Monday, May 19, 2014

CSM9: 2 Weeks Down

2 weeks of CSM9 have come and gone, and things are off to quite a start. NDAs are in, meetings are happening, and your Comrades of Stellar Management are getting right down to work.

Having 2 lowsec reps on the council has worked out excellent so far, and we've had some lively discussions with our nullsec counterparts. Of course I can't get into specifics, but suffice to say that the mechanics are different enough between the two areas of space that someone from one doesn't always fully appreciate how something will affect the other. 2 weeks in and having lowsec representation has already made a difference, and Sugar Kyle and I have made a good team so far representing lowsec interests.

Now on to some specifics for Kronos. To my knowledge, both Sugar, and Mynnna have posted up their own parts of this stuff as well:

New Mining Frigate:
The prospect is going to be a Tech 2 version of the Venture. It'll be able to carry a cov ops cloak, can be Blops bridged, and will have twice the ore hold of the venture, but no built in stabs. It looks like it will end up being the quintessential ninja miner. It'll be extremely easy to move these things around lowsec, and with blops bridging, it may even be a viable option for ninja mining in nullsec. The yield and capacity aren't close to what you can get with a barge, but you get what you pay for. With CCP expanding on mining ships lately, I can't wait to see what might be next.

CSM8 likely had the lion's share of the feedback on this ship. My own involvement has been nil.

New Mordus Legion ships:
Overall this is looking to be a huge boost for lowsec. the lions share of BPCs for these ships should be dropping from special NPCs in lowsec belts. Lowsec belts have been virtually dead lately, especially in FW space where people looking for pew pew generally hit the FW complexes instead of trawling belts. Now folks will likely be doing both, especially early on. I expect this will lead to more content and more fights.

Overall, I'm really happy with the stats on the cruiser and battleship. Like many others, I have expressed concern over the 28k lock range of the frigate, as I think it severely limits it's use as a light missile platform. CCP's public response to this is that they feel that the additional lock range would make the ship too "oppressive". We'll have to see how testing and real world application works with these ships. If the lock range ends up being a broken leg, we can renew calls for it to be extended and see if CCP can be won over on this. Tweaking a number like the lock range on a ship is fairly easy to do, so this isn't much of a concern just yet if it ends up being to short.

Wormhole K-K Connections:
A much increased chance to fine wormholes in lowsec linked to other lowsec systems as well as null is disliked by almost no one. Given the random nature of it, I don't see everyone in lowsec running out to buy probing alts, but this could prove for a fun distraction now and then to crash a party in some random section of space far from your own. It won't draw the crowds that the Mordus ships will, but some people will use it, and I can see no real downside. Ship it.

In Space Popups:
There's been a lot of mixed reaction on this. The change hit just as CSM9 was taking office. Unlike previous UI changes, like radial menus that don't have to be used, this change affected anyone who actually flies in space. I personally find it about as annoying as when CCP moved the damn undock button, but I've gotten used to it's new home now.

I don't really see how it's "better" than what we had before... maybe a little more boxed in with opaque backgrounds? Kind of reminds me of how my wife likes to move furniture around sometimes to freshen the place up, and then I'm getting a glass of water at 2am and smack my toe on something that wasn't where it was the day before. Annoying, but if it helps the noobs, maybe I'll get used to it. At least I can find the undock button again.

Oh boy, this one set off a bit of a firestorm. I like them for the DSTs. I don't mind them for CBCs, and backed up Sugar Kyle on her 75 km suggestion because I think a shorter jump range would be more useful for them and give more viability to medium rail, beam, and artillery platforms. 100k pretty much puts you right outside the optimal of every medium gun, and asking people in small ships to bullrish a line of medium long range weapons is not going to end well, and that makes a 100k jump little more than an escape mechanism. This may be one of those cases where lowsec does not see eye to eye with nullsec.

For sniping ABCs... ugh. that's all I have to say on that. Not a fan.

FW Changes:
I've gone into these at some detail already. The only thing I will add to this is that these were the first thing I jumped on once I got my NDA sorted, and Fozzie was extremely quick to sit down and talk about what these changes were, as well as the intents and expected results. That discussion is not something I can get too specific on, but I can say that I am satisfied at this point that the changes have merit, and I'm looking forward to see how they work in practice. If they don't work as intended or there are unintended consequences, we can re-open discussions on how to fix.

Deep Space Transports and Blockade Runners:
I'm very happy with Blockade Runner changes. The ship class didn't need much help and didn't get much. A couple of nice tweaks between potential cargo and the 2nd high slot.

DSTs I'm mixed on. I still don't see much use for them in lowsec, but their implication in highsec are definitely improves and people should now have a solid reason to fly them over T1 haluers. With their horrid align times, running into any sort of organized fleet will still mean certain death for them, and there are enough roaming fleets especially in FW low that it's not a question of if, but when you will run into one and lose your ship.

Freighters and Jump Freighters:
This is a hot topic this week and I originally had a lot to say about this, but given renewed discussions, it's best I hold off on talking about these for a few days.

Industry Changes:
I'm quite pleased to see CCP take an extra 6 weeks to test and release the new industrial changes. there is some writing on the wall here, and I can see why it's important for them to get this stuff right on the first try.

If you look at the way the flow of goods works for much of lowsec, and I would assume a good chunk of null, it looks something like this:

Materials gained primarily in highsec ----> Goods produced in highsec ----> Shipped to highsec major market hub ----> Purchased and shipped to low/null for either resale or personal use

That's a very simplified flow of course, but looking in those general terms, we seem to be headed in the direction to promote buying and producing locally, rather than importing almost everything we use. With more valuable ore deposits in lowsec, and better refinery yields (slightly in low, and more pronounced in null) along with an anticipated spike in jump fuel consumption and costs, it would seem that importing goods from highsec may become slightly discouraged.

If you think about this in real world terms, why would someone buy an import at a store when a comparable locally produced good is also available for purchase? Most of the time, it would be because that import is cheaper, mass produced  by people and machines working for next to nothing. Now, in the real world, quality may come into play, with local stuff being fresher, or better quality than mass produced crap, but in Eve one Warp Core Stabilizer is just as good as another.

What you do have though, is that if the imported good becomes less attractive to buy because it is more expensive, especially after having to ship it in, then you would likely just buy local goods. More people in your local area, seeing the chance to actually turn a profit and be able to compete with cheap imports, may also open up shop, increasing your local selection.

So in Eve, if the cost of shipping goods is increased, and the means to produce things locally in harder to reach areas like low and nullsec are made more viable and able to compete with the far less risky industrial capacity of highsec, we might see more industry in places like lowsec where it is riskier. Money that would otherwise be lost on refining, building and shipping from highsec could be rolled directly into profit, or even used to slightly undercut imported goods if competition became a little stiff.

Anyway, I think this is part of what CCP is trying to accomplish if you read the blogs and proposed changes, and start to put them together to form the bigger picture. With that in mind, it's pretty obvious that this needs to be done right the first time.


  1. 2of3 FW changes are crap and won't change anything on the current farming problem. The other change is very welcome however. One step forward and two steps back. CCP tries actively to avoid the root problem with plexing for unknown reasons which i find fairly confusing.

    1. I would encourage you to actually look at the numbers. A stabbed frigate will have a very hard time with a small after these changes, and will find mediums and larges pretty much impossible.

    2. so they just take the next best thing and stab it. Or just warp out without stabbing anything. since you can't catch them anyway if they are aligned in a plex. Thats not the right way how to fix it. CCP doesn't get it. And yes i tried it on SISI the day it was deployed.

    3. I think the goal is to combat afk plexing. It may work, it may not. If it doesn't, you'll see me get a bit louder about it. The thing is, I don't think we have anything more than theories at this point as to how this will play out.

    4. its not as much theory as you might think. We have a history of CCP of patching symptoms in FW instead of fixing the cause. The cause is that running away is more efficient than fighting. Add a penalty to running or hiding (e.g timer rollbacks + timer length adjustments) and the freaking problem is solved. Now suddenly holding the line is more efficient and nobody cares anymore about stabs, cloaks or NPCs. Fix the basic mechanics and you don't care about the symptoms anymore. Its all there in the feedback thread. Even in the feedback thread of the inferno expansion. CCP is very good in ignoring it and keep making plexing more annoying without fixing it cleanly. The sig tanking vigils 2 years ago should have been the signal that they can't fix the issue without looking at the contesting mechanics itself.

    5. and i don't believe in "we are monitoring it and might fix it sometime later" slogan anymore. We have to take what we get. The chances are high that we won't hear CCP talking about FW the next two years after the changes.

    6. Running away isn't the issue. As you said, anyone with D scan up can just align out the moment they see someone on short and hit warp once they land. Timer rollbacks are still on the table. These changes were developed before I was on the CSM, and Timer Rollbacks are still something I'll be pushing for.

      I think what you are seeing here is making the best use of developer resources that are available to tackle this. many fixes we'd like to see in the game aren't just some switch that can be flipped and voila. they require developer time, and that's something that FW isn't allotted much of right now. Can we get some fixes? Yes. Are they going to have to be relatively simple ones right now? Yes.

      Changing numbers on an npc is fairly easy. The way the cloaking nerf is implemented is with stuff that already exists and is necessary or cloaks could replace stabs once people figure out a stabbed ship can't pump out the required DPS for most plexes.

      What these changes do, is make plexing AFK a bit harder than it is now, and is a step in the right direction, though not the complete fix we're looking for.

  2. Still nothing on the broken siphon units and how they can be ignored by junk reactions.

    More broken content and more empty promises from a company scared of unsubs and d dos.

    1. Can you give me some better details on what's going on here? A link to a detailed forum post, or a better description here would be great. Siphon units aren't something myself or my group really uses.

    2. Siphon units target that last thing in the pos chain, so if some one sets up a low end reaction further down than their miners, the moon materials are safe.

      This thread covers it in more detail, but the basic issue is that the pos owner rather than the siphon owner can control what is targeted by the siphon.

  3. The fact that momentum is kept when MMJDing makes their potential usage as a positioning tool far less important than their likely usage as a gtfo from infinite longpoints/bubbles tool. The align MJD warp combo is not something that needs more proliferation. Momentum must be lost upon using it for it to be remotely balanced and even then it doesn't help to address the fundamental issues with cbcs as a class.

    1. I'm in agreement in that I think 100k on anything but an ABC is a GTFO tactic and is of extremely limited tactical use in a fight. CBCs need more ways to get on top of shit (for the close range fits) and get in a tactically advantageous position with longer range fits. I think you will find both lowsec reps in agreement with this.

    2. I agree about the momentum. Either that or suspend the warp drive for 10 seconds or so once you drop out of jump. I've seen several BS warp off by using the MJD to simultaneously align and break point. With BCs the issue will be more common.

      Related speculation: what if siege mode also suspended the warp / jump drive for a short period after stopping? That caps can go straight from siege (no EW) to jumping without giving tacklers a reasonable chance to lock on and point them always feels like a bad mechanic to me.

    3. I actually can forsee some use of the Medium MJD as a fight enabling module. It enables Battlecruisers to keep up with a MJD battleship fleet among other things, as well as let them have a chance at engaging or escaping kiting.

      That means that they will see more use overall. That's a good thing, since their ship class has basically disappeared from PvP since the tiericide.

  4. Denegrah Togasa20 May, 2014 18:46

    My only comment is in writing this article is some of us newer pilots have no idea what you mean by ABC's, CBC's, and i thought DST meant destroyers but it makes your statements about them seem way off so i do not know what you mean by them either. MMJD is another one but was able to deduce it was a jump drive of some kind.

    1. My apologies. I generally do make assumptions that people reading are familiar with common Eve slang, but should do more to explain shortened terms like that because there are also some relatively new players reading that may not know some stuff.

      ABC = Attack Battlecruiser, the ones that use battleship sized guns
      CBC = Combat Battlecruiser, better tanks than ABCs but use medium guns.
      DST = Deep Space Transport. It's a heavily tanked tech 2 hauler variant.
      MMJD = Medium Micro Jump Drive, the equivalent of the Micro Jump Drive that can be fit to battleships, but this one at this point can be fit to battlecruisers, command ships, and DSTs.

    2. Denegrah Togasa21 May, 2014 19:01

      No problems just not common terms In FW probably due to very limited use of Battlecruisers at least that i have seen. I thought for a moment that ABC meant After Burner Cruisers. The conversation makes a lot more sense now i did not know Jump Drives could be Fitted to smaller ships.