So of course you are already aware of CCP Fozzie’s magnum opus, which describes the upcoming revamp of sov in nullsec space. Honestly, I was expecting to care very little, just chomp some popcorn and yell “Where is your Hyperion laughter now?!?!” at teary nullbears.
And to be sure, there’s a bit of that. But as I read Fozzie’s post, I found that I was surprised how interested I ended up being. At first, I had lots of feedback jotted down but after watching the conversation start and go through the typical wailing spiral I decided to wait a bit for it to mature and pare down to some ideas with a narrower scope. Now that it has, I find there are just a couple things I want to touch on.
I’m not a sov guy. I doubt I ever will be, it sounds boring and limiting to me. However, what I am, and have been since I left EVE University for low sec, NPC null and eventually wormholes, is a raider. So I am going to focus my commentary on that particular viewpoint, what I think will be the benefits to my playstyle, and how I think it can be improved to address some concerns about people of my playstyle.
First, time zones. As someone who plays late USTZ / early AUTZ (00:00-06:00) I think 4 hours is too small a window. I think at 4 hours and defender-set it limits play in a bad way. The best suggestion I’ve seen around this is that the window size be controlled by the sov level – at low levels it’s maybe 8-10 hours, and at high levels maybe only 3-4. If you haven’t filed your opinion on this specific issue, you should go take the CCP survey.
Second, things I really like about the proposed changes:
- Expanded footprint. It allows the little guy to have an effect, and have a chance. At worst, to participate.
- Station services hackable 24/7. Honestly, even if time zones don’t get changed, I won’t lose much sleep as long as this stays in. What I really want is a tool to force people to undock. Hell, if we can bring this mechanic to low sec too, all the better. And POSes next. The ultimate tool to encourage fights.
- Death of structure grind. Please bring this to POS as well. Thanks.
- Geography becomes meaningful. I really like that the new mechanic causes people to care about constellations. I think when all is said and done this will be one of the most meaningful changes in how space is used – it will redefine what “good space” is.
- The new TCU. This is in effect “Do you have a flag?” Depending on how expensive these are, it might be hilarious to run around planting them and claiming meaningless ownership where other people live.
I would have liked to see something to get rid of timers as well, but that is an entire post for another day. As I mentioned on Twitter, I also think that the entire “magically appearing capture points” mechanic seems like so much weird Cosmic Whack-a-Mole and a pain in the butt for all involved on both sides – it makes more sense for it to pop up five and just have those fights without this crazy continual respawn approach.
The bulk of what I want to talk about is the mechanics of the Entosis module. I like how the mechanic itself works, and opens up new harassment capability for smaller gangs. I like the general philosophy behind the proposal. But I would make a couple of tweaks.
All of the nullbears are up in arms about “trollceptors” – interceptors armed with an Entosis link zipping around reinforcing things. I can confirm that if Entosis gets rolled out as-is and can be used on an Interceptor, I will be in one and up to a T2 link as fast as my skill train can carry me. This sounds like endless amounts of amusing (that said, I fully believe that after the first month or so they will be rendered ineffective by new tactics). But frankly, along with the hackable station services that sound so fun, I think this makes the raiders OP, and it also eliminates some potentially fun permutation around the entosis mechanic relative to specific ships.
So instead, how about the following limitations:
- Use of Capacitor. I’ve seen a lot of proposals for limitation but I think they’re flawed – things like limiting them to ship sizes, which I think is a terrible idea. I think the best game play is a space where as many things as possible can be a choice but that only a handful incentivize it. This one is how you limit frigates – build it so it burns an Interceptor’s cap too fast to be feasible without some uncomfortable modification. However this limitation should be no problem for a cruiser or higher.
- Forced Immobility. At first I actually thought this was how it was intended to work until Fozzie corrected me. I still think it’s the right way to go – the Entosis module should act like a cyno and freeze you in place for the time required to run its cycle. Unlike the cyno, however, I do not support any call for fuel nor do I think it should spawn a beacon – after all, it should only be used at a warpable object already.
Those two things kill the idea of a trollceptor, but open a myriad of other possibilities. Here are four I would love to see, but that require the above two limitations to work.
- New Ship Type: Drifter Hybrid Frigate. This ship serves one specific role: the Entosis module. It is what replaces the trollceptor and its primary role is to be bait that forces people to consider undocking. Characteristics: tank similar to an assault frigate, beefy capacitor. Role Bonus: Reduction to Entosis Link capacitor use.
- New Heavy Interdictor Role. I envision the HIC as a great “bring the fight” machine. It is the announcement that the brawl can begin. Infinipoint and bubble, cyno and entosis. Frozen in place and with minimal armament, but the ultimate statement that the invasion is here. Role Bonus: Increase to tank while Entosis Link is active.
- New Black Ops Battleship Role. Many have lamented the role of the Black Ops battleships, or lack thereof. I think they need a truly front-line capability that allows them to achieve serious movement on the invasion front, not to force undocks or dig in for pitched battle, but to lay the groundwork for invasion. Role Bonus: Reduction to Entosis Link cycle time.
- New Marauder Role. With the above three on the offensive, what about defense? Undock, put your shiny toy at risk, and get a cookie. Role Bonus: Marauder Bastion Mode provides cancellation effect – fully cancels one Entosis Link while maintaining a second, effectively like having two links up, but cannot be used to capture, only to prevent capture (i.e. can only be used to defend your own, not to attack).
As for the rest of Fozziesov, I’ll leave that to the sov null people, since I never intend to actually capture sov. W-space best space.
What do you think?