The balance changes are in a good direction, but are insufficient


Problems with Eve balance identified. CCP’s solutions in this patch are evaluated. Further balance proposals explained.



Here are two kinds of pvp that should be distinguished. The first is timer-based PvP, and the second is spontaneous PvP. The first frequently occurs over structures, over sov mechanics; while the second occurs over ships tackling ships. In the context of sov null, the first PvP amounts to how safe your structures and sov infrastructure is, while the second amounts to how safe your farming ships (particularly capitals) are.

Fozziesov aimed to make space for small guys, and empower small pvp. But it focused too much on timer-based PvP. It was the spontaneous PvP that decided the meta, by guiding decisions on who joins which alliance. Today a small group can go and carve its space somewhere. You can actually tank timer-based attacks to your assets by diplo, by batphones, by irrelevance-tanking (nobody attacks you because why would they?), by attrition, by mercenaries, and so on. But what good is it to have sov and structures if you can’t protect a tackled super or a Rorqual? This makes carving your sov a non-sensical choice compared to merely joining a mega alliance. Following this logic, the largest groups grew even further after Fozzie sov, despite the fact that there is vast amount of space to take.

Problems of Eve

Here are two mothers of all problems in current Eve, which most of us know.

- P1) Capital Proliferation: SP pumped into the game, and wealth accumulated exponentially, cause most people to acquire a capital ship. Great capabilities of capital ships were once justified with their price, but there is no more such justification, as it takes 2 hours for some to farm a full fit carrier, and 40 hours for a titan.

- P2) Vertical Farming: Umbrella mechanics make it by far the best doctrine to defend one’s space. Anom respawns allow lots of people to farm in a single region. Thus people combine these, stack their entire coalition under a single umbrella, and farm. The catch is that vertical farming depends on having the largest umbrella or being blue to it. Thus only a single nullbloc (Goons/TEST) is allowed to vertically farm, at the average risk levels of 3% for their miners and farmers.

P1 combined with P2 cause largest coalitions to unopposedly grow both in wealth and member count. Nobody dares to even fight them. They don’t split or create wars because they are found in asset acquisition interests. This reduces the amount of timer-based PvP.

Meanwhile, small fleet pvpers leave the game under the excruciating force of capitals dropped on them every time. Niche playstyles such as solo blops disappear because every target battleship has a carrier behind. Previous content beacons for these PvPers, such as Provi, BOT, SOLAR, FCON, etc are all dissolved as their playstyle was invalidated by vertical farming. Members of these alliances mostly joined Imperium and TEST. Imagine hundreds of miners and anomaly farmers, previously losing 15-20% of their farm to PvPers, are now losing a mere 3% of it (source). There is nowhere much left to go in null for spontaneous of PvP. From NPSI fleets to roamers from lowsec to null, from solo blopsers to wormhole ragerollers, every small PvP entity have experienced a deprivation of content, which in return diminished their interest in the game and willingness to log in.

On the other hand, CCP preferred the farmer side because pushing people to Rorqual multiboxing and super ratting provided a huge income boost before the sale to PA through the sales of PLEX and skill extractors. But this was a finite buff with an expiration day. Once all asset-collectors of Eve have all the assets they need, they won’t spend more to PLEX or injectors. They won’t even login much. And we have began to experience this expiration by the end of this year (check MER declines in heavy farmed regions, and it will decline further).

To fix P1, CCP needs to reduce the capabilities or increase the cost/accessibility of capitals.

To fix P2, CCP needs to bridge the gap between vertically farmed space (by nerfing) and other space (by buffing).

What CCP is doing with this balance pass (from most positive to most negative):

How I imagine CCP/CSM is that they are aware that there are -some- problems pertaining to Rorquals, capitals and so on. But they can’t grasp particular strength of P2 exactly (CCP due to them not being immersed at all into vertical farming and its effects, CSM due to them being too immersed into vertical farming). So while some changes are helpful, some of them feed into P2.

  • Anomaly changes: These are in a good direction to solve P2. Time will tell if they are sufficient (let’s see if capital umbrellas break into 2-3). Ideally I’d want a more systematic change that takes slightly higher effort.

  • Fax changes: This is a well-thought change. If one can suicide a certain amount of dreads to take out a greater value of titans then this has timer-based PvP implications. Also, this could potentially bring back big dreadbombs to umbrella space, which addresses P2 in one way.

  • Fighter changes: Good change that directly addresses P1.

  • HAW change: Less relevant but still in the good direction.

  • Insurance changes: This is good or bad depending on how costlier this will make dreadbombs, compared to supers and titans.

  • Excavator volume change: This essentially increases the punishment of losing the non-umbrella Rorquals (as these are the ones that die), while decreasing the number of drones lost by umbrella Rorquals (by moderately nerfing booshing). It takes some money from rich boohers to killers of Rorquals (which is good), but it feeds into P2, creating additional reasons for non-umbrella Rorquals to move into umbrella space.

  • NSA change: This change significantly feeds into P2 as well. PvP supers in umbrella regions will still use NSAs because they are pretty much not worried about getting tackled. Thus another advantage gap between the umbrella and non-umbrella space. If the umbrella problem is solved in other ways (e.g. inhib revamp, anom revamp), perhaps this change could have been good in itself.

  • Rorqual tank/PANIC/yield changes These changes result from a misdirected anger emerging from P1 and P2 but projected to Rorqual stats themselves. They feed into P2 as well. Almost nobody attacks umbrella Rorquals for these tank/PANIC change to be relevant, becauase there is no way to circumvent the umbrella. As a result of these changes, more non-umbrella Rorquals will die, will be frustrated, and will move into umbrella space. Nerfing yield further doesn’t change much either. We don’t want people to be discouraged from using Rorquals. We want the Rorquals to contribute to overall content in the game, by dying more often, thus becoming reasons to play for a greater amount of people hunting them.

Bad things that’ll keep happening after the change:

  • Titans and supers will still be gatecamping ships in umbrella space. Umbrella ratters will give up NSA, but not the people who are using supers to kill subcaps. They will still instalock and oppress subcaps. They will boson booshers at gates. P1 goes on.

  • Umbrellas will still dominate the meta with there being only highly inaccessible counters to them (e.g. industrial afk camping, how we can only kill supers under Delve umbrella). P2 will go on.

  • There will still be a huge gap of advantage between umbrella and non-umbrella space.

  • Rorqual multiboxers will still make a lot of money, while single users’ yield will reduce. A reduction from 1.5b/hr to 1b/hr for a multiboxer is not that huge a deal as a reduction from 150m/hr to 100m/hr for a solo Rorqual.

What more should change?

  • Cyno inhib revamp: This is the single most important element that’s missing to fight P2. Mobile inhibs should have far greater range to prevent defenders from cynoing into intervention range (not in doomsday range, not in fighter burning range, not in long range weapon range - the inhib should force all responders to warp in, not jump and attack right away, period). And there needs to be active modules to shut down singular cynoes (on blops, as I proposed - not on marauders, because that doesn’t do much for P2, as marauders can’t roam that space).

  • Further anom balance: There are 40 regions in null. 1 region can still technically support the needs of 1/3 of all sov null population (the actual numbers are 1/5). The actual numbers should be pulled to 1/15 at least.

  • Fighters: Fighters should be brought back to the alpha/damage/application/speed of the drones before them. Manually controlled fighters with abilities etc are all good. But nobody asked for other buffs. Here is a comparison sheet. Previously, carriers had to choose between 6800 speed/470 DPS OR 2400 speed/1500 DPS. But now they have 6000 speed (avg, more with MWD) with 3200 DPS. And Ogres couldn’t track as well as new light fighters. This alone shows how insane the buff was during fighter changes. But everyone was hyped about the control mechanics etc. and nobody was talking about actual stats. This insane stat buff is one big issue feeding into P1. This is why people are able to use supers as gatecamping ships.

  • Attacker mobility: One main issue is how defenders can use supers/titans for spontaneous combat in umbrella space, but attackers can’t. Attackers need to deploy citadels before using capitals, which means all-out timer-based war rather than spontaneous combat that changes entire mechanics. To address this, spontaneous attacker capitals should be given more mobility options. Giving a null static to C6s is one approach for this. Or ideally C7 wormholes that can support multiple dreads in and out null (these dont necessarily have to have ISK farm inside them). Maybe more NPC stations in different regions (we are thankful to them in Delve), or even NPC citadels.

  • Bosons: In itself boson damage/application might be in a good place. But combined with P2 it makes too OP a defense mechanism, effectively blocking lots of fleet comps from taking the gates in the umbrella space. It’s always fun to watch an entire fleet die to boson at a gate, but it’s not as fun when people do it time and again and again under extreme safety provided by 600 titans behind them ready to be pinged. Lots of people have titans now, so this problem will only get worse. Thus, I strongly believe bosoning 50km radius of a gate should be disallowed.

  • Asset safety: I have a detailed proposal on how to use asset safety as a content catalyst. I didn’t propose it yet, but it involves a mobile structure (with only one layer of defense and no timer, but with a DPS cap of 30 minutes) that needs to be defended 7/24, that if this structure is still active when the citadel ongrid is dying, the 15% asset safety income goes to the owner of the mobile structure. This proposal is inspired a little by wormhole mechanics, which I think are working well. To kill a citadel in a wh you often need to control a grid (entrances in this case) 24/7. Also notice that my proposal is not as drastic as “remove all asset safety”. It does not take more money from people whose citadels is destroyed. It just redirects the 15% asset safety tax from going to NPCs, to the attacker, given that the attacker controls the grid for a week. If this causes mega empire citadels to be too lucrative to pass (so everyone unites to attack them), or if it causes mega empires to attack other citadels for money, either case it’s good content. It also helps removing the citadel spam.

If you read this wall of text, thanks for your time.


<–This, I wish this is brought to CCP’s attention.

you bring up some excellent points, good read.


Ideas look good, though most of them are really beyond my expertise to evaluate.

You linked an ‘adaptive anomaly’ idea that seemed interesting, although again probably went into more detail than I have the experience to fully grasp. However, another poster recently put it more simply (sorry I forgot the name), that anomalies should be a depleting resource.

Or, another way to look at it, we have events and anomalies in high sec, that, each time they are completed, they randomly reappear somewhere else in the region. If null anoms had something like this, perhaps mixed with regional depletion (rather than just based on the ‘individual’ anom completing, but the ‘overall’ anom resource depleting in a region as various farmers whittle away at it) this would make AFK farming and super-safe farming a little less easy, as well as forcing some movement between anom runs, and creating competition for anoms before they deplete.

A somewhat similar concept could be applied to Rorqs perhaps, except with the kind of depleting curve that the Reps graphs has. (I know Rorqs are in some ways more a symptom than the source problem here) If the more Rorqs/miners/boosts in an area led to a diminishing returns for all miners/boosts in that region, then there would be pressure to break the farms up and spread them out. And again, there would be some additional tension with ‘this is our field, go somewhere else’.

Apologies if these notions are too simplistic for Null, I’m only a distant observer of what goes on in Null space so can’t really be more specific.

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In addition to these things, they should also be significantly cheaper.

Something that could work is, if a resource is overfarmed it produces less of that resource each respawn, so when it becomes too low you have to move elsewhere and let that natural environment recover a bit before going back to farm it.

Would be an interesting mechanic for a few reason’s let’s say you want to stay optimal, you could stop at 10% of the resource’s left so that it grows back perfectly next re-spawn.

Then you have to deal with greedy and undisciplined people in your group that might feel they are going to sneak at night and hoover it up themselves.

On top of that there could be another layer where your enemies do a mining op to clear out that 10% of your resource’s forcing you to form up and stop them which could provide some content, if you leave your enemies to do this for too long they can make your entire location extremely impoverished, I feel this might be another way to provoke more combat in eve online.

(This would tide well with prospect’s as they are great at ninja mining.)

There could be some counter play as well by leaving 15% instead of 10% giving you some time to form up.

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You mean like the behavior of normal asteroid belts, which already have a diminishing returns mechanic as wlel as growing larger over time built into their replenishing mechanic?

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Sorry I’m not a miner I had no idea haha :smiley: thats epic, so your saying we have always had this option to stop goons from making tons of isk but we haven’t used it xD?

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We have. Normal asteroid belts replenish every downtime. Mine normal asteroid belts repeatedly and they don’t return to their full yield after downtime. Leave them alone for a while and they grow back to their full potential.


Epic, does this extend to moon mining as well.

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No. Moon mining is similar to anomaly farming: Always the same yield (+/- a few percent due to rock quality level variation (+0/10/15/100% rock types)) for the same extraction duration, just like ore anomalies have the same yield every time they respawn.

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What if the astroid mechanic’s extended system wide and effected both moon mining and anom’s as well, could be interesting, but I guess players would need some type of system info to know when to slow down, or when their enemies are vulnerable to such tactics.

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Shouldn’t be too hard to program for competent programmers. Get rid of ore anomalies, move their yield into normal belts and tinker a bit with the replenishing mechanics. Done. You probably have to rebuilt that mechanic from scratch because it is hidden in the spaghetti code that CCP is too afraid to touch, but it would be something worth pursuing to force people to move around for mining as well. Plus, the normal asteroid belts can be huge. Some stretch over hundreds of kilometers. You could expand on that so that there are rock clusters on grid but outside of drone activation range from other clusters so that 1 Rorqual with Exhumer swarm cannot help another Rorqual with Exhumer swarm.

There are lots of ways to improve mechanics that break apart due to massive parallization with alts by employing existing mechanics instead of coming up with new weird magic tricks.


Drying out resources is discussed as a solution for years, but CCP never considered or talked about. I‘m curious why … because legacy code? … or because goons don‘t like it?

You can find whatever reason to do things or don‘t do them, but most changes and nerfs made by CCP are not touching or even foster the “umbrella-space” and economy of scale.


Funny how the OP never mentions the massive botting rental empires that have funded Panfam for over a decade. Guess it is not a problem if you profit from it yourself.

Well, as said. Legacy code already knows diminishing resource. High sec has to deal with that all the time.

Funny how most killed bots in the 2 installments of Yulai Colosseum so far came from CFC. Guess it’s not a problem if you profit from it yourself, eh? Eat a cookie.

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Just, Wow! You really gave them the slapdown, and in so much detail. Normally, I get irritated and just write a short insulting blurb, because I can’t for the life of me have the patience to do it like you did. You raised pretty much every relevant point.

Respect. Thanks for taking the time to do this. You forgot to hand CCP a tissue, though. They might need a few.


I have nothing to do with panfam. Not everyone who speaks against your interests have to be one bloc.

I never defended rental empires. But those rental empires were at least good places for random groups to go look for kills. Now all botters went to Delve, where people can’t even touch them due to the extreme defensive conditions.

But hey we are slowly turning that around, killing 5 botting supers in Delve last month. We even forced TNT to kick a corp of 13 botting supers, after 1 year of farming and taxes, because the guy was about to feed more supers to us.


Good for you. Did you also sever all contact with your input broadcasting friends?

Great write up, both here and reddit.

Should send a transcript to CCP.

Can I Ask, where did you get this information from?