21 June 2011

Nerd Rage Incoming

I'm gonna save my whole nerd rage post for tomorrow, but I'd like to do a little foreplay and let you all in on a few things.

First of all, here is my avatar in Captain's Quarters.  Really?

Secondly, here is a fun reply a got to a tweet of mine:
Stevie says: You can buy a useless monocle or two Carriers. What are you gonna choose? knows... The monocle, of course!
K4el says:
K4el deserves props for that extremely witty remark.

Fly safe!


PS- In response to tweet, I was asked what settings that picture was taken.  Max settings all across the board (except AA), even including "Physically Simulated Cloth and Hair."  All of that running on an i5-750 and ATI 5770.

Soundwave on Balance

Those of you who watched the Alliance Tournament this weekend may have heard CCP Soundwave talking about balance.  Do you wanna know what I think about his comments?  Well, I will tell you in a minute, but first I would like to praise Soundwave for being such a great dev.  Most importantly, he ran the Alliance Tournament as a volunteer, a praiseworthy endeavor.  Even better, however, he reached out to various Eve podcasts and conducted interviews.  Both of these things have earned Soundwave a big A+ in my dev grade book.

But then he started talking about balance.  "I don't like balance."  My first impression was: "You crazy Icelander, have you never played Eve?"  But then I started thinking about what he said afterwards, how balance makes a game un-fun.  If we were to talk about "balance" in the way he seems to define it, the game would be very un-fun.  Should an Apocalypse and Megathron be able to orbit each other at 50 clicks, shooting each other with their respective racial guns, and die at the same time?  Of course not!  While that is "balanced," that is certainly not fun.

What Soundwave fails to comprehend is that in a "balanced" game, not everything is equally powerful.  In a balanced game, each weapon/object/ship has a role, and with its role, it can counter certain other roles.  Take Halo 3.  For ultra-close range, you want the shotgun.  No other weapon (barring the sword or a Sniper headshot) can take out an opponent in shot.  Shouldn't the shotgun be the best weapon in the game then?  No, because its strength is countered by its weakness: incredibly short range.  Moving further away from the target, we find the Battle Rifle (which is far superior to the DMR; Reach sucks!), which can take down enemies from far away.  Get too far away, however, and you'll find yourself getting owned by sniper slugs.  Get too close, and you'll go down to an Assault Rifle pretty quickly.  This is balance, which it seems CCP Soundwave does not understand.

For argument's sake, though, suppose he does understand this.  The problem we're having in Eve is that roles are not working correctly.  Ships and weapons are either too weak to carry out their role, don't have a role at all, or are too powerful to be countered.  Command Ships are too weak to carry out their roles.  They provide boosting to gangs, but their ehp is so low that they die far too quickly to even receive reps from Logistics ships.  Dreadnaughts do not have a role.  They used to be good for POS bashes, but now, structures have such high levels of hitpoints that only Supercarriers will do.   Supercarriers are too powerful to be countered.  A well-led and well-equipped fleet should be able to take out a lone Supercarrier or two, but their resists and ehp are so high that only blobs of other supercapitals and touch them.

To fix these things, we need "balance," the kind that Soundwave doesn't seem to like.  What is the solution?  I do not know, and until I do, I will just whine about it.

Fly safe!


19 June 2011

Nerfing the Supercarrier

As we learned during the Alliance Tournament and the accompanying podcast interviews, CCP Soundwave plans to nerf Supercarriers come this winter.   The problem with supercaps, a topic which has been beaten to death already, is that they are too powerful and versatile for their relatively low cost.  “Relatively” in relation to Titans, that is.   While many ordinary players are excited about the nerf, supercap pilots fear that the ships they trained hard for may become useless rust buckets, much like they were in the Mothership days.  Hitting a home run with the nerf bat is going to be difficult, but done correctly, CCP will go a long way towards showing null-sec players that the developers still care about them.  What follows are my proposed changes, many of which were fleshed out in an informative thread on Kugutsumen.

Supercarrier Changes:
  • Change fleet-boosting shield mechanics.  At the moment, shield-tanked Supercarriers jump into a system not at their maximum EHP, whereas armor-tanked ones do.
  • Remove Supercarriers’ ability to field Fighters.  Without Fighters, Supercarriers will not be very effective against subcapital fleets.  To do damage to subcap fleets, Supercarriers will need to roll with subcap support.
  • Reduce the size of the Drone bay.  Supercarriers should be limited to two flights of stealth bombers plus some normal drones.  Their current ability to fit waves upon waves of every type of drone imaginable is just silly.
  • Allow Supercarriers to dock in stations.  A change such as this would be an excellent tweak for Supercarrier pilots.  As things stand now, once you get a Supercarrier, you’re stuck with it unless you want to buy/train a parking alt.  We may want to extend this to Titans as well.

Dreadnaught Changes:
  • Reduce the siege timer to 5 minutes.  As it is now, any Dread fleet sitting around for 10 minutes is just asking to be hot-dropped.
  • Increase the tank of Dreads while in siege mode.  This should be done by raising resists while in siege mode.  Ideally, a Dreadnaught in siege mode should be able to withstand around 3 Doomsdays.

Titan Changes:
  • Reduce Titan tracking.  Currently, Titans can rape Battleships with their guns.  Again, this change would make sure that supercaps moved with subcap support.

Other Changes:
  • Logoff mechanics need to be changed.  If you’re flying around in your super and jump to an un-scouted cyno, you should pay for your mistake with your ship.  In today’s Eve, the pilot can simply log off, and unless the person who caught you has supercaps or a large gang standing by, the stupid pilot will make off unharmed.

I think that implementing all of these changes in tandem will go a long way towards weakening the supercap (primarily Supercarrier) blob.  Increasing these behemoths' reliance on subcap support will discourage the random supercap hotdrop and lower the skillpoint entry barrier for newer pilots, who now don't need a Mom of their own!  Additionally, I would like to suggest that Black Ops battleships get a larger fuel bay and slightly longer jump range.  These ships are not used very often, and a slight boost to their Black Op-ness will encourage gangs to go behind enemy lines, wreaking havoc and engaging in small-scale PvP.  Brilliant!

Fly safe!