Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Futures Bright... I Hope!

I try to give a few days between my blog posts, but how can I stay quiet in the face of those two CCP blogs this week. It was like a Concussion Bomb in the face. Wow!

First off Hilmar's "Whoops, sorry! Cocked that up!" blog in the form of a letter.

TL;DR - Yup, we screwed up lately. Sorry, my fault, putting it right. Incarna (one Minmatar room does not make an expansion, forcing people to use it rather than being optional, removing ship spinning), the NeX store (pricing, choice and not squishing the P2W rumors right away) and neglecting development of the most important bit of Eve (FiS).

One line in that letter towards the end made me smile more than anything else, there may have even been a small "Woot!" - "Factional warfare needs to be fixed". HELL YES!

That was a very honest letter! Cannot have been easy to write.

Obviously the community and the CSM played a big role in getting to this point. We raised our voices and we were heard. The CSM came in for a lot of stick over the last few months, a lot of which I thought was unjustified. I'm sure they are all feeling rather smug now, especially old Mittens.

Then we got the blog about the winter expansion. No mention of Establishments, just a list of features that will cheer up the most bitter of vets suffering with terminal bitter-vet-syndrom. Lets take a look at the "high level" list of features that they hope to bring to us in the next few months....

Hybrid weapons balancing
Lets face it, Hybrid weapons are pretty useless currently. They are OK in certain limit situations, but generally they are fail. We have people fitting lasers and projectile weapons to Gallente and Caldari boats rather than hybrids which receive a ship bonus. This is a good thing and I may finally dust off the "Bloa" and my "Sneagle" that I've had gathering dust in Nisuwa for a couple of years.

Factional warfare

There has been so many threads, posts and Tweets on how to fix this. CCP have a wealth of suggestions. Top on my list:-

Make plexing mean something - If your militia control the system, the Control Bunker acts as a command ship to your militia giving all members a slight boost in that system. The boost shouldn't be massive, not as good as having a proper command ship in fleet, but should give something.
Give the navy rats bounties (only payable to members of the opposing militia). If CONCORD pay capsuleers to destroy pirates, surely the Gallente Militia would pay to have Caldari Navy ships destroyed?
Revise the LP award for PvP kills. Yes, we need to be careful that the reward doesn't lead to people popping alts 23.5/7 to farm LP's, but lets reward PvP in Factional WARFARE and not mission farming in cloaky boats. An alternative to LP's could be ISK. Militia members killing an opposing militia member gets a bounty equal to bronze insurance on the ship they killed. FW is an ISK sink, lets even it out a little bit.
Bring back capital warfare to FW (see Cap Ship Balancing below).
But above all - fix the factional standings hit when assisting a GCC/pirate when in FW. I am a -10.0 pirate AND a member of the Gallente Militia, miltia buddies should not lose faction standings when repping me. Also don't forget the same hit when bubbling in 0.0. Us FW boyz sometimes visit the Wild West don't you know!

Assault ships
Om nom nom nom nom! An extra bonus has been talked about on AS for a while. I'm training Assualt Ships V right now for some extra fun in my Hawk!

Capital ship balancing
Bring back capital warfare to low-sec. For a start, ban fighter-bombers in low-sec the same as it currently is for bombs and a Titans DD. Currently cap warfare in lowsec is station hugging or a small number of bait caps, a batphone and 30 Nyx from a big alliance that is bored sat awaiting a cyno. Small scale cap warfare has been destroyed by super carriers, lets at least rebalance this in low-sec.

Dreadnaughts, not bad for attacking PoS's. They die in a fire to SC's. How about giving them some defence against SC's. Point defense lasers that take out compact citadel torpedo's fired from fighter-bombers or some such. Other caps should be scared of dreadnaughts as their job is laying huge amounts of DPS on things that are big and move slowly! Either that or nerf the construction costs. Dreadnaughts are too expensive given their current use in the game.

New T2 modules
Ooooo what could these be. Drone mods? Cannot think of many mods that don't have T2 variants already. Tractor beams and drone mods are obvious choices. T2 Drone Link Augmenter with a 55km bonus to drone range? Now if only we had some new eWar drones to go with that!

Another thought.... T2 capital mods to follow up from the Incursion LP named capital mods?

Starbase logistics management
Personally I'm not into PoS's so I've not got much to say here. I'm sure there are carebears/people in charge of PoS' rejoicing somewhere.

New EWAR-Drones
This sounds fun! No hints from CCP so the community is guessing. Web and scramming drones? Web drones, yes good idea and make them fast. Dramiels are overpowered (and were to be nerfed right?). Lets have some high-speed webbing drones to slow them down. Scramming drones? These would need to be carefully thought about. If they had a point each then it would be silly. People would drop their own point and free up a mid-slot and a few pilots could have 20 points on a ship in seconds. May be give them a 0.33 warp disruption strength each. I'm not sure how the mechanics work and if this is an option. 4 drones would point a normal ship so if you want to stop the point you need to kill 2 drones out of a normal flight of 5. The other way is to give them a point strength of 1 each and then make it chance based like ECM drones. 20% chance to scramming so once in a while a full flight of 5 drones would drop point for at least one cycle given those odds.

T2 Rigs manufacturing
I'm not an industrialist, but if it makes them cheaper, ideal!

Ship spinning
Yes! This is needed so much. I want to log in and see the ship I'm in and be able to drag/drop ships, right click them for repairing, double click them to open cargo. When Incarna is fully established I will get out of my ship occasionally for a mooch around. However, don't force me to use Incarna, give me a reason to use it.

New font
Personally I didn't have a problem with the old one. But many people obviously did so good job.

More captains quarters
I like the Gallente one, but to be honest once you've had a walk around one, meh. I accept Eve needs Incarna. I know a major issue for many people who don't play Eve is that there wasn't an Avatar (I think this was found in some market research undertaken by CCP... I think). The future vision video that Himlar linked in his blog is what I want to see too. 

Walking in stations, DUST and flying in space all seamlessly interacting. A proper fully immersive sci-fi sim. I might be a PvP orientated faction war/pirate but I WANT INCARNA. Not what we've got now, but the full works. I might rarely us it, but when in the mood (or need more boosters) I will use it.

Time dilation
This looks fairly cool. Our time in 0.0 gave us a taste of 1000 ship fights and the lag that causes. However it's not really an issue for me now as in FW we rarely get fights involving hundreds of players. Then again when CCP fix FW and people like Eelis Kiy who split on us come back to the game after realising Eve is "fixed" and Warhammer Online is for spotty 15 year-olds.....

Time Dilation TL;DR - For those of you who haven't seen the blog and video, time dilation simply physically slows down time in the cluster if it becomes overloaded. A small icon shows how much time is dilated. So if there are 1000 Drakes flinging missiles and drones at each other, time for that cluster will slow down to keep the battle moving and fair. As ships and drones die, and server load decreases, time speeds back up until the server is no longer overloaded and time returns to normal. Say for example your guns cycle every 10 seconds. With time dilated they may be taking 15 seconds to cycle i the heat of battle (the amount of dilation depends on load), but the main thing is that they WILL cycle. And it's not just your guns and mods running slower, it's everyones!

So in Summary...
Yes, these are only words, and plenty of people are mistrusting of CCP now. However, I'm taking the optimistic view....

There plenty of things to look forward to. I'm sure Incarna establishments are there in the background but, quite rightly, CCP are shouting about the FiS bits we all care about. I cannot wait for the next expansion compared with a week ago which was a feeling of "meh" over it. And looking at the discussions on the forums and Twitter, so is everyone else (mostly)!

Now CCP, back up those words with actions and you'll have a rather happy community!

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