How to make Shipcasters useful

Currently Shipcasters allow FW people to gate from HS HQ systems to three frontline systems on the frontline. The theory I suppose is that it provides easy access too the content zones in FW. In practice these shipcasters are all but worthless. Nobody uses them either to stage out of HS and be active in the warzone, or to do much of anything with them. They don’t have an actual combat function. But it could be useful as a logistics tool. Right now it can shave off a few jumps but you can only really utilize a cloaky hauler for this. That’s not bad but nothing to really merit the hype surrounding them. So here are some proposals that would make the shipcaster actually be useful and a notable strategic tool in FW.

First, make the Shipcaster two way. The entire new FW system has consolidated most people into the frontline systems and this has been great for content concentration. We have enough people in a handful of systems fighting it out every single day. Long gone are the days where everyone was spread thin across 90 or so systems. People being able to quickly and reliably resupply themselves on the front line ensures the fights continue. Currently people just have to wait on JF services for that. Making logistics easier to gate takes that burden off and will also make people actually want to establish/maintain their own gates while attacking the enemy ones.

I’ve heard some counter points from other people at this suggestion of “well this is just ansiblexes! These are horrible for the game!” To those people I would advise that they petition CCP to remove them from null then. Shipcasters are not and will not harm the game. They’re not the ones allowing blocs to project their numbers across regions with ease. Why should FW people suffer for alleged imbalances in null? Anyway if any suggestion out of those made here are taken, this one would be key. Everything else I could take or leave.

Secondly, add a tether to gates themselves. Reasoning behind this is that it allows T1 Freighters utility within lowsec and again eases the burden of logistics, not just into the warzone but out. I believe this will actually encourage more LS industry especially mining. More miners in space will bring more hunters which in turn will cause conflict between those seeking to protect their industry and those wanting to ruin it.

Thirdly, increase the RF time on the lowsec side gates. This is one that I’m kind of 50/50 on. Part of me thinks it would be great content to have these have a 1 hour RF time and they are just constantly rebuilt and destroyed. The other side of me says perhaps one hour is just too short. It could have a random timer from 12 to 36 hours perhaps. I don’t really have a specific set up but something could be tweaked here. Perhaps if you give a longer timer, also make them harder to rebuild requiring more materials and giving out more LP to destroy.

Anyway that’s about it. First idea is a must, second idea I think is great, but it wouldn’t be the end if we didn’t have it, and third I could take it or leave it.

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Why is that? I am not active in the FW, so I ask out of curiosity. A relatively safe HighSec HQ (which you can use to store replacement ships and all kinds of resources you need for the war) with a direct connection to the frontline combat zone sounds great in theory. Do you know the reason why the players are not using it? How do they bring in their ships to the frontline systems? Via normal Gates?

Skipping geography is bad for the game. It doesn’t matter if it’s cynos or shipcaster gates, it should not be an idea expanded upon. OPs ideas expand upon this, and even expand the poor idea of tether to gates. Which is even worse.

All in all it moves the game in a worse direction and doesn’t fix the underlying problem of shipcasters: temporary unreliable gate connections fundamentally suck and no one is going to use them as a backbone for FW logistics / fleet movement.

A competing idea I strongly prefer removes the geography skipping (yay) and gives unique powers to FW participants that no one else has in LowSec (good) which reflects their power as being a part of an empire (win). I prefer making shipcasters remote cyno inhibitors in the warzone. That’s it. It’s no longer a gate.

Stage your caps in a system to bash an iHub, push people to make it vulnerable, maybe evac caps if it doesn’t go well, but if it does go well then drop the shipcaster desto structure to inhibit the system, go to town, undock the FW caps, and have fun brawls. Give the FW line members a reason to look forward to flying those navy dreads, have a tool against 3rd party cap neuts, have a unique power nowhere else in Eve, all without the stupid useless cyno-wannabe ability.

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I don’t get it. First the problem is that it skips geography (because jumping through 10 empty systems is engaging game play presumably) but also the problem is that it can’t skip geography reliably? Doesn’t track.

People will use them for logistics. Especially the tether version. You could actually use T1 freighters in this manner.

Cyno jamming isn’t going to help Facwar groups use capitals more. Why would they?

Yes, that’s a fundamental problem with things like ansiblexes, cynos, filaments, and now shipcasters.

That is why shipcasters specifically are not reliably used compared to other geography skipping elements of the game, because they are also poorly implemented.

Shipcasters have both a fundamental flaw and bad implementation design. My suggestion above is to make them actually useful from first principles via giving a novel and unrivaled powerful tool to militias.

A good old fashioned iHub bash. Using HAW faction dreads to help hold gates on very contested systems against enemy fleets. HAW dreads holding the acceleration gate on a battlefield. A crafty FC springing a cyno suppression trap to take down a poorly placed third party pirate Super.

Sure none of the above are needed, just like Uprising „wasn’t needed“ because people „could already flip FW systems for 10+ years“. This isn’t really a criticism.

It just seems incredibly silly that by design there’s absolutely zero reason for militia members to use their faction dreads except maybe to bash an iHub. This starts carving out operational advantages for them to occasionally use them. If a militia member doesn’t wanna, they still don’t have to use them. But now there starts to be reasons for the occasional member to aspire to it. Not every FW change has to be „core gameplay“ heavily handed from the devs, sometimes it is about expanding available tools in a box and letting players drive the actual strategy choices.

Kind of silly to say “chocolate is a problem” when 3 of the 4 kids have chocolate as a reason not to give the 4th kid chocolate.

So why not make them viable transportation tools like I suggest? If ansiblexes are an issue, remove them. If filaments are a problem, remove them. You’ll never get rid of cynos though.

Cyno jammer won’t make a usual difference there. Maybe have “grand battlefields” where you can use dreads or something.

I’ve found them very useful, and no you don’t need to use a cloaky hauler - just get some buddies online and form for a scrap if needed. No Biggie. Making the run back out also isn’t a problem really, just gotta make sure you know what you’re about.

ok alt

I agree with some of the posts above, possibilities to skip geography should be rather removed than added to the game. While from a short term perspective it looks promising, if you can shortcut routes, from a long term perspective it only results in less content possibilities as reasons for transport defense fleets and camping fleets get reduced.

I would prefer to get rid of all jumping capabilities and would rather prefer inventing means to protect valuable ships so that they aren’t easily killed if someone is willing to sacrifice defending ships.

Yes indeed, this is an alt. Well over a decade ago, when I started playing this crusty spreadsheet skin optimistically called a “game”, I was strongly advised that if I were to engage in any public forum discussion I should have an alt account do so, just in case my comments upset one of the more unhinged of the playerbase, kicking off some kind of weird vendetta.

While I don’t think that’s ever been truly necessary (though I suppose I’ve never had the chance to find out), it’s more a habit than anything else these days. So I shall continue to post on this account. Plus, look at those cheekbones!

Anyway. One ongoing benefit of this is to identify the kind of person that will discount an opinion based on someone’s killboard, which cuts out a lot of the “should I give credence to what this person is saying, or not” quandary.

Well it makes it valuable enough to fight over so that will create content.

Hard to take your opinion seriously then.

A very good question.
I have a Minmatar alt in faction warfare (Hendar Tre). The recent changes by CCP IMHO have made for a stellar environment, pun intended. Check out the video below produced by one of my alliance mates. I’m just less than a year in with FW so I can’t speak for the FC’s of corp managers.

I expected the shipcasters to become more of a factor in battles but it appears that they are out of the picture. Minmatar has a shipcaster anchored in Amo eight jumps from Auga, arguably the center the Minmatar / Amarr war. Accordingly, much of the inventory of ships and equipment that are used in large proportions are warehoused by individuals in and around Auga. FW requires fast re-shiping due to loss or change in tactics. Travel between systems is usually without incident but all too often you can loose a ship to a gatecamp.

Enter the shipcaster at the extreme periphery of the FW battlespace. Use of the shipcaster would require relocation of assets for ready use or time consuming and predictable runs from the Auga center and back. Since I keep up to three dozen ships in Auga a secondary warehouse in Amo is difficult to justify.

I believe the shipcaster concept is good except for the logistical hurdles it imposes.

All the shipcaster needs to do to be useful is drop the player into a random place in space within a 4 AU sphere of any celestial in the target system.

Landing at a cyno beacon just means I’ll never use it because i don’t have a sacrificial alt to see if the destination is camped. Just drop me randomly in the system and it’s perfect.