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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 28, 2011

I'll just leave this here

Quick one.  There's something interesting (and to my knowledge, unannounced) hiding in today's Crucible patch notes:
Launching a warp disrupt probe will give you aggression and prevent you from docking or jumping.
I'm still thinking through the implications of this, but there's no question that this casual little change is going to massively alter the dynamics of how Interdictors are used and flown.  Double-bubble ships will be most affected, particularly double-bubble ships that are used to aggressively block both sides of a gate.

A very common tactic when a fight happens on a gate (and most do) is for the double-bubble ship to bubble in the aggressed ships, then quickly jump through the gate and bubble the other side as well to slow down escapes in that direction.  Another common tactic when the fleet is to "jump into" a held stargate is for the bubbler to drop one bubble, then jump in, decloak with the fleet, and drop the second.  Both of these tactics will now be effectively unusable by a single dictor.  To implement them will now require two dictors: one to drop the bubble on either side of the gate.

There are going to be a lot of unintended escapes over the next few weeks as FCs and dictor pilots get used to this.  FCs will order their dictor pilots to "jump through and catch them" and have to be reminded that the dictor can't, if it's already dropped a bubble.  There will also probably be a lot more unintended dictor deaths as their pilots forget that they are now aggressed when a bubble is dropped no matter what they do.  There's also going to be guys like me needlessly attempting to warp in bubbles to aggress dictors; that tactic isn't needed any more, either.

On the flip-side, though, there will be fewer dropped bubbles in general, notably fewer fail bubbles.  Right now, dropping a bubble is an almost casual move by a lot of poor dictor pilots.  They'll do it instinctively even if there's little chance of that bubble catching anything.  Since even a completely unused bubble will cause aggression, there will be fewer of these unthinking drops happening.

Overall, though, I have to say that I think this is a poor move on CCP's part.  It's also a puzzling move: I can't see where this change is coming from or why.  What problem is being solved by completely rewiring how an entire ship class has to be flown now?  Is there something that's been going on with dictors that I'm not aware of?  Discuss.


  1. I'd say the issue is consistency. A HICtor has aggression when using the disruption generator, why shouldn't a dictor have aggression when dropping a bubble? Also I'm a double bubble dictor pilot, and I understand the change, although it will change tactics...

  2. They also don't get the Destroyer buffs passed to the T2 hulls.

    Sad days.

  3. This change might be a side-effect of some other aggression change. So it might be due to the underlying programming, rather than any desire to change how 'dictors operate.

    There'll likely be a bunch of screaming about it today, and CCP will likely clarify.

  4. AFAIK you can click jump and then quickly deploy a bubble. You should still jump even if somebody tries to warp inside your bubble, giving you aggression timer.

  5. It was mentioned earlier in one of the Dev blogs or a Dev forum post - not sure which. Don't have time to track it down.

    Think it goes back to the purpose of the aggression timer. If you take offensive action against someone (firing a gun, warp scrambling, etc) then you can't instantly leave by docking or jumping. You have to face your attacker and they have a chance to respond. Dictors were a loophole in this structure since they allowed you to take offensive action against a foe (similar to warp scrambling them) but not have aggression and able to quickly/instantly leave to safety after committing that offensive action.
    Being the inventive people we are, players have long made use of that loophole, and yes, lots of tactics are based upon it. The loophole is now closed and our tactics will have to change. And yes, it now means you'll need two dictors to cover both sides of a gate, just like you need two interceptors/tackle recons to cover both sides of a gate. Will it make it harder to catch/hunt certain people? Yep. However, one suspects consistency of aggression mechanics was more the goal.

    And, knowing players, we'll quickly adapt. Don't think this one will radically alter how the game is played. It will change dictor tactics and dictor pilots (Tar-Palantir included) will need to change how they fly and it may mean small gangs travel with 2 dictors instead of one. However, the basic flow of fights and who has the advantage probably won't change much.


  6. At least the offensive action of deploying bubbles will now be consistent with the offensive action of activating a warp disruptor.

    I expect a lot of people complaining about their cheese being moved. Some might even write blog posts about it.

  7. This change probably nerfs small gangs more than large fleets. And it's not just about double bubbles. Small gangs depended on their dictors to split up or slow down larger fleets, and now there will be fewer chances for small gangs to play with large fleets. Large fleets should have plenty of dictors and are slower-moving anyway, so this change won't affect them as much. Viva le blob!

  8. My initial suspicion is that it's about station games.

    Dictors doing fast bubble-and-dock or undock-and-bubble-and-redock maneuvers are not unheard of. Now, the session timer is losing 10 seconds, making such shenanigans even easier. The change could be aimed at reducing that ... although it's still odd.

  9. Hmm, im going to have to agree that this is a loophole being closed. Although this seems to be a very minor one to fix now. Sadly, one mechnic that isn't being changed is that off logistics in high sec, particularly neutral logi's. As is, if I go rep someone in a fight then I get aggression and can be shot, this is fine. But at the same time, I can also rep and immediately dock or jump a gate. This part, I feel, should be changed. Repping is such a large part off PVP now that it should be treated like any other combat action.

  10. I would point in the direction of keeping ships aggressed after log off!
    This way, you open a bubble on a super and reset their aggression keeping them there for 15 more minutes!

    This would also mean that if you open a bubble on a fleet, even if they dont try to warp, you already have aggression in all of them and get on all km's!

  11. There's a good number of changes that do nothing but make something consistent with its peers...I like this one.

    On a random note, anybody notice that the Gallente, Caldari (Okay, normal), one Amarr BS and the Amarr noobship (lolwut) are the ships getting V3'd this time around?

  12. I think you answered your own question- 'dictor pilots that will just litter bubbles around everywhere with out giving it very much thought, because before the change there weren't any repercussions for them to think about aside from ammunition costs.

    People will either just bring more 'dictors or start using mobile bubble generators to get around the change.

  13. The biggest problem with this, as has been pointed out already, is that is removes about 90% of a small gangs options for splitting a larger pursuing force and shaping the fight.

  14. Launching a weapon should cause aggression.

    If you want to "split a larger force" bring more then one dictor.

  15. I think its easy to spot in these comments who flies dictors and who doesn't.

    Its easy to say "bring more dictors" until you are the guy who needs to bring the dictor. The biggest change isn't the aggression mechanic (and I don't have a big problem with that) - its the fact that you can no longer Jump then Bubble. So basically if the dictor drops a bubble on a gate and and the fight isn't already won, then the dictor is going to die.

    And since nobody really like dying, people are going to stop flying dictors.

  16. A fascinating find... keep up the good blogging!

  17. I believe this is to bring the dictors in-line with the hictors. I am pretty sure (not 100%, since I don't fly em) that hictor bubbles are aggression items.


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