Friday, March 25, 2011

Fanfest 2011 - Things of Interest

Since I work full time and somehow am still poor, Fanfest is not an option for me, neither time nor moneywise.  So I sit here in the States, waiting for college baskeball to start and refreshing my computer to read up on the goings on in the Land of Ice.

I picked out some of the more interesting things from the liveblogs.

First of all, from the PVP Round Table by Eve News 24:

"Are dramiels OP?"

Yes.  Yes, yes and more yes.  Any frig that is an instant win for most combat, or at the very least easy to escape combat you can't win is my definition of OP.  The thing of interest here is Eve News reported that "not many hands going up".  Perhaps the majority there all fly them.  No one wants a nerf for any ship they fly.  And a dram allows you to win a lot of fights without losing a lot of fights.  I find it interesting to note that while some people claim "I don't care if I win or lose, I just want to find a good fight", most generally prefer to WIN.  And any fight you can't win in a dram you can most of the time easily escape.  So yes, its a bit OP.  Its a bit OP that with an afterburner, a dram can obtain speeds equal to any other frig on a MWD.  Let's just call it what it is guys, not being honest with ourselves doesn't improve the game any.

I found Michael Bolton from TEST's comment to be the most enlightening: "Dramiels only die because people get overconfident and stupid".  That is the razor line between the OP arguments and the not OP arguments.  It can be taken both as a comment towards how OP it is, and against how OP it is.

Fix Gallente RAWR!

Selene calls for Blaster/Rails fix.  Wants to add an action bar for drones.  And wants gate and station guns to ignore drones.

I'm 50/50 on this.  First of all, as a Gallente pilot our ships do need a buff.  Even non-gallente pilots can agree with me on this one.  Blasters is the first thing that need work.  For an incredibly short range weapon, they simply don't do enough face-melting dps to justify their terrible range.  On top of that, they don't track as well, only having a slight point hundredth of an advantage over autocannons.  Anyone who's flown in any combat knows that when you are on top of a ship because of range issues, speed and tracking issues become magnified.  Its why small frigs and orbit close and get under guns of a battleship.  I don't know what the answer to fix blasters is, but everyone is pretty much in agreement they are the worst weapon system in the game right now.

Where I like the idea of a blasters fix, I'm kinda on the fence about rails.  Rails are already the longest distance turret-style weapon in the game.  The tracking is terrible, but all long range turrets are.  So I don't really see how these need to have attention more so then say, blasters.

Action bar for drones, hells yes.  I've been calling for this for ages.  Hell, I think I shouted this out in my first appearance on Lost in Conversation.  Right click for drone actions is incredibly tedious and half the time in a bang-bang PVP situation you forget all about them.

But now I'm against Gate and station guns ignoring drones.  Why do we need this?  Is it really that hard to recall drones?  As a wormholer who is used to doing the "drone dance" I don't really see the issue here.  Is it maybe because drones get pounded giving the controlling ship time to blow people up without having to tank the guns?  I'm not really sure the angle here other then Yarrrr buff.

Nerf Drake!

This got interesting.  The devs were asking if the Drake is OP.  I actually don't think that, I think buffer shield tanks are a bit OP and that heavy missile system is a bit more OP.  The players disagreed with the devs that the drake in itself is OP.  They said instead that is has too much buffer (which is true).  So the devs respond with a possible nerf to buffer tanks by only letting you fit one rig of each type.

Couple of things here.  First, the players responded (as we typically do) with a NOOOOOOOOOOO don't nerf my drake!!!!  Just buff the others OMG.

But the more I think about it, the more I actually think this a good idea.  Typically when fitting ships I try to spread out my rigs anyway, and at the most I'm only doubling up on something.  The only time I triple stack a rig is when I (wait for it) stack buffer.  3x Field Extenders for shield buffer tanks.  3x Purgers for recharge.  3x trimarks for armor.

Here's a novel idea.  Why don't we change the calibration cost?  Those buffer extending rigs cost a paltry 50 calibration.  Make them cost more so players are forced to actually, you know, think when fitting ships?  If you think its a problem, make them cost 200 calibration so at the most they can only fit two, just like the weapons rigs.  Or better yet, 150 so it gives them some wiggle room to fit something else.  That way you can restrict them without actually implementing a one type of rig per ship rule that no one is going to really enjoy.  And therefore those of us that double stack current routers or gravity cap upgrades don't get hosed out of the really important rigs to double stack on.

Not that I'm arguing against buffing the other battlecruisers, mind you.

The PVP round table ended with a discussion about AFK cloakers.  Apparently they are boogeymen who kill kittens while afk.  Honestly people.  Grow some fucking balls.  Or better yet, come to WH space, where AFK cloakers will never bother you again in local.

Next live blog I found interesting was the Eve Keynote:

For those of you who are as fluent in the tech world as I am, the Eve keynote was a lot like watching an Apple Keynote.  Lots of patting themselves on the back, lots of this-is-what-we-did-ain't-it-grand, and only a few small its-about-fucking-time things that drove the crowd rabid.

One of my favorite things was Team Gridlock coming up to talk about lag improvements.  It ended with a statement in quotes from Eve News so I'm assuming someone from Team Gridlock was actually arrogant enough to say this: "Won the war on lag".


I'm sorry.  I'm sure you have made great strides in trying to figure this problem out and correct it.  I'm sure its working too.  But the minute I no longer have to tell you IN ADVANCE that hey, we're gonna have a big battle in this system wouldja couldja please spare some server power so we don't lag out? kthxbye, THAT will be the time you can flaunt that statement.  Seriously.

They talked about a new UI (about fucking time) and apparently there were pictures?  I really wish I was there so I could see it, the UI being my number one bitch lately.  A new readable font is coming too.  And here I thought it was just me getting old.

So on to that small section of new stuff after much back-patting and look at me, look at me.  There are changes to agents coming that sound promising.  Not from a wormholer perspective, but how do you think I raised the capital to get to WH's in the first place?  Apparently CCP is going to destroy the agent tables, and if you want a "blow shit up" mission you simply go to the "blow shit up" guy and get it.  Which is nice because nothing sucked more then going to that guy and getting a mining mission.  They are also apparently taking a blaster to agent quality.  Hopefully that will spread mission runners out a bit instead of them all leeching off the same guy.

Another small improvement I found interesting was the improvements to the "built in scanner time" mentioned by Eve News.  I'm assuming they are talking about the ship's On board scanner, which, actually, does indeed suck.  Apparently they are making it faster so its more useful.  I'm for this, as a wormhole guy it makes it faster for me to find the anoms you may be hanging out in when I'm in my bomber and don't want to alert you with probes.  Perhaps they can give it more range as well?

And finally, we can change subs at the POS.  All I have to say is its about fucking time, and how much longer do I have to wait?  Then I can see my dream of a true nomadic corp come true like I wrote about last week.

The one thing coming up that has been talked/bitched about a lot in the Eve Community is the Captain's Quarters (CQ).  PC gamer's liveblog was all a glow about this but that's because those guys love graphics.  New player retention, it is argued, that is what CQ will bring to the game.  I think Eve News had an interesting observation.  They noted the long time it seemed to take and combination of everything in station burning up his laptop.  Eve News wrote: "From a(n) UI standpoint, and from an efficiency standpoint, this sucks."

Now, I haven't actually seen what he was looking at.  But he brings up an excellent point.  If it takes as long a time to walk into the CQ as it does to fit a damn ship, CQ is actually making us take longer to do simple tasks.  Great, glad the new players have a reason to stick around, but you are killing the older players who will prefer the faster way if it was indeed faster.

Perhaps not all of Eve's future is rosy.


  1. One of my favorite things was Team Gridlock coming up to talk about lag improvements. It ended with a statement in quotes from Eve News so I'm assuming someone from Team Gridlock was actually arrogant enough to say this: "Won the war on lag".


    Technically that was probably half way through their talk... they quickly turned around and said they didn't... we'd just bring more ships and the 'war' would start all over again. Apparently they're also working on automating the fleet fight notification form, so you might not HAVE to notify them in the future.

    So... sorta... kinda... but not really won the war, which they admitted to. But apparently they've purchased some new servers that should allow larger fleet fights. You know, until we bring larger blobs to offset.

    And apparently the newer DScan will have improved range, in addition to being faster.

  2. Yeah - that "Won the war on lag" was a joke - probably not entirely obvious from the webcast/reports etc.

    Also, there was a bit about them developing predictive algorithms to help them spot when things are going to come out of reinforced, etc. and therefore eventually not require notification.

    Finally: CQ - the existing UI (i.e. Neocom, station services) will still be there, and will load before the CQ comes up. The functions they showed us in CQ are all new (except one case, which is a heavily revamped Corp search tool... if you dock into a station thinking "Gosh, I really need to search for a new corp and I have to do it /really fast/ then you're quite strange).

    Essentially, you can get a feel for what minimal engagement with the CQ will be like by making a cutout cardboard figure of your character and holding it up against the screen in station.