Thursday, 26 March 2015

Whack-a-mole (in space!)

Here is another thought game for you to play with while considering that CCP is hell-bent on replacing structure grind gameplay with Entosis gameplay, and spreading it to POS-simulants (AKA the new L sized structures).

Lets say you live in a system. The system is for argument's sakes 80 AU across and no two planets are within d-scan of one another, and there are at least 4 planets. We'll also assume you haven't taken advantage of the freedom to anchor some of these at Incursion-created uber deep safes, and there are ten moons with resources.

Let's also assume, to make this easy, that you are in Sov Null, and you have sov space, and it's your ONLY alliance system have an Outpost, a TCU and an I-hub and your space is not upgraded. Entosis links therefore take 10 minutes to work.

You own ten POS-simulants, from labs to intel arrays, whatever, it doesn't matter. Lets also just assume, because it is highly reasonable to do so, you have placed these ten POS-simulants at the ten moons which require moon mining operations.

You are online, and are the only person within a ten minute ride of this system, let's say because your alliance mates are taking CCP Fozzie's cue and engaging in small-gang roaming gameplay via a connection in Thera, and are nuts-deep in Kalevala. 

It is during the prime time, so your structures are vulnerable.

All ten of your structures come under attack simultaneously, and someone also attacks the I-hub, TCU and Outpost with Entosis links.

You have 13 structures to defend, by yourself, being as you are the only person from your alliance in the constellation. You have ten minutes to do so, either via boarding the structure or running an entosis link on the structure yourself to cock block the aggressor.

Do you,
a) choose to defend the Outpost
b) choose to defend the TCU
c) choose to defend the i-hub
d) defend POS #1
e) defend POS #2
f) to m) defend POS #3 to POS #10

Can you see the problem with this? Merely by putting this naff and pathetic mechanism for vulnerability onto POSs, you have exponentially increased the vulnerability of all of your alliance's assets. Because none of your assets defend themselves, and you are the sole defender, you are going to lose at least 8-11 of those assets, depending on how fast you can dock at a station, man the guns, blap the link alt (regardless of the ship flying the Entosis link), undock (if you can), warp to the other objective, dock, repeat, etc,.

Essentially the collection of POSs are undefendable by one person because, without POS guns defending the POS with 4,000 DPS and without at least one hour's boring structure grind in front of them (at least) and with only a ten minute vulnerability timer to overcome, there is literally no way to defend all your structures.

Even if you had two people defending 13 structures, you would still fail the majority of the defences.

If you fail the I-hub, TCU and Outpost, you now have ten more timers to defend throughout your constellation. If you had any other POSs in any other systems, they'd also be on the menu but you possibly have to run gate camps to attend those timers.

So you've got let's say, 8 POSs reinforced. You have 48 hours, and now you've got 2 non-RFed POSs and 3 sov structures. This is looking like a really fun 48 hours, isn't it?

This is the game CCP are creating for sovereignty and structure defenders. It is utterly stupid.

You know why FW is the way it is? Well, for the first year of this system, people fought in gangs and fleets. We had a hell of a lot of fun, killed a hell of a lot of ships. Then the alts started flipping systems, and the meatbods burned out on defending space at a tenth the LP efficiency of worthless warp stabbed cloaky heron alts grinding buttons. So people left, or gave up the FW game entirely, and it turned into a giant farm.

But it wasn't dead, because you ran an alt on the other militia and farmed at tier 5 while pew pewing with your main, who lived in highsec nextdoor.

In sov, there is no farming the winning side with an alt while living in highsec nextdoor and roaming space. In wormholes, there is no plexing one POS while your other ten burn down. There is no highsec. There is no nextdoor. You have your structure, you live in it, and when people try to fuck with you, you fuck back hard (see below).

This is a patently stupid system, forcing people to play a game or lose everything. it forces you to have more than one person online to defend your POS, and each and every one of your POSs, for a four hour block of time.

Forcing people to be present to defend space against meaningless, worthless attacks is worse gameplay than currently, wwhere one person can jack up a giant deathstar which only a massive fleet can destroy. Both are bad, but at least in the current system a lone defender can log out and get some sleep.


  1. Please label your posts on the WH implications of the new sov model. That way I will be able to link to your existing (and new) posts on this topic easily.

    I have been planning on writing them up. You are currently better researched than I am, but I already had similar concerns. It is time I wrote my own pieces, but will be linking to yours.

  2. A POS should have guns to defend itself, altlhough POS defenses will need a revisit and upgrade before this since they currently are unable to hit inties orbiting hte POS at 200. (Just considered that the new POs with its fitting slots will probably fit a gun battery in one slot and not just a single gun. Else there is no way you can reach the current number of POS modules you have floating around).

    Do you post this same feedback on the forum or send links to your blog to csm reps?


      Yep. I'm putting it out there that I am not entirely happy with thegames theory underlying this, not how the game will *actually* be played, which is probably considerably different to how the Devs *think* it will be played.

      Like, I have a POS exploit. I am more or less forced to reveal it now, versus keep it as a sekrit weapon, because of this bullshit. So you will soon all understand the theory behind Trashcats. This is only happening because, if I don't reveal the problem, it becomes even worse under the new system.

      There are some serious problems, you just haven't thought of them. Our CSM aren't going to present them to the Devs, so it's up to me to expose them. So stay tuned, mind:blown in 1-2 weeks.

  3. Would be nice if you can fit tracking enhancers and tracking computers to boost guns tracking n stuff :)

    1. Yeah. I actually like the idea of POS fits. Amarr towers with active tanks, minnie towers with shield tanks, blah blah. A bit of variety here is good. A bit of strategy in your POS fit is good - but it already happens anyway, implicitly - so let's bring on POS fitting screens and all that. TD's, TE's, DDA's, smartbombs. it will be awesome and interesting and complex, it will be fun to work out, defeat, give challenges.

      But not if the whole POS can be RFed with 10 minutes with a goddamn interceptor. Like, what's the fucking point of putting all this in the game if it gets bypassed by a cunty fuckbag with an entosis link?

      I mean, come ON CCP. Fuck you.

  4. The entosis link needs some rethinking clearly. There has to be be a benefit in large group play, or why bother? I'm not saying my niche is there, but I think it should be a viable alternative for someone that wants to log in and have a corp that can provide content by its sheer size.

    There are days in wormhole space where no one can or is on for the whole 4 hour stretch our structures would be vulnerable. I think logging in to find I'm locked out of my station in a probing ship, or I have to go flip some plexes would piss me off to no end.

    The bottom line - there needs to be a system that allows defenders to defend their systems (automated defenses), so that it requires a fleet to overwhelm the defenses... and THEN the entosis links can come into play. If I can pop up a couple automated turrets that would take a bit for a 10-15 man gang to wear 'em down and then reinforce my shit, I'd be okay.

    Otherwise, people will be assholes because they can - and because we're encouraging that kind of behavior.

    Don't people bear in Null because it's quasi safe and the money is good? I think if you mess with that equation by shrinking sov ownership and putting it into a PVP destard game - then you'll see an increase of people moving back to highsec... which seems to be something that we don't really want.


    1. I wouldn't say that the death of sov will result in the death of nullsec living and ratting. They will treat it more like a wormhole experience than the current "hisec with no gate guns" experience that nullsec really is at the moment.

      For instance, the three components of the current sov ownership structure are being decoupled from each other in fozziesov (as it's being called).

      TCU's become e-peen flags with no ability to stop other structures being anchored in the system with the flag planted in it. Personally, why anyone would bother with such meaningless flag-planting is beyond me...but also, once you have a flag planted who gives a fuck about removing it? So, TCU's become a waste of is a wormhole.

      Secondly, you can anchor stations and i-hubs in anyone's space, or so the plan is. You get to upgrade your i-hubs and space and reap the rewards. Of course, the defence of those rewards will lead to the above problems with occupancy based sov - ie; you need to defend in order to maintain indexes, i-hubs, blah blah.

      Stations could be thrown into real freeports, like Phoebe Freeport Republic, and people could go about Provi or PFR style living, en masse, humping belt rats or whatever.

      POSs, if you decouple them from moons, can be anchored at real deepsafes. Like for instance when you are in an Incursion system, you should always save an incursion pin flag as far from celestials as possible as a deep safe. Well, you can soon anchor POSs at true, real deepsafes. So the key will be to hide your POS, hide your depots, hide your logoff. Live nomadic, chase combat complexes, relic and data, and churn belts and don't engage in the sov crap unless you really want to log on for a night job.

      None of this of course provides a lot of hope that the fozziesov game is worth playing, for anyone who wants epic contests and epic space battles. So those people will quit or go elsewhere. An atomised sov mechanic like fozziesov won't provide B5-R5B's. But that's fine, there will be a couple more Asakai's because with the removal of caps as useful sov tools, they'll be in lowsec which will be a pressure cooker and shit will escalate and we'll have giant blob battles.

      It's a puzzling way to deal with the theory that EHP/DPS and structure grinds are bad gameplay. Removing that gameplay and replacing it with fozziesov is hardly an improvement, you just produce conditions for making your content creators give up on organising anything, because the level of organisation that goes into putting a POS up in deep null, stocking a corp up in it, getting settled and have that vulnerable inside of 10 minutes is ridiculous.


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