Posts Tagged ‘Super Capitals’

Oppinions on Fatigue

I have to admit that I had read about the changes to Jump Mechanics well before I returned home from Honeymoon. Oops. But in my defence, I suspect that this change will have the largest impact on my gameplay since the original Dominion Sov Changes back in 2009(!). What’s more ccp seems to be promising that this is the first of several changes to Nullsec of equal of greater impact. So really when I happened to see that Dev Blog title on my travels, I couldn’t resist reading up on it during a quiet moment in China.

So having had a few weeks to mull on it, and to look at the general reactions of the rest of eve, how do I feel about the changes? In short, I’m mostly happy. Mostly? I hear you ask? Yes mostly. The mostly bit really is a little thing, a small niggle that comes from my personal views on game mechanics. Before I detail that let me explain what I think is good about the change.

It’s going to really shake up Nullsec, in fact you could argue that it already has. This change pretty much removes capitals from Nullsec except when used within 10ly of your home base. That’s pretty awesome. No more slowcats, no more triage to save the day from halfway across the universe. That’s good news all around as far as I’m concerned. It does mean that entities defending small areas will get an overwhelming advantage, we will likely see more

However this is where the “Mostly” comes in. This is a nerf to capital jump drives. I’m not going to argue that Force Projection didn’t need a nerf, not in a month of Sundays. Force Projection was 50% of what’s caused the stagnation in Nullsec (with the current sov system being the other 50%), and as such it needed a hit with the bat. This change will do that, but it does so with blunt force. Here is the issue. Not every use of a Jump Drive is directly force projection. CCP admit as much in the changes they are making that allows a corp sponsored remote jump clone installation once per year.

So where is the line? Clearly jumping Slowcats into a fight half way across the universe is Force Projecting, and moving a character into Nullsec to join a corp is not. But where does the line between the two lie? I’m going to give some examples below of Jump drive usages. I have my opinions on what does, and what does not constitute Force Projection, draw your own and we will compare notes.

Scenario A. Ketchup Alliance wants to force The Mustard Collection out of Nullsec because of what their leader said about them on the forums. Unfortunately Mustard hold space in Geminate, whereas Ketchup hold in Querious.  So Ketchup forms a war party of half their forces and use carriers to deploy to Geminate.

Scenario B. The Marie Rose Group are being attacked by the far superior Soy force (no pun intended for once). MRG is slowly bleeding their meagre holding of systems in Cache. Because it’s clear that the MRG will lose, they have managed to arrange a diplomatic truce with Soy in order to facilitate a peaceful handover of sov, in exchange for an evacuation period. The evacuation from their capital station NG-M8K to the nearest lowsec system (Konora) including using gates to minimise jumps is going to take a minimum of 4 jumps (30 mins started unfatigued).

Scenario C. Salsa Alliance is has been contracted by Wasbi Holdings  to help them in a fight against 1000 Island Coalition. Salsa are currently rated as one of the best Merc Alliances in the game, which is why Wasabi have picked them. However the fight is almost exactly on the other end of a universe to Salsa’s last operation. Because of the travel distance, and the fatigue involved, Wasabi have had to offer Salsa a very lucrative contract, which Salsa’s leaders have accepted. Salsa must now load up carriers and move their warships to the new deployment.

What do you feel constitutes Force projection in these situations? All three, by the letter of the word could be terms “Force Projection” as they all involve projecting a force from one location to another. However I don’t feel that any of the three examples are the kind of force projection we should be looking to nerf. But all three are going to be nerfed by the changes. Because of the new mechanics all of these pilots could end up with significant periods of time where they are forced to sit in a station waiting for a cool down timer. To me forcing players to not play the game is a poor mechanic which should be relegated to Facebook games, certainly not found in premier MMO’s. It’s just about excusable to punish a player who wants to force project with a timer, but there are situations where non-force projection is going to be punished, and that doesn’t feel right to me.

I realise of course that situation A, B and C are going to be rare, and far out numbered by Scenario D “Salt coalition want to drop a massive unbreakable carrier force on Pepper Group to ensure their defeat and minimise losses”. That’s why this change is needed, but there is going to come a time for every Nullsec player when they are going to have to log out of the game half way through traveling somewhere for reasons that do not involve force projection, because they have to wait for their timers to run down, and that’s a sad thing.

I guess it’s something I can live with, as long as CCP don’t implement a pay 1 Aurum to remove 1 minuet of fatigue button :P.

Fly, log out, fly, log out, fly log out, fly safe

Hark

An Unusual Battle Report

The battle began, as most do in eve: with the meta. The war had been raging for a while now, and the enemy had been running regular roams through the warzone, with super capital and triage support. After weeks of testing and teasing the enemy, the planners decided that they had found the time zone when the enemy had the lowest super capital support on hand. With this information, they planned their attack.

The plan was simple. Give the enemy something to bite on, a small gang of heavily tanked battleships. Use this force to draw the enemy out of titan support range, and then engage it with a larger force: just enough to tempt them to drop supers. When enemy supers were on field they planned to escalate again, brining all their supers (who would be waiting in the logon screen) to crush the enemy force and escape before a further escalation could be roused. That was the plan anyway.

Everything when as planned until the bait fleet actually begun killing some of the roam, before the reinforcement were in. This was much to the chagrin and surprise of the bait fleet, who started to pull damage as soon as they realised. But the damage was done, the roam stopped chasing the fleet and begun instead to be chased by it. After a few jumps the bait fleet managed to catch the roam and force an engagement, allowing their reinforcements (a ahac gang and a handful of bombers) to catch up and further tip the balance in their favour. As predicted the supers were dropped. However the meta had struck again. Clearly the op had not been kept as secret as was assumed, as the enemy had clearly gotten wind that a major offence was happening that night. Although the first drop was as expected 4 Super Capitals, Intel began lighting up with reports of enemy supers logging in, and estimated 24 extra supers were getting ready to form a second wave, along with an accompanying support fleet around 20 times larger than the fleet they were planning to engage.

The trappers had to do something quick, and the first step was following through with the trap. The cyno was lit, and their own supers were dropped. Next the enemy cyno is primaried, in the hope it might cut off the second wave of enemy reinforcements. It pays off. Little known to our intrepid trappers, the enemy has completely failed to bring an secondary cyno, and so the support fleet which was forming on a titan is dispatched to cover the real space jumps to the engagement (J7-LND) in, bringing multiple cynos with them. Meanwhile the original roam fleet, engage in hit and run combat, attempting to keep their suppers alive and hold the enemy for long enough to get the reinforcements. The trappers begin to take heavy casualties; Barely holding the grid to the fleet, they leave their supers to engage the enemies and concentrate on keeping the reinforcements out. They succeed to some extent. The first wave of frigates (sent in the hope of getting a cyno up) is wiped out entirely. The second wave of cruisers is decimated, but not enough to prevent a becaon lighting, and the enemy supers, along with further sub capital reinforcements to hove into view.

Outnumbering the enemy what started as a roam now tastes a route. They concentrate on holding the enemy supers, ignoring their support fleet. This is when the trappers play their last hope ace. A drag bubble is set up away from the supers, and the enemies hictors and support fleet are dragged away from their prey and into the waiting arms of a the trappers own support fleet. Accompanied now, by a large wing of bombers. Cut off from their capital support, they are slaughtered in short order. realising that they can no longer hold the enemy supers, and that the enemy cannot hold theirs the roaming force jump out, before they lose any supers, what little remains of the sub caps retreat as well. Left with nothing more to fight the trappers to jump out of the system. In the end a large number of sub capitals are lost, but no supers are killed.

You might have noticed already that J7-LND does not exist in New Eden. But that is not to say that this fight never took place. In reality (and I mean that in the literal way) this fight took place in Jutland on the 1st of June 1916 between German and English Naval forces. I was watching a documentary on this a while ago when it struck me how easy it would be to translate this fight into our humble game. It strikes me that no one can (without serious artistic licence) translate a match in warsong gultch into a medieval battle. Eve is aiming to become an alternative universe, and when it apes the way that real life fights and wars are directed its hard to say CCP fails in this regard. Anyway this was a bit of fun to draw out the similarities.

In before Europe is compared to a structure grind…

Fly like its submarine physics,

Hark

A sword forged from the skulls of my enemies..

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.

Fly uniquely

Hark

Capital Punishment (and reward)

Proposals: I don’t do these very often (yeah I know the last post was one, but I blame Arian…) Today however I wanted to highlight a potential easy solution to the issue I believe is caused by the current dominance of Capitals and Super Capitals in 0.0. Let me first expand on what I perceive as the parameters of the issue:

– Currently Capital assets are frequently deployed without sub cap support fleets

– Not enough super capitals are being killed (look at Jesters Super cap summaries with KOTW).

            – If we nerf super caps they don’t turn up to fights (like at the moment)

            – If we boost super caps they just dominate the field (like before)

To solve both these issues in one swoop we need to do two things:

            – Increase the dependence of capital ships on sub capital support

            – Make supers invaluable on the field, to encourage their deployment, while, giving sub capitals a clear method to destroy them

My suggestion may come a little bit out of the blue; boost the Black Ops Battleships. I discussed this with a friend a good while back during the advent of the first Super Carrier boost (and since then others have posted similar, but not identical suggestions).

Let me introduce the Super Heavy Bomb. Super Heavy Bombs are heavily modified Citadel Class Torpedoes, designed to cause maximum damage to large stationary targets. Fitted only to the highly advanced Black Ops battleships, these “bunker buster” style weapons are deployed to the field in a similar fashion to their smaller cousin; the bomb. Although under half the speed of a bomb these strait fire weapons travel 60km before detonating a full 40 seconds later. When they do detonate these projectiles are designed to cause maximum damage to any object with a signature radius greater than 3000m (a un fitted carrier) and a speed lower than 100m/s, to the point where even the slowest biggest battleships will receive only a tiny fraction of the total damage (around 30 points un-resisted). On the other hand Capital Ships will feel the full brunt of the damage, with synchronised bombers able to destroy a well tanked Carrier. The major issue with these munitions is that due to their large size, and sophisticated containment and trigger systems, they are lockable on all modern space tracking systems, similar to a drone. Despite slimming down the signature radius (to about half the size of an interceptor) and adding a minimalistic tank, the SH-Bomb is easily targeted and destroyed by a sub cruiser locking speed ship.

Coupled with the Black Ops Battleships already advanced cloaking system, these weapons are devastating against pure capital groups who are unlikely to be able to lock and destroy the Black-ops ships before they launch and re-cloak. However with an alert and ready sub capital defence force, the munitions are easily intercepted and destroyed, with a good chance of catching the bombers themselves.

I believe that taking the mechanic which makes Stealth Bombers so useful and fun, i.e. the annihilation of larger class fleets (if they are not alert enough and don’t bring frigate/destroyer class locking times) and up scaling it to the largest sub capital class ship would work wonders in giving sub capital defence fleets a method of destroying un-supported capitals. If this were released, I would actually advocate bringing in a simultaneous and significant Capital Buff, giving capital pilots good reason to want to deploy their assets on the field, where they may fall prey to the SH-Bomb. It would also breathe life into the currently tragically underused BOBS.

Feel free to pick holes, claim it wasn’t my idea, or just tell me super capitals/capitals need to destroy entire fleets, because of the cost and skill point requirements.

Fly theoretically,

Hark¬

An Appeal: Bitter Veteran Syndrome

Bitter Veteran Syndrome (BVS) is an epidemic on New Eden; and it’s time to raise awareness. The chances are that you mix with people who right now are entering into the first stages of this disease, and neither you nor they understand enough to realize the problem.

Any character with over 10m skill points can contract BVS, but the truly vulnerable are characters with skill points above 60m. It’s currently unknown how this correlation forms, but the facts are there*. If you know someone in this skill range, you need to watch out for the Symptoms:

 – Constantly complaining about the ease of the game for new players
 – Shouting “HTFU” as a counter point to every argument
 – A belief that Super Capitals are just fine the way they are (or were)
 – Rarely actually logging into the game
 – An ability to understand game mechanics better than anyone else

 If you are afraid that a friend has contracted BVS there is a simple test you can do to be sure:

Show them a reasonable ship fitting and ask for advice.
If they immediately point out more than three errors they likely early onset BVS (assuming the fitting isn’t really shit). Severity can be judged on the amount of issues spotted, and the level of explanation given for the mistakes.

i.e. 6 issues spotted and no explanation given at all for the mistakes is a very severe contraction (if they shout HTFU as an explanation contract a support group immediately). Whereas 3 items spotted, but a calm and logical explanation of why and how to fix them is a low risk case.

Sadly there is no cure for, but it is our belief here at the Hark Science Studies Centre (HSSC) BVS department, that there is a lot we can do to help these sadly afflicted individuals, and so we ask for your generosity to help fund the research of BVS and the treatment of sufferers. Institutes such as the Pandemic Legion Bitter Veteran Home allow extreme sufferers of BVS to be with people who suffer and understand they plight. They also provide support to all members in their time of need.

But for some such a community of support is just not available, and many thousands of BVS sufferers don’t even have the money for the basic Super Capitals which they so desperately need.

So please, if you have seen the damage BVS can cause to a pilot, consider donating to the HSSC:BVS study and support group. Just a few billion ISK could keep a BVS suffer comfortable for years to come.

Thank you,

Hark

P.s. Yes I just passed 60M skillpoints… any one want to fund me a titan?

*      10m sp ~= 02.32% contraction rate (cr)
     30m sp ~= 07.66% cr
     60m sp ~= 56.79% cr
    100m sp ~= 89.72% cr
    Results from the “what does hark think study” funded by unicorns and fairies.

Incoming Truffle Pig Tears (Titan Nerf)

CCP Greyscale today announced some fairly big changes to titans (and by proxy Dreads). The full post (and delicious tears) can be found here along with the tears from the Truffel Pig allances (and others).

Now this first paragraph is a bit like a black smith putting on his lead apron; I’m trying to avoid the flames. I am very very pro Super Capital nerfs. I celebrated the Super Carrier Nerf, and I will celebrate the Titan Nerf. No single ship in the game should be an “I win” button, none. These changes should work towards the goal of enforcing skill (and not wallet depth) as the deciding factor in battles.
This nerf is unfortunately going back to where we began during the “Get titans on grid” changes in dominion. It comes down to Risk:Reward ratios. At the moment the numbers look like this:
            2:10
Titan pilots love using them because they have very little risk and great rewards. CCP has now made the ratio like this:
            2:5
Now titan pilots are just not going to fly them because they don’t feel it’s worth the risk. What they should be aiming for is this:
            8:10
This would mean titans pilots would want to fly because they get a good reward, but they take a big risk to get it. Now I don’t think that blaping sub caps is where that 10 reward should come from so in that respect the change will work, but to make the titan changes work in full CCP needs to achieve two other things. (What they have done is bolded below).
Stop Titans from killing small ships, but give them something equally rewarding (but less infuriating to other players). Then make titan take a bigger risk to achieve its role (whatever CCP decides this is).
Now what’s fixed is only a tiny part of that solution and hopefully this what Greyscale means by “We don’t consider titans ‘Done’ after this change”. If we increase the risk to titans, while still enticing them onto the field we will start to see more and more titan deaths and a lowering of the numbers of Super Capitals in game.
But that’s just to goals of the titan changes i.e. things done directlyto the titan. More needs to be done to the factors which have caused this symptom to come to light. So now we know what needs to be done to cure the symptom, let’s follow the diagnosis to its root:
           
            “It’s easy for 10 titans to luck out with their tracking (with the right mods) and blap sub-capitals”
            Because?
            “Certain Alliances have been able to field enough titans to make this happen regularly”
            Why?
            “Alliances have enough money to easily field of SC’s”
            Ah!
           
Yup it’s another anti alliance wealth post. Well not entirely. At the moment something like 1 titan and three Super Carriers are produced per day. Which means to cure the proliferation problem in a realistic timeframe, we have to kill 2-3 titans per day every day*. So we need to reduce the production of titans as well. I won’t go into detail on how I think CCP should about this (as I have done so elsewhere), suffice to say that a Moon Goo nerf might be a great start.
Again another rough post in response to the flow of the game.
Thanks for reading,
Hark
*
[Titans in game today]/([titans killed per day] – [titans produced per day]) = [days till 0 titans]
730 / (3 – 1) = 365
I think 50-100 titans is about the right number 😛

Eureka!

Eureka! I have the answer. Last night I finally realised the key reason I enjoy playing EvE, and what makes it different to other MMOs. I should back track a little bit here I guess (and perhaps stop running around with just a towel on).

A few days ago, my Alliance was called into a Coalition CTA. Now although that’s not unusual, the intel channels were lighting up like a Christmas tree; anyone remotely connected to any side of the Russian Civil War (including the truffle pigs NC. and PL) were logging in Supers & Capitals. Talk was that PL was going all out & Solar-n-co was going to call them on it. When we arrived (late to the part for reasons I won’t specify) we were greeted with a very puzzling sight.

Pandemic Legion had a Capital & Super Capital fleet of what looked to be around 100-200 ships. Seeing such a massive Capital Fleet with no support was not entirely surprising, but what was interesting was the location of the fleet. They were in a bubble, in an asteroid belt; furthermore the bubble was a PL anchored bubble. We were very puzzled, Why had PL bubbled themselves in? Why in an asteroid belt? Why use so many Capitals? (Oh no wait scratch that last one, this is PL).

Some people thought PL might have been betrayed by a spy. Others suggested they were playing Vikings and burning their boats. It was also suggested that perhaps this was a last stand and attempt to encourage Solar to fight PL in a winner takes all battle. Nobody knew (1), we spent maybe half an hour watching the fleet during which time very little happened. Eventually the bubble was killed (by PL) and the fleet warped off (not before really putting the shits up Arian, by aligning out straight through his stealth bomber).

Now PL are often trend setters (for good reason) in the field of tactics and I’ve said before that we can guess what everyone will be doing next month by what PL are doing this month(2). When PL started doing something unexpected I have no doubt across New Eden People were scrambling to try and work out why. Was it a new tactic? Was it betrayal? I didn’t understand what was happening now, but I knew someone would have a good solid theory in a few days’ time.

As predicted when I asked a friend if we knew yet what had happened and I was told it was a culmination of frustration within Pandemic Legion over three main issues:

1. Solar wasn’t engaging on their terms (i.e. whelping capital fleets against their bigger shinier capital fleets),

2. Red Alliance has seemingly stopped bothering to attend to their own defence (instead letting the truffle pigs do all the grunt work), and;

3. Because of the last two points; they were not fulfilling their reputation for turning the tide of any war they are hired to help with.

Now I have no idea if this is true, propaganda or just a guess. But this is why I enjoy EvE (oh there was a point to all this!). Every time something of significance occurs, within a few days someone will have a theory (of varying validity and verification) as to what lead up to the event. Our fights are not just events floating on a sea of content, but instead the visible tip of an iceberg plunged deep in the frigid waters of politics.

This doesn’t happen in any other game. WoW guilds could care less what lead to another guild downing a boss (after the server first at least). There is no politics in Rift because there is rarely any reason for one guild to interact with another. Oh occasionally the top guilds of each faction on a server might have a rivalry. But they won’t be posting blogs on the theory of why the main tank is using a “Shield of Unrelenting Back Pain”, instead of the “Scutum of Lesser Cowardice” they have. For supposed “Social” games, they silo you into guilds with little to no reason to interact with other similar groups. EvE doesn’t do this, a Corporation/Alliance who doesn’t interact with other Corporations/Alliances will always fail. Admittedly our interactions are not always benign (in fact they are mostly malicious) but we do interact on a level other games don’t encourage.

Perhaps I am alone, but this is what I enjoy about EvE. We get to pew, but we also get to try and understand (or figure out) what leads to the pew.

Thanks for reading; I’ll go back to my bath now,

Hark¬

(1) My other half also thought that they had mistaken the bubble for a POS…

(2) She also asked if next month half of Nullsec was going to be sitting in their own bubbles too.

Super capitals again…(again and again……)

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).
Final Words
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.
Finally…
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.