I really like the fact that both the CSM and CCP stepped up to doing this Town Hall meeting. You can listen to the whole thing here:
Now, the Town Hall Meeting covered a large variety of subjects. The one subject that I was focused on was the problem of Capital Ship Proliferation. It was one of the questions that had come up multiple times, by both forum writers and bloggers (see Jester’s Trek and the Forum Thread, and was mainly due to a conversation between CSMs Greene Lee, Elise Randolph, and Seleene.
[Greene Lee] raised the issue of remote reps on super carriers as one factor making super-cap combat “not fun. You have 50 super carriers, and you can do nothing.”
Elise Randolph: “You bring titans and you volley through them. It doesn’t matter how many reps you have if you have titans.”
Greene Lee: “You need how many titans?”
Seleene/Elise: “16, 16-17 to go through an Aeon. Not a lot.”
Now, let’s be clear.. I thought a lot of Greene Lee’s views on several things were daft but he hit it right on the nail here. And after hearing the Town Hall meeting, I am even more concerned about this issue. First off, Seleene said essentially that yes, there is a problem, we know its a problem, but the cat is out of the bag sooo… that’s the situation. The discussion led to a bit of a roundtable where the CSM discussed the ease of making supercapital ships. The big problem, according to those in attendance was that supercaps were just simply too easy to make.. requiring only 3 or 4 people (One person with three or more alts) could easily make one.. and this was mainly because of material compression. The end of the discussion really didn’t produce any solution and I didn’t hear anyone from CCP speak up (despite there being two CCP developers in the meeting), so it seems like they are just making words in the hope that this will go away.
The only difference to this was from Elise Randolph. Elise’s stand on this issue bordered on a strange combination of ignorance and wishful thinking coupled with a “purposeful” misunderstanding of how people think in game. Elise said that he thought the best way to counter the problem of super capital ship proliferation was to give them back their usefulness. Elise wanted to make Supercapital ships more powerful than they are now. Yes, you heard that correctly. Elise continued this and proposed that by bringing back their usefulness, Supercaps would be used more in combat and thus because more were in combat, more would get killed. The only redeeming point Elise made here was that no one else on the CSM agreed with his position.
Elise’s argument is awful on several levels. The first response to this flawed thinking is that the biggest CURRENT problem is that there are far too many supercaps in the game already. The alliances that Seleene and Elise belong to, both use entire FLEETs of supercapitals ships in combat, which increases their battlefield survivability by orders of magnitude. If Elise were to be believed, their use of giant supercapital fleets should have caused more supercap deaths. However, Elise’s wishful thinking had met up with hard, recorded fact. The past few years, when Titans and Supercarriers were more useful, has been PROVEN that this argument is false. Absolutely False. Hear that Elise? There is NO way you can make that argument, none, zero. This is because at the height of Supercapital usefulness, supercapital construction outpaced destruction by no less than 2:1 for Supercarriers and 4:1 for Titans IN THE MOST DESTRUCTIVE OF MONTHS. I calculated some of the numbers in an earlier post here
The second response to Elise’s argument is the fact that he left out one critical truth about supercapital proliferation. One that Elise should also know well, and potentially hid on purpose. And that is: If Supercaps get more useful, more people will buy them, which means that more people will build them to make isk. And who will get most of those new supercaps? You guessed it! The only ones who could buy and purchase those numbers are the massive alliances that already have strangleholds on game resources. So no Elise, all your plan does is push more supercaps into the hands of alliances that are already too powerful in this game and increases the grip that the major null-sec alliances have on system soverignty.
Sorry CSM7, you have dropped the ball and it seem clear that you intend to let this topic slide by without any effort to address it. I am disappointed. Perhaps it was time to add more variety to the CSM.