Dev Blog: October Balance Pass!


(Rivr Luzade) #3067

Was I? Care to tell me how I am supposed to prevent Guristas from jamming my fighters? :innocent: Joining CFC and rat in Delve or Fountain is not a valid answer.

(Khan Wrenth) #3068

The entire post was just so eloquent, and so much more streamlined than I typically can do. And I really respect that. But I have to add in a bit from my perspective that you just reminded me of.

There’s a whole host of things that went wrong with the ECM change. Primarily, CCP went for a change without defining what the problem was, or what a successful change would look like. You can’t claim that “someone was frustrated with the game mechanic” as a standalone reason to make a change, because the statement is, by itself, vacuous. There is nothing in that statement that is worthwhile to take under consideration. Being frustrated with a game mechanic is a nebulous personal opinion that’s going to vary wildly between persons and situations.

In a better scenario, we should have been approached with something like, “Hey guys, CCP here. We’ve noticed that out of all EWAR ships available, ECM is used in almost 60% of all combat situations. That seems unbalanced, so we’re going to take steps to tone it back so the other EWARS have more room to be the optimal tool to use”. You could then give a victory condition of “Okay, a month after our changes, and ECM use is now 40% of all EWAR use. It’s still elevated above the others, but within standard deviation. We’re satisfied with this change and will continue to monitor usage in case further adjustments are needed in the future”.

Instead, we have “someone felt bad for being on the receiving end of this, so now you get to feel bad for using it. OP SUCCESS!” We had no clearly defined problem, so now we have no clearly defined victory condition. For Brisc to say (paraphrase) “Op success!”, is odd because we don’t know what the defined goal(s) were. For all we know, there wasn’t a clearly defined goal other than “make it look like we did something”.

Many of those in favor of nerfing ECM also said it didn’t do enough since ECM often hit them from outside their weapons range anyway. So it feels like most people weren’t happy with the change in either direction.

From my perspective, an EWAR type that was already severely lacking just got kicked in the nuts for no reason. The haphazard way this was introduced and the complete lack of attention to the consequences, made me lose a lot of respect for the development team and I unsubscribed because of it. Not because a change was made, mind you, but because the circumstances by which it was implemented was completely reckless and thoughtless.

This means that from my perspective, when Brisc says (paraphrased) “Op success!”, it means that CCP wanted to look like a bunch of fools and lose money. Because that’s what was done, that’s what’s being celebrated, and we’re given no alternative to what victory was supposed to look like.

Thanks, I hate it.

The nebulous reasoning used by CCP to justify having this change (bad feels) also directly refutes this change. One particular fight I was in, where I used ECM, gave me such bad feels about using ECM that I’ve rarely used it since. This was several years ago. I flew a Kitsune with max to all relevant skills, fitted for max jam strength. I had a team of people with in my squad, in everything ranging from Falcons to Blackbirds and Griffins too. And we had one objective - jam out the enemy logi. We couldn’t. They brought the appropriate command skills (provided by out-of-corp person), and SEBOs with ECCM scripts. And the number of successful jams for the entire squad can probably be counted on two hands.

Dozens of ships using four modules each, for almost an hour, with no effect most of the time. Where was CCP for my bad feels that day? The dozen ECM ships might as well have been blowing capacitor into the void of space for all the good the ECM jams were doing. That those jams had zero effect on every failed jam, had zero effect on the course of battle as a whole, and the enemy even stopped shooting at us because we weren’t effecting them anyway.

When any other EWAR could have at least had some sort of impact the entire time, we had nothing. Where’s CCP jumping to my rescue, making it so that even a failed jam does something, anything to a target ship? How’s about reversing the change so that a failed jam prevents the target from jamming anyone but the jammer, but a successful jam means he can’t target anybody at all? That’d be a nice start.

The funny part is that I twice jammed out a Tengu who attacked me. He chased me around and outside the logi rep area and got pounced on. He wasn’t equipped to deal with ECM, so I jammed him out when he scrammed me, and friendly forces took care of the rest. It’s almost like everything used to be working as intended before the ECM change.

Not to get too political here, but in the United States there was a certain United States congressional hearing back in the area of 2007. The presidential candidates at the time were asking the general in charge of the war in Iraq, questions about that war. Barack Obama, with his opening question, asked, “And what does victory look like to you, general?” There were follow-up bits about when we could withdraw troops, and other matters too. But it was that first question that made the news that night. It blew everybody away that nobody ever bothered to define what “victory” was supposed to look like. That it finally got asked rather spooked a lot of formally complacent people.

Today, here in EvE, we have people saying “It was a successful change”. Well, CCP punched themselves in the face, lost subscriptions, made tons more work for themselves in terms of ship and module balancing, without even accomplishing anything worthwhile. Then add in the workload they created for themselves by botching up the ship balance, and we have to ask - is this what success is for them? If this is success, what would failure have looked like?

This now brings me to the second part of Corraidhin’s statement…

This. This precisely. Because the only thing that has any sort of consensus seems to be that the Caldari EWAR probably needs to be completely changed into something else, or reworked from the ground-up (again) if CCP was serious about accomplishing the goal of “better feels, and active piloting”. But it wasn’t done, and it was admitted, because the time and effort needed to enact such a change was beyond the scope of what they could do at the time. So, they instead opted to fail at something because the optics would be they at least tried to address it.

(Nevyn Auscent) #3069

Except they did define the problem.
A bad game experience isn’t quantifiable in numbers the way you want it done, but it’s still a bad game experience and a valid reason for a design change.
Now… This change probably should have included the other Ewars (As in TD, MD, SD, & maybe TP, not the other stuff people like to include as Ewar as well), and been an overall design change in Ewar rather than just hitting ECM, in changing Ewar to be a pure support tool rather than a solo tool also.
But the change has succeeded at removing a huge frustration from ECM, and trying to claim otherwise really is just whining. Yes it’s not a finished product, more needs to be done on the user side of things to make using it a better experience as well, but that doesn’t make this change pointless and failed.

(Khan Wrenth) #3070

Actually, it is. “Burn Jita”. “Monocle Gate”.

Like, I don’t need to have people rioting in their streets, but they are ways of quantifying it. And, “it sucks to be jammed” ranks right up there with literally everything else in this game that disenfranchises you in the moment. Disrupted, jammed, neuted dry, damped, awoxed, corp theft, hot dropped, endless bubble camps, podded by smartbomb, camped in station, etc.

Hell, even the wardec change had better reasoning behind it. You notice I haven’t been up in arms about that because they justified it and did the best they could with an urgent matter.

The ECM change was never justified nor was it urgent. It was pointless, reckless, and caused a lot of grief with the community to no discernible end other than, “Hey we did something!”, that I’ve already covered.

I also think you’re nuts for being in the camp of wanting this done to other EWARS. Not only would such a change further damage community relations and complicate ship balancing costing them untold amounts of dollars to fix, but it’s also to fix someone’s feelings of, “but ECM got singled out!”. Doubling down on your failure may make you an interesting artist in the history books, but it nets you no brownie points here.

And they still didn’t define the problem in a way that differentiates it from other “problems”. “Bad feels” isn’t a concern by itself. Does it become a concern when the problem gets large enough? Absolutely! Now tell me where that line is. Because we have a massive AFK cloaky thread, threads about local intel, and hotdropping just to name three. Tell me about your bad feels about ECM any day and I can show you about half the EvE population being upset at one of those three. So tell me where ECM had this defined “problem”, what made this “problem” worthwhile to address, and why failing to address it now counts as success.

(Corraidhin Farsaidh) #3071

What about the huge frustration with scrams? Gate bubble camps? Etc, etc.

Eve has always been rock, paper, scissors. In the case of ECM it’s not like the counters to it weren’t available. Design by ‘Doesn’t feel bad’ is an awful replacement for design by mechanics balance.

Being on the wrong end of anything feels bad. Are we going to nerf every offensive system?

(Nevyn Auscent) #3072

The counters were not widely available to most ships/fits. Pretending that a ship could afford to fit a counter module simply to counter ECM is silly. We all know it wasn’t practical, and the RNG mechanic was a terrible mechanic that made for bad feels on all sides of the game.

Scrams do not rely on a single module to counter, there are a bunch of ways, bubble camps… well anchored bubbles are a terrible mechanic, so yeah… Dic/Hic camps are a different matter. So you are putting up a strawman argument here, trying to equate one widely recognised bad mechanic as equivalent to ‘any system’.

(Khan Wrenth) #3073

Your entire post is disingenuous.

  • Almost every combat ship does have room for a counter module. Almost every ship already does fit them.
  • It is practical. It’s done every day and in most fits.
  • It’s not just to counter ECM, it also countered both ends of damps PLUS is integral in the quick aggression types of setups
  • The only thing you managed to get right, the RNG mechanic, wasn’t addressed, as I already pointed out.

And you want to talk about strawmen but you commit one yourself. Read my post closer. Look, it’s long, so I forgive you for missing the point. But the point was that “bad feels” was the beginning and end of CCP’s reasoning, and bad feels are all over the game regardless of where they come from. I asked for someone to step up and really define, draw that fine line, at where bad feels and incredible frustration create a need for change. I even outlined an event where my frustration with ECM, as a user, was many times greater than my victims. Define why their temporary disenfranchisement a handful of times in an hour was more urgently acted upon, than my frustration at the EWAR being completely useless and ineffective the entire time.

So, burn your strawman and actually debate this, since you elected to wade into it. By the by, the “widely recognized bad mechanic” is also a meaningless statement because that part wasn’t addressed, and only one side of that equation was given any benefit of it. The change was also “widely recognized as a bad change”.

(Corraidhin Farsaidh) #3074

No strawman involved: I pointed out that being hit with something you don’t have the counter to ‘feels bad’, along with simple examples.

Any equivalence introduced is by the sudden change to game design by ‘feels’. They are by nature qualitive, not quantative. Two thing that feel equally bad in this new way of judging mechanics (hauler scrammed without WCS, permajammed) become equivalent by the measure used.

Making a change that you know will break various aspects of a specific system is bad. Asking the very people who’s system you just broke (who repeatedly told you beforehand how it would be broken) how to then fix the now broken aspects is ridiculous.

(Khan Wrenth) #3075

I need to hire you as my editor.

(Corraidhin Farsaidh) #3076

I’m a DBA, my work life revolves around taking complex technical and logical problems and turning them into something a human can understand.

Then I turn it into bullshite for managers.

(Khan Wrenth) #3077

Well you’re quite good at it. You’re saying exactly what I’m trying to convey, but you do it in a fifth of the space and you’re a lot more concise. I understand your posts better than my own.

(BIade Runner) #3078


(Brisc Rubal) #3079

This is the problem - what you’re saying here didn’t happen.

The change didn’t break anything. What you all are arguing is “breaking various aspects of a specific system” was the fundamental intent of the change. It’s the equivalent of arguing that when you cut cancer out of somebody, you just broke the cancer. Well, duh. That was the intent.

In addition, CCP never asked you guys how to “fix” anything. I asked for feedback as to what would help these ships be better in the new meta. There is never going to be a way to fix solo pvp with ECM, because that was a necessary loss when the overall issue with ECM was addressed.

(GhostWhite) #3080

They have also reduced the standup armor plating bonus by 5% and added stacking penalties, all in all resulting a big loss of armor points for POWERED structures. These were not discussed, announced or listed in the patch.

(Black Pedro) #3081

It clearly says in the patch notes they reduced the HP if structures but increased the multiplier for being powered. It also clearly says the result of these changes is that there is no difference in effective EHP for powered structures:

The combined result of these changes is that attacking full power structures will remain the same but that reinforcing low power structures will be about 25% faster.

If you really think it is not working that way you should file a bug report. It’s possible something isn’t working as intended but the patch notes clearly mention the change and say it doesn’t affect the final HP of powered structures in contrast to your complaining. I’m thinking you are not understanding how it was done or have done your math wrong, but if there really is a problem you should bring it to CCP’s attention with a bug report and maybe a petition.

(Corraidhin Farsaidh) #3082

Ok, so the truth of the change is that the ECM pilots outside of large fleet actions were a sacrifice deemed worthy. The win was a quick and easy change that leaves a line of ships in a place where a CSM member asks the players for ways to fix them in the new meta where the solo ECM goes don’t matter.

Nice design. Or a full solution could have been thought out and implemented instead. ‘Quick and easy’ does not mean ‘good solution’.

ECM is now screwed for many people, but my larger concern here is the design approach that seems to have been followed. A half baked fix to alleviate bad feels is not what I expect from professional developers.

(Corraidhin Farsaidh) #3083

On a more pragmatic note, are CCP (and folks with easily bruised feelings) happy that ECM drones are still RNG ECM?

If so, why not switch the bonuses on the smaller, less fleet based ECM boats to ECM drone buffs? An affected pilot can still shoot the drones to break jams, and the ECM pilot can actually fit tank. This would allow solo use again without changing the fleet dynamic.

Basically make the smaller ECM boats the ECM equivalent of gallent drone boats.

(Winston Onzo) #3084

So 1v1 ECM is gone. Cool. What is it you all say, adapt or die?? Or is it HTFU. Seems a welcome change for most.

(Khan Wrenth) #3085

Fix what now?

I don’t think I brought up solo PvP. Did Corraidhin? Why are you talking about solo? I’m talking about a process and Corraidhin is talking about results, but I don’t see “solo PvP” in our recent discussion. Unless I just missed it?

More to the point, yes, that is what happened, and I’d like to refocus on the fact that it’s worse than what he said. CCP first said they were going to pair the ECM change with buffs at the same time, then conveniently forgot (like I called it). The change utterly broke several ships and weakened many others for a mechanic that at least one CCP dev has allegedly said was “already suffering”. The changes also never addressed the core problem that both you yourself outright admitted, and CCP indirectly implied - the RNG part.

So this was a failure all-around. CCP spent a lot of money and burned a lot of community goodwill enacting a hasty change that didn’t address the identified problem, completely destroyed the use for several ships and apparently the Standup ECM module too, then they enacted a change that inched back more towards that initial frustration in the first place. Remember, they boosted ECM strength and range to compensate - meaning jams are going to land more frequently and from hopefully outside your weapons range, meaning that ideally the entire ECM change was worthless to begin with since your newfound agency won’t do you any good.

I’m going to take a moment to address your analogy though. The problem with your analogy is that in this case, the cancer is still there, by your own admission. You cut the patient open, made them lose a lot of blood, they have this big scar at the incision site, and a bunch of medical bills from the operation. But you didn’t bother to remove the cancer. So what was the point?

We’re pointing out that you didn’t do anything to save the patient, you just weakened them, caused them grief, cost them a lot of money, and didn’t do anything to help them.

(Corraidhin Farsaidh) #3086

I mentioned it I believe. I’ll also correct my language, the change didn’t ‘break’ solo PvP for ECM pilots, it outright deleted it. Their playstyle was sacrificed at the design alter of ‘good feelings’. Probably whilst praying to the Gods of ‘agency’.