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An interesting post came up from CCP Greyscale:

Hi everyone,We’re not happy with the effectiveness of large groups of titans against subcapital ships, so we’re making some adjustments to titans and to XL turrets.This is a quick, surgical adjustment to solve a specific issue we have identified. It’s not a general titan balance pass, and we don’t consider titans “done” after this change. Titans will require significant further changes, and probably an overall adjustment in role, before they’re in a place where we’re really happy with them. This will require a reasonably significant amount of work, which we unfortunately don’t have the spare resources for right now. In a similar vein, we’re not making more extensive balance changes (or addressing this issue in a more technically complex way) because we’re allocating the minimum resources needed to resolve the specific issue (titans performing excessively well against subcaps in certain circumstances) satisfactorily. If you have any further questions about this paragraph, please ask away Smile

For the immediate future and until such time as we have the resources available to do a comprehensive overhaul, we want to ensure that titans perform decently against other capitals, but do not represent a serious threat to subcaps. We want titans to have clear vulnerabilities, and as much as possible to have them acting in support of the main capital/subcap fleet rather than the other way round. We’ve already prevented doomsdays from being fired at subcaps, and this adjustment should continue that trend.

We have talked to the CSM about this, and we’re comfortable going forward with these changes in light of that discussion. I’m not going to put words in their mouths, though.

Specific changes being made:

XL turret tracking halved, siege module tracking penalty removed

This should generally make titan performance against small targets significantly worse, without seriously impacting their effectiveness against larger targets, or negatively impacting dreadnaughts in their common use-case (ie, in siege mode).

Titans reduced to 3 maximum locked targets, and base scan resolution reduced to 5

This should make trying to engage smaller targets very inefficient, due to long lock-times and an inability to queue many targets at once. This reinforces the titan’s MO as a slow-acting but hard-hitting platform (in line with the doomsday’s huge damage and 10 minute RoF). The scan res number is balanced around multiple Cormack’s sensor boosters, on the assumption that money is not a limiting factor for titan pilots, and therefore that people will shell out for officer SBs if that lets them continue do this kind of thing. Our understanding is that this isn’t standard practice right now, but we have to balance for expected behavior after the change, and for worst-case scenarios.

Expected release schedule for these changes

These changes should hit TQ some time in April. If there is a sizable release in April then expect them to turn up then; if not then we’ll announce deployment dates for these changes closer to the time.

Changes considered and discarded:

(I’m expecting at least three people to not read the word “discarded” and make angry posts about something in this section. C’est la vie.)

Titans can’t lock subcaps at all

Guaranteed effective solution, but we considered it too hacky and restrictive.

Adding a “minimum sig radius” attribute to turrets, below which damage would fall off regardless of tracking

Too big a change and more technical work than we actually needed to solve the problem.

Changing the lock time formula

As it is, the lock time formula doesn’t really scale in a nice way between battleships and capitals (the kink in the curve always happens around cruisers regardless of the scan res and sig radius), but again we decided we could solve the issue without resorting to this sort of technical work.

Changing XL missiles to match

While in a strictly regimented world we ought in principle to nerf XL missiles and remove the penalties from the siege module for them too, in practice they’re not actually a problem due to the way missile damage scales against small targets. Leaving them unchanged also serves to differentiate missiles further from turrets, which might make them more useful on capitals under certain circumstances.

Now, of course there are going to be the usual tears.  That being said, while I think these changes are a step in the right direction, it isn’t the cure.  (Oddly enough, shortly after I read the post, the Eve Online forum site when down for maintenance).
 
In fact, it’s not even close.
 
The real problem has always been on the production side.  True, Titans are supposed to be the uber-weapon of choice but remember, at their introduction, they were supposed to be a huge expense.. available ONLY to massive alliances.  I.e. they were only able to purchase, and support,… one, maybe two.  The Supercarriers also were supposed to be so expensive that having just one in the field meant business and that losing just one would be significant enough to destabilizing the alliance.  Fast forward to today and supercarriers are lost about one every two days.  Many of these ships in the hands of pilots who clearly have more isk than brains.  However, supercarriers are being produced at a phenominal rate of over 3 a day and Titans as well, while requiring more time and resources, are being produced at a rate of 1.5 per day on average.
 
One and a half titans being built.. EVERY DAY!  Three supercarriers are being built.. EVERY DAY!
 
I think CCP is hoping that if you nerf both the Titan and the Supercarrier enough, then demand will decrease.  But as Ripard Teg wrote a little while back, CCP loses more Titans to disactivated accounts than from actual combat.  In November, a grand total of 2 titans were lost to combat.  Only two.  Over the past four months only 18 Titans have perished.. with half of those in October.  Yet those losses were replaced by about two week’s worth of Titan production.  
 
Here are CCP’s own records on this:
 
We still need to wait a few more months to see the results Crucible had on Titan and Supercarrier killing.. but the simple fact is that it is highly unlikely that production of supercapital ships will cease anytime soon.  And as long as alliances such as -A-, Pandemic Legion, Goonswarm, Red Alliance, etc. can field FLEETS of supercapital ships, then there is no way that ANY small alliance will ever have the option of developing null-sec territory.
 
Hopefully some of you CSM are reading this.. because you need to get CCP’s mind off of nerfing supercapitals.. and start finding way to make supercap ownership a painful expense, both in isk, time, and resources.
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