Thursday, September 20, 2012

Call me maybe

I was reading through the comments tonight on Ripard Teg's latest reflection on the upcoming ship balancing, and came across a great question from one of his readers.  I wanted to take the time to respond publicly here so others have a chance to gain some insight on the nature of the CSM's involvement in the balancing process.

You know it's interesting how everyone in eve is seemingly hanging off Fozzie's every word right now and yet there was practically no discussion of frigate/cruiser re-balancing at the CSM summit. Are CSM's priorities right?


Thanks, Chequers.  We've actually been in constant contact with CCP Fozzie throughout the balancing process, we talk daily on Skype as we also work together on the Faction Warfare changes.  There simply wasn't much to say at the summit because CCP hadn't shown us their plans for these ships at that time.  Every single one of the dev blogs or F&I posts that have come out since than we've had a chance to see first and give some preliminary input. 

Ripard raises some important issues about bending EVE's PvP in a "twitchy" direction.  I certainly don't disagree that this risk exists (I know this first-hand as I'm unfortunately called primary quite often these days), but we should also take a moment to put things into context.  Keep in mind that we're also receiving brand new options for mitigating some of this "DPS creep" through low-skilled, low cost logistics platforms at both the frigate and cruiser level.

That being said, one of the positive aspects of CCP Fozzie's balancing process (regardless of whether you love or hate the changes) is that he's posting these up on the public forums with plenty of time before they even  hit a test server.  So while the CSM gets a sneak peak and a chance to give our personal input, they've gone extremely quick (a week on average) from the internal post to the public post. 

While we haven't had much work to do in ferrying information because Fozzie has reached straight to the player base directly, we still have the ability to influence the outcome to a degree (changing bombardment frigates to support frigates was one of our recent initiatives.) Don't hesitate to get in contact with us if there's a matter you're especially concerned with or if you have some ideas to share.  This especially applies to the ships whose balancing changes haven't yet been proposed.

And remember - these ideas on the forums are just that.  Tentative plans pending player feedback and testing.  I know from working with Fozzie and fellow designer CCP Ytterbium that both are quite reasonable and open to constructive criticism.  Both understand PvP at each of the various scales intimately and are passionate about making ALL of the ships useful.  They promised the players that if the test server demonstrates something as horribly broken, they'll take the time to make necessary adjustments before they hit Tranquiilty.  I encourage players to get out and participate in these testing events and to play around with the new ships!


While we're still talking about future spaceship goodness, I might as well share these with you for those that haven't had a chance to see them already.  Server sleuth Sarmatiko has dug up some data off the test server and put together a video preview of the new ship models coming in Winter expansion.  Rendered versions of both the submarine-like Caldari missile destroyer, and its bizarre-looking Minmatar missile counterpart.  Out tribal technicians continue to find architectural uses for solar panels that are simultaneously innovative and baffling.  This clip also includes an unskinned prototype model of the brand new Gallente destroyer, a dedicated drone platform.  Last but not least, a special treat for Minmatar fans - an unskinned model of the soon-to-be-revamped Tempest hull.

Fear not, industrialists! You deserve some eye candy too. Luckily Sarmatiko also managed to dig up a rendering of the  new ORE mining frigate.  This ship just makes me want to hang out with Rogue Drones in a dangerous attempt to recreate the iconic scene from Aliens where Ripley battles the  hive queen....


  1. The fact that CSM has been in constant talks with fozzie over ship balancing probably did not go past anyone with a brain.
    Connecting what was said in the CSM minutes about supercapproliferation. "only need 16-17 titans, not that much" and now seeing the nerf of the single biggest supercapkiller (except more supercaps that is) is shamefull. And i hope that none of the current CSM's keep their position in the upcoming election, or atleast being put so far aside that you wont be heard.

    1. The hurricane is not the single biggest supercap killer. The single biggest killer of supers is pilot error. The closest thing to a subcap superkiller are hics and dictors. With the change to logout mechanics, a (well) tackled super is a dead super. It doesn't matter if you bring hurricanes or a fleet full of velators, if it's tackled it will eventually die.

      The massive changes to t1 cruisers and frigates will give thousands more pilots opportunities for cheap and interesting PVP. Mucking about with supers some more will maybe affect a couple hundred pilots at most. Where would you rather have the devs spend their time?

    2. Okay sure I'll bite, what is the nerf of the biggest supercapkiller that you are talking about?

    3. @Bittervet hurricane is able to wield large amounts of DPS with neuts to have a tackled super dead before help arrives.
      Good luck trying that with velators.
      Welpcanes as it where, have probably been on more dead supercaps/titan killmails than any other subcap.
      The welpcane sacrificed large amounts of its tank for higherdps, but as it stands not if this nerf is implemented, you wont be able to do either.
      Good luck trying to make it into an armor boat either, unless you want to field t1 pg rigs and even then, you will have a huge problem fitting even a single 1600mm plate.
      Do i think ship balancing in general is a good thing? Yes i do. Do i think this specific devblog where they where focusing on missiles and then "woopsie, we nerfed the hurricane" is a bad and il thought out change. Yes i do.
      Better to have waited for the big BC balance to deal with that situation instead of dealing a crippling blow to one of the most versatile ships in the game.

      @saracha They are nerfing the base PG of the hurricane. By a substantial amount, its a nerf to the level of insanity.

  2. Fair answer! I think ship balancing is by far the most important thing CCP can be doing and it's good to see significant resources going into it.

  3. They're not solar panels - they are heat sinks.

    * CCP's called them heat radiators in the past.

    * The ships run on an internal power plant -- every race uses a different type -- if I remember right, the Minmatar power plant is nuclear. In any case, the internal plant is more than enough juice to run the ship, while generating lots of heat that would need to be dispersed, which is a real problem in a vacuum. Dispersing heat is one of the biggest concerns and challenges in real-world spaceship design.

    * The power from a set of solar panels would be so incredibly anemic the ships couldn't move in most cases. At 1 AU from a Sol-class star, solar energy is about 1366 watts per square meter. This energy can be converted into electricity by photovoltaics, but even if you assume a 100% conversion of solar energy to pure power (which is highly unlikely even under perfect conditions -- the ISS panels are 14.5% efficient, and the best anyone can get in lab conditions is 30%) it would hardly be enough to reliably cycle internal systems on a warship full time, let alone push the thing around... and that's assuming the panels always faced the star full-on, were never shadowed, and stayed 1 AU from the star. We're almost NEVER 1 AU from a star, and like all non-coherent light, solar energy is subject to the inverse square law, which means if you double the distance to the light source, the intensity drops by 1/4.

    As a power supply, solar panels are pretty bad by the time you get to Mars (1.5 AU, give or take), and by the time you're out to just the range of Saturn, you couldn't keep a rack of CFL bulbs lit -- the power's down to a mere 15 watts per square meter.

    In short, solar panels on a combat spaceship don't work, and heat radiators are critically important, therefore, they are heat sinks. As a minnie in faction warfare, it's important you know this. :)

    1. Thank you very much, this was enlightening. I am now a more informed citizen of the Republic than ever before!

    2. while this is all quite informative, I will continue to proudly call them 'wingy bits,' if that's ok with you.

  4. that tempest model is making me excited. will it include the vargur model also? time to train minmatar BS 5

  5. To echo part of Hosi's comment, it is distressing to me that so many of the CSM are so out of touch with so many of us players as to allow the comment he quotes to go by without strenuous argument and expressions of incredulity.

    1. Well, at least here you're speaking with one of the CSM's that's never owned a single supercap and who runs missions to pay for each and every ship he loses. And I get it. There's some rich bastards on the council. Keep in mind though that even those that have been called out for comments on supers, like Elise Randolph, also spend an incredible amount of time flying smaller ships as well and participating in features like Faction Warfare. You'd be hard pressed to make the case that these guys don't understand the issues affecting small ship combat, just because they also do the big fleet battles.

    2. Who says it wasn't argued? We didn't capture every little thing said in the minutes, and I specifically remember speaking up and saying that was a crazy statement.

    3. @two step
      The minutes are a joke. I have read every single CSM minute i have come by, even from CSM's dating from before i started playing this game. And theese last minutes are by far the worst. The only good thing about them, that it states for anyone bothering reading them, is that CSM7 might be the worst CSM to date.

      I am very skeptical about the current CSM being in touch with the general member. Be it nullsec, highsec or lowsec.