Just a quick one today ladies and gents. Between my new toy and the fact that I appear to have started the process of moving jobs its been a busy few weeks here again. I have also been pursuing the now published CSM notes, and came across this little gem.
Being primarily a 0.0 pilot I skipped through the initial sessions (taking note of POS-gate in passing), and dove right into the null sec points. It was hear that i came across this wonderful gem of a feature which, if I am reading it right was almost, but not quite implemented over the last few expansions:
On the topic of creation and destruction Soundwave brought up a “neat” game design mechanic that CCP were unable to squeeze into a previous expansion. He explained the mechanic wherein there were a new set of system upgrades, “IHUBs on crack”, that were incredibly powerful. To temper the power creep, the mechanic allowed for only three of such structures to exist. Further, the only way to get said structure is to physically take it from someone else. Elise was quick to praise the idea. Soundwave continued that if he were ever to go into the issue of making an end-game objective that he would definitely put a similar type of hard-cap on it to keep the goals in check.
Trebor added that it could in fact be a soft cap that increased (or decreased) depending on a variety of metrics. Using a hypothetical example of how such a feature could be used, Trebor brought up Titans and Supercaps in general. Using this type of soft-cap mechanic, Trebor suggested that to build a new supercap would require the “core” of a dead supercap. So to build a new ship you would need the same materials and time, but also a supercap “core” that has a chance of dropping after a ship is destroyed. With that plus an adjustable drop rate of the cores in rare NPC spawns, one could manipulate the population of the ships. Two step liked the idea and talked about the issue of difficulty scaling; accumulating resources shouldn’t universally make everything easier.
Wow is all I can really say. This really is a stunning idea for a feature, and indeed Trebor’s expansion on the base, is equally awesome. An instant cure to power creep in end game content, fantastic. As is evident from some of my previous posts, I am very much against both super capital proliferation as well as the current overpowered nature of the SC beast. However as a realist I can see exactly how this situation came about. CCP designed super capitals with the feverant believe (some might argue for ignorance) that they would never be used en-mass. Maybe they didn’t believe that eve would still be about by the time it was a problem. Maybe they assumed that they would eventually find a natural equilibrium of creation against construction. What ever the reason, they were designed as behemoths of space, with an arsenal to match. Most of the suggestions that I have seen to cure the “Supercap issue” (including my own suggestion) have always been around adding new features to curtail the prevalence of the super capital. However this simple suggestion by Soundwave, expanded by Trebor, could, in essence go back in time to make CCPs assumption correct. An iteration on super caps which would make them function as intended: as a rarity. With this in mind, for the first time ever, I could consider myself in favour of a massive boost to the destructive ability of super capitals. Make them kill dictors, give them a doomsday on every hard-point that fine, as long as there are only ever 5 in existence… I would still argue that there is a place in the battlefield for a dedicated capital/super capital killer ship, just to ensure that we don’t have single alliances hoarding large percentage of the Super capitals.
Even ignoring this as an idea to limit super capital proliferation, and taking it on its merit to allow for future development its a fantastic idea. The concept of adding a “Limited numbers” feature into the game could be a massive conflict driver for nullsec. Adding more items which are coveted (and not tied to a single geographical region of space) we could see a new reason for Alliances to clash broadswords (pun intended). Furthermore, should CCP really take their thinking to another level, Imaged if the destruction of this theoretical item could be accomplished by a relatively small number of players? We could give small alliance a method to hurt larger alliances and, at the same time, boost their own funding and standing in the process. At the moment Nullsec alliances are made or broken by the space they own. Don’t own space and you’ll never make it anywhere in nullsec. At the same time, if you want to own space, you need to have the numbers and funding to do it (for which you need space). Its a classic chicken and egg scenario, which players currently get around by seeking “sponsorship” by alliances/coalitions which have already “made it” in 0.0. Give 0.0 alliances/coalitions a golden goose which young aspirants can steal from them could give groups a new entry into null.
This truly is a fantastic idea and I really hope that it is implemented. However I also hope that CCP takes the time to consider the best way(s) to do it as well.