Thursday, 19 January 2012

CSM Meeting Minutes Review

The text can be found here. I'l just comment on what I see relevant to myself.

Veterans/Loyalty programme and master accounts (one login for all your accounts): as a relatively long-time player with multiple accounts, I like the idea.

"...apparently if a user has been subscribed to EVE for three years or more, that user is very unlikely to leave EVE."

I guess I'm done for.

FW changes: whatever brings more action into lowsec is good.

"The discussion turned towards clone costs, which were widely agreed to be too high for high SP characters, which discourages high SP players from going on random suicide Rifter roams."

Totally agree.

Game balance stuff:

"Frigates and Cruisers: CCP wants to boost tech one Frigates and Cruisers so that they are viable options for new players, rather than the current system where new players are often told to skip over them towards tier two Battlecruiser or even tech two ships. CCP noted that Cruisers should generally be more mobile than a Battlecruiser, but that this is not currently always the case. Furthermore, CCP added that the higher velocity of Cruisers was not often viewed as being worth the loss of EHP and slots. The CSM agreed and was pleased, noting that there are a large number of ships in these classes that have long needed iteration."

Yes, yes and yes.

"Battlecruisers: CCP wants to do a balancing pass on tier one Battlecruisers, which are problem hulls. The CSM agreed that these needed examination."

Depends on what the actual balancing is.

"Electronic Warfare: CCP and the CSM agreed that remote sensor dampeners have been rendered useless and need rebalancing. CCP wants to look into this, as well as the damping ships themselves. The CSM also discussed the merits (or lack thereof) of ECM."

Sad to see no intentions on CCP's part to balance (read nerf) ECM.

"The Drake: The CSM and CCP both acknowledged the need to rebalance the Drake, which ‘does everything too well’. CCP is considering giving it a more offensive role like a Raven or Caracal where it would lose the shield resistance bonus and the 5% Kinetic damage bonus and instead gain a rate of fire bonus and a missile velocity bonus. The CSM vehemently approved of this idea. CCP and the CSM also agreed that this possible change to the Drake would help add more uniqueness to the Nighthawk, which is presently overshadowed entirely by the Drake."

On the one hand, I like flying the Drake as it is now. On the other hand, I hate seeing them in opposing gangs because it means I can't kite them without taking significant damage. However, the proposed changes are making Drakes even better at long-distance damage projection. Not sure this is a good idea.

"Command Ships and Warfare Links: CCP suggested that Command Ships should have their attributes looked into and have their utility expanded by adding two races of leadership bonus to each hull, instead of one; for example, the Eos might offer both bonuses to Information Warfare and Armor Warfare. The CSM was excited by this idea. CCP and the CSM discussed the power of Strategic Cruisers vis a vis Command Ships; both CCP and CSM agreed that the Strategic Cruisers are overshadowing Command Ships in terms of their link bonuses. CCP suggested, and the CSM agreed, that Strategic Cruisers should have a lesser but more versatile bonus to Warfare Links than Command Ships, as versatility is a core concept for Tech 3 ships.

For example, Strategic Cruisers presently offer a 5% bonus to a single leadership bonus, where Command Ships offer a 3% bonus; under the discussed system, Strategic Cruisers might offer a lesser leadership bonus, but that bonus could apply to multiple (or all) types of leadership.

CCP also acknowledged that some Command Ships are in need of some love, the Eos for example. The Command Ships in whole will be receiving a rebalance in the near future."

I like the idea of buffing command ships and giving T3's more versatility, but weakening T3 bonuses makes me sad. They work very well for solo multiboxing and small-gang PvP.

"Nosferatu: CCP and the CSM discussed methods of making Nosferatu more viable, having again begun with the problem of the Pilgrim. The CSM suggested that one of the reasons Nosferatu are not broadly viable is that their drain is all-or-nothing; it shuts off entirely if the aggressor has more capacitor than the victim. The CSM proposed a ‘trickle mode’ instead, where Nosferatu continue to drain capacitor from the victim even if the aggressor has more cap, but at a reduced rate."


"Another thing brought up in connection to lowsec was contraband. It's a pain in the ass, can it just be removed? It makes contracting difficult -- you can't contract Plutonium or Prostitutes! It furthermore removes the usage of boosters in highsec, thus decreasing the overall demand for it. CCP replied that it wants to make it enforced by players, but then we have the issue of catching people in Empire. CSM’s response was to encourage CCP to kill the current system, then add player enforcement when CCP has the time."


"CSM continued to the point of how does risk versus reward scale? "Badly" (followed by laughter) was the response from some of the people in the meeting. The CSM suggested that rebalancing prices of modules so that average cost of modules versus cost of hull would be reasonably constant. Right now looting a frigate wreck gives you a good fraction of the value of the ship (because most of the value is in the modules), vs. larger ships where this isn't true. Right now T2 is so cheap that it's a no brainer, if you can use T2, you use T2. Following this train of thought, the CSM said it's hard to make money by PVP'ing, most people now grind money so they can PVP. By adjusting somehow the drops from PvP, it could be possible to make it viable to only PvP, ISK vice. PvP-ing in a frigate means that you only need to kill a few ships to break even, flying in a Vagabond means that a player needs to kill 100 (in the ballpark at least) to pay for that ship. One CSM member pointed out that that buying a ship to fight in is not an investment in making more ISK (like when a player invests in his mission running ship), it is an investment in fun. CCP asked in turn whether it wasn’t a bit depressing to have to run content in the game that a player doesn’t necessarily wants to run, in order to be able to have fun. The CSM responded that all activity added to the game, there wouldn’t be ganking of helpless miners if there was no one mining.

Another possibility is more passive income. Or some sort of income generated by conflict (alliances get moons, for example, but what about smaller groups and individuals)? CCP liked the sentiment, but price balancing of things related to this would be a nightmare. Maybe a solution would be to allow the killer to get a cut of the insurance payout his victim gets? CSM liked this idea, perhaps a payout to 10 or 20%? One CSM comment was that if a player gets shot down by Concord, he shouldn't get a cut of the payout from the poor guy he just ganked. The CSM was not unanimous in that sentiment."

Making PvP profitable? I'm all for it but I have a feeling these changes won't be fast.

Monday, 16 January 2012


So, yesterday my corpmate Xerses0 came online for a few hours and there were some gangs roaming in our area, it looked like we could get a fight or two.

First, Xerses spotted a few battlecruisers, including obvious bait ships such as Drake and Prophecy, in Kurn. I boarded my dualrep Domi and warped to the sun where the Prophecy sat, screaming "HEY EVERYONE I'M JUST A BAIT FOR A FLEET SITTING ON A GATE NEXT DOOR!".

We tackled each other and local spiked as expected. Xerses boarded a Domi of his own with remote rep mods to help me. But as soon as their fleet landed, it was clear we stood no chance. Not because of DPS - I could tank their several battlecruisers for a while - but because it included two Falcons and a damp Celestis.

All I could do was pop an Exile pill and control my reps and cap injectors to stay alive for as long as possible. Eventually, I remembered one of my associates had an ECM ship of his own in Kurn, a Scorpion, so I had him come in and try to jam the jammers.

But a single Scorp was no match for their ECM boats and the boring game of "only one side shoots" went on until a couple friends from Sepco warped to us, scaring the hostile gang which disengaged. Meh.

Some time later, another battlecruiser gang showed up in Kurn: three Drakes, a Ferox and a Hurricane. We set for active-tanked Myrmidon and Hyperion and engaged them in a belt. Rather quickly, the three of their ships that were not tackled warped off, unable to break my tank. Most frustratingly, then, the two tackled ships jammed both of us with ECM drones and warped off as well. Meeeeeeeeeeh.

I guess I'll try fitting a smartbomb next time to deal with scumbag weekend warriors.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Slow Times

It's been a long time since I've last updated this journal. After a great summer spent flying with both pirate (mostly Shadow Cartel) and anti-pirate (Matari Exodus) gangs, me and my associates went into a sort of hibernation, occasionally engaging in PVE activities such as missions and exploration to raise ISK and improve my security status.

Yes, I am no longer flashy and can travel in hisec which should help me join Matari Exodus gangs when I'm active again. Those guys are simply awesome and I've learnt a lot about solo and small-gang PVP from them. My associates even appear in one or two videos they've released (linked here).

My new security status means I have to be more selective about what I engage in Empire space and W-space provides an excellent alternative for piracy.

Yesterday, a quick scan of my home system showed two wormholes one of which had a miner and a hauler on scan. They even let me probe them out after which I quickly returned in a Broadsword and pinned down the Retriever whose Iteron buddy had left the Gravimetric site by that time.

With the bubble up, I contacted the pilot and asked him for a 10 million ISK ransom. One volley from my autocannons which stripped his shield and a half of his armour seemed to have sped up the negotiations and seconds later I was warping back to the wormhole 10 million isk richer. Nothing to boast about, but a pleasant return to piracy after a long break.

So what next? I guess I will continue building up my sec status buffer while looking for occasional PVP opportunities. But most of the time you see me in comms channels, I'm safe asleep in my pod or captain's quarters.