Today was billed by /r/eve official hype man , progodlegend, as a “million dollar fight”. In the end, the fight lasted many hours with relatively few casualties given the number of players in system, and was won due to current mechanics heavily favoring the defender.
Citadels require the attackers to hit a DPS threshold in a window of time that scales from tidi. However, the citadel repairs in a time that doesn’t scale with tidi.
This has two implications: the first being that due to how damage and travel time works in tidi, every time the ~10 second pause window ends (scaled up to ~200+ seconds in 5% or lower tidi), the citadel begins to repair in realtime. For example, when The Imperium’s damage volleys became less consistent due to fighters bugging out and people crashing, the citadel still paused for 10 minutes. At the end of the pause, however, it took time for more damage to be applied (due to modules breaking in tidi and not cycling, as well as other things), and the Citadel repair pushed forward by 10 seconds. This happened several times. And even though the defenders had crashing issues, they had all the time in the world to log back in, while the attackers were on a clock that didn’t match the clock of the in-game world.
The second implication is that because the Citadel repairs in real-time, the attacking force has to maintain DPS over a 6+ hour real-time period in heavy tidi. However, should they screw up for just 15 minutes in real-life, or roughly 40 (depending on tidi level) in-game seconds, the Citadel will fully repair.
Even when a citadel is undefended, sometimes you will see 1 second repair ticks in between damage instances due to how the DPS threshold windows work. However, in heavy tidi (let’s say 5%), that 1 second tick is actually 20 seconds. So no matter how well the attackers play, they lose 20 seconds of realtime repair towards the fifteen minute repair timer. This is exacerbated further by modules not working, disconnects, etc. You can see an example of this at 8:13:20 in this vid (https://www.twitch.tv/videos/221576373?t=08h13m18s) but there are more flagrant examples.
So, to tl;dr: attackers have to hit for 6+ hours to destroy it. Defenders have to stop the attackers for 15 minutes total, and because the ~10 second checks of damage threshold are scaled out, gain time every time a new window is started.
What this means is that The Imperium had to play perfectly for almost 7 hours in real-time, without screwing up for just 15 minutes. In terms of in-game time, they only needed to mess up for 40 seconds total in order to lose the fight.
How is a system that so heavily favors the defender, and incentivizes causing heavy to on the server to win, our current system? Who knows.
So how did it work during Dominion Sov?
During Dominion times, there were no damage thresholds or capped. There were no safe zones to leave your force in absolute safety while trying to project power at range. Utilizing subcaps to keep Capitals tackled was relatively hard, but nothing compared to the challenge of fighting in range of a Keepstar (or any citadel, really.)
The system favored both sides - in tidi, damage would slow down, but so would repairs. Sovereignty structures would require logistics to repair them, and wouldn’t magically repair ignoring the current server status at the time.
The end result was that both sides would need to commit to a single grid (and I’m talking about the old, small grids, not the huge ones we have today.) They’d both be in damage range of each other, and the race to DPS it down would be counterbalanced by the race of the defenders to repair the structure (and of course, both sides would try to clear each others DPS and logi.)
Okay, that was a lot of words, what’s your point?
Short answer: The Imperium got robbed today. But more than that, we, the players, got robbed. By creating automated repair timers and removing the need to actually commit anything to a grid in order to “win”, CCP has removed responsibility for winning from the players, and shifted it to simply cheesing out a win via turtling from the defenders.
Simply put, the Imperium only had to screw up for 3% of the fight time in order for the defenders to win. And even though my team won, I still feel pretty crummy about the fact that terrible game mechanics and server issues caused the win more than the actions of the excellent FCs on both sides of the engagement.
originally posted to reddit by. avree Hoover Inc.