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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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Clear shot

Well, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised.

The post yesterday about tracking has racked up comments faster than any post I've ever done with the possible exception of me ripping on Clarion Call 3 a couple of months back.  That's fine.  Guess that means you guys have a strong opinion on this issue.  ;-)

Still, don't get lost in the minutiae.  My post isn't about whether battleship guns should hit frigates, or dread/Titan guns should hit dictors, when the pilots of those ships are flying badly.  That's proven: they can, and they should.  If a ship is being flown badly, it will die.  I have no problem with that.  It's working as intended.  But that's not not not what I was looking at in my post.  The key question you need to take out of my post is this:

Should a small ship still die to much larger guns if the pilot of the small ship is doing everything right to avoid damage?

Make no mistake: this question takes the skill of piloting a small ship out of the equation if you answer "yes".  If you answer "yes" to that question, you're saying that an inty pilot should die to battleship guns regardless of the inty pilot's skill if those battleship guns are buffed enough.  Dreads and titans and super-carriers lost their drones because they were supposed to no longer be able to affect sub-caps if they're flown intelligently.  If dreads and titans can still kill much smaller sub-caps anyway, then what was the point of removing their drones?  May as well give them back for all the good it did.

Those of you who are saying that I landed a glancing blow on that Ares, even if that's true, are similarly missing the point.  The point is that if eight or nine other Tornados had buffed their ships the way I did, then the group of us would have been nailing frigates right and left with our large guns, regardless of the skill of the pilots of those frigates and how they were flying.  Is that how this game should be?  Is that how you want it to be?

So, look at that bolded question and decide what your answer is.  Mine's "no".


  1. My answer to your question is also NO Jester. However, where I think we differ, is that you think the game actually works this way, while I dont.

    Small ships dont die consistently to larger guns if the pilot of the small ship is doing everything right to avoid damage (that includes leaving that damn MWD off btw). Yes, you have the freak shots. Unprobable isnt the same as impossible. But no, not consistently.

  2. No they shouldn't be able to hit cruiser/frigs but as Azual pointed out in his comment on the last post DPS never actually hits 0% of max so unless we remove their ability to lock smaller targets or add a "can't hit targets going more then XXX m/s" cap to them they are going to hit and volley alot of ships.

  3. You know for all the time it took you to write these you could have done a thorough test on SiSi and come up with a clear answer.

  4. Tracking fit titans are the new Alphafleet. They have the same if not better tracking than a Maelstrom with 1400mm artys. If you don't know that to be true, check EFT or Pyfa for yourself. Couple those titans with some huginns or web-lokis and any non-cap/supercap fleet won't stand a chance.

    The days of titans being rare or there only being a few fielded are long gone. With entities like Raiden. fielding 50+ at a time all fit for tracking, the only counter is a bigger titan blob.

    1. No. The effective tracking of titans are much less than 1400s when engaging smaller targets than 1000m sigradius, as the relationship between guns signature resolution (400m for 1400s, 1000m for XL guns) and the targets signature radius will modify the teoretical tracking.

      Furthermore, there is inherently nothing more wrong with titans and dreads beeing able to hit battleships, than it is for battleships to be able to hit battlecruisres and cruisers, or cruisers to be able to hit frigates and destroyers.

      That the game has progessed to a level where titan proliferation is rampant is another - and separate -issue.

  5. My short answer to your bolded question is, "yes". To answer "no" you would have to place artificial constraints on what is and is not possible: it's not possible for the titan with enhanced tracking of 0.06 rad/s to hit that frigate, but the cruiser with 0.02 rad/s tracking can? In what universe does that make sense?

    It should be possible, but highly improbable. You can hit an ant with a boulder, after all. You just have to be very lucky, or have excellent targeting and launch control systems.

    Don't base your judgement on terrestrial examples such as thin-skinned boats getting holed instead of sunk due to the attacker using armour piercing rounds instead of contact-triggered rounds. That combat mechanic is not applicable to EVE.

  6. Jester, ignore all the trolls. I've seen intys die to large guns when they had no business dying and you've proven that it isn't just a random fluke.

    EvE requires balance and you are doing great work pointing out where imbalances are present. Everyone who is so up in arms over your reporting are simply unskilled pilots who want to undock/target/shoot everything in their faction fitted Rohks.

    1. There doesn't need to be any "proof" to show that it is or is not a "random fluke". The to-hit system is based on random numbers, and there is no such thing as 0% chance to hit. Is it really that hard to understand?

      Just because the current system doesn't conform to your preconceived notions about "battleships should never be able to hit frigates" doesn't mean the current system is wrong. Certainly, it has surprising results, but those who understand the mechanics are flying tracking titans, those who don't are getting surprised when interceptors get shot out of the sky by a lucky shot from a titan.

      There's an old saying from business school: you make your own luck.

      This is true in EVE Online. Sure, it shouldn't be so easy to get so lucky, but this is a math-based game and you have to expect math-based outcomes (as opposed to wishful-thinking based outcomes). Could the combat system do with a bit of tweaking? Certainly. Is it broken? No.

  7. Guessing if you dump that many tracking mods on your ship, it probably has a pretty shitty tank, right? So paper-thin frigate gets cut by scissor-tracking-enhanced alpha Tornado....which gets smashed by rock-hard "real" BS with real BS tank.
    I don't really know much about Titans....but the "Titans < moar Titans" comments make sense to me. ;-)

    1. cant they just refit on the fly using each others ship maintenance arrays?

  8. i see everyone comparing titans hitting battleships and battleships hitting cruisers. yeah titans are caps but they are supercaps. the next lower shipclass should be considered caps (dreads and carriers). titans shoud have different guns than dreads or at least should have a penalty to their sig resolution of the guns so titans shooting dreads becomes the same as BS shooting cruiser or battlecruiser. that would make it much more difficult for titan fleets to rape subcap fleets while still being able to shoot the other caps out of the sky. even wih a sig res penalty shooting dreads would still be easy for titans

  9. >Should a small ship still die to much larger guns if the pilot of the small ship is doing everything right to avoid damage?

    Yes, when the said small ship is being shot at by multiple opponents with specialized fits while hit by supporting ewar while being at tactically unfavorable ranges that have every tactical disadvantage.

    But the question is wrong. The pilot of the small ship doing everything to avoid damage would be somewhere outside the grid as opposed to engaging with every disadvantage stacked against them.
    To reverse the question:
    Should a large ship survive a smaller ship if the pilot of the large ship is doing everything right to apply damage?

  10. >>Should a small ship still die to much larger guns if the pilot of the small ship is doing everything right to avoid damage?<<

    Yes, of course it should. That's realistic.
    Frigates always die to Battleships in all real world scenarios.

    1. Er, no they don't. The only real world example that I'm aware of was the Battle Off Samar that I used as fodder for this blog a few months ago.


      In that battle, when the DEs went in close to the battleships, the latter ships couldn't depress their guns enough to hit the much smaller targets.

      And of course, in the modern world, there are no more battleships, and damned few frigates.

    2. Are you suggesting a minimum range for guns?

    3. Reality have super carriers pwn the shit out of everything that floats, and only cloakies...uh submarines kill the carriers.

      The real absurdity here is titans without small guns. Do you know how many pulse lasers and autocannons you can fit on a multikilometer ship that costs 50k times more then a rifter if some sensible designer made it? Yes there'd be dead angles, but eve doesn't model them.

  11. http://wiki.eve-id.net/Tracking

    I think you'll find if someone takes the effort to examine this equation we might find when and why Large guns track small targets.

    I think the question should change to "at what point should large weapons hit small targets" or "at what points should titans be able to hit battleships", because we have a number of variables to consider. Not just sig radius.

    Also, we can see from the equation that tracking can be used to compensate for sig radius. Ergo, big guns hitting small targets. QED.

    1. You should check out the EVE Online tracking guide: http://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/Tracking_Guide

      Pay special attention to the part about the scatter charts. They compare the surface areas of two circles. Now look at the tracking formula and see that the diameter of the two circles is being compared linearly, the same as angular velocity over tracking speed.

      One option is to alter that equation so that the surface area of the two circles is used (i.e.: square the Sig radius and Sig resolution terms inside the brackets). Another is to simply fiddle with the stats that we currently have. Why do XL guns have a sig resolution of 1000m, when they're used to shoot things that are multiple km in diameter?

    2. The scatter charts are misleading. They are trying to illustrate "Hit Chance" combined with sig radius (and failing).

      Just look at the tracking equation. ".5Blob" is your scatter chart. That's it.

      And I would be very wary of meddling with the tracking formula since most of the game's combat is built around it in some way.

  12. I want to apologise for derping and repeating what was on the other post. (although it had too many comments).

    Although, IMHO, fuck titans.

  13. My answer is yes, occasionally.
    Its not that suprising either. If I fire a shotgun in the general direction of a bird of prey (falcon/hawk) diving (in any direction) within my gun range of 20-30meters occasionally I'm going to hit it with one small piece of lead. It might not be a kill shot but its going to hurt. Again if a platoon of soliders fires rifles at the same bird, is it possible for them to hit it? Yes, occasionally one is going to hit it, its more luck than skill on both parts.

    Fire enough rounds at something, and eventually your going to hit it. (Ask any A10 pilot)

    We're not talking about a titan sniping a frigate with a single shot, your talking about lots of very big guns firing lots of big bullets, and ocassionally one IS going to connect, it doesn't even need to connect very accurately as its a very big bullet, and its going to put a very big hole in something.

  14. I am going to disagree with most here Jester and I will tell you why. As long as smaller ships are able to bump larger ships off course or knock them around, then I say yes larger ships should be able to consistently hit smaller ships. Why should I lose a Bs of 100k kg of mass to 3 frigates camping a gate that right now can bump him off the gate ad-nasium. So you thought is that my guy that has 100m sp can and is in a 100m isk ship shooing be able to kill the 5 week old noob in the 2m isk ship? I think that's what's wrong with this game. That's why people in supercaps and titans are so pissed off at the changes, fix the damn physics model first. Small ships should t be able to bump a Titan or super out of a pos, or keep a bs that is burning towards a gate from getting there. Do you think a ski boat could bump a large naval vessel out of the port? Get real here and until you do then yes large expensive ships should pwn small inexpensive ships


  15. Wow...the amount of butthurt "Nu-Uhs" in these comments is astounding.

    Nevermind that Jester tested this himself. Nevermind that it clearly happens all the time (see killmails). Everything's fine. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

  16. I think you phrased the question wrongly. Should be if a large ships gimps its fit to have more tracking shouls it hit smaller ships. I would then reply yes it should. If a players wants to modify a ship in a way it might have negatives in some areas in order to have positves in another it should be able to. It is a sandbox and players should be able to fit anything anyway they want to.

    Case in point shield tanked myrms with autocannons are alot stronger then armor tanked myrms with hybrids on. That hasnt been changed in a way since its fun to have so many options.

    Plus using large ships to take out smaller ones, does ruin the overall fleet dps, so I would only do that on certain occasains.

  17. Yes, I have to say yes because I mean the main justification that I use to my justify my answer is not a terrestrial example, because that can be debated back and forth forever, nor is it practicality vs. theoretical game mechanics, what I justify my answer is that it's represented in the lore of EVE.

    One of the short stories by Tony G. rest his heart, gives a description of Jovian mother ship (super carrier - titan hybrid) taking out an entire fleet of Amarian battleships, and seeing that same weapon is now used for Titan's doomsday I can't help but too see that it is alright. I mean, Titan's are just really big dreadnoughts, and since dreadnoughts were meant to be an anti-battleship and anti-installation weapon platform, it seems like Titan's are just being true to form.

    While I don't play the game anymore nor do I care too anyway, this discussion about big ships versus little ships, is just an extension of earlier big ship versus little ship arguments that have gone on really since the first days of EVE. If anyone remembers m0o gate camp at Mara with non stacking tracking computers, and enhancers on Armageddons being able to alpha anything big or small, and was only dislodged by a Concord fleet lead by Hilmar (yes this is totally true) was probably the first instance of big ship versus little ship issue being taken up that I can remember. After that stacking was added, and then it became a lot harder to alpha shuttles and frigates but, it never disappeared. So, this isn't the first issue over tracking nor will it be the last, since we were fighting then over tracking and we are fighting now over tracking.

    Then their was the first titan doomsday weapon, the Area of Effect aura of destruction that pretty much made battleship fleets of before useless when titans started populating like rabits. This made capital ships the new norm, which we all know jump started capitals online. Then CCP nerfed it in Dominion, allowed for the current doomsday which can kill one person at a time. Now, Jester would you rather have a huge area of effect that kills most entire battleship fleet or just one battleship at a time. Since I remember very fondly of the loosing battleship after battleship to Titan doomsday I would rather have chance of escape, I find the current medium fine.

    But I am not saying that all the people who say yes as well are necessarily right, I mean I get where your coming from that big ships shouldn't be able to kill little ships easily, I mean is it fair that a battleship can kill a frigate class vessel, I don't know should it be possible I think yes. Is it fair that titans can rape battleship and capital fleets with easy, maybe should it be possible yes.

    I know I am just ranting here on and on about this, but I guess what I am saying that we are all right and we are all wrong in our estimations about big ships versus small ships. I don't think this can be solved nor resolved anytime soon since, removing the ability for titans to hit battleships makes battleships fleets king again, thus the blob dominates but if we leave it at the status quo then Battleship fleets will be welped thus making t3 fleets and super capitals king, I really can't say if that good or bad. Each one has it's advantage's and disadvantages.

  18. I think this quote from Mara Rinn in "Proven" really is the sum of the argument:

    "...the premise that "big guns should not be able to hit small targets". The game says "big guns have a hard time hitting small targets"."

    EVE is all chance based. Should the chance be lower? Probably but as everyone else has said if you put enough lead in the air you a bound to get lucky. Could the it be the wrong system to use? Sure, but its not broken its working as designed.

  19. Yes.

    When everyone was clamoring that the new age was going to begin (with the mothership nerf) I was like "No, it's not. Titans will replace Moms as the Super blob, they will take boosters and fit tracking mods, they will have EWar Support, and 30 Titans will be the new 90 Mom Super Blob. Fleets will consist of 30 Titans, 30 Logistics fitted Supers, 30 Logi Carriers, and 50-100 Supcaps, a mix of Main Fleet Battleships, Logi, and Target Painting/Webbing EWAR."

    And look what RaidenDot is doing...

    If a Real Life Battleship put Fast tracking big guns on (the equivalent of taking "Tracking Boosters" or putting Tracking Enhancers on) then they would maim the little frigates, and in return would lose a lot of their Slugfest capability (massive tank)

    I have no issues with the way Titans are being used.

  20. Jester, I have to call bullshit on this one.

    You simply do not get to narrowly define the parameters of a debate so that the only sane answer supports your position. I have to give a strong Yes to your flawed question. There should always be a chance, however small, of large guns hitting pods or frigates or little stuffed teddy bears hurtling through space, for that matter. What should NOT be happening is battlewagons blowing (comparatively) tiny little ships away right, left, and centre on a reliable, consistent basis.

    Okay, so I partially agree with your statement :)

    The decision point here really boils down to this: do we want to include only the probable in EVE, or do we want to give a nod to the possible as well? I have to agree with Mara's take on things. Make it incredibly difficult, effectively impossible, even, for big stuff to hit really small stuff, but don't take out the possibility entirely. It just shouldn't happen often. Perhaps on the frequency of drawing a royal fizbin on a Tuesday when the planets are in alignment, but still, it should happen.


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