Monday, 30 September 2013


The Rubicon is appparently a small river in eastern Italy. Caesar crossed it, the river being a line beyond which he was in insurrection (according to Wikipedia, at any rate). In crossing it, he made a hostile act towards the Senate under Pompey and uttered aelea iacta est - the die is cast.

So what is the point of no return for CCP with Rubicon? What line have they irrevocably crossed?

It could be the revamp of the utterly mundane, boring, trivial and assinine Certificates system. I think this is great; new players will be able to plan their EVE career without having to pester older players like me for skill plans, and we won't have to be forced to say, as always "EveMon". Anything which brings more people into the game is, I think, a good thing. Even better are things which make people stick around. However, this is hardly a daring act.

What is a daring act is the Interceptor re-balance. I knew something would crop up when the humble, if pissingly annoying, Condor outshone the Crow and Raptor (let alone basically every other interceptor).

The new deployable structures? The jury is still out, as most of these seem to be thought-bubbles.

The Cyno Jammer is a great idea. It is a fillip for the small alliances and lowsec corporations who cannot field a super and want to, perhaps, protect a dread or capital sieging a POS. Lets be brutally honest - PL's fishing fleet is a giant bogeyman which prevents small-scale force projection because, not only do your 3B ISk dreads get blapped in seconds, you cannot protect them from even a fucking cyno velator. I've been there with a cyno velator on field in a Niddy and it's pretty much bullshit for the dread pilots. Hell, even for a subcap fleet, all it takes is a cyno velator and a Titan bridge and you are swimming in 40 AHACs (or, these days, Harpyfleet).

It is of course open to abuse. I can imagine that larger entities willl deploy these to protect their supers during a gank or POCO takedown. You would probably pack them into a carrier's fleet hangar and just anchor the fuck out of them the moment you cyno in to a fight. But either way, it is going to be down to planning, tactics, strategy and situational awareness - not who can log in a super and take a cyno, blap some shlub, and zoidberg their super away. Just light a cyno 150km away, and warp the super down to the fight, gank the dread(s) and zoidberg away.

Is this a Rubicon step? Not really.  This provides a few people the ability to do a small amount of damage without fear of being blobbed. It will all come down to the size of the jammer in the hold (expect bubble volumes), the EHP of the structure, the life of the structure, and most importantly, the anchoring time. 120 seconds is going to be too long....instant activation will be too short.

The Siphon is another good idea. It will truly create chaos in k-space....and in some w-space systems where people are creating 50 POS refining factories in C1's to process their moon goo. Being able to find, for example, -AAA-'s C1 refinery system, invade it with a fuckton of haulers and siphons, and take their rent from them will be awesome. One thing shits me more than anything, it is C1 refinery empires owned by the null blocs.

Again, volume, online time and docking radius will be the key here. Perhaps the deep space transpport will come into its own, able to warp away from a POS where you've anchored a siphon (+2 warp strength ftw) and tanky enough to survive the POS guns....if you are quick. But if you cannot effectively leech a deathstar, if the siphon is >4,000m3 and not deployable by cloaky transport, if you cannot quickly and efficiently Loot All its contents before the POS blaps or scrams you, it won't be long before it is as useful as a Target Painting battery. The null blocs will respond as soon as people hit up Dotlan and track down the moons with the good goo and steal all the shit.

In fact, I expect that the moon goo POSs will be getting guns this week, just because. And possibly a shell of protective large bubbles, for good measure. Either way, at least there will be some additional cost and annoyance involved in collecting the cash machine rent from nullsec. It will no longer be a free lunch, but I doubt it will cause failcascades.

The deployable Depot is another good idea. Again, volume, size, scannability and life span will be the key balancing issues. The module itself will be perfect for sieges, camps, itinerant ratters who can deploy a depot at a deep safe, refit, store loot and ships (including the ship that carried it) and harass, annoy, ninja rat or run siphoning rackets.

This will also be awesome for wormhole campers and itinerants, depending on the lifespan...which is OK. After all, most wormholes are deserted 90% of the time anyway, so reducing the need for a POS to a Depot isn't going to reduce target availability. Much. In fact, if you can combat probe these down, it will probably give you loot pinata.Assuming CCP ever fixes the SMA 'bug' ala 'this keeps the economy rolling' bug.

Perhaps the intention of Rubicon boils down to the dissolution of imperium via the devolution of hisec POCOs to players. This will be great for war decs, and will see some interesting shit going down as people roll POCOs in the busy areas near the hubs like ferrets on meth for the first few days, and then fight like rat bastards. Eventually the Goons will own them all, but either way, it'll be a fun ride.

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