to play, here’s the kicker though “knowing how to play”. The rulebook is a bit complicated; some say so complicated you need a PhD in rule book reading to understand it. But once you have figured it out the game is good fun, I shall try to summarise how to play.

First you pick your race (doesn’t make a difference which apart from preference) and you choose where to place your “HQ” station, this location can not be taken by any other player, you can then lay down 5 or 6 “unit tokens” (Not to be confused with Agent tokens, which are the same item placed in an enemies region!).

These can only be placed in a region which you currently neighbour). Don’t confuse Unit Tokens with Agent tokens, they are the same physical item, but a token in your territory is a Unit Token, but a token in enemy territory is an “Agent Token” (Did I mention the PhD?). To build an “Outpost” you have to control the region and have a token (agent or Unit) in all joining systems (outposts are very important, but we’ll get onto them next).

Once you have a unit or an agent in all region connected to the one you plan on building an outpost in you now have to pick which type of outpost you wish to build, Logistics, Development or Production; and receive the equivalent resource token.

EBG turnsEBG Calendar

I should point out that the game does not follow a linear turn based rotation, oh no nothing that simple for EVE! Turns are decided by a calendar, on which each player has a Logistics, Development and production marker. Each of these Markers represents a different type of turn for the player, which when completed moves further around the calendar (an amount based on how upgraded the “resource” has been by the player using points resource tokens gained by building outposts).

This means that depending on how you upgrade your turns, you can sometimes get 3 “goes” in a row and then have to wait ages for your next turn or have each one of your turns spread out amongst the other players turns. This can also get tactical as you attempt to co-ordinate your defences and counter attacks with the optimal gaps in your opponent’s turns. During these turns you are can do different types of actions. For example a development turn will let you capture a new region or place an agent in enemy territory. Where as a production turn allows you to build units.

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As with EVE online you can fight over the control of the regions (albeit in the 4 main factions rather than the Capsular ones). These fights are determined by dice roll and the number of dice each player has is relates to the number of units each player has in the attacking and defending region, so if player 1 has 5 Units and player 2 has 4 Units they get a dice for each unit they have. There are three types of dice; attack, defence and tactics. Attack and defence are fairly self-explanatory (damage and mitigation) but tactics dice are a bit more interesting, they can be counted as either attack or defence depending on the player choice, so depending on the roll he might need more defence to protect his units or more attack to kill enemy units. To Offset this flexibility you will never get as many points on the dice using tactics as opposed to a dedicated defence or attack Dice. Attack dice are a d10 with Three Blanks, Three 1s, three 2s and a single 3 pointer. Defence Dice are d10’s with four Blanks, three 1’s and three 2’s. Tactics are also d10’s, but have five blanks, four 1’s and a single 2. To initiate an attack, the player must declare where is his attacking from and two (which must be adjacent regions), count up the Unit Tokens for each and decided on their dice.

However EVE wouldn’t be EVE without spy roll he might need more defence to protect his units or more attack to kill enemy units. To Offset this flexibility you will never get as many points on the dice using tactics as opposed to a dedicated defence or attack Dice. Attack dice are a d10 with Three Blanks, Three 1s, three 2s and a single 3 pointer. Defence Dice are d10’s with four Blanks, three 1’s and three 2’s. Tactics are also d10’s, but have five blanks, four 1’s and a single 2. To initiate an attack, the player must declare where is his attacking from and two (which must be adjacent regions), count up the Unit Tokens for each and decided on their dice.

Hark and Arian having a discussion on who will win the Amarr or the Minmatar, little did they know it was going to be Lore and the Caldari

Hark and Arian having a discussion on who will win the Amarr or the Minmatar, little did they know it was going to be Lore and the Caldari

As the final twist of complication in combat, players can use cards purchased with their Logistics turns to manipulate the outcome.’s and metagaming, so the player with the most agents in the enemies region picks his dice second, and can ask the other player either “how many attack dice are you going to use?”, “how many defence dice are you going to use?” or “how many tactical’s dice are you going to use?”. Giving him the chance to adjust his dice to counter his opponent. Every fleet needs a scout.

Now we get on to how to win the game, as I said at the start of the post you can set the winning conditions (I can’t remember all of them), the main way to win is to get points from capturing certain regions which are determined by 9 cards set up in a 3×3 grid; representing  a slice of the galaxy. Only 7 of the cards are showing at any one time and are captured by building an outpost on two of the indicated regions, in either a single row or column (represented by numbers and letters . you get the points shown on the two cards you capture towards your victory points total.

If you have managed to follow and understand that rambling and brief explanation of EVE: Conquests you are doing very well indeed. Certainly it took us a lot longer to get this far, and there are far more nuances and fringe case rules to learn yet. The game is fantastic and although it is complicated, it benefits from the complication rather than suffering it. Once your group has gotten the hang of it, it certainly provides a lot of interesting situations and tactics.

Hark looking longingly at the rule book hoping it would become more understandable

Hark looking longingly at the rule book hoping it would become more understandable

[Guest Post] A Blog Widows experience as a Sister of Eve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may have heard me mentioned in a couple of Harks post, but let me introduce myself. I am Harks non-gaming girlfriend who has been known to ask questions that inspire him to discuss certain topics in the blog. Over the past couple of years, I have learnt that the EvE universe exists and have been exposed to much more of the complexities of the game than I could ever possibly need (except perhaps for helping me write this post). So when Hark decided to attend FanFest for the first time this year and asked me to come along, I have to admit my first thought was “do I really want to go hang out with a ton of geeks talking about EvE for 4 days?” But I do love spending time with Hark and his friends and the idea that I could share his first FanFest experience tempted me to go. The deal maker was when he explained there was Sister of EvE (SOE) excursion and that I’d get to go 4x4ing on a glacier. I was in and after the event, I do not regret it. In this article I hope to capture the essence of the SOE excursion for those SOE you may be trying to persuade to come with you to FanFest next year and for those of you just wondering what it was like. It also touches on my thoughts on being a SOE, what is a SOE and my non-gaming impressions of EvE.  Enjoy.

I am sure I was not alone in feeling excitement as I reached the Harpa on the SOE day to see a long line of stretch 4×4 cars out front. That pretty much set the scene for the day – excitement and fun.
We embarked in a convoy heading to the South west of Iceland. With a car full of 8 women and 2 men, the radio feed of the guide from the first car was often impossible to hear over the discussions of parents’ desperation for grandchildren, LARPing and penises. One thing that was not mentioned in the conversation was EvE. Luckily for us, our driver acted as a very good guide, as did the only other man in the car (yes there were also about 5 male ‘Sisters’ of EvE on the tour), who had previously lived in Iceland. Our first stop was Thingvellir – UNESCO world heritage site. Here we stood on the edge of the North American tectonic plate and stared across valley to the Eurasian plate. Driving through the valley, the rift was more evident in the cavernous clefts in the lava fields, where whole sections appeared to have just dropped away.
Next stop was Geysir hot spring area. Sadly Geysir, the original geyser that all others were named after, was not erupting; but the nearby geyser Strokkhur was sending up massive gushes of water about every 10 minutes. It must have known we were there, because at one point it erupted twice in a couple of minutes. Many photographs taken (it was amazing how many photography buffs there were on the tour), we retired to the nearby Geysir hotel for a fantastic all you can eat buffer lunch, with roast pork so delicious that I just had to go for seconds. The room was filled with laughter and chatter with even an occasional mention of EvE. Typical of any event with lots of women, there was a queue for the desserts and the loos.
We then headed out towards the glacier. This gave the drivers the chance to go a bit crazy off road, which was exhilarating if a little scary at times: Competing against each other to get to the front of the convoy, our car dived down a rocky slope, accompanied by AC/ DCs Highway to Hell on the radio, darted under a bridge and mounted a bank so steep, I ended up parallel to the ground in the front passengers seat.  Once the freestyle rollercoaster race was over, we set out onto what we thought was the glacier, a mass of snow in between snow covered mountains. After we’d been going for a while, the driver informed us that we weren’t even on the glacier yet, this was just a road, demarked by the yellow posts almost buried in the snow. eventually we reached the edge of the actual glacier and could get out and walk around. This was not like the ice and crevice filled glacier I had hiked on during my last trip to Iceland, or if it was, it was covered by at least 2 feet of untouched snow, which extended as far as the eye could see. It felt so peaceful to be in a place of such unspoilt beauty. Everyone seemed to have a smile on their faces, even the ones who ended up on their backsides in the snow. The cars moved forward onto the glacier, so we had to walk to reach them. Not a problem for most of the girls, but I did observe one girl in a pair of stilettoes out there: Well I suppose they would have worked as makeshift crampons. Getting the cars turned around and off the glacier was to prove more challenging than getting on. The drivers were very skilled in getting such big vehicles moving in the snow. Unfortunately for our car however, not quite quickly enough when black smoke started billowing from the engine. The drivers did not show any concern, but set about trying to work out what the problem was to get the car going again. Meanwhile we entertained ourselves by debating if we’d fit in the other cars and who we would eat first if we were stranded. My eyes started to scan the horizon for the Skidoo School we had seen earlier, with visions of pulling a James Bond like move; knocking the driver off and taking the skidoo to safety. Luckily it was not necessary as we shortly got going again and headed to Guilfoss. The dual layer waterfall looked stunning, with a rainbow above it, giving the top of the falls a yellow green hue, that perhaps explains its name, the Golden falls. After a short hold up (as we lost a SOE), we then headed to Fontana spa. I think for many this was the highlight of the day, while for me it was just the perfect finish. First we tasted the rye bread, which we were shown was baked in the ground using the geothermal heat. Then we were let loose in the spa which had multiple warm pools, a jacuzzi and three steam rooms filled directly from hot mud below. It was wonderful to lay in the warm water and look out across the stunning view of the nearby lake, special SOE cocktail in hand.

Finally it was time to head back to the Harpa. The mood in the car was very relaxed and relatively quiet as people reflected on the day.  I got the impression from the smiles on all the faces that everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day. I definitely did and wouldn’t hesitate to join another SOE excursion in future.

I don’t know what I expected the sisters of EvE to be like prior to this trip. They couldn’t easily be grouped into a stereotype: coming from all over the world, with different careers, opinions of the game and differing relationships to their respective EvE players. There were even SOEs who played EvE themselves or worked for CCP. What surprised me was the abundance of strong confident women. Perhaps it was just that only the stronger personalities were willing to go on a trip like this. But I wonder whether this is because it takes that strength and self-confidence to compete with EvE (which some felt was the other woman in their partner’s life) or that with strength and confidence, a relationship develops the space for the individuals to dedicate themselves to a hobby or interest guilt-free. In my case, I believe the latter is applicable. I was surprised by how many of the EvE players were waiting to see their significant others off and were there to collect them, full of smiles and hugs at the end of the tour, a sign of the softer side of these space warriors. Clearly CCP in organising the SOE excursion understand the contribution / sacrifice we significant others make for the sake of the EvE universe and ensured that throughout the day, we were made to feel very special and have the experience of a lifetime.
So am I happy to consider myself a SOE? Well from a selfish point of view, I love Iceland and my favorite restaurant of all time is in Reykjavik, so having an excuse to return there for FanFest was excellent (and delicious). But more importantly as a non-gamer, I find the idea of this alternate universe with all the politics, economics, conflict, races, classes and careers fascinating. The idea that so many people out there have alternate careers in this universe which they dedicate real time to in order to succeed, is amazing to a workaholic like me. But I can clearly see that there are benefits to the players: Belonging to such a large community creates bonds and friendships all over the world. It brought a tear to my eye in the CCP keynote, when Hilmar choked up after players requested Vile Rat/Sean Smith’s name be included on the statue, evidence that one person has the ability to touch thousands by their actions in and surrounding the game. I recognise that EvE can be used to develop abilities useful in real life such as communication, planning, tactics and organisational skills. It requires intelligence. EvE is not merely for those who can shoot fast or learn the cheats / patterns to win, it is constantly changing; challenging its players and requires dedication and commitment. The fact that CCP appreciate the input of their players into how the game should progress, also make it stand out. Where else could you get a say in shaping a universe? Being the partner of someone so interested in EvE that he chooses to write a blog about it, has meant the past two and a half years have been a second hand journey into EvE for me too. A journey I have been fascinated by. I am by no means going to start playing, but I am happy to be a SOE.

CSM of my Heart

Well here we are, with the Dust (pun intended) settling post Fanfest, one of the realities we must now face is who we have voted into CSM for the next year. The results ballot has been out for a few days already, but I have heard a rumour that there are still some surprises in store yet. Firstly I have heard hints that Ripard Teg Finished way higher than anyone expected (especially not The Mittani). Secondly it was picked up by our radar like ears is that there was a very close run between a few candidate places. All this was picked up through hints and whispers, and as such is totally unsupported, but interesting none the less.
Before we go any further we should first take a moment to thank and congratulate every candidate for the CSM. Just caring about out little game to run for CSM is enough to earn my respect. I look forwards to listening to you again next year.
Without further ado, here is the full list of CSM8. I have highlighted in green the candidates I put on my ballot:
–          Ali Aras
–          Chitsa Jason
–          James Arget
–          Kesper North
–          Korvin
–          Malcanis
–          Mangala Solaris
–          Mike Azariah
–          mynnna
–          progodlegend
–          Ripard Teg
–          Sala Cameron
–          Sort Dragon
–          Trebor Daehdoow
[8/14] placed
Looking at that list, I think I should be pretty happy (and well represented) with and by CSM8. It’s worth noting that despite the chest beating of the CFC and the HBC (helped in no small part by the political engine that is TMC.com), only 4 HBC and CFC candidates made the list, although the list is still very heavily Nullsec weighted (as it should be :P).
It’s worth point out first though that my ballot was based purely on who I thought best represented me (alongsidea few other factors), that does not mean that my ballot was my dream council. As there are 14 seats on the council, and 14 STV positions for each voter, it’s easy to equate a STV positions to “whished” council seat. This is a false assumption.
My ideal CSM is one which is made up of a fair representation of good candidates from all of eve demographic (which I believe we got). My ballot on the other hand was concentrated at ensuring that mydemographic was represented correctly.
I think I have really already discussed the candidates enough through my Impressionableposts in the last few months so I won’t go into any details on my feelings about candidates here. The people in green have had my support from the get go. However for the people not marked in green above, for the most part, I would like to say: you may not have been who I voted for, but I marked most of you as good candidates who didn’t represent me. My congratulations to you all.
Finally a few messages:
Ripard – As the first choice on my ballot, I am really pleased you got in. I met you briefly at Fanfest alongside Roc (who is also a stand up gent), and you confirmed the impression you give through your blog of a well-thought, well-spoken man. If the whispers I have heard are true, double congratulations are in order for your stunning position on the CSM.
Mynnna – At the very beginning it would be fair to say I was lukewarm towards your run. However since them you have done nothing but build yourself in my standings. I am very pleased (if not at all surprised) that you made it on. I offer you too my congratulations.
Trebor – Another candidate I met at Fanfest who turned out exactly as expected (a gentleman to the highest standards). I am very pleased you were dragged back into the council (kicking and screaming as I understand). You’re a needed connection to help build the new relationship for this CSM and the CSM of tomorrow. My congratulations again go out to you.

Squeee (Fanfest plans)

So CCP has released the Fanfest schedule, and being the good boy I am I have already worked out an initial Schedule for what I plan to attend at the event. There were some hard calls to make, and I have some backups prepared encase Round tables are too full! But if all goes well: below is the schedule of what you will be seeing on this blog over the period.

Thursday 10:00 PVP Tornament Arena
11:00 PVP Tornament Arena
12:00 Retribution Round up SISI
13:00 Ship Balancing TQ
14:00 Remixing eve: you did what? SISI
15:00 Game design Bal. Tears & Laughter SISI
16:00 The Art of EVE RT2
17:00 Ship Balancing RT3
18:00 DUST 514 Keynote TQ
19:00 DUST 514 Keynote
20:00
Friday 10:00
11:00 Nullsec RT2
12:00 CSM Panel SISI
13:00 Alliance Panel SISI
14:00 Art Panel SISI
15:00 Prog w/Ship indetification System SISI
16:00 Game Design – Live session SISI
17:00 EVE Keynote TQ
18:00 EVE Keynote TQ
19:00 Battle of the Bands SISI
20:00 Battle of the Bands SISI
Saturday 10:00 Eve movie Morning SISI
11:00 Eve movie Morning SISI
12:00
13:00 Resource Re balance RT2
14:00 Prototyping the future of eve SISI
15:00 Improving eves player experience SISI
16:00 Concept art Live sessions SISI
17:00 CCP Presents TQ
18:00 CCP Presents
19:00
20:00 POTOTW

What to expect from us:

I will be writing as much as I can over the period, I will attempt to make a short post for each event I go to, along with a longer daily roundup. Arian is bringing a camera and we will see what creative things we can do with that to give anyone not attending/watching Livestream a view of Fanfest.

Fly Excited

Hark

PS for some reason blogger un published this twice…. thanks guys! sorry if you got spammed by dead links!

Strangers waiting in the night

So another month has passed, and its been a busy one here at E-V. Between the beginning of the CSM election process (or at lest the beginning of the beginning) and our surprise entry to Faction Warfare, the blog has had its bloggyest month yet at 17 posts. I cant promise that the almost Rippardian fever of posts we have churned out in the last week will continue here onwards, but Arian has a few month things he wants to write about (mostly new an interesting ways he is killing people, and getting killed), and perhaps even a new toy to talk on. It might also help that I have now started a new job, which gives me 30 mins on the train to write and edit blog posts.

For me on the other hand its been a mixed month. Four weeks ago I finally purchased an Archon with the hope of getting on a few more opps with the alliance, but what seemed like a nearly complete skill queue has stretched out over the last few weeks until I am only just finishing it even now. My hope is that in the next week I will take a capital into (consensual) combat for the first time. I have to admit that makes me very nervous. Even aside from the price of the thing, I really don’t know what’s going to be expected of me during the op. Its like back when I went into fleet combat for the first time, way back in ED. Things others will take for granted, I may not understand; and my alliance isn’t exactly known for training people. My intent is to have a good chat with Lore about he experiences with capital ops and try to prepare as best I can. Incidentally now that I have had a month for which the Archon’s looks to grow on me… In still think its ugly as a sin.
The Faction Warfare front has also gone a little quiet for me as well. This is going to sound ridiculous, but ever since the Caldari threw off the oppressive Gallente push and fought them back to t1 control (taking t3 for them selves) I have not really done as much. I’m not sure if its the lack of space to go plex in, the surge of people logging in to farm, my change to the Merlin for combat, the longer distance between me and the plex’s, or just plane old burn out. What ever it is, I have only done a few plexs in the last month. On the plus side, I did manage to get a couple of kills in the process (losing 3 Merlins finding them, but that’s by the by). I am pretty sure that the Slasher was my first ever true solo kill (not counting cyno’s), it felt good.
On a FW side note, I cant help but notice a slight disparity between the Caldari and Gallente low sec space. Black rise, if memory serves has about 19 station systems (between around 40 systems), where as Placid  seems to have one in almost literally every one of its low sec systems (25 stations/31 systems) . It strikes me that this is a little unbalanced giving the Gallente a far better reshipping advantage in its final defensive systems. Its also very annoying trying to plex here, when neutrals and war targets enter system, scan you down, then dock up and bring out a counter ship to whatever your flying. But I am sure there is something balancing the system (I’m only new!)
With just over a month to go the fanfest hype within our group is starting to rise as well, with me Lore and Arian all heading out this year for the first time, were all giddy with school girl excitement. Its like the night before an Essex prom, and were all thinking of getting our vjazzles done. The three of us haven’t met up  in a little while now, so that just adds to the anticipation. I am hoping that with the tablet, I will be able to do a little on site blogging, so watch this space for future updates on the one.
Plans for next month? Well I’m still thinking about getting a faction battleship to join fleets with, but I really need to wait a little while to get used to Archon combat before that. Still knowing me, and my love for spending isk, it may happen sooner rather than later. Other than that really there isn’t much more to do except hope for more combat opps in my timezone, last month is saw a single fleet I had the right ship for (aside from not having a capital, I have a logistics ship for both shield and armour, so its not a lack of ships). Lets hope I can see that change soon.
Skill queue hasn’t changed much, except that I have spotted some more gaps that need plugging. But then there always are… Perhaps there is a post in there somewhere.
Fly inspirationally,
Hark

New Module: Lock Breakers

I have finally had a chance to catch up on some of the videos of fan fest this year. Having just finished watching the New Module presentation just one thing has caught my attention. Targeted lock breakers.

This is going to be a game changer. For anyone who has not seen the presentation I will quickly brush over the concept:

It is a module which breaks all locks on you. The module is chanced based, but the calculation includes the number of people currently targeting you. E.g. If one person is targeting you the chance of success is low, with 20 the chance is high. It was also noted that this would be a sub-capital only module (at least this was my interpretation; the exact phrase was “Doesn’t work on capitals” this could mean the reverse and its covered by the anti-ewar caveat on capitals, let’s hope not thou).

I’m sure your keen mind is already boggling at the possibilities, just as mine was.

Before Fanfest I discussed the “leaked” micro jump drive, and analysed my thoughts on how this would affect the game and whom it would affect (incidentally that module was also officially presented at the presentation), I want to do the same now with this.

First and foremost this could change the landscape of 0.0 warfare. For a long time now large fleet fights have concentrated on large groups of people attacking single targets in the enemy fleet to ensure its speedy destruction. This module (depending on its penalties and fitting requirements of course) could well change all that. Large blobs could soon find themselves frustrated by targets breaking lock and running from their malevolent grip faster than a soapy nun in a poker house.

However its effectiveness dependent on how the module is implemented. If it activates at the end of its cycle, it’s is likely to be too late for the defending ship, as blobs over a certain size (especially alpha fleets) will have killed them stone cold dead long before the cycle ends (even if it’s only a short one). On the other had if it’s activated on click and then has a cool down timer, we might see the emergence of super-fast locking battleships, which lock, lose lock and re-acquire in a matter of seconds allowing them to still blob the target.

What is good to see is that even in their most powerful form these modules are still going to require skill to both use and counter, and could see the emergence of new kind of psychological warfare (which I love). Assuming they have any kind of activation delay the skill of this module is going to be in when to press it. If you’re being targeted by an entire fleet, do you attempt to break lock early and warp out, or hero tank for a bit to cause maximum damage, but risk getting alpha’d. Equally there is a skill based counter to the module. If you know the cool down time, you could attempt to scare a selection of targets into activating early (locking up a tertiary target early, and re-lock them, then primary them before the cool down finishes). Equally FC’s are going to have to learn to keep a VERY fast locking ship back from initial tackling to hopefully catch anything attempting to run away, alternatively bubbles get even more importance on the battlefield.

One thing this will not do however is end the blob. I’m sure that some people are hoping this will mean a gang of 10 can take on a gang of 50 with far better odds. But assuming that large fleets have good discipline this is unlikely to happen. There is still no disadvantage to brining 50 people against 10 people. It just means each of your 10 engage 1 enemy and still win. At worst fleets will have to hold back some of its members from engaging in case the initial group lose lock. If the blob has a Hic or a Dic it the module makes no odds at all, except just how long it will take to die.

Outside of 0.0 fleet fights we could also see some interesting uses of this module; will they for instance work on NPC’s? Could we see people tanking PLEX’s and missions by breaking locks? Could it even make Mission/Incursion running even less of a risk, as with multiple NPC’s targeting you, your guaranteed to be able to break a mission gangers lock on you and run away?

Finally the biggest effect which we might see is dependence on logistics. Let us assume for a moment that this module is good enough to make primarying a single target with 100 people in effective. let’s say that when someone is targeted they pump the module and warp off before a new lock and be acquired (bubblers have been killed early in most battles). It would mean that it is now more effective to break your fleet down into squad based groups (1 tackler, 5 DPS lets say) and allow them to engage as a smaller group. This is going to make fleet MUCH more dependent of logistics. Now instead of all damage going onto a single target (with 60% of it being over kill) we have damage being applied across and entire fleet. Logistics are going to have to work harder than ever and may be required more than ever.

TL;DR

                – Invest in SEBO BPO’s

                – Invest in logistics

                – Keep investing in bubblers

                – don’t be surprised when the blob adapts

– <3 your logi.