Thursday, 13 August 2015

Aegis Sovereignty 1.0

As of 14th July, the new sovereignty system dubbed Aegis Sovereignty (formerly Fozziesov) has been out in null.  We've all had a decent chance to take a look and see how it works, and it's pretty clear that on a whole it's failed to achieve what it set out to do.  From the feedback people have been giving, the vast majority are finding it quite boring to play with, and many are choosing to opt out as much as they can.  That's not to say the entire concept of the system is broken, but there's some serious work that needs to be done to get it working right, and that needs to be sooner than later.

The #1 goal of Aegis Sovereignty is
"As much as possible, ensure that the process of fighting over a star system is enjoyable and fascinating for all the players involved"
This is where the system has mostly fallen down.  Fighting over control of a system is now done using an entosis link.  This is essentially a mining laser that get fired at structures.  It's a dull enough mechanic that most people will choose not to do it wherever possible.  This means that especially with the bigger groups, very little is happening in the way of fighting over space.  It's much more entertaining to simply hold the space you have and go out on roams as they always have and effectively ignore as much of the new mechanic as they can.  This reduces conflict and increase stagnation, pretty much the opposite of what we need the sov system to do.

That leads on to the next problem, which I'm still shaking my head as to why it's a problem since it was pointed out as a flaw in the system long before release.  That's the concept of a trollceptor.  This is an interceptor fitted for speed with an entosis link It's designed to fly into systems and contest sov then run away when opposition arrives.  With their natural bubble immunity they are nearly impossible to catch while travelling, and with their speed they can run from most players when engaged.  If they do get caught, which is quite unlikely, the ships are cheap enough to replace instantly and shrug off the loss.

Now that's not to say they can't be stopped from taking sov, a ship showing up with sensor dampeners can stop them from contesting a structure, but since the people using them don't want to take the sov, they just want to waste the time of the defender, then causing a ship to fly out to them is a win.  If nobody shows up, they create a timer which again requires a response or ultimately costs the defender their sov.  In effect it guarantees a positive outcome.

I think we're a long way off from a complete solution.  It's going to take a long time for them to get the system balanced right so it encourages conflict and is entertaining to those taking part.  But there are certainly ways to resolve some of the problems with the current system.  I propose the following changes to the current system to make it far more likely to generate conflict.

  1. Entosis links should be limited to ships that are cruiser sized or above.
    • This prevents most near-unstoppable ships from flying around contesting sov with no interest in actually taking it, which remove a lot of the time waste parts which make it so undesirable to take part.  T3s would still be able to fly through, but then that's the benefit of having a far more expensive ship.
  2. When an entosis module is active, if the ship using it moves out of range of its target, the module should burn out.
    • This is like when you overheat too much and burn out the module.  It's still there but need to be repaired at a station, and the cost of doing so should be about half the cost of the module.  This makes it far less appealing to attack sov when you know full well that you'll have to run away, and means that doing so is limited as you need to keep going for repairs.
    • It should be noted this would also happen to defenders, so they too would need to repair if they tried to disengage early.
  3. With a high defence index, multiple entosis links (not too many, 3-4 at the most) should be required to start the process of contesting sov.
    • This give an additional benefit to working up a defence index by providing more passive defence and requiring more commitment from the attackers.  Note that this should only be to start (or restart) the attack.  To sustain the attack only one would be required, and once it's reinforced, it would remain as in the current system.
  4. A system that is reinforced but then not followed up by capturing the command nodes should reset within 48 hours.
    • This is to prevent systems remaining reinforced for long periods of time.  If the attackers don't actually want to take it, there's no reason the defenders shouldn't keep it until someone does take it.  If they aren't using it, one cruiser would be enough to take it anyway.
The idea behind all of these is to encourage attackers to commit to attacks without forcing them to need megafleets like in the old system.  I feel Aegis has gone too far the other way and now too little commitment is required.  It feels like they've looked at the system from the point of view of an individual, when it has to be remembered this is an alliance level mechanic, not something one player should be able to accomplish alone.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Blog Response - Going full Gevlon

Gevlon Goblin
Been a while since I've posted, mainly because I've had very little time to play much EVE, but some things just demand a response.

I'm not normally one to respond to blog posts by Gevlon Goblin, as they amount to little more than trash, but a post from yesterday has spurred a response.  This post is a follow up to a part of a post he made the day before about an article posted on TMC late last year.  He's posted a ticket to CCP demanding the removal of Sion Kumitomo claiming that Sion has breached both the NDA and the ToS in his article.

The Article
Sion Kumitomo
The TMC article is about the fallout following the vandalism of the EVE monument in Reykjavik last year in May.  In it Sion explains what happened publicly as we are all aware, and then goes a bit further into what happened behind the scenes.  He states in his article that the players who defaced the monument were members of Goonswarm and goes on to explain that CCP Falcon went to great lengths to keep Goonswarm's name out of the articles following the vandalism, and even apologised to Goonswarm when they were implicated.

This is Gevlon's attack.  He claims that Sion is suggesting that CCP Falcon displayed favouritism, which he claims is a breach of the ToS, and that the release of the information surrounding the ban was a breach of the NDA.  The way he sees it, if CCP ban Sion then he has got a Goonswarm member off of the CSM, and if they don't, they must be confirming favouritism.  The reality is that nothing will come of it because no rules are likely to have been broken.  The only rule really in question is the NDA, which we'll get to in time.

The Favouritism
In the article, Sion does claim that CCP Falcon kept the fact that the vandals were members of Goonswarm quiet, however he did not make any claim of favouritism, so even if that were a rule under the ToS (I don't believe it is) the accusation is false.  Beyond that, what he said doesn't even display favouritism.  For starters, for it to be favouritism there would have to have been a time when individuals that were members of another group performed a real world crime such as this and were publicly shamed.

Primarily however, any rational person understands that the actions of individuals do not represent the actions of the group. If you work for company X and you commit a crime, that company does not need to be (and generally isn't) dragged through the mud because you happened to be an employee.  In the same way, CCP didn't want Goonswarm to be subject to articles claiming it was them as a group that were responsible for scratching a name off of the monument.

Gevlon however is not a rational person.  He's driven almost entirely by emotions, with his deep seething hatred of anything Goonswarm related leading the charge.

This is the only part that is questionable, but to be truthful I'd be very surprised if Sion had released this information without running it by CCP beforehand.  The article comes across as a way to explain to the community what actions were really taken following the vandalism and why those actions were taken as well as shedding some light on the process.  In short, it's exactly the type of post I'd expect to see from a CSM member.  Furthermore, had he released it without permission then I'd imagine CCP would have seen it before, in which case you would expect him to have already been removed or denied his application to the latest CSM.  Neither of these happened so it's fairly safe to say that this was not an NDA breach.

It's plain to see what is going on here and why you are doing this.  You're upset that CCP Falcon insulted your blog, even though he was well within his right to say it (since let's face it, it's 40% lies, 40% misunderstanding and 20% PVA glue mixed with saliva) and you want to get your own back.  You see your action here as having one of two outcomes, both of which you would like to see; either CCP Falcon gets into trouble or Sion gets booted from the CSM.  What you've missed is the third and most likely outcome, which is that you received the standard "We're looking into it, can't tell you anything, ticket closed" and then nothing further happens.

Honestly though, I think you should take a step back and assess yourself.  You're obviously emotionally tied into the game on an enormous level, since you spend the majority of your real life attempting to defame and insult a made up group of players.  It's unhealthy for a game to get you that worked up, and at some point you need to ask yourself if a made up cause really is worth wasting your life.