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Monday, November 5, 2012

Retribution Against the Machine

  I haven't posted much lately, same story as usual with few chances to play and not too much to talk about even when I do. But with Retribution quickly coming up for the winter expansion, I figured I'd do a giant (late) post of ranting about changes and proposed changes that will hit next (this?) season.

  First up let's knock out a module you can find on Duality now. The Micro Jump Drive.

With this fit and a long spool up time, as you can see, a battleship has the ability to jump 100km in the direction they are pointed with a shiny new visual effect. Personally I think the art department could be doing that kind of cool stuff on other modules since this blinking probably won't see much action. Unless this somehow makes null fleets use different tactics, it's not a module that has a ton of utility in a fight considering it has spooled up by the time most fights are done.

  You could sit 100km off a gate or wormhole and be able to warp into blaster range, sure. Perhaps a fleet of blinking Machs could be pretty hilarious. I don't know...I just have a hard time seeing the potential. This will also come with a bubble to counteract, although it can be scrammed from what I gather.

  A predictable change but still a rather bad one is that Orca SMAs, previously unscannable and did not drop loot, do the opposite. Goodbye relatively safe hauling! The backbone of wormhole logistics is broken in the name of Unified Nightmares.

  Next up, we have CCP Masterplan laying down the law with the new changes to Crimewatch.
- No auto-aggro for dictors.
- NPC timer reduced to five minutes.
- PvP flags can be created after logoff.

  That first one should make dictor pilots happy for obvious reasons. Aggro from NPC's won't affect a player the same as another player would, which I guess is alright. But even with that change, if they get scanned down and aggro'ed by someone then they will get a PvP flag despite not previously being in Pvp. A nifty new mechanic CCP wants to add will also be a safe log off that allows you to make sure you are gone from space before actually closing out the client. This would have come in handy yesterday when I got DC'ed in null, being chased by a nullbear blob and ended up deciding to wait to log back in....hour later and they still tried to chase.

Anyways, moving on we have the newer proposals of change that comes closer to my heart: EWAR.  This time, CCP Fozzie throws out some static (okok, no more puns) with buffs and nerfs for each races respective ewar mechanic.

"Hello everyone. Another set of changes to get feedback on for Retri.
Since we're adjusting so many ewar ships between the disruption frigates and disruption cruisers, we saw the need to make some moderate adjustments to the modules as well as to other ewar ships to keep them competitive.

The reason these are being revealed near the end of our feature announcements is that we were investigating options for a more comprehensive ECM rebalance, however that will not be able to make it into Retribution. These changes are not the final solution for ewar by a long shot, they are incremental changes that will build towards the more complete changes we would like to make to the mechanics.

Here's what we currently have on our plate for Retribution:

*Reduce Optimal Range and Falloff of all ECM modules by 10%
*Add to the Optimal Range and Falloff bonus on ECM range bonused ships by 2.5% for the Blackbird and Tengu Obfuscation Manifold (bringing it to 12.5%) and 5% for the Scorpion (bringing it to 25%)
*Add four new racial sensor compensation skills that increase each type of Sensor Strength by 5% per level (Requires Electronics 4, rank 3 skills in the Electronics category)

*Increase Optimal Range of all Remote Sensor Dampeners by 20%
*Set the Damp strength bonus on Damp bonused ships to 7.5% per level

Tracking Disruptors
*Reduce TD base module effectiveness by 5%
*Set the TD strength bonus on all TD bonused ships to 7.5% per level

Target Painter
*Set the TP strength bonus on TP bonused ships to 7.5% per level for T1 and 10% per level for T2

We are aware of the effect the new skills will have on probing, and we're going to be keeping our eyes on it and have a few tricks up our sleeve in that regard.

We also want to reiterate that we are not looking at these ecm changes as a complete solution to the problems with that mechanic. It's a moderate change that we can make with the resources available for this expansion and that won't get in the way of our more comprehensive changes down the road."
  Essentially, it is a way to encourage the use of bonused ships while penalizing the use on non-bonused ships. Damps might be slightly more annoying, but TPs are still...well about the same...and TDs are right there with TPs.

  Now ECM. Many already feel that ECM is overpowered for the simple fact that it completely shuts down a ships ability to interact with anything outside its own hull. And I would agree with that if it wasn't for a few factors that are already in place.

  1. ECM is entirely chance based. Each module has a chance, for each 20s cycle to potentially jam a target.
  2. ECCM cuts that chance down significantly, while the remote version strengthens a ships sensors even further. Have you ever tried to jump through a hole and jam a Bhaalgorn that bemusedly shock neuts you down?
  3. For pretty much every ECM bonused ship, their tank is dependent on these chance jams. More targets than you have jams? Good luck! The ECMgu is the only rather tanky one but gets jam strength that is laughable.
  4. These proposals do little to affect things like lolpermajamming frigates, but takes ECM out behind the shed and shoots it in the head in regards to fleet engagements where you need to break logi chains or heavy tackle.

  I may just be a bit pretty very biased in this instance but since they are only proposals at this point I'll keep from flipping my lid entirely. Nerfbatting it may make lowsec pirates a little happier...I'll still fly it, though. ECM4LYF *insert ewar gangsigns* 

  Great jam session (oopsliedaboutpunslulz)