Saturday, January 3, 2015

2015 Wish List: The Top Seven Necessary PVP Changes in EVE

My wish list for changes to EVE in 2015 consists primarily of small tweaks to numbers that would make PVP--solo PVP especially--much, much more enjoyable. These changes would get more people in space and more people losing ships, which are the two basic ingredients for healthy PVP in EVE. These changes are also "flexible," in that they do not depend for their effectiveness on the exact proposals or numbers I have. Any changes in these areas would be good changes, in other words. These changes would also specifically be good for solo and small gang players.

1. No security status penalties for combat inside faction war complexes

This change is long overdue, as security status penalties for PVP inside faction war complexes benefits no one and harms new players, faction war players, and everyone else looking for PVP in LS. Players go to faction war complexes either to PVP, or to make isk while knowing they might get targeted, so faction war players (along with everyone else) should not have a penalty for engaging targets inside plexes.

2. Remove fleet warp

This is likely to be unpopular with the masses, only because it is one of the single largest crutches of large fleet PVP. Fleet warps unfairly advantage blobs over small gang maneuverability, and if it were removed it would mean equal size or smaller fleets that are more coordinated than the opposing fleet could inflict more casualties, preying on fleet members that fail to follow FC warp commands and using their coordination to their advantage. Fleet commanders cannot align other fleet members, activate their guns or other modules, nor can they (as of January 2015) use multiboxing software to effectively fly more than one ship at a time, so why should FCs be able to warp an entire fleet with a single click?

3. Reduce Drone DPS by Around 3-5% Across the Board

The exact numbers here don't exactly matter, because drone DPS is far too powerful across the board. The "OP" ship in every class is, almost without exception (rail tengus, cough) a drone boat. A roughly 3-5% nerf to the DPS of drones would be small enough to keep drone ships almost as viable as they currently are, while also bringing drone ships (such as the ishtar, VNI, tristans, etc.) more in line with non-drone ships of the same class. CCP members have said off-hand that drones in general are too strong at the moment, so they seem to agree with this assessment.

4. Increase Medium Projectile Rate of Fire by Around 2% 

Small beams have been improved and are now surprisingly good on ships like the confessor, coercer, tormentor, and so on, and now it is time to improve medium projectiles. They are, to be frank, stuck in 2010, when autocannons and hurricanes and rifters were absolutely dominant, but they have fallen behind in the power-creep of the past 4 years. A modest ROF increase would help medium projectile ships, which are, almost without exception, the current worst-in-class ships.

5. Reduce Warfare Link Effectiveness by Around 50%

The effectiveness of links--especially in the form of command ships or T3s--is the single most powerful boost to a solo player, small gang, or fleet in game, to the extent that if you lack links (solo, small gang, or fleet) while your enemy has links, you are at a huge disadvantage, about as huge as lacking logistics ships when the opposing force has logistics. It is clear that CCP is not going to "fix' off-grid boosts anytime soon, and "fixing" OGBs would not solve many of the current problems with links. The current problem is caused simply by the fact that links are just too powerful. They are "required" in fleets and small gangs--and some would say solo as well, especially when fighting out-numbered (which is pretty much always). The best possible solution is not making boosting ships only effective on grid (which brings in problems with EVE's bizarre "Grid" system), but simply making the benefit of links less effective. Personally, I would say this is the first or second main change needed on the list, with the more needed change possibly going to #6...

6. Local Chat Delay: Pilots do not appear in local chat upon entering a system until their gate cloak ends. 

EVE online is strange among most PVP games in how much free intel players are given. In virtually every other game with a large PVP focus, you are not given immediate numbers and detailed lists of every player nearby or in system. Intel in EVE is cheap--everything from how many players are in local with you, to the specific details of who is in local and, using killboards or external tools like Pirate's Little Helper, the PVP statistics of each of those pilots. Some players (myself included) would like local chat removed across the board, making basic intel something you have to work for in any system. However, a highly modest but hugely effective compromise would be to add a local chat delay, tied to the cloak when entering a system. This would give pilots entering system a brief window where they could scout, and it would slightly lessen the complete invulnerability players in system have (it would also give a benefit to players actively scouting or camping at gates, giving that they could still see if players entered local via the gate flash, but it would also be a nerf to gate camps, in that they could no longer immediately tell how many entered local with a gate activation, making camps slightly more vulnerable to incoming gangs). If you do not want to killed--say, if you are ratting or shooting a POS in a null sec system--then you simply have to stay aligned to a POS or station and immediately warp when someone enters local. The only thing safer than the advantage local chat gives players is staying in station (and it is only slightly safer for the players who pay attention), and it needs to be removed, at least to some degree.

7. Increase Fleet Warp Speed on Battlecruisers and Battleships to be closer to Cruisers

The warp speed changes in Rubicon were a double-edged sword. On one hand, they made cruiser-sized ships and below (particularly interceptor fleets) much more viable and enjoyable in just about every environment, including solo PVP. On the other hand, they made flying BC and BS sized ships--particularly when solo--much more painful. The disparity between cruiser warp speed and BC and BS warp speed is far too great, and should be slightly reduced so that BCs and BSs have a higher base warp speed--low enough to be out run by smaller ships like cruisers and below, but not as large as it is currently.


  1. Nice list.

    Though I could care less one way or the other about a couple (3 and 4) I like all the rest.

    In particular I'd really like to see local chat intel disappear entirely. AFAIC the only way any player should be able to detect another player's presence just from local chat is if the other player actually says something in local chat. If he doesn't talk you shouldn't know he's there unless you either detect him with scanning or you're close enough to actually see him.

    IMO fleet warp is extremely overpowered too, it takes away the one advantage a small force normally has over a large force... Maneuverability.

  2. Hmmmm so you are also prone to the "My way is the only/best way to play" like all the rest of us.

    I agree with (1), (3), (4) and (7).

    (1) because you are in FW warfare and doing what you signed up for should not incur punishment. I am also put of by the faction standing hits here - to the extend that you really struggle to reverse the "damage" should you ever want to go to the opposing faction's space. Tough to enrol my main in FW with those rules.

    (7) The buff to cruisers has almost obsoleted the role of BC/BS. These ship classes should have a purpose and benefit. Not sure the changes you propose go far enough to bestow enough of a benefit to make a BS useful again.

    (2) I disagree. You are in a fleet. Fleet warp for me should be part of the mechanics. Of course I am also prone to "My way..."

    (5) I disagree. If someone goes to the trouble of adding links (logi, webbers...) and you did not he should have an advantage because of that. People put a lot of time and training into boosting/logi/webbing ships not to mention fleet compositions and should be rewarded for it. I get that you have a problem with the off grid boosting alt - so do I, but I am not in favour of the solution you propose. Having said that other than forcing on grid boosting, I have no solution. I do however have a problem with nerfing every attribute/ship/skill until everything is essentially the same - not entirely what you propose, but in my mind you (and a lot of recent changes) are on that slippery slope.

    (6) Disagree. Again "My way...." I like this mechanic. Just because gankers dislike it is not to say that it should go. Opinion bound to rest on which side of the divide you stand here. I do think that the removal of local updates would seriously diminish the attractiveness of null to the null bears (don't live there myself) - resulting at least in some depopulation which I think is bad. I am aware that the solution you propose is somewhat different, but still what for? Make ganking even easier? As it is null sec ratters die in scores, no help needed here.

    Kudo's for at least proposing things that "could" be beneficial - don't agree with all of it but that's ok...!

  3. Nice propositions! Funnily enough CCP seems to be headed in that direction.
    I believe links need a bigger rework rather than a plain nerf (bring them on grid!), and I'm not sure a small dps increase will be enough for medium ACs, but otherwise I completely agree