Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Variety show

A ton of people have read my "Tug of War" post, where I detail the changes that Avatar Creations is making to the Perpetuum Online "intrusion system" and how I think those changes might be applied to EVE Online's sov system.

And I still think they should do that, or something like it.

But in the week or so since I posted it, the thing that's been coming back to mind for me more and more often isn't the intrusion system or how it's being modified in and of itself, but the Perpetuum Online SAPs (Service Access Points) that must be attacked or defended in order to attack or defend one's holdings in PO.  I've been steadily trying to improve my Global Agenda PvP game -- I've never been that good of a FPS PvPer -- and the thing that makes that a bit less frustrating and more interesting is all of the variety in terms of maps and goals and agendas that have to be met on a typical GA PvP map.

In some GA PvP maps, you have to take an objective.  On others, you have to defend it.  Sometimes, there are multiple objectives.  Sometimes, the objectives move.  The objectives often have glowing circles around them and you have to keep at least one person standing there to keep that circle your team's color.  Sometimes, the objective can be repaired by the defenders while the attackers are trying to destroy it.

It adds a ton of variety to what would otherwise be a chore of "go here, shoot him."  Every GA PvP contest is different... even though at its heart, every GA PvP fight revolves around (in EVE terms) attacking or defending a TCU, or two, or three.  It's the fact that you have to bring a different sort of attack each time that makes GA PvP interesting.  And as I mentioned in the Tug of War post, PO has this as well, with SAPs that you have to destroy, or defend, or hack, or fill with some commodity in order to take them.

And the more I think about it, the more I wish that EVE had something similar.

I got frustrated with 0.0 sov fights because right now, 80% of them are ultra-boring POS sieges or TCU sieges where you spend three or four hours waiting for timers to run down, then spend two or three more hours bored while high-HP grey bars slowly turn red.  And that assumes that you're part of the first team and not relegated to some sub-cap support role, orbiting a bubbled gate for hours on end.  And the other 20% are just like the first 80%, except that you don't attack because the enemy out-blobs you, or you get attacked, blobbed, and lagged into oblivion.  And then you repeat the process, often spending eight or ten hours straight having to repeat the same boring actions.

Wouldn't it be kind of interesting if, instead, TCUs had a SAP-like structure and the owner of the TCU could pick the types of SAPs that they wanted... and each type of SAP required a different sort of attack to kill it?  Instead of Service Access Points, call them Territory Access Points, or TAPs.

Small-gang alliances could have TAPs hidden behind BC-and-below acceleration gates... no battleships or capital ships allowed.  Supercap alliances could have the opposite.  Industrial alliances could make TAPs that required ore type A to run, and ore type B to destroy.  Scientifically-minded alliances could have TAPs that required code-breaking or hacking or salvaging to destroy.  Full-on defensive PvP alliances could have TAPs that required that a certain number of friendly ships get or stay within 25 kilometers of it, or a TAP that can be repped from within.  And if your alliance can do it all?  Buy several of each type of TAP and make the attacker mix and match their tactics if they want to push you out of your systems.

Incursions have a shadow of this: in one very common incursion site, you can't directly attack a Sansha station that you're tasked to destroy.  Instead, you have to bring a mining ship or a set of mining drones into close proximity to the station, mine some ore, then drop it into a can near the station.  That ore causes the station to explode.  It throws a big ol' silly monkey-wrench into the "go here, shoot him" mechanic.  And a good incursion fleet can plan ahead and do the mining (and protect whatever ship is doing it) while they attack the incursion rats.

It'd make sov combat almost... interesting, wouldn't it?  And it'd sure give a lot more people something to do than to sit in systems bored out of their skulls, waiting for something to happen.

EVE sov combat doesn't have to be dull.  It's just the current mechanics that make it so.

2 comments:

  1. One thing I'd like to mention is that in the Incursion site you mention, you can mine out all the ore in any particular site once you've run it, then just have fleet members bring it to any future sites of the same type. (You only need 255 units.)

    Fairly quick, and more efficient than taking a mining ship or drones with you every time.

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  2. Yep, I'm aware. Was simplifying a bit. That said, I find it a bit more efficient in an NMC to go ahead and send one logi to the asteroid to mine it while a second logi goes to the can to drop it. The rest of the fleet stays equidistant between the two of them. On the next NMC, the two logi switch roles.

    That way, you never have to stop for ore and can warp directly from NMC to NMC to NMC indefinitely.

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