Posts Tagged ‘command ships

12
Nov
12

Running the numbers on fleet boosts

Continuing from my last post on this subject, I reiterate my position that the bonus mindlinks provide to fleet boosts make it irrelevant which actual ship you use to boost from. For those who arrived late, here’s the argument in graph form.

This is a fairly bad situation to be in, from a game design perspective; Fozzie is attempting to bring in 2%/level link bonuses for strategic cruisers, but even at max level, 10% is just noise compared to +50% from a mindlink.

Hypothetically Speaking

What would happen if mindlinks were nerfed, and ship bonuses were buffed to compensate?

Hypothetically, let’s nerf mindlinks to +10% bonus to a particular type. This gives it a clear boost, but you don’t feel like a suboptimal player if you fit off-racial links. Frankly, this is the minimum nerf that would be effective for our purpose; if mindlinks were, e.g. +25% I’d still run all-racials. I can see an argument for nerfing them all the way down to +5%, sad as that would make players.

To compensate, the current 3% and 5% bonuses would need to be buffed. This has two effects:

  1. What constitutes ‘off-racial’ links are now based on the ship, not an implant
  2. Which racial links your ship has a bonus for, actually matters now

Point 2 means that Fozzie’s change to have command ships offer bonuses to multiple racial links actually matters.

What would the boosts look like? Well, a little like this:

  • ‘TQ’ is a mindlinked command ship currently on the production Eve server.
  • ‘10% ship’ is the same setup, with mindlinks nerfed to 10% but the ship bonus buffed to 10% per level.
  • ‘7.5% ship’ follows this trend
  • ‘5% ship’ also follows logically

notbad.jpg

As can be seen, boosting the command ship bonus to 10% per level will almost reach the same power level (although it must be noted that this 10% per level will apply to all racial links, so potentially two races)

Boosting to +7.5% per level is a slight haircut, but also serves to lower the spread between unbonused (purple) and ship-bonused links a bit.

Boosting up to 5% per level is a further nerf to overall power, but this may be desired from a game design perspective anyway.

I think this idea has merit, and look forward to what Fozzie comes up with.

09
Nov
12

Fozzie on Mindlinks

Following on from the previous discussion:

Tsubutai wrote:

Interesting ideas. When you rebalance CS and leadership mechanics/offgrid boosting, will you be adjusting the way mindlinks interact with leadership skills? As it stands, mindlinks more or less double the strength of the corresponding ganglinks, making it much more important to have the mindlink plugged in than it is to max out the Command Ships skill or the appropriate T3 subsystem. Are there any plans to shift the emphasis such that mindlinks become less of a must-have for pilots with leadership skills?

Also, will T1 BCs retain the ability to fit gang links, or will fleet boosting become a CS/T3-only affair?

Shifting parts of the bonuses from the ganglinks to the other skills and bonuses is an option we have been considering but we have not made a decision there yet. It’s likely that the gang link stuff will not all show up in one patch.

And we have no plans to remove the gang link cpu reduction bonus from the Combat Battlecruisers (formerly known as tier 1 and 2).

(source)

So about mindlinks..

  • The fact that they are such a huge portion of the effectiveness of a booster isn’t something we like
  • The fact that people are forced to use multiple jump clones or pop a new expensive implant every time they want to switch link types isn’t something we like
  • The fact that they make the use of multiple gang link types at once so much worse isn’t something we like
  • The exact way to deal with these problems isn’t something we have hammered out yet, but we’ll keep you updated

And since questions keep coming up I’ll clarify some skill stuff again:

Assuming you have the (insert race here) Cruiser skill to 3, the level of (insert race here) Battlecruiser you get after the change will be the same as your Battlecruiser level before the change, not your Cruiser level.

And we don’t have a date to give you on the skill changes but here’s what I can say:

  • It won’t happen in Retribution
  • It won’t happen until we release the BC and BS changes
  • We can’t commit to exactly when those changes will release yet
  • But I have an internal estimate about when we’ll get it done, and that estimate makes me smug out
  • So if you’re choosing between training those skills either sooner or later, choose sooner

Sinzor Aumer wrote:
Why?

Normal implants give a small enough bonus that you may be incentivized to use the right clone with the right ship but you’re not crippled if you don’t. We don’t want committing to a jumpclone to lock you out of 3/4 of your role options for the duration.

So mindlinks providing a modest bonus would be fine, but the bonus is too big a part of the overall picture at the moment, we’d like to move some of that bonus elsewhere.

(source)
For reference, the link boost breakdown looks like this at the moment:


The graph is a bit misleading due to multiplicative bonuses, but I sorted the effects from the most common to the least common, but it’s clear that the ship bonuses don’t matter nearly as much as the mindlink…

08
Nov
12

Jester’s Cap: Battlecruiser Rebalancing

Jester is so far quiet on this, so I’m putting on my Jester’s Cap and having a stab at it.

So, CCP Fozzie and Ytterbium have a new dev blog. In it, they explain their plan for re balancing battlecruisers and battleships over the coming months.

The TLDR is

  • most tier 2 battlecruisers will lose a slot
  • most tier 1 battlecruisers will gain a slot
  • a few bonuses will be changed
  • battleships will also be slot normalised
  • command ships are getting comprehensively overhauled

Battlecruisers

The role changes are fairly self-explanatory, even though I disagree with the Ferox. In my opinion, the most likely changes in slots will be:

  • Harbinger loses mid slot (most Amarr ships have a utility high)
  • Prophecy gets +1 high slot
  • Ferox gets +1 mid
  • Brutix gains +1 low (+1 mid implies impressive shield tank)
  • Drake loses mid slot (losing high slot won’t affect anything)
  • Hurricane loses high slot (could also be low slot, but high slot stops the dual neut setups and leaves powergrid for a more viable armor tank)

You can see the current slot layout of the battlecruiser line here.

It will be interesting to see whether my predictions bear up. I’m not exactly the Nate Silver of Eve Predictions.

Battleships

Too early to say yet. However, there’s some isk to be made by speculating…

Command Ships

The most contentious part of the post was the bit about command ships. I have reproduced the intro:

  • Tech 3 ships to be able to carry more gang links at once than Command Ships, but with less effect
  • Tech 3 ships to be able to carry some gang links while still maintaining some combat capability
  • Command Ships to carry fewer types of gang links than Tech 3, but with stronger effects (specialization over generalization) – if fitted with gang links, they have less combat capability than Tech3 hulls.
  • All Command Ships to have a combat role on the field on top of having the possibility to be fit for a pure fleet commanding platform.

See infographic here:

The truth is that command ships (and link T3 cruisers) are inextricably linked to the warfare links they use for their arguably primary function, fleet boosting, and the skills that provide them.

I can understand Fozzie’s intense dislike of +5%/level bonuses – they make too large of a distinction between tech 1 and tech 2 ships in the same role (very few t2 ships are 25% better than their tech 1 counterpart), which is exacerbated by being able to fit multiple links without needing Command Processors (which I also suspect may be leaving the game soon)

However, the bulk of the bonuses provided by a fleet boost character is due to mind links, which provide a whopping +50% bonus to all boosts for a single racial set. Compare this to practically any other ship stat you can think of, where you need an entire pirate implant set to get a bonus that large.

This massive difference makes it utter stupidity to mix racial link types on the same ship until you hit your third or more likely fourth link, which makes Fozzie’s “small bonus to multiple types of link” idea dead on arrival.

I can see some real potential in Fozzie’s changes to command ships for flexibility and metagaming (selection of links, tank vs gank etc), as well as a resurgence of command ships having enough grunt to be worth fielding on-grid, but mindlinks need serious changes first.