Citadel Vulnerability Mechanics: A Causal Players Perspective


(Moac Tor) #1

First of all, the new proposal for citadel vulnerability mechanics are interesting, and on the whole have the potential to create a lot of good content by making it more convenient for attackers and defenders to stage set piece fights over critical assets.

I run a small casual group myself based in NPC null sec and high sec, and we use Citadel’s extensively, and even where I operate citadels in high sec, certain mechanics were creating uninteresting gameplay and so changes were needed.


The current proposal made by Fozzie at Vegas though seemed specifically geared towards the big null sec groups who had been campaigning on reddit and at the CSM summits for CCP to correctly improve their own experience. Unfortunately though this also creates major problems for more casual groups, who will now be under constant pressure to form fleets to defend, with the attacker having to only put in minimal effort to generate an armour timer. What this means is that attackers will be able to keep ‘poking’ the shield and creating armour timers and forcing the defenders to form up fleets even if they have no intention of attacking them.

This will of course lead to boring gameplay, as the best tactic for the attackers will be to poke the shield every other day until the defenders don’t form up, or only form up a small fleet due to being demoralised by the trolling attacks.

The consensus has always been that Sov Null requires big groups with minimal security mechanics to protect players, and then as you go up in sec status to high sec the game caters for more casual players to enjoy the eve experience without being required to login daily.

In the proposed system, the defenders will need to ensure they can form a fleet every other day in order to keep the service modules running, which will be impossible for a casual group like mine which is based in high sec, and so structure ownership will firmly be in the hands of big groups from NS to HS.


Below is a typical example of how many times you will have to expect to form up to defend an armour timer against an attacker who is trolling the shield timer over a two week period.

Current Vulnerability - (defence 24 hours after Initial attack and 2 days after subsequent failed attacks)

(Day1) Mon 00:00 (1st Shield Timer) >> (Day2) Tue 01:00 - 02:00 (Prime Time) (1st Armour Timer)
(Day2) Tue 02:00 (2nd Shield Timer) >> (Day4) Thu 01:00 - 02:00 (Prime Time) (2nd Armour Timer)
(Day4) Thu 02:00 (3rd Shield Timer) >> (Day6) Sat 01:00 - 02:00 (Prime Time) (3rd Armour Timer)
(Day6) Sat 02:00 (4th Shield Timer) >> (Day8) Mon 01:00 - 02:00 (Prime Time) (4th Armour Timer)
(Day8) Mon 02:00 (5th Shield Timer) >> (Day10) Wed 01:00 - 02:00 (Prime Time) (5th Armour Timer)
(Day10) Wed 02:00 (6th Shield Timer) >> (Day12) Fri 01:00 - 02:00 (Prime Time) (6th Armour Timer)
(Day12) Fri 02:00 (7th Shield Timer) >> (Day14) Sun 01:00 - 02:00 (Prime Time) (7th Armour Timer)

An attacker will almost certainly be able to make you form 7 times every two weeks without any problem, or once every 2 days. Once the defenders are demoralised or unable to login, then the attacker will launch the actual assault on the armour and render the structure offline and effectively useless.

As someone who has organised defence fleets to defend against 100+ man PH / MC fleets, there is a lot of time and effort is required to organise this. The prospect of having to do this every other day is well outside the realm of possibility for any casual to medium sized group and so will completely kill a lot of content that would otherwise occur.

To compound this issue, it is very easy for the attacker to leave only 24 hours for the defender to form up for the armour timer. For a big alliance they can easily rage ping people, so this is not a problem. For more casual groups in HS and LS, 24 hours is not long when most players are working a FT job during the week.


One solution which would be very simple to implement, would be to add a period of invulnerability after each failed timer, and extend the minimum period between the shield and armour timers. The length of this period could be based upon the sec status in which the structure is located.

This would not only help more casual groups, but would also minimise the effect of trolling attacks on larger groups, so would be a win/win for everyone. After all we don’t need more unfun trollceptor type mechanics introduced into the game.

Attackers would still be able to poke the shield, although not at the same frequency, as if they fail to show up for the armour timer afterwards, then they would have to wait for a period of time for the shield to become vulnerable again depending on the security status.


As an example, I would suggest adding a period of invulnerability of 7 days for HS, 5 days for LS, and 3 days for WH/NS, and a minimum period between shield and armour timers of 24 hours for NS/WH, 48 hours for LS, and 72 hours for HS. This would create a much better situation for both attackers and defenders, and would promote actual fights at the timers, rather than continuous troll attacks on the shield until the defender is demoralised (because this will definitely happen).

To illustrate an example of what a revised vulnerability schedule could look like is below for the relevant security status.


High Sec (defence 72 hours after Initial attack and 11 days after subsequent failed attacks)

(Day1) Mon 00:00 (1st Shield Timer) >> (Day4) Thu 01:00 - 02:00 (Prime Time) (1st Armour Timer)
(7 Day Failed Attack Invulnerability) >>
(Day11) Thu 02:00 (2nd Shield Timer) >> (Day15) Mon 01:00 - 02:00 (Prime Time) (2nd Armour Timer)
(7 Day Failed Attack Invulnerability) >>
(Day22) Mon 02:00 (3rd Shield Timer) >> (Day26) Fri 01:00 - 02:00 (Prime Time) (3rd Armour Timer)


Low Sec (defence 48 hours after Initial attack and 9 days after subsequent failed attacks)

(Day1) Mon 00:00 (1st Shield Timer) >> (Day3) Wed 01:00 - 02:00 (Prime Time) (1st Armour Timer)
(5 Day Failed Attack Invulnerability) >>
(Day8) Mon 02:00 (2nd Shield Timer) >> (Day12) Fri 01:00 - 02:00 (Prime Time) (2nd Armour Timer)
(5 Day Failed Attack Invulnerability) >>
(Day17) Wed 02:00 (3rd Shield Timer) >> (Day20) Sat 01:00 - 02:00 (Prime Time) (3rd Armour Timer)


WH / NS (defence 24 hours after Initial attack and 5 days after subsequent failed attacks)

(Day1) Mon 00:00 (1st Shield Timer) >> (Day2) Tue 01:00 - 02:00 (Prime Time) (1st Armour Timer)
(3 Day Failed Attack Invulnerability) >>
(Day5) Fri 02:00 (2nd Shield Timer) >> (Day7) Sun 01:00 - 02:00 (Prime Time) (2nd Armour Timer)
(3 Day Failed Attack Invulnerability) >>
(Day10) Wed 02:00 (3rd Shield Timer) >> (Day12) Fri 01:00 - 02:00 (Prime Time) (3rd Armour Timer)


TLDR - Under the current system, you will have to defend an armour timer once every two days to keep your structure online, and will have only 24 hours to organise a defence fleet. The solution proposed is to add a period of invulnerability after each failed timer, and extend the minimum period between the shield and armour timers depending on sec status


Link to the proposal on reddit


(Nevyn Auscent) #2

While it’s a good argument, I would rather see High sec having the same mechanics as Null Sec with regards to structure safety.
However I would also put the caveat on this that if High sec structures are to be just as vulnerable (given a wardec which is easy enough), then they also need to be getting the same bonuses. (I want to see more resources/loot/bounties in Null still so easier to get your resources, but not better at everything)

If they keep the current state of High sec structures being strictly worse, then yes they should get better immunity.


(Moac Tor) #3

I agree to a point, although HS is always going to be a special case that caters for the more casual group of players that simply don’t have the time to commit to defending a structure every other day.

I would love to see doomsday weapons and point defence on high sec structures, although as the attacker cannot field capitals it would be completely unbalanced and I so I can’t see it happening. They could certainly buff the weapons of the high sec structures though, as currently they seem to be getting all of the drawbacks of a NS structure, but with few of the benefits.

The previous system did at least scale the vulnerability window based upon the sec status of the system.


(Obil Que) #4

Phase 1: Attack own structure with alt
Phase 2: Instant invulnerability for a week
Phase 3: Profit


(Tipa Riot) #5

Had a similar idea yesterday, you probably saw my post on Reddit … but this unfortunately will introduce a new loophole. The optimal strategy for the defender now would be to shoot the own structure in order to get the 7 day invulnerability from the penalty compared to 24/7 invulnerability else.

The fundamental flaw of CCPs solution is, that they value the hull timer stronger than the armor timer. But in fact the armor timer is the only one that counts in the current meta, because it disables the services and kicks the defender out of business (market, production, refining, clones, etc.). The prolonged hull timer in highsec then does not act as a bonus but is actually a penalty for the defender, because it encourages the attacker to not show for the hull timer but just force the next armor timer a week later. A disabled structure is not very different to a dead structure.

If we scrap the idea of penalties for the attacker, the difference in regards to sec status of the system must be applied to the most important timer, the armor timer. Hence having armor timer 6 days after shield for highsec, 3 days for lowsec and 24h for nullsec and WH. The hull timer then can be shortly after.

@Jin_taan @Steve_Ronuken Can you have a look please?


(Nevyn Auscent) #6

Except you then have an armour timer that the attacker can show up for and as Tipa says, force your structure offline.
It’s not that big or desirable to use a loop hole really given you end up having to constantly form up for the armour timer anyway or you end up left with only a single timer and an offline structure.


(Moac Tor) #7

I didn’t actually see your post on reddit, although I did see a similar post

“The fundamental flaw of CCPs solution is, that they value the hull timer stronger than the armor timer. But in fact the armor timer is the only one that counts in the current meta, because it disables the services and kicks the defender out of business (market, production, refining, clones, etc.)”

I think you hit the nail on the head with this. The hull timer currently has limited value. It would actually be far better to extend the period between the shield > armour timer, or alternatively simply scrap the armour timer altogether and just have the shield and hull timer.


(Tipa Riot) #8

With the 24/7 vulnerability of shields, the shield will be very likely uncontested and functions as a “knock-knock, I do want to fight”. If you think of sports, then there is a match (armor) and re-match (hull), so I would keep the three timers.

My post was a reply in the thread you mentioned. https://www.reddit.com/r/Eve/comments/750zx1/citadel_timer_changes_limiting_the_annoying/do2uqk5/


(Moac Tor) #9

One idea I did have was to make the invulnerability period consume fuel, and if there is no fuel then the invulnerability period would be skipped and the shield would be immediately vulnerable again.

This way if you attack your own structure you would also be costing yourself a substantial amount of ISK in the extra fuel consumed. This would also be alongside the fact that the attacker can simply attack the armour timer and offline the structure in one go.

For these reasons I think that attacking your own structure would be very undesirable in the majority of situations.


(theRaptor) #10

TL;DR: “I want CCP to give me a long invulnerability period because I want to rake in tens of billions of ISK from market transactions but can’t actually protect my structure from people who want to kill it”.

You are so disingenuous Moac. Nobody cares enough about all the “casual players” citadels just sitting there doing nothing to bash them. But if you want to make big ISK with a market hub then you will be contested and should have to actually put ships in space to defend it not just rely on a game mechanic to make your citadel invulnerable for one to two weeks.

We aren’t going to poke your citadels shields every day of the week until you don’t form as that is more effort than just doing the timers normally.


(Moac Tor) #11

The main reason I put down structures in high sec personally is because I enjoy generating the fights and creating the content, ISK is not a primary concern, and I don’t make any profit at all.

What I want is a solution which will generate good fights, and give the small or casual guy a chance to take part in citadel content.

The current proposal will make it impossible to do this as very few people can afford the time to form up to defend their structure once every two days. And as pointed out, if the structure is offline there is little point in having the structure.


(theRaptor) #12

Nobody believes that. They aren’t even really fights most of the time. The most you guys did for a while was form nados to try and snipe logi.

To have a good fight you actually need to form a real fleet, not just try and bore the enemy to death with wardec exploits and sniping comps.

Yeah because hisec isn’t littered with random citadels that no one cares enough to bash. Nobody is likely to bash them after the change either as they still don’t drop loot.

Lol no. Your “brilliant” tactic is only going to be used by the solo bashers. Any one who can form ten pilots isn’t going to need to do that to kill an actual casual players citadel.


(Chocolate Pickle) #13

I suggested something similar a while ago.

I’m interested in seeing how CCP’s current proposal is going to pan out. It’s simultaneously less- and more-extreme than my proposal.


(Raphendyr Nardieu) #14

I personally feel that the idea is solid. The numbers is something to think about for someone else.

Any case, we had idea in slack that the shield repair timer could have similar invulnerability state after failed attack. So, if attacker fails on initial attack for some reason, there would be .e.g 1 hour invulnerability. For defender this means one hour to regroup and thing stuff (and actually they can refit) and if attacker can’t attack the structure for some reason they could let the repair timer to end and that would put the structure to invulnerable state.

Invulnerable state nicely disables scram (currently), so attackers can get away if they fail the attack. In armor and hull timer case, similar should happen so the attackers can fall back.

Presuming, the prepare time is moved from armor-hull to shield-armor, then that same time could be used for the invulnerable state, thus shooting your own structure, shouldn’t give you extra benefits. In addition, shooting your own structure puts you under risk of losing the armor timer and it will take good chunk of time to do repeatedly.


(Lugh Crow-Slave) #15

Seems like a bit of an over reaction. Its still far more difficult to siege than a pos or a poco and those aren’t constantly under random attack. And both pos and poco have much higher incentives to randomly siege


(Moac Tor) #16

I tend to agree for the smaller structures, although for the Azbel, Fortizar, Sotiyo, and Keepstar, you are looking at an asset worth many billions of ISK.

Even the salvage each structure drops is worth 1billion+, not to mention the additional loot.

A POS or POCO is not really comparable, as they were a pain to attack, were very easy to replace, and dropped very little if anything at all.


(Lugh Crow-Slave) #17

But this is from a casual perspective… And if you are dropping the larger ones your corp should be big enough to dissuade random attacks.

Pos were far easier to bash than these are going to be and would often drop 10b+ if you hit an active one. It’s why allot of us were against asset safety. Some of us make a lot of isk bashing towers and it still wasn’t a major threat most ppl dealt with


(Moac Tor) #18

I’d say a Fortizar/Azbel is suitable for a small casual corp.

The gist of the problem really comes down to the frequency of which you’ll be able to be attacked. So this would concern not just casual players, but anyone in the game who doesn’t want to spend the majority of their time defending against troll attacks on the shield


(Black Pedro) #19

I’m not sure this is going to be a thing in highsec, at least if you mean just random trolling. The wardec mechanic imposes a cost and ‘cool-down’ period on any potential attacker which will prevent almost all casual trolling. Further, it will serve essentially as another timer, giving a structure owner warning that a shield reinforcement may be imminent and more time to arrange to defend the structure time.

I guess some people argue that wars themselves are trolling and that some nefarious attacker may apply continuous pressure with wars reinforcing but not showing up but at this point I would argue they are playing the game. You are intended to have to defend your structure, and if that means the most important defence is at the armor timer, that isn’t any worse than the situation now with POSes.

I’ll grant though that this dynamic may be different outside of highsec where you truly can just reinforce any structure you stumble across if bored or whatever, but I am not very sympathetic to the argument. The DPS cap means it takes multiple people a person hour or two to reinforce an Upwell structure in ships with reasonable DPS (i.e. not solo trollceptors). If you are willing to commit to that level of time to ‘ring the bell’ announcing you intend to attack, I think the defender can at least arrange to have a response on standby in case you follow through.

If 'troll reinforcements" becomes a real issue, I think CCP would be better off just to increase the shield EHP of structures to force more commitment from the attacker. This though would hurt “casual players” who like to shoot structures by raising the bar to attack, but would reduce the viability of using false reinforcements to wear down an enemy.

I don’t think this is going to be an issue though. It is still generally unfun and tedious for the attacker to shoot structures, so only a truly motivated attacker is going to waste time doing it when there is no direct reward for doing so. If it does become a thing though, then CCP can address it but given it hasn’t even been implemented yet, this OP has a whiff of self-interested scaremongering and is lacking any evidence this is or will be a real problem.


(Tipa Riot) #20

To address the elephant in the room :wink: … CCP is removing “ISK tanking” as an option in highsec with this change, which hurts everyone who does not have the biggest fleet in town.

The wardec and extortion racketing business will flourish.