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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Friday, June 21, 2013

Failure of imagination

I'm still deeply engaged in the discussion about rebalancing T1 industrial ships.  Now that CCP Rise has made public a lot of his concerns and objections to issues that I've raised privately, I've feel more comfortable making public my counter-concerns, which I've done on the EVE Online forums, but reproduce here as well:

---snip---

I've Liked so many posts in this thread I've lost count.

I can understand Rise's position here.  He's saying, among other things,
  • "The haulers have never done anything particularly special before, why do they need to do special things now?"; and,
  • "If you wanted a max cargo hauler, you had to use an Itty V and nothing else; I'm giving you three other options."; and,
  • "For every other ship class, each race has exactly the same number of ships, why should it be different for haulers?"; and,
  • "This isn't the last word. We'll be revisiting the outcast haulers when we know what we want to do with the industry career long term."
I get all four of these points.  But right now, I have to say that I'm with the players that are a little frustrated with the lost potential here.  We see only two types of haulers because that's all it looks like we've been given: a fast tanky hauler for each race, and a max cargo hauler for each race.  Whereas even within the same slot of the same ship type for other ship classes, there's lots of racial variation.  If I sit in a disruption frigate, I can jam with one race, damp with another, track with a third, paint with a fourth.  Attack frigates have some that specialize in rockets, some that specialize in blasters, some that have to go in close, and some that specialize in kiting.

But for all four races, I have a fast tanky hauler and a max cargo hauler and that's all.  There are color differences and shape differences, but they all do pretty much the same thing the same way.  That's why these players are frustrated, and why I'm among them.  We were wowed by all the new potential and all the new options when the other ship classes were rebalanced and were looking forward to some new options when this class was.  Zaxix put it nicely:
I certainly respect your opinion, Rise, but there is a group of true haulers in EVE, and what may be boring to you PvP types has been the focus of many an EVE career.
Rise has done great work so far as he's gone... but I feel like not a lot of imagination has been put into this compared to other ship classes because it's "boring."  It's hard to put our faith in an uncertain future for these ships because there's no telling when or if that uncertain future will ever come to pass, particularly with past evidence as a guide.

Thanks to everyone giving feedback on this!

---snip---

Feel free to jump into the discussion if you care to...   My thanks to those of you that already have!

29 comments:

  1. I don't know about you but I have always (as I skilled into them) had and used,and still use, 4 haulers... base stats be damned, the fit can make a WORLD of difference:

    Prowler - thin tank / small capacity / fast & quick align / CovOps cloak
    Hoarder - med tank / med capacity / med slow
    Mammoth - thin tank / max capacity / dead slow / cloak
    Mastodon - max tank & stabs / low capacity / slow but quick align / cloak

    The only Minnie hauler I don't use, and honestly wouldn't miss, is the Wreath, but I use all 4 of the following during any given month...

    - Prowler - hauling expensive assets to & from Anoikis
    - Hoarder & Mammoth - in system PI and general haulage
    - Mammoth - fuel & prods to & from Anoikis if a decent hisec pipe
    - Mastodon - lrg amounts of or lrg expensive assets anywhere

    The above is your "special roles" right there... Hauling shit in New Eden is a deadly game... for the hauler, I personally don't feel it's needs balancing as it stands. I have lost haulers and I have pulled them out of situations I should have died in... based on the ships abilities, the fit and my skills both real and virtual... and with out the 4 roles I use every month, that would not necessarily be true today...

    I love the Minmatar Indies exactly the way they are. I don't need the IMHO slight extra m3 an Itty 5 gives. For example, 4 fully canned loads in my Max Mammoth is 1 month of POS fuel. 1 months of POS fuel at the risk of 4 trips... I can accept that risk/reward as balanced. I can do everything I need to do with the four different ships fit for their 4 different roles...

    The CSM, CCP and CCP Rise need to really ask (which you are) and listen (which seems to be happening) to the Industrial PvE playerbase about issues that relate to them and really step back from the PvP centric viewpoint (CCP Rise et al..) and see the game through other eyes for a bit...

    And this is from someone who considers himself fully a PvP centric player now...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Having read your previous posts on this subject and the dev blogs I've come to the conclusion that the solution is somewhere in between. Based on use, there are 3 desirable traits in a hauler, and therefore, should be three racial hulls.

    1) max capacity. For when you need to haul a lot of cheap stuff.
    2) tanky. For the vulnerable stuff.
    3) fast. For when you have other stuff to do

    I do not think that the fast/agile hull should be combined with the tank one, its too much of a do-it-all for EVE, not to mention fittings will allow players to add any one of these traits to an already existing trait on the hull. (IE, speed AND capacity).

    As for specialization. That is the role of the T2 hulls. In addition, I would caution CCP not to make any specializations that would limit what a hauler could or could not carry (PI, ore, etc). In reference to your specialized hauler, it's very pointless to have a say dedicated ore hauler if all the other haulers can carry ore as well, plus other stuff and in the same approximate quantities. Too often the average player needs to haul a wide variety of items from mods to ships to ammo to subsystems and ore so having to have a different hauler for each one would be ridiculous. I think this is why you see so little variety here. The job is just to broad.

    ReplyDelete
  3. ONE speedy+agile hauler (few slots, small cargo)
    ONE all out cargo monster with little HP (few slots, huge cargo)
    ONE flexible hauler, decent cargo, decent tank, more slots so you can create whatever you want.

    Racial Variations are provided along changes with the base stats plus the ammount of mid/low slots available.

    T2 stuff then its
    speedy hauler -> blockader runner
    tanky hauler -> deep space transport

    T1 cargo monster remains unique.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm fine with every race having a high capacity hauler. I don't want Amarr Industrial to be the useless 'tanky' race like you suggested.

    There could be additional variations added, but honestly, speedy and hauly are the best types.

    If they add a ship-hauler and an ore-hauler, they should add it to ORE.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yeah, I said that if industrials were dull, that was a design decision on their part. Harsh, but true.

    The old T1 logistics ships, as terrible as they were, at least had an interesting idea behind them, and they were named appropriately. Unfortunately, the design predates CCP having any concept of iteration or follow-through, and now they can't do that anymore. But imagine that they all got a role bonus of 50% to the efficiency of cargo expansion rigs and modules and the ability to essentially fire a jetcan at a fleet member for pickup? Then you have an interesting combat logistics ship with an additional role beyond mobile ammo canister. Something to chew on, anyway.

    ReplyDelete

  6. lots of variety availabe.
    A caladarie hauler with a bonus to e-war(not as many slots or tank as cruiser e-war) to tank.
    A galentai hauler with a repair bonus, great for small ganks as you out rep the dps.
    amar haulers with masive base armour HP.
    Mimnitar haulers with lots of slots would give flexability. Do you tank, go speed or do something wierd.(not not as effective as others but can change fittings)
    a small signature hauler.
    the i am paper and slow but hold a lot hauler.
    The tractor hauler with more storage than the noctis but just a bonus to tractors.
    The hauler with a resitance to scans(double wraping never made scense)
    battle hauler with high slots for 3-4 small sized guns but a cruiser sized sig and movment.
    Cargo scanner with resistance to concord scans.(worth the risk?)

    then add these varients to the cloaky haulers. Or you know, just make em all the same....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have no idea how haulers die if you think a rep bonus would be useful.

      Delete
    2. Haulers have had rep bonuses prior to now but no one uses them because you can't rep through a gangs DPS reliably with the constrained fittings on a hauler. Just look at the fitting requirements of a triple rep Myrm or a XL ASB and then show me a hauler you can fit that on.

      Delete
  7. This is not the first time I've noted lack of imagination in the ship rebalancing. The new navy battlecruisers being just more combat ships, the battleships changes were average overall (with a few notable exceptions), and now the industrial ships showing a distinct lack of effort IMHO.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think the thing that bothers me the most is the replication of role in each of the races.

    I really isn't a big deal to cross train into industrials, especially now that 'racial industrial I' is all that is needed to fly the things. I'd like to see them all do something a bit different.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I, for one, am not surprised.

    In the BS rebalancing, CCP Rise also demonstrated a lack of imagination, as well as a much more critical lack to truly include the players in the design process. He just wants us to sign off on his poor work, say "good job" and let him go on to change something else to his own liking, based solely on his own experience in the game.

    Kil2 made good videos. I enjoyed them. But, playing the game and making videos is a far, far cry from being a game developer, and he has pretty much proven this fact, to our detriment.

    Fail. Nothing but fail.

    That said, let's be more honest. None of the other devs have much interest in doing this job right either. Soundwave, Fozzie, Tallest, Greyscale, SoniClover, et al - none of them.

    So, Jester... perhaps this is where the CSM needs to step in. Why not let the players do the rebalancing of the haulers, since CCP clearly has no one who wants to actually do the work right? Then, CCP can take the role of stat tweaking and final approval.

    Volunteers from the player base? Raise your hand! o/

    ReplyDelete
  10. I hate when CCP breaks something that didn't need fixing. The t1 hauler 'rebalance' seems to be a case in point.

    I never liked the 'make all races the same' idea. Get rid of 'I win' buttons but preserve racial differences. That should be the goal of rebalancing, not nerfing all the good ships to shit and then making whatever's left carbon copies of each other with different skins.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Did anyone ask the experts? The Frogs come to mind.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Eve devs need to finally realize that there are industrialists out there. They always claim EVE is a PVP game. Must have been the elves that came in the night and added all the industry. Personally, I'd love to see something done with the haulers, along your same train of thought. Thanks for working to make the game better, and not just more of the same.

    ReplyDelete
  13. due to the lack of impact in "the game" as in the pew pew aspect of the game, i don't understand why the changes are so bland... i was expecting they would go off the rails with the ideas. cargo specific haulers is something i keep seeing mentioned, assembled ship haulers, ore transports, etc etc.. are ideas that only take a few lines of code, but would change the game, both for industrial players and gankers alike.

    miners would love a 300k cargo ore hauler, and guess what, gankers would too. its a target, and it will be a fairly common one.

    and making industrials have a "fun" side to their fitting and "hauling power" in addition to making them easier to get into. would make people use them, instead of completely avoiding them until they can afford a freighter alt. that will sit on an NPC corp, avoiding wardecs, and thanks to their tank they can avoid any gank, unless there's a ton of gankers and they are extremely bored.

    they should revisit them. after all, the argument is clear, they have NO impact on the "pew pew" there's no excuse other than laziness not to "do" something with them... unlike with a +5% damage change on a ship that has to always face the test of "but what would 500 pilots flying 500 of this ships do?" when it comes to industry stuff, the only question is "can 3 players looking for a shortcut to success kill it?"

    so long as the answer remains "yes" then no one cares if the indus ships have pimp rims on them and pleasure chambers with rocket propelled exotic dancers.

    at least they could add something like "industrial rigs", that would give for example "-20% shield and armor, +140% cargo hold space. cargo can only be ore or minerals" or "+30% shield and armor -70% cargo hold space -40% agi -40% mass"

    something, anything...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Unlike the other ship rebalancing efforts this one seems not only to lack imagination, it seems to lack serious effort as well. Industrial players deserve a commitment of equal resources to the ships they fly everyday in comparison to the other T1 ships. There aren't nearly as many, it shouldn't be a half though out, half effort affair.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I had an idea that I had posted that I think leaves the door open to making some cool niche ships without having to tie up art dept time.

    Leave each race with their 2 haulers.

    The remaining hauler blueprints will be bought out by Ore, these new Ore ships can then be specialized without having to make additional ship models for each race to make them even. CCP could leave the stats as they are and as needed/as ideas come up, change them.


    I would like to see them listen to the hauler profession as to what the reasonably want/need in a ship. I like some of their ideas so far (ice bay,ore bay etc)

    ReplyDelete
  16. try this challange.

    pick one of the battleship rebalance threads on eve-o. and try to locate five separately authored posts regarding use PvE of battleships. (this alone tells you just about everything you ever wanted to know about the game, and no one bothers to ask).

    now we can fast forward to specific industrial ships. and here we see almost no experience with this arena of the game as from yet another null-sec player (now dev)¹ who has next to no clue about industry. (who are still scratching their heads in null about why they suck at industry? the law of malice says they are either idiots or lying). here's a hint (which I will give away just one of the secrets of the trade).

    Industrial ships are just fine as they are. I personally almost rarely fly tech one anymore. They are just a stepping stone to Freighters, Blockade Runners and DST.

    Let me point any of you to the rebalance in barges - and if you still can not predict the outcome for haulers - then you should be embarrassed.

    The only possible change I could see which would generate interest would be the ability to move illegal cargo in high-sec. Drug Making is an ignored component to the game. (yet I note a regular recommendation by Jester in FOTW)

    ¹ and no this is a tinfoil reference.

    MT

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your position that T1 haulers are useless in and of themselves except as stepping stones IS IS IS the problem!

      Try imagining saying "the only reason to train T1 cruisers is so you can fly HACs so T1 cruisers don't matter."

      Delete
  17. I feel like this is a step towards homogenization of the races. I think this is an easy direction to take, and a very bad one. Each races does not need to be even, because we can train any race we want. Lets have 1 hauler type for each race. Gallentee max cargo, Mimnitar battle indy, Amarr max armor, caldari speed or something like this. Each tier can then be a deviation of this premise. For example, a tier 1 Mimnitar hauler could have the best cargo space for the Mimnitar line, with the least guns, where as a tier 5 would pretty much be a cruiser with some extra cargo space, like the Exquitor for Gallentee was.

    This would still allow for the specialized variants, but also make your choice of racial training important and interesting. It would also allow for the training of a skill to not get a better version, but a more specialized version. I think this would be inline with the current teiricide ideas.

    The examples above for race types are just random examples and not well though out. Its the idea I am talking about. I am sure the devs can think of good race dependent bonuses for the ships.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Like a lot of us said, the selected roles doesn't cover what a hauler must do. From my personal experience, an hauler must cover one of the following role : (I'm basing my examples from the gallente line, which is the one which pose the most problems, due to the number of hulls).
    - fast, agile hauler, with small cargo in the 5000 - 9000 m3 range(a T1 blockade runner). Stats must be equals to a level III viator, without cov ops cloack. Hull class: Iteron I
    - Stocky, solid, tanky hauler, with medium cargo, up to 15000m3 (a T1 deep space transport). This one must be tailored to survive a basic gank tornado alpha (as can a mammoth or tanky iteron V at the moment). Hull class : Iteron mark III.
    - Large hauling capacity, aka Iteron mark V. Remove a med slot and add a high slot, in order to limit the tank to less than a tornado volley, and this ship is done. This large hauling role is unique to T1 hauler.

    So, we have all roles for a T1 hauler :
    - Fast / agile
    - Tanky
    - Big hauler.

    Minmatar and gallente can have all three roles (at least 3 hulls. And the mammoth must be the large hauling one :) ).
    Amarr and Caldari must select 2 roles out of 3. But, every race must have a large hauler hull (else, this race's industrials will not be used). So, set a fast / agile hauler for the Badger, and a a tanky hauler for the Sigil.

    So, out of 12 hulls, we have 10 dones. How to use the two remaining ones ? Easy, lore can help us.

    The shipyard for the iteron (is this Roden ?) and the ORE shipyards are direct concurrent. Where ORE corner the market for specialized hulls, the gallente one was traditionnally a generalist.

    Concurrence forced them to adapt, and they produced two new specialized hulls, iteration of their base designs in order to counter ORE on their market :
    - Iteron mark II. A fast, agile hauler specialized for PI goods. A direct concurrent to the Primae, with it's large specialized PI bay. Stats : 15-20k m3 of PI Bay, base cargo up to 1k m3 (cargo fit), 1 high, 2 med , 2 low. Goals : a specialized PI hauler for dangerous environment (LS / 0.0 / WH). By using a special bay, this ship doesn't require long training time and can be used by everyone in less than an hour.
    - Iteron mark IV. A solid, stocky hauler created for a market in direct concurrence to the ORE core market. This ship is expected to survive in a more dangerous environment, due to suicide capsuler attacks (up to 1.5 alpha tornado of tank, 15k EHP), with a specialized ore / ice / gaz bay, containing 28k m3 (ie a jetcan), and a tractor beam range or speed bonus (no basic cargo bonus). 2 highs, 3 med, 4 low seems correct. Goals : an ORE hauler, equals or better than a procurer and stocky enough to survive.

    So, a recap :

    Fast / Agile hulls = Iteron mark I, Badger, Wreathe
    Tanky hulls = Iteron mark III, Sigil, Hoarder
    Max capacity hulls = Iteron mark V, Bestower, Mammoth, Badger Mark II

    Specialized hulls = Iteron mark II (PI), Iteron Mark IV (Ore / gaz / ice).

    And please convince CCP Rise to do a pass on the useless of the useless hauler : the Primae. This ship is nice visually, but can't be used for anything at the moment. Update it to be useful, in his role (PI specialized transport), and release the blueprint !

    ReplyDelete
  19. I think FunkyBacon nails it quite right in his article on TMDC.
    http://themittani.com/features/industrial-homogenization-vs-meaningful-choices

    ReplyDelete
  20. Once things are moved off of freighters we use specific containers for different goods (ore, bulk liquids, frozen food, grain, packaged manufactured goods) but the tug boat, locomotive, or truck that supplies the power to move the goods depends on the size of the load rather than the type of load. Why not make a hauler that can move different types and/or numbers of containers.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I commented on the Eve-O forums, but in short; tiericide has mostly given me more choice however in the case of the industrial changes it doesn't. Additionally I don't see what Rise's problem is with racial abilities - there are racial bonuses to weapons etc.

    Full post: https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=3238877#post3238877

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a really good point.

      Delete
    2. Yep, and Rise is the same dev who argued for the Caldari getting to keep the Scorp, pretty much as-is, while the other races have nothing comparable to it.

      Tiericide, under Rise, is not merely unimaginative, but inconsistent, as well.

      Delete
  22. Props to Rise for not doubling down on the dumb, and rethinking his opinion on this one.

    "I spent most of the weekend going over feedback and talking about this issue with a lot of different folks (CSM, Devs, and random folks from the community via stream chats or private convos), and I want to touch base with you about where I'm at."

    ReplyDelete
  23. How much value would you put into a hauler that has 30, 60, 90k EHP?

    Because my limit in moving stuff is determined by the cargo value, not cargo size. Anything I can't move with my blockade runner get's moved in a freighter with 900k m3. So I fly around with 800k m3 free space except when moving really basic stuff with no value.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Industrial, Freighter, Jump Freighter and Transport ships all need to be redesigned around ORE like standards. Forget racial crap like all of the combat ships in Industry and Transport the 3rd parties that don't care about empire will all gravitate towards a standard because it becomes cheaper if all of the same parts are used.

    So like the mining frigate and mining changes the shipment of goods needs to unified.

    ReplyDelete

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