After a ticket the GM suggested posting here too to share my find-concern and perhaps start a discussion.
TLDL Stormbringer in electrical T5 and T6 has room combinations that are mathematically impossible to complete in 20 minutes. Leaving absolutely no player agency to the final outcome of certain loss of the whole setup. Except to not participate. And in a game setting I feel that kind of game design is a bit iffy.
Recently I decided to switch things up in my EVE activities and delved into the abyss content. Some minor testing on live server with frigates, research on strategies on internet wikis and youtube. Decided to settle on running in a cruiser and aim for T4-T6 as I got relevant skills trained for just such a thing.
Tried quite a few ships and fits and decided to stick with Stormbringer as I enjoyed using it the most of all tested.
Did over 100 runs of T4-T6 on a test server with several versions of fits and strategies (pyfa is my No1 game).
A setup can survive any single room I came about, but with continued testing found a bottleneck that threatens the whole setup - overmind rooms in a single run.
Worked on a fit more to overcome that suspected bottleneck and math won.
On T5 and T6 electrical single overmind room can take 7-8.5 minutes to clear with maximum gun heat. When starting to hit the overmind in seconds of entering room and leaving room as soon as it dies (other targets die by proxy from arking). With perfect skills relevant to gun damage, range, tracking, heat.
That means if very next room is overmind again, I have no more heat left, room taking 20+% longer on top of that.
That can leave about 2 minutes for the third room at the very start or end of the run. And certain spawns even beside overmind take more than 2 minutes with no heat.
Even if the overmind is first and last room, the situation can be super hairy too. I had a run like that, gated out with a few seconds remaining without even looting the last biocashe.
And 3 overminds can definitely spawn in a single run, had this in T4 once, but that was survivable.
Assuming that overmind room is about 10% to get on every gate, this means statistically ~1% of runs can spell certain death just by math and player can do absolutely nothing to combat it.
No drugs work on vorton gun, no mutaplasmid for damage mod, no faction version damage mod, no implants benefit in any way. Only skills and ammo affect its damage, and once you have those maxed out - no more options for you. Stormbringer got no drone bay either to play with, no spare high slots for smartbombs or something.
And it’s quite clear that Stormbringer is very much meant to be viable in abyss, rat behaviour, cache placement is done to accommodate the use of vorton projector, as is ship itself.
However the conclusion is plain mathematical certainty of death on certain room chains in a single run.
GM could not confirm that this is a design choice nor that there are any safeguards from this happening.
In comparison my second choice for abyss is Ikitursa, did not do enough testing with it to narrow down on bottlenecks, but that ship has so much more choices to play with to apply damage and clear abyss faster: faction damage mods, mutaplasmids, drugs, implants, up to 3 flights of variety drones, 3 spare high slots for whatever. Heck, you can do 2 heavy drones or gecko with active reps on them if that works for you. Because you can.
Stormbringer got none of those options so it is much simpler to narrow it down and see that it is just a math problem. Perhaps it is the same math problem with other ships too. Perhaps this is even by design? Sure I heard some plan and design fits for loss, but not sure if that is meant to account for player error when clearing or just very unfavourable spawn. Would be nice to know if mathematically certain loss in abyss is by developer design or just player error/choice to not spend too much isks and skills on the setup.
So here it is. And this is why I feel iffy about having no player (me or hostile) agency on my survival in a game design. Russian roulette is not my jam.