May 19, 2015

Armor Plate Rebalancing on SiSi

Looks like there is a Tanking Dev Blog in the midst of being finalized, because changes to armor plates and shield extenders have been spotted on SiSi and broadcast on Reddit (of course).  I've been stuck on a bigger post, so it's nice that something popped up today that is very interesting and good for a quick analysis.  As an armor-tanker you can guess what caught my eye.

The best way to sum this up is with a quick table of the new stats as they are currently on SiSi.  These of course are not necessarily final values, so any speculation you indulge in are your own responsibility.

Name1600mm Restrained1600mm Compact1600mm T21600mm Federation1600mm Imperial1600mm Syndicate
Armor4000 (+100)4000 (-200)4500 (-300)5000 (+800)5250 (+1050)5000 (+800)
CPU30 (+1)27 (-1)35 (+2)30 (-3)27 (-3)35 (+2)
Power500480 (-20)550 (-25)550 (-25)575 (+0)525 (-50)

The first part is pretty straightfoward based on CCP's recent rebalancing.  Restrained and Compact offer the same amount of tank, but the Compact is easier to fit.  However, you also pay an additional mass cost for the Compact version.  The T2 plate is even heavier and harder to fit both in CPU and Grid, but gives a nice chunk of armor.

The second part is the entry of the Faction plates to actual usability.  I don't know about you, Gentle Reader, but I've never seen someone fit a faction plate.  Why would you when they were less tanky?  Now they are going to be the tank of choice for faction ships and other pricey hulls.  As a bonus, they're even lighter.  Double-plated battleships will now be running double 1600mm Imperials, you can guess.  It doesn't hurt that with a dominant Amarr FW zone the LP should be plenty available to get those into the market en mass.

The third part is already being noted as the overall small nerf to armor tanking.  Expensive faction plates aside, your average armor tanked ship just lost ehp.  Really roughly a Vexor that used to run a 1600mm Meta4 plate will 400 ehp of 18k (2%) of its armor (assuming one ENAM and a DCU II).

Now there are some changes to shield tanks in that posted diff from SiSi, but much smaller.  This may simply be because those changes haven't been completed and ready to roll out, so we'll see.

Armor tanking groups beware - you will need to reassess all your corp doctrine fits.  Theory-crafters to your fitting tools!

May 11, 2015

A day's worth of things to love about Eve

So I was killing time in Eve before I had to take my daughter off to skating practice on Sunday and had a great little bundle of fun that made me want to write up four things I enjoy about Eve: two game things (a gudfite and the battle for Oto) and two community things (PLEX For Good, Parody songs). I'm going to push this out to some non-eve players so I'll try to explain things as I go.

Gudfite: Worm v Daredevil

This morning I had a short time window to play, so I flew over to run some sites to help Gallente keep control of our systems. I decided to hop in my Worm frigate in part because I wanted to learn to fly it better, but also in full knowledge that many people would see the ship and leave me alone. I dove in on a Merlin and he got away, doubled back on an Incursus whose warp stabilizer kept me from forcing him to stick around. The things got quiet until I had about 10min until I had to go, when a Daredevil showed up on my short-range scan.

Daredevil - that should be a fun. I'm expecting short-range neutron blasters on a very fast hull, so if he gets on top of me then I'm dead. I'm already orbiting 20km off the beacon so I'll have a good start. Acolyte drones are out already, and I pre-overheat my warp disruptor, web, and rockets. I double-click away from the beacon and hit the microwarpdrive as the Dardevil lands, and immediately lock him, sic my drones on him, and fire up the rockets. He charges at me and I see the the warp disruption icon and I think it's going to be over fast. But wait, he's still 16km away, so that mean it wont shut down my microwarpdrive - yup, still running. I've pounded through shields and into his armor, but he's got a armor repairer running as I expected. But wait, my shield is disappearing! He's smacking through my ship's defenses at 16km. I'm so used to running armor tanked that I'm still processing options as I see I'm in armor, which is shortly followed by my ship's explosion

The pilot and I exchange GFs in local, and end up having a great conversation as my pod races back to my home station. Turns out he was in a rail-fit Daredevil, which is unusual and certainly explains the damage projection.  He said he's never lost one (and I didn't see any on his killboard) which is impressive.  We chatted about the fight and about pirate frigates as I headed home to Fliet to log off.  A shout out to Kondrel Krense who may be an enemy, but who was a fun opponent as well.

Fights in Eve are great for post-analysis.  What if I had put out Hobgoblins instead of  Acolytes, which would have better at damaging the armor tank I should have known the Daredevil would have?  What if I had pulled more range to keep him closer to 20km instead of 16km, which would have pushed into farther into the long range of his guns, while he still would have been racing head-first into my rockets.  I wish I had FRAPS'd it to see more, too.

Community: Parody Songs

I pulled up my Eve Parody Song list Friday at the end of the day at work. While I have a lot that I like, the ones sticking in my head recently are Sindel Pellion's Blue List (Blank Space), Shut up and Shave's I Robbed a Goon (I Kissed A Girl), and David K Magnus' Hey Pilot (Hey Brother).

Honestly, I'm much more familiar with the parodies of these modern songs than I am the original pop songs.  When I hear them in a store I find myself remembering the Eve lyrics instead.  The creativity (and production values) here are a great testament to the breadth of Eve players out there as well as how much they love this game.

Battle for Oto

Last night I logged on to find that the neighboring enemy system of Oto was being pushed hard by my Gallente brethren.  I was surprised to hear that our fleet was made up of Atrons, which I certainly like for their high-speed tackle capabilities but which I hadn't seen us field as a full fleet (instead of our usual drone-centric Tristans).  We worked with a allied fleet to dodge back and forth trying to claim the sites in the system against a good-sized Caldari Corax fleet.  We got some good fights, and took down a number of their destroyers, but they were definitely being more effective in terms of controlling the sites.  Given the low cost of their chosen Corax fit I expect they did very well in terms of the war of attrition.  Looking at the killboard for the system I can see that activity has continued, if perhaps not with as much intensity as last night.

This is where I think Faction Warfare really shines.  Log in, have fights, lead battles that push back and forth to claim systems for your side.

PLEX for Good

After the recent Earthquake in Nepal CCP fired back up the PLEX for Good program.  This lets play donate game-time to be converted into dollars to the International Red Cross.  Last time around (Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines) Eve players donated over $190,000 worth of PLEX to this great cause.

My employer has a nice matching program for donations, so that's my first go-to.  But I'm really tempted to buy some PLEX and split it between the PLEX for Good and some new SKINs...

May 8, 2015

Crossing a line, almost without notice

So yesterday Gallente pushed up to Tier 3.  That's handy, since it increases the LP we get from plexing and FW mission activities.  Apparently it was pretty straightfoward too, as it was done before I even had a chance to log in.  Just pull up to the iHub and dump in the LPs.  Which is pretty disappointing from a player activity point of view, and perhaps points a lesson for the null activity guidelines.

Essentially the Tier 3 was a non-event as far as anything dramatic goes.  It's not like we had to take additional systems, or hold down a Large complex in every system, or do anything that involved fighting the Caldari.  Yeah, people had to do things to gain those systems in the first place, and to gain the LP to donate to upgrade the systems, but that's all incremental activity.

If anything, we've gained this higher tier despite the Caldari climbing their way back in the warzone.  I was surprised to check and see that they actually hold 41 systems to our 60 now.  That's good in terms of having a more viable opponent for pew-pew, but seems disconnected from this whole Tier thing.

The recent nullsec dev blog goes into more detail about the indicies that will affect contesting systems and structures under the new "FozzieSov."  This was touched on in the o7 show yesterday as well, with Fozzie mentioning looking for more things to fold in to the activity metrics that won't be blatantly gamable.

So when a nullsec entity pushes their system up to Index 5, will anyone notice?  Will there be any event that players might celebrate, that might drive behavior and make everyone excited?  Or will it be an "oh yeah, that happened" like our GalMil push to Tier 3.

Or in a game like Eve is it up to us the players to make those events?  If there isn't some big mechanism from crossing one of these lines, should the Alliances (or militias) take on themselves to celebrate these with roams and giveaways and new videos and parody songs to taunt our opponents?