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...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Washing lettuce

Like a lot of GenX EVE players, two of the first multi-player games that I played seriously were StarCraft (released in 1998) and Homeworld (released the following year), a space RTS very similar in its way to EVE.  One of my favorite tactics in both games was related.

In Homeworld, I liked to rely for home defense on a unit called the Attack Bomber.  The bomber was thin-skinned and slow, but had a heavy forward weapon that was quite good against enemy capital ships, and it was cheap to build.  I'd devote my cheap bombers to taking out ridiculously expensive enemy Heavy Cruisers, which were the biggest units in that game.  In StarCraft, when playing Zerg facing Protoss opponents, I would nearly always devote about 10% of my economy exclusively to the production of Scourges, a one-use anti-air bomb that was quite good against Protoss Carriers.  I'd place cheap little blobs of them behind my lines, each blob the exact number needed to take out one Carrier, plus one for insurance.  Sooner or later, I knew I'd need them.

Dear Heaven, did these tactics get me yelled at.

That said, the thing about both of these units is that they're essentially defensive.(1)  There's no real offensive doctrine around using a Homeworld Attack Bomber or a StarCraft Scourge.  Try it, and you'll find they're no better than cannon fodder and aren't going to kill much of anything.  So, while they're cheap, they're essentially one-trick ponies.  Didn't matter to my opponents, though, because I was using a mass of cheap quick-to-build units to take out a big, expensive, time-consuming-to-build unit.  That was obviously clearly unfair.

Which brings me to the last point I wanted to make this week about titans.

There's a fun little conversation in the movie Coming to America.  In this flick, a prince of a fictional wealthy African country, played by Eddie Murphy, travels to the U.S.  For his own reasons, he wants to remain incognito.  He hides his identity and goes to work at a fast food place.  While mopping the floor there, he has a conversation with Maurice, another employee of the fast food place:
Maurice: Hey, I started out mopping the floor just like you guys.  But now... now, I'm washing lettuce.  Soon I'll be on fries; then the grill.  And pretty soon, I'll make assistant manager, and that's when the big bucks start rolling in.
The hidden irony of this line of dialogue is that the person it's being spoken to could buy the entire restaurant many times over.  But he feigns being interested, and casually mocks Maurice for his goals without obviously appearing to do so.

On the titan topic, I'm feeling increasingly like Maurice, busy washing lettuce.  I'm obviously just really bad at this game.  ;-)  Seleene said in the Voice from the Void podcast that I mentioned yesterday, "I lost a Titan to Russians.  But then again, who hasn't?  That's something everyone needs to check off when they play EVE."  The statement has a remarkably Marie Antoinette feel to it, and to be fair to Seleene, he nearly immediately realized it and back-pedaled.

But Elise Randolph, on the show with him, makes no such distinctions... has no such concerns.  Later in the pod-cast, he's casually chatting about how EVE players facing enemy titans can counter them.  He lists various possibilities, wrapping up with fleets of Tengus, then says, "I guess Tengus are a bit expensive, but alliances are rich these days."

Er.  OK?  Which alliance is passing out free Tengus, please?

But if you have a thought about killing titans with those Tengus, forget about it.  Elise lists all of these "counters", then clarifies that you can counter Titans with sub-caps... but you can't actually kill them or make them go away.  But you can neutralize them while you try and kill their sub-cap support fleet, so there's that.

What.  The.  Hell.

These are two of the voting members of CSM7.

It comes down to risk.  Seleene doesn't come right out and say he feels the same way in the podcast, but he does.  When I specifically asked during the CSM campaigning "should fleets of Rifters be able to tackle titans?", his answer was:
"No.  Because of No."
Keep that in mind, because that's why the "high warp strength" proposals that you see bandied about to replace super-cap mid-slot e-war immunity will never get anywhere.  If you don't own a titan, a "fleet of a thousand Rifters" catching, tackling, and holding down a titan sounds awesome.  It sounds like a news story that would make the gaming news websites and be something that EVE players would talk about and dream about happening to them.

But while I was allowed to kill a Heavy Cruiser in Homeworld with a fleet of Attack Bombers, or a fleet of Protoss Carriers with a swarm of cheap Scourges, you and I don't get to do that to a titan.  Because of No.

We're EVE players, so that means we all love our spreadsheets.  There's lots of discussion on the forums about what titans should and should not be allowed to do... what role they should have at some theoretical future time.  In the meantime, at the 70 minute point in the pod-cast, there's a very casual revelation about exactly how PL used their spreadsheets to determine mathematically what they could use their titans to kill and how many volleys it would take to kill one ship versus another under various scenarios.  That's an amusing way to look at risk-reward balancing, I guess.

These are quite often the very same people saying that there's not enough risk to how the rest of us play EVE while we're mopping floors and washing lettuce and dreaming of an assistant manager position, by the way.  ;-)

"[CCP] set the scan radius to five and then moved on to making the Bellicose worth a shit," Seleene complains about the proposed (and now rejected) titan scan res nerf.  At the risk of sounding like a 99%'er, Seleene... I can afford a Bellicose.  I can fly a Bellicose.  It would be nice if it was worth a shit.  As badly as Seleene put this, though, I do know where this comment is coming from.  EVE doesn't have a naturally defined end-game, but this line of thinking just naturally assumes that a titan is the end-game that all EVE players want.(2)  Seleene wants that end-game to be something worthy to aspire to.  This is already a fallacy; I said before what you should think about people who tell you what your end-game is.  But let's assume that is indeed you: your end-game is a titan.

The natural assumption seems to be that once you have that titan, you should never ever have to worry about losing it to scrubs, and you should have endless hours of hysterical risk-free gaming enjoyment out of blapping countless numbers of said scrubs.(3)  The scrubs shouldn't be able to kill you, or make you go away, but they can fly around you and envy your giant space penis while you kill the dumb ones in their midst.

And they can dream about having a risk-free space penis of their very own.  In the meantime, there's lettuce to wash and floors to mop.

(1) I got quite a reputation for my effective use of defensive tactics in StarCraft, but that's probably a subject for another blog post.
(2) At one point, there's discussion about titans giving mining bonuses, or there being "industrial titans" or something.  I was too busy choking on my drink to hear this part clearly.
(3) Unless of course, you're outside of PL, in which case you should immediately lose the titan because you're stupidly sitting in a POS to which a PL awoxer has the password, I guess.


  1. So your 'enough+1' scourges is 6 to kill a carrier. That makes 75mins, 225gas to kill a 350min 250gas unit. If you could kill a titan with 50b isk worth of rifters (that is, one hundred thousand rifters), that wouldn't be so bad.

    1. Read the post. I'm not even allowed to kill titans with a fleet full of Tengus.

    2. You aren't allowed to kill Titans with Hundreds of Tengus? Ok...others are ;)
      Supercarriers and Titans. Of course you need Dictors too.
      Have you not been paying attention to what was going on in 0.0 the last months?

    3. please, count me the number of alliances who can effectively field and reimburse "hundreds" of tengus.

      Elitist fucks don't give a shit, I know.

    4. Which major power block cant afford tengus? A typical fleet tengu is 666million, thats around the same as 3 baddons or 3 maels... if people can afford to replace 1k maels they can replace a few hundred fleet tengus.

  2. You and the Titans. I'm just not sure why you are so bent out of shape about them. All you do is bitch about them. "Why should an 80-billion ISK ship be able to kill a 200,000 ISK ship?" Why not?

    Let me put this another way. A lot of people (including Shadoo of PL) have said that if CCP can't give the titan an appropriate role, they should remove them from the game. Titans aren't balanced in any way, they don't make sense, they don't have a well-defined role in the battlefield that makes sense. The fact that they can hit small ships (and do damage) is actually testament to the poor design of the ship, and screwing around with the most expensive ship in EVE (poorly) isn't a good plan.

    By the way, my opinion is that Titans should be reprocessed into minerals, mods dropped in an NPC station with the minerals, the BPs destroyed, and the speicific Titan skills reimbursed. But I don't write a dozen blog posts about how I don't like them.

    1. Five posts. But if it makes you happy, that one's my last on the subject until the next go-around.

      But yes, I'm now firmly in the "delete them" camp on super-caps. They are more trouble than they are worth and should be removed from the game.

    2. You and the Titans. I'm just not sure why you are so bent out of shape about them. All you do is bitch about them. "Why should an 80-billion ISK ship be able to kill a 200,000 ISK ship?" Why not?

      I believe he's pointing out the irony, that a fleet worth 80+ Bil. ISK is not allowed to kill a ship also worth 80b.

    3. Um, not exactly five, but that's OK - your definition is posts that are written exclusively about Titans, while mine (as a reader) is posts where you complain in some manner about Titans. Ignoring kill of the week and fit of the week, it's 12. Adding them back it, it goes up to like 20-30 posts.

      Jester's Trek: Too busy ratting to post a Quote of the Week
      Mar 28, 2012

      Jester's Trek: Fold
      Mar 28, 2012

      Jester's Trek: Washing lettuce
      March 29, 2012

      Jester's Trek: Vindicator
      Mar 13, 2012

      Jester's Trek: Iterations
      Mar 17, 2012

      Jester's Trek: Disinterest
      Feb 26, 2012

      Jester's Trek: Fly casual
      Jan 10, 2012

      Jester's Trek: Clear shot
      Jan 29, 2012

      Jester's Trek: Tracking Computer fit to the QOTW
      Feb 24, 2012

      Jester's Trek: Proven in the field
      Jan 29, 2012

      Jester's Trek: QOTW: Never thought of it that way
      Jan 30, 2012

      Jester's Trek: Proliferation game
      Feb 07, 2012

    4. As for Chris K. - A fleet worth 80+ bill can kill a Titan. Maybe not the particular fleet you are choosing (Tengus or Rifters). Hictors/Dictors + Battleships. Hictors/Dictors + AHACs. Hictors/Dictors + Whelpcanes. Spend 80 billion on those fleets, and explain to me again how they can't kill a titan?

    5. You make a good point. I've added a new tag so I can keep track of this:


      22 posts since I first started my crusade on this, October 6. (The number of posts that even use the word titan before that are negligible, and mostly KOTWs.) That's 3.5 posts per month in a period where I wrote an average of 51 posts per month.

      I don't consider it all that outrageous, but the tag will help me keep it in check. That said, as I've already indicated, this is my last post on this subject until "something changes." Though sooner or later, I'm going to bring up the issue of tackling multiple titans. I produced a couple of graphics and half of a blog post on that subject, but got so frustrated at the mid-point of writing the post that I gave up. You can see one of the graphics here:


      Guess what the blue lines represent. ;-) I may finish the post someday.

    6. Titans aren't game breaking in the least imo, they can slaughter a poorly fielded sub cap fleet or a cap fleet, but without them this game becomes who has the biggest blob again... everyone always talks about how the old NC was rotten to the core and thats why they fell to the DRF, but without titans we(the NC) would of still outnumbered and out gunned the ruskies... the NC wouldn't of fell and they would still be a unstoppable entity capable of taking all of null, titans changed that...

    7. "Would have." Or "would've."



  3. You know, I'm fed up with all this shit about "the end game".

    The end game is that part of defined-success games such as chess when you're down to the last couple of moves and everyone knows who is going to win, it's just a matter of getting there.

    Alternately, Operation Endgame was a plan by the United States to deport all illegal aliens and possible terrorist suspects by the end of 2012.

    Titans are not "the end game". EVE is not a turn-based game with a defined end point. Neither is EVE the American Empire setting up garrisons in sycophant-states such as Australia, having plans to deport everyone we don't want from the territory we claim as ours.

    The main reason I did not vote for Seleene or any of the CSM incumbents is because they are all against nerfing titans in a meaningful manner (CSM chose to speak with a united voice, they can fall on that sword together). They don't want to have to explore any play style other than "jump titan in, blap everything that isn't purple".

    CCP, CSM, pay attention: XL turret signature resolution, XL turret tracking, the very presence of an "immune to EWAR" attribute in the game. These are all problems that need to be fixed. Between Jester and the various commentators on his blog, we've solved the "tracking titans" issue a dozen times over. Well enough to last until you come up with "the ultimate super capital fix to end all fixes".

    The nerf to max locked targets and sensor resolution was an interesting approach. Rather than nerfing null sec NPC bounties by 10%, nerf the ability for titans to farm anomalies. That will reduce ISK generation significantly, if CCP Diagoras' stats are anything to go by.

    1. Who are you calling a sycophant? Screw you and screw America.

  4. I read the title of the post and immediately thought of 'Coming to America' -- I didn't actually think you would reference the movie. Now I have to rethink my stance on eve players and their lack of culture

    As far as titans are concerned...I don't own one, but from everything I've read about them (forums, stats, spreadsheets, etc...), the bottom line is that titans have to go. No question about it. I'm not sure how CCP will approach that issue, but titans in their present state are game-breaking.

    btw...I passed your hurricane in The Forge a few nights back (don't remember the lo-sec system...maybe Akkio). You appeared to be gate camping or waiting for something. I was on my way to Geminate. I spoke in local, but I jumped, then you jumped, and then I went on my way.

  5. -A- promised us a Tengu replacement program. Whole bunch of people bought fitted Tengus. Some Tengus were blown up and submitted for replacement. Pilots eager to get back in the fight later discovered their replacement contract only contained a hull. Whole bunch of people sold Tentgus.
    I giggled as I bathed in my full Scimitar replacements. Silly DPS nubs.
    (I wonder why it is I can't comment on your blog using Firefox any more...)

    1. It's just as difficult using Mobile Safari. The structure of the web page has text boxes within divs within divs, all laid out using JavaScript instead of CSS. It's a mess.

      This problem is endemic to Blogspot/Blogger.

    2. I can post with Firefox just fine, on several machines.

  6. It's really hard to keep hopeful about EVE this year when I hear shit like this.

    And normally, I'm an intensively optimistic individual. Always have been. Probably always will be. But man, this titan shit... It really gives me pause. :/

  7. Speaking of bombers; I was listening to the Ten Ton Hammer interview with Soundwave about Inferno. Soundwave seemed to falter when asked if there would be Tech 1 versions of the new stealth bomber hulls and what they might be used for.

    How about a non-stealth bomber? This would be an even cheaper version of a bomber to re-create those Attack Bombers.

    1. bombers are close enough to free already, why bother making t1 frig versions?

    2. There ya go. T1 bombers with a single high slot to fit a bomb launcher.

      Then create a new, self guiding, omni directional, single target bomb. Give it say 3, 5 or 10x the damage of a current bomb. Have a minimum range limit to launching it, so you have to be a reasonable distance away from the target to launch it. Have it move slow enough so that most ships could just outrun them, unless you're sitting still. But supercaps, and maybe regular caps even would be vulnerable to them.

      It'll have low hps, and be lockable, so that you could shoot it down with any subcap ship, although it would be easier for smaller, faster locking ships. Give it a minimum flight time of 20 or 30 seconds or something to give a defending fleet the opportunity to shoot them down. It should have enough hps to survive a few smartbombs, although maybe a disco titan/supercarrier would be effectively immune to the things.

      Fast frigates and maybe cruisers would be ideal for locking and shooting the things down, or you could alternatly use a picket line of subcaps around your supers/caps to guard against them.

      There ya go, attack bombers! :D

  8. I am at a point where I should really train those capital ship skills, but that direction doesn't appeal to me very much. I'd rather fly smaller stuff; much more fun in my opinion. So a Titan is clearly not my end game. And many of my friends have been specializing into specific ship types: interceptors, interdictors, logi, ewar. They don't seem to want to fly Titans either :)

    1. I don't think I will ever buy a ship that requires a holder toon.

  9. Neither is EVE the American Empire setting up garrisons in sycophant-states such as Australia

    Hey now.

    We prefer the term 'satellite state'.

  10. So we little guys are not allowed to kill titans. We can whine about it.

    Or, we can do as the FW guys and just kill one.

    1. Read my post on that titan kill last Friday ("Stalking the wily titan"). It was and remains a fantastic achievement.

      It was also a fluke.

      Had the titan not been fit horrifically badly, it wouldn't have died. The FW guys got lucky.

    2. It was a bit of luck on both sides. Their plan was sound, and if the titan had been well fit but the support fleet had needed to logon, he would have still died. As luck had it our fishing fleet was online one jump away so we got the rather unsual reaction time.

      Against 90% of well fit titans 90% of the time, that strategy would work.

    3. Except...didn't someone in PL recently say that during 90% of the day a supercap fleet is ready to go and can respond really quickly?

    4. Probably true. Luck was needed, no doubt. But still, they did not say "impossible", despite the consensus was that attacking a titan of a top alliance without a titan fleet of another top alliance is just as smart as attacking concord ships. They tried. Their spirit would be the proper attitude even if they failed.

  11. Har Jester, ah "starcraft defense bitch". Good to know there are some of us left. I got yelled at so much because I just wouldn't break in games while slowly poking my enemy to death. Fun! In homeworld I excelled at stealing ships with combined fleets that would harass the enemy then try (often fail) to steal their nicest ships.

    I agree that there should be an obvious, cheap and defensive counter to titans. But what should it be, anything defensive in eve is based around a POS. In eve ships are easily used in an offensive weapon. So unless you build a anti titan bomber drone bay/missile bay in your POS I don't know what would work.

    1. Counter is easy, increase bomb damage against titans. Increase it enough that a "larger" fleet of bombers can kill a titan in a single pass. Titans will leave the battlefield in most cases.

      The problem is that this makes titans useless on grid. And CCP wants titans not as useless ships. They are searching for a role, besides support for titans. Give them orbital strikes for dust, let them own fights vs structures. Together with their support abilities that is in my opinion enough to keep them very vulnerable against bombers.

  12. These problems with titans and super capitals wouldn't be so pressing, if there weren't so many of them. As Soundwave saind on Fanfest if i remember correctly CCP wouldn't have a problem with them either if there weren't so many of them. They were designed to be very expensive and an alliance asset, not a personal ship really as someone stated above too.
    So titans and supercapitals and capitals have the same problem as the wardec system. They didn't factor in infaltion, and per character wealth in their prices.

    So we have 2 problems here IMHO:
    1) Super Capital numbers
    2) Player and alliance Wealth
    And 1) can be tracked back to 2).
    So if we can connect the number of supercapitals supplied to a resource in 0.0 we can effectively limit their numbers. Something that relates to the size of the alliance or corp, like territory, or headcount. But not directly, more like some resource that needs player interaction, some kind of fuel, that is restrictivly rare, and only found in 0.0. The story behind it could be that the Empires have gathered all of it from low and high for their titans.

    And after this is implemented, we need a counter to titans, wich is not a capital ship, and applied in certain numbers can deal with any capital threat (like a specialized bomb + modul, or a ship with a specialized weapon of sorts) and still cheaper than the capital ship that it is used against.

    After these steps we have a lot of titans and super caps wich are above the limit an alliance can supply to function. They go to reserve, and the remaining useable titans will be very limited, so they will be used rarely and, in the fear of the counter only as a deciding factor with appropriate support fleets in fights. In time, only a handful of titans will remain in service. And if an alliance looses territory they'll soon loose their ability to deploy super capital fleets.
    We need a good SOV system. A very different one from the current. That can support this.

    Maybe Dust514 can come into play in the solution of this problem. Something that only the districts can produce and be used as a cupercap limiting resource. This will rise the importance of the planets and DUST corps, also can tie well into some new SOV mechanics. Of course we need a well designed game mechanic in place for all this to be acceptable and fun to use.

  13. I agree with your analysis.

    People seem to think that it will not matter that Mittens has lost his chairmanship, and this post contains powerful arguments to the contrary.

    Seleene is, in my view, the ultimate culprit for Dominion's over-buffing of Super Capitals to the extent that they became the single most important asset in all forms of warfare.

    Like most in PL, Seleene believes rich players should be able to spend their way into invincibility. If it were up to him, I have no doubt we would have supers capable of fitting interdiction nullifiers as well.

    I can see it now, the PL posters telling us "it's not broken because you can still BUMP them."

    The Marie Antoinette analogy is on-point and deliciously appropriate - though not as delicious as cake.

    1. M8, I haven't even been in PL for a year. Also, the Dominion changes were never supposed to be done and then just left alone for two-plus years. You can believe Jester's take on this or you can read my own blog and multiple forum posts to the contrary. I'm very much in favor of seeing titans evolve into something more than just big things you put guns on.

  14. Ahh the good ol' attack bomber....

    in the end I had to escort my Heavy Cruiser with 20-25 multi-gun corvettes to deal with the bomber rush, you could put them in sphere formation or if you knew the incoming defence vector you could arrange them in wall for more devastation..... Good times.

    Super Capitals, meh, make them cheaper I say..... make them to be 4-5 times a carrier for a super carrier and maybe 8 times for a titan.

    Then make them killable! don't think deleting them is the way forward, making them easier to build and cheaper that way it's harder to complain when your titan dies to 300 rifter's well it is only worth 10Bill, what do you want?

    The thing is, everything should die to everything else if employed in an incorrect fashion, hence why EVE is a sandbox... No immunity for them, crank down the doomsday, nerf the tracking a bit, but still make it capable of shooting Battleships effectively, and even small ships just a lot more infrequently.

    Basically across all ships, ISK/devastation potential should be approximately equal. At its most simplistic, yes you have logi's that do no damage, but the damage mitigation/force multiplication is still just as devastating. At the moment, a titan may cost 70-80B, but it's battlefield presence, with it's fleet bonuses, jump portal, EW-immunity, doomsday and raw fire power is much greater in value than 70-80B, bring them down considerably in price and then make them weaker...

    I see why CCP initially made them expensive, as a "huge investment" so to speak, but the velocity of money and relative wealth hasn't been connected to the build cost, and all of alliances today makes the task of making 100B trivial.

    You can't accelerate the cost factor now, as the proliferation is too wide spread, the only reasonable solution is, reduce the costs, offer back the ISK difference to the super pilots in liquid ISK, and go forth.... As a result, they will be committed to fights more, a lot more supers will be killed, proliferation will stabilise as death/build ratio corrects themselves, and a super kill won't be such a big deal so the normal 0.0 alliance member will eventually not be duped into a "Super-kill guaranteed... sorry did I say Supers, I meant POS bash" fleet :D

    1. Rather than reimbursed as ISK, I would say instead in the first iteration, reduce all titans in-game to their component minerals that can be claimed by the owning player at the rewards screen while simultaneously ceasing production on all titans and refunding the materials and blocking further construction orders.

      2nd step would be to then modify the relevant BPs to the new materials costs and allow production again.

      Combined with Geksz idea above would result in a limited number of titans in-game at a time, depending on the mechanics CCP put in place to limit their deployment WITHOUT adding a large influx of printed ISK into the economy.

  15. I think the role of the titan needs to be defined before any rebalancing can be done. Are titans meant to be the "ultimate power in the galaxy", the awesome logistics ship, mobile station, or something else?

    CCP is in a impossible position because of the differing perception of what people think a titan should be.

  16. Hello Buddy!

    Okay, so you hate PL. Cool. So, here's the deal - I've got a long history of making several comments about these issues, supercaps in particular. If you want to continue parsing them for maximum drama, that's fine. You've taken the VoV thing and you are making one hell of a lot of assumptions about where some of these thoughts are coming from. It raises a question from me - have you ever spoke directly to Elise? Would you like to ask some questions directly? I could arrange that. In fact, I'd be happy to arrange a three way with you, myself and Elise on VoV or EVE Radio, whatever. I think your level of 'celebrity' warrants a live performance. :)

    Losing a titan to Russians - Dude, I can't even make fun of myself without you turning it into an elitist comment? Sheesh! :\

    The 'PL' spreadsheet: go back and listen to what I am saying. Think about the time frame. When I say "we", I am not talking about PL - I am talking about CCP. I am talking about something that no one in PL (or outside of CCP) has ever seen.

    Your, "No, because of NO." comment - Yes, I said that a fleet of ~Rifters~ shouldn't be able to hold down a titan. Rifters are very basic, but effective, combat frigates. I have no issue with Titans or any ship having a basic 'warp core' strength that can be fucked over by specialized ships (dictor frigates, etc...) and if SUB SYSTEM TARGETTING existed, those 500 rifters could knock out the jump drive, etc...

    If there were such a thing as a basic warp core strength implemented and it was a matter of mice holding down an elephant, sure, enough mice could do the job. I'd be okay with that, but my preference would be for you to need something like a fleet of Raptors (omg make them useful) instead of Rifters to get the job done. v0v

    1. Forget Rifters. I would be perfectly fine with that fleet of 100 Tengus being able to hold down a titan. That's 75 billion ISK or so. Elise says no: such a fleet can avoid getting killed by a titan, but can't kill a titan themselves.

      What do you say?

      The comment about losing a titan to Russians came off as elitist because you joked that everyone should check it off a checklist of EVE achievements, and because you came off so casual about it. Hey, whatever, already replaced. Must be nice to have 160 billion ISK at your beck and call. I myself am not there and I suspect the vast bulk of EVE players are in that boat with me and most always will be.

      Hate to break it to you, but Raptors are quite useful today as disposable small gang scouts. Maledictions, Stilettos, and Areses are used the same way. I'll grant you PL might not see a use for such things, but they're very useful to those of us not in PL. Rote loses its weight in Areses and Maledictions every month.

      I don't hate PL. I just think being in PL gives one a very sheltered view of what is and is not possible and what is and is not useful for 99.84% of EVE Online players. It breeds and promotes an attitude. Have you seen this?

    2. M8, since you like percentages, here is one - I've spent approximately 9% of my time playing EVE in PL. It's annoying that you keep running back to my current alliance tag.

      I think Tengus should be able to be configured to do a lot of things. If they could be built to hold down a Titan, cool. My issue is more with the fact that I think it should require more than just "a bunch of ships" to do the job. You should need specialized ships for a specialized job. Failing that, you should be able to just blow the hell out of parts of a ship to accomplish the same goal.

      Your comments about my titan loss... I don't know if I'm supposed to take that seriously at all. YOU are the one being casual about it, NOT ME. In fact, your ignorance on my loss makes you look kinda like a jerk. When I lost my titan it was a "big deal" and not the every day occurrence that exists today. It was in late 2007, when there weren't even ten titans on the entire server. When it happened, I didn't have 160b at my beck and call (they don't cost that much to build even today) and it took the efforts of my entire alliance three months to replace that one ship. It was built and initially deployed in complete secrecy and it was A THING to do so. When I lost it, it was a painful experience and ultimately ironic because I was the Dev that proposed titans be stopped from being able to warp / jump out of dictor bubbles (which is how I got caught).

      You seem to talk about these things through the eyes of a player that has never known a world without titan blobs. I remember an EVE without Titans completely. The first 'Titan' I ever saw was an NPC Gallente Soulter class (probably spelled wrong). I spent the first 2.5 years running Mercenary Coalition as a primarily Empire-based mercenary group so I'm well aware of how useful / useless certain classes of frigates are. If I appear dismissive of them, it's probably because of how they are refereed to as 'disposable' these days by you in the same way Titans are seen as 'common place'. I sometimes miss the days when a Crow loss equaled something meaningful.

      I think if you took the time to have a real conversation about this you would find out we agree on more than we disagree. Or you can keep looking at my alliance tag like it means something.:P :)

    3. " In fact, I'd be happy to arrange a three way with you, myself and Elise on VoV or EVE Radio, whatever. I think your level of 'celebrity' warrants a live performance."

      ^^ that sounds hawt. I'd be down to listen... ;-)

    4. " In fact, I'd be happy to arrange a three way with you, myself and Elise on VoV or EVE Radio, whatever. I think your level of 'celebrity' warrants a live performance."

      I would love that too!:) Go for it Jester!!!:)

  17. There's another way of looking at things that I would like to put forward.

    Given X thousand eve players, what is the acceptable number of titans in the game? Because at the moment, more titans are built ever month than are destroyed, so the number is only going to level off when all titan capable toons in the game own a titan (including all those older toons that are recycled via the character bazaar).

  18. I think you're reading whatever you want into that interview to confirm your issue with PL. Seleene's comment was a joke about how good the titans (especially in the evil thug era) were/are at killing supercaps, not some kind of 1% "HaHaHa look at those plebs" stereotype.

    You also can kill a titan with tengus, since the logoffski nerf that Shadoo and I pushed for in Iceland last year and Elise championed on the CSM. I should also note that as far as I can tell I was the first person to pull Greyscale aside and tell him that although everyone's attention was on supercarriers, titan guns were going to be a bigger problem and they needed to be a priority (June 2011).

    For context on tengus being able to kill supers, look at the PL/NCdot Aeon losses to AAA sniper oracles and goon drakes last month. If they'd been in Tengus it would have gone even faster, although what they had worked fine since they were able to keep subcap superiority for the whole time.

    If you want a tactic more analogous to your attack bombers, look no farther than PL's own doctrine for killing supercaps with cheap subcaps. "Herocats" are autocannon tempests with two neuts and they make short work of titans in groups of 50 or more. You can use them as suicide attackers against a bumped titan or bring them in after your other subcaps have achieved grid superiority.

    The acute balance problem with titans is that they are too good at picking away at subcap fleets while the subcaps eat through their ehp. CCP is keenly aware of this problem and many of us in PL are doing everything we can to help them find an effective solution by their late April deadline. Once they have that in place they can start working on the longterm goal of finding a non-combat role for titans, and as I'm sure you've seen we have plenty of ideas for how that can be done.

    PL took on massive NC titan fleets with subcaps back when DDs could target our Vultures, Basilisks and Tengus, and we won more often than not. However we realize that the rest of eve can't be held to our standards so we're onboard for an effective titan nerf in the short term and a long term plan that moves them into a completely different role that will be easier to balance.

    BTW I totally would have been here before Seleene if it wasn't for the damn blogger post errors.

    1. And by "titans" I mean "russians" in the first paragraph.

  19. So what you are saying is that because there was an unrealistic game mechanic in starcraft from something like 20 years ago -- you feel that there should be an equally unrealistic game mechanic in eve; that the game should be bent to your expectations? IMO one of the most unimmersive features of this game is the idea of some small ship being able to take out a vastly larger ship. Most battleships were built with numerous different types of guns to deal with different threats -- so while a battleship could be overwhelmed, it simply impossible for some little frigate to get under its guns and solo it. Here with titans sure they are end game pwoning machines. But so what? The real issue is not there capability but rather their availability which is a consequence of an entirely different issue -- the availability of easy isk in eve. You limit the flow of isk or make these ships more expensive to own and then you will see less of them. In truth, I would like to see all ships have maintenance costs associated with them. The bigger the ship, the more it costs to maintain. That way, people have to make decisions about keeping things like capital ships around as they will require a constant flow of isk to maintain them.

    1. It's funny that you bring up RL battleships. More RL battleships have been sunk by aircraft than by any other cause. Aircraft carriers, ditto.

      Several squadrons of aircraft cost a small fraction of what a single battleship or aircraft carrier costs.

    2. Eh, sure, if we limit ourselves purely to post-Dreadnought BBs. That seems like massaging the numbers to me, though. And I don't think the margin is all that large even then.

    3. Exactly - a whole lot of real-life "superweapons" got "nerfed" by cost-effective counter-weapons. WW2 strategic bombers were badly hampered, for example, until the development of fighters that could escort them all the way to their targets and back. The advent of antiaircraft missiles basically wiped out an entire generation of high-altitude bombers like the B-58 Hustler and the XB-70 Valkyrie.

      So maybe the proper nerf for a Titan would be a dedicated anti-Titan weapon. Perhaps something in the Tech-3 mold that would cost a level if it got popped, with bonuses set up so you'd need to be at Titan-Killer V to have a realistic shot at taking down the Titan, small enough to avoid getting blapped, but with no space to mount any smaller weapons? Something like torpedo bombers or Tier-3 battlecruisers on an insanely larger scale?

    4. Um jester you seem to cheery pick your time period to massage your arguments -- but ok lets talk about aircraft -- which are not naval ships which after all is what eve is supposed to be about navy ship vs. navy ship -- since the advent of aircraft every navy ship has had a form of point defense system to defend against aircraft -- so I say if you want rifters to be effective against titans -- then lets stick some point defense systems onto the titan so they can fight back -- after all what is that huge hull for?

    5. "Eh, sure, if we limit ourselves purely to post-Dreadnought BBs. That seems like massaging the numbers to me, though. And I don't think the margin is all that large even then."

      Exclude the scuttling of the German fleet at Scapa Flow, and about 10 battleships were sunk in WWI versus around 40 in WWII (of which around half were sunk by air attack).

  20. As a newbie player* and having not even seen a Titan how about this Titan proposal.

    1. break the titan down into substructures that can be targeted and damaged independently
    2. It could be 3 diffrent sets of SH/AR/Structure hitpoints to represent targeting: Weapons,Engines, Electronics/EnergyGrid/Subsystems
    3. Getting a substructure down to hullpoints will introduce real damage to modules to reduce efficacy of the Titan
    3b. conceivably this could mean if you target the Electronics, you will eventually damage/destroy mid/low modules including sensor resolution boosters or other modules
    3c. By the same token, targeting engines could render the titan immobile/unwarpable while weapons would damage/destroy high slot weapons
    4. This introduces more tactical depth to the game as well (you want to kill the titan and not let it run away or just get it out of the battle as soon as possible)
    5. The Titan could also have a "damage party" concept that could repair modules/systems given enough time. The damage party would lose efficiency based on overall damage and would never be able to get systems back up to 100% efficiency <- that would require a proper refit.

    This means the titans would require the same amount of firepower to destroy but along the way the titan COULD get hurt and ISK and "drydock" time would have to spent to fix it. This would slow down Titan proliferation and make them more counterable, both tactically and strategically

    * = played in the original beta back in the day, but didn't bother getting a real account once it went live. excuse was I was too busy and none of my friends were willign to try it.
    --parrette perot

    1. Nice idea!:) I like it!
      Also it could be used on Motherships too maybe? So u can disable their rep capability. Teamed up with a dedicated subsystem targeting bomb, and we got ourselves a nice little game here!:)

  21. Ravi's comments echo my own, and I have a keen feeling that you misinterpreted some of my comments, which were intended to be a candid discussion about Titans from the perspective of someone who plays the game frequently, has fought against the largest super fleet (with success), and fought with it.

    "Elise says no: such a fleet can avoid getting killed by a titan, but can't kill a titan themselves."
    Don't think I said that, or even implied to say it.

    Regardless, I would be happy to sit down and chat with you - on the record or off, completely up to you. You can even rail me with the tough questions since you seem to think that I got off easy on the podcast. Alternatively you can sit back and gleam into my psyche from afar, which I personally find very entertaining. This is not meant to be a backhanded compliment, but I do read your blog occasionally and I find it to be more entertaining than insightful; I enjoy it.

    With that said, I would like to formally give you the opportunity to speak with me on your terms. If you don't want to, that's fine I won't be offended at all. But if you are interested, grab me in-game, on twitter, on the forums, through eve-gate - whatever works for you!

    1. >Don't think I said that, or even implied to say it.

      Pod-cast, 62 minutes in.

      Elise: The problem is, I guess, you can counter titans with sub-caps fairly easily... like, you can't kill them... you can't make them go away... but if you adapt your strategy a little bit... you can make it so the titans can't actually kill you while you try and kill the sub-caps. Which I think is the natural solution that people should have started taking instead of kind of hoping for a titan nerf or whatever it was.

      I think that's pretty clear-cut, tbh. ;-)

      As to the "debate", I'm very open to it, but I'm not dumb enough to go into a fight with PL outnumbered. ;-) I'd want someone else on my side that feels the same way about this issue that I do. Mittens would be acceptable, for instance.

      Or if you just want to chat informally, that's cool with me, too.

    2. That means that a fleet of subcaps cannot completely kill a fleet of supercaps, which I think is how it should be. I'm pretty sure there is ample evidence to say that subcaps can in fact kill supercaps. Four this week I think? Not so bad. Informal discussion, formal debate - up to you really, though I think just two bros chatting is always more enjoyable.

  22. We need RKV's as ships that act as capsuler piloted torpedoes, that do damage based on the size of the target/likelihood of hitting the target so they would be essentially useless against anything smaller than a capital or so simply due to the retarded speed they move at.

    Essentially it would end up being a super bump that actually done kinetic damage based on the speed of whatever hit the ship. Although to be honest I think that would be cool to just have damage done from two ships hitting each other.

    But yeah man I've been playing for like 6 months or some shit and I'm in RvB so I don't really know shit all.

  23. Delicious tears.

  24. All that stuff about giving the Titan class a proper role and such that Elise and Seleene were saying is well and good. But it seems a lotta bit two-faced to me to admit that Titans have a problem, call for reversing the proposed Titan nerf, then demanding the a revamp of the Titan. That implies ALLOWING the problem to continue at same level of effectiveness as before while CCP "gets around" to fixing them.

    Elise or Seleene (cant remember who) made the same point over and over that the proposed 5 scan res reduced tracking nerf would make it more difficult for Titans to blap ROAMING GANGS, and hotdropping on gates, but claimed their effectiveness would be the same when defending. Well THAT IS a nerf that would be effective on some level.

    Honestly, there are 400+ active Titan pilots in the game. They are a VERY small percentage within the EVE playerbase, and Elise & Seleene are both in that small percentage. The fact they (titan pilots) think that CCP should let them use a clearly broken ship class in its current state (and use their CSM power to convince CCP as such) until a "proper" fix is done is retarded. That doesn't represent the playerbase, it represents the few titan pilots who are gonna continue blapping rifters for another year two before CCP gets around to it.

    I say to you CSM, tell CCP to bring it down to a vote. "Should Titans be removed from the game until we get around to fixing them?" Yes/No, simple. (And of course give compensation to any Titan pilot as stated above mineral value, BP's , and SP)

    My estimate on the outcome: 25k Yes 300 No (Because the other 100 Titan pilots quit when the vote came up)

  25. Mittani, where art thou.

    New Eden needs you.

  26. I'm washing lettuce, and the assistant manager position is not even of the slightest interest to me. Instead, I aspire to one day own a temp work company, lending out many lettuce washers.

    But to the point : I do get the impression we have too many representatives who want their Titans ( appears they think every Capsuleer should have a few sitting around ) risk-free and overpowered.

  27. >And they can dream about having a risk-free space penis of their very own. In the meantime, there's lettuce to wash and floors to mop.

    Stop being bad at the game. Wars are not won by fighting, wars on won by PREP. The sandbox is a battle of all against ALL, like an starcraft FFA, and we all know the key to winning a FFA is to build alliances and secure economic resources instead of wasting time fighting the nearest guy and removing both of you from contention from winning. Tactics and strong unit mixes is all nice and fun, but ultimately irrelevant to an Attacked moved 6 base economy unless you have 4 bases yourself.

    Wars are obviously won by money. The united states didn't win ww2 because it had the best equipment, a population advantage, or the highest quality of fighting men. The united states won ww2 because they could crap out shitton of equippment and blob the shit out of everyone with dozens of aircraft carriers, heavy bomber aircraft and everything else. The fleets of aircraft carriers that sunk battleships are expensive, at $1.2 Billion a pop in today's currency and smaller nations would bankrupt trying to build and maintain them.

    Ever since war moved to complex technological constructs, money is the war winner. Man can be trained, tactics can be learned, equipment can be bought, but money, money is what makes all the above possible.

    Yes, every 1 billion dollar bomber, 400 million dollar fighter or 4 billion aircraft carrier involves countless floor moppers paying taxes to make it possible. Such prices makes even the 1% look poor, and only a few hundred people on this planet of billions is even in its ballpark.

    If anything, titans are simply too cheap. The 400milion dollar fighter piloted by a single man is far further away from average incomes then a titan is from the average Eve player. Sure a random person with a 5 dollar hammer can wreck the 400million fighter, "support" means it won't happen much in reality.

    This is a silly game. Floor moppers is a universal existence and there is no reason why they ought to be able to take on the levithan.

    If the game isn't about building power out of being a floor mopper, what is the whole point of all the mmorpg, large political structures what not? One should just sisi and call it a day.

  28. Yeah, but...

    Seleene is a condescending, up-himself, elitist, self-righteous prick. Sorry, but there's just no more graceful way to put that.

    Who the Hell cares what he says?

    --(signed) Lettuce-washing sometimes Rifter pilot.


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