Category Archives: PvE
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
– Inigo Montoya The Princess Bride
So for years we’ve been calling them POS towers. Player Owned Stations. The problem is they aren’t really owned by any given player. They belong to corporations. The CEO can access anything in them. So can Directors. This presents a massive problem for people trying to use them. Granularity to allow Players to own and operate their own towers simply doesn’t exist. Recently I put a Archon in to research. Well. I didn’t. I only have access to the hangars available to everyone. So I have to trust it to one of the higher ups to put it in. Which means that only 4 or 5 people can access it at any time and potentially rip me off. Do I think any of them would do it? Of course not. Well. No more than anyone else in EvE would.
The real core of the problem is that I can’t have my OWN station. I can’t build my own facility belonging to Corelin, unless I go back to Fancy Hats and start stripping roles. It’s a trade off that doesn’t seem to serve much of a purpose. I think CCP needs to once again call a spade a spade and admit that it’s a Corporation Owned Station (COS) and follow up by re-introducing the POS as a small structure that can fill some portion of the functions served by a modern Corporation Owned Station, CCP can offer players the opportunity to do their own research, their own light industry, maybe even their own reactions, CCP offers a stepping stone even the lone miner can use to find something he likes more, and maybe a stepping stone to the more powerful functions of a full-up Corporation Owned Station.
I would make the core module of the new POS a fairly cheap component. Modules would also be fairly inexpensive, except for reactor and computing modules. Those would allow you to use more reactors, labs, what have you, and would cost exponentially more for the utility. Each player and only anchor one, and they have to be anchored near something warpable in the system. Could be a planet. Could be a moon. Could be an asteroid belt. Might allow more than one at certain beacons. Planets might allow as many as a dozen. Defenses would cripple the utility of even a fully upgraded POS, with enough guns to disturb even a small battlecruiser gang rendering the POS nearly useless to anyone else. It can only have two ships docked at it at a time (bonus points for them to show up mated to docking collars rather than hidden in a hangar) and the bubble would be tiny. Forget hiding your Titan in one, your Mach is gonna be showing it’s ass outside the bubble.
The goal here is not to completely replace the current COS system. They serve a purpose, and should be kept in some form. Certainly alliances wouldn’t want to be utterly dependent on one person being around to keep up its cynojammers, its bridges, let alone the wealth of its moon miners. POS structures will allow players their own base for a secure, safe operation divorced from the godawful Corporate Interface. It reduces the strain on the corporate interface by making POS towers less of a necessity for the individual. This won’t actually make players too much more independent though. Readers of my blog already know I hate people who try to never interact with their fellows. Instead I suggest having no more than a 24 hour timer for reinforcement. Notifications will be sent to the entire corp letting them know that they have a friend in need.
This system creates a new choice. Do I accept a penalty to research time and cost to secure my own resources, or do I put them at risk in a communal structure in order to save time and resources. It creates opportunities. It allows players to dabble in something they might not have access to otherwise, and provides new conflict drivers. Imagine finding your rival running a POS in a lowsec cull-de-sac. Think you wouldn’t be drooling over the chance to set a trap for him? As a conflict driver they offer a real target for small gangs. I think a decent BC gang, or even Tier 1 Cruiser gang should be able to smash up a cluster of these things to drive fights without the horrible monotony of a 2 hour POS bash.
Finally I don’t want them in highsec. I want them in null. I want them in Wormholes, and I really want them in lowsec. The thought of hundreds of alts in NPC corps clogging up highsec beacons with stations is horrendous. NPC Corp? No POS. Highsec system? No POS. These are conflict drivers. These are enablers for individuals. These are not traffic obstructions. The last thing we need is more clutter at the Jita 4-4 undock.
Today was a fairly eventful day. I logged in, fiddled with my horrendously unsuccessful market alt for a bit. Looked around and finally bit the bullet. Jump Cloned Corelin down to empire, sold some stuff to keep liquid and bought an Archon BPO. Because I can. I then puttered about for a bit, realizing I don’t have a good place to research it at the moment. One of the corpies misinterpreted my plight to understand that I needed an Archon. He mentioned that he had one he couldn’t fly stuck near a station owned by some reds in NPC null. He’d bought it a while back and just never bothered to skill for it. He needed it, and the ships it was stored with, moved out and pronto. He was willing to pay. With the carrier. I want to make this point clear. I did not ask for the carrier. It was offered to me free and clear, I asked him if he was sure. No I didn’t ask very hard. The Archon was not located in friendly space. In fact it was decidedly unfriendly space so I hopped in Robert Capa, my extremely slippery Loki that was literally built for this sort of expedition, and moved out.
33 jumps later…
I bounce through a few systems filled with baddies. Was kicking myself for not checking the route more thoroughly and I was *REALLY* hoping that the carrier had little things like fuel, some fittings, and that the station had a generous undock. I land on the station and breathe a sigh of relief. FAT undock. Love it. It’d take multiple Mach bumps to get kicked away and I’m not that dumb. I rechecked the jump range, counted the people in station against in system, and realized that I could go straight to a cyno beacon, and that the only person undocked was someone I’d seen stooging around in an Ibis. Whelp. Load everything in the carrier, and I mean everything, Undock, ctrl-space, quick d-scan, right click on the capacitor and JUMP! It even had fuel. Of course the idiot that fit it in the first place had triple trimarked it so lumbering into warp took EVEN LONGER than it normally would. Finally I breathed a sigh of relief as the warp tunnel formed and my ship slid across space into the friendly confines of our local home. Trading back the ships and faction mods from the carrier I enjoyed myself spinning it for a little while.
We have recently imported practically an entire highsec carebear corp. Caldari ships and mining vessels abound for these guys and hardly a turret to be found in their whole arsenal. I spent a little while chatting with them about the “why” of turrets and armor, including such gems as “I’m fairly certain an Armor tanked Nidhoggur could run down a Rokh” and a pretty intelligent discussion of delayed DPS, and the more recent missile nerfs. Fortunately these guys have the right attitude. They know that explosions happen, and are willing to train into what they need to train into. Sadly they have a bit further to go than I’d like but we don’t all start with great armor tanking skills, or T2 turrets sadly. What they do have is not only the capability to generate raw materials, and basic ships, modules and munitions, but a driving NEED to do such things. They were drooling over the opportunities to make money with a completely unconstrained voracity. When the JFs arrived they eagerly tore into getting themselves sorted and making money just to “stake their claim” on space, and see what opportunities they had. Hopefully they can continue their enthusiasm and pick up an equal penchant for blowing up the fruits of others labor. All in all quite a fun and successful day.
But they are practically next door so I think it would cause far more problems than it would solve. Alternately it would solve ALL of my problems. Permanently.
Anyway. I finally got my net up long enough to run a mission or three. I first tooled around in wormholes in a Proteus, then realized how rusty and sloppy I was and got OUT of the 400 million isk pod in a 900 million isk ship in 0.0 sec space and headed to “safer” territory. Setting up a Paladin was a matter of a couple of minutes, and the new market makes picking out faction fittings pretty simple. Oh and that’s FACTION not DEADSPACE in case you were planning on ganking me. I have no problem putting some shinies on a billion isk ship. I will not turn it into an isk pinata. I plan on learning how to play again then heading back to places where 0.0 never goes away for weeks. and lose some isk doing stupid shit.
The new UI is interesting. I’ve noticed the “LOCKED” keeps flashing forever. I don’t like that. I do like that I can see who is hitting me and how hard, and targeting rats that happen to be using some form of EWAR is easy, which I like even more. I like to think that CCP is getting up on the curve they’ve been behind on with regards to the UI providing information.
The new CCP seems to be very good at solving the little things but missing the big things. There doesn’t seem to be a “Vision” for EvE, let alone a plan to get there. The mission statement for CCP Games could very well be “We’ll muddle through” mixed in with a dash of “OOOOOOOH shiny!” for spice. Look at the Dev Blogs. Chartsville, Dev roam, General Tso’s EvE, MOMA announcement, UI fix, hangar fix, Dev video, Wardec fix, EON modernization, Drone Region fix, UI change (which I hate, which was coincidentally penned by Greyscale…) BOUNTIES! YES! SOMETHING THAT INCREASES RISK IN THE GAME FOR THOSE BEING JERKS, and yes I’m aware that I’m quite likely to be a victim of the bounty system later, and I think that that is AWESOME. UI fix, UI Fix, ship balancing, Sound updates, Community Spotlight, New Eden Open.
So… what’s the goal of EvE for the next while. Where does CCP see the meta moving in the next 3, 6, and 12 months. What is the “horizon” for Highsec, Lowsec, Nullsec, NPC Nullsec, and Wormhole Space, where are they moving towards for the foreseeable future. I certainly don’t have an answer going back who knows how far. The closest we see is the Halftime review of Retribution, written on 30 October, which gave a look at what Retribution would be, but it really just shines a spotlight on the problem. CCP isn’t steering a warship across a stormy ocean with a firm hand and rock-solid nerves, they are floating an inner tube down a river and hoping like hell that there aren’t any jagged rocks waiting for them.
EvE is an amazing game, and they have amazing people working for them. Hell even the much maligned Greyscale is clearly an intelligent guy, he just doesn’t seem to get EvE. Saturday I’m going to go over WHY CCP doesn’t seem to get EvE, and what they can do to help themselves.
Oh and for those wondering about Warmachine, Deneghra + Nightmare + Prey + a well positioned Arc Node + Satyxis Raiders = a turn 3 assasination that should NEVER have worked in a million years.
So the old Fancy Hats crew got together in LotRO to run the Great Barrow instances. We had an interesting group, I’ve played off and on since release, one of us had played since Beta, but had lapsed a couple years ago, another was new to LotRO but not to Theme Parks, the last one has literally never played a theme park style MMO.
This has presented a challenge to me and to the others as his progress gets tripped up by things that most MMO players haven’t even really thought about in years. Things like combat/non-combat states, inventory management, grouping mechanics, and party composition/the “Holy Trinity”
Which brings us to tonight. I had my lowbie Guardian, along with a
Sith Lord Runekeeper who was a bit ahead of us level-wise, Minstrel, and Hunter rounding out the Fancy Hats contingent, joining us literally as we set out was a higher level Burglaer, who happened to be a Role-Player. We ran through “The Maze” with a couple issues. First progress was rather slow, I had forgotten how to set up targeting assists, I was trying to explain some concepts to my erstwhile minions, and of course our Burglar buddy wasn’t on teamspeak so we had to type to him to let him know we hadn’t all gone AFK.
This confusion led to our one wipe of the evening. I was trying to explain how we were going to pull one of the first big rooms when our RK inadvertently threw out some
Force Lightning PERFECTLY EXPLAINABLE WITHIN THE THE LORE OF THE BOOKS NATURAL LIGHTNING THAT HAPPENED TO SPROUT FROM HIS FINGERS UNDERGROUND. 20 Silver if you can guess where I fall on the “Are Rune-Keepers Canon” debate. With full-room aggro we were quickly very hard-pressed and at level 23 my guardian simply didn’t have the threat-management to keep the healers up, or even himself without burning through all my potions and cooldowns. The wipe happened slowly but there was no chance at surviving that pull. Especially with the mini-boss happily joining in the affray.
Recriminations were kept to a minimum, mainly an admonition to watch pulls. We steamrolled the rest of the room taking our time to make sure our pulls were done cautiously, and the room itself gave us a perfect example of how “Not to Stand in the Fire” Hordes of worms showed up and promptly went into a writhing spasm of death, dropping copious puddles of green goo that melted our poor
Sith Lo RUNEKEEPER into a vaguely elf-shaped puddle. One quick song from our Minstrel later and he was rallied and ready to go. We pressed on and simply steamrolled the final boss. It was actually a bit embarrassing. We went back to town for a quick re-set and delved straight into Thadúr.
Thadúr presented us with the most frustrating encounter we would hit. We didn’t die in it. We didn’t come close to dying during it. However several members were ready to pull what little hair they had left out before it ended. The encounter centers on these small, fairly tough lights that spawn in sequence. The first one triggers the second “wave” of two, spawning at random locations, which must be defeated within seconds, 15 for the first and maybe another 5 for the second. The next is a group of three with a similar pattern, and finally a group of four. The problem is that some people didn’t understand the encounter, others simply lacked the muscle-memory to help much in pulls, and as frustration set in we quickly lost any semblance of unity.
Those who know me know that I tend to be rather terse in voice during fights. I was very frustrated myself, no less than my minions certainly as I was more-or-less leading things and things were going poorly. Finally we got the idea ready, and our Hunter, despite almost no experience in MMOs managed to get the pulls handled. By shooting each of the mobs and dragging them in close it allowed our burglar and myself to hammer down and transfer DPS efficiently leading to us FINALLY staggering out of the room, leaving only our dignity behind in tattered shreds. Thadúr himself was an afterthought, a simple single-mechanic boss requiring us to burn down adds between vulnerable periods.
Sambrog was simply a cakewalk. While we spent lots of time with the tank AND healer stunned we simply didn’t find anything that could challenge our party enough to slow us down. Murder and Mayhem followed and we ripped through the dungeon so fast we barely noticed it. All in all it was a pretty satisfying afternoon. Defeat barely rared its’ ugly head and all of us had a good time and even learned something, not always easy when you’ve played a game for five years.
Next week we plan on pressing through and evening up the level gaps hopefully, as well as some sight-seeing. Hopefully I remember to take screenshots this time as well.
No more bringing in a defenseless logi alt to power your Nightmare through L4s without a care in the world. No more sitting in a AFK Domi for hours on end, no more sitting in a mining ship with a good tank until… wait that still works. This is a nerf to multiboxers and professional mission runners who use more than one account. It’s also a big nerf to new players. One of the first things I did in EvE was joining corp mates for level 4s in my pitifully badly fit and under-equipped ships. Caracals, Feroxes, who knows what garbage was on those, I’ve long since destroyed the evidence. The only reason I don’t have 30 additional losses on my history is because of Marvin MartianVII, an out of game contact who was kind enough to tank for us nooblets so we could tag along.
Newer players will be forced out of missions which is both good and bad, it’s good because it puts them back on the track of self-sufficiency, of learning how to tank, how to participate, and how to contribute. However it excludes them from content; and, more importantly, from group content. Before my rather rude introduction to EvE PvP, the most enjoyable part of EvE was playing these missions with friends. This will make that far more difficult to do. No longer will the NPCs just bash against the toughest brick in the fleet, now they will spread fire to all and sundry, reducing those newer players who don’t know how to tank to fiery metal hulks.
On the other hand maybe an object lesson like every cruiser and BC in some missions hitting my Ferox (one of the more easily tanked ships in the game) and crushing it like an egg would have made me learn my tanking lessons before I started PvPing. Maybe not.
The overall effect? Less money in the game, this will slow down the rate of money entering the game, by an admittedly small percent, and it will change who it goes to. Now new players are going to struggle more to make isk. They will have to either cram enough tank in to survive the odd aggro they will now pick up in level 4s, or find another source of isk. Or they can stop playing because EvE is to hard. It’s generally impossible to make a change that nerfs older players without nerfing younger ones harder. Older players are infinitely more adaptable, experienced, capable, and generally wealthy. New players will have to pick from a lot of other, less desirable choices, either mining. Tedious, dull, newly competitive mining. Faction warfare, which I suspect will see a huge nerf as a “profession” in the near future, and the normal trading, buying plex with real money, manufacturing etc, all of which match them head-on with higher SP toons who can do it more efficiently.
I’m not saying this doesn’t need to happen. I think improving the AI in missions is long overdue. At the same time new players might be struggling. I don’t think it will be terribly serious. The newer, tougher frigates and destroyers replacing the lower tier ships should do great things to ease the pain. The new mining frigate will certainly help a great deal for those of that mind. Still this is the kind of nerf that can REALLY affect people disproportionately. The exact methods and timing of the target shifting should be studied carefully to avoid brutalizing the poor nooblets of EvE. There should be a smoother transition between the levels of missions. Each one is significantly more rewarding than the last, to the point of utterly obsoleting the previous tier once you don’t have to do them anymore.
Old players will adapt, new players will learn or leave.