This thread will mainly discuss on 3 of the following topics
- Nullsec blob and its effect on roamers
- ESS and the effects of the new stealing mechanics
- The current speed creep meta and how it interacted with the ESS bubble
Wall of text warning
I will try to make this clean and formatted, but still, expect a lot of text coming your way.
1.1 Why blob is here, and it is inevitable
Nullsec blob is pretty much the result of player sov mechanics. Players alliances gets de facto control over a specific area of systems, and they will want to defend it.
Since PVE activities is inevitable for large player alliance (even though some PVP-orienated alliance or crop may get away with it, we won’t discuss about that here), players are forced to provide defense over roamers for theirs PVE activities, let it be ratting, mining, DED sites running, or hauling.
The problem within nullsec defense is that, although you can easily scale your PVE activities by recruiting more players (or multiboxing), there is no easy way to quickly improve your PVP competence (hiring mercs does not count here).
Hence the doctrine fleet and blob.
Logistics can help you tank roamer’s dps and avoid loss of ship, enough firepower will eventually break your opponent’s tank, and interdictors&interceptors will help pin down the enemy of your choosing.
Player PVP skill requirement is vastly reduced with the implementation of PVP fleets as most players only need to adhere to FC’s instructions.
If you are a reasonable player and you get to make the decision, you will also make the blob (Or Fast-Response-Fleet, as some may prefer to call it) happen.
1.2 The effect of nullsec blob, and how it affected roamers
In short: Roamers have a hard day.
Within player sov area that has an active SRF, the roamer(s) basically have only 2 options.
Not taking gate after you kill something, and filament out
Use covert ops+interdiction nullifier T3C
Both options are widely adopted for roamers who does not want to go YOLO with their ship, since / thus they used a more expensive ship.
The former options is often used in tandem with cloak, as the hunter can just make a safe spot and go for a coffee break when he wait for the 15min PVP timer to pass, as the defender SRF has nearly no chance of finding him if the said hunter is not caught red-handed on site. Some small gangs also take the approach of warping constantly into deepspace safespots when someone land on grid to pass the timer.
The latter option allows the hunter to pass gate camps and not to be stopped by anchored bubbles on gate and/or interdictors on gate. To catch this type of hunter, either pin him down on site, or try to uncloak him with a experienced interdictor pliot, as ships of such fitting may require a align time of 10 seconds.
ANYTHING other than the above 2 options basically means the life expectancy of the hunter’s ship (and pod) is no better than a couple of kills.
1.3 How I think of nullsec blob
I think it feels suck to be a roamer when the game is full of blobs, but thinking from the defender’s side, if they can’t utilize means of transportation like jump bridges, why even bother to get a bigger sov and recruiting players? Nullsec blob is currently a response from players in terms of fleet size, rather than fleet quality, as this is more cost effective in many means (less training and less cost on ships).
The blob is fair in terms of game design, but makes the opponent feels bad.
I don’t see a solution to this in any short time, feel free to post your idea.
PS: Filament is a circumvention , not a solution.
ESS and the stealing of it
If you don’t know about the ESS change yet:
Quick facts here
New ESS is a gated deadspace pocket, only allowing cruiser-battleship sized ships to enter, you land 10km from the ESS once you take the gate, and you will be trapped in a 65km radius bubble that is basically a scram-scripted HIC warp bubble. I.E: No warp/jump/MJD/MWD. Also no cloak/cyno/anchoring within the bubble, no cyno is allowed on grid of gate or ESS itself.
And in case you want to see the current meta (at least from my observation)
Current meta developed to:
[Attackers] Snipers- Naga/Tornados sitting at the edge of the bubble
====== volleying anyone dare to enter into thin air. NEED TO ENTER FIRST
[Attackers] Brawlers- Basically any tanked blaster fitted ship sitting at entry
====== melting anyone dare to enter into hot wreck. NEED TO ENTER FIRST
[Attackers] [Defenders] Any Sansha ships- Since Sansha ships has AB bonus
====== they can just blaze in the bubble as usual, and their price skyrocketed recently
[Attackers] [Defenders] Any cruiser with 100AB- The name speaks for itself.
====== Not seems to be very popular
[Defenders] Any thicc battleship- To tank the aforementioned snipers and brawlers
====== takes forever to get out of bubble after the fight
[Anyone who can afford it] T3Cs- I thinks this needs no explanation
So basically the new ESS is a CCP’s “Nullsec proving grounds” with the restriction of no interdictors, no interceptors, and no MWD.
TL;DR: Feels suck to be defending it
The fact that manually sharing is no longer possible makes defending ESS undeniable when it has more then 100M sitting in it. And even in that situation, defending it is often not successful, as you only get 5mins from the warning, and the fleet need to melt the offending ship before the timer ticks out. This is a bit easier since the ESS will tell who’s breaking the bank, and the offender cannot leave 10km radius of the ESS.
And it feels extra sucks when you blow up the offender
only to know that he got the vouchers, and the vouchers didn’t drop in his wreck
Basically you never get to enter before the attackers unless you camp in there beforehand, which is undesirable for obvious reasons.
Feel free to comment on this
Speed creep, and ESS
Due to the game mechanics, speed means both distance and angular velocity, which is the 2 ways of avoiding damage application, so everyone wants to be faster and faster, just to get the upper hand on the emenies (Both in terms of catching up with the emeny, and also speed tanking).
This resulted in the meta that almost every ship is using MWD, even those entering ESS are often found with dual prop fitting, which is versatile, but still cancerous to fight against. The abuse of interceptors, as I see it, is a response to the speed creep, and you even get to see some Gallentean cruisers flying at an absurd speed of 6000m/s as the meta envolves.
ESS is an attempt to address this problem. While causing Sansha ships to suddenly skyrocket in price, it did make nullsec more active, but cancerous tactics (e.g. Naga/Tornado sniping) are popping up faster than the lock speed of gate campers in Tama.
IMHO: a good attempt, but still didn’t fix anything, and 1400mm projectile cannons are running out of stock