So after being as mouthy as I have been here and on #tweetfleet about GCC and sec status, I could hardly NOT comment on CCP Masterplan’s latest devblog on Crimewatch 2 (CW2).
My general reaction is that most of it is good in general, or at least neutral for me in particular. I will also echo Aiden Mourn and Ripard Teg in thanking CCP for tackling this horrid beast, and providing a lot of detail (even though the real depth of is not clear until you read all of Masterplan’s replies in the forum thread). Much like Poetic Stanziel, I think that the core outcome is to make highsec safer.
The TL;DR is in the section titled “What CCP Should Change” below. Here is my more detailed breakdown.
- The Good
- Big nerfbats are swung at logoffski and neutral remote rep mechanics. In fact, the PVP and NPC flags seem almost entirely dedicated to logoffski reduction. I’ve long considered these to be exploits or last refuges of the pathetic, and am happy to see them bashed.
- Ship attacks and pod attacks are now different in Lowsec. This is a direct link to Hans Jagerblitzen’s “What Happens in Lowsec Stays in Lowsec” proposal, which I strongly support (congrats Hans!)
- This should open a lot of “exploitable holes” in which small fights can quickly catch fire in highsec and lowsec. I predict that this (“Limited Engagments”, which are currently very lightly detailed) will be the achilles’ heel of this release. There is so much potential for trouble here my bet is on a CCP “correction” before the summer release if it goes out as-is. But it should be fun for those of us without much fear of it.
- Killrights, killrights everywhere. This could be entertaining. Especially since they come from just being shot, not being killed.
- GCC, as a separate timer, is dead. \o/ While killing a ship on a gate will trigger the gate guns, a warp out and back will clear the guns. This is huge. This will make the roaming my old corp did viable without 15 minute go-play-another-game breaks. We didn’t pod people anyhow for the most part. Lowsec roams will be more fun and more numerous. In addition, being Suspect flagged will bring even more combat. Which you WANT on a lowsec roam!
- The Meh
- I’ve been in a wormhole for almost two months, and was in a lowsec pseudo-pirate corp for more than a year before that. Highsec safety items get a big shrug from me. CCP took several nerfbats to canflippers and ninjas, most of which make me no nevermind (see more on the one that does below). I’ll leave it to the griefers to complain and the carebears to rejoice on this one.
- The Bad
- I’ve said publicly before that T3 pilots should lose skillpoints for losing their ship. Why? Because it is story-appropriate. It makes total lore-based sense. However, in a killing-flies-with-cannonballs move aimed at reducing ninja ship switch mechanics, CCP will now ban all aggressed pilots from ejecting. This eliminates the eject-and-escape, trade-ship-for-brain proposal, instead ensuring that entering combat in a T3 means you are committed to losing skillpoints. This will make me even less likely to take an expensive T3 into combat than I already am, and I will never again train a T3 skill to 5. Worse, opportunities to steal abandoned T3s go away, and that makes me sad.
- GCC was stupid at 15 minutes. It adds nothing and helps no one. Yesterday’s GCC is today’s Criminal flag. It’s still stupid at 15 minutes. 5 is plenty.
- Nothing was done with personal sec status. Along with GCC, sec reduction is the great killer of lowsec play.
- The criminal flag is triggered simply for shooting a pod, not for destroying it. This makes no sense. Why would this be any different than the shipkill?
- The Ugly. I’ll admit there are still some things I can’t really wrap my brain around, and I’ll look to others who use those mechanics more to understand:
- The neutral RR chain – see Ripard Teg’s analysis in the link above.
- Ripard also covers the impact to gate-crossing ‘dictor fleets.
- The true impact to canflippers and dogpiling, which Aiden Mourn covers.
- How this affects docking games. I don’t do ’em, and I avoid those who do. No time for that BS.
What CCP Should Change
In my opinion, CCP has made a solid start, at least at the things I can comment on. I would like to see them do the following to polish it off:
- Before Retribution
- Remove the eject lock, at least for T3s. Forcing people to stay in and lose skills is BS, and cuts off a great “steal the T3” gameplay mechanic. EDIT: I posted more on this topic to the forums here.
- Reduce the Criminal timer to 5 minutes plus a full 15-minute Suspect timer after that.
- Eliminate any affect to sec status below -2.0 (see Hans’ original proposal) for triggering the Suspect timer. Only Criminal acts should drive you under -2.0.
- Do not trigger Criminal flags unless the pod dies. Shooting it without killing keeps you at Suspect only.
- If Ripard Teg’s criticisms of the neutral RR approach are correct, address that gap to kill off neutral RR entirely.
- Soon (TM)
- Fix gate guns to a more realistic mechanic. I can’t remember who proposed this but it’s brilliant: Use a mix of real guns the gate would use. Smalls, mediums and larges, with their expected tracking, sig and range expectations. This means that on a Gallente gate, frigates would be in very little danger from the large blasters. But on an Amarr gate, they’d be in a lot of trouble from the small lasers. In addition, put more gate guns in higher-sec lowsec systems, and less in lower. This allows the Crimewatch approach to work but still make frigates viable again in lowsec, and makes the highsec crossing points better “defended” while opening it up further down the pipe for roamers.
- What happened to CW2 being all about turning players into the booster police?