Monday, 23 March 2015

Structure Grind

By now you've all read the devblog, and watched the keynote address at Fanfest, and watched the speech on Structures. I have spent a few days fomenting about this. I have Likes and I have Dislikes.

Like: Structure Fitting
In Corbexx's questionaire he sent around wormhole dwellers last year, I complained about the process of setting up POSs and posited - why can you not have fitting screens? Why canwe not have an automatically pre-set POS you can just drag and drop modules onto?

Either CCP pulled that idea from the gestalt, took my idea, or they were wondering it themselves, because here we are. Finally! Fuck you Green Anchoring Demon.

What does this mean, in my opinion? Hopefully a variety of racial structure archetypes, like Amarr towers you can armour tank and fit capital reps to. Caldari ECM POSs with more midslots and strong shields you can fit Shield Power Relays to and get stonking passive regen. Active tanked Minmatar towers. Etcetera.

Like: ECM Arrays
I broadly like the idea of intelligence gathering, intelligence disruption, and espionage arrays. Like, seed a structure near a gate and anyone within range disappears from Local, allowing you to seed a small structure into system to later take advantage of its Local delay/removal feature and slip in some tackle to attack nulltards. 

Dislike: Decloaking Arrays
What I really dislike is the idea of structures that disable cloaking in any way, ie; the carebear's friend anti-AFK cloaker array. The idea of this is just plain pandering to crybaby idiots who live in nullsec and can't look after themselves or each other.

I will certainly be trying to agitate against this; but as we've seen before numerous times is if CCP thinks it's a good idea, they do it anyway. Well, the compromise might be that your intelligence arrays have 2 slots and you have 3 functions you can choose from. pick any 2 of Pirate Detection Array. Local, Decloaking. So you can have no AFK cloakers and plenty of rats, or you can have AFk cloakers and plenty of rats, or you can have Local and no AFK cloakers and slum it in the belts. Having local, no AFK cloaking and plenty of rats is highsec.

Dislike: Mooring
I really dislike the idea of mooring (and the corollary which is anything being stored being indestructible). There is a very complex interplay here if someone can, in a wormhole for instance, get up at zero metres on your moored ship cloaked, and the moment you board it he can attack you. Or even within scram range. It's like having a magic superman sight at a k-space station and knowing what your enemy has docked, and will undock in. So all you have to solve now is the equation of tanking the structure defences or ganking the guy before he escapes or gains freedom of manouevre, and it's docking games for wormholes.

Like and Dislike: Loot Pinata RIP
Firstly, let's be honest. Very few sieges result in loot pinata. They all result in self-destruction derbies, where you watch the POS residents fly their ships into pools of gasoline and drop lit matches at their feet. It is exciting, often times hilarious, and the evaporated tears which waft out of the self-immolating carebears are glorious and good for the health.

But you never get much from a siege. The arrays drop a bunch of shit, occasionally it's worth a lot of money, more often than not it's just random crap and it creates headaches in splitting the loot up. Active defenders will torch as much as they can to spite you, so profitability is down. You do occasionally get extreme loot pinata from a defuelled POS, though, but that's a rare treat.

Under the proposed structure system, the contents of the structure which are not moored to the outside will spawn into sekrit caches around planets in the system, and they will stay there as mission journal events the owner can warp to in order to scoop their shit. So, no loot pinata. Senor Looty, RIP.

Is this bad? Well, yes and no. It is hardly going to affect sieges, because anyone who sieges for loot is a dipshit. What it will affect is loot pinata from defuelled structures. What about that? No idea. And assembly arrays, gone will be the days of drops of 300Km3 in ore from a mining POS. Blueprints, also, will I would assume, be completely safe from dropping as loot.

Dislike: Entosis gameplay
This is worthy, and will be, an entire post devoted to the current vs proposed siege mechanics, and how it affects gameplay going forward. But in a nutshell, I am not the only one concerned that the removal of structure grid (the EHP and DPS game) and replacing it with a system which requires merely a single transformative action event (ie; running an entosis link for X minutes) to effect a reinforcement upon the structure, is a Bad Idea.

Wormhole POSs aren't just randomly useful pieces of crap floating around a system that no one cares about in an assault, until the assault is won. These are the bread and butter and skin and bones of wormhole life. The vast majority of wormhole corporations, the majority of members are only online for a short period of time a few days a week. You can't risk having your home stolen in any 5, 15, 30 minute effort when you aren't online.

Like: Mining and Assembly Arrays as Structures
There's something nice about the idea of drilling platforms, extraction arrays and the like. Carebear miner corps in wormholes will be easily identifiable. Assembly structures will be identifiable as such. And they will all have guns, we would hope, and ship maintenance bays, we would hope, and be defensible to varying degrees, we would hope.

Like and Dislike: Launch-for-self POSs
The current POS system is corporation-level stuff, and the interface is arse. Corporation roles make no sense, often don't work properly, and the interface is arse. Did I mention it's arse?

Any improvement in this regard is going to be good. However, the implication was that any structure, or any size, could be launched for self. So. Individual players will possibly be able to own whatevr replaces POSs. This is interesting, as it makes you wonder firstly how individually owned POSs are going to work in k-space. Will they be attackable as mobile depots are? Or will they still fall under the corporate protections of requiring war decs? An interesting idea there.

Secondly, individual POSs in wormholes are set up to prevent thefts by anyone except directors or the CEO, or someone with POS roles who can just reset the passwords. Under a system where you can launch for self, you could truly have individual POSs. Which would then be a pain in the arse to remove if you turned out to be a traitorous cur and needed to be removed from corp. Another interesting set of concepts to grapple with.

Like and Dislike: No Anchoring Restrictions
Got a true old-style deepsafe 100 AU away from the nearest celestial? have you gone out of your way to seek Incursion systems and saved the pin flags farthest from celestials as deepsafes? You have? Good boy.

Go anchor a POS where no one is reasonably going to expect to find it, at a true deepsafe. Excellent.

Now try to find everyone else's POSs which exist 80 AU's away from the nearest celestial. Hmm.


  1. Will there be limits on how many modules I can anchor? Right now you can anchor whatever you want and online guns after the old one is incapacitated.
    Will we still be able to select placement location or will slots determine grid postition for a module? (Assuming we will keep that freedom.)

    Mooring as POS docking games sounds like something that needs some attention but I've never been involved indocking games so no idea how serious this is or how easy to fix..

    If outposts become destructable, will we see a reduction in the number of stations inh existance? I believe so, since destruction is so much easier as creation.

    Entosis mechanics and POS capture. While null sec stations should have enough defenders available, it's something different for small corporations living from a POS in a wormhole. Agree with your issue here. Not online for a day and with some bad luck... poof... it's gone.

    I should really remember to make bookmarks when I notice an incursion in a constellation.

    1. Anchoring guns will be gone - it wwill simply be however many your structure has slots. Plus you will apparently fit smartbombs, too, because that's a great idea for defending POSs.

      I would assume that hardpoints similar to ships will exist. Or at best, you get analogs to sentry guns on stargates and stations at the moment. Which begs the uestion whether player owned structures (ie, POSs) with guns will get beefed up sentries. And whether lowsec sentries will be buffed as a result. Because the last thing I want defending my POS is a set of sentries ala lowsec capabilities. A cockhead in a solo Drake could then tank your POS.

      If you ahaven't done docking games...the TL;DR version of how to explain it massive buffer, avoid drones and complicated aggro, and snuggle deep in the asscrack of some crevice in the structure to avoid bumps, and them massive flaming homosexuality ensues. Except in thera, where a gang of 50 bombers can potentially decloak on you at an inopportune moment and vape you. if you are good at docking games (ie, love the cock) then you play them. if you aren't they are a frustrating, cowardsauce exercise in futility you avoid.

      As to outpost destruction...well, it all depends on human nature. I'm sure there will be a few retributive outpost killings now and then, but most people won't destroy them. A majority of alliances wont have the capabilities in DPS to achieve it in a non-boring timeframe. But the structure talk said that new outposts will be banned, meaning there will be a hard upper limit, and each destruction will be a final reduction of the numbers.

      human nature being what it is, we will see outpost numbers shrink probably 80% before detente sets in and people realise they are an endangered resource, and start protecting them, and protecting the game and the legacy they represent. Which means there will be many douche copterings happening.


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