Idea #44, Nullification tweaks

We are living in a universe where there exists tech2/tech3 ships that for years have been capable of roaming around relatively unharmed due to nullification technology, mixed with extreme align times and/or cloak. So heres a balance suggestion.

All nullified ships have a 10s delay after jumping before they can take any action. Cloak holds with regular jumps, hotdrops; they are relatively non agressive for the first 10s, this is to reconfigure the nullification field. Make nullification a 300 cost rig that also get the same disadvantages as a warp core stabilizer (scan res and lock range).

Also, with this change smarten up the autopilot, no delay after jumping for warping, warp to 0. Give shuttles free nullification, but they are then affected by the 10s rule after gatejumps, so people who assume to know the route can smart bomb them. :slight_smile:

Nullification in itself is fine, the problem comes when you combine it with nearly instant align times.

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Nullification + instant align isn’t even a problem - it’s when that’s combined with the ability to actually put out damage in an uncatchable ship that it becomes an issue. The combination of the two should neuter a ship into being utterly worthless in combat. The best way to do that would be to give modules that decrease align time a substantial penalty to lock speed and tracking when used on nullified hulls.

A possible solution would be to change inertial stabilizers to highslots, and tweak the agility of nullified ships so that they have to fill their high slots to achieve instant align.

I don’t know really, it’s largely untested since most ships that feature nullification generally are either quick to align or can cloak. In some ways ships that have MJD’s can evade bubbles/tackle, and while working out some examples on ships fitted with this nullification rig I can certainly see an argument for sigbloom connected to the scanres/lockrange disadvantage.

I understand what you mean, but I think an approach where you make them truly worthless in combat is a bit of an extreme approach. Let’s say you give it a 30% decrease in scan res, 30% decrease in locking range, and 30% increase in signature radius. These bonuses can be “countered” by fitting a signal amplifier and use armortank to stop the compounding signature bloom, or you can put the rig on a really op ship - like the machariel and end up with one godlike fleet, regardless of the drawbacks (maybe the rig is only available for small/medium ships, also no hic/dictor?).

I personally think that the 10s wait time after jumps is a pretty cool drawback because it gives whoever is hunting down these ships an edge if they are not nullified themselves. Explorers would be able to fit nullifiers on ships and be relatively untouchable with covops cloak even in frigates, something that was only possible in a t3 cruiser. The drawback here is that the virus strenght rig would not fit in addition to the nullification rig; making it a tradeoff.

On the contrary, the problem with interceptors is not that they are nullified and can also fight, but that they can have almost complete control over engagement and disengagement. An interceptor that is nullified and aligns instantly can still point you, even if it can’t damage you, and has all the power to disengage whenever it wants.

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I’m not quite sure what scenario you are going for here, are you saying that you think what is wrong with light and nimble ships that are designed to catch you - is that they are light and nimble, and can also be annoyingly slippery to catch if you feel like hunting them down?

I mean, any frigate can potentially lock you down with a long range disrupture and strong agility/speed, this rig idea would make these ships slightly worse, and give them an annoyance when it comes to hunting down same size ships. I see that you really feel like interceptors need a nerf (?), but the rig solution is a wiser direction than just flat out removing game mechanics.

No, I am not saying interceptors should not be immune to bubbles or able to align instantly, what I’m saying is, if they want to keep both, then they have to give something up for that ability. In fact, now that I think about it, the real problem is that interceptors scale linearly in fleets: they all insta align, are nullified, have dps that adds up and have bonuses to point range.

Edit: Inherently poor locking range is not a bad idea, actually.

Well, the suggestion I made takes a swing at these things to some degree; the 300 rig cost takes out some % of either tank or agility, the reduced lock range and time creates a nuicance which you may have to compensate for with a lowslot or midslot, warp stabs have a 40% penalty to these effects. So instead of getting the nullification for free you have now paid quite alot for it in slots.

As for the combat capability of the interceptors, a swarm of anything can be just as deadly as a swarm of interceptors - sure they can zip around alot quicker than most ships, but static bubbles can be blown up or bounced around / flown through. Also remember that citadels love spreading those points around, so any objective based gameplay is not really affected by the nullification.

My suggestion is also a way to mix things up abit; a fleet of nullified ships in a defence fleet will have it’s disadvantages, but will also be capable of warping off when getting redboxed, regardless of bubbles, this makes for slightly different approaches to how important interdictors are. Do you nullfy a logi, or do you need that rig slot for cap rechargers? Droneboats are not affected by the target issues when dronebunnies are used, is this op? T2 command destroyers doing kidnapping jumps and actually pointing things may be alot more effective than this braindead sabre spam.

Nullified machariels will blot out the sun; except bombs on a gate where you know they went through are bound to hit a few, and with their increased signature; long range dread can suddenly be a viable alternative with missiles (lol?). The point is, this is what I’m going for, take the idea I had and run with it, see if it fits into whatever whacky idea you have. Are nullified mackinaws too overpowered, etc.

Completely worthless if instant align is the way to go, otherwise you have the ability to take engagements with no risk. Move istabs to a highslot, tweak agility of nullified ships so that you have to fill the highslots to be insta-align. Problem solved/

This cannot be done because then it would create countless rebalancing issues with other ships; what CCP could do is move nullification to a highslot module with steep PG requirements.

Or perhaps the easiest fix, make inertial stabilizers disable nullification as higgs rigs already do? At least then we won’t have completely uncatchable ships anymore. :grinning:

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Without Nullification and fast aligntime, certain areas of space would be virtually unassailable even by the most minor threat there is.

For instance, ceptors are by far the biggest danger to Delve ratters (or any ratters, for that matter, in remote space) because you can get into that space, kill something and leave again. In other ships, especially cruisers and above and if you get in in the first place, you die on the first target without achieving anything. Or if you do, like some cancer spreader Orthruses do, you are forced to log off because you are being camped in. This is not exactly enjoyable gameplay.

I agree that certain areas of space needs nullification; and let’s be fair, the only areas of space that really need it is nullsec - so treating it like a strong WCS with similar penalties and making it a rig is a way to bring it into play. I’m also not really sure nerfing align time with it is a good balancing move, maybe give it a small signature increase - but the already discussed targeting range and targeting speed should be enough of a nuisance in combat, while the 10s after jump freeze is a non-combat way of holding the extreme doctrine use back.

With the introduction of such a rig it might actually scale back the extreme sabre usage in null, and lead to a more variety of fits used in gatecamps / patrols. It might actually make the interceptor without a nullifier popular as an actual chase ship.

It’s good to have a discussion on this though - I’d like for people to tackle the actual suggestion here though instead of trying to nerf the alignment times of nullified things. I feel this is a step in the wrong direction as it would simply not be used at all.

One more thing; I feel it makes sense to keep these rigs subcapital - any thoughts on that?

The combination of nullification and fast align time allows for PVP without risk of loss. That’s fundamentally broken. These areas of space would not suddenly be unassailable, you just wouldn’t be able to pick people off without any losses of your own, and there would be more emphasis on black ops and bombers, which are higher piloting skill and higher risk.

Then you have not been in these areas. Even with insta warp ceptors, you constantly lose them to smartbombs or competent warping in defenders. A cruiser has no way to penetrate these areas with the same effect that ceptors have and these areas of space would be a whole lot saver than they should be. Not to mention that other things like BLOPS require a lot of preparation, which means that you can’t just go there for fun, because lots of things need to be in place first. This adds to areas becoming more unassailable.

Oh really? There are plenty of things that are not interceptors killing things in Delve:

The first two losses there were mine. There’s more risk involved in killing things with something that could potentially be caught, but people still do it. The lack of nullified instawarp ceptors won’t stop that from happening. Most of the time that someone actually kills something, they do it with destroyers and cruisers.

So cloaky cruisers sitting there and waiting. That’s not fleet fighting, which ceptors do and which are countered in a very different way than a solo Stratios on a random after hours of camping. Try your Stratioses with a fleet of them.
And destroyres mean no commitment or risk because they are a fraction of the price of a ceptor. Note that Dictors are not destroyers. The dictors, this Tara Norlen kill for instance happened from a wormhole, which means travelling through your space was not required. Or they happen on a gate with a cloaky dictor waiting there for a lone prey.

Still not the same as a fleet coming into this space, because fleets are being countered in a very different manner than these solo hunters.

That said, if other things kill more things than insta-warp ceptors, I do not get the premise or problem this thread is trying to solve in the first place? Looking at Delve as a snapshot, in the last 7 days Sabres killed the most things, Stilettos were tackles only. Svipuls were the 3rd place, followed by Claws, which are somewhat the ceptor of choice for these insta warp fleets. Following your argument, ceptors aren’t really a problem.

There is no counter whatsoever to instawarp interceptors if they are flown well. Sure, you can run them off, but you will never catch them. The moment anything shows up that has the chance to do so, they can always run away. Smartbombs a little off the gate can catch them if they are warping directly gate to gate, but having tactical bookmarks prevents this entirely.

It’s not about what kills the most stuff, it’s about not being able to do it with total impunity.

They cannot do it with total impunity:
If they don’t have gate spots all over the place, they get smartbombed to death in heavily populated areas.
If they encounter a properly prepared target, they die like flies.
If they cannot kill a thing until something warps in and drives them off, they get no rewards/kills.
If they get chased by a similar fleet (as it has happened to me a couple of times), they cannot look for ratter kills because the counter fleet is right on top of them.

Besides, why should AFK ratters be able to do their thing with impunity but ceptors not?

I think this is a fairly good idea. I think there’s a valid need for fast, nullified scouts/tackle and safe nullsec travel, but combat 'ceptors can get obnoxious. This would allow the former to survive, but the later would be balanced out quite a bit.