I must admit I’m more than a little amused by the fallout from the dev blog post on null-sec sovereignty changes.
I can’t see how CCP could have been clearer. This is a work in progress, we await your input, etc. Then again, CCP are well-known for ignoring player opinion and steaming ahead full tilt toward whatever goal they have set for themselves.
However, I think the player base owes CCP a little room, here. As a company, they have been to the brink, had a good look over the edge and decided it wasn’t their cup of tea.
They have actively down-sized, adjusted their viewpoint, and therefore deserve a little slack from the Eve community as they move forward, I think.
I don’t intend to go into the details of the sovereignty changes, as there is a plentiful supply of opinions out there. I could add little in the way of credible information into the maelstrom.
What I would like to spend some time on are the abundant misconceptions already out there regarding the kind of emergent game play that could result from the implementation of these changes as they stand.
First off, let’s have a little think about the “Troll-ceptor” currently being touted as the doom of all null-sec.
The idea is, you can (possibly) fit an interceptor with one of these new Entosis links. When activated on a sovereignty structure, this link challenges the sovereignty of a system, by means of this mechanical process.
The perceived problem caused by this mechanic is that a handful of “Troll-ceptors” could run around an area, reinforcing stations, incapacitating services and causing hilarious mayhem and anarchy as the residents try to fend them off.
It is also argued that defending against these things would be a full-time job.
Let’s just pause the weeping and wailing and the gnashing of teeth, shall we? Let’s actually think this right through.
Okay, so let’s imagine a typical pimple festooned nose picking basement dweller, who is bored with cloaky camping and reaping buckets of tears from null-bears for teh lulz.
He turns down his Zombie Pop, puts down his Dorito’s mega pack, puts the cap back on his lake sized bottle of Mountain Dew and focuses all 3 brain cells on fitting out a “Troll-ceptor”. This sets him back the usual 25 million ISK, plus the 80 million ISK for the tech-2 Entosis module.
Great! So, now he has an interceptor, worth 105 million ISK, which he is going to fly to a distant null-bear system and commence griefing operations.
Now, why has our little member of the great unwashed had to splash out 80 million ISK for the tech 2 variant of the Entosis module? Because the tech 1 version means he has to lock the target station and wait a full five minutes, before he actually begins to do some harm. He also has to be within 25km of his target, and that ain’t wise. The tech 2 variant only takes two minutes, which makes his activity at least somewhat safer, and works out to 250km, which is at least doable.
This is where I think the problem lies, and the problem is for the interceptor pilot. The second he turns that module on, he cannot warp, cannot receive remote assistance, cannot jump out and can only run rabbit, run.
The module also requires a normal target lock, something the forum warriors seem to miss. Now, jamming him out will only delay his work, not reset the timer, and I think this is something that would remove the griefing factor outright, should CCP choose to change it. The option of being able to de-cloak a Falcon and reset the timer one minute before he’s finished would be hilarious.
However, to get that “Troll-ceptor” to target out to a decent range that won’t get him curb-stomped in seconds flat, it has to have no tank whatsoever. It also has to have max speed fit, not warp fit, which means a 105 million ISK non-travel fit interceptor with no tank in hostile space. Yeah, right.
So, we are asked to believe that this interceptor is going to be flying around our systems, un-tanked, no DPS worth a sparrow fart, and committed to stay within target lock range whilst unable to warp out for at least two minutes at a time.
“But, but, but Blastie,” they cry, “They will be everywhere man! How are we supposed to defend our systems against hordes of these things when there’s only five of us to defend our twenty systems?”
Let me get back to that in a minute. First, the second big bogey-man, the Svipul.
Ah, yes, the little robot man who can pull Ludicrous Speed whilst reinforcing all the things. Well, the answer to that one is simple; Svipul’s are not bubble immune, are they?
So, some station defense with a bubble on the un-dock should reap some lovely kill-mails, no?
Also, forgive me if I’m wrong, but I believe that WE can fly Svipul’s, too, can we not?
And this sort of segues us back to the earlier point nicely.
The question raised before about how do we defend our systems. Simple, really.
Don’t have more than you can defend. It’s kind of the point behind all the changes, is it not?
Let’s be realistic here. “Troll-ceptors” are only going to irritate. They could not possibly take anyone’s sovereignty, could they?
Let’s say we have a nose picker in system XYZ. He finally gathers the necessary courage, or gets his Mum to give him some, and he uncloaks and hits the station service with his Entosis module.
Let’s say our Zombie Pop fan has chosen a fairly weak system to attack. It has Military at 4, industry at 2, and strategic at 3. You won’t find a system that low anywhere in decent space, I can assure you.
All our little high school drop out has to do now is keep that module on the station service for 15.55 minutes, without dying (good luck with that, btw), and he has disabled a service.
Just as he finishes, someone in the alliance un-docks in a neutralizing armor brick-tanked Armageddon (33km heavy neut range kiddies, your interceptors are toast if you’re silly enough to go anywhere near it), pops his own Entosis module on it, and reps it back up.
If this patch goes through, our corp will have a ready supply of suitable ships in each of our systems to do just that. Of course, it will be corp policy to allow the Dorito’s scoffers to get the station service to within a minute or so of completion before repping it back up. The older you get, the more experience you have in being a dick.
Knowing our guys, they will go ratting in between repping the station services back up, just to piss him off even more.
The thing I would like to emphasize to everyone is this.
If you do not have the will, or the manpower, to counter these tactics with your own, should you own the space?
We are talking about zero security space, here. Anything goes. For years, people have owned space without doing a damn thing to hold onto it. Finally, CCP is trying to change that.
Adapt, create, invent, and overcome.
And remember this, unlike High-sec, in null-sec anything someone can do to you, you are free to do to them also, are you not?
So, will we see CFC and N3 renter space lousy with expensive, squishy and fairly defenseless ships?
Speaking for myself, I sure hope so.