Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Happy Holidays / Christmas / Kwanzaa / Channukah / Ganksmass

So, I am on holidays.

Chicago 24th - 2nd Jan
New Jersey 2nd - 5th
Atlanta 5th 10th
Boynton Beach area of Florida 10th to 14th

So, i'll be back online mid January, and until then may your boats not be nerfed and may your corpses remain frosty and unmolested.

Saturday, 19 December 2015


So, I won't say the names, but a friend of mine (ex-member of BUGRY) has a private hauling concern wherein he drives fat lumbering freighters around and something-something nerd sweat, billions, supercap fund, etc etc.

This man is a MASSIVE Star Wars fan. Like, uncomfortably massive. Probably dressed up as jabba for the premiere so he could get his tentacles on some sexy bint dressed as Leia.

Anyway, his corporation which I shall not name, was decced by someone else. Except that the corporation name of this offending corporation was a MASSIVE fucking spoiler about the current Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie. Like, so fucking massive you'd be furious.

So my mate, when he got decced, did get furious. The offender has now been banned for a month.

The EVE Devs, fallible and gullible and other things ending in 'ible' as they are, bless 'em, are also massive fans and acted appropriately.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

A hurr durr, a hurr durr durr

OK, these Frostline sites might be a great way of getting a drink and some sexy new duds, but they sure as fuck are not that hard to kick over.

Like, if someone sees you on d-scan as you jump in, and they happen to be from Nehalem (who blob) and you can tell this because a) your autism b) their alliance ticker c) there's no way a hecate and svipul take 5 minutes to kick a site over, you can be pretty sure they are just fucking about while they summon their 10 man Gila batphone.

Seriously. People need to learn how to bait properly.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Cost of Hubris

Another day, another Gila ganked.

I've really bedded down this Strat / Falcon combo. It is like being the unholy manifestation of hubris, depriving FOTM tards of their OPAF luxobarge toys in the most humiliating way possible, with max frustration and rage undocking capabilities.

Decloak, point the Gila, jam his drones, pew pew pew.

Friday, 11 December 2015

TF's Skunkworks: Trojan Gang

The problem you have is retards camping highsec, right? You know the ones. They just won't leave the safety of 5km of a highsec wormhole, for shits or giggles. They have pro-PVP levels of commitment and use ships such as, viz. RR Domis, Rattlesnakes, Vigilants, or a couple of HICs and a half dozen gank Brutixes or something.

Don't you wish there was a way to just crap in their tea cup? Well, look no further than the Trojan Gang!

What you'll need is a bare minimum 6 guys. You need at least 4 Trojans (if you can engineer doing 2 passes before fighting) otherwise 8 to collapse in one pass. The rest can be something like, say, dictors and tacklers to prevent easy escapes (also, of course, logi). You could even bring cloaky Logi Legions if you wished.

The non-cloaky bait fleet will jump first, followed immediately by the Trojan gang, sealing everyone in and locking down all possible escape. If you can crush in one pass, with cloaky 100MN Higgsed T3's, when your Trojans decloak you simply trash the Higgs rig and play as per normal 100MN ships.

[Proteus, Trojan]

1600mm Rolled Tungsten Compact Plates
Damage Control II
Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Dark Blood Energized Explosive Membrane
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

100MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner
Federation Navy Stasis Webifier
Warp Scrambler II
Balmer Series Compact Tracking Disruptor I

250mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
250mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
250mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
250mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
250mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M

Medium Higgs Anchor I
Medium Ancillary Current Router I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump II

Proteus Offensive - Covert Reconfiguration
Proteus Propulsion - Gravitational Capacitor
Proteus Electronics - Friction Extension Processor
Proteus Defensive - Augmented Plating
Proteus Engineering - Power Core Multiplier

[Legion, Trojan]

Damage Control II
Reactor Control Unit II
800mm Rolled Tungsten Compact Plates
Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Heat Sink II
Heat Sink II

Stasis Webifier II
Warp Disruptor II
Medium Capacitor Booster II, Navy Cap Booster 800
100MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Scorch M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Scorch M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Scorch M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Scorch M
Expanded Probe Launcher II

Medium Trimark Armor Pump II
Medium Trimark Armor Pump II
Medium Higgs Anchor I

Legion Electronics - Emergent Locus Analyzer
Legion Engineering - Capacitor Regeneration Matrix
Legion Offensive - Covert Reconfiguration
Legion Defensive - Augmented Plating
Legion Propulsion - Chassis Optimization

[Tengu, Trojan]

Imperial Navy 800mm Steel Plates
Damage Control II
Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Dark Blood Energized Explosive Membrane

100MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner
'Hypnos' Multispectral ECM I
'Hypnos' Multispectral ECM I
'Hypnos' Multispectral ECM I
'Hypnos' Multispectral ECM I
'Hypnos' Multispectral ECM I

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Skirmish Warfare Link - Rapid Deployment II
Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Light Missile
Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Light Missile
Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Light Missile
Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Light Missile

Medium Higgs Anchor I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump II
Medium Trimark Armor Pump II

Tengu Offensive - Covert Reconfiguration
Tengu Electronics - Obfuscation Manifold
Tengu Propulsion - Fuel Catalyst
Tengu Engineering - Capacitor Regeneration Matrix
Tengu Defensive - Warfare Processor

[Loki, Trojan]

1600mm Rolled Tungsten Compact Plates
Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Damage Control II
Dark Blood Energized Explosive Membrane
Gyrostabilizer II

Warp Disruptor II
100MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner
Stasis Webifier II
Stasis Webifier II

220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
[Empty High slot]

Medium Trimark Armor Pump II
Medium Trimark Armor Pump II
Medium Higgs Anchor I

Loki Defensive - Adaptive Shielding
Loki Offensive - Covert Reconfiguration
Loki Propulsion - Intercalated Nanofibers
Loki Engineering - Power Core Multiplier
Loki Electronics - Immobility Drivers


Lodestone Toyee> Yo, TF, what you doing?
Trinkets friend> Nuffin
Lodestone Toyee> *CAAAAPS*
Trinkets friend> *proceeds to batphone*
Noxisia Arkana> *proceeds to finish ratting, brings 15 duders*

spirit fingers

Trinkets friend> I'm going to log off now.
Trinkets friend> I've got a battle chubby to beat down

Not bad for 15 minutes to get a blob together and pounce onto a cap in a C5 site. We of course came to YOLO a full escalation quad, but for some reason the 2 Moros and the Thanny and Loki went back into POS, so we took what we could.

The break into competent corporation is often long and slow. By competent corporation, I mean being able to do what DSKN did, which is drop (almost) everything, get back to POS, reship from shield carebear to a reasonable if low-rent form of armour + guardians, follow the (often typed by your silent benefactor) instructions, get onto field and keep it together.

True, the fleet wasn't exactly the most brutal you could get out of 18 guys. it could have used more T3's and the T1 logi's upshipping to T2's. But not everyone is Lazerhawks or Hard Knocks level of skill, ISK, expertise and preparedness. The Celestis pilot could barely even sit in the ship, and he stole the killing blow.

The thing with all of this is to take the opportunity and run with it. There IS a skill in getting yourselves organised, on a personal and corp level.

Corp wise, you have to sort out what (if any) your doctrine(s) are. Shield kitchen sink is better than nothing, but it isn't a doctrine. Choose a HAC, make a fit that you're comfortable with, and lay the law down for your duders. Go through the gamut of ships and make some choices. Sure, there's a lot of bullshit from Nullsec with regards to this, but in a no-SRP wormhole environment and a small, inexperienced corporation, the advantage of doctrines is getting people into the mode of working as a team.

Personally, of course, part of preparation is skills. Train what you need to to get into effective ships. This can, these days, be summed up as Sentinel with MD's and TDs, sorry to say. But beyond being facetious like this, you do need armour options, shield options and EWAR options.

Secondly, you need ISK. So go make it, don't be shy.

Thirdly, you need ships. Get them into the POS (or, as outlined previously, if you're a compulsive batphonee stash them near jump clones). make sure they are fit. Ensure you clean your head of implants if you're worried about this for PVP.

Finally, of course, is to learn the ropes. DSKN is always improving, and is certainly growing, and that's due to content creation (usually a Rattlesnake) and taking fights (a lot of which they lose happily).

So, yeah, corps come and go and so do players, but if you need to build a blob, you need to have the skills, ships and willingness to get committed. Like...I went and just dropped 140M on a Pontifex because I was dreaming of kidnapping the web loki away from the dreads and knackering their blapping equations.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015


So far, I riek. A multi-training certificate on your first Frostline site is a good welcome to the new content.

The new armour damage GFX looks epic. Will look truly epic on a big ship.

New 4,000-5,000km grids? Good for spotting that gang warping in on you. Especially battleships. Some stop bubble possibilities around POS's look fantastic.

The new probing window - finally the d-scan bubble is not red, which has improved it immeasurably. New sig markers also a major improvement. It might be verging on....usable now? We'll see.

Still, if there isn't a stuff-up like the Logistic Frigates books not being seeded, it isn't a patch.

D/Led PYFA and am going through the new line-up.

Command Dessies: 
Magus > Pontifex > Bifrost > Stork
Twin rep Magus with neutrons, dual Nos is 276(296) DPS and 254(316) DPS tank. Shield CD's are pissy by comparison, but the Bifrost is the pick due to speed and 17K buffer. Also, lel, 10MN AB / 5MN MWD dualprop.

Logistics Frigs
These are going to be tough to fit.
I think these will require a lot of finesse to fly, and the range and falloff is going to really hurt them with the way RR has gone and fucked shield. Like, at 30km you rep 50 shield/s. That's not worth bothering with.

Scalpel seems best with MSE + cap boster, aux thruster rigs and Enduring or Scoped RR's if you don't want to dump wads and wads of ISK onto Blue RR (at 40M a module, yeah no).

Thalia looks easy to fit. 10K EHP, 955m/s AB and 28 sig. 11.6+19km RR range, perfect for armour brawling T3D's or the new navy frig brawlers. So, basically a Navitas that could.

Deacon can do AB, MWD or even a 10MN AB fit quite easily.

Kirin - I've got a cap boosted fit with meta level RR's and gravi backup array for want of a better choice. Or T2 RRs with a PDU in the lows. Seems decent, but slowish at 2.6km/s.

I think the real interest will come with spider tanking the Deacon or Thalia and utilising the gun hardpoints for brawling work, with the new Navy Crucifier. Likewise, working in with CD's and the brawling Navy Frigates will be an interesting combo.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Batphoning: A Practical Guide Addendum

Anonymous asks:
I play solo during the late US time zone and once in a while stumble upon a ratting carrier or a party reinforcing POCOs. I always wondered: How do I batphone? Is there a channel for this? So far all I know is the Spectre Fleet channel but maybe there is a channel for Wspace focused groups?

Ah, yes, the good old social disconnection problem with MMO's! 

There's a few options in terms of pub channels:
Hola Batmanuel - Polapse Alliance's batphone channel. I mean, OK, Prolapse is gone, but there's still people there. A fairly direct line to me and mine.

Beggars Bowl - public channel of BUGRY and the alt cloud. You're welcome to seek me out there, but it is for shitpoasting and NSFW links and recruitment (if that's happening, which it currently is not). 

Wormhole PVP Channel - yes, that's a channel
This is mostly The Last Chancers / HC Metazoa Suidae and friends. But there are friends, and a few of them, and that includes me. US prime it's pretty full, but the quality of phone calls can be a bit spotty. No such thing as SRS BSNS doctrine shit. Just PUG (pick-up group) fleets and the kitchen sink. 

Praise Bob - invite only srs bsns C5 space channel
Mostly FCs who check in with each other looking for fights. But occasionally, if you're there, you can hook up a phone.

Beyond that, it's down to personal contacts. But you'll begin to make those contacts as you get involved. 

Spectre Fleet, well LOL, they aren't so much w-space and when they do w-space it can be amusing. My Nag has fond memories of Spectrefleet. 

Bombers Bar used to be a thing. It's mostly dead, full of retards, and al the hotdropping I hear is done by Wingspan. Wingspan has a BLOPs if you can believe, and they dump bombers and Falcons on shit. Will they answer a batphone? Maybe, but not in under 30 mins and they won't commit anything serious and couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag. 

Batphoning Honorably, A Guide

Sometimes, downtime gets you. So it was last night as a batphone went out with an hour to go before the big bad DT, with a Thanny spotted in a C3 apparently blithely running sites on his lonesome, and a scratch armour fleet formed. 2 Guards (me, dualboxing), 2 Stratios, Devoter, 2 Arazu, shield curse (because), shitty rail Thorax. A few stragglers were apparently on their way, but we went in.

We held the Thanny, but there were losses. An Arazu on initial tackle; it's hard to get 2 toons worth of guardian reps on target with warp-in lag of up to 10 seconds (seriously, wtf), so that was a bit of a shame. Next the Devoter popped due to not cycling down his infinitpoint. Then we lost the Thorax (alpha'd by drones) and a straggler Cerberus which was just not aligned.

So, the way to kill caps is, work on the drones while you neut the shit out of the carrier's capacitor. No point DPSing the ship until it's cap is dead, and the drones are a threat (up to 3K DPS for a shield fit Thanny, which this was). When the carrier's mostly cap dead, you stress him, he caps himself out in short order, and then assplodes.

Or, with 10 minutes to go, his mates drop on field with 2 Chimeras. J130535, noted.

There's a few principles to batphoning properly, and I think it is high time to do an article on it.

Jump Clones
"It's not a fleet if you don't go 20 jumps."
Here's the thing: since CCP fucked jump clone standings and rolled with it, you no longer need 8+ standings with a clone facility station to spawn a JC. So why the fuck do you not have 10 of the fucking things? At least have 5 clean-ish clones; one nearby each Trade Hub or in the hub itself. I prefer 1-2 jumps out because you may cop a war dec and your war targets will be on undock. If you don't have an insta undock, it can be a PITA to batphone during a dec.

You should have JC's. At least 3, it's like 30 minutes. If you have spare time, and really like to do PUG fleets, then you will want to train the second tier skill and get 10 JCs, and train the skill that lets you cut the time down between jump cloning. 18 hours is better than 24.

I mean, yes, there are drawbacks to jump cloning, and sometimes you can only take a fat implant-bloated clone (or have to sit it out if you feel it's suicidal or too expensive to risk). Your JCs may not stay in the same place for very long, necessitating a few clone jumps now and then to move them back to the staging posts.

Ship Stashes
Because there's no point jump cloning then spending 10 minutes fitting a ship, you should have a ship stash at the ready. it is well worth doing this if you like picking up batphones. Make sure you have, eg, an armour DPS-buffer ship, an Exequror or Augoror (dualprop, solo fit for both); a shield DPS-buffer ship and a Scythe logi cruiser, and a T3 Dessie or at the minimum a Maulus, Crucifier or a tackle frigate.

eg, I have a plated beam Harbinger, a Dualprop Execquror, a rail Ferox and a Scythe in Oursulaert. This means if the call is shields, I can do shields. If it's armour, i can do armour. If the PUG fleet is lacking logi, I can at least bring *something*.

It isn't hard to get this ready, and it's not expensive. It's quick these days now that you can buy a fit straight off the market in one click, and fit it with another.

Backup FCing
FC is a myth. An FC is just a guy who sounds like he knows what he's doing. I'm not saying every ego-fucked American needs to try and rule the roost in every fleet with a swinging dick, but be prepared to FC the shamozzle - especially if your FC loses his Devoter and the brains of the operation has no comms and you've got a carrier tackled. Start talking. It's not too hard.

Also, be prepared to FC if you're the guy making the phone call. it's not too hard to get a phone into your chain.

Yeah, set blues and set the advert. Open up free move. Add a few squads to wing. Move the corp content wizards / FCs into squad commands and let them drag people in. Do not make the fleet invite confirmed. Srsly.

Set an MOTD.

Comms deets would be handy here, as would an idea of desto, fleet comp (armour/shield). We can all then add your TS3 details. Don't use mumble, it's arse. You're living in a wormhole, if your server tops out at 250+ and Mumble is required, move to fucking nullsec already or split your corp or alliance. Jesus, you blobbing faggot.

Bookmarks vs Shepherding
Getting a phone into the chain or getting yourself into the chain is always a tetchy and awkward thing. However, there's a few steps you can take to smooth this.

Firstly, if you're just calling someone else, get their FC (/content wizard) in a convo and relay the chain to him in clear terms.
Satalama - > FYF sig K162 -> C2 J135223 sig BYO -> C3. Target. 
Simple. No BM's needed, a competent group will have the ability to bang a sig in 30s and be through a 3-4 jump chain in 2-3 minutes.

If you need to shepherd through, get an alt into k-space and sit on the hole. A can of BM's would be handy, too. if you can't leave it at the hole, closest planet. Even in lowsec, that's safe enough.

No alt, no sig ID's? Son, I am disappoint. At this point, you need to be telling the batphone well in advance to burn a prober and get as much info to them as possible, like is the in sig near the centre of the system, or the far planets? Shit like this happens. I've had to probe 3 holes deep, blind, to gank a carrier. I'll fucking do it, but every bit of info you can provide is handy.

Moderation and Balance
At some point, cut the fleet invites off. You'll get an never ending conga line of dildoheads straggling in, needing BM's and warp-ins and shit.

Forget about it. Cut the fleet at 20, I reckon, especially once you've got the obligatory 2-3 logis. Unless you really want to miss out on a fight, or you've got a guaranteed brawl of epicness.

There's a bunch of reasons why you shouldn't go overboard on the bathone.

Number one, and most important, is time. Assembling 20 randoms from all across new Eden is slow. Your opportunity window is narrow - carriers, for instance, do sites fast. You need to get shit together ASAP. You need to be prepared to deploy tackle and cement it in and assemble DPS later - 2 Guards, 1 tanky tackler, keep the fucker on field and dribble onto grid if you need to - but if you don't move, you lose. Remember - if everyone had a JC and a stash at every hub, you'd be swimming in gank Harby's, Brutixes, armour Canes in short order.

Secondly is the fact gigantic fleets are dumb and bullshit. If you can kill a lone Gila with 2 extra dudes, just take 2 dudes. Make them the closest dudes, get the guy killed, and make it a cleaner, more exciting and fairer fight. If the Gila has 10 mates in POS, sure, form a bigger fleet. But it is pretty fucking lame if all EVE turns into is dogpile-a-drake.

A lone ratting carrier can be killed by 2 Geddons and 2 Guards, so you don't need 20 T3's and 4 Guardians to gank it. You'll look seriously badass if you can do something amazing with small ships. OK, he SD'ed, but he was fucked given enough time. If you video it, you can look fucking badass as fuck. You drop 60 dudes on a carrier, nice padding, but meh.

The carrier we tackled last night got saved by downtime and having 2 Chimeras on call. Most Thanny's don't. So in other circumstances, we'd have killed it with 2 Strats, 2 Guards, and change on the field. Just making a small point here, guys.

Thirdly, PUG fleets can get unwieldy. A smaller group of guys who fly together and are tightly FCed will tear a huge disorganised blob apart. Yes, a good FC can keep a PUG fleet on target, but it's a game of averaging down not summing up. A kitchen sink fleet isn't as efficient as a proper doctrinal fleet most times.

So, that's my take on it.

Batphoning and PUG fleets are a classic and dishonorable/honorable way of getting wormhole content. But there's a lot that the average joe can do to not only lift their game, but make the whole thing go smoother, be more fun, and push and challenge themselves and improve their piloting.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Shameboat III - Now IV!

Yes, all good things must come to an end. The Shameboat III is dead in glorious ball-touching blaster brawling with a hull-tanked Brutix. I left my Magnetometric jammers at home, so went in with multi's. #YOLO versus nothing.

Indeed, when the whole idea of a Falcon is to sit at 80km jamming like a fucking lame totes-homo fagboat to give "unfair" advantage, the idea of running a blaster-fit brawling Falcon is a little on the risky side. You have to rely on jamming your foe out just enough to exit stage left at the right time.

The skill in pushing the envelope of EVE with novel fits and out-of-the-box thinking is to get the target selection, fit, tactics and positioning right. It' s also about admitting you might have to lose a ship or two in the experimentation process to see if the theory works or does not.

The real issue that most solo roamers in w-space face is to find a pair of ships that you can roam with that work well together, have a form of synergy, and which you can control while dual-boxing.

The issue is of course that no two ships can do everything, but the Falcon / Stratios pairing seems to be doing fine. Especially versus Gilas, where the Falcon's job is basically just to jam the Gila's drones. Versus a Brutix,the Falcon can at best hold off its DPS until the Stratios' neuts do the job of turning off its guns. In this case, not quite achieved.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Shameboat III's Odyssey - Another Gila

I spent all yesterday stalking wormholes for no appreciable gain. Today, found my way through to Rokofur and probed 3 holes out. I had the old duo of the Jigglypuff's Vagina:  dual-prop dual-rep Stratios and the Shameboat III combat Falcon.

I sent the Falcon into a C3 and camped an occator in his POS. I jumped my Stratios into an R943 to a C2. Saw a Caracal. Swiftly murdered him.

As I was cleaning up his tractor and trying to avoid the Sleepers, he returned with a Gila, which was a small surprise. So I started heating the reppers and tried going for his drones as I pulled the Falcon ut of the other hole and humped it over. The DPS was too much, so I waped my Strat off to a planet so I could reload my AAR, cap booster, clear some heat and rep armour.

Went back in, and the Gila was gone - but tractor still there, so it wasn't long before he came in again. This time, I deployed the Falcon at 30km and jammed his drones, then scooted in for backup point. I tossed some hammerheads out; the Sleepers ate most of them. Out went my Berserkers. The Sleepers and the Gila ate them. Out went some Valks. The Sleepless Outguard started shooting the Falcon, so I had to jam it. This freed up the Gila's drones. The Gila set his drones on the Falcon, so I jammed them. They went back to the Stratios. I was like playing whack-a-mole with DPS and only one active tanked ship eating cap boosters like candy.

Finally the Sleepers stopped ganking my drones, and so I heated the Falcon's blasters to crack the dude's tank, and I got him down to 10% shield before the Outguard started shooting me again. So off went the ECM's, and I finally cracked the Gila with the last of my Berserkers, Valks and Hammerhead. And the last cap 800 too!

Thats a shiny, shiny Gila.

Due to no tank and cap, I bailed. The guy came back in a covops to scoop the tractor; he did this but bailed immediately when I decloaked the Falcon, leaving the can full of 156M in loot. Which suited me fine, I would have probably lost the lot if the tractor had grabbed it.

Another Gila honorably dispatched by the dynamic due of Jigglypuff's Vagina and Shameboat III.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

The Last Drone Buff?

So...Missile Disruptors are a thing.

Via funzinnu / imgur. Current SiSi build.

Good work, CCP. The Ishtar, Gila, rattlesnake, Worm and Tristan thank you for your contribution to cementing them in the top of the meta.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Flights of the Shameboat III - Episode 2, The Quittening

I have been solo roaming wormholes in between ill-advised punishment of my liver over the weekend.

I've chosen a dualprop, dual rep Stratios backed up by a DPS Falcon (the Shameboat III). Part of my PVP loadout is of course, a T2 medium bubble, because you always want to catch people as they stumble back to POS.

I found just the right victim after a ten deep wormhole chain full of nothing but a relic hunting Astero (who offered me 50M to stay alive; I made 58M off his wreck). The chain dumped out in Huola, and there were two other wormholes.

I was sitting off one when it fired and a Vexor comes out, orbits around and warps to a medium complex, then dies to a Vexor. He comes back in a pod, jumps in the hole. A minute later, out he comes in a Coercer and starts mouthing off in Local.

Cage Man> Where all the FW buttbois at?

I had a bit of a look at the guy as he went and lost his Coercer to a Svipul, again. Ex-Pandemic Horde scrub, fairly young, had some quite, shall we say "interesting" Nestor fits. I decided to jump in and see where he was coming from, thinking it would be a nullsec connection.

Nope, he lived out of a POS. So I set up a 350km pounce off his POS and waited for the guy to lose his Coercer. I anchored a bubble, and while it was anchoring, I warped the Stratios off to the hisec to see what was taking him so long.

He spotted me on the hsec and I thought, fuck it, have a bit of a fight, jump to lowsec, he warps back home, Falcon catches him on the bubble, bingo bango. Nope, I managed to draw him off the hole and was clutch tanking him (bleeding hull badly) and decided to drop the Falcon.

The Shameboat III has only 2 ECM's, so instead of pointlessly jamming the Gila i jammed the guy's drones. Which is actually quite hilarious, because he lost all his DPS and they went into orbit patterns, which is nice and slow, and thus easy to kill. He also didn't realise.

So, finally I chew him down and the kvetching starts. According to Cage Man;

1) the game is broken.
2) He didn't mean to burn his HAMs out, they cycled two times after he stopped heating them (and my AAR didn't heat properly either, but who's complaining?)
3) He's over this gay game
4) He offered me all his stuff, and claimed he's quitting.

I nearly got his pod in the bubble as he warped back to POS, too.

Falcons: generating tears since 2000-jiggly-doo

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Neut Falloff vs RR Falloff: more of the same

The upcoming Remote Repair Falloff changes are out for discussion, as are the Neut and Nos Rebalance data.

The falloff curves are the key here. The RR of Guardians is still 100% effective to 60km, which is where they sit right at the moment anyway. Sure, at 70km you begin to suffer a bit more falloff with only 60% effectiveness, but this is a moot point because you're cap stable, still.

Typically, Guardians have so much extra capacitor it's kind of ridiculous: +148/s and a demand of -68.9/s AB fit. That's 80 cap/s spare in a 2 x 4 configuration. Or about 50%.

The way the neut optimal and falloff is going to work is that, yes, you will (with a Geddon) be neuting to 30km optimal + 10km falloff. This means that at 60km you do 12% of your effective neuting. Which means, basically, you won't be able to dent the cap pool of a Guardian even if the reps are more sucky on a slower cycle time. It will be irrelevant, because your effective -25/s won't change the equation. It will be +148/s and -95/s.

The Guardian has a larger cap pool, albeit a slightly slower recharge. That's not going to matter because your cap pool is now so large you can sit through a neuting episode quite comfortably.

There's also going to be a possibility to change the fits, with Memory Cell II's and CPR fits now a viable alternative, with a 5 x 1 fit quite workable for a Guardian. You can rep for 6 minutes with no inbound cap and 3 out. Six minutes.

There isn't really much to say that the current armour T3 meta will change much. Slower but punchier reps will, maybe, advantage aggro swapping but not if you can run a 5 x 1 fit. That's 384 raw hitpoints a second per guardian, so a minimum of 768hp/s at 60km. If your T3 has 80% resists, that's a 3840 DPS tank. With a low enough sig, your wake-limited linked-up Armour T3 can easily tank 7-10 of its compatriots.

With 4 Guardians, you can achieve that at close to 80km in falloff.

So, no, nothing much is changing in the meta with all this. not until remote capacitor transmitters get a massive kick to the nuts, or the Guardian actually gets balanced. You know what fucking balance is? It's having a gooddamn devil's choice to make between 4 x 2 repping non-stable and 3 x 2 repping (1 off) stable. 5 x 1's or 3 x 0 (2 +1 off) for 6 minutes isn't balanced toward reducing logi blobs.

The shield RR's, however, are significantly different. This will really impact the popularity of Scimitar vs Basilisk, especially with the new Command Destroyers and people'shabits of blobbing up. CD's will be less useful at snatching a gang away from a Scimi, because it'll have reps out to 115km. That said, the new cycle time bloat of Shield RR really means that rail  and beam lasers are going to be the counter to shield kitfag meta.

We will see; it's such a huge and broad set of changes to modules, module behaviour, ship stats and indeed capacitor amounts and fittings which flow on from that, that it's probably actually too early to say.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Problem with Maths Problems

After the "field tests" of the blap Phoenix, versus in the first instance Dropbears Anonymous (blap blap blap) and Lazerhawks (er...died in a fire) my opinion on the upcoming capital rebalance has hardened.

The advantage of the blap Cruise Phoenix is that, once you've resolved the equation of missiles vs sig radius x speed, there's nowhere for your foes to hide and no way for them to avoid or shed damage. You just blap away to edge of grid, as BAERS found out.

Of course, LZHX avoided being blapped aside from one loki, due to their wake limiter subs and AB legions, but that's as much shitty TP skills as anything else. Our Vigil pilots didn't have the requisite 2nd tier skill trained which actually makes TP's effective; instead of 86% per TP to a maximum of 6, they were at 37%. This matters a LOT. A lot more than, say, 20% less capacitor use.

Anyway, the thing about dreads in combat is they are a one shot item; once you are committed you are committed. Once you hit siege, you have a closed system for 5 minutes. Lazerhawks primed me literally 1 second after I started a cycle, which was bad luck, but it just illstrates the point: unable to refit due to the carrier being bumped out of range and no Nestors on field, you have a closed system. If you get neuted out, if the DPS overwhelms your tank, you die. Simple as that. No refits, nada. It happens.

here's the thing. under larrikin's new capital system, dreads are going to be frankly useless. Why?

1) They will be (partly) susceptible to TD's and MD's (missile disruptors). This alone would be enough to obviate the need to change blap dreads because the line between blapping and not is qite fine; the sig radius difference between the Loki that died and the Legions which didn't is less than 5%. Either way you look at it, being susceptible to a TD or MD will reduce performance overall.

2) Dread DPS is going to become irrelevant except for XL Citadels. In the new Citadel system even Large citadels will still be susceptible to large-ish fleets of high-DPS battleships or massed bomber fleets. There will be very few reasons to deploy a Dread unless the Citadel defences are nasty. If they are nasty, you have FAX. If your XL Citadel can doomsday and kill capitals, you'd be fucked in the head to deploy a Dread because...

3) Expanded grids, and Carriers with projectable fighters, may invalidate Citadel gun defences entirely. I mean, think about it. if your max lock range is 250km and POS's and hence Citadels rarely shoot you beyond 300km (trust me on this I am the POS guru), and you can drive fighters across grid and shoot without a lock, why deploy a Dread within range of a Citadel at all?just fly your fighters through space to attack the Citadel and keep your carrier safely beyond the range of the defences.

4) The reduction in EHP of Capitals will make a 5 minute siege cycle a fatality. it was already quite fatal for my Phoenix; I died with 2 minutes left on the cycle. True, it wasn't exactly the most tanked Dread fit, I had no cap to even run a DCU due to 20 neuting legions and probably 30-40 medium neuts cycling, but we are talking about Larrikin reducing EHP substantially.

The only way I'd have survived longer was either a) refit b) Capital ASB c) Capital Capacitor injector tank (which is unrealistic anyway due to, viz. lack of slots).

5) The need to deaggress to refit; sure I was pretty boned, but with less EHP to burn, you can't necessarily afford a full minte to deaggress in order to refit from gank to tank. This mechanic is arguable, because it is so vital to current WH Dread meta (or any Dread which isn't at risk of DD or blapping from massive firepower), but its absence will be uite inimicable.

6) Dreads are likely to remain static. This is the worst part about the upcoming changes; immobility forced on a Dreadnought by the Siege cycle is utter cancer, especially given the new role of Carriers and the mobility they will gain with MWD's or AB's. Even if you imagine Carriers having a 300m/s speed (and partial web immunity) they will be able to, with a combination of an immobile Dread to zoidberg away from, a Dread which is suffering stacked TD's or MD's, a Dread which has had its heavy weaponry replaced by shitty "High-Angle Weapons" aka BS guns on roids, or actual Capital Guns with extra-nerfed trcking, and the ability to fit a burst tank....I mean, really? Carriers will just kite away from a Dreadnought as much as possible, being unable to be hit by non-tracking TD's guns while driving squadrons of fighters across a 2,500km expanded grid to assfuck the opposition.

7) Nerfed weapons. Like, if the blap dread is a maths problem at the moment, compounded by the need to pile support (and logi to keep the support up) onto field, then it's a maths and manpower issue all rolled into one. Are blap dreads powerful? Yes. Are they limited? Hells yes. Do Dread guns need to be nerfed and replaced with BS guns which do shit DPS? No.

The part that Larrikin seems to miss is the LZHX vs BAERS endgames. Blap dreads are considered to be what we did to BAERS all the time; the Dread just starts alphaing shit off the field and everyone loses 750M ISK T3's and there's QQ and biscuits.

However, without blap dreads, the LZHX outcome is more likely. If you cannot alpha T3's, then logi begins to become dominant. Logi at the moment is far, far too strong. Lazerhawks had 3-5 Guardians (I wasn't counting, as I was too busy) and due to the inability of the Phoenix to get traction and alpha things, our DPS was just not enough to punch through them (and we lacked neuts and ECM). An extra 2,000 paper DPS of BS guns wouldn't have made a lick of difference in the fight, which is what these naff HAW's are going to be.

To put it in perspective, my Phoenix out of siege nearly alpha'd a Stiletto. It couldn't alhpa Legions. And you think that having Cruise Missile level application and 2,000 DPS HAW's is better than having better than (subcap) Cruise Missile worth of Citadel Cruise and 4,800 DPS?

Get off the crack pipe. So, i really question the upcoming Capital system. Dreads are doing to be obsoleted instantly by overpowered Carriers.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Ala Kachuu!

Ala Kachuu is the Kazakh tradition of bride kidnap; you basically abduct your bride and force her to marry you. Also rape, no doubt, and sexual slavery. It still goes on to this day, but there's cultural homage paid with rituals like carrying your bride out of the ceremony and whatnot.

now, Ala Kachuu is coming to EVE Online with a line of Command Destroyers which use an offensive area of effect teleportation device to take any mobile, not-scrammed ship, drone, munition, rat or object 100km away.

 Command Destroyers are coming, and they will be a whole new meta all by themselves. You can read my initial feedback here.

They will be fucking cool, and chaotically complex like no other ship in existence. It will be like innumerable horror films where creatures come and steal victims away one by one. Basically, they'll be Pole Cats. You know Pole Cats - you fucking watched mad Max: Fury Road like a real human, didn't you?

The thing about the new Command Destroyers is that it's actually a good mechanic with trade-offs and intricacies, let alone requiring great timing and coordination.

Yes, it is powerful to be able to barrel into a bunch of BS or a lone ship, or a bunch of logistics and snap them off from the group. You can move drones, too, which will see even a failed assault on a domi ball have consequences (good or bad) as the Domi's drones are now 100km away from the mothership.

However, the dynamic is about scrams - if the CD or its target are scrammed, the Ala Kachuu doesn't work. While it's unlikely that BS who are cold dropped on by CDs will have them locked in time to prevent a teleport at 5 seconds, if it's a longer battle then this is likely...and you will definitely be targeting these in slower armour groups or gangs with logis.

There's also the issue of the target defensively MJD'ing. Sure, at 9s cycle time you can't necessarily avoid the Ala Kachuu but you can possible MJD a few seconds after being teleported, because you will not have been scrammed in order to be teleported. So your enemies will need to keep a scram floating free and get lucky server ticks to hold you down.

Yes, these ships are going to be a bane of slow BS fleets. However, they are hard countered by the proposed uber-HICs with 21-37.5km infinipoints. Or by competent defensive tackle(rs).

There has been a lot of huffing about logis being Ala Kachuu 100km off their fleets to break logistics. Well, realistically, sometimes you really do need something to break the risk-averse NDORD / WH0RE type faggotry where people blob a 50% logi comp on top of you. Sure, there's a risk to a logi blob of being Ala Kachuu out of a fight by a CD, but there's a few salient points here:
- no one is forcing you to behave like a bunch of retards and blob up on a logi anchor. Apparently you get 70km energy transfer range. Use it.
- your tackle frigs should be on to these things pretty early on. a 3 minute cooldown means one interrupted attack neutralises the ship for ages
- learn to fucking fly properly, independently. Yeah, your logi effiency will be lower but you're over-using the fucking shit anyway.

As said on the forum post, the ability to use this in small-gang combat as a defensivemeasure to get your gang of, eg, ceptors, AF's, T3D's, out of combat is maybe a bit shitty. Kitefag shit is already few selected for in the new meta and long-point Keres / Navy maulus arty Svipul or other kite gangs (even, say, Cerbs) can follow arond a CD and the CD can set off the bubble any time, jumping the gang 100km away. So, basically a long-range group teleport GTFO card that really is going to make this shit frustrating.

The good point is, of course, that the ability to fit command links is going to be amazing for frig hole use. EWAR Dessies have been suggested at least 11 billion time on R&D forum, so it's good to see small-gang links. The fact it is coming with T2 Logistics frigates is even better.

It's also worth noting that CD's will have great resists and OK DPS. So, you will see them used extensively in W-R's of all types where the low DPS becomes good DPS, they get fantastic resists, and you also get T2 logi frigs. Plus of course, you get to fit links; and with a properly set-up fleet structure you can have 2 links working from wing and squad.

Defensive Uses
Lets make no bones about it - a CD is going to be invaluable for defensive use in, say, POCO bashes, POS bashes, even in ratting in wormholes. You can basically evacuate your whole gang 100km inside 5 seconds using a CD. Got a pair of C4 RR Rattlers? Have a CD orbiting within 6km and the moment you see the Sabre on d-scan you Ala kachuu. Got a POS bash fleet and most of your guys are AFK? Worried about being ganked? Just ensure your CD is awake and he can Ala Kachuu.

It's also possible that a CD could defend against bomber wings. Ala Kachuu will cycle through well before bombs detonate, allowing a fleet to escape a bombing run. You could even, if you are ucky, Ala Kachuu the bombs.

I forsee these being used extensively in ratting. The ability to Ala Kachuu rats is going to be amazing. Dive in to a bunch of enemies, and teleport them 100km away from the other rats. In wormholes, especially W-R's, this is going to be awesome for basically mugging Sleeper BS.

Yes, gate campers are going to love porting their victims off gates. They will also be victim to CD's, who'll be able to hold down a fuckhead trying to deaggress and jump to highsec, and drag him 100km off gate for a murdering. This is going to be a huge arena of use for them, and will see some really, really cowardly risk-averse fucktards learn some humility.

I think the best use will be when someone lights a cyno and hot drops some guys, and they turn around and Ala Kachuu the hotdroppers. That's going to be amazing when it happens.

It is a bit of a shame you won't see these in highsec, breaking up docking games and gay shit like that. Apparently incursioners have to be protected from having to use d-scan, or running competent logi pilots. I think this is a real shame. But then again, we don't have DICtor bubbles in highsec, so...

Monday, 16 November 2015

Shutting Up Shop

So, I've decided to slap a board across the door of Sudden Buggery - at least for a fair while. Done it before, might have a crack at CEO'ing again.

For now, though, I lack the time or inclination to grindthrough rolling wormholes to find the odd relic hunter and, every few days, a small brawl or a gank. The member base has been mostly absent, which is fine because they have real lives, and some of those real lives are getting more real (babies, houses, new jobs, moving overseas, starting new studies). It's all been a convergence of circumstances with my own, to see attendance drop substantially and drastically in the last month. It happens and, lacking motivation on my part to recruit, it is what it is.

That said, we have had one attempt at a Viking Burial of the capitals. It was a gudfite.

We had 30 toons, skewed mostly to BC's and HACs, with a couple of Nestors (believe me when I say they were spendy), a Geddon and a Vindicator (what cost 2.5B), plus a very spendy blap Phoenix and a triage Archon.

Dropbears / INSRT had 28, with a solitary Bhaal, 2 unneeded HICs (we weren't going to run), 2 DICs 5 Guards and 2 ECMgu's (cursed fucking things, LOL) and the rest being more or less T3's.

BAERs mistook Wrong Hole for a 3rd party and tried intercepting them on the hole as our caps were in warp to a pounce off the Eye of Bob; they began clobbering Wrong Hole quite effectively as we did a handbrake turn and brought the caps and BS in to the fight about 2 minutes in.

It became a guard vs ECMgu tussle for a good 10-15 minutes, and the Phoenix failed to gain blapping traction due to lack of our booster signing in (I mean, it did kick off a bit early, but I did say turn up early) and lack of coordination of TP's and webs (La Loca swapped targets too fast). The fight was effectively a stalemate; we managed to clobber one Guardian, but couldn't break the 4 remaining due to the ECMgus keeping the Vindi and Vigilant jammed. Without webs, damage application vs AB T3's was fairly minimal.

Then our booster signed in and put T2 Infolinks on, and the TP's increased in effectiveness 60%. That one thing saw the Phoenix go from doing 7-10K a shot to one-shotting everything. Dropbears figured this out pretty quickly and withdrew before the Phoenix really got into it's stride.

I guess this answers that fucktard from Wormhole PVP Channel who says Citadel Cruise are useless:
Bhaalgorn final blow
Legion final blow
Legion final blow
Legion final blow

Realistically, we probably had too many logis and Nestors for them to do more than break our Lachs and BC's on account of us also having a triage Archon, and they had lower DPS than they could otherwise have had if they'd left the HICs behind. We also did need to resolve the TP supply and infolinks.

But there were other promises of fleets to arrive at that time (and I'd thrown siggy open to a dozen people) so it was supposed to be a lot messier.

Maybe next weekend. If the Phoenix does die, it'll be better than Wraith01 who SD'ed his in a fit of retardation a couple of weeks after building it, because no one was around to hold his fat, drnken senile old hands and provide him content. Fuck that, mate. Get off your own fat lazy arse and fucking work for it like almost everyone else, stop blaming everyone else for your own fucking incompetence!

Finally, the corp wallet was at about 7.4B ISK. With paying for our Nestor and Vindi prep and so on, we had 6.4 left. This was paid out to everyone with a pimped faction BS or cruiser, as a dividend for all the PVP loot that went in to the kitty.

Thursday, 12 November 2015


Well, as you may have gessed, life is throwing me a curve ball at the moment so the guys and I are looking for Mergers and/or Acqisitions in the wormhole sphere. We're open for anything, our butt-cheeks cracked open and our cinnamon donuts winking like a baleful Cyclops!

So, mail me in-game with your pitch and you could pick up a few bittervets.

Friday, 6 November 2015


I have been having computer issues. Not resolved yet, but I'm a reinstall EVE next week and deal without voice comms.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Capital rebalance at "er, um" stage

CCP dumped a load of aspirations on the table at EVE Vegas, with details-light presentations with the design goals and no hard facts. This is to be expected.

Further reading.

Dreads being tamed
Philosophically, CCP clearly wants to get away from the blap dread meta in high-class wormhole space. This is evidenced by the removal of EWAR immunity and the introduction of c. 2K DPS 'high-angle weapon' anti-subcap batteries for Dreads.

There's not generally a lot of use for blap dreads in k-space, but with the introduction of these Battleship sized anti-subcap guns, on face value this means that blap dreads are definitely gone. Instead, we will likely see dread blobs replacing carriers as the N+1 k-space meta; high EHP or stronk-rep Dreadnoughts with a mix of anti-Capital and anti-Subcap guns. Indeed, you can basically just replace the Slowcat carrier with Dreads lining up to blob with anti-subcap weapons.

Sure, 2K DPS is low, but it depends what the EHP and active tank can get to; if you are faced with deploying Battleships or Dreads and the Dreads are ten times tankier and do twice as much DPS you may find people willing to just blob with Dreads. To put this into context, a fully Skynet carrier can get to 3K DPS, so Dreads need to compete with that.

For escalations, it will be interesting to see if the quoted c. 2K DPS is true, and if so, whether it is sufficient to allow escalations. To say that there will be tears over this is an understatement. it is also worth noting that if the anti-subcap weapons are too weak, and the site completion is too slow, with reduced tank numbers it could prove to be impossible to solo escalate. This appears to be the intention, of course. There is nothing wrong with nerfing Krabbing and encouraging group PVE, but without effective triage on field, it might get too clunky to be viable.

For instance, if you need 2 Dreads to even crack the Sleepless Guardians, this means you fully dread-escalate at the start. This means you need twice the tank, which means that it limits your subcap support even further, requiring a FAX and web Loki. So now you've got 3 waves minimum, and there's few current setups which people use that start sites nearly fully escalated. If they do start a full escalation, it only works because of blapping the Guardians off the field before they cap everyone out. With no blapping, it could become a horrible quagmire experience.

So, we need to really await the numbers, but I definitely think that 2K DPS is probably a wee bit low for a 3.5B asset, even if it's meant to be an anti-structure or anti-capital asset.

Carriers becoming tactical
Of course, the other meta-killer is the lack of a Triage function on carriers and the removal of strong non-Triage reps from Carriers, both of which are blows directed at the current meta. However, this is a bigger blow being struck at nullsec capital users.

On the Slowcat side, the weakening of capital RR to nerf Slowcats is long overdue, and will definitely extinguish the N+1 meta of capital blobbing.

In wormholes, the removal of the Triage capability for carriers is kind of a moot point, because in at least small skirmishes (in terms of capital numbers, at least) very few examples of real Slowcat deployment spring to mind; some Russians in a C5 or C6 Pulsar were known to use half a dozen Chimeras in Slowcat configuration, but usually it's 1-3 or so Triage fit carriers supporting subcaps. Therefore, carriers will need to be replaced by the Force Auxilliary capital to keep the current meta going; Carriers will need to be rethought for use in w-space meta.

For instance, there currently isn't really a role developed for the tactical fighter squadron use in most w-space fights, because carrier pilots are deployed in a role now being taken by the FAX. Once you've built a FAX to handle triage reps on your subcaps, carriers are kind of flapping in the breeze tactically (except, of course, to escalate). It will be interesting to see how the fighter squadron usage applies to wormhole brawling.

Bigger ships, bigger battles
As I have been saying, capital combat definitely needs to move away from the cyno at zero, sit there and win or die stale meta which definitely favours armour capitals and blap Moros, and favours supercaps. It is encouraging, and exciting, to see capital class propulsion modules, but their utility is hanstrung by the simple act of cyoing in.

Propulstion modules are necessary if you are looking at the upcoming uses of carriers. Without effective Slowcat meta, and with great force projection via the new fighter squadrons, you really do want your carriers to be as far away from the action as possible. This is reinforced by the new Titan doomsdays, Hand of God and the as-yet undefined remote EWAR capabilities of Supercarriers. Indeed, a blob of carriers would be hideously exposed if they cyno in and sit in a blob - one DD or remote EWAR or AOE weapon and your whole capital fleet could be cactus.

I think the whole Cyno mechanism needs to be looked at. The act of cynoing in places all your eggs in one basket within a few kilometres of the beacon; in the new capital meta this could be quite fatal. However, to spread your assets out even with capital MWD's takes time, or innumerable cynos and cyno alts.

Without an ability to cyno in at ranges of dozens or hundreds of kilometres the capital meta could twist and distort in unhelpful directions, or another way of looking at it is that the possibilities of carrier tactical fighter use, doomsdays, super AOE EWAR will be poorly utilised in favour of just bringing blap dreads like upscaled buffer-gank brawlers.

So, I would suggest that capitals hitting a cyno be able to pick the range to the cyno that they land at, just like a warp-to effect. Maybe landing 70km off the cyno is your choice as a carrier pilot, or a long-range dread. Maybe you want to land at zero as a blaster-fit Moros, maybe you want to MWD off with your arty-fit Nag. It's definitely worth considering.

EWAR immunity and no hot refits
This is another contentious change, and another meta-buster.

This will affect Nestors in particular, which are going to need a significant revamp. The current meta for Nestors, at least in w-space, is to keep them close to the Dreads, with proper Triage support, and provide the Dreads and/or the Carriers with what amounts to a mobile depot on wheels that can't be RF'ed. With no refitting with combat timers, and expansion of hangars and ship fitting services to all capitals, the Nestor is going to struggle to justify its existence at all, let alone at near 1B for the hull.

The implications of combat timers preventing refits impact wormholers more than anyone else; the flexibility that Swaglfars in particular get from depots, Nestors or being close to a Carrier and refitting mid-combat cannot be underestimated. It basically makes the Swaglfar so powerful, and help the Moros flip from massive gank to actual tank within seconds.

I can't say that changing this is a bad thing; Dreads at the moment can be considered to basically have their max-gank capability and max-tank capability in force at the same time, unless you catch them wrongfooted with the depot, they get separated from their Carrier refits, or the pilot screws up and gets caught in max gank fit and can't refit for a while due to module cycling. Forcing Dreads into 'fit properly or die' isn't necessarily bad. I also think that the 30s combat timer is being overstated; few caps in w-space die in 30s, so you can wait this out.

Marauders are going to suffer, as are Rattlesnakes. But since most of these are just using depots to refit max stabs and escape, it's hardly a massive loss for PVP. Marauders will suffer in PVE, however, in C4's. Especially the Kronos, which really sucks and needs to hump its depot.

Removing EWAR immunity will be an interesting but possibly unneeded move. The key point is that Dreads in siege and the new FAX in triage sacrifice mobility for either great DPS and increased tank, or great RR. Being liable to TD's, MD's, damps and especially EWAR, even if greatly reduced, will reduce the value of triage/siege significantly.

Consider the poor Dread, with 2K DPS from battleship-sized guns. One Falcon will render it utterly useless if its scan resolution remains as absymally low as it is now; your lock time on a Falcon is in the range of 30-45s and the Falcon's jams cycle in 15s. You're going to get jammed and have to sit for 15s and then try to reacquire lock over a 30-45s interval and not get jammed. Falcons are going to ruin dreads (however, auto-targeting Rapid Cruise Citadel Launchers....might be a thing).

I think there's going to be a few back-downs from CCP. While just a vomitorium of cool ideas, the devil is going to be in the detail and the biggest issues surrounding the new capital game are going to come down, in my opinion, to cynos and Dreadnoughts. Without addressing cynos dumping everyone at zero, and without addressing dreads properly, there will just be dread blobs vs Slowcat blobs, or useless tactical gameplay that you cannot utilise due to being dumped in a blob and subjected to a DD.

Time will tell.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

The daftness of fitting capabilities

If I told you that I believed CCP had not balanced a single class of ships properly, you wouldn't be shocked. If I told you that, within some classes of ships, there are several complete lame ducks and several complete overpowered killdozers, you would be thinking "No shit, Sherlock." But this is the reality of EVE, and it is because of inherited over-complexity and lack of logical design, which CCP seems incapable of stamping out.

Ideally, if one were to evisage a bottom-up redesign of a class of ships (say, frigates), you would set a few goal posts. For instance:
Raw hitpoints should be 1000 +/- 10
Effective hitpoints (if there is such a thing) should be between 3,000 and 10,000
Powergrid should be sufficient to fit a long-range and a short-range fit with the requisite tank type
They should use racial weapons
They should follow the post-tiercide Roles layouts
Their DPS should be (roughly) equivalent, both within the short-range brawling envelope and a longer-range kiting envelope
Their speeds should be roughly equivalent

There should also be a list of prohibited features:
No ship should have so much excessive PG or CPU it can comfortably fit oversized prop mods or shield extenders or guns without some sacrifices (and here we should mean 10MN Worms with completely viable fits).
No ship should have high-DPS long range weapons, be fastest in class, have excessive point-range and spare midslot EWAR (....but Garmurs...)
No ship should have such luxe fitting capacity it is hilariously easy to fit biggest weapons and biggest tanks simultaneously and no fitting modules or rigs

So, that seems fairly straight forward. Already there are a lot of problems cropping up;
  1. No Minmatar frigate can fit arty and a coherent, workable fit with a tank. Or any 280mm Artillery at all. Even the luxe Svipul struggles for 280mm arty fits, and we all now how fixed they are. 
  2. The Rifter will soon have half the fitting capacity out of the box that the Punisher has. Both are equivalent ships with the same roles. The Rifter cannot even fit 250mm artillery and make it work. 
  3. The Garmur is just fucking OP as fuck. 
  4. The Slicer is only held in check by the Garmur. 
  5. The Worm is OP as fuck, but soon to suffer a harsh nerfing. 
  6. The Tormentor is only 'suffering' due to the trickiness of flying a beam AAR version in competition to the Slicer. 
  7. The Tristan has Luxe Fitting and drone meta; it is crazily OTT considering its cancerous ability to fit hull tank, kite away, and let its drones wreak havoc. 
The problems compound when you consider the difficulty of balaning weapon capabilities (eg; higher DPS blaster gankishness and short range, versus artillery alpha and crap tracking) with weapon fitting demands.

However, again, one would think that the way to fix the ship class of frigates (and i guess, upscale that to dessies which use the same weapons) is to standardise the weapon PG and CPU costs. Then you can move on to a simplified formula for calculating the fitting capacity of each hull.

For example, if all low-power weapons cost 3 PG and 8 CPU, medium-power weapons cost 5 PG and 10 CPU and top-power weapons cost 8 PG and 14 CPU, you could more easily standardise the capability of ships based on their fitting capacity. For example, 3 turret ships could be allocated 22 power grid for their weapons (taking into account skills reduce PG consumption of weapons), allowing all 3 turret ships to mount their biggest guns. Then you would move on to propulsion, allocating a teensy bit less than a T2 MWD to all ships; add a certain fitting capacity for tank (shield or armour) and tweak the numbers a bit at the end based on whether it's a PG intensive armour tank, or a CPU intensive shield tank.

This is logical. But unfortunately, CCP seems hell-bent on illogical fitting choices and restrictions. Like the Rifter, with 38 PG, lowest of all the combat frigates. it's not that a Rifter doesn't have less need of PG, being minmatar. Nothing is more PG intensive than armour arty boats (which basically don't exist due to fitting issues). Nothing is more CPU intensive than shield arty boats with MWDs.

By comparison the Punisher is getting 67 PG post-Vanguard, to mount big beam lasers, APC's, EANM's and whatever else it needs. It is pretty stark, the difference between fitting capacity between races and between ships with the same role.

This is, I think, because CCP is afraid of reworking the numbers of the weapons themselves. We have seen a lot of tweaks around the edges but a standardisation programme hasn't been embarked on. I don't mean standardising the weapon ranges, tracking, DPS, sig resolution or optial and falloff. I mean making the weapon systems all basically cost the same PG and CPU, and rll the capabilities of fittings back into the hulls and adjusting them to ensure that it's actually possible to fit what you want to fit, long or short range, regardless of the hull.

This would be an ambitious project to balance against quirky module numbers for EWAR (midslot EWAR proliferation being a massiv issue), and the free four slots a set of light drones realistically represent (120 DPS = 4 turrets or 5 drones). However, again, you have to start somewhere with this project, with simple principles, and highlight the aberrant ships on the peak of the power curve and the bottom of the power curve.

There will always be winners and losers, but if you look at some of the winners at the moment they are so far in front of their mid-ranked competitors it's unbelievable. I'm looking at you Gila, Stratios, Orthrus, Garmur, Worm, Tristan, Slicer and Rattlesnake.

The losers of the balance arguments are so worthless as to be deletable: the Minmatar race, in general (sure, proper piloting can give you a surprise punch, but you're still fighting uphill). The Arbitrator. The Bellicose. Osprey navy (even post-Vanuard, excrable low-DPS missile-tosser). The majority of Battleships, but especially the Scorpion navy, Raven, Maelstrom and Apocalypse. The Munnin and Vagabond deserve a special mention.

So, this is why the upcoming 'balance smorgasbord' is more like the buffet at Sizzler at 11 p.m.; tired, full of manky rot, and utterly unappetising except for the overdue kick to the Gila's balls.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

New Frigates

The addition of Navy EWAR Frigates is an interesting addition to the already bloated options available to frig pilots. It will be interesting to see how these spread in use outside duelling on stations and FW plex fights, and get adopted in larger fleet situations and wormholes. It is difficult to see the Navy Griffin and Crucifier as fleet boats, although the Navy Maulus and fleet Vigil have some use.

Frigate wormholes are an area rife with possibilities, as the extreme size chokehold forces you to deploy scram boats against BS, and when it's a Rattlesnake there's not a great deal of survivability for scramming frigs. These Navy EWAR frigs promise some pretty nice niche abilities for frig hole gang use, and their optimisation for brawling should see us using them....assuming frig holes can be found. 

Navy Griffin
The new Navy Griffin is going to be, essentially, Shameboat III. It's an interesting concept, the ECM brawler, but it's very niche. I wouldn't expect it to become as glaringly horrible as a Falcon is, nor as widespread in us, because the Navy Griffin pilot will have some distinct problems in dealing with the drone meta which will reduce the utility of the ECM to a GTFO card if drone DPS is too great. But there will be some good opportunities for an ECM brawler to take out larger ships like battlecruisers and the like, as it can park itself in close orbit sig-tanking territory and work away at their tanks once it's neutralised the drones. I also expect this will become a very good solo dueller ship, for the few people with info links trained up.

Fleet Vigil
I think this is one of the more 'fleet' ships of this set of Navy EWAR frigates, and will be a very good anti-drone and anti-support platform. Even without links, it will be murderous for interceptors, with a decent whack of DPS (my estimate c. 150's with LML's), a decent enough tank, and almost class-leading mobility (only the vanilla Vigil will go faster). It also, somehow, has been given enough fittings to use LML's. I'm not convinced it is set up for being a great brawler fit, because although the web range is nice, you will be fast enough to use your webs to kite a foe even if they have a MWD on, so it's really just too risky to get within brawling range and much better to use your excessive mobility and long web and actual DPS to kite around. It's going to wipe the smile off a lot of Slicer faces, Garmurs etc, but suffer mildly against drone boats.

Navy Maulus
This will be very popular given the fact it is a long-point drone boat. it's kind of a mutant Tristan-Keres hybrid. The utility of a 3 point scram is interesting for catching DST's, Ventures and stab whores, so this will be popular in FW. Besides this, it is de riguer for long-point ships, with the only distinction versus a Keres being it has an actual tank and actual DPS. It won't be anything amazing to comprehend how this is going to be used; gate camps, gate camps, kitefags. The drone bandwidth and tracking also opens up possibilities for sentry drone meta, which you can do with Tristans already but not very well. Likewise, good-tracking Berserkers will be an interesting fillip worth exploring. Mutant mini-Ishtars?

Navy Crucifier
With the addition of Missile Disruptors, this will become a BC's worth nightmare (assuming you can clear drones). Get in close, with a TD/MD, and most large ships are going to be cactus. Especially HAM boats and turret BC's which lack webs. Besides that, you can already achieve the majority of this ship's role with an AB Sentinel or a normal Crucifier, so the only real benefit it has is the higher DPS over the bog standard Crucifier, and a little more tankiness over a Sentinel.

Against other frigates, it will be interesting to see if you can achieve superiority given that your TD/MD won't be effective beyond 13km; if you get kited at all and don't get scrams on the foe, you will be cactus. Slicers and Garmurs are going to have a field day against the slower Navy Crucifier, and it is going to really want to avoid dedicated drone boats like Tristans.

T2 Logi Frigates
No deets yet, but in general the advent of T2 logi frigs is well overdue for frig hole gang use, and in frig gangs in general. Harpy-Burst fleets in nullsec will obviously be getting a buff with the introduction of T2 logi frigates.

The real question is going to be whether they get a range bonus, a tank buff (sorely needed, especially if they cost 15-25M), or repping buffs (arguable). The real key here is that falloff in RR is going to strongly impact frigate logis, where frigs face RLML ships everywhere and can't really afford falloff impacts given the short repping range.

I await the thread in F&I with bated breath. Tankier T2 logi frigs with 30-40km rep range and medium RR modules might be n the cards; that's just what a Confessor gang needs to become a PITA.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

is EVE Pay-to-Whine?

Oh. My. God. Becky - look at her butt.

I like big butts and i can not lie. other brutha's can't 50++ page threadnaught to deny.

I am in favour. I would prefer if they capped the ability to inject SP's at 5 to 5.5M SP's (ie, limit it to 4,999,999 SP's so that after you jam 500K SP's in you have 5,500,000), but I cannot see any moral or game design reason to do this and I cannot see any great game-breaking or "EVE is not pay-to-win" reason not to.


See previous post, about Struggle Street. Imagine if you could take your Mining Barge 5, and for the cost of US$15, convert that into Caldari Cruiser 5, or the pre-requisites for HAC skill, which then allows you to avoid a month worth of being literally unable to do anything in your chosen field of gaming?

Imagine starting out in EVE, with 450K SP's, and in two weeks you get recruited into a wormhole corp. Then you can either bang relics like a mad ferret for two weeks, earn a billion ISK or so, turn around and jam 500K SP's into your head. Repeat when you can. Within a few weeks you are 5M SP's and starting to git gud at a few things.

Or you double-down and toss US$90 at the game and bingo bango you're at 5M SP's with the character name you want, no fuss. You can then start doing whatever you want with a clean slate, and you've cannibalised 500K of TF's unwanted and unneeded Exhumer's 4 skill which he never goddamn uses. Or that research skillset he never uses because he's moved on from that mistake.

Seriously. Anything that can assist with a newbro getting what is really a tragically woeful level of skill in something cannot be a bad thing. If it takes SP's off bittervets and transfers them to noobs with wads of cash, so what?

It's not pay to win, it's pay to whine in EVE right now.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Struggle Street

So, you may remember how I up-honoured the Falcon a while back. I ended up recruiting the guy.

Statham Drien has been playing off and on for a few years, mostly doing hisec anoms and day trading. Due to his old corporation (mostly US/EU people) copping a war dec, he decided to try his hand at wormholes. First day on the job, honour Falcon, and loses Drake after having it for 2 hours. GG, TF.

However, not to be deterred, he's been picked upand set upon the righteus path of Holy DPS. He's been involved in a couple of ganks, some baiting, and we have started him out on doing C2 sites for ISK.

The problem is, his options with low skill in weapons (like....fuck all) and decent skill in drones, is the Gila. That's about it, really. His Drake does 130 DPS at the moment, and the Gila would do 539. I say this to illustrate two things.

Firstly, the Gila is OP as fuck. You can tell which cruisers are actually worth flying by their price on the market. Gilas are 270-290M ISk (a shade lower than the Rattlesnake), Stratios are 250-270, Orthrus are 240-260M. Vexor Navy Issues are 78M, most other navy Faction cruisers are 40-50M. This isn't just the vagaries of the market - this is collective wisdom of the Gestalt pricing these hulls based entirely o which ones are actually worth flying.

Secondly, there's been a lot made of the 450K SP starting skill point buff. Some people have brain damage when it comes to this issue - there is no issue! In fact, it should be more than 450K SP. It should be 1.5M. You should start out with all tier 1 skills at level 3, and have 1M SP's to spend on whatever you wish in order to specialise properly into whatever field you seek. It is no skin off my nose if someone gets 1.5M Sp's on day zero. It means they have the ability to buff a couple of skills to level 4, maybe go for cruiser 3 and medium gun skills in a Ruppy, or whatever.

I say this because Statham, with 15.5M SP's mostly spent in drones, mining, trading, is essentially a newbro starting out in wormholes on a DPS and tank path. He has absolutely fuck all skills in either, and he is only persisting because I can find him a role in the corporation (bait, EWAR frigate and cruiser). He can't even complete a C2 site without help.

Taking him as a typical newbro, you have to ask what is in it for people who want to start a game, make ISk, and dabble in PVP, when they literally cannot do it due to skills. Indeed, the reason for pushing for even MORE skills for newbros is to level off that initial training hump even more, open up options and most crucially, give players real options.

Finally, going back to the cruiser hull prices, the inability for even battlecruisers to compete at all with Gilas for PVE and PVP really drives home the barrier to entry of low-class wormholes. it is several weeks of training, and then you get into a Drake which still has atrocious DPS compared to other options. Forget a T1 cruiser, especially in the Gallente/Caldari lineup, if you want to do anything more challenging than a Level 3 mission (which pays nothing).

This is why ship balance is so crucial and why pathetic hulls like the Arbitrator and Osprey Navy need a strong lick of the buffing machine; severe imbalance drives people to train only one thing, because that's the ONLY sensible thing to train. In fact, it is the ONLY sensible thing to fly. The only skill in making it in EVE is knowing what to fly and not losing it before you can afford to pay it off.

For Statham and guys ike him, that comes down to luck more than anything. Sometimes the lucky Falcon swoops. Sometimes it doesn't and you get bored with playing a trading space game and being unable to progress with any ship because all the ships suck.

Monday, 12 October 2015

The Devil's Choice

CCP is proposing that remote assistance modules will be subject to falloff, like all other ranged modules bar gang assists and missiles are; turrets, EWAR, etc. all suffer from having an Optimal and a Falloff attribute.

To my mind, this is vital for addressing logistics over-proliferation in the metagame and doctrinal and fleet design of larger entities, and also equally vital in rebalancing them in terms of their effect on small gang combat.

The situation at the moment is that a Logistics cruiser has a range of 71.4km and projects perfect reps to the edge of its range. A typical 4/2 Guardian reps 285.6 armour hit points per second at 71.4km and a Basilisk reps 307.2 shield hit points per second at 71.4km. So two Guardians are 571.2 hp/s and 2 Basilisks are 614.4 hp/s as long as they are within range.

The smart thing to do, obviously, is to stay at least 38km away from an enemy, which is to whit, the range of Curse and Armageddon neuts. Add a few klicks if someone has splashed out on a Bhaalgorn. If you can achieve this, you have infinite capacitor and can even be beyond the range of drone attacks (typically 57km) which leaves your logis in a serene golden land of fucking up small gang combat and making T3 cruisers with their 80% plus resists incredibly strong (eg; ~3,000 EHP/s tank). I mean, i'm not going to mince my words, there are a lot of corps who won't take fights without their twin Guardians, beacuse it's not quite an I-win button but its pretty disastrously OP.

With falloff, you will have a devilish choice - stay comfortably at range and take up to a 50% hit to your EHP repping power for the benefit of neut immunity, lower risk of DPS and being in ECM falloff to enjoy less outages (and greater problems from damps)....or come in closer and rep more but take more damage, more neuting risk, more drone damage rik and greater ECM outage risk (but less damp problems).

This is not to say that intra-logi blob reps will be much affected, because logis will tend to blob up around a logi anchor, so their reps to and from each other will still be within optimal, and their cap transfers will most likely be unaffected by any falloff degradation.

There is still an argument that cap chains between massed logis (3/3 guards are a thing, you know) are too strong, which provides issues in busting them with neuts. I've been in situations where 3 Basis have held off 6 Ashimmu/Curses and stagnated 20 a side fights into bullshit territory. This definitely shows that cap chaining is far too strong, and falloff attributes on cap transfers are unlikely to affect anything because of logis anchoring on each other.

There is also an opportunity in introducing falloff and optimal to rework the hull bonuses of the Logistics cruisers to provide some differentiation between the tandem logis and the solo logis (Scimis and Oneiros). For example, the solo logis should get a bonus to Optimal on their repair modules so they rep to range better, but the tandem logis should get a bonus to Falloff.

  • If the range of the Large RR is 8.4km, and this splits 50/50 to 4.2 Optimal and 4.2 falloff, the current split would be 35.7km Optimal + 35.7 Falloff. 
  • However, if you make the hull bonus 75% per level bonus to Optimal and 225% bonus per level to falloff for the Guardian and basi, the final numbers would be 17.85 km Optimal + 53km falloff
  • The Scimi and Oneiros could have it the other way around, giving 53km Optimal + 18 falloff, which allows them to be more autonomous and differentiates them.

However, the addition of falloff will definitely cause disruption to the meta and break up some of the small fleet setups where you have 30%-40% logistics compositions and stupidity ensues. With falloff in reps, a logi blob will become more of its own organic micro-fleet component, sitting at range and having to make more of a nuanced choice as to exactly how far away they stay. If you can force them to range you are more likely to crack the enemy fleet's DPS component due to degrading their repping power.

Falloff does, however, make range-damping logistics counter-productive, as it forces them in closer and strengthens their repping power; that may be a ploy to drive them onto your neuts, but damps should be used surgically to break locks intermittently and not blanket the whole blob.

Of course, this may result in people just fielding more logistics, but right now that will be ludicrous. For example, I have seen NDORD run a 22 man armour Ishtar fleet where there were 12 Ishtars and 10 Guardians. Total gayflotilla behaviour, anyone would agree. No amount of falloff is going to make that a fleet anyone would want to fight or could fight. But I will take what i can get.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Upcoming changes to wormhole macro mining

oh, sorry, that was meant to say "it seems we are going to get a key bind for d-scan and not have to press the UI button".

Shameboat III

Sudden Buggery, and myself, very rarely use Falcons because in small gang combat they can be overly effective. Kinda like the Curse and Sentinel are threatening to be - overpowering EWAR which neutralises a foe and makes them sit there helplessly, dying.

Yeah, I know, very e-honour of us. Do we get a gold star?

Well, several weeks ago I caved in to my pecadillo for oddball fits that work in very specific situations and I tried to up-honour the Falcon by making it into a solo hunter. I made use of the fact the thing actually gets a hybrid bonus, packed on a buffer and a couple of ECM's. Not enough to be gay, you realise, but enough to provide some edge and utilise the other hull bonus. I was hoping that I hadn't over-niched the fit and it would actually be able to kill something mano-a-mano, like real gentlemen do.

So I've been dicking about in the mean time, trying to find something to kill. Too many Gila, too many Ishtar, too many Orthrus, too many pissy Imicus.

Then I saw a guy in a Drake running C2's, badly. He was an old toon, and a carebear, so I was thinking it was time to deploy the Shameboat III.

I was lining up to MWD bump him off a wormhole when he warped to a moon (like smart people do) so I followed him there, decloaked, got point and started chewing away. Now, ordinarily the 225 DPS of the Falcon would be nowhere near enough to bust peak recharge, so I had a gank boat lined up with TF, but by the time i was ready to warp in I saw actual progress on cracking it. Then he was at 30%, and suddenly it looked like I could pull off a solo kill.

This was obviously assisted by a complete lack of purger rigs or SPR's in his fit.

So, I have done my part to up-honour the Falcon. Mano-a-mano, if you can find a Drake that is fit badly for running C2's, you can solo him and bring great honour to space clan.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Win at all costs

There's a disturbance in the, wait, that's the SWOTR blog I don't keep. Ahem.

There's been a gush of shit out the aft porthole of the good ship Alliance Tournament XIII after acrimony between conniving accomplices raised the possibility that the two teams in the finals  - Camel Empire and Hydra Re-re-reloaded....soz, Warlords of the Deep - colluded to fix the result of the whole fucking giant waste of space pixels. CCP suspended the prizes and investigated, and then....boom.


Kadeshi Princess is banned 4 lyfe. Poor dude. Now he's on Failheap with an exposee on the lengths that Hydra re-re-loaded goes to in order to win the matches.

Wading through the wall of text, the strategy boils down to;
  1. Ruthlessly picking competent pilots who fly their roles rigidly and properly
  2. Long periods of theory-crafting and grinding Pyfa setups
  3. API scrapers and other methods of basically aggregating what should be inaccessible information on rival organisations' Singularity training camps
  4. Pacts for cross-training between two competing alliances, where peak-level pilots form teams and iteratively refine their fits, tactics and piloting methods
  5. Involvement at the highest level with employees of CCP 
  6. Running two teams in parallel
This shows the lengths that the winners in an Alliance Tournament will go to to bag a set of rare ship blueprints. It is far beyond what  any other team bar, perhaps, goons or PL will go to in order to reign supreme.

The bombshell is that this wasn't match fixing, this was basically one organisation fighting itself. It was Hydra basically hedging its bets that it could get one of the two teams into the finals of the tournament, although they probably didn't expect to win first and second. This is a level of collusion that CCP cannot easily contain - how do you prove that a random Alliance which started 2 years ago is a pet of another? I mean prove - not just listen to mutterings in dark forum corners.

The other bombshell is the allegations of people scraping API killmail CREST info from SiSi. It would appear that there's probably still some of this going on with teams accessing SiSi for training sessions; you thought you had a sekrit setup and training session on the test server, but then someone can run a script pulling CREST and can piece together your fits and reverse-engineer the gang you were flying and put that together during their own tests and come up with a counter.

The punishment handed out by CCP is rather weak. Kadeshi Princess (the IRL person and his various toons) has been banned from all AT's going forward. Bob Shaftoes has got a 1 year ban. none of the other team members have a ban. Apparently, according to the logic of CCP, none of the other players in those teams are up for a sanction beyond losing the prizesand having wasted all their efforts.

This is interesting, because it does not address the problem of fielding two teams under different banners in the same tourney. This can probably be expected to occur in the future as PL will consider it a pretty smart move going forward; you just feed some ISk and hulls and pilots into an alliance for a year, apply into the tournament and see how you go. You can even swap theorycraft learnings in your secret forum fastnesses out of the EVE IT infrastructure so you field two teams in parallel working off the same play-book, just with different people at the helm.

The real question going forward is whether or not there can be an Alliance Tournament with any integrity whatsoever, given the inability of people to covertly train on Sisi with ships, teams and setups.

It also shows maybe some obsessive crazy-level bullshit gameplay limits that most people don't want to aspire to. But props to KP for his ridiculous level of devotion to gaming EVE's tournament for e-peen, I can only show amazeballs levels of respect.

So, if you are planning to go in to AT XIV next year, it's prett clear what you need to do:
  1. Find an adversary of some kind to run mock AT training camps on Sisi with you, full-on, for 3-4 months before the tournament. 
  2. Hit the pyfa grinder and seriously devote a lot of time to theorycrafting (and feed even your crazy ideas into the sausage grinder on Sisi)
  3. Get your pilot skills up (what KP calls 'execution') 
  4. Get to know a Dev
  5. Put two teams in the tournament 
  6. Cheat like a ratbastard
May the worst man win.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Missile Disruptors

news just in: Rockets, HAMs and Torpedoes are dead. Or at least on death row.

Fozzie is at it again, teabagging the fuck out of everything. The ONLY sensible thing I have read in favor of Missile Disruptors is that it allows someone to rock-paper-scissors an enemy which overuses a doctrine like Cerbs, or allows you to hard counter an Orthrus.

But consider an Orthrus with a midslot slopping about; fit a MD in the spare mid and you can effectively assfuck anything with RLML's or HAMs, and be effectively immune to anything with HMLs. Forget Cruise and Torpedoes, and Rockets are a joke.

Truly, Fozzie is going to completely dunk missile boats which will reinforce the terrible trajectory of the meta towards Rattlers, Gilas, Orthrus and Ishtars.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Focus-pocus - T3Ds

CCP is beginning a process of reviewing ship classes for rebalance via involving hand-picked focus groups of (allegedly) expert pilots. First cab off the ranks is T3 Destroyers. I'm not going to bother attending for two reasons - one, it's going to be at a crazy hour; two, it's not like I'll get invited.

However, going out on a limb here, I'll assume that a few people who will attend will read my blog in the mean time, and toward this end I will lay out my thoughts on what is good, bad, ugly and unbalanced in the realms of T3 Destroyers.

Firstly, we have to address price. This being pegged to the price of nanoribbons and sleeper salvage in some fashion, it's hard to definitively state that it is too cheap or not too cheap, as prices will be rising a bit in line with ribbon prices, etcetera. So if you peg a T3D hull to a T3 cruiser hull, it's about 1/3rd. Add in the cost of subsystems and the skill point risk of Strategic Cruisers and it's actually about 10%. peg it to an Assault Frigate, which the T3D's utterly obsolete, and it's only twice as expensive - 45M hull vs 23M hull.

I see some room to move them up a bit on this. Maybe 60M hull, so another 30% in material consumption.

Sig Radius
I see the major issue with T3D's as being sig radius. They get a better reduction in sig radius than AF's in Defense mode - 33% vs 50% of MWD sig. Consider that the Confessor starts with a 40m sig and the Enyo with 37m. With MWD on, the Enyo jumps to 120, and a Defense mode Confessor jumps to 240m. The Confessor has more DPS, better resists, better rep power, more fitting latitude. Now, yes, it's a T3 ship and a better class of ship, and is in Defense mode...but there's nothing to recommend an AF to a T3D.

Sig radius balancing is probably needed irrespective of giving AF's a niche at all. For a start, T1 and T2 Destroyer sigs are too large and the class is too slow, so these need adjustment - a fact not lost on anyone who should be commenting in this focus group, but probably lost on those who will. So a comprehensive rebalance of T1, T2 and T3 destroyers is required, with the T1 and T2 getting lowered and T3's going up.

Base signature radius:
T1 = 62-72 ; T2 = 70-85 ; T3 = 50-77 (Prop mode) or 40 - 57 (defense). 

It is pretty clear that sig radius is an important distinction in making small ships tank better via shedding applied DPS. This means that regardless of any other factor, a T1 destroyer will always be a more bloaty, weak target compared to a frigate, an AF, a T3D or in fact a T1 cruiser. A T3D can have cruiser EHP, cruiser-level active tank, and frigate level sig. In combination this can be somewhat ridiculous, eg, gate-camping Svipuls whose sig is so low with boosts that they can survive gate guns.

This needs consideration; T1 and especially T2 dessies can drop down base sig and/or T3 destroyers rise in sig (ex-Defense mode) to the same level. It's a bit much that their Prop mode sig is lower than both T1 and T2, and then when they go to Defense mode it gets even better.

Oversized Propulsion
Most efforts by Fozzie et al. at balancing T3D's have revolved around fiddling fitting capacity (including removing hardpoints and readjusting weapon bonuses around that). i have previously made the point repeatedly that at the small end of the ship spectrum, there's only integers to play with in terms of making a fit possible or not, which then restricts the real sphere of what you can and cannot do with fitting capacity. ie; add one powergrid to a pool of 27, it's a lot more impactful than adding 10 to 270.

This mostly addresses the problem of 10MN AB T3D's, but as above, sig radius is a major synergising factor here. 10MN AB works best when you can get your sig very low, your speed up (links, implants) and do decent DPS at the 10-15km range (heated webs). T3D's with 10MN's even without links and implants have excessively low sig for their size, which causes a lot of problems for cruisers; even medium drones struggle to do damage to sig 30m, 700m/s targets. Forget about it with AC's at 10km (falloff), Hybrids, and HAMs, HML's. This means it's game on versus basically anything except an Orthrus, Caracal, Vigilant (90% webs suck), or anything you suspect may carry RLML's and/or webs etc.

Again, adjusting the non-Defence mode sig upwards to T1 destroyer levels, and then forcing the T3D into defence mode, will remove the 10MN AB's dominance.

DPS and Weapons
I don't see much problem with DPS, or weapons in particular. The Hecate has significant drawbacks in terms of sig radius and capacitor to hold it back from being an OTT killdozer gank boat. The Svipul has fine DPS, and the jackdaw has excellent flexibility with its 5s reload times. The Confessor gets Pulses, stronk buffer and minuscule sig, which altogether can see them become a struggle in large numbers.

The exceptions begin cropping up in Wolf-Rayets at C3+, where these ships just become a bit unhinged. This is an overall problem with the new W-R in general, and worth addressing separately. 

Pimped Stacked Tanking
Of all the T3D's the Svipul and to a lesser extent the Jackdaw provide opportunities for wildly excessive active shield tanks. There's few examples of AAR confessors or Hecates owning the shit out of a half dozen T1 cruisers, but it happens reasonably frequently with Svipuls. These are always in the order of 600M ISk boats with pills, implants, links and so on.

On the one hand the pilot invests this much they feel entitled to ridiculous feats. On the other hand, you shouldn't feel entitled to anything merely by paying wads of ISK. Therefore we have to excise the pilots of these ships, and their views of what constitutes 'balance', from the debate entirely due to self-interest.

Balancing around over-investment and adding links, pills, pimp and implants is tricky but that's not the point - the point is to investigate the law of diminishing returns. After all, pimp is getting cheaper, which brings this problem out of the realms of the very few into the realm of the average pilot. It's not that expensive, and the results are excessive.

This cannot be addressed head-on. Balancing can, as usual, probably be achieved by looking at sig radius. An extra 10% in sig radius doesn't hurt non-pimped ships vastly, but it can shave a good 70-100 DPS of active tank (in EHP/s terms) off the extreme pimp-link-pill-plant setups.

Additionally, it needs to be considered as a whole of system balancing pass; do we need to address the stacking of pinp + links + pills + implants at 100% stacking? Yes. Definitely. So it's not all the Svipul and jackdaw's problem alone, but it seems to be their problem due to non-penalised stacking of layered pimp. 

Mode Switch Cooldown
An option also exists to lengthen the cooldown of the mode switch from 10s to 15s or even 30s. It can also be restricted, like overheating, to only being done when uncloaked. No more jumping a gate and sitting with jump cloak and then switching to the mode you want depending on the situation. Likewise, it is worth considering locking it out during warps - how often do Svipuls and hecates jump gate in Prop mode, warp off in <3 seconds to a pounce, and then warp back down in Defense mode? All the time, right? This would restrict the ability of the ships to just flip-flop constantly, but risks making them less enjoyable to fly.

Ship Loss Cooldown
An idea presented to my by Johnny Twelvebore was that if T3 cruisers lose you skill points, maybe if youlose a T3D you cannot board another one for a period of time due to mumbo jumbo psychic pain, whatever lore reason you want. This introduces consequence and loss to what are, for some people, disposable ships. Alternatively, and more controversially, you could lose an implant (if you have any) if you lose your ship. That will make HG Crystals very risky to run in lowsec.

I think the Svipul is reasonable if the pimped shield fits are addressed, and sig radius goes up a notch into the 60-70 base range.

The Confessor is fine, with 10MN fits difficult to make work, but becomes a bit silly when linked up gangs of them supported by logi get deployed.

This is a problem child that needs a tweak, possibly a bit less DPS and keeping its current sig, and giving it a little more tank and a little less agility. It's far too agile.

Being, basically, a Corax that could, the Jackdaw is mostly balanced, if only because it has no capacitor to do anything.

So that's my 5c. I agree with Johnny that T3D's aren't far off being balanced in terms of their actual capabilities addressed separately from ISK cost; they could do with a bit of a cost adjustment upwards to be more expensive than T2 Destroyers and AF's. They aren't far off being in balance, and to my mind adjusting signature radius affects the problem areas; 10MN fits, overall tank numbers, sig tanking issues, and the Pimp Stack problem.

At the end of the day, yes it's a T3 ship. But they are so cheap, so potent, and so liable to escalating out of control that hey are in need of a bit of a love-tap from the nerf bat.