Monday, 17 August 2015

Logic Painting

The problem with logic is that by simply applying "if this, then what?" to some element of game design, you can expose logical flaws in the whole design itself. This becomes a logic tree of binary choice/consequences. This affects interactive processes which are cross-related even if not ultimately visible at a cursory inspection. Lets, justfor the sake of arguments, investigate the process of running an entosis link on a Citadel.

Automated Guns
If yes, no trollceptors.
If no, trollceptors.

Simple? Simple!

Use of Entosis prevents RR on the link ship
If ship can tank guns, you can entosis the Citadel.If you cannot tank the guns, you can't entosis the Citadel.

Currently we don't have automated Citadel defences, which means that anyone can troll your Citadel with 30 minutes spare time using a cheap alt. You can log in and blap them, but if you miss it, the consequences to your industry can be pretty dire.

Take both of those together;
Non-automated guns allow anyone to troll your Citadel to RF 1.
Thereafter, the manned defences can basically kill anything entosising the Citadel  because it cannot receive remote reps.
Therefore, manned POS defences will be inviolable by Entosis gameplay unless you bring a dread or something that can active tank the Citadel. 

Can Dreads tank the Citadel guns?
Dreads will be able to tank the Citadel guns = game on
Dreads will not be able to tank Citadel guns = back to square one

Therefore, Dreads don't need guns to RF Citadels. Capital rebalance will focus on turning dreads into mobile entosis ships with uber tanks, able to tank defended Citadels. Pity you wasted all your SP's on capital weapons, guys (says the guy training Citadel Cruise 4) cause there's not much point.  Except maybe defending yourself against subcaps. Which we all know is totally doable.

No idea what your carriers will be good for - triage won't matter for shit in keeping your Entosis ship alive. You are relegated to triage carriers in cap fights which will occur outside Citadels.

Rightio. So logically, in order to mesh capitals with the Citadels, we should expect to see a reworking of Dreads and/or Carriers to add a highslot so you can pile in an Entosis link. It's pretty logical. Well, except that capitals currently get a penalty to running Entosis links. So expect that to disappear. Maybe. They can't make Entosis ships liable to RR otherwise you'll have blobs of Carriers RRing a link ship which will be impossible to kill, which is also then broken.

Others problems with the logic appear. Lets assume your dreads can't tank the defenders guns, or your subs can't. Currently, you just incap defences to free up the logi, etc, etc. Not sure if the Citadel guns are up for destruction or incapacitation.

Defences incapacitable?
Yes = welcome back to POS siege 101. Bring enough logi, incap the guns, add Entosis trollceptor, job done. POS reinforced, and now it can't refit guns. Hm.
No = Unresolvable problem.

This is especially true for low-class wormholes. If your Citadel defences are so extreme that you realistically need a Capital ship to get off an Entosis cycle, you obviously need to build a capital. This then requires building your own Citadel, and fitting it and manning it properly, for the duration of the siege. This then becomes a game of vulnerability timers, manning the defences, and blapping whoever comes on-grid. the siege Citadel might have better defences than the defenders can take out, which thus means the siege citadel can't be removed, so the defenders may as well roll over and not fight.

However, if the defences can be incapacitated by good old fashioned DPS, the whole point of Entosis gameplay comes back into question, because it's not that hard to neutralise 8 POS guns if they aren't automatic. You recreate the conditions for dread blobbing Citadels, just like POSs are blobbed now. So, you return to point 1 - automatic guns, trollceptors, and needing to be around to defend your Citadel 100% of the time during its vulnerability window.

CCP has just painted itself into the corner here, I think. Entosis gameplay has a set of inter-related, logically inextricable components that create an unresolvable problem in not only game balance, but the very mechanism of how these Citadels are going to work and mesh in with ships, Entosis mechanics, and the attention warfare.

I don't know it's a resolvable puzzle with everything as it is. I can't see this working without something being fundamentally changed. Any amount of POS defences worthy of the name basically imply you need a dread. When you need a dread, you have to have a Dread. When you have a Dread, just to tank a Citadel defence, it means you have no other options (really, you don't). This then means that its an all or nothing; if the dread can tank your Citadel, you lose it, no questions asked. If it can't, you've spent 3.5B ISK uselessly. You also wouldn't be able to get around the problem by adding more dreads or carriers, really, unless the equation is that it takes 3 minutes to lose a Dread, so if we all Entosis the Citadel, ten of us will die before we get the cycle off, spo we better bring 11-12 Dreads. Is it worth spending 35B+ to take this Citadel out? not with the shitty loot drops and item safety bullshit Y/N?

It becomes a one man vs one Citadel problem, and only if the Citadel is manned. If it's not, you've got trollceptors, so you're back to square one, yet again.

Its a really stupid concept, forcing warfare into a rock-paper-scissors instant resolution game. Basically, if someone can get through your first timer, you may as well roll over, because there's very little you can do to stop them taking the second timer and then the third, beyond batphoning. Even then, if the defences as too nasty and you lack Dreads yourself, you may not be able to batphone enough people anyway.

So, logically;
- Reducible Citadel defences are needed
- Automatic defences are needed
- Dreads and Carriers should not be needed to take out a Citadel
- Citadels should not be needed to take out other Citadels in low-class wormholes via Dread cooks (otherwise it's a squatocracy, especially with no need to fuel the fucking things)

Truly, a gordian knot of problems. And you wonder why this is taking so long?

1 comment:

  1. I didn't think about the no RR part of the entosis link. That really means that manned guns are either unassailable or pointless. I don't understand why the new structures can't be ground down like POSes. Why CCP feels the need to change something that actually works about POSes is beyond me.


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