Posts Tagged ‘Super carriers’

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¬

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.