Interceptors and Upwell Structures: Reintroduce opportunities for pilot error

Equating player actions to fundamental game mechanics is preposterous. However, you actually seem to believe that, so good for you.

Pretending that game mechanics exist independent of player action is what’s ridiculous. What you’re describing here is a purely theoretical case at the bottom of a very long and slippery slope, to the point that what you’re saying has no basis in reality.

If you lost something due to the way CCP rolled out the change then yeah, that sucks, and I agree that CCP should have rolled it out better.

That doesn’t mean that Asset Safety as a mechanic no longer exists though, and the discussion we were having assumes active players on both sides. After all, people who quit and leave their stuff in Citadels don’t fly Interceptors, Nullified or otherwise, or get caught in gate camps.

This was likely true when CCP originally introduced Upwell structures-- when players still had access to outposts and POS for living out of. But that situation no longer applies: POS have been depreciated to the point where all they’re good for is parking bots and bridging titans. Outposts have all been converted to Upwell structures. NPC stations do exist, but only in a few regions (and even where they exist, their industrial capabilities render them supremely sub-optimal for any kind of production). For the most part, if you want to live and accomplish anything in nullsec right now, you are already obligated to do it out of an Upwell structure.

As far as “people would just leave the bare minimum of stuff in an Upwell structure if asset safety were removed,” yeah. I already do exactly this anyway, because asset safety is such a dumb mechanic. I keep only what I need to live out in nullsec, the bulk of my assets sit in a highsec border station where I know they won’t teleport around to random lowsec deadends every time the wind blows from a different direction.

Oh, you’re exactly right-- as I found out the painful way. I remembered reading back in the original devblog announcements that items going into asset safety could either be redeemed at an adjacent Upwell structure for no fee, or the nearest lowsec station system (after a week long delay) for a percentage of their value. What I didn’t remember reading, was that a player has to decide where those assets go within a week of them entering the safety system. Since there’s no way that I know of to get an out-of-game notification that any of your assets have entered asset safety, and no particular reason to assume items would end up in asset safety in a region you control, I simply stepped away from EVE for a couple of months, came back, and found every single bulky item I owned had been teleported to some backwater lowsec system. Most of it (everything I couldn’t grab in one carrier run) is still sitting there to this day-- billions of ISK in ore, freighter hulls, and piles of T1 ships I’d produced for market-- because it’s not even worth the effort to retrieve them. I petitioned CCP to see if they’d move them back to the origin system-- since the asset safety was triggered by friendlies deciding to upgrade a Fort to a Keep rather than hostile action-- but they refused. Thanks, CCP.

To this day, I have absolutely no idea why the system functions this way. If it was meant to give players the ability to base out of nullsec stations without having to obsessively log in on a regular basis to monitor the status of their stations, it’s failed spectacularly. Why wouldn’t you just configure it to default to sending items to an adjacent Upwell structure if one is present? Why not set it up so that the player can simply choose their preferred destination indefinitely? Why did they make it so difficult to even figure out your stuff has entered the system? When I had my issue, I spent hours just searching through my assets page wondering how high I must have been when I quit, because the assets simply vanished into thin air. It was only after manually browsing every station I had things in that I realized there were “asset safety wraps” in a few places in Aridia, and that by process of elimination those wraps must be where my things had gone. Ughhhhh BAD GAME DESIGN. And when I petitioned CCP about it, the GM was like “didn’t you see the in-game notification?” And I was like, you mean one of those little 3 second popups that’s triggered like fifty times a day for a vast variety of events that I have zero interest in? No, I didn’t go read 23,948,239 scroll-back messages about sov structures all over the galactic west being entosised looking for a message about all my things being teleported to lowsec for no reason… But I digress…

Understandable, but here’s where I take issue: first, CCP have access to the CSM. I know the composition of the CSM varies and that not everyone is an expert and certainly not everyone is an expert in every area of gameplay, but I think we can assume-- especially when it comes to issues affecting nullsec, since nullsec blocs are well represented-- that at least some of the panel members should have a decent understanding of affected areas of gameplay. Yet the existence of the CSM doesn’t seem to reliably prevent CCP from just barreling on full-speed-ahead with changes either.

Second: CCP have SiSi. While it’s not unheard of for CCP to make pre-deployment changes to proposed mechanics based on test-server feedback, it does seem incredibly rare. It also seems rare for CCP to actually solicit test-server feedback: sure, they’ll often push the content to SiSi, but how often do they make any substantial effort to get people to actually log in there and test the features? The do with some things-- like their capital rebalance-- but most features see no formal testing campaign at all.

How many times have we seen the CSM make valid, prescient criticisms of proposed mechanics, only to see them make a brief, ceremonial appearance on SiSi and then move on to TQ basically un-altered, with only a developer promise of “future iteration” to satisfy critics?

Regarding scheduling, yeah-- this certainly seems to be a problem. But it seems like a problem of lack of leadership at the studio: why are teams constantly being told to focus on new features (which further-compound the complexity of an already-complex game by the way) to the exclusion of iterating on previous ones? Why do they start projects-- like the Great Ship Rebalance, which started how many years ago and kind of comes and goes in fits and starts-- and then abandon them with half the features addressed? Why, for example, did they do a major overhaul of ECM mechanics so quickly, then forget to do the promised follow up passes for four years? And how many people should need to complain before the schedule gets changed? Like, hands up: how many people enjoy Fozzie sov? Nobody enjoys Fozziesov. Literally every single person who has touched Fozziesov, hates Fozziesov-- often vociferously-- for all the good it does. CCP find time to shove more brand-new content down our throats: Triglavian ships, forced-PvE features that nobody asked for, space weather, etc, but they can’t find time in their busy schedule to fix core gameplay features that people have more or less universally hated for years?

Any way, I feel like I’m getting off topic. All I’m saying is: how many dev-hours does it take to produce an entire new alien ship line, or theorycraft and program roaming weather effects, VS how much time it would’ve taken to edit the attributes on four interceptors to pull the nullification attribute off? How long would it take to modify structure attributes so they couldn’t be placed on grid with stargates? Do you actually think (genuinely curious about your opinion here as someone who’s studied game design-- this is not a rhetorical question) that something like this is too big of an ask?

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Yes, but that’s also predicated on the existing asset safety mechanics.

My prediction, based on the discussion in that aforementioned thread from the original change, is that if CCP were to remove it entirely then we’d see space close to NPC stations become valuable, and the large Alliances would take it over and basically turn it into staging areas. Or just stage out of the nearest Low Sec, with a trail of Jump Bridges supported by Fortizars or Keepstars to PvE farming locations and mining and production hubs.

This might not happen immediately, but I suspect it would after the first major loss of a staging structure, either in a major campaign or a large home base.

Yeah, but most people don’t do this, because it’s not terribly convenient, especially if you don’t yet have the skills to fly a Carrier and therefore can’t make easy runs to pick things up when you decide you need a new hull or five.

Not sure, but I have a few guesses.

One, the system needs a static destination to work, otherwise you might have stuff just disappear into thin air if you unanchor a structure and then while everything is in asset safety limbo the nearest structure unanchors.

Two, there was some kind of problem with just picking an adjacent structure, either in a way that was exploitable or one that caused significant problems for players. Like having a Keepstar dump capitals into an Astrahus or have it end up in a station your corp doesn’t own or… yeah, I dunno.

Three, it’s kinda intentional to make the loss of one of these structures at least slightly painful, and they didn’t think to, or didn’t want to, distinguish the case of an intentional decommissioning from one where the structure was destroyed.

Probably because this would let people leave stuff in limbo forever and would likely create openings for exploits.

I really do sympathize, that’s incredibly frustrating, and I do agree that at least having an Eve Mail message would help make this more obvious…

Some of this is a failure on CCP’s part to adequately incorporate the CSM and their feedback into their design schedule, which they’ve been getting better at, but slowly. Some of it, I suspect, is the CSM simply having limited time to devote to this stuff. I’m part of a real life volunteer organization, and some weeks I just kinda pass on the various email threads going on, even though the org is in a big period of change right now. My time and energy are not unlimited.

Yeah, but generally the pattern with things that get formally tested is that they’re things CCP can identify a specific case they want to test. Caps is pretty obvious, they’re big, they’re shiny, they’re aspirational to players, and they have a large impact on fleet fights, so having a few big fleet fights is a good test case.

Beyond that I think a lot of this stuff is just put on there so people can play with it, and it’s up to those people to bring their feedback to CCP if they have any.

Which kinda comes back to my point about good arguments and feedback vs what CCP tends to get, which is ranting.

This isn’t a leadership problem, this is just how game design is. It’s a sad fact that “look at this new thing!” brings back more old players, excites more existing ones, and brings in more new blood than “hey, we reworked this thing, it’s now slightly better!”

CCP actually knows this better than anyone because they had almost a solid year of not releasing much new stuff and focusing on iterating on old features, and you can see a slow but distinct decline in player numbers over that period.

Plus a lot of this stuff only affects one area of space, which is a minority of players, and the rest of the game wants their turn at the fix-it station.

Ultimately this, and most things about game design, are about the allocation of scarce resources. CCP can only afford to hire so many developers, and that number will never be enough to address everything in the game all at once. That’s why it takes years to get around to the next iteration of something, because CCP can’t just focus on old stuff since that will slowly kill the game, and they don’t have enough people to address everything in the backlog. So things get prioritized and those priorities are constantly shuffling around.

Basically? A large majority of the entire playerbase needs to be up in arms about something, and that basically never happens. Every instance in the history of the game where this has happened has been a watershed moment, and you’re basically never going to get anyone outside of Null to care about Sov Mechanics.

Also, as much as everyone hates the current Sov system, everyone has always hated “the current sov system”, and probably always will. If you do anything enough it’s going to get boring, and I’ve yet to see any really good system proposed for sov in general. Some that look good on paper, sure, but that fail once you start picking at them with an eye to breaking them, or looking for places where they’re suspiciously light on detail.

Also, side note, I really think it’s unfair to blame Fozzie for this. He was the public face of it, but he certainly wasn’t the only one working on it. This is entirely a pet peev of mine, I just don’t like how players of every game ever seem to end up fixated on certain individuals as the worst/best dev the game has ever seen, when game development is always a team effort.

For the record I think all of this is on topic, at least the topic we’ve found ourselves on…

Anyways, so… I’ve sorta been answering this, but I can shed some light into some of the specifics here.

The ultimate problem isn’t the time it would take, it’s the priority of that thing vs everything else. Also there are different types of dev time.

  • There’s art, which is a pretty big umbrella and includes everything from concept art to effects to new ships and skins.
  • There’s programming which is basically all the under the hood stuff like grid mechanics, who can do what where, how the new storms move, the actual implementation of new mechanics, ect.
  • Then there’s design time, which is people with a bunch of notes and whiteboards and prototypes figuring out what the actual mechanics should be or should change to be.

That’s all a gross oversimplification, but it’s good enough for now.

So, how much time did the new Storms take? Probably not as much as you’d expect. They probably had some design work around figuring out if they were a good and interesting idea, going over how different “personas” might react (quick note here, I have no idea about CCP’s design process, I’m just scratching out how I might do it ideally. The reality is almost certainly messier), and generally laying out the system. They already have the Storm effects from Pocket Space, so no new dev work there, they just need to get the actual storm working, which would be mostly Programming time. Depending on how much programming it took, and I’m guessing not too much, these things probably were a month to a few months of a few people’s time, spread across several months.

A new ship line is going to be more time, but most of it’s on the design and art sides. On the art side they need to concept stuff, make sure it fits with the intended design, and then model it, skin it, add animations and effects, ect. Rule one of Game Dev, art pipeline is almost always overloaded. That’s why we’re still waiting on ship model reworks. On the design side it’s a lot of work, because CCP needs to identify where these new ships are going to fit, find something to make them unique, and then figure out how to balance them out at least roughly. This balancing process is also where player feedback is going to be actively planned for, since Eve’s meta is complicated enough the Devs know they can’t test every combination of modules and stats on their own.

These two kind of have the same answer, which is “not much” as far as actually making the change (I’m pretty sure CCP already has checks for if something is on-grid with a gate or not), the problem is the design time to determine that the change is a good idea or not.

That’s anywhere from a few days in the case of an obvious problem, to… basically infinite? You can run more or less endless permutations of a design, spend days or weeks digging through data, and still not have any firm conclusions on whether a change is going to be good or bad.

Overall I think if CCP wanted to make these changes they would be fairly simple, minus difficulties around grid-fu and keeping people from abusing grid mechanics, the reason they haven’t made them is because they don’t want to, for whatever reason.

One final note on this sort of thing. If you, and others, really feel this is a major issue then bring it to the CSM. The biggest unit of time here is the time before CCP looks at any given thing, and that priority is influenced by player feedback. The more something is seen as a major issue affecting a lot of players the more likely it is to get a second look. There’s no guarantee the decision will change, but the CSM is a good way to raise something to CCP without relying on the forums to reach a consensus.

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Honestly I can’t even remember the proper name of the sov system: everyone calls if Fozziesov. Generally I’d agree with your outlook, but in the case of Fozzie we’ve just seen dumpster-fire after dumpster-fire as he’s failed upwards through the ranks to become lead game designer. I’m sure game design is very much a team activity, but leadership involves accepting some degree of responsibility for your department’s actions, and almost every change his team has implemented under Fozzie’s reign has been for the worse. I’m generally at odds with Fozzie’s whole philosophy of game design, and my supply of sympathy for the guy has more or less been exhausted.

I’m aware of the basics (I did a little bit of research way back in the day when CCP were soliciting applications for game designers), but I’m a little at a loss as to why the art and programming teams generally output high-quality work (the art team is fantastic, and there seem to be relatively few bugs / exploits / serious performance problems with releases-- so I assume programming teams are more or less on top of their jobs) while game design consistently struggle to release things that are even remotely balanced. I get that their job is not easy, but I mean good god: they’ve just dropped the ball at pretty much every level from individual ship and module balancing to sov mechanics. How many times have capitals, supers, and Rorquals had to be rebalanced because CCP somehow failed to anticipate the economic implications of endless anoms + capital / supercapital harvesting rates? How many abortive half-passes at ship balance have we had? Did they really need to spend years sorting through EVE’s item database finding ways to confuse everyone by renaming every single module while simultaneously reducing the number of fitting permutations by condensing module groups?

I know, I know. Priorities. And if they’d managed to prioritize some aspects of the game and achieved great results there at the expense of some back-burner items, I’d probably concede the point. But instead they seem to consistently achieve the worst of both worlds: the critical-but-unsexy things get ignored for years on end, while design time is focused on new features or radical, sexy ground-up re-works that are woefully imbalanced and require years of clumsy nerfs to put right again. People often levy the complaint / accusation that “CCP must not play their own game,” but second-wave devs like Fozzie and Rise explicitly did play the game, yet somehow seem to fundamentally misunderstand it.

I’ll see what I can do. I know there are a lot of people who would really love to see these things changed, but a lot of the people I know straight up refuse to post on EVEO. I’ll see if we can find a way to bring this to our CSM reps (although I’m sure they, too, have their priorities).

Also, we’re doing probably the most effective thing we can do to get nullified ceptors killed: we’re starting to field them https://zkillboard.com/kill/86693518/

It’s all fun and games and a feature that’s working as intended until Goons do it at scale, right?

~EXTRA DOUBLE BONUS EDIT~: this dude in Delve seems to have discovered an exploit that lets him tackle even insta-warp ships. Notice anything about the composition of the gate traffic he’s killing? https://zkillboard.com/character/2114635030/

At a glance it’s what, at least 75% interceptors?

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This, at least, I can see as valid criticism. Not everyone is going to like a given style of game design and there’s not much that can be done about this.

Personally I disagree that he’s “failed upwards” or that everything that’s come out in the last several years has been bad, and if the PCU is any indication the last year may have stopped years of slow slide in the player count.

So, I somewhat disagree with your conclusion here, but I can at least explain the issue, because the difficulty at least is real here.

It helps if you imagine game balance in terms of dimensions. Everything in the game is one dimension. Every ship, every type of module, everything each of those ships interacts with, ect. Then you basically have to fill in all the intersections of all of those dimensions, and there are as many “boxes” to fill in as there are variations in each dimension.

That’s functionally impossible to actually do, so the designers have to identify the points of intersection where they think there might be issues. Some areas are easy to discount, like you probably don’t need to check the cargo hauling balance on a Dreadnought or Lasers on a Blaster boat… (lets just ignore the old Laser Rokh :laughing: )

The problem is that there are certain things CCP can’t measure, one of those being what players are going to do with these ships. For example with the Rorquals I think CCP knew full well what they were creating and how much it would mine. What they didn’t expect was for hundreds of people to suddenly jump into Rorquals and start strip-mining the entire cluster.

Other times it’s a slower shift and the underlying conditions change over time. For example Titans in the early days were “mostly fine” and then suddenly the game went from 4 in the entire game to 4 in one Corp and then 40 and… yeah.

This gets into two things.

One, survivor bias. The existing names aren’t confusing to you and I because we’re used to it, mostly, but to a new player they’re a lot and there wasn’t much of a rhyme or reason to them.

And as to the permutations thing, those are what are called false choices. Most of those module variations weren’t useful for anything barring maybe some very very very niche setups, generally around cost savings. For the vast majority of players the old module distinctions were just confusing and would trap people, when in reality there were 2-3 variants worth using below Faction tier.

Fixing stuff like this makes the game more accessible to new players and is good for the long term health of the game, even if to you and me it doesn’t seem like it matters or even confuses us because it changes what we’re used to.

I always take this complaint as basically “I personally don’t like what was done”, because taking it literally is a little ridiculous. Though if someone is being literal I’ll push back.

The problem, I think, is people tend to settle into one corner of the game and don’t look much beyond it. It’s fine, Eve’s a big game and that’s natural, but the devs can’t do that. Rise and Fozzie both came from different areas of the game and have their own experiences, but now they have to take in feedback and look at the game as a whole.

There are nerfs and buffs that have been squarely aimed at once area, and you’ll almost always see people from other areas going “Why is this happening, this thing is fine as-is?” because to them it is fine, it’s not causing problems there.

This, I think, is the primary source of disconnect between what the Devs do, and what players see. They see things through the lens of their corner of the game, and the devs can’t afford to do that, or to cater to one corner of things.

I mean, like, jokes aside kinda yeah.

This goes back to what I said earlier about player behavior and that changing over time or in response to changes. If you can demonstrate that something is a practical problem then CCP will react.

That’s not an exploit, it’s just a clever use of mechanics. And a really low ping, probably.

There’s a couple of posts over in this thread that get into how you can tackle a sub-2s warping ship. Looking at that KB my guess is that he’s got the lowest ping to the servers in his crew and they’re Re-Seboing his ship to give him the lowest possible lock time.

I just can’t understand how anybody could come to any other conclusion than “If we put hyper-effective harvesting ships into the game, people will flock to use them.” Especially given the past history of the game with other instances of things being “balanced around cost.” Look at Titans: they were good, CCP thought they made them prohibitively expensive, but players built them en-masse anyway (even before Rorquals). Like I know they made the excavators expensive, but that’s not going to matter when a ship is that OP. Look at all the people who’ve forked over hundreds of millions for overpriced Trig weapon skillbooks so they can fly Kikis. If you build it, they will come-- at any pricepoint.

You say that, but I’ve lost track of the number of fittings I’ve had to re-do because of tiericide. It wasn’t just a name-change, the attributes definitely shifted in ways that broke things. It’s great that new players will be less confused, but it seems like kind of a waste of dev time when everyone uses out-of-game fitting tools with “compare” features to build their ship fits anyway.

Except they’re not doing it. Fozzie and Rise came from a small gang / AT-style play background, and subsequently became obsessed with re-focusing the game on gimmicky, small-gang ■■■■■■■■. Ships? They buffed the absolute and relative speed and agility of small ships. They introduced entire ship lines catering to skirmishers (Orthrus, navy cruiser re-works, Trig ships, T3Ds, etc). They let the covert hotdrop meta develop totally unchecked (I can’t remember if it was they who decided to buff blackops bridges), which has forced people to stop using any kind of remotely expensive subcaps for PvE. Modules? They went out of their way to try and encouraged small-scale brawling gameplay by introducing ancillary modules so that any peasant could have a go pretending to be Farjung or Kovorix. Sov? Let’s take it from being a bloc-level activity that encouraged people to field capfleets and replace it with a system where anyone can reinforce things in basically any garbage ship, and ensuring capture battles are fought in interceptors and destroyer gangs. They basically took a fairly vibrant nullsec ecosystem that featured all kinds of players flying a tremendous variety of ships and just flamethrowered the ship meta until all that was left was tiny ships and ratting supers. And then they nerfed the ratting supers :stuck_out_tongue:

The best part is that their insistence on making everyone fly tons of tiny, fast ships has basically killed the same solo / small gang content that Fozzie and Rise enjoyed when they were players: trying to do solo or small gang PvP is just frustrating because every other would-be PvPer in the game is just as bored and frustrated as you are and the moment you poke the hornet’s nest like fifty dudes come after you and they’re ALL flying fast, scary, tackly stuff because that’s all anybody flies anymore.

Gahhhhhh I’m getting grumpy thinking about it.

The only explanation I can think of that would rationalize game design’s choices over the last few years is if they’re just deliberately trying to make EVE easier and more casual-friendly at any cost. I’ll grant that pretty much all their changes have made the game much more accessible to new players, but they’re doing it at the expense of basically everyone who took the game seriously. My whole gamplay style has to die because CCP feel it’s more important for casual Johnny to be able to get from place to place without feeling frustrated. I think this is probably the most likely explanation for why things have played out the way they have and for why CCP seem incredibly unlikely to do anything about it. This is exactly why I was nervous when CCP decided to go F2P. As a veteran player who’s invested a ton of time and money into the game (I’ve always paid a USD sub for all my accounts), it’s frustrating to have your game experience chipped away at year after year because CCP feel it’s more important to give game-changing shortcuts to newbies and credit-card warriors in order to keep monthly logins up than it is to retain the game’s identity.

EDIT: With regard to…

His fit has no sebos. I’ve been digging through the loss histories of his gang-mates and there’s zero evidence to support the notion that anyone is remote-seboing him: the Tengus are all slippery Pete setups with local sebos + strength scripts. The bomber / sabre / etc have no loss histories with RSBs. Hell the Stiletto doesn’t even have a local sensor booster: his mids are all tackle and tank. He was also called out specifically as a suspected exploiter with the ability to kill travelceptors as well-- I doubt people would’ve made that kind of PSA announcement for a regular dude with an RSBed Stiletto, as insta-lockers on gatecamps are fairly commonplace and typically fail to catch travelceptors.

Regardless, the point isn’t so much that someone has found a way to catch travelceptors: the point is that here’s a dude who can apparently tackle any ship in the game, and look at what he’s catching. If you took the travelceptors off that dude’s killboard for the last few days, that killboard would be almost empty. It’s just a demonstration of just how massively over-represented travelceptors are in terms of overall nullsec gate activity.

Also, read through the various thread responses after those initial information posts: the theory / math do predict you should be able to catch travelceptors, but the real-world testing data reveal that it’s definitely a hit-or-miss activity even for people who live in Europe and have pings under 100ms. As attested to in numerous replies to both threads, the vast majority of EVE players who do not happen to reside in Europe are just out of luck (though we can still be caught from time to time by lucky Europeans). This is not good game design.

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I don’t think this was intended to be “balanced around cost” I think this was balanced around how much every combat pilot in Eve has trash talked miners over the years, and CCP was figuring that not too many new people would take up mining just because it was a bit more profitable.

The other thing to remember is that a lot of this was people injecting or buying Rorqual alts and multi-boxing them. It’s not that mining was that much better than Carrier Ratting, it’s that you can’t run 20 carrier ratting accounts at once. Or even 4 or 5 unless you’re really good and have a crazy computer setup.

I’m not saying they didn’t break things, I’m saying that there were basically 2-3 valid choices for most modules. Tier 1, Tier 2, and Meta 4, and that’s basically it. Sure there were some exceptions, and some fits that had to swap a module, and a few that no longer worked, but mostly we ended up with more choices, not less, especially on cheaper or new-player friendly fits.

And as to the “everyone uses out of game tools” thing, most vets do, yes. Most new players don’t even know those tools exist, and a lot of casual players will never bother to learn or download them. That’s why CCP added “Ghost fitting” and fleshed out the in-game fitting tools even though they weren’t up to the standards of Pyfa and the like, because they knew this was an issue for new players.

Those are fair points, though I’ll point out that there were calls for more viable smaller ships for a loooong time before those reworks started. And yeah, stuff like the T1 Cruiser Meta caused problems, but those also got more or less addressed, and I think the skirmish meta is in a healthier state now than it was 5 years ago before all this got started.

This I can’t really defend or excuse, but I’m also a bit torn over it. I think cloaky ships are fun and can be very rewarding, but they’re also causing an increasing number of problems in the game and that’s not fun for a lot of people.

Unfortunately I think that a lot of this is because of the legacy of cloaking as a mechanic, and at this point that’s not going to be fixed without completely reworking not only cloaking but every ship with a cloak at least partially.

This I kinda have to disagree with… like, I’m sure at the scale Goons operate, especially with your FC’s penchant for crazy fleet comps ‘just because’ it was pretty vibrant, but way back when all of this started there were basically two or three fleet comps (long-range alpha, short range DPS, and one or two variants on each, and T3Cs), and they were quickly converging on some truly broken BS. Remember Dominix fleets? Remember Thanatos fleets? Remember titan-blapping? Remember T3C comps with 2.5 million EHP?

And if you weren’t one of the big blocks, or prepared to suck up to them, then you could basically forget about going out into Null.

This is what Null looked like at the start of 2015, the year Aegis Sov (the actual name for it, yes I had to look it up too…) came into being:

And here’s just two years later:

And here’s today.

Yeah things are starting to ossify again, but CCP are also trying to shake things up a bit, and I’d argue that the map now is a lot healthier than it was back when NCdot literally controlled a full third of Null all by themselves, and the most viable fleet comps were ridiculously huge and expensive and controlling Sov absolutely required a massive cap fleet.

I can’t comment too much on this. I’m not out in Null at the moment, and this doesn’t sound particularly different from most of my experiences with PvP going back to like 2010 or so. Then again I was in Eve Uni, so we were doing this sort of thing before it was cool… lol.

Seriously though, I get why this is frustrating, and I hope CCP will shake things up a bit, preferably when they finally get around to tiericiding the guns so that large ships have something effective against smaller ones. I don’t think we should go back to the days where the only things that were effective were massed battleships or massed Capitals, and if you brought a Cruiser gang and someone showed up with BSes you had to just run unless you were flying sig-tanked Armor HACs.

I agree, though I’d put it a little more charitably as "CCP wants people to be able to participate in most aspects of the game without waiting 4-6 months to train into a Battleship and be able to fly it well.

And yes, I know you can train into a BS in like 2-3 months, but that requires a very focused training plan and kinda runs into the same problem the old Learning Skills did. You end up not being able to do all that much that’s useful while you’re doing that training because you end up sacrificing getting decent levels of any of the intermediate skills on the way to T2 BS guns.

Now again, I agree things swung too far the other way, but I don’t think they need to go back the other direction fully either. Just making a couple of supported battleships able to serve as the tanky core for a small gang would be a good shake up to the meta I think.

Yup, I’m one of those people you’re referencing :laughing:

So, looking at little closer at his fits, he’s not running a SEBO but he is running Sensor Res rigs, and looking through a random selection of his recent Inty kills they seem to all have 50m or greater sig radius. I don’t have EFT to check the lock time on that, but I think it should be just under 1 second, and all of the inty’s I’ve checked also show a 1.9s or greater align time.

That’s not definitive by any means, and I’d need to do some testing to see, but I think this may just be a case of people in travel-ceptors are getting complacent with their fittings and what we’re seeing is this guy catching the badly fit ones.

The other option is he’s using some kind of screen-reader bot program to catch locks, but I can’t say that with any surety without a lot of testing…

That said though, you might try apeing this guy’s fit and see how many travel intys you catch. If you’re interested in playing with this I’d be down for toying with it on Sisi at some point. Not sure I have time this week though, RL is being a pain :frowning:

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:stuck_out_tongue: I don’t disagree with your assessment here-- this sounds very plausible. My question, though, is how did CCP fail to foresee this outcome? You make a thing that’s capable of making a lot of money with very little required client interaction. The thing requires a lot of skillpoints that most people didn’t train, but your game incorporates a mechanic whereby people can simply buy skillpoints (I know, not directly by magically appearing them in the database, but effectively that’s what it amounts to). How were they expecting to avoid the problem of ten thousand people injecting Rorqual alts when they’d given every necessary tool and incentive for them to do just that? How could they reasonably expect any other outcome? Why would people not participate in a gold rush?

I’ll be honest: I missed out on a huge portion of the Rorqual gold-rush because I honestly thought that the only reasonable explanation for CCP’s “lack of foresight” here was profit motive: I thought they were just pulling a Riot Games and intentionally releasing a crazy-overpowered ship with a ton of SP requirements so that they’d sell more skillgoo-related cash shop items. I foolishly assumed that they’d let Rorquals persist in that state for 4-12 months to cash in on a maximal number of those skilltrading sales, then do the inevitable follow-up “balance pass” that nerfed them into oblivion. So I held off purchasing any mining Rorquals despite already having skilled for them pre-rework (I used them for nullsec logistics). I was genuinely surprised when they ended up persisting in various still-overpowered states for years. I finally bought one only to have the penultimate nerf leveled right afterwards (the one that axed mining yield again, changed capital tanking, and changed the drone volume so you couldn’t save all your excavators), and not too long later got to watch in horror as CCP basically decided to remove nullsec mining from the game by utterly destroying nullsec ore anomalies. Now I think I’ve lost a JF’s worth of ISK just on plummeting excavator drone prices. GG.

You may well be correct here, but I guess my gut reaction is: why do we care about those people? I mean, if you’re just tooling around highsec doing L2 missions and stuff, you probably don’t need a fitting tool of any short since ctrl-A --> fit all to ship will probably prove adequate to ensure your survival. If you’re trying to get gud and do advanced PvE or PvP stuff, but you’re too… un-inquisitive(?) to ask anybody about how to fit ships or read the forum / google search and find the fitting tools yourself, do we care if you die? Dying might even teach an important lesson about fittings-- maybe it nudges them to look at zkill, for example.

I’m getting off-topic: I guess at the end of the day it’s not so much that I mind them doing module tiericide-- it’s that I mind them prioritizing module tiericide. While simplifying naming schemes seems like an admirable goal, I feel like there are probably more pressing concerns, no?

I guess I disagree here, as for the most part I feel like their changes have simply suppressed all forms of non-consensual PvP and the prevalence of tons of small, fast, light tackle has made kiting much more difficult than in years past. Their decision to proliferate logistics ships across all ship sizes and price points has hurt things too: a particularly dumb decision given that traditional T2 logistics cruisers were already being called out as one of the features crushing content availability at the fleet level-- nobody wants to fight a gang that has a bunch of logi (or more logi than theirs) because you can’t trade.

I’m really depressed about the whole covert-drop mess in the game right now, because I feel like it’s just a horrible system for everyone involved with the exception of the kind of “casual PvPers” who just want a fat, green killboard. I’m intimately familiar with working on both sides of the covert-drop ecosystem (I use caps for PvE, and I’m part of a group who regularly run hotdrop gangs) and I just find both the attacking and defending role super depressing. I took defensive risk-management very seriously when I flew my Rorquals, spending a lot of money on blingy, well-tested / combat-proven fits, always carrying the right gear, never deploying excavators with hostiles in local, always pre-deploying mobile depots, always having my own recon alts covering my ships after the cyno nerf, etc. So I never actually lost any Rorqs, or even drones. I’ve also carrier-ratted-- even post-cyno nerf, not that it matters when a 60-man bomber fleet will kill a carrier before reinforcements can jump to a cyno anyway-- and taken precautions there (being aligned, not doing it with hostiles in local) while also preemptively coming to terms with my carrier’s likely mortality should it ever be caught. But ultimately, if you’re flying anything other than a Rorqual or supercapital (and the latter has been officially discouraged since the EHP / cyno nerfs), there’s basically no reasonable possibility of counter-play where bomber gangs are concerned. I have seen people successfully wipe bomber gangs, but only by using seriously exotic tactics (pre-positioned smartbombing carriers, counter-dropping with 20 smartbombing titans, etc). For those of more modest means, there’s little recourse: more mundane, premeditated responses are unlikely to inflict any serious damage on the attacker, and for the average ratter who’s just looking to save their ship, the odds of them being able to inflict damage are extremely remote. Even in the spectacular cases where entire hotdrop gangs have been smartbombed into oblivion, the reality is that the attacker’s losses are extremely minimal, with both the ISK and risk balance skewed heavily in their favor.

On the attacking side, things aren’t much better. Sure, it’s an easy activity: you don’t need an expensive ship, you don’t need to be good at the game (just take the bridge and shoot your torpedoes), and-- with the exception of the guy flying the cyno ship-- nobody really needs to spend much time paying attention to the game. In exchange for your absolutely-minimal effort investment, you get to rack up some of the juiciest killmails in the game. But dear god is it boring. Hotdrop ops are the most one-sided un-fights I’ve ever seen. Subcaps die in one or two torpedo vollies even when you’ve only got a handful of bombers. Carriers don’t fare much better (especially if you can put together a bigger group of bombers), frequently dying in less than 30 seconds. Rorquals can sometimes put up a fight, but only because their PANIC modules (another mechanic that just feels like lazy, terrible game design by the way) buy them time to summon backup. I can’t tell you how bored I am of hotdrop ops. I still go on them because they’re about the only reliable way of killing anything in nullsec anymore, but they feel like a job at this point: there’s no other way to inflict meaningful losses on the enemy with a small gang, so I guess we’ll go out and do what we can. Not exactly heart-pounding or inspiring stuff, though.

I maintain that covert drops are bad gameplay that regrettably needs to be maintained because it’s the only effective option due to other instances of bad game design. I would love for nullsec to be put in a position where enough other content is possible that we could remove bomber drops. I think they’re overpowered a/f.

[quote=“Cade_Windstalker, post:68, topic:257193”]
This I kinda have to disagree with… like, I’m sure at the scale Goons operate, especially with your FC’s penchant for crazy fleet comps ‘just because’ it was pretty vibrant, but way back when all of this started there were basically two or three fleet comps (long-range alpha, short range DPS, and one or two variants on each, and T3Cs), and they were quickly converging on some truly broken BS. Remember Dominix fleets? Remember Thanatos fleets? Remember titan-blapping? Remember T3C comps with 2.5 million EHP?[/quote]

When I say nullsec was vibrant, I wasn’t intended to refer specifically to strategic fleet doctrines (although even those used to be more interesting back in the day before people figured out how to min/max and optimize fleets). I don’t think there’s away to avoid stale-ness in strat fleets: no matter what you do there’s always going to be a small number of FoTM fleet comps that are considered most-viable. You’re right: there were of course many fleet comps that were toxic (Ishtars, Dominixes, slowcats, etc), but the same lack of diversity occurs today with everyone fielding a HAC doctrine, a battleship doctrine, and a few risk-averse poor doctrines for small T1 stuff. Yesterday it was Ishtars, today it’s Muninns.

I honestly believe that there’s no way to avoid this conclusion: it doesn’t really matter what the flavor of the month fleet composition is-- it’s always necessarily going to be the case that if you’re not a great power (or friends with one), there’s not going to be space in the strategic nullsec sovholding game for you. There’s no way to balance the game to where a two-hundred man entity with limited resources is going to stand up and fight a sixty-thousand player bloc in a sov war. It’s just not a reasonable design goal.

That said, I think there absolutely should be a place for smaller groups in nullsec: just not as sovholders. This is where are failing the playerbase: they’ve tried to make the sov game “more accessible to smaller groups” by forcing sov-related activites to happen in small, cheap ships instead of capfleets. But, unsurprisingly, large blocs have access to more players and more cheap ships than small groups, so it really hasn’t helped “the little guy” at all when it comes to the sov game. The maps you linked seem to bear that assessment out: with the exception of a brief interlude where things balkanized (noteably: likely as the result of some major bloc upsets-- Casino War and the Tribute Glassing-- rather than anything “the little guys” did), we’re now back to the same situation we were in prior to Aegis, with major blocs holding the vast majority of space.

So CCP’s effort to “help the little guy” seems to have failed almost entirely. Major blocs still control nullsec. The only thing that’s changed IMO is the vulnerability of big groups to harassment by smaller, non-sov groups. In this regard, things are worse than ever for the small group, as the anomaly system and Upwell structures allow blocs to concentrate their populations in relatively small spaces and operate with a great deal of security. As I was saying in previous posts, the number of places where you can practically ambush people have decreased dramatically, people have figured out how to minimize risk when ratting, and the rest of industry / commerce has become effectively unassailable due it all being conducted by cynoing from tethered undock to tethered undock, or warping between a bunch of Upwell structures co-located on the same grid.

As far as ship-meta vibrance, the mainfleet thing is whatever: there’s always going to be your FoTM fleets. The place where I think the meta’s been absolutely destroyed is for non-strategic stuff. I typed up a whole bunch of ~words~ on this, but basically it boils down to this: CCP have added enough tools to the game that players no longer need to tolerate risk in their daily activities. Travelceptors, travel T3s, cynos, and jumpclones are used to move around. Pre-positioned slippery-fit droneboats are used for anom ratting. Suitcase-carriered Rattlesnakes or Marauders, or covert-cynoing blackops BS are used for complexing. Rorquals with PANIC buttons under capital umbrellas are used for mining (or were, until CCP decided to headshot mining as an activity). Jump freighters cyno from tether to tether to accomplish logistics. I had the displeasure of listening to an EVE streamer the other week lecture at length on his love affair with the Marshal, and how great it was because it allowed him to easily run 10/10 complexes with no threat from the NPCs and almost no associated travel risk: as long as he watched d-scan, nobody could kill him. I feel like this is the state of EVE in 2020: if you’re willing to inject enough SP and credit-card up enough ISK, you can just buy your way out of the food chain. The only people who have to risk anything are people who refuse to buy Omega accounts. I feel like risk only remains as a punitive measure to persuade people to spend real cash-- this is doubly-true for the newer players CCP claim to “want to help,” who don’t have ten or fifteen years worth of personal wealth and SP to deploy to make the necessary investments.

As someone who enjoys lurking in hostile space and trying to interfere, the gameworld feels functionally dead right now. Sure, there are people (often a lot of people) in local. Lots of industry and commerce happens. Fleets come and go. But CCP have given players such powerful, niche tools for every task that it no longer feels possible to effectively prevent people from doing whatever they want to do. The one exception to this general rule is covert hotdrops, but I feel like that’s not really satisfying gameplay for anybody, even if it accomplishes the goal of controlling GDP numbers.

Yesterday there was a newer guy online who wanted to try camping in a Sabre. He’d literally never flown interdictors before, so I gave him some advice about where and how to camp, and left him to it for a few hours as I had RL things to do. I came back a few hours later and he’d picked up a second friend, also flying a Sabre. They’d been in that JB system for something like three hours, and had seen two things come through the gate that were actually tackleable: a solitary pod, and a subcap fleet. They’d killed the pod. Everything else was interceptors. The first guy logged off for the night, and his buddy and I stayed on for a bit longer, hoping to catch something. A Cormorant eventually meandered through, but my compatriot failed to tackle it, so it wandered off. I logged in a scout alt on the other end of the JB connection, and ten or fifteen minutes later I saw a Ferox heading to the bridge. Gleeful at the prospect of actually getting a ship that wasn’t an interceptor and expecting him to be a standard-issue, railgun fleet Ferox, we tackled him when he jumped through a gate. Because we had to tackle him on a stargate jump rather than being able to drag him off a bridge (both JBs in both systems are on-grid with the gate, so they’d immediately see any drag bubble), it was 100% necessary to burn into web and scram range in order to have any chance of preventing his reapproaching the gate and jumping out. Unfortunately, when we did this we discovered that this was not a fleet-fit Ferox but rather a scram/web neutron blaster Ferox, and he promptly melted both our Sabres.

Now, in fairness I made an important mistake here: I should’ve zoomed in at some point and checked the guy’s turret models, but I was honestly just so ecstatic at the news that a viable target was headed our way that I didn’t. That’s on me. But I think it speaks to my general level of desperation that I chose to barrel headlong into a battlecruiser hull in a Sabre-- despite the fact that we had no backup DPS or ECM-- because in EVE 2020 the appearance interdictable traffic is SO RARE that a battlecruiser hull traveling alone begins to look like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I really wish I was kidding, but it’s literally easier to get capital kills these days than it is to kill stuff that’s just traveling around. 2010 Ganthrithor would never in a million years have tried to scram a battlecruiser hull on a gate in a Sabre: he’d have at most dropped a bubble while burning away or jumping through the gate. But 2020 Ganthrithor sees a lone Ferox and thinks, “IT’S MY ONLY CHANCE TO KILL SOMETHING TODAY! TACCCKLLEEEEEE ITTTTTT!”

You say that, but back in 2006 I had zero problem getting involved in PvP or finding useful ways to contribute whilst training for battleships. Sure, getting to the point where I had BS V and T2 guns took forever, but I’d have been useless in a T2 battleship if I’d had one on the first day anyway! I flew a lot of Rifters, Thrashers, Stabbers, Drakes, and finally T1-fit Rokhs and Ravens before I was ready to fly a fleet-fit sniping battleship. I needed those hours of flying smaller ships to figure out how PvP worked and what I was doing. By the time I got to that fleet BS, I finally had some level of appreciation for what I and other fleet members should be doing. Players these days just seem to demand instant gratification, and developers have figured out that it’s a cash cow. That’s the only reason why “CCP want people to be able to participate in more stuff sooner”-- it helps them sell PLEX and skillpoints.

I put his fit in Pyfa and there’s no way he’s anywhere remotely close to locking travelceptors with that fit. Even a dual-sebo, dual T2 subcontroller rig Stiletto setup is not gonna get the job done without RSBs. With 2 sebo, 2 rigs, and three RSB’s you’re finally getting over 5k scanres which apparently is the general area you should be aiming for. 4k+ scanres seems to sometimes do the job. Then again, in the dude’s testing sometimes 5k+ scan res doesn’t do the job, so it largely seems subject to your geographical and un-quantifiable other server related factors AKA luck.

I’d totally be down to test on SiSi if you want to do that. I ordered (on TQ) the Stiletto fit I was talking about and a triple-RSB Algos for an alt. They’re in-transit to the front right now, so I’ll be making some real-world attempts soon. But I’m not particularly hopeful: I’ve tried pretty high scanres ships before in the past and have never been able to consistently instalock-- evvvverrry once in a while there were times I’d lock covert-fit ships before their cloaks would activate, but it was very rare and totally unpredictable.

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It’s a pretty easy oversight. I remember quite vividly the discussion leading up to that patch and in the entire thread there were basically no claims that the change was going to be bad or ridiculously OP, or that people would flock to the things. In fact if you dig through the old forum thread you’ll find that most of the discussion was around the PANIC feature and how even with it Rorquals would be giant floating space-pinatas and no one would fly them. There were even a few overly dramatic Mining players who declared they were going to pull out all their Rorqual skills and convert their boosting characters into Hulk alts.

Like, yeah this went really sideways, but you can’t really blame CCP unless you want to blame the entire community too, and that thread was posted with a month and a half of lead time before the changes went live November 15th, and there was plenty of iteration on the changes too. Mostly buffs, and mostly at the community’s urging.

My sympathies on your pain there. I’ve played long enough to run into a few of these, though I rarely go chasing fads myself. I think my closest one was finally skilling into the Kronos and saving up enough ISK to buy one right as the Marauder rework removed the web bonus from the ship.

I’m not super surprised at CCP’s continued tweaking of Null mining, since they’re fighting a continual battle between trying to keep Null mining similarly lucrative to Null PvE while also trying to prevent Null regions becoming completely mineral independent to the point that they don’t have to import much if anything (and no I’m not making this up, wanting Null to have to trade with the rest of the game was brought up in one of the early Rorqual or Mining balance changes after the reworks).

Basically? Because if a new player is too frustrated with the available tools when they first start out then they’re never going to hit the point of advanced anything. They’re going to go “WTF is this b@#^#@$t, I’m going back to World of Warcraft” (or similar) and quit, because they do something like accidentally spend all their money while trying to figure out how to fit a Frigate to do level 1 missions, or something.

Even if they run into a friendly vet, it’s not a good feeling to basically be told that your fit is a joke, even if that vet then gives you millions of ISK to fix it, you still end up feeling animosity towards the game itself because bad UI feels like the game lying to you.

This sort of thing really should be a high priority for CCP, in the same way that the NPE has been a priority, because while the common perception of this (and every other game) is that it’s the dedicated veterans who keep the game going it’s actually the new players who come in, play for somewhere between a few months and a few years, and then move on, who make up the majority of the playerbase at any given time.

Consider that the last time CCP published CSM voting statistics (at least that I could find) the average age of voting accounts was 3.8 years and the game as a whole was over 10 years old at that point. As the account age breakdown shows that means that a full third of voting accounts were under 1.5 years old, and almost half were under 2 years. Plus I’d place a strong bet on younger accounts being far less likely to vote than older ones, at least among active players.

All of this is to say, at any given time I’d bet that the majority of people logged in and playing have played Eve for less than 2 years. Remember the huge spike in PCU from the F2P launch? That was almost entirely new players, and that sort of dynamic is going on constantly on a smaller scale for basically every game, especially ones with a F2P option.

Sure, but not impossible, and playing solo and harassing fleets has always been a rough proposition. Take it from me, Eve Uni was a frequent target of just that sort of solo and small-gang harassment back when I was a member because we tended to have a lot of low-skill pilots in T1 hulls.

As for Logi… eh, I’m not sure I agree there. Logistics have been a feature in these sorts of things for a long while, offering cheaper dedicated ships for it means that more people can get out and do these fights, and the T1 and frigate hulls aren’t terribly tanky. Sure no one wants to take a losing fight, but that’s kinda always been the case, even back when you could, in theory, trade hulls and at least come out with some kill mails.

Yup, I agree. I’ve been having what I’ll call a spirited debate over in the AFK cloaking thread over the issues around just that specific tactic and the lack of good gameplay around it, and the amount of magical thinking hurts my brain some days. Especially the unwillingness to admit that a cloaky hotdrop is at very little risk of real retaliation, especially someone who’s using AFK cloaking and has all the time in the world to lull the target into a false sense of security and pick their moment.

I’m coming around to this view point, but I won’t say I’m fully there at this point.

The problem, from my perspective, is that short of something like cloaking and hot-dropping that lets you set up a favorable engagement, to the point of being one-sided, there aren’t a lot of ways to inflict losses on most Null blocks without a massive fleet. Even the Cyno fitting changes don’t seem to have really changed that, and short of something that simply makes responding harder I don’t see that changing any time soon.

In fact I think we may be moving towards some kind of mechanic based around the Filament spaces, where the number of ships that can enter is strictly limited in some way, to create a more “fair” environment without the strict tournament setup.

Yeah, there’s always going to be some “best” stuff, but at least now if you can’t fly exactly the doctrine ship you have some viable options that won’t get you laughed at or denied reps, and a lot of these have become more accessible to new players. I seem to recall the old Alpha Mael ship taking something like 2 months on average to train into to Doctrine levels, these days anyone who can fly a T1 cruiser can go out on ops of basically any size.

And I 100% agree, but if you look at that map the thing that stands out isn’t that there aren’t big entities. There absolutely are, that’s why I linked the Coalition Map as well as the straight Sov one. The key thing is that those coalitions are made up of a lot of smaller groups and entities, and even the big Null blocks don’t generally control more than 1-2 regions, as opposed to the first map where NC. controlled like FIVE. Heck remember when Goons controlled like three full Null Regions and Test, their close allies, controlled another two, making up almost half the Null space in the game among two Alliances?

Effectively what the new Sov system has done is make it impractical to hold large chunks of space by making it possible to harass Sov even as a small entity. You won’t be able to hold if it Big Brother BOB says “you go squish now”, but that same huge entity will no longer find it feasible to hold half of Null among a few Alliances unless they have enough people to actually populate most of that space.

What this has produced is a system that allows relatively small entities to hold their chunk of space as long as they’re willing to ally up with other “relatively” small alliances. Thus we get coalitions like FI.RE and Legacy, which 5 years ago would have been 2-4 Alliances between them.

I agree, and I sympathize, I really do (even as I’m laughing at that last sentence…) I’m just not sure there’s a great alternative here. The fundamental problem is kinda similar to the one with large Null blocks. Players will gravitate to the best combination of risk and reward, but only to a point, and everyone no matter what they say on the forums is risk averse to some extent. Often to quite a large one.

Even as you said above, 2010 you would have run from that Ferox, not tried to jump it.

What this means is that it’s very very difficult to get people to engage in any risky activity, even if the economics of it say they shouldn’t worry about an occasional loss, unless they can feel secure doing it. And groups of players are very good at figuring out ways to minimize risk.

I’d have to dig up an old recruiting post to prove it, but back around 2010 I recall most of the big Null alliances and blocks had recruiting requirements that basically amounted to “doctrine or GTFO”. They were big enough that they could set SP thresholds for applicants and just cull anyone under the threshold. Pandemic Horde and Brave, if I remember correctly, came about as a direct result of the T1 Cruisers rework that allowed a horde of newer players in cheap ships to effectively take on a kitted out fleet of Battleships.

Back in 2006 you couldn’t demand 10 million SP to join a corp because almost no one had 10 million SP. Especially not under the old character creation system.

I mean, yes, if by that you mean it makes people enjoy the game more, and happy players are more likely to spend money.

Like, if anything below a T1 BS was still utter crap in a fleet you could make this same sort of argument. “Oh they’re just refusing to buff smaller ships because it forces people to skill into a BS to get into Null. They’re just trying to sell more PLEX and Skill Injectors…”

Overall I don’t think there’s a lot of facts behind the “CCP is just trying to sell more…” arguments, because the best thing CCP can do to sell more of anything is to make more players happy and willing to keep playing the game, because players who feel good about the game are more likely to spend money on it.

I think his killboard might just be the stuff he’s actually catching. AKA the people doing stupid stuff like fitting Shield Extenders on a travel Inty. That’s why he’s getting kills without 5k scan res.

Sure, though not this week. My weekend is pretty much spoken for and there’s a few other things to juggle in the evenings right now.

I’d like to try out some of the guy’s victims’ fits and see what we get, because I have a sneaking suspicion that he’s basically handing out Darwin Awards for Inty fitting, not actually catching everything that goes through his camp.

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I didn’t have time to read too many posts, but that sure looks like a cute thread :stuck_out_tongue:

We kind of can blame CCP for what followed release, though. Apparently I didn’t get in on the initial feedback thread (probably because I didn’t mine, and therefor didn’t have much of an opinion on mining ship changes). I distinctly remember posting several times over the next few years about infinitely-respawning and densely-packed resources playing havoc with the content ecosystem, only to be laughed out of the room by most people (including a bunch of people from my own alliance) who thought “occupancy sov” was a great idea. It’s unfortunate that CCP took so many years to appreciate the problems.

I, too, have Marauders V trained on a couple of characters-- I’d always wanted to fly a blackops-fit Kronos, but never did, largely because web strength nerf make me sad.

I try not to chase fads either, which is why I put off equipping Rorquals for years and held off training Trig ships until a couple of weeks ago. I was dead sure none of those would persist very long in their release states. Lo and behold, two weeks after I finally spent two hundred million or whatever dumb stack of coin it was on a small disintegrator spec book, down came a balance patch for Trig ships. Happily this one wasn’t too heavy-handed on the Kiki :stuck_out_tongue:

I guess highsec miners just don’t want their trit prices to collapse.

I guess you’re right, of course. It just makes my ears steam as someone who started in 2006 when people now complain that EVE is a hard game to start. EVE in 2020 is a walk in the park compared to what it was. There’s no problem giving new players (all players) better tools, but I do find it funny that people could put any effort into the game and somehow avoid finding out about fitting tools :stuck_out_tongue:

You’re not wrong: it’s never been easy. But it’s also never been as difficult as it is currently. There’s just so many specialized roles that need to be filled now in order to accomplish anything-- you used to bring a Sabre and a few guys in DPS cruisers and you’d have yourself a functional gatecamp. Now it’s like, "Ok, we need an instalocking ceptor with a RSB alt to keep things from warping away. We need a Daredevil to keep things from crashing gate. We need a Falcon, but we also need a damping ship so the Falcon doesn’t get alpha’d off the field. We need some bigger ships for DPS, but they can’t be close to the gate because there’s so many hostile interceptors around that will land in point range of your ship that’s 50km off the gate in like five seconds, so we’ll bring sniping DPS. But it can’t be one guy in an arty Mach or a couple of dudes in Oracles, because battleship guns can’t hit anything anymore. So let’s use covert sniping Tengus! But those only do like 30 dps each, so let’s make sure we have ten of them :stuck_out_tongue: I feel like the attacker effort threshold has never been higher, while at the same time the quality of kills is lower than ever (being mostly empty pods, T1 frigates and destroyers, etc), and the risks higher than ever (tons of bored, hostile PvPers around, targets packed into densely-populated hostile space where you can end up with a frigate gang in your face as fast as you can snap your fingers, etc).

They’re not that tanky, and T1 logi reps aren’t that strong, but the defender usually has numbers working to their advantage. Add a little logi support to the mix, and it quickly becomes difficult for an attacker to inflict any damage at all. At least in the old days people had to think twice about whether to field logi, as they were expensive losses should you miscalculate or get out-escalated or whatever. But everyone’s willing to throw a ~30m ISK Scythe into a brawl. Why not?

I don’t know about people in general, but I used to enjoy skirmishing against kitchen sink gangs that had two or three times as many people as ours did. It was fun to romp around the grid for a few minutes and try to peel of tacklers. But gangs have gotten much harder to kite IMO as the core ships of those gangs have shifted to ever-smaller, faster hulls. Throw an abundance of cheap, disposable logi onto the field and it only sours the pot further. It’s not really worth trying anymore unless you’ve got a pretty big gang of your own-- big enough to start alpha’ing tackle off the field.

Yup. It’s a mess. Hunting ratters used to be a solo or really small-gang activity. I used to do it by myself a lot, or with one or two friends flying cruiser and frigate hulls. Then CCP decided to pack people into systems full of anomalies instead of stringing them out across a whole region. This enabled standing fleets and lots of intel sharing. We needed to be more assertive with our attacks so we wouldn’t be forced off by the arrival of a few additional locals, but just the process of converging multiple HACs or whatever on a target system was often enough to trigger intel reports and spook targets, so we started hunting with covert cynos and dropping small groups of blackops battleships on targets. We obliterated a lot of ratting battleships and T3Cs this way, but ratters started up-shipping to carriers which took ages to kill with a handful of blackops BS and were quite sketchy to fight since blackops BS don’t have much tank. So we retired the combat blackops and pivoted to dropping bombers instead, and killed a lot of carriers. People wised up and started fitting cynos to summon reinforcements, so blackops groups expanded their bomber fleets and used polarized bombers to nuke carriers before they could cyno in FAX. So carrier pilots up-shipped to supercarriers and titans and all ratting activity shifted under a FAX / super umbrella for safety.

It’s been quite the risk-averseness arms race. Now we’re in this awkward place where we’ve got this ridiculously boring yet incredibly powerful drop meta, but can’t nerf it because doing so would mean capital pilots could basically rat with total impunity. We need the bomber fleets to cull the carrier and dread ratters, but having them around also totally destroys any content that would be suitable for solo players or smaller, conventional subcap gangs-- nobody PvEs anymore in anything interesting: it’s just carriers that can rat aligned or wide-orbit afterburner drone boats, often sporting MJDs and an array of scrams and neuts that-- along with their positioning-- make them difficult to tackle and almost impossible to solo (the would-be solo ganker ends up in a conundrum where anything fast enough to get to the ratter and tackle them will get vaporized by their drones, while anything that could tank and fight the ratter has virtually zero chance of warping to the anomaly and then burning ~50km in time to tackle it).

Ugh, this kind of thing makes me want to puke. Instanced content has no place in an open-world sandbox game. I have watched CCP’s continuing interest in instanced content with horror, and have been extremely disappointed by their ongoing fascination with it, and their insistence on migrating aspects of the instanced content out into the rest of TQ. I feel like if team Fozzie has its way, eventually every form of conflict in EVE will eventually be reduced to some pre-made team moba BS. They’d like that: it would make all the farmers happy and CCP could stop worrying about finding ways to improve server performance.

Yeah, it’s “nice” that new players can field “doctrine” ships within two weeks now, but it’s not as though newer players were excluded from fleet fights before. Way back in 2007 when I started fighting in nullsec wars, there were always wings (or separate fleets as player counts increased) dedicated to roles that newer players could fill: a newbie would start out in a tackle wing flying frigates and cruisers, and would move up to an anti-support wing flying cruiser or battlecruiser hulls. Tackle wing would hold down primaries, while anti-support wing would focus on hazing the enemy tacklers. The rich older dudes would field the sniping battleships at the back line. There was also pit-crew, who flew cruiser, BC, and battleship hulls full of remote reps for patching up sniping battleships who were able to warp off the field when primaried.

Like I said, I never felt “excluded” as a newer player in ancient-EVE. Maybe it was a Goonswarm thing, but the mainfleet experience was always open to everybody.

Maybe I’m just cynical, but I just fail to see the distinction, in practice. Theoretically, yes-- technically the way space is allocated has changed a little. But functionally, it’s the same old thing: a handful of giant groups controls the vast majority of nullsec space. You can say, “Well before Goonswarm held multiple regions, but today several alliances hold those regions and Goonswarm itself only has one or two,” but who really cares? It’s not a real distinction: if all the various sov-holding groups are allied to each other-- all blue, all participating in the same fleet ops, all maintaining a common set of diplomatic statuses with other entities, then who really cares whose flag is planted in each system? A bloc is a bloc is a bloc.

Yeah, but it’s up to the game designers to decide where that minimum required risk sits. If, for example, CCP deleted jump drives from the game tomorrow, players would no longer gravitate towards jump freighters as the safest way to move goods. They wouldn’t gravitate towards bomber drops as a way to kill ratters. They wouldn’t be moving their 10/10 ship from complex to complex in a carrier, because that wouldn’t be a possibility.

I’m not blaming people for min-maxing risk and reward, I’m disappointed at the game design team for setting the bar so low. This is the whole point of this thread: IMO CCP have simply allowed players to remove too much risk from the game. If you allow people to park their structures on grid with each other so there’s nowhere for attackers to hide, why wouldn’t they? If you balance the game so that people can run their 10/10s solo in a ship that can teleport from site to site using an invisible cyno beacon, why wouldn’t they? If you give them a trivially-expensive, low-SP ship that they can use to get from place to place with almost zero risk of being attacked by other players, why would they travel in anything else?

You can, of course, make the argument that enabling all these behaviors means more people will feel comfortable doing these activities, and that more people doing things is necessarily better for the game. It may bump the activity figures, but at the end of the day those metric scores are coming at the expense of the game’s identity as a fairly hardcore, complicated, challenging, incredibly-competitive single-shard sandbox MMO. If EVE stops delivering on its core premises, if the stakes disappear, what’s left? Just a super-outdated game with an awkward interface, sluggish client response with ships that feel like they’re stuck in molasses, and incredibly boring, repetitive PvE content. I like to think that people who decide to play EVE do so in large part because of the challenges. It makes me sad to see the devs hollowing those challenges out in the name of boosting metrics.

Yeah, I linked it mostly for example… that thread was a monster, as was the following thread on the tweaks the next March.

Eh, I think it sort of worked. Cheaper ships and plentiful resources did help drive content for a while, and I think the “real cost” of most hulls is lower now than it was 5 years ago, but that has a limit and production stockpiles were, if the Economic Report is any indication, starting to get a little nuts.

They’re still fun for certain applications. I’m not sure how viable they are for semi-suicidal Low Sec PvP but at the very least PvE in one is fairly relaxing. You’re at basically no risk of dying, and can basically sit back and blap targets off the field as they stream towards you.

Yeah, my approach to this sort of stuff is that CCP will generally stick by their design intent with a hull or line of ships, it’s the details that may change. The Rorqual is still an amazing miner, what changed is the mining ecosystem, and you may yet find use in yours. For the Trig ships I don’t think CCP can nerf them too badly without removing their main mechanic, so they’ll likely remain fairly powerful.

I mean, yeah, pretty much, and CCP doesn’t want Null to own the entire industrial landscape.

Eh, I get it, but there’s a certain amount of “well we had it hard so everyone else should” in that.

Like, by 2006 standards the game was hard. Remember when hotkeys for weapons were the new hotness? But the standards have moved on, and Eve is still a pretty brutal game to get into by those standards, even with the improved tutorials and everything else. Granted I think it has narrowed the gap, but most games have a very soft cushion around new players, while Eve treats new players the same as 10 year vets in the eyes of the loss mechanics.

I get this, but I also feel like some of this is CCP’s changes and some of this is just the advancing meta game. People have always been able to burn back to gate, and the bonus on the Daredevil hasn’t changed, that’s all just extra efficiency.

Plus at least now your caught ship can’t cyno an entire fleet onto your face.

Yeah, but I feel like the ~300m for a Logi ship isn’t that bad these days either. The hulls haven’t gotten much cheaper, but ISK is overall a lot easier to get, and so the relative value of the ship is lower.

I’m not saying that Logi would be exactly as prevalent now without these cheaper hulls, but I think the prevalence would still have gone up noticeably even without that.

More to the point though I don’t really see a solution to this. Short of adding more AoE to the game, but that kinda feels like the last thing we need right now… at least from certain perspectives.

Eh, I don’t think it requires “horror”. I think something like a Fillament Space that you enter and then it spawns a ‘back door’ somewhere else in the same class of space where another fleet can enter and potentially gank you could be fun.

Honestly though I just don’t see another good solution to this sort of problem. People are going to continue to be risk averse, and this sort of thing would more or less solve most of the problems we’ve outlined here.

Being super fast is only so useful when the space you have to fly around is limited, you can’t gank people with a massive gang if you can only bring in 3 ships to fight someone else’s max of 3 ships, and you don’t have to worry about Carriers if the pocket does’t allow them in.

It’s like the PANIC module. Sometimes the only workable solution to create a desired outcome is to brute force that outcome in the most direct way possible. Like, imagine if the PANIC module had just been 90% resistances for some duration. That would only save the ship from gangs below a certain size, which means people would just start hunting Rorquals in gangs of that size or larger.

Possibly, at least in part, yeah. I’m just remembering the adverts I saw from around 2010 to around 2014 and the ever creeping upwards SP requirements to join a lot of corps and alliances. There’s also a reason Brave and Pandemic Horde were considered fairly revolutionary for having basically no recruiting requirements.

I’m not saying you’re wrong here, but I feel like the experience from 2006 to ~2009 was a bit more open in Null, and then people started to get more elitist about SP reqs up until 2015 when T1 cruisers were suddenly able to do more than annoy Battleships and make Tackle sweat.

Plus if you think about this more generally, if you have a group of say 10 players joining together, forming a corp, and looking to PvP… they basically couldn’t until they hit Battleships, or at least Battlecruisers. Sure you could take a gang of Frigates or Cruisers out, but you were basically easy pickings for anyone with a T2 fitted Battleship or T2/T3 Cruiser.

I really have to disagree here.

There can be a big difference between one Alliance and the next, and back when it was all a few big Allainces holding space you basically joined those groups or didn’t live in Null. Don’t like Goons? Too bad, they control half the space in the game.

Plus I bet some of those smaller blobs on the map have a LOT lower requirements for joining Corporations than the Imperium does these days.

And sure, the blue donut is a problem. That’s been a thing on and off going all the way back to the BOB days. IMO CCP should create a mechanic where resource nodes spawn and deplete on a long interval, so what’s good space now won’t necessarily be good space in six months. Not too short of a cycle, otherwise people won’t feel attached to any space at all, but enough to mimic the effects that the moon rebalance or the Outpost conversion had. Something to drive conflict beyond “hey, you wanna have a shooting war for a few months to keep the line members entertained?”

Right, but the whole dynamic is a bit more complicated than this. It’s not just CCP setting the risk required for an activity, it’s a range of risks based on different conditions. There’s also the perceived risk on the part of players (which varies from player to player) and the player response to the risk, both real and perceived.

For example, CCP could make new sites that pay slightly better but only allow Battleships and smaller to run them. If the risk is higher though then people might not bother, and if CCP just uniformly ups the risk throught Null then people have the option to just not do anything they deem too risky, regardless of the economics of it.

We saw this with the Local blackout. Where the massive increase in perceived risk saw Null more or less empty out for over a month.

I think they do, and I don’t feel like this challenge has entirely disappeared, but it has been blunted to some extent by both mechanical changes and the relentless optimization of the playerbase.

The problem with trying to keep the game “super hardcore” is that I think that burns people out, and no matter how close the game stays to its roots people are going to cycle out of the game. Most people don’t play the same game for 10+ years. Heck I haven’t even really done that. I’ve kept my accounts subbed more or less constantly, but I haven’t always been active. I go off, play other games, and update my skill queue every so often when I’m not actively playing.

And if the game dies you’re still going to have just as much trouble getting kills at a gate camp…

Though the flip side of this is none of us, not eve CCP, can for-sure say what the best balance point for the game is. They can just adjust things and look at the results.

Ultimately I think it’s going to be really hard for CCP to adjust things in a way that increases risk without seeing people over-compensate in response. That’s part of why I think we might see something like the Filaments used to create controlled risk environments, because that’s easier for players to quantify in their heads and easier for CCP to predict the results of. It’s really hard to design around something like a Titan response fleet, or a 60 man Bomber Wing.


Also, did you see the latest announcement on Structures? Thoughts? I didn’t want to speculate too much based on that in the above thread, but it seems like this might make small-ish gang structure shoots a way to drive smaller scale PvP.

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I mean yeah, it’s definitely a meta shift, I just think it’s one that sucks :stuck_out_tongue:

People have always been able to burn back to gates, but when your median nullsec EVE player flew a Drake, you could at least scram / web it and try and bump it away from the gate :stuck_out_tongue: With the small-ship meta everything’s so fast (or has ADC to buy extra time) you gotta hit it with that Daredevil web. I’ve also had decent results from a fleet Vigil for this stuff. But you definitely need webs with frigate scan-res-- Rapiers and stuff are too late to the party.

Counterpoint tho: recon ships are some of the few ships people still travel around through gates in that you can actually catch, so recons actually make up a respectable proportion of our kills :sob: :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley: :smiley:

Is it wrong that part of me just wants to remove logistics ships entirely? :stuck_out_tongue:

People will always be risk averse, but again-- we can set limits on the degree to which they can be pathetic. I’m not sure the best way either, and I’m tired and hungry and grumpy tonight, but if CCP could tweak ships and PvE content to encourage people to fly normal spaceships again instead of carriers and wide-orbit drone boats, then possibly remove bomber drop PvP so that there’s no sword hanging over the head of anyone who dares PvE in something smaller than a supercarrier… idk.

One thing I am sure of, though: this should absolutely be achievable without resorting to lazy, unrealistic game design like gated, instanced PvE sites.

Random bonus side-gripe: diamond rats are dumb. I think it was a terrible decision to basically remove belt ratting and belt mining from the game by blanketing them with NPCs that steal all the cheddar and hell-purge any players dumb enough to warp in without their own fleet. Belts are cool, open-world-feeling classic gameplay, they provided modest quantities of resources defended by modest NPCs, and would’ve made a perfect haven for newer players to enjoy mining in their Ventures and Porpoises, or go ratting in their afterburner Vexor. Belt ratting also heavily-discouraged capital PvE (without requiring any gates or special rules) simply because frequent warping between belts was required and capital ships were too slow to be practical. Delete diamond rats. Make belts great again.

I’d also strongly advocate for a PvE redesign that encourages people to move around. Anomalies are absolute cancer for the content ecosystem because people just park up in one spot and they can pre-position all kinds of tools and gear there and simply undock and go to work and collect money for as long as they’re content to torture themselves with the game’s mind-numbing PvE mechanics. I think exploration seems to work well, complexes / escalations would work OK if it weren’t for everyone just blopsing or carrier-ing around. Moon mining seems to get people moving around a decent amount, which is cool. I’d love to see belts come back as a baseline, minimalistic resource that every system will have, with large resource deposits moving around within each region. The idea being: newer players can do their thing pretty much anywhere, but those nodes won’t be worth extracting for guys with lots of SP and gear. Those guys will have to move around.

Interesting idea… there would have to be a huge wealth disparity in order to provide enough motivation for a whole alliance to pack up and move. That’s a LOT of logistical effort. Probably the more likely outcome is that powerful alliances would base out of a single region, but send marauding SIGs to take the resources wherever they popped up: Rorqual pilots and shield supers deploy to XXX region, armor supers and whoever else wants to stay home, maintain the home region. This could also be… interesting? IDK. I’d be curious to see what someone who knows more about alliance organization would have to say.

I do think you’re on the right track with resource disparities being important. I really liked how moons used to work in this regard: sure, passive moon mining wasn’t the most exciting thing, but moon squabbles did generate a lot of content. It also encouraged alliances to expand their holdings, which, while it conflicts with your philosophical desire to see more alliance flags planted around the map, did manage to consistently bring the big alliances / blocs into conflict with one another. Moon drama wasn’t too bad for the game IMO.

In fairness, blackout was completely crazy. If it had been accompanied by the temporary removal of AFK cloaking, sure: it might have been interesting. But the combination of AFK cloakers and no local just made engaging in any kind of remotely risky activity complete suicide. In retrospect, I think all that was going on was CCP wanted to totally shut off the ISK faucets, which blackout accomplished. But it was pretty disingenuous of them to bill it as some kind of “chaos shakeup interesting content generator / experiment” / whatever else they claimed it was in the marketing materials. I unsubbed for those three months or whatever it was, simply because I felt morally obligated to do what I could to punish such dumb decision-making. The PvE crowd hated blackout from its announcement for obvious reasons. The PvP crowd talked up a big hype-storm about how great it would be on the forums-- and I’m sure they probably had fun and plentiful kills for a little while after deployment-- but anyone with half a brain could read the writing on the wall: if you make PvE impractical, the carebears are going to quit and the content ecosystem is going to dry up. That’s exactly what happened. Sure, there were individual people who got good kills. There were individual people who made a lot of money during blackout by finding weird ways to do things or by just rolling the dice and lucking out that nobody appeared to boosh their excavators. Goonswarm in general did pretty well, but only because we were the biggest and best-organized group with the most effective homeland security program. But on the whole, people just stopped playing the game. My little SIG did what they could to keep killing things, but targets eventually became scarce judging by their killboard. I know that even after the blackout ended, Delve didn’t feel the same. There were a lot of people who quit during that exercise in mis-management and didn’t appear to come back.

I’m not arguing that CCP need to shift the meta until it all but ensures an attacker’s success. I’d just like them to make people a little less invulnerable.

I’m right there with you. I just don’t see how keeping the game hardcore is a problem if new players are constantly joining and getting all fired up to play-- the game won’t vanish in a puff of smoke just cause you and I don’t log in much anymore :stuck_out_tongue:

Again, I just fundamentally hate the idea of sacrificing the open world in the name of balance, when I think it’s totally feasible to just balance the existing game. It’s not an easysolution, but it is simple. If titan response fleets are a problem, address the problem. If people are dropping a hundred polarized stealth bombers and alpha-ing supercarriers, address the problem. Don’t send people off into a little instance where they know they can only be attacked by up to six tech one frigates. Not if it can be avoided :stuck_out_tongue:

Mmm, I just read the devblog this evening. It’s definitely gonna be a sizable ISK-sink. I guess in terms of “encouraging fights” it’s trying to be a step in the right direction? Maybe? My gut reaction is that it will create more problems for smaller groups than it will create reasons for big groups to fight each other. Big groups aren’t going to care that much about the value of a quantum core, and at best you’re looking at it as a way to inflict damage on the other faction, not a way to make money. I don’t do too much station-killing but I assume the wreck is destructible? If so, I can’t imagine many Keepstar cores are going to get looted: the items are massive, and wrecks will likely be popped just like we do with supercapital wrecks.

For the “little guy” that people are always going on about, this change sounds like garbage. Not only am I now paying significantly more for my small corp’s production Raitaru, but my quantum core milkshake is gonna bring all the boys to the yard: thusfar I feel like many small structures enjoy a bit of security through obscurity insofar as while a decent gang or small fleet of players could come shoot your Astra / Raitaru, it’s not exactly an exciting prospect, and in many cases people don’t bother things if they’re fueled. If you put a 500-800m isk bounty on their heads, I feel like you’re gonna have a lot more bored people bashing those structures just to see if the can’t get themselves a nice drop. When it’s TAPI line members deciding to put together a little fleet to go after some of the spam Athanor’s we’ve littered their regions with, I feel like this is probably not a bad thing. Then again, given the war between our coalitions right now, those kinds of structure shoots were already happening under the umbrella of general hostilities-- no cores required. I feel like the most pronounced change will be for smaller, more “independent” entities, who will stand to be targets of opportunism where before they may have simply been ignored. Whether that’s “good” gameplay or not… I’m not really sure, to be honest. Will it provide new content? Or will people decide it’s not worth it to plop down structures if you’re constantly having to defend them against a local pirate group? If it cuts down the number of structures, is that a good or bad thing? I’m not even sure how people feel about the state of Upwell structures outside bloc nullsec space. Maybe I’m most curious how it will affect highsec wardecs?

Questions, questions. My best is that it won’t have any substantial impact on nullsec. It might shake up low- and high-sec a bit.

EDIT: I’m too lazy to look up my cargo Rorqual fit, but IIRC that capacity was ~150k m3 or so? So, big cores not deployable by Rorqual? So we’re probably looking at delivery via titan-bridged freighter? Presumably nobody wants to warp their JF to an anchored structure :stuck_out_tongue:

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Fair, I can’t say I’ve been stalking your KB, but it’s still a lot less of a concern than it was 5 years ago.

At the same time you could say that that increased risk has also pushed some of the more risk averse behavior, like flying faster ships and traveling more safely in general.

Eh, healers are always a bit frustrating in PvP, so not really. I think the game would be a lot more boring without them though. Remember when RR-BS was a massive shift in the Meta and people thought Logi was useless? :laughing:

Seriously though, while getting a few kills out of a fight is more fun than not I think every fight being a DPS fest isn’t great either. At least Logi screwups offer some opportunity for a moderately smaller fleet to pull back a win.

I’ve seen various proposals such as applying stacking penalties to Logi, but nothing has come across as particularly good to me. All of it represents such a massive shift in the Meta that it’s hard to predict what the actual effects would be…

Yeah, I think that’d be a good goal to aspire to.

I’ve commented on this a bit in the AFK cloaking thread but I’d really like to see PvE encounters where enemy ships will actually fleet when on low HP, and in numbers that encourage small gang play of between 3 and ~10 players. That way you’d have a reason to have a Point on your PvE ship, bringing it closer to a PvP fitting which means you’re more willing and able to respond to a PvP threat.

Like, imaging a Triglavian pocket that allows up to three Battleships, but once your fleet has entered another entrance opens up in a random part of Null space that also allows three ships of up to Battleship size before it too closes. It’s possible no one will find the entrance, and also possible an ally finds it, but it’s also possible you could end up with someone from all the way across Null fighting not only for ISK from the kills but also just flat out trying to kill you and loot your corpse. Meanwhile the PvE ships also warp around within the pockets and will jump out to the end pocket unless held in place with a point. At the end the exit gate returns anyone alive to the system they entered from.

This wouldn’t have to just be “Pocket PvE”, but it combines well with that idea. Just having ships that will warp off to avoid being killed would be a huge shift in the PvE meta and would effectively make most of these hyper risk-averse setups worthless because they don’t fight at a range that allows them to hold down a target.

I get the gripe, especially from an older player. I too remember when a newer player would basically belt rat or mine as their main income sources. That hasn’t really been true for years though, since well before 2015. Between mining anomalies, anom and scan combat sites, and changes to mission rewards and progression belt ratting has been effectively dead across all areas of space for years.

The profit compared to the time required just isn’t worth it. I think the only people who were farming belts much when that change went in were a few Null folks hunting for Officer Mods and a few people who couldn’t be arsed to update their bots from 2009…

Actually I think the “Diamond Rats” are only a few steps away from what I was talking about above, the things they’re missing are survival instinct and a high enough reward to make dealing with a pocket full of them worth the hassle.

I think that’s a good idea, yeah, though I’ll point out that the best way to limit people from bringing Capitals to blitz this stuff is to make it stuff that doesn’t allow Capitals, or responds to Capital drops disproportionately and in a way that doesn’t reward very well.

I agree, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, and if there’s enough of these resource anoms “moving around” then they could at least encourage border wars when a particularly lucrative one pops up just a few jumps into a neighbor’s region.

Heck maybe whatever it is could have an option to “loot” the resource. Basically exchange long-term profit for a short term immediate gain, but not deplete it entirely, and with a mechanic to kind of cultivate it back up afterwards.

Basically give people a reason and a way to go loot someone else’s stuff without taking it outright. Sort of similar to current moon mining and the old Anom Booster token things, but with more of a strategic focus.

Agreed, the problem was that the moons themselves didn’t generate small scale anything, and they were static which meant that the map was prone to stagnation over the long term.

Eh, I don’t think that was it. I think it was an experiment, and it provided results. People have been asking on and off for Local to be removed from Null for literally like 10 years or more, and CCP finally decided to try it. Unfortunately the results were pretty much what you outlined here. I think there might still be some potential in something like this in the future, but you’re right that the current state of cloakies combined with that makes the perceived and actual risk levels far too high for anyone to bother with.

I can commiserate with that, I’m just saying that it’s really difficult without skewing the perceived risk too high, even if the actual risk level isn’t that bad. For example intel channels don’t scale linearly. The larger your alliance the more effective they are, but if you take away intel in some form (like the local blackout) then while you take away a lot of invulnerability you end up taking away even more perceived security and the net result is people acting way more risk averse.

That’s why I’m saying something that mixes PvP and PvE would be good, because at least then you’re throwing people into an environment that makes them feel prepared for a fight.

Yeah, but the problem is that second bit. “New fired up players”, and the more niche and “hardcore” a game is the fewer people are going to get fired up about playing it.

Heck Eve is still trying to work off its “spreadsheets in space” moniker, even though it can be very action packed and fun.

Basically if enough new players aren’t sticking around to match those cycling out then the game is going to die a slow death.

This is all easier said than done though. If you specifically nerf Polarized launchers people will just bring more bombers, if you nerf the bombers then you hurt all their other legitimate uses that aren’t a problem. Same for Titan drops and other stuff. Because this is this huge open-world game everything has a million knock-on effects, and it’s basically impossible to predict them all. Sometimes not even the playerbase with its mighty powers of crowd-wisdom manages to see this stuff coming.

Plus it’s not really “easy” vs" hard" it’s “CCP can implement one new feature in six months vs three or four new features”. Hard stuff takes more time and resources, and is more likely to go hilariously and horribly wrong.

I’m not sure how much ISK it’s going to really sink, since the value only really leaves when the core is destroyed. I’m also not sure if it’ll really encourage fights either, but it might at least discourage structure spam, since it’s basically doubling the cost of a lot of these small structures.

Maybe, but that drop still isn’t that much compared to the time required to bash the thing down. I think we’ll probably see a spike in structure deaths after the change goes fully live followed by a return to more or less normal.

Also re: people shooting structure wrecks. Good luck to em. Eve Ref says the wreck has 25,000,000 structure. I think I could loot that dry with a Badger warping the the nearest station and back before a bomber fleet chewed through all of that. :laughing:

Dunno, it depends. Jump Freighters are damned expensive (when did they hit 10b? :laughing:) but you’re also adding another 10-30b, and the JF is probably safer. Plus not everyone can position a bunch of Titans to casually bridge a Freighter all the way out to the middle of nowhere Null.

Really though this is more of an issue for Wormholes. I doubt we’ll see to many freighter losses with Keepstar Cores hanging around in them.

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Hahaha, you’re 100% right: people used to try and hotdrop our gangs all day long. Basically any time you saw a ship bigger than a cruiser it was probably bait… and even some of the cruisers were too :stuck_out_tongue: I haven’t seen anyone try to hotdrop us this deployment. I suspect it’s simply cause they don’t want to risk the expensive cyno ships, because people still go out of their way to gate HAW dreads to us.

I don’t think there is increased risk: like you said-- all the tools we’re using to gatecamp today have existed for as long as I can remember: Daredevils have always been a thing :stuck_out_tongue: It’s just that there’s no reason not to use travel-ships. If I could move in an interceptor or move in a Drake and I don’t need a 80k ehp tank or the ability to shoot big missiles, why not move in the interceptor?

I haven’t seen any good proposals for balancing logi either. I hate arbitrary stuff like stacking penalties. I have very fond memories of RRBS-- those gangs were incredibly fun. Logistics cruisers were viewed as a curiosity primarily because their lack of raw EHP made them incredibly vulnerable to AoE doomsdays-- an unfavorable characteristic when combined with their high price. BS, on the other hand, could be DD-tanked.

It would definitely be nice to see PvE move away from the hyper risk-averse setups we see now. It could also serve as a soft-intro to PvP mechanics, which would probably benefit newer players. As long as CCP could implement sites suitable for both solo and group play, I’d be happy.

Oh, I know. I just find it funny that we started with belt ratting-- a system with really modest resource nodes that were easily identifiable and accessible-- and people said, “We need richer resource nodes.” Then we got anomalies. Now everyone’s like, “Anoms make people too rich: we need to tone them down.” Woudn’t belts fit the bill? :stuck_out_tongue:

They’re also ridiculously powerful and totally eliminate any possibility of solo play. Diamond rats will kill capital ships, they’re way too much for solo or casual small-group play. They also have the regrettable habit of strip-mining entire regions of their belt asteroids.

Nah, you just need to avoid piling endless rats in one place. Nobody ratted in carriers when you had to move to a new belt once every minute or two. It’s only when you started getting wave after wave of fat battleship rats spawning on a beacon that cap-ratting became a thing.

I have to object to this on the grounds of false-equivalence insofar as blackout was a very drastic shift in risk (pretty hard to mitigate the risks of invisible players being able to suddenly appear next to you with zero warning in whatever quantities suit their objective), whereas removing travelceptors and moving Upwell stuff off gates is the bare-minimum necessary to cause any actual risk at all (with those things, there essentially is no risk). It also plays into what I was talking about earlier with CCP being in charge of the risk-floor: if game design removes the tools players are using to eliminate risk, then they will be forced to accept some degree of risk: nullsec ran just fun for a decade without the benefit of taxi-ceptors and on-gate structures-- it’s not as though people are going to quit EVE or move to highsec because CCP took those things away.

In terms of player numbers, yes. But now we just have a situation where the game is slowly dying a different kind of death: instead of me not being able to play my game because we ran out of other players, I’m not able to play because the gameplay’s been altered to the point where it’s no longer recognizable or fun. Like I was saying, if you take EVE’s sandbox feel away and everything becomes increasingly consensual and/or defined by arbitrary rules or instancing, I have to imagine there’s a whole different player demographic that’s going to quit EVE. I’m pretty close to unsubbing my accounts right now just because of how bored and frustrated I am with the state of nullsec gameplay. I’m gonna give it a few more weeks to see if I can find something I actually enjoy doing, but it definitely seems like CCP have decided that the style of gameplay I enjoyed since 2007 should no longer a practical or reasonable way to play the game. Since I don’t enjoy EVE’s PvE and I got enough of big-fleet lag-fests during our wars against BoB to last a lifetime, I don’t see many compelling reasons left to keep paying $60/mo for my accounts. I can’t be the only one who finds 2020 EVE boring and unsatisfying.

Yeah, but that is part of the design team’s job-- to monitor the state of play and make adjustments if unanticipated ~emergent gameplay~ no longer reflects their intentions. And it’s not like it’s an impossible task: it’s not unheard of to see players coming up with decent solutions to some of these problems, and they’re just doing it for jollies. A team of professionals should be able to handle this stuff all day long. The message I’m getting is that they just don’t think it’s important enough to merit their attention.

Well, there are a lot of structures out there. Even if people don’t place new ones, that’s gonna be a lot of ISK just to service existing ones. I doubt the costs will do anything to discourage structure spam: the entities that are spamming medium structures have big budgets: they’ll just spend more money as long as it achieves the desired effect.

True, but people already shoot at structures some of the time for no reward at all. I’d imagine a bounty will only make shooting at them more common.

Except you need a freighter to loot the XL cores. Even if the wreck doesn’t vaporize immediately, it’s hard to imagine one side in a massive Keepstar fight being able to secure the grid to the point where a freighter can warp in and out before the wreck is killed. Maybe I’m wrong, we’ll see.

Not everyone can, but the groups that fight over Keepstars certainly can :stuck_out_tongue: There are a lot of Titans, Keepstars, and freighters in nullsec these days.

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Sure, but this has always been the case to some extent. It’s just that pre-travel 'ceptor it was clean pods and shuttles. At least you got to kill something, but it wasn’t really worth much, and I think the equation of “fun” there isn’t particularly favorable. The person in the shuttle comes out having wasted a decent chunk of time only to be blown up, and you might get to cycle your guns once if you’re lucky and have a fast lock time. So, not much fun generated, and some decent amount of not-fun generated.

Now at least the person on the other end doesn’t end up exasperated, though it’s probably a little more frustrating to miss these ships than it was to pop shuttles I still think it’s a net gain in the ecosystem.

Ah, right, I forgot about that… lol.

Still, no one used Logi even in HS and LS wars back then. The meta just wasn’t there yet, and people didn’t really understand tanking by speed and/or distance. Ah nostalgia… xD

Anyways, I don’t think you’re going to get away from “arbitrary” solutions here. If you want to target a specific thing then the result is going to be somewhat arbitrary, or it risks being so vague that the knock-on effects are worse than the problem you’re trying to solve.

Yup, and I think that would be very doable, especially with the more advanced AI that the Diamond Rats introduced. You could probably even setup sites that scale based on the number of players, which could make that PvP ganking aspect rather interesting when a gang warps in on your Marauder and finds that they now have to fight off an incoming fleet of Blood Raiders while trying to blow you up…

Eh, yes and no. Belts had a lot of problems in a lot of ways. They didn’t scale well with more players, either for mining or ratting, and there was a HUGE gap between where belt rats used to be and where Anoms are now even after various successive changes and nerfs.

Also the belt ratting AI is dumber than the rocks in the belt. Yeah the anoms have been optimized to death, but at least keeping your fighters alive while Carrier Ratting requires some amount of constant attention be paid.

All fair complaints, though I think that might be mitigated if the AI and the rewards were tuned a bit better. I don’t think these are getting much attention because they haven’t been that much of a problem, so no one’s shining a light at them and asking for changes or iteration.

Sure, but that was also boring as hell. You spent most of your time in warp, and the rats basically never put up any fight unless you got a really lucky officer spawn.

Plus these days with the faster ships and the warp speed changes people would probably do sniping BCs or T3Cs, which wouldn’t produce much opportunity for PvP.

It’s not meant to be equivalent, it’s just the best recent example I could think of off the cuff.

To take this example, removing interdiction from 'ceptors and pushing Citadels off gates would introduce some risk, yes, but it’s also likely that players would optimize around that, and the only risk you’re introducing there is to traveling not other activities. This is what I mean about it being really hard to calibrate. If you yank this stuff, what will the players actually do? Will we just see the return of Bookmark Spam off gates? Will it actually increase risk, or will activity just decrease?

It’s not that I think people will just quit or anything (well, some people might, but that’s beside the point, every change pisses off someone) but their reaction may not lead to the result you want here, which is more kills. You might just end up seeing fewer people, or those people may find another way to circumvent your camp’s threat.

That’s valid. I keep my stuff subbed basically because I like what Eve is, even if I’m not playing at the moment, and I want to support it. I also kinda like being one of “those vets” who can drop an SP count that makes people’s eyes bug out the way mine used to talking to vets like you or Kelduum way back in 2012 or so.

One thing I’ll say in defense of “instanced and/or consensual” PvP, I think those encounters tend to be more fun than random ganks. The stuff that turns into a surprisingly hectic good fight is generally a lot better than just blowing someone up on a gate.

Like, I once ended up in an arranged Low Sec Duel with a guy in a Vexor and me in my Deimos. He’d fitted specifically to counter what he thought I was gonna bring, since we both knew each other’s ships, only to find out that I had fail-fitted my way to success with a 1600 plate buffer and high resists, plus a Web and Scram. The whole thing was pretty hilarious, and we both had a good time.

I’m not saying all of Eve needs to be like that, and I don’t think it ever will be, but like… do you really think Gate Camping is the most fun available in Eve, and would you really complain if you could grab a gang of a specific size and roam around confident you’d find something to have a relatively fair fight with?

Sure, but this all comes back to time again. The playerbase collectively has a ton of time on its hands. CCP’s staff has limited time and can’t afford to only focus on a single bit of gameplay or area of space. Even if they take the seemingly good suggestions from the Forums they still need to spend time testing and tuning them, and a lot of those suggestions are only just that “seemingly good”, a lot of them have serious flaws. Not to mention the time required to wade through the crap and find the good stuff…

Like, this stuff takes a surprising amount of time to work on, without even getting into the time lag between implementing a change and being about to tell from the data and reports that something is actually wrong.

I’m not saying CCP can’t do better here, I’m just saying that any improvement on their part is going to be incremental, not exponential. It’s not like they spend all day sitting on their thumbs, or that CCP as a company is hoarding money instead of hiring enough staff.

Remember the existing structures don’t need to have cores installed unless they want tethering, repair, ect.

Also the structure doesn’t enter its shielded state until the core is installed, and can be blown up in the period between the 24hr onlining and that installation.

In Low and Null yeah, we can only hope :laughing:

Keepstar wreck is 100m HP. Given the kind of things that tend to show up to Keepstar fights I think if one side stops to shoot the wreck they’re likely to lose the DPS race, assuming they aren’t already, and the losses in Dreads, Titans, ect will probably add up to more than that 30b price tag.

I’m just spitballing though. We will indeed have to see.

True, but there’s also a fair number of Keepstars in general, and they’re no longer the sole purview of large groups. :smiley:

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I think you may be misunderstanding my purpose here: it’s true that I camp gates and it’s true that I enjoy blowing things up, but blowing things up is not the primary purpose of our gatecamping (or ratter-camping, or anything else we do). Our primary objective with living in enemy space isn’t to farm up favorable killboard stats: it’s to steal our enemies’ agency. If I run a gatecamp for six hours and we kill a bunch of stuff for the first hour and a half and the rest of the time the gate just sits empty because people don’t want to risk traveling through our camp, we’ve done a good job. If a guy flies shuttle after shuttle or corvette after corvette into our camp and dies every time, he’s not getting where he wants to go. That’s what’s most important. If I AFK cloak an enemy ratting system, and we hotdrop one carrier and then nobody rats for the next three days? We did our job. Our job is to prevent the other dudes from playing the game.

That’s what’s so demoralizing about the way CCP’s changed the game. Kills were always hit-or-miss: sometimes you’d get plenty of them, other times you might only kill a handful of things in a day, but in the past you were at least able to shut down hostile activity. Now you just sit there-- still not killing things-- watching them do whatever they want. Fair fights are more interesting, yes-- but they don’t shut down an entire region’s NPC kills. Gatecamps may be one-sided, but if we kill a slew of hostile players, preventing them from reaching the form-up for the strategic fleet they were supposed to go on, resulting in ten fewer logi pilots for the enemy team, which causes the hostiles to be unable to hold reps in their fleet fight later on, which causes them to cede the field? Then we did our jobs. Even if we don’t get to kill them-- if they just decide they’re late to the fleet and don’t want to die uselessly and choose not to undock: that’s a victory.

Good fights and having fun PvPing are great, but nullsec isn’t about fun, it’s about endurance. A lot of players don’t seem to understand that anymore-- just look at our enemies in the current bloc conflict who are already laying the groundwork for rationalizing their own failures by claiming that Goons are “no-life-ing” them. They think they should be able to just show up for a few setpiece battles, look heroic while stomping on us in a 3v1 fight, and then call it a day. That’s not how nullsec works: every ship counts, every loss counts, and people’s morale counts most of all. The side that wins usually isn’t the side with the most ships, or the most stations, it’s the side who’s willing to keep logging in month after month to do the same, shitty, grindy, thankless tasks. My little group exists solely to destroy enemy morale, but it can’t work if there’s no mechanic whereby our man-hours can be converted to enemy misery. If we’re not killing anybody, it needs to be because we forced them to shelter-in-place. If they can just jumpclone or travelceptor around us, it’s all for nothing.

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The inconsistency when logging covops here is on the other pilot. When you issue the move command and cloak, it generally accepts both inputs. Sometimes the cloak doesn’t register. That’s when you get a lock.

I went out last night with a RSB frigate setup with over 5300 scan res. Preliminary results look very bad: most interceptors I’m not even completing a lock. On one of them I was able to lock but not point. This is with an otherwise-blank gatecamping overview and furiously click-spamming the mouse at the top of the list until the target decloaks… not sure how you could possibly improve the locktime. The scan res is almost the exact same as the guy who’s been killing inties all day on zkill. Furthermore, according to Pyfa there’s no way to substantially decrease lock time: I tried subbing out faction mods, taking drugs, etc-- these all result in very marginal scan res increases (100-200mm) and the estimated lock times for pods and inties don’t change at all (0.5 and 0.4 seconds, respectively). I really don’t think this is possible with a North American ping.

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Another day, another zero points on travelceptors. Again-- I’ve gotten multiple target locks, but no time to activate the pre-activated warp disruptors. I’ve got another friend also trying the same gimmick, he’s had zero luck either. These game mechanics are stupid: if it works for some tiny slice of the population but not anybody else, it’s a dumb mechanic.

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