At the moment, combat anomalies and their escalations vary widely across the 4 Empires.
Certain anomalies give certain preferred escalations and these ones are farmed relentlessly, with others being totally ignored. Content is being ignored as it has no value.
This has led to players clustering around these certain areas of space instead of “exploring” around the entire map.
It is also frustrating for new players to run a small Hideaway anomaly, get an escalation to a 3/10 or 4/10 DED then be totally unable to run the site they were awarded.
I’d like to see the Combat Anomaly and Escalation system standardised (to a certain degree).
Firstly, the loot tables for the DED sites need to be harmonized so that all DEDs of the same level pay out roughly the same value in dropped items.
It’s baffling that sites such as the Gurista 4/10 can drop 500mil but the Serpentis 4/10 will only drop 100mil.
Secondly, I’d like to see the Anomaly escalations somewhat standardised too, working along these lines:
Hideaways should escalate to 1/10 or 2/10 DEDs (50% chance of either when the escalation is triggered), allowing new players to be able to complete the escalations they are given.
Burrows should escalate to either 2/10 or 3/10.
Refuges should escalate to either 3/10 or 4/10.
Dens should escalate to either 4/10 or 5/10.
…and so on down the list of anomalies all the way up to Sanctums.
I believe these changes would encourage players to spread out more rather than being encouraged to compete for the “best” sites in certain areas of the map and will also allow newer players to fully participate in the combat exploration career without running up against sites they cannot run.
The escalations all drop equivalent items in equivalent quantities and ratios. The value is market driven, not set by the mechanics. If you want prices to fall for Guristas items, rat more in Guristas space, as an example.
This isn’t entirely true. CCP can work to balance items which spreads demand, a skewed demand tends to indicate that one particular faction is favoured over another, or that the drop tables for a particular faction tend to have a lot of ‘waste’ which isn’t useful.
However on the grounds of predictability vs random I would argue that the escalations should be totally random as to what you discover, however the region should become less random so the 20 jumps for an escalation stop happening. Along side this I would want to see improved handling for ‘selling’ an escalation though, with an obvious in game interface that is easy to use, aka being able to sell a site on contract without having to go through a complicated procedure of spawning it and saving a bookmark then making the bookmark into an item for example. You would probably need conditions like ‘can’t have started the site’ to avoid too much abuse of selling a site when on the last rat then popping it as soon as it sells also, but that’s not a complicated condition.
Yes, making modules objectively worse than others in the last module rebalance round (changing Gist* items to have lower fitting requirements but worse stats that matter, while Pith* items have higher fitting requirements but superior stats that matter) certainly helped reducing the reliance on Pith* modules over Gist*.
As for waste, that’s tricky. Judging by what is happening with the 2 shield modules, it is very likely that disimproving one race’s stats over another will lead to the very same situation. Right now, all #-Type EANM have the same stats. Lowering the resists on the Core* for lower fitting requirements will only make them worse compared to the better resists of the Corp* modules. Finding some room to fit a module is always possible, going for lower resists is only in the very least cases an option.
Instead of tinkering with stats to flavor up modules, the loot table seems to be a better option. You could remove EANM from one or another pirate group, for instance, and propulsion modules from another: For instance, Blood Raider could only drop EM/Therm/Explo armor hardeners, while Serpentis only drop Kin/Therm/Explo. Or Blood Raider only drop A- and B-Type EANM (which are arguably used more in capitals), while Serpentis only drops C- and B-Types (which are more commonly used in sub capitals because of affordability).
Along with various factions drops; ammunition, module, BPC etc.
My thought is this; as loot is chance based. maybe add a 10% chance of, whatever drops, will be 1 “grade” higher. Like, if you do a 2/10 site you could potentially get an A-Type module and thus making the lesser sites more desirable to run. Would also make the “bad” anomalies more desirable
Mostly aimed at lower rated sites DED: 1-4/10
Although this does not change the prefered “Ships”, like Shield modules are more expensive than Armor… Supply and Demand…