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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Monday, November 12, 2012

Quote of the Week: Recommendation

This one's for all you new EVE Online players out there.  Trust me when I tell you that it is not often that CCP tells you that they're about to push the knife in and twist.  Matter of fact, I can only remember three times that they've done it: right before they nerfed sanctums and havens, right before they nerfed incursions, and right before they nerfed FW button-orbiting.  To this, we can now add a fourth: CCP is warning you that they're about to split the current Destroyers and Battlecruisers skills into eight skills by race.

But this time, they've provided a recommendation to avoid the knife:
With this in mind, it becomes quite obvious to focus on training the Destroyers and Battlecruisers skills before the change to get the maximum return effect. We highly recommend you start doing so now.
That's CCP Ytterbium in his latest dev-blog about the upcoming changes to T1 battle cruisers and battleships.

Because the current Destroyers and Battlecrusiers skills are going to be split racially, it is in your best interests to train them to level V now.  That way, when the split happens, you'll be gifted with the large number of skill points that having level V skills in all four racial skills will bestow.  Having Battlecruisers V will be good for almost 4.5 million more SP.  Having Destroyers V will be good for another 1.5 million.  So that's six million skill points you're leaving on the table if you don't have these two skills trained to maximum when this change happens.  And based on that recommendation, I'd say the change is probably going to happen sooner rather than later.

Why train them now?  Because starting on December 4, you're going to have four Rank 3 Electronics skills to train: the four racial sensor-strengthening ones, so that you can put jamming out of business, remember?  Given a decent split of attributes, training those four skills to level IV is going to take between 12 and 14 days.  So even before we find out what our holiday gifts are this year, we get a nice one from CCP: 20% stronger sensors before your winter solstice holiday of choice.  Training those skills to level V will take an additional 12-14 days each, so you can probably put that off for a while if you have more important things to train.

As to the dev-blog itself, I've got to hand it to CCP.  After re-balancing 40 ships in 2012, they're making a nice push for the first 24 ships of 2013.  That said, there don't seem to be a lot of major changes in store.  The two biggest ones that jump out at me is making the Megathron thinner and making the Typhoon a pure missile boat.  The latter is cause for celebration for me: 2013 is shaping up to the be the year of the missile and I'm going to have me some fun with it.  The latter doesn't affect me so much because Megas are so little used.  Matter of fact, I suspect the people most impacted by that one are going to be early career incursion pilots that bring Megas into incursion HQ sites.  They're going to die even faster than they do today (which is pretty fast a lot of the time).

The big surprise of this dev-blog, though, is where CCP is going after those 24 T1 ships: T2 battle cruisers, better known as Command Ships.  You could have laid out all of the possibilities, and I never would have guessed they were going that way.  But this blog post is already pretty long and I want to put my thoughts on that change in another post.

In the meantime, CCP doesn't make recommendations often, so I'd follow this one...

34 comments:

  1. "Matter of fact, I suspect the people most impacted by that one are going to be early career incursion pilots that bring Megas into incursion HQ sites. They're going to die even faster than they do today (which is pretty fast a lot of the time)."

    Fly an armour Mega in HQ's & you won't die so fast
    ~Darth Nefarius

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  2. The big surprise ... is where CCP is going after those 24 T1 ships: T2 battle cruisers, better known as Command Ships."

    This shouldn't be much of a surprise, if you remember that CCP Fozzie is Raivi. Watch the old ATs and you'll see that he has a particular fondness for those ships.

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  3. Eliminating the learning skills was a step forward - this is definitely a step backwards.

    As someone pointed out on the forums, adding new PVP skills, like the anti-ECM skills, just makes the game even less attractive to new players, and solely benefits the older players, who have run out of (practical) skills to train.

    Newer players will likely train just one of the skills up to 3 or 4, because they need to sacrifice training time on another support/PVP skill to do so, while older players will merrily train all 4 skills up to 5, since they have pretty much everything else trained up to 4 or 5 already.

    The split to racial Destroyer and Battlecruiser skills is an even worse decision. Anyone who starts playing after the change goes into effect will be more strictly limited to one race of ships for the first year or so. This will particularly deter new pleyers interested in cross-training in order to fly all of the ships, as well as anyone interested in the pirate ships. And, forget about switching races to keep up with the latest FOTM.

    Race-specific training should just go away completely, allowing new players faster access to a wider range of ships.

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    1. "As someone pointed out on the forums, adding new PVP skills, like the anti-ECM skills, just makes the game even less attractive to new players, and solely benefits the older players, who have run out of (practical) skills to train. "

      Furthermore this will be the first time that there are (strictly) race specific support skills - unless each ship is given all four sensor types.

      In the sense that all it does is set up a new norm, it is also completely retarded. If ECM is too strong, just balance it out by raising all sensor strengths/dropping jamming strengths. Or change the mechanism somewhat so that it interacts with the Targeting/Multitasking skill level.

      Delete
    2. ECM is easy enough to fix, without mucking around with new skills or boosting ship sensor strength (which also happens to affect the ability to become immune to scan probes).

      Simply lower the percentage to jam on all modules, and add a stacking penalty, until the Falcon can't do the ECM overkill thing anymore.

      The goal should be: a Falcon should be able to effectively jam multiple ships, but it should not be able to perma-jam any single ship, equipped with an ECCM.

      Delete
  4. There's a reason I never made a Know Your Enemy post for command ships - they've been among the ripest targets for rebalancing since before rebalancing even existed! ;)

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  5. CCP seems to think that armor tanking is broken, but, obviously, the problem has always been a bias by the devs towards over-buffing shield tanking - with the ASBs being the latest iteration of uber buffs.

    Let's just compare the usefulness of the ASB to the Reactive Armor Hardener, shall we? No?

    Yeah, sort of a waste of time, when no one actually uses the RAH.

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    Replies
    1. It is indeed sort of odd that the ASB was released in an OP state, and now gets just a minor nerf - whereas the RAH was released in a totally useless state, and now gets an equally useless buff.

      Delete
  6. "Well, guess that leaves us no choice but to move forward with future balancing plan then. Let’s assume 2012 is not the end of the world, the universe and all things we hold dear, and let’s take a peek into what we want to start tweaking next year."

    In your experience with the battle cruiser skill update.....will this come next year as quoted or do you think it will be implemented before? Also would the skills be reimbursed to be used as you see fit or split over the BC skill requirement ? As it stands now I have BC 4 and destroyers 4.....Would it make more sense to train the destroyers first then the Battlecruisers as getting them both to LV 5 would run past the 4th December update?

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  7. Ironically it's the same recommendation they made months back. I know I trained BC to V and Dessy to V when they first recommended it. So it's probably doubly important now.

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  8. Training to L5 is all well and good, but if you're Amarr, you'll get Amarr BC and dessies at 5 as well. If you've also trained for a drake and a cane, are they going to look at your weapon skills too? I hope so, because if they are only grandfathering the skills based on RACE, people are going to be fucked and will have to train the other race's skills back up to fly their boats again.

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  9. With the BC skill split, I know they have said if you can fly it now, you will be able to fly it after the patch. Does this mean then that you would need to have the command ships skill trained to guarantee all four races level 5 (as well as appropriate racial cruisers), or would just having level five battlecruiser be enough?

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  10. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe in addition to having Battlecruisers and Destroyers trained to V, you also need each racial frigate and cruiser trained to III to get the maximum "free" skill points.

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  11. I thought that they had nerfed the missiles but making them shorter ranged and inflicting less damage. The range I am not so fussed about but the damage is an issue on a system whereby damage is not really as great as the other forms out there, and isn't instant. W

    What is it about the missiles that you are looking forward to?

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  12. I finished Battlecruisers V the first time they said they would mess with it, with Destroyers finished a month or two ago.
    Can anyone clarify that having BCV lets me inject any Battleship skill after the change?

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    Replies
    1. If you have not done so already, you will also need to have each racial Cruisers III trained up, or you won't get the corresponding racial BC V. Same for racial Frigates III and the corresponding racial Dessie V.

      And, remember that the rule is "if you can fly it now, you will be able to fly it after the change". Correspondingly, if you CANNOT fly it now, then you still will NOT be able to fly it after the change - in order to do so, you will need to meet any new post-change skill requirements.

      Delete
  13. I think it was a post on Failheap Challenge that pointed out pilots shouldn't undock after the change until they have checked that their clone has sufficient skill points to cover the new racial Destroyer and racial Battlecruiser skill points they will be getting.

    I can't find the original article to give proper credit to the unsung genius who pointed this out.

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    Replies
    1. I wouldn't worry about this overly much.

      A significant number of players will undoubtedly forget to upgrade their clones, and the GMs will most likely just reverse any SP losses, if petitioned.

      Delete
  14. And if you keep up with such things and you were single race focused, you would be nearly done with getting all other racial skills cruisers to 3, destroyers to 5 and working on BCs. I have a passel of characters that are finishing their skills in a little bit though only a few are going Destroyers 5, BC 5 as well. Then there are the alts . . .

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  15. I only hope that the Typhoon keeps it's massive-ish Drone Bay. That would be Awesome. Like Michael Bay Awesome.

    -Amari

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  16. Jester, you've neglected to mention that you need the appropriate racial cruiser and frigate skills to at least level III to get the BC/DD skill of that race. A fairly important point, that. :P

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  17. I just don't see it, Basically the devblog says if you can fly it now you can fly it after the change.
    So I don't see how just having Destroyers to V, and all racial frigs to III. And for the BC it would need to be V and racial frig IV and the racial BC to III.
    What am I missing?

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  18. If I understand correctly you also need the racial cruiser skills for the "free" SP.

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  19. re. "put jamming out of business"... Is that what training all 4 of the new racial sensor-strengthening skills will do? Stealth Falcon nerf once enough people get them up to at least Level 4?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, but it isn't a "stealth" nerf. This topic has been on the forums for the past two weeks:

      https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=2130212#post2130212

      Delete
  20. Even if you are not ever interested in flying Destroyers or Battlecruisers, it is important to note that, after the change, the racial Destroyer 4 skill will be added to train racial Cruisers, and both the racial Destroyer 4 and racial Battlecruiser 4 skills will be added to train racial Battleships.

    So, if you want Cruisers/Battleships, but not Destroyers/Battlecruisers, you'd best get those Cruiser/Battleship skills trained up now.

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  21. Nasty CCP.

    Those 4 new Electronics skill will probably be Int/Mem skills, while the Dessie and BC skills are Per/Wil.

    So, assuming that you are already SP-optimized for one or the other, you'll need to expend a remap, in order to keep optimal training speed, while getting this stuff trained up.

    If you are unfortunate enough to be SP-optimized for something else, and/or don't have any remaps available, then you are probably going to be stuck with sub-optimal SP training for a few months.

    I think everyone should get a free remap this Christmas.

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  22. Converting the Phoon into a pure missile boat is just plain bad.

    I am now forced to agree with the "sky is falling" commenter who long ago said that tiericide is nothing more than just homogenizing ships, making them pretty much the same, by forcing standard fits.

    The Phoon for a long time now has been the king of the "jack of all trades" ships, assuming that you had the breadth and depth of skills to fit and fly it. Only the Domi comes close to being as unpredictable as a Phoon. Now? WTF?

    Time to join the unsubbers, methinks....

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  23. CCP isn't just going after Command Ships; they are simultaneously planning to nerf T3 strategic cruisers.

    Can't say that I'm disappointed, though - the T3 cruisers have always been OP. The SP requirements are laughably low - the only thing which originally kept T3 proliferation under control was cost, and the combination of Incursions and FW plexing blew the ISK barrier right out of the water.

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  24. Under the proposed changes, the Gallente will have no ships designed for long-range damage, and thus nothing that makes sense to use in a fleet.

    Blasters might be fine, but railguns still suck.

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    Replies
    1. Just noticed this, too.

      And, with cross-training races taking a huge hit, esp. for battleships (after the skill split, new players will need to train racial skills Frig 4, Dessie 4, Cruiser 4 and BC 4), Gallente is going to be the worst choice for new null sec alliance pilots.

      Worse, any buffs specific to railguns will just make Caldari more popular. After all, Caldari get missile boats, too. Gallente drone boats just aren't practical for fleet work.

      Delete
  25. Making the Megathron thinner doesn't make sense.

    CCP devs just can't seem to get it through their heads that if they are going to make Gallente ships thinner and faster, just to allow them to get into blaster range, they are only turning them into substandard Minmatar ships (shield tank ships will always perform better than armor tank ships, with regards to speed and range control).

    The right answer is to make Gallente blaster ships situationally faster than equivalent ships, via a non-stacking-penalized bonus to web drones, and a lot more tankier, via massive buffs to armor and/or hull (yikes!). The idea here being that a Gallente blaster ship can catch up to an opponent, but will need to be able to shed a lot of incoming damage to do so. The opponent will need to decide between popping the web drones, or concentrating on breaking the heavy Gallente tank before it reaches blaster range.

    An alternate solution might be to make Gallente ships partially immune to webs and scrams - allowing them a speed advantage when both sides are using these forms of EW.

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    1. I like the idea of giving Gallente blaster-based ships bonuses to web/scram.

      The web drone bonus idea is good, but I think the web/scram immunity idea is even better.

      Delete
  26. Your math is slightly off, because how the jam chance works, one of this new skills at level 4 will make your sensors "only" 16,6667% stronger.
    At level V, you will have 20% more jamming resistance.

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