Category Archives: CCP Hijinx
So about the only flavor of Kool-Aid I ever liked was Purple. I’m a picky person. I’m sure this will surprise about 0 people that regularly tune into my blog. CCP likes to mix a lot of flavors of Kool Aid and rarely do they manage to find the Purple. That being said every once in a while they really hit a home run. Crucible was a good example. Even though it had a million flavors there was a lot of Purple in it.
Tiericide looks like a LOT of Purple. We all like new ships. I tend to let CCP stretch the definition. The redone tier-1 and tier-2 ships might as well BE new ships. When’s the last time anyone used a Heron? How about an Atron? A Burst? I have a lolfit Breacher. The cruisers are even more delineated. Quick tell me the tier-1 Gallente Cruiser. I bet you haven’t seen it undocked in years. I bet NONE of you would have gotten it right before they did tier-1 Navy cruisers.
Tiericide will give us uses for all the ships that you haven’t seen undocked in years. From the Bellicose to the Vigil ships are getting a look and a “balance pass” that will give all of them some role in the new paradigm of Combat (Line of Battle ships) Attack (think Tier 3 BCs) Bombardment (reach out and touch someone) and Support (fucking Falcons…) Now I don’t think they’ll get it all right. When has CCP ever made it through a patch without some minor mishap, or even major oversight, but creating a system where every ship has its proponents and reasons to own and undock it sounds like a lot of fun to me. Imagine kiting Bellicoses zooming around and engaging Ruptures on equal footing. Ospreys being more than can flip victims, and Augorors being used for more than a component in a Guardian.
Frankly this is a good thing. Having 2/3 or more of the ships in EvE tied up as unproductive hangar queens flown only by the grossly uninformed is pretty wasteful. In fact it’s downright sad. By doing this CCP is giving us back a lot of the work they’ve previously wasted. Now all those Feroxes and Exequrors and Scythes that haven’t seen the vacuum of space in 3 years can roam free. And I can sip my purple Kool Aid. Oh yeah.
Hieronymus Karl Frederick, Baron von Munchausen: Gentlemen, don’t you think it would be a good idea to silence those enemy cannons?
Bored Soldier: No sir
BS: It’s wednesday
HKFBvM: (disgusted) oh… wednesday
Retaining large-scale control of a warzone doesn’t seem particularly advantageous. Having it at one moment is, especially if you know when that moment will be and can cash in your LP. Keeping it is a chore and a bother. Control of individual systems might make some difference tactically, allowing one side or another to dock up and base out of one system at need. The LP benefit is tremendous, but doesn’t require sustained control to be used. The rest of the benefits are such a joke that they might as well not exist.
For most of the story of Adventures of Baron von Munchausen, the Baron, an idealistic old man, is opposed by the Right Ordinary Horatio Jackson, a “realist” who doesn’t see the point of fighting a war with heroism and extreme efforts, but rather an intensely organized “rational” method that seems limp and uninspiring. Jackson would LOVE faction warfare.
The good Baron would be dashing from one endangered system to the next, chasing out plexers and running defensive complexes, holding the line against the invading Turk. He sees the adventure and need to control the area, defend the space of his militia.
Jackson would be planning one day blitzes, seizing control of the warzone in one day of supreme effort, coordinating efforts to drive warzone control as high as possible to cash in the LP they farm over the rest of the week. The other side would of course do the same thing. Possibly even coordinating days to do these activities to prevent working at cross purposes.
There’s two reasons for the lack of desire for defense. The first is the fact that you don’t need to hold the space for any sustained period of time. The second is the difficulty in holding a system. You have to run twice as many sites as the attacker and get no benefit other than retaining their current benefits, which they likely don’t need as they’ve already cashed in their LP. Rather than defend space to hold benefits they cannot utilize because they’ve burned out their LP, which can’t be replenished on defense except slowly through kills. EvE players tend to be rational creatures. They want rewards for their actions. There’s far more Horatio Jacksons than Baron von Munchausen, and if CCP wants to see things tilt the other way they need a reason. Players need a reason for a crazy man on a horse to charge out screaming:
HFKBvM: They’re inviting us to defeat them! We must oblige them!”
Right Ordinary Horatio Jackson: Ah, the officer who risked his life by singlehandedly destroying…
Functionary: [whispering in his ear] Six.
ROHJ: *Six* enemy cannon and rescuing…
ROHJ: Ten of our men held captive by The Turk.
Sting (I’m not kidding): Yes, sir.
ROHJ: The officer about whom we’ve heard so much.
Sting: I suppose so, sir.
ROHJ: Always taking risks far beyond the call of duty.
Sting : I only did my best, sir.
ROHJ: Have him executed at once.
Soldier: Yes, sir. Come along.
ROHJ: This sort of behavior is demoralizing for the ordinary soldiers and citizens who are trying to lead normal, simple, unexceptional lives. I think things are difficult enough as it is without these emotional people rocking the boat.
Because right now there’s often a sentiment of “let ’em take the system. We’ll just take it back and profit from it!” and while that may be the logical solution in EvE, it doesn’t make much sense.
Like a lot of white jewish guys I can’t dunk. Like most guys I can deal with it in one of three ways, I can give up on it, I can work out and get above the rim, or I can lower the basket.
The last option works great when I’m in the driveway on my own hoop. It doesn’t work so well when I go out to the Y and play even a pickup game. If dunking is my goal I have to step up my game. I have to go to the mountain.
Today the mountain came to the miner.
CCP released a devblog, lots of good stuff for frigate lovers, new destroyers, and big changes to mining barges.
- Procurer/Skiff: primarily made for self-defense. Better mining rate than the ORE frig, good ore bay, but capable of having battleship-like EHP.
- Retriever/Mackinaw: made for self-reliance. Has the largest ore bay, similear to the size of a jet can, second best mining output but less EHP than the procurer mining barge.
- Covetor/hulk: ore bay is identical to its current cargo hold, little to average EHP, but best mining output. Basically made for group operations when players have industrials and protection to back them up.
This seems to be a response to forum whines about the survivability of mining ships. Rather than players relying on themselves to make themselves better, or by banding together to work as a team, CCP has handed them ships that greatly increase the capability of miners to operate solo. Let’s assume that a decently tanked hulk sits around 20k EHP. A Procurer/Skiff with “Battleship-Like EHP” will likely end up with a MINIMUM of 50k EHP and probably 70-80k EHP. Assuming a retriever/mack sits in between we are talking 35-50k EHP. This gives miners greater resilience against ganks fine, they are happy for about a week.
Here’s the problem
The gankers will adjust.
This isn’t a solution. This is a band-aid. This fixes the symptoms. The disease is still there. The disease is the lack of adaptability in the mining community. Lowering the basket makes it physically possible to dunk. If I want to do it in a game there’s one other consideration. If someone stands in front of the rim they can block you and no amount of lowering the rim will help you. You have to deal with the other player.
You have to deal with the other player.
You Have to deal with the other player.
THE OTHER PLAYER.
THE OTHER PLAYER!!!!!
Because this is a Massively Multi-PLAYER game. If your problem is the way in which other players play the game then you have to adjust how you play the game. This might reduce he impact of some ganking strategies, it might make it possible for you to dunk, but it doesn’t make it impossible to get blocked.
Soo with the new update to Faction Warfare CCP has decided that all the rewards will go to the attacker. The incentive to defend is to not get locked out of stations in systems and to maintain your current LP store standing, oh and hold onto those extra R&D slots you installed in the stations in that lowsec system you carried your BPOs to.
You don’t get LP, you don’t get much, if any standing, and per Susan Black who I trust to know a little more about FW than I do, you gain less System Control % for defending a plex than an attacker does for attacking it. That means that in the time it takes me to run the 300 odd systems to regain full control of a system, I could have taken over 2 systems and gained the additional LP store bonus for total control of the whole thing. Never mind the PvP aspect, which is ostensibly what the whole FW system is about.
This creates a situation somewhat similar to Castle swapping in WoW or the Ilum dailies in SWTOR. The biggest difference is that there is at least a modicum of a reason to protect a system. 2 in fact. 1 so you can dock up, which people don’t worry about because they can base safely in highsec anyway, and 2 you maintain your overall control. The system itself just doesn’t have much importance unless you happen to have stuff in station in it. Even maintaining overall control seems dubious. I could maintain control of one system, or I could lose it, and use the effort I would have spent regaining control of that system to take 2 other systems, one to make up for the one I lost, and 1 to put me ahead.
This assumes you have systems you can take of course, but here’s the catch, if I’m a plexer, and if there’s no systems I can take, I WANT YOU TO TAKE SYSTEMS. I get no further reward for being great, and while there may be phenominal discounts at the LP store, it’s hard to take advantage of them without LP.
Defenders need rewards, attackers should get higher rewards, but defense should get something. If a General told you “Hey look, Mexico invaded. We lost San Antonio, Houston, Austin and Dallas, but we took Mexico City, Tijuana, Mexicali, Tampico, Cancun, Cozumel, Santa Sosalina, AND La Paz, we’re WAY ahead on points!” you’d smile at him, shake his hand and go call for the guys with the hug-me jackets. That’s a ridiculously stupid way to fight a war, but that’s what CCP is motivating pilots to do. If the Caldari give up on Manjonakk and instead capture Ashitsu and Enaluri, they’ve come out way ahead on LP and on standings.
Of course there is something of a counter to this. People that want PvP tend to want fights they have a degree of confidence in. They want to get the easy kills and have time to plan if something nasty shows up. This means that the hardcore PvPers have incentive to hang around systems that need defense. They can score some easy kills picking off the odd Plexer hunting easy LP, and earning a few LP themselves.
Defense needs rewards, defense wins championships and without some tangible reward for defense, there doesn’t seem to be a way to get anyone motivated to do more than shoot people trying to run plexes.
I haven’t been in-game too much but I’ve noticed a few things about Faction Warfare that have amused me in the realm of “Unintended Consequences”
The reaction of incoming players to the possibility of losing their stuff to losing the system has largely been “Well fine we’ll base in hisec”
Defensive plexing is necessary to keep control of systems, but doesn’t give you any notable benefit. No LP, just a drop in the contested status of the system. Makes it harder to lose your LP rewards I guess.
Faction Police seem to be able to catch a freighter on a good day. Anything smaller blows by them. Seriously have you seen Loren Galen’s killboard?
PvP is of course as exciting as ever. cricket… cricket… I need to get on and find a fleet that’s going to pick a fight.
Also about to pick up recruiting. Warning any spies we discover in corp will be jettisoned in a can outside Jita 4-4 with the self-destruct disabled and Gilbert Gottfried reading local.
As it turns out I was looking at how CCP was wrong about wardecs in entirely the wrong fashion. I focused on it from the standpoint of someone who wanted to throw out wardecs and maybe grief some people. I didn’t see the absolute bonanza of opportunity beating up on an entirely different class of people.
Idiot nullseccers. Any major nullsec alliance that puts in a wardec is going to probably regret it quickly. There will be a dozen predator corps and alliance ready to pounce on them and terrorize any ships in highsec. Heck look at Goons and Test in Poetic’s post. It’s easy to be a badass in deep null when you have a few dozen/hundred of your closest friends. The guy in a freighter hauling stuff to/from jita? Probably gonna need a heads up. Those mission runners in Motsu and Penirgman ain’t so safe either. Now to some extent this might be intended by the alliance heads. Chase out the carebears that never contribute. Fine. Love it. However CCP has swung the pendulum over to the defender by providing them easy access to plenty of wardec loving folks to grief the griefers. This gives any major alliance that doesn’t have it’s strength in highsec a VERY different choice than they had a few weeks ago. First they can go ahead with the wardec as normal, realizing that they expose themselves to every swinging dick(head) in empire who wants a piece of them. Second they can just wave off and ignore whatever the problem is, and third they can find someone else (or create an alt corp/alliance) to handle the issue.
Not exactly a huge adaptation, but it points to the major flaw in the new wardec system. Throwing out a wardec is now a HUGE liability. If you are on the hook as the aggressor you are exposed to anyone who wants to join the fun and pound you senseless. The question is: Who wants to be that guy? Who wants to be the other guy scoring easy kills? I know everyone talks about “good fights” but let’s face it, it’s fun to post 50 killmails with no losses. Lots more fun than to post the 50 lossmails.
The marketplace is a bit of a joke, as Poetic already pointed out. If you want help there’s plenty of people willing to throw in for free. The only reason you’d even think to offer money would be if you had assets requiring defense, in which case you might have to actually take some steps.
Offensive wars bring with them all the liabilities with limited opportunities, thanks to no way to force a fight. Defensive wars bring far greater opportunities with fewer chances for nasty surprises. I don’t really have a problem with this. Any kind of PvP should require exposing yourself to risk. What I do wonder is why anyone would throw out a wardec, especially “professional” highsec pvpers who can simply wait for a juicy wartarget to jump in against.
EvE Patch Day used to be a fiasco every time. The first patch I had to deal with was Trinity. That was a mess. A HUGE mess. A “Throw Someone Out the Window” caliber mess. From here they went to Empyrean Age which went more smoothly than Trinity not through any particularly brilliant skill, but rather from CCP having set the bar so low with Trinity that they were able to stroll over it without effort.
Quantum Rise was another one of those “Server down, Server up, server down, server up” patches, with mini-patches throughout the week, and ran VERY long to boot. Apocrypha went very smoothly considering the scope of its content, but I still recall being very glad I had a long skill in.
For my money Dominion was the first expansion that really didn’t require the “Ok I need to have a week long skill set on patch day” mindset so common in the EvE community. While the server came up and down like a basketball for a couple days, the patch and subsequent patches were handled well and resulted in a successful patch day.
Today I noticed that the downtime was extended a half hour, the server came up, and went right back down. Hotfixes have become the norm, and I suspect today will see at least one or two more, with maybe a half dozen spread throughout the week.
I look forward to the new missile effects, and learning the new inventory better than I bothered with on SiSi. I think Faction Warfare is about to explode with new faces, and old ones returning. I also look forward to seeing wardecs continue to languish relatively useless as CCP hasn’t addressed most of the main issues facing them. Maybe they will iterate on them. It only took 3 or 4 years to iterate on Faction Warfare after all.
So CCP has put in a module that will change blob warfare, and I think opens the door to a concept I think is LONG overdue. From today’s Dev Blog
MagSheath Target Breaker I – Mid slot. A module that has a chance of breaking the lock of ships targeting you, the chance increases the more ships target you at one time. Also breaks your locks. Reduces scan resolution significantly as a downside. Only one can be fitted at a time and the can not be fitted to capital ships.
Well then…. that should change things a tiny bit. Blobbing people with tons of cheap ships suddenly gets less effective. Smaller fleets of more capable ships with better pilots become preferable to huge blobs in some circumstances. What circumstances those are depend a lot on how widespread the module is, and the hard numbers on exactly how easily it breaks locks as numbers go up.
First thought – 20-30 close range gank ships can use this module to really go to town on large blobs.
Second thought – Logis will HATE this. Soon as someone pops that mod they had better broadcast for reps because there’s no discrimination between friendly locks and hostile locks.
What’s going to make a big difference is how common the module is. At first it will command a princely sum, how long that lasts depends a lot on how common the BPC drops. I won’t go in to how bizarre it is to not have BPOs for this item, but having it as a drop for a while might be fun. I might even run a few profession sites. Or not. If this ship shows up only on the specialists, like Arazus, Rapiers, (or Lachs and Huggy bears) then it won’t affect much in the game, if it shows up on Drakes and other line-of-battle ships, expect some shifts in the fundamental nature of fleet composition.
If it’s only on small ships then you will get “Hit Squads” of small, skills players flying faster ships to go in and assassinate people against whom the massed firepower of the fleet may not be effective anymore. This actually sounds really cool, not sure how well it would play out in real life.
If it shows up on every shitfit drake in a 400 man fleet… well the other guy might go with a smaller fleet equally heavily supported with these modules and try to carve apart the larger fleet using their own numbers against them. Also might make escaping ganks easier in PvE ships. Heck might be a fun module for PvE ships in general if it works against rats. At the very least provides a somewhat reliable GTFO button.
No matter what this module ends up doing it signals a clear sign that CCP is pushing back against the Blob. I’m glad to see it, but I think it brings another problem into focus. Discriminating between “Friendly” and “Hostile” locks.
In modern aviation and even in ground combat vehicles transmit their location and information to friendly units and commanders through transponders of one sort or another. This potentially reduces or eliminates friendly fire and allows friendly assets to support each other without making the enemy’s job easier. In EvE if you want to assist your buddy with reps or such you have to lock him. There is no difference between locking your buddy in one of the (currently outdated) RRBS gangs and locking onto a hostile. The same mechanics applied for friendly or hostile targets. This is… well… unusual. If I was designing a system in an environment where the safety of my ship was likely to depend on friendlies being able to target me, I’d include something in the transponder code to “boost” my signature to people in fleet, allowing them to lock faster. Additionally targets locked that are friendly should show on a separate bar stacked below or to the side of the normal one, depending on orientation. The “selected target” should NEVER jump bars. This would allow ships that use both offensive and defensive modules (carriers, Domis, bad scimitar fits, RRBS if they ever come back into fashion) to quit whoring in on their buddies KMs, and encourage supporting modules in fleets that could benefit from them.