Sometimes there are just too many things to talk about, and think about, so your mind goes into “Clift Notes” mode. With a lot of possibilities in Eve starting to show themselves, my mind drifts from point to point to point.. especially when those possibilities really don’t have much information out there to pull from.
So, this post is a bit of a reflection on that:
Thought #1: CSM 7 Elections
It seems pretty clear to me that there is quite a bit of backlash against CSM 6 as being too “null-sec” focused. Personally, while I am a HUGE fan of low-sec upgrades, calling CSM 6 out on that was pretty lame. Null-sec game play was badly, BADLY broken with the Dominion release and needed a fix.. in fact, it needed that fix years ago. Supercap ignorance (which still need to be continued), bad game and sov mechanics, and CCP’s disconnect with Eve, the spaceship game, made null-sec (CCP’s cash cow) unfun.. in a game. CSM 6 did a good job getting CCP back on task, and YES, dealing with null-sec right away was crucial.
Now, CSM 7 seems to be, at least from the outset, starting to refocus its view more game wide. The low-sec push seems to be the most outstanding.. and even seems to be gathering more steam than null-sec pushes. It seems that both the high-sec and low-sec communities are starting to understand the inherit advantage null-sec alliances have, and are beginning to make efforts to counteract that. But, Ripard Teg makes a good point regarding this situation on his blog: http://jestertrek.blogspot.com/2012/01/herd-ducks.html. I suspect that Ripard is correct in that Mittens is definately going to try to dilute the field.. and probably be successful enough with it that he will retain the chairmanship.
However, I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing. Mittens has proven himself to be quite.. adapt at forcing CCP’s hand, and even he is subject to popular control. The more serious issue will be controlling the other seats in the CSM. Now, you already have Seleene and Trebor who are just strong advocates of the game in general and will likely be good to keep around no matter what the ebb and flow is.. so the real problem for High-sec, Low-sec, and WH voting blocs will be organizing themselves in such a way that they are able to strategically spread their votes across their best 3 or 4 candidates, while not wasting votes on ones that never will get picked or on ones that already have plenty to get in. Oddly enough, I don’t think it is as much of an uphill battle as it seems to be. Even if they get only one or two more HS/LS/WH candidates added to the CSM, it should be enough to see real changes start to happen. CCP has already acknowledged how broken Low-sec is.. and really the difficulty is determining if low-sec should be a Learning bed for jumping into Null-sec, or if it should be something unique and wholly different from the null-sec experiece.. both ideas have good points. In regards to one Eve University candidate, you might want to check out Poetic’s blog here: http://poeticstanziel.blogspot.com/2012/01/counting-sheep.html
Thought #2: Supercap Balance
Are they balanced? In my opinion.. no. In fact, they still have a long way to go. The problem with supercaps has always been two-fold. The first problem is production related, which I will discuss, and the second is power-projection, which has partially been tempered with the Crucible expansion. As far as the production problem goes, note how many Titans and Supercarriers were produced in the last few months:
August, 2011: http://www.eveonline.com/news.asp?a=single&nid=4878&tid=4
September, 2011: http://www.eveonline.com/news.asp?a=single&nid=4884&tid=4
October, 2011: http://www.eveonline.com/news.asp?a=single&nid=4885&tid=4
November, 2011: http://www.eveonline.com/news.asp?a=single&nid=4886&tid=4
You’ll notice that production way, WAY outstrips losses. While this now doesn’t have as much of a bearing on sub-cap fleets.. it still has a major impact on Sov control. Sure, you can assault a system with sub-caps now with out much worry about Supercarriers coming down and swatting your fleet and let’s pretend that Titans’ XL weapons get nerfed so that they cannot be influenced by tracking links or computers, what happens next? Well, first.. your sub-cap fleet is going to take a few hours/days just trying to get sov in just one system. And the MOMENT you drop any SBUs, a Supercap fleet is going to wait til you are gone.. and reinforce your SBU in just a few minutes.
Not a good situation if you are one of those new, small alliances trying to get a foothold into null-sec, is it?
The simple reality is that CCP waited far too long to deal with this issue and now Supercapitals have, in a sense, broken the game mechanics. How so? Because now they are so many and they’re proliferation is so absolute, that there is no hope for new alliances to gain a foothold into null-sec by any traditional means. The only way for a new alliance to get into null-sec is to recruit Pandemic Legion, or to steal a big Supercap wield corp out from another alliance. Both of those options are likely to involve the loss of at least a few metric tonnes of isk.. something new alliances are very unlikely to have.. as well as probably losing a considerable amount of self-control too.
I was pondering a couple ways to deal with the production issue. The first idea has been mentioned before, and I think it is probably the easier idea to impliment of the two, and it involves adding a monthly “maintenance” fee to each supercapital.. either in the form of a monthly isk charge (the least effective), to a resource requirement to keep them active.. like having them burn through so much Zydrine or other precious metal per month.. irregardless if it is sitting in the hanger or in combat.
The other idea is based off of the original flaw in the supercapital ship concept. The original supercapitals ships meant to be used by very large alliances.. a rare weapon or tool to bring out either in the most dire of circumstances or at critical junctures in battle. Unfortunately, the problem was that it still only required a single pilot.. a single person to skill up and operate it. That also means that a single person can own it, move it, etc. Hardly an “alliance-only” asset especially since it operates EXACTLY like any other ship.
My thought was that you can make it so that the ship does not work unless you have several pilots operating it. Now, this is much more difficult to do, both from a logistics standpoint.. but also in a coding standpoint. However.. what if, a Titan for example, could not move from system to system as one whole unit. But instead, had to be moved.. somewhat “Voltron-ishly” as several components to the target system THEN after it is put together will it operate as a Titan. The individual components still would require the same Titan skill, and each of the components would fly under their own power (though effectively defenseless) and once in system could then be set up in such a way where only one pilot operates it, and the other three or four or so.. just watch. Now THAT would be a true “alliance-only” asset.
Whatever configuration the nerf to production is, the goal should be to keep the desire and need at a high level, but to reduce the availability to near zero.
Well, that was pretty much all I was pondering Eve-wise. Have a good one.