Saturday, September 22, 2012


From the nothingness that I delved into this summer resulting in a complete lack of posts, I bring you thoughts on identities in Eve.  Spurred on by the recent tragedy of Vile Rat, I came to think about how who we are in Eve can reflect who we are in the real world and how a sandbox game allows us to pursue goals and ambitions that we might not have the opportunity to pursue in our lives.  What also struck me is the challenges of making a sandbox game like Eve open ended allowing people to accomplish said things and yet continue to be a fulfilling gaming experience.

In a way not unlike VR, I have real world roots in politics which carry over into Eve.  From discussions about which kind of cheese is superior to more important thoughts of country shaping, my RL character reflects the kind of player I am in Eve.  While I certainly don't ONLY play for political intrigue, Eve would not maintain a sense of continual fulfillment if I was unable to pursue my political ambitions.  I've played many games that were enjoyable but none that lasted.  Why?  Because in most games I am forced to play the role of someone I am not, someone who it may be exceedingly difficult to relate with.  In Eve, my character can be who I am, me, myself, shaped by events both within Eve and without.

This presents an interesting challenge to CCP:  How can Eve succeed in the long run from a gameplay perspective (i.e. having tangible goals, entertaining content, etc.) while still making room for the player-driven experience without failing miserably like Star Wars the Old Republic?  I believe there are a number of factors that CCP is missing the mark on as of writing this that, should they be corrected, would not only increase the number of players but enable them to retain the existing player base.

The first is the KIND of players you get.  Eve has a unique player base, from Russian aluminum magnate's  to people who's sole purpose in Eve is to grief others (not unlike this clip from the Big Bang Theory) the player base is wide and varied.  When we boil these personalities down though I believe we get three fundamental, though not unconnected, types of players.

The first is the typical gamer, those that like to play for fun's sake.  They don't like to spend hours and hours playing a game so they can play a game a little better.

Eve makes it difficult for casual gamers to in it's inherent design.  Why would I want to casually play a game I have to spend time making in game currency while waiting a year to fly the ships I want too?  This area of players are getting attention from Dust 514.  From the looks of it, casual gamers will be able to interact with Eve and a sandbox mentality without the time requirements that Eve has.  Log in, play a couple rounds, log off.  Honestly, some of Eve could use a jolt of this as well.

The second kind of player is the Roleplayer.  They enjoy playing games for the story as much as the gameplay.  Games like Mass Effect and Skyrim have achieved success by making roleplaying part of the core game while still have entertaining gameplay.

This is an area sorely lacking in Eve.  While I don't do a lot of RP myself, I remember starting out with Eve articles and stories galore.  Of late there has been very little material and while yes, technically player-driven content could be considered "roleplaying" it's not what RP'rs are looking for.  

The third kind is the hardcore gamer.  Hardcore gamers abound in Eve.  These are the folks that run the alliances, go missioning for hours so they can buy two spare carriers or dreads for an upcoming op, and generally spend more time playing Eve than they do cleaning their house or making food.  Eve becomes more like a hobby than a game.

Once CCP figures out the kind of player base they have and why they have them, they can then move on to creating game design for said players.  I think where CCP is stuck right now is that they don't really have a clear picture of where the players take their identities and plug in.
Lowsec, for example, desperately needs attention.  As it stands, piracy is in a way one of the more casual ways to play Eve.  I can go sit on a gate an smartbomb random people, steal their things, and then dock up and go do laundry while I wait out my 15 minutes of GCC.  Gank the right people and it pays for itself.  But how do hardcore gamers get excited about this?  "I have to wait 15 minutes to gank the next person without taking gate guns right away?  Screw that, I'm joining FW or a group like RvB."  By reworking lowsec to allow people of different play styles to have an engaging experience (have more isk making opportunities, fewer penalties for piracy, etc.) lowsec could become a far more attractive place to live, therein bringing more people and more opportunity for roleplaying.
The same goes for other professions. Mining for instance is getting a lot of attention in this upcoming expansion.  Between new ships, reworking old ones, fixing tech, etc.  it will be far better than just where most of the botting occurs as it is right now.  These changes might bring the needed goals of having people mine and not just bots or people looking to corner a market on fuel.  Maybe if I take up mining I can provide enough ore to build X number of ships which I could help fly into battle against another alliance.
Reworking nullsec could start entertaining the masses that live there, giving an alternative for the mass blobs looking for ganks to have to go to lowsec to find something.

Making meaningful gameplay can only occur by taking into account who you are trying to make it meaningful for.  As such, I believe CCP should take a look into the identities people have brought into the game more than what those identities do.  Yes, null sec blobs happen in lowsec but is that because lowsec is better and people want to start living there or is it because nullsec is even worse and the blobs are bored?

As it is, CCP has made some great progress in that direction in it's emphasis on reworking old areas instead of having shiny new features (something that should still ALWAYS be worked on), but I think the approach that has been used is one of "where are people shouting the loudest" instead of "what are the most badly broken mechanics in the game".  Look for the identities, not just the voices that come from them, and Eve can easily become a dominant MMO(RPG) again.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Underdogs In Eve's Olympic Games

Watching the Olympic Games is always a treat. The glorious opening of grandeur and pomp, tributes and odes to the history of the hosting nation, followed by the parade of nations in which the world’s greatest athletes march in representing their nation. Eve Online has its own version of the Olympics in the form of the Alliance Tournament. While certainly not as important, well known, or as big budgeted as the Olympics, the Alliance tournament is still similar in that the best of the best of PvP alliances are there, or at least try to be there.

The result of many alliance tournament teams.

While of course you have the oddball alliances that manage to sneak in and the various corporations outside of alliances that could do very well but of course are not in alliances, it’s still a who’s who of PvP. Pandemic Legion, Hun Reloaded, Raiden, all alliances steeped in the traditions of PvP, and yet, all outdone by a bunch of guys living in a wormhole. Yet Verge of Collapse was not the only newcomer to do well in the hallowed arena of the Alliance tournament. PERCUSSIVE PIZZA TIME DIPLOMACY also made it to the final 16, much to the surprise of both commentators and players. But why? Is it because of low skill points? No, all of the players had plenty of skill points. Lack of ISK? No, they made it into the initial 64 by buying into it. I believe it was because of the fact that PIZZA is from Faction Warfare.

So many people (especially those from null sec) mock FW as being a “starting place for PvP” or “a place where those that can’t cut it in Null Sec can go”. Such presuppositions were called into question when PIZZA began beating teams that were favored to win by many of the developers and commentators such as Shadow Cartel and Romanian Legion. Yet even with such victories and the triumph of making it to the finals, I doubt that this will inspire any kind of respect for Faction Warfare. When will CCP and the rest of Eve realize that Faction Warfare isn’t just a “fight club for noobs” or in the case of Nuli Secundi, a place to recharge and rebuild? Faction Warfare is an end of itself. It’s a place where PvP is easy to find, whether it’s in the form of plex fighting, scuffling with local pirates, or simply undocking and finding a war target in local, PvP is a way of life. The enormous amounts of ISK that can be garnered, be it plexing or missioning, goes (at least in the actual PvP corps) toward buying ships for more fighting. I don’t pimp fit all my ships or have hundreds of faction ships in my hanger, my ISK goes to replacing ships to go fight more.

Now, all this PvP does not go to waste, FW can produce some great PvP pilots and corps. Because of this, and not unlike the great shock that occurred in the 2008 Olympics when Usain Bolt became the world’s fastest man, the underdog team that was PIZZA fired a shot across the bow of every Eve player and designer that believed that FW is a land of noobs, fail pirates, and alliances that can’t cut it in null sec or “real” PvP. While FW certainly has all of those, I believe there are still many that are upset at all the work has CCP has invested into FW because of these presuppositions. There are those that would cry foul over things like cyno jammers. A tool that would allow FW to have an option to operate free from a null sec superblob, not some kind of constrictive thing with which FW could prohibit null alliances from moving or redeploying to other parts of New Eden.

All this said, I believe that FW is more than just a small, unimportant niche group (as proven by a famous PL titan kill) and that we proven that FW should never be underestimated or thought undeserving of competing at the alliance tournament level. I hope that those same thoughts would be extended to FW on a PvP level having been shown that even a small FW alliance can compete with the most well known PvP alliance in Eve.

Friday, July 13, 2012

FW Roam On EVE Radio.

Radio Rewind courtesy of Eve Radio and FunkyBacon with yours truly leading a fight towards the end.  Give it a listen and hear the glories of FW fights!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

FW Podcast.

Just a quick update.  For those that haven't yet heard, several leaders of the various factions (including yours truely) recently took part in a roundtable discussion on FW.  Guests included Hans Jagerblitzen, Susan Black, AmyMuffMuff, Almity and others.

Monday, July 9, 2012

On Speed And Damage.

Continuing in my effort to shed light on why Gallente fleet doctrine fails so bad (after a slight hiatus), I look at the problem of speed and why I believe Gallente need some nitro added to their fuel tanks and a little extra antimatter in their guns.

Something like this should do the trick...

Gallente are designed to be in your face to the point of sharing eyelids. Why then would I, as a Gallente ship designer, make my ship slow? Granted, Gallente are not as slow as Amarr ships but they are still short on Caldari, let alone Minmatar. Part of this is because of the armor tank vs shield tank argument, but even then, I believe that Gallente battleships should be able to make a minimum of 1000 m/s with full armor tank. But won't this make Gallente all shield tank and become OP? Not really. Few Gallente ships can pull off anything but a small buffer (in comparison with proper shield ships) and they still can't put out enough DPS.

With Alliance tournament X going, some have cited that teams with Vindicators, Kronos', and other various Gallente ships have done well in the prelims. While this may be true and it may be that they will also do well in the 12 man group stages, it's similar to putting a boxer against a cross country runner in an arena. Take those same two outside the arena where the runner can freely run away and the boxer won't have a chance of catching the runner as the runner throws rocks at the boxer.
Without going into details into the various speed and DPS values of each Gallente ship, I would simply propose the following.  Gallente speed and damage modifiers should be considerably increased.  Lets look at speed. Currently, if I armor tank my ship I have a chance of lasting long enough to not die a horribly, unimportant death, but in almost every situation I won't actually catch you.  Gallente should be every bit as fast and faster than Minmatar.  If I armor tank, I should still have enough speed to catch other armor ships and have a chance at catching larger shield ships.  On the same note, if a Gallente pilot did indeed choose to go with a shield buffer and handicap myself with fewer hit points, then he should give enough DPS (even more than now) to absolutely crush an opponent before his target can finish him off.

Gallente should be the ultimate card for close fighting.  Period.  If I am forced to get within 2-10km for the optimal of my preferred weapons, then I should kill you unless you have a HUGE tank.  As an example, let's look at a shield tanked Brutix and Hurricane.  Both have similar stats, the Brutix is pushing out around 150 more DPS without drones and actually has a little more tank.  Why then don't we see a bunch of Brutixes flying around owning everything like some fleet doctrines with Hurricanes?  Speed, damage projection, and capacitor.  The Brutix is a full 200 m/s slower, gives 200 DPS only out to around 7 km as opposed to 20 of the cane, and doesn't have a whole lot of capacitor left for guns after trying to chase something down.  And yet, which one is SUPPOSED to be PURELY a close range brawler?  I think that Gallente should receive enough of a damage bonus to be putting out 200-300 more dps than they currently do. Minimum.  What would this do?  All of a sudden Gallente don't have to actually last very long up close before they can make a difference.  Suddenly a Brutix that get's close to that Hurricane actually has a chance to finish him off before the Hurricane neuts him out.  Megathrons would make it so that even armor tanked, almost NO ship would want to come anywhere near it.  Even the smaller ships (while certainly not receiving an extra 200 DPS) would at least have a chance to give more noticeable damage than their counterparts.

Look at it from a historical perspective:  Gallente are (I think) designed to be like super heavy armored knights.  They are so heavy and slow on foot they need a horse to be fully effective.  It may take a little while, but once/if they get there they WILL kill you.

What Gallente should look like.

  What Gallente are actually like NOW is like a knight with a pony that can't carry them far and instead of a sword, are armed with basic club.

What Gallente look like now.

Compare that to the Ammar as having a crossbow and pavis, the Minmatar being nomadic horse archers, and the Caldari as having hordes of longbowmen and you start to see how Gallente never manage to do anything.

Of course and as always these examples have their limits, but it seems plain enough to me.  More speed, plus more DPS will give the Gallente a fighting chance at being able to field fleets of just Gallente ships like any other race can pull off.

"Therefore good warriors seek effectiveness in battle from the force of momentum, not from individual people.  Therefore they are able to choose people and let the force of momentum do its work."  Sun Tzu

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Drone Problem.

Much has been said of drones, some good, mostly bad, with a dash or two of good ideas.  In my continuing series on the failings of Gallente, I bring to your attention that which is one of the many failings of that has lead to Gallente falling behind other races while still having some impact on other races as well.

But first let us consider if this is a problem by what we see: are drone ships used?  Yes.  Are drone ships ever pure drone fit?  About 1% of the time.  Are drone boats ever used in mass?  No.  I think it is safe to assume from this that pure drones are not a viable form of primary damage and thus need fixing.  Why?  Because in Eve, Gallente have been given drones as a primary damage type and not just for one or two ships  (like Amarr).  The Dominix, Myrmidon, Ishtar, Vexor and a Proteus subsystem all have been given drone damage upgrades and ALL Gallente ships rely on drones to some degree (even the Catalyst destroyer has one) and yet, such ships are rarely used outside of very specific scenarios.  True, drones are supposed to be able to be destroyed, but they should still somehow be considered as a possible fleet doctrine in their own right.

Current Gallente drone fleet doctrine.

Every race basically has two types of weapons: high damage with short range or long range with lesser damage (as the base values, prior to ammo or skills).  The ideal  of these IMO is that of the Minmatar.  Even their close range guns can hit out a ways (especially with Barrage ammo) and the artillery is a great weapon in and of itself without much loss in DPS in comparison with other "long range" systems.  A T1 fit arty Tempest can nearly keep up with the DPS of a T2 fit rail Megathron so why then would I use a mega?
I digress...  back to the matter at hand.  The Gallente (and certain other ships) have a third option in drones.  Unlike other races, there is a lot of effort placed on the importance of said drones from both an RP viewpoint and the gameplay perspective.  Yet you never see a a gang of drones boats killing anything other than a bunch of NPC's.  I believe this is because the game designers have failed to consider drones anything other than in a supportive role and not an option for primary even though numerous ships and a whole race are supposed to rely on them as such.

Let us first what it takes for a drone boat to give good drone damage: a couple of drone damage amplifiers. These take low slots which, also happen to be the primary tank of Gallente and Amarr ships. I must now consider if it's better to give damage bonuses to things which can be destroyed with relative ease or give a bonus to my high damage close range guns. Usually (of course) players will give it to the guns. So why then do Gallente ships have a fairly large number of mid slots on their drone ships? Why it must be so we can use omni-directional tracking links right? *sarcasm*
So I want to upgrade the guns on my ship.  I can do this with modifications or modules.  Modifications, let's say a damage augmenter, will affect any kind of that weapon I put on it, regardless of meta or size.  Additionally, all the module upgradse (save the tracking computer) are fit to the same slot (lows).  This allows shield ships to more damage and tracking upgrade than armor ships.  Why then doesn't CCP use those mids to make drone boats worth bringing and being able to utilize them instead of forcing them to shield tank or have a greater focus on guns. By placing the damage mod in the lows they have only compounded the problem instead of jump starting drones as needs to happen.

Now consider drones.  Only sentry drones can benefit from a damage modification and should I want to use modules, I must use ALL kinds of slots to fully give upgrade.  This makes it difficult to fit a ship for full drones.  My lows are gone due to damage amps, my mids are gone to navigation and tracking enhancers, and my highs are gone for link modules.  Even if I fit a ship that has a tank while still having these things I am disadvantaged by the fact that my drones can still be destroyed quite easily by smartbombs or other drones.

Here then are my ideas for solutions.  First, change drone and smartbomb ranges.  This should be done if no other changes are made.  It seems entirely unbalanced to have a micro smart bomb able reach my heavy drones.  Having to fit just a medium smarbomb on a cruiser to take out ALL the drones on the field is also overpowered. Just like bigger guns, bigger drones should reach farther.  If I had my druthers I would like to see something like this:

Heavy drones: 4000 optimal, 6000 falloff.
Medium drones: 2000 optimal, 4000 falloff.
Light drones: 1000 optimal, 2000 falloff.

Large smartbombs: 6000 (no change)
Medium smartbombs: 3000 (down from 4000
Small smartbombs: 1500 (down from 3000)
Micro smarbombs: 750 (down from 2000)

As you can see, drones would still be vulnerable to the size of smartbomb they are UNLESS I fit some omni-directional tracking links or some range modules.  This would give me a reason to fit them in addition to not making even a MICRO smartbomb able to clear the field of all drones.  This is something that could be put into place right away, without needing new modules or overhauls (like some of my other suggestions).
Alternatively or even in addition to the above changes, I would propose a new module that would make drones invulnerable to smartbombs (or at least decrease it to the point where only a large would make any difference).  That's right, make your targets have to ACTUALLY SHOOT at your DPS just like anything else that could hurt them.  Note that this would only affect combat drones, not fighters or EWAR drones.  But if the ranges are changed then at least larger EWAR drones would stand a chance.

Another idea I have is a little more complex and would require a fair bit of coding.  As drones are AI's and thus could have different *spoiler alert* SCRIPTS, it makes sense as to why we could do the following:  instead of having 4 non-capitol drone upgrade modules, why not condense them down to one.  Make a drone upgrade module that would require a script.  One for each of the different options: damage, speed, range, or control distance.  In order to change the scripts your drones muse be docked.  This module would go in, you guessed it, the MID slot.  This way I can actually use multiple drone modules and still have slots for other things instead of having to use slots from ALL parts of my ships in order to make even small changes to drones.  Gallente would of course have a drone advantage (because of all those mids while armor tanking) while still having the option for other races to use them.

Using all of the above changes let's look at the following scenario:
I have a Dominix.  I decide to armor tank it with an MWD, and 4 drone upgrade modules (since I know other will have points and webs).  I launch my Ogres at a battleship and notice he has a large smartbomb.  Should I want to, I can either let my first wave die OR recall them, change one or two of my damage scripts to range scripts, relaunch them and laugh as the battleship must now shoot them in order to destroy them.

Granted this scenario is a little off when if comes to fleets of ships with at least one smartbomb, even small numbers of drones will eventually get hit (unless I force them to shoot them manually with said module). But at least with the above changes drones in general (and Gallente in particular) will be useful as at LEAST a secondary source of DPS, and maybe with the right fleet comp, a primary source. Once again, Gallente could have an option, as a race and fleet doctrine, to be full of win.

Make it so...

"As an army has no constant formation, water has no contant shape; the ability to change and adapt according to the enemy is called genius." Sun Tzu

Monday, June 25, 2012

Resurgence Weekend.

...and no, not the Mass Effect 3 kind.  Rather this last weekend we saw the return of the endangered species known as the Squid Fleet, and holy smokes batman did they return!

So many ships, so many more redshirts.

Like a horde of zerg rushing out of a hidden nydus worm, we had no idea that so many of them had formed up and were wanting to engage in glorious toe-to-toe battle.

Saturday night started out a little slow, jumping on TS3 revealed a bunker busting fleet, a general corp "kill whatever we find" fleet and a few random holdouts doing their own thing.  Not wanting to burn thousands of rounds of vanilla antimatter at a bunker that was more profitable in their hands anyway, I decided to earn a little isk myself and go carebear some major plexes.  Having orbited the button for 18 minutes and not having seen anything save for a pie rupture which failed to catch me, I was quite settled in to head for the next one.  That when we heard it.  Something not uttered in Gallente comms in over a year (to my knowledge) and something that we were not sure we would never hear again:

"Uhhh guys... There are 48 squids jumping into Akidagi from Ichoriya..."

Now of course Gallente militia has eyes, from neutral hauling alts to alts within the militia itself but we had no idea that all those presumed carebears sitting in Icho were actually planning on fighting! Not since the great "Battle of Tama"  had such a fleet of squids been seen.
Needless to say I started burning back towards Nenn while forming in my mind who was online and what ships we would need to bring while trying to get as much intel as I could on this new threat.  No more had a recovered from the shock of hearing this (after asking around 20 times if they REALLY meant FORTY EIGHT squids) than someone posted in our intel channel:

"Lots of squids in Eha, 17+"

At this point my warning bells were ringing like a 5 o'clock fire alarm.  Having confirmed that the squids now had at least 65+ online and active in combat ships, we began thinking this might be some elaborate trap with which to bait the battle hungry Gallente to bring out something shiny for a hotdrop.  Nonetheless, with this many targets getting together we were willing to lose some ships for a good ole' fashion slugfest.... and that's exactly what we got.

Having called for all hands on deck I was disappointed to learn that the bunker busting fleet was not only behind the squid horde, but they were wanting to finish the bunker.  Really???  You want to take away an isk source while denying yourself a good fight? (as it turns out they would end up retreating through squid high sec to avoid the squid fleet).
So after scrounging up all the pilots I could we stood at 40.  Ammon Dei came in and I gladly let him take the reins in case of the possible hotdrop.  We went after them with an arty pest fleet backed by logistics and recons. After having danced around them a few systems, we engaged.  Primaries were called and all seemed to be going well from the perspective of my Huginn... until our logi started going down.  Regardless of the reasons (several were given) this meant we couldn't stay.  We tried reforming at range but the squids simply had to many.  Nearly 3-1 odds is never good, especially when your logi is gone.  Round 1: Squids.

Clearly we didn't have Loren Gallen with us...

Having been thwarted in our attempt to crush this squids resurgence we went back to Nenn and reformed.  Deciding to take a different approach we decided to go with a long range armor setup thinking they would once again come back in similar ships.  Eventually they did indeed come back out but with a few more shield battleships, ravens of all things, and so once again we undocked and headed for them.
This time our fleet was split and thus had an unfortunate loss of 3 ships at the start of the fight.  But those 3 ships were far outweighed by what we killed.  Round 2: Frogs.

One thing I found strange was that their FC must have been expecting caps due to neuts on Ravens, some with no prop mods and a full neut Rokh.  While we are certainly known to bring caps from time to time, I found it a strange fleet comp to attempt a fight with a full on armor gang at close range.

Never the less I would like to profusely thank the squids for once again filling the skies with ships and bringing not one but two full on brawls.  o7

Inferno 1.1, The Alliance Tournament, and the squids showing some courage.  I say this will indeed be an exciting week.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Damp EWAR Problem.

It seems fitting to have a master of chaos announce the first entry of this blog into the chaotic shouting match that can result from blogging.  From the subtle way of pointing out mistakes politely until you end up showing the target blogger knows nothing (or at least less) about what they think they know, to the more blatant way of shouting "u stuuupid idiet, u dont no any thing u noob." there is always a grudge match to be had.
Realizing this, I will wade into this realm of chaos without the backdrop of the Eve forums.  Sure I go there from time to time to comment on a BIG issue, or see the latest patch notes, or perhaps to voice my support for a CSM candidate, however, by and large I avoid the rage zone that has become prevalent in many well-to-do forums.  Some of my opinions therefore may seem like mirrors of what others have said or may be out of touch with an obscure post made by a dev saying something to the extent of  "The drake may or may not be overpowered and therefore we may or may not be fixing it in the next 200 years."  No, I will do without above mentioned areas unless I have absolute need of them.  Most of my opinions will be based off my own experience and off the experience of those I fly with namely, lowsec Faction Warfare pirates with a mingling of noobs, vets, demi-gods and Zeus himself.  My experiences are not those of null sec blobbers, or highsec carebears and station campers, but those of small to mid sized roaming gangs of pirates without tools like  bombs, bubbles, supers, or endless isk.

Friday Night in Nennamaila

For my first chaotic rant on the problems with Gallente I bring to you the damp EWAR problem (see what I did there? *laughs amused by his own terrible joke*), something which CCP already knows needs fixing as made evident of them removing all EWAR from plexes in Inferno 1.1.
For the most part, the existing EWAR modules are useful in their own right.  Target painters, ECM, tracking disruptors, can all be fit on ships without bonuses and still make a noticeable impact with ECM being the strongest when used on a ship with bonuses.  Sensor damps on the other hand is pointless from the get go except for extreme ranges (150km+) and fast locking ships whose only point would be to slow down enemy lock times (which of course must be accomplished before the enemy can lock you).  One of the big reasons damps are at a disadvantage is that it provides the damp ship no bonuses to itself (unlike TP's or indirectly, TD's) and doesn't make the target ship unable to lock (like ECM), all it does is HINDER a ship.  Gallente need more than a projected hindrance to get close in order to apply DPS (which I will cover in another blog) due to ships having adequate lock ranges on many ships to mostly stifle all but the most dedicated of damp ships.  Lets look at an example.
Lets say a Drake is going to fight a Keres and an armor Brutix.  With all skills at level 5 and with a typical drake fit (no sensor boosters or mods) two damps from the Keres will bring the target range down to 18km for the drake, still WELL outside non-faction or boosted scram and web range and so the Drake will still be able to effectively destroy the Brutix without being damaged.  Now of course this example has limits and TP's and TD's wouldn't have an affect upon the drake either.  That said, my point is that even with a dedicated damp ship using multiple damps it still does not make possible what the Gallente need AND the same reason why knights of old began to decline as firearms made their appearance:  the ability to get close to a target while having an armored defense to apply damage.

Gallente: World of Tanks style.

This problem only becomes compounded in larger battles when a small number of damps ships must split between their enemies only to see little to no affect in similar scenarios.  Why are Falcons, Rooks, and Blackbirds often primaried?  Because they can essentially remove a ship from the battle.

Knowing the problem then, how do we correct this?  I have a couple of thoughts...
The first, using the logic of a 2 year old would be to make the bonuses for damp ships greater.  While this may have some use for said damp ships, it would have no affect on damps as a whole and their effectiveness on non-damp ships (unlike TP's and TD's).
The second option would be to increase the base values of the damps themselves but again, I don't think that this would be a noticeable enough difference to make it worth it while still trying to avoid pre-trinity style.
Here's a thought: what about changing the fundamental principle of the damps (similar to tracking disruptors rumored to become weapon disruptors) to that of computer dampeners.  The idea is that instead of lowering the target range it instead lowers the CPU of a ships OR the number of modules allowed on the ship.
Consider the first.  Let's say it lowers the amount of CPU by 30% with level 5 skills, implants, dedicated ship , etc. (perhaps an unaltered baseline of 10%) the target would then either randomly offline modules or offline them based on the amount of CPU needed.  While this may or may not affect a targets ability to project damage thus allowing a Gallente ship to get close, it could say, offline their MWD or perhaps their tank (allowing rails to become a viable alternative again).  The advantage of this is that there are defenses to this already available (in the CPU upgrade and the newly released rigs).  Some may think this is OP but again, lets consider ECM.  If you jam my ship, sure I can still move and tank, but what good does this do a combat ship?  I am entirely useless until my 20 seconds are up.  How then is this so much different except that with the new damps the target would still be able to use SOME damage (it could be made to not affect high slots) or SOME tank but not all of it.  It would also enter a whole new kind of EWAR in and of itself which CCP has always loved to do, throw a money wrench into an already large pile of both monkeys and wrenches.
Oh I almost forgot, using the second option (number of module slots allowed on a ship) you could force the use of scripts targeting high, medium, or low slots thereby nullifying based on what you need to mitigate (shield tank, armor tank, etc.) while not affecting any/all modules without needing multiple ships or damps.

Before you all go bonkers and say that I've lost it consider this:  These module would only get this to that highest level with GALLENTE ships (which have fewer mid slots than Caldari) so we are not talking about 5-6 modules per dedicated EWAR ship, rendering whole fleets bereft of anything.  This would require large numbers of dedicated EWAR ships meaning (of course) less DPS.
Also consider that you may think I'm insane but since we are all Eve players anyway...

To the Damar Rocarion in all of us.

With that, I believe that I have killed a sufficient number of electrons for one post.  I will further explain some more Gallente problems and my solutions in the coming days.

"Making the armies able to take on opponents without being defeated is a matter of unorthodox and orthodox methods."  Sun Tzu

Friday, June 22, 2012

To Boldly Go...

Until I started getting more and more into Eve I never thought much of blogs, thinking they were little more than glorified tweets with which homicidal maniacs and conspiracy theorists used to convey strange views, I had zero interest in following them.  I started to see their value however, when certain Eve news sites that would occasionally post a rather entertaining perspective on an issue that I did indeed care about.  Then it happened:  one fateful day after quite a bit of ranting in Shalee's game channel Sov Wars about the inferiority of Gallente ships, I was asked to do a guest opinion on the subject.  While it didn't turn out quite so short, it did open my eyes that there are painfully few Gallente blogs tied to Faction Warfare and so I began my effort, my.... quest, to construct this blog.

While I intend to cover a multitude of areas, it will be specifically tied to that of the Gallente-Caldari warzone with an overture of rants regarding the problems with Gallente ships and tactics.  Stay tuned....