Currently, ship skills provide no bonuses of their own. Instead, ship hulls have bonuses based on the pilot’s appropriate skill level. This paradigm allows designers to have a great deal of flexibility in balancing ship hulls because each ship can specialize in different areas.
On the other hand, weapon skills provide damage or RoF bonuses to the weapon modules that require those skills, while weapon modules don’t have any unique bonuses as ship hulls do. While this system is straightforward, it is also limiting.
What I’d like to propose is simple: switch paradigms with weapon modules and skills to function more like ship hulls.
As an example, let’s look at small railguns. Currently, all small railguns receive a +5% bonus to damage from the Small Hybrid Turret skill, plus an additional +2% bonus to damage from the Small Railgun Specialization skill. The 75mm Railgun has good tracking but poor damage and range, the 150mm Railgun has poor tracking and good damage and range, and the 125mm Railgun is a compromise across the board. As a players skills go up, the only thing that changes about these weapons is their damage. Each one does have a certain role, but at their core they’re all very similar.
What if instead, the damage bonus from the Small Hybrid Turret skill went away, and the weapons received the bonuses per level of Small Hybrid Turret:
75mm Railgun: -10% Reload Time per level
125mm Railgun: +5% Resistance to Tracking Disruption per level
150mm Railgun: +10% Optimal Range per level
(These are only examples for the sake of discussion and not an actual proposal, and the base stats of the weapons would also need to be adjusted.)
What you end up with is the possibility of a greater diversity in weapon selection and you open up bonuses like reduced reload time or tracking disruption resistance that you wouldn’t necessarily want to apply to all modules. Are you willing to trade some range and possibly burst DPS for better sustained DPS? Are you concerned about vulnerability to tracking disruption? These would be things to consider if this were to happen.
This could apply only to Tech II weapons/skills in order to keep the current Tech I lineup more orderly, or this could be implemented from the ground up saving the more exotic bonuses for the Tech II variants.
Again, I’m not proposing a specific set of bonuses to weapons, just the shift to weapon-based bonuses in general. The details would obviously have to be sorted.
Turrets are supposed to be undergoing tiercide this summer. No mention of it for August so probably September.
This will simplify attributes across the various weapons. Descriptors like compact, precise, scoped, etc… will give a consistent indication of the benefit you can expect from that variant.
A problem with tying bonuses to the weapons instead of the hulls is that it no longer matters whether you’re fitting a hybrid, projectile or energy weapon - a turret hardpoint will accept any of them. So we get bonused artillery on Amarr hulls, etc…
Might be fun but I expect Eve players would quickly find optimal combinations and people would stop using the other hulls. I doubt CCP wants to go that route.
I think don’t think he mean changing the bonuses from ship hulls, just changing what the “small hybrid turret” and similar skills do: Instead of giving a flat, boring, +5% damage per level to every turret of that category, they could give different bonuses depending on the actual turret.
For example, you could have: L5 small hybrid turrets, then your:
small electron blaster (and all meta equivalent): ignore 20% enemy resists (electrons are small, they punch through things)
small neutron blaster: have 25% longer optimal and falloff (focused neutron beams react less with intervening matter than electrons or ions)
small ion blaster: do 25% more damage (ions are large and pack a punch)
150mm railgun: +10% range, +15% damage (beefier ammo can sustain stronger muzzle velocity?)
So now instead of a smooth transition from [low damage/low range/good tracking] to [high damage/high range/bad tracking] with each of them just getting higher damage with skills, each weapon develops a specialty as you get better at using them. The base stats of the weapons could stay the same, or change to further emphasize this potential.
Ships would continue to give bonuses to a specific racial set of weapons as normal, and now you could decide to go for the +tracking hybrid turret on your +hybrid turret tracking ship to maximize your hitting small/fast things, or go for range/range for the longest distance sniping or mix it up to get a “pretty good at everything” ship.
Along with the tiericide of turrets, I think this would make for a much more diverse armoury than just: “Ok, which set of weapons can my PG sustain a whole rack of?” as it is currently. It is kind of boring to have the tracking loss be pretty much compensated by the range gain. You always end up fitting the largest weapon since it has the best damage (assuming range/piloting can compensate for loss of tracking, which it often can, along with decreasing incoming dps by range tanking better).
There’s a problem with this that I don’t think you’ve considered and that’s how these bonuses stack. There’s a reason the bonuses applied by skills are largely tiny outside of the ship hull bonuses and that’s because these bonuses stack explosively with all other bonuses. That’s why the 2% per level for Advanced gun skills ends up being pretty significant.
When you factor that in it doesn’t make a lot of sense to differentiate modules this way because the results between low and high skills end up being quite swingy and on top of that the modules are already significantly differentiated by base stats.
Presumably, the upcoming tiericide will make it such that each turret type is useful for something, like with the other modules which are each valuable for their own reason (usually, fitting, cap use and range or something, at least for EWAR modules).
The skill bonus could then further emphasize that, or diversify it.
First off, diversity. We don’t need twelve different types of turret below T2. Most of them will go completely unused, people will figure out which one is the best, and the rest will become reprocessing fodder. That’s not particularly good, fun, or enjoyable as a state of affairs.
Second, skill bonuses on turrets as emphasis is just power creep and we don’t need that. Either it’s a flat and pretty significant buff to the base stats of the turrets, or the base stats then have to be lowered with the skills at 5 being the old max value. In either case that’s not a good or needed thing.
In the current state, there is one optimal turret: “The largest one you can fit a full rack of”, the vast majority of the time.
You don’t need diversity to have a clear winner. With some variety, it is more likely that there will be turrets that pull ahead of the “best overall”. I don’t believe there should be an “optimal turret”, there should be an “optimal turret for a given ship and expected use”
The idea is also not to have power creep. Just replacing the fact that every weapon gets a 5% bonus to damage per skill level with some other, more diverse bonus. If it a nerf that they lose up to 25% damage? Not if they gain something equally valuable that allow them better application and to deliver the same amount of damage. The current situation is boring, the bigger turret is pretty much always better. There is potential for that to be different.
You don’t need a bunch more varieties either though, and the more varieties you have the higher the chance that a majority of them will go unused.
For example if you have five different turrets with different levels of trade-off between tracking and damage then people will figure out which one of those is best in the majority of cases and that’s the one that will get almost all of the use.
The same thing applies with various other trade-offs with different stats.
The current number of turrets is roughly fine, what we need is for the different turrets to have their tradeoffs reworked where there are downsides as well as up sides instead of the current system where it’s basically one or two buffed stats over T1, which makes the damage the best option because that’s what’s most important.
There are a few problems with this though. First off, it’s needless complexity.
Second, as I said, these sorts of bonuses stack explosively, which makes balancing them especially now that you have different magnitudes, finicky. That’s without getting into the fact that you’ve now got a ton of different combinations to deal with as well, where as before the bonuses were clear cut.
Also if you’re using that to replace base stat differences on the turrets then you’ve just nerfed everything for everyone who doesn’t have the skills at 5. If it’s not a nerf for everyone but maxed skills in that case then it’s a buff and that is power creep.
Oh and that’s without getting into the fact that I’m pretty sure Eve doesn’t actually support per-skill-level bonuses on a per-module basis. There’s a reason you only ever see those being applied ship-wide. Your modules have base stats and then your ship has modifiers. Your modules probably don’t know how to have a modifier, which would make this a very complicated feature to implement for questionable gain.
Basically this is a bunch of needless complexity that could be accomplished much more easily and with fewer problems by just rebalancing the existing modules inside the already existing framework of module stats. We don’t need the added balance complexity of per-skill-level bonuses on each turret for there to be interesting choices between turret and module options and there’s zero reason that I can think of why this would be a better system than the current one.
I’m not sure what we are disagreeing about. We both agree that there’s already enough turrets, if not too many.
There is already a per skill level bonus to weapons, it’s +5% damage per skill level for every weapon. That could change and be based on the module as well as the skill, instead of just the skill (the same way amarr cruiser doesn’t give X bonus when flying every amarr cruiser, but a different bonus for each different amarr cruiser).
It’s not a nerf for anyone, because regardless of your skill level, you lose 5% damage per skill level and gain something else equally useful (at least that’s the idea, I agree that it’s more complex to find equivalent bonuses than to give everything the same bonus). If it was managed for ships, I think it could be manageable for weapons as well, though.
Currently, the lower fitting requirements are only useful if you can’t fit the other weapons. With dedicated bonuses, you could get a turret that’s better for taking out smaller targets (better tracking) for running HS exploration sites, one that’s better when encountering a variety of targets (running missions with a ship of the appropriate size) and one for range, or taking on ships of equivalent size (fleet pvp?) or something else.
There’s 3 different kinds of weapons of a given type and size (ex.: dual 150mm, 200mm and 250mm railguns), so you only need 3 different bonuses and then you have an opportunity of making them different, instead of just “what’s the biggest I can fit?”.
I think that putting per-level bonuses on the modules themselves is unneeded complexity and poor design, I also think it’s probably not supported by CCP’s current code base and would require potentially significant reworking to be supported based on what I know from CCP about how bonuses work and are applied.
Yes, but it’s applied evenly across all weapons.
Taking this away creates two balance problems. First off, you’ve just taken that bonus away, so there needs to be something to replace it, because 25% to damage is pretty significant for any turret to lose. That either means it gets put on as base damage (partially, fully, whatever) or it doesn’t. In either case that’s some potentially significant swing between modules that you’re talking about there, because now a module not only loses whatever percent per level another option has but gains something else.
If you keep the same sort of magnitude then that’s a very significant swing, since 25% less base damage isn’t going to be equaled by basically anything else you can put on a gun as a bonus except maybe a ridiculous bonus to cap use or something equally stupidly OP.
This is why most of the differences between guns right now are fairly small percentage wise, less than 25% in every case I’ve found with most at or below 15%.
See above for why losing 25% damage isn’t going to go well. It’s such a valuable bonus that you would need to either cripple the turret you put it on or make the other options stupidly powerful for this to be remotely balanced. The other option is to basically bake the bonus into the guns to some extent, say 20%, and then put smaller bonuses on the guns, but that runs into its own problems. For example baking in a 20% bonus to damage and then applying 1% per level on top of that is an overall 1% damage buff over current damage numbers.
If you then bake in the damage at least most of the way that’s still probably power creep, since you’re giving significant bonuses based on skills to all these different guns.
Yes, but you could do that with just the base stats on the gun without getting the swing-y nature of skill based bonuses into the mix where the gun has to be balanced at both Level 5 and Level 1 (or at least 3).
Plus you don’t run into the restrictive nature of bonuses where you only really want one or two things on the same object, where as it might be beneficial to have one gun with better fittings to both CPU and Powergrid, or one with slightly better fittings but also slightly better tracking for example.
Plus raw values are far more granular than bonuses. A 1.63% per level bonus is messy, but just adding 2.6 radians of tracking isn’t.
Ah, see, when you said bonuses by weapon I thought you meant like Meta level, which makes far more sense because the base stats on those three are completely different, so giving them bonuses would require completely reworking all three to even have a meaningful point of comparison to work from.
Again, easier and simpler to just work from base stats and give each turret size its own thing. Maybe the mediums are balanced, maybe the smalls have way better base tracking.
Also because I didn’t see a good spot for it in here, let me talk a bit about the CCP bonus stack and why this gets really messy.
So, when CCP calculates bonuses they basically grab data from several different places to make it happen. They get skills, drugs, and implants from the character data object, they then apply those to the base stats on the ship and modules, and they get the bonuses from the ship along with any environmental or boost effects since those live on the ship. The modules don’t have a slot for any kind of skill based variable bonus, only the ship does, and it’s my understanding that the way those bonuses are setup they’re global. That’s why you only see them on ships, because a ship is a singleton object of which there shall only be one. So under this system if you put a module with one of these bonuses on a ship it would try to apply it to the whole ship… woops. So you’d need to teach the modules to have individual bonuses and to only apply them to themselves instead of just getting global modifiers from the skills and the ship, in addition to teaching them to even have a bonus in the first place and how to get the skills to apply to it.
The potential complexity of this varies between not hard but not trivial to “oh gods we’ve angered the legacy code, there’s blood everywhere”.
So, to summarize and reiterate, there’s no reason to do what you’re trying to do with skill based bonuses. It can be done much more easily by just changing the base stats of the modules in question.