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.
You can follow along, if you want...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Comment of the Week: False comparison

There have been a lot of good comments (plus an whole additional blog post by Kirith Kodachi) on the boost pilot post from yesterday.  But there's one type of comment in particular that deserves to be addressed in its own post.  Siiee put it most concisely by saying:
I have to say that "it takes a lot of time/isk" isn't the most convincing argument for why everything is ok.
but then emphasized the point by adding "And that's why Titans with remote AOE DD are fine, LTP."  It's a great point because it re-frames the entire question.  The argument is "Jester, if on-grid boosts do get nerfed and you want your year of training back, what's the difference between that and when X got nerfed?" where Siiee chooses "Titan AOE Doomsdays" for X.

And when I responded to the comment, I was a bit dismissive and just said "That's a false comparison."  But really, that's kind of unfair and I should expand on my thinking.

It's a false comparison because when when most nerfs to ships are applied, there are almost always several other roles available for the ship in question.  The various Titan nerfs are a great example.  By my count, a Titan does about six things well (in rough order of importance):
  • it creates moving jump bridges for fleets;
  • it rats like nobody's business;
  • it's a damn good on-field gunship;
  • it can blap some capital ships in a single shot;
  • its presence alone on a battlefield sends a strong message to both sides; and,
  • with its links and boost bonuses, it's the ultimate home defense fleet booster.
And that's before you talk about all of the minor things it can do, like create jump clones or carry a large number of sub-caps from system to system.

So, if one element of what a Titan can do is nerfed I'm not going to get overly excited about it even it takes a lot of time and expense to train for that.  It can still do a lot of other things well, and will retain some form of whatever it is that's been nerfed.  So if its ability to rat and blap dictors is nerfed, it can still create jump bridges, blap capitals, et cetera.

Similarly, if Strategic Cruiser boost bonuses are nerfed at some point, I'm not going to get overly upset about that because a strat cruiser does so many other things well.  That's another ship that takes a great deal of time and expense to get trained into.

Alternatively, if a single-role ship gets nerfed it doesn't excite me too much either as long as the training and expense needed to get into that ship are not too excessive.  Or if the time and expense are excessive, a nerf won't upset me as long as the ship is compensated in some other way.  Jamming ships and dreads are single role ships.  When Falcons and Rooks were nerfed, I was upset but it wasn't a big enough deal to get me to stop flying them because the commitment I made to get those skills didn't take an extraordinary amount of time.  When dreads were nerfed, I wasn't too upset about that either because they received buffs at the same time that gave the ships equal value in other ways.

In this way, Command Ships are unique.  They are single role ships that also have an enormous time requirement and large expense commitment.(1)  If you heavily nerf a Command Ship, what else can they do?  Other than the Sleipnir and maybe the Absolution... not much.

That's why I differentiate the class and that's why comparisons linking potential boost nerfs to other nerfs in EVE over the years are false comparisons.

Thanks to Siiee and everyone else who's commented so far!

(1) Anyone who says Command Ships aren't expensive probably isn't fitting them right.


  1. Committing resource (SP/Isk) for some ship or game play type is just another type of risk that exists in EVE because there is always a risk that it may change (nerfs/ buffs/ fundamental game play changes).

  2. ...not trying to be funny, but that's a false comparison. I don't see anyone saying "nerf command ships". The only class of ships people want to specifically nerf is T3 boosters, and those have 6 other functions just like titans. If nerfing all boosting somewhat means that some of the command ships will deserve a buff, (apparently in your opinion those not the sleipnir and perhaps the absolution,) then fine, say that--saying you want a year of your life back is a bit premature, though. Why would you consider the possibility CCP would nerf ongrid boosting, already a fairly hypothetical discussion, and then add in the strange assumption that they wouldn't then buff command ships' other stats to keep them relevant? That possibility isn't worth writing about, let alone whining about.

    1. There are players putting pressure on CCP to nerf all boosting, feeling that all boosts are over-powered.

    2. You've answered a rhetorical question, my good sir. Put in a direct form without rhetorical questions, the idea looks rather like Chris's comment below--i.e., 'Wait until they do in fact nerf ongrid boosting, which CCP may never do; see whether they buff command ships in other ways to compensate, which they probably would; if they don't, then and only then complain about command ships being a long waste of training.'

      On the subject of false comparisons, your argument is actually a false dilemma. You made the point earlier that grids are a bit iffy as-is, so if CCP eliminates off-grid boosting, then we'll be left with more grid nuttiness, which will be even worse. That's a false dilemma, there are other options than merely grid or offgrid for boosting, such as establishing a range for boosts similar to the range which applies to most other effects in the game. Predicting that CCP will apply a specific fix with such obvious drawbacks may or may not be a good bet in Vegas, but it's not a good assumption in a debate.

    3. CCP has proven their ability to change things based on the desires of the loudest portion of the population, only to have to back-pedal after they've done it when confronted by the knowledgeable portion. I'm hoping to save them a couple of steps. ;-)

  3. Do not forget that tiercide is still going on. With the whole "nerf boosts" also in CCP's mind, they can easily compensate the command ships so they can have normal combat abilities with boosts. I think judging what the ships do right *now* when they are going to be changing relatively soon is not the right thing (and we can see some ships have been changed quite a bit so far).

    1. Tiericide refers to changing the tiered structure of Tech 1 ship lines toward a role structure like the ones tech 2 ships already have. Doesn't seem relevant.

      Not to say that CCP has no plans to re-balance ALL ships, or that if boosting changes were made the boosting ships wouldn't be looked at. Only saying that to expect them to be looked at based on the tiericide agenda seems somewhat misguided.

  4. Rather than drawing a direct comparison between two classes of ships I had only meant to highlight that the same argument is/can be used to justify even the most absurdly bad mechanics. It doesn't matter if a titan only has a single highslot and costs 200B isk, the "remote AOE DD" is still a terrible idea, and the time/isk justification /for/ it is just as "valid". So I don't feel that that particular argument holds any more weight than the classic "because I said so"

    The point that it's most of the ships only standout role is a better one, but it's still not an argument for the virtues of the mechanic in the game as a whole. A mechanic needs to plug into general gameplay first, and then fill roles for classes of ships, not the other way around.

    The argument for a home field advantage is one for the mechanic, and that may be your experience with it but I don't feel that one really holds water either. The "home field" in this case is really anywhere that someone is willing to put the :effort: into dualboxing their link alt. When I'm stuck in blob fleets we always have our full set of links in the enemy system long before the fleet forms up. The only time they actually sit around any kind of home is when the pilot gets lazy and sets their link ship to orbit a pos and goes to bed for the night.

    The interdiction maneuvers link may be one of the easiest to recognize on the field, but a fully specced link tengu running only a single link can effectively give a drake 8 mid slots. That's not exactly a little edge, whether the average person realizes they're shooting a ship with link support or not. And that's only considering the effectiveness of the links themselves, not taking into consideration mobility or grid mechanics.

  5. wasnt the AoE DD nerfed because it made X-man Subcap fleets die to 1 titan ?

  6. I doubt that CCP is going to nerf boosting.

    A boosting alt means a long-term commitment to a second account, which is more money in CCP's pocket. Leaving boosting, as is, just encourages more single account players to become dual account players. Quite honestly, I'm surprised that CCP doesn't add more similar game features, which benefit from having an extra account - a form of P2W about which most Eve players seem to be ok.

    As for boosting, off-grid or otherwise, being "unfair", I seem to recall that Eve is supposed to be unfair. Several senior devs seem to have said that repeatedly over this past year.

    But, in any case, I don't see how boosting can be considered unfair - if one side brings an off-grid fleet booster, the other side certainly isn't prohibited from doing the same.

    As for 1-vs-1 PVP, players who whine on that particular subject are mostly foolish naifs, anyways. CCP didn't build Eve to be a 1-vs-1 PVP game - if you really want to play that way, join RvB. CCP designed PVP to be about fleets, and, at the very least, gangs. If you want to win a 1-vs-1 PVP fight, bring friends, and preferably at least one who happens to be a fleet booster.

  7. i'm going to say your wrong, Jester.

    I believe you have missed out something in your understanding of certain command bonuses being "too strong" like interdiction maneuvers.

    Why do i think this? Because i believe everyone's forgetting that of the many boosts available point range is one of the few that don't have any other means of boosting that attribute on their ship.

    correct? let's test that hypothesis:
    damage control - bonus to capacitor
    passive defense - boost to armor resists
    rapid repair - bonus to armor boost
    electr.superior.- EW strength
    recon operation - range on EW
    sensor integrity - bonus to sensor str
    active shielding - bonus to shield boost
    shield efficiency - capacitor bonus
    sheild harmony - shield resists
    evasive maneuvers - sig radius
    interdiction man. - propulsion jamming range
    rapid deployment - speed

    so yeah, the theory is sound that to see point range boost as outrageous misses the point: CCP didn't give us any other bonus to use so a single boost looks massive whereas the others are diluted in veteran pilot's desire to min/max in other ways than just a fleet command ship.

    One of the few times i find you in error where your opinion is concerned. =)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.