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, September 20, 2012

Comment of the week: Homogenize

I'm not 100% sure I agree with this anonymous comment, but it's damned interesting nonetheless.  Read it in full.  It's worth your time.  When talking about CCP Fozzie, the commenter says:
Clueless, not fearless.

This does not just apply to CCP Fozzie and CCP Ytterbium, but to the Eve players who have been supporting this so-called tiericide rebalancing nonsense, which is actually just a homogenizing of the entire game.

As long as CCP piddled with frigs and didn't touch everyone's favorite ships, it looked good on paper. But, as predicted in an earlier Jester comment, the shit hit the fan as soon as they started dicking with the ships that veteran players actually do fly.

Keep in mind, too, that every time CCP has made a major change to the caps & super caps, much rage ensued. And, that was from just the relatively few players who can fly those ships. Let's see what happens when *all* of the BCs get "rebalanced".

And, as also predicted, CCP Fozzie is homogenizing the weapon systems, as well. Read his OP carefully, and behind the changes to such things as the TEs and TDs, you'll see the goal of making missiles work more like guns. Effectively dumbing them down, so that, as clearly stated by CCP Fozzie, "missiles will act in a way that is more intuitive to newer players."

CCP's goal here is *not* balance. The goal is to make the game much easier for the DUST players, whom CCP expects to convert into a new Eve player base - incidentally, one which is willing to P2W - thus replacing the existing flat-lined, sub-only no-P2W player base.
Emphasis mine.  I didn't think of that, but you might have a point there...  Thanks for the great comment!


  1. I've always felt that missiles were both "too easy" to use and "too difficult" to understand. You can shoot and hit as long as the target is in range. The damage might suck... but you see damage numbers pop up, unlike guns which whiff like a Red Sox player making more than 10 million a year. On the other hand the "why" as far as losing 90% of your damage is just beyond most new players, so they keep plugging away with them without understanding thing #1 about them.

    On the other hand having both offensive and defensive boosts to missiles with TC/TE and TDs will be a nice change, once they balance everything.

    /Corelin starts to hold his breath

    1. Personally, I thought missiles were the one weapon system which were reasonably realistic. You launch them, they accelerate to max velocity, and have a range based on flight time. They hit and the warheads do their damage. Why change them to be more unrealistic?

      Projectile guns, firing physical projectiles, which hit targets thousands of km away *instantly* aren't realistic at all. And, like madhaberdasher states, the damage numbers make no sense. In RL, a contact-detonated explosive shell does the same damage when it hits a target at optimal range as it would at any "falloff" range. (If you are going to argue that CCP is tryiing to simulate a "near-miss" or damage to a less critical part of the ship, then missile damage should work exactly the same way.)

      If anything needs a fix to make it more intuitive, it is the projectile and hybrid guns, not the missiles.

      Is CCP abandoning all attempts at realism, just to make the game easier to play? I like Eve Online because it is science fiction, not science fantasy.

    2. I agree with the commenter on about 75% of his points. However I do not think "dumbing down" means what he thinks it means. By making missiles "more like guns", CCP is forcing the easy-mode players "smarten up".

      OTOH I think he's spot on with his reference to converting Dust players into Eve players, possibly with a P2W angle involved, and "replacing the playerbase" wholesale is not out of the question, if they think they can get away with it and the numbers are there.

    3. I think we can safely say there is not a single weapon turret in the game that can hit a target 1,000 Km away, let alone multiple thousands of Km away as you assert.

      Further, technology currently being developed (early navy railgun tech) is planned to fire a projectile accurately to 200 miles traveling ~8,000 feet per second, in atmosphere. 200 miles = 321 km, 8,00 f/s = 2.438 Km/s. Approximately 41 seconds for this projectile to cover 100km. Now add thousands of years of development. Is it really that farfetched for turret weapons to be hitting near-instantaneously over a mere 100-200km distance? I don't think so.

    4. Anon1047 - I think we can safely say that Anon0141 either typo'ed or got carried away, with his/her numbers. Let's assume that he/she meant hundreds of kms, and leave it at that.

      With regards to the US Navy railgun project and extrapolation of the technology into the future... well, sorry to contradict you, but the laws of physics come into play when trying to achieve a near-instantaneous time-to-target for physical projectiles over a 100-200km distance. The amount of energy required to accelerate a physical object to that velocity is rather large (this is actually one of the major stumbling blocks with the Navy's railgun project, even at shorter ranges and lower velocities). Essentially, if you really had the technology to generate, contain and direct such energies, you would not bother with firing physical projectiles - you could pretty much blow holes through planets.

  2. How do you dumb down missiles? They are already the premier weapon system for overtanked pve boats flown by noobs.

  3. Missiles in Eve have never had modules like TE/TC despite having rigs like them. So I don't see this as "dumbing down" the missile system but rather adding more fitting flexibility to missile ships. And for TDs, whoever thought it was reasonable to have one weapon system with a hard-counter EW module and another weapon system without?

  4. This post is full of bs, not the rebalance. In what way other weapon systems are easier then missiles? All the vets want is to fly cheap in ships that don't require more then pressing f1 to fly. What they want is a spoon feed formula that they can all get in and fly as a mindless drone behind a FC.

    That is what the drake doctrine is now.

    As part of rvb I see what was before the rebalance a frig fleet. Dozens of Rifters, a couple Merlins and the odd Punisher. Now you see lots of different frigs, doing their own thing, you don't know anymore exactly what you will find or how to counter.

    What is more homogenic then fleets compose of hundreds of the same ship? Be drake 312 is all the nullsec is asking of their pilots. How dumb down there is? What to fly: drake. How to fit? Here is the approved fit in our forum . FC don't know what to do if a fleet is not like this. God forbid his pilots having to think for themselves instead of just pressing f1

    Sorry if this became a rant, but if the way is going tin foil, at least get a theory that is not full of privilege discourse and laziness.

    1. This guy gets it.

      There's a certain spread of capabilities which make a ship useful - anything which falls short of those doesn't add variety (since it doesn't get flown), it actually removes it.

      Having 16 ships which all get flown regularly but where some ships overlap is much less homogenous than 16 completely different ships of which 95% of people are flying 3 of them.

    2. "Homogeneous" means similar in nature. "Homogenic" means a cute gay guy or something. Your points could be expressed in a clearer manner.

    3. 16 ships which get flown regularly, in all circumstances, because they are relatively the same in performance and capability *is* homogeneous.

      16 completely different ships, of which 3 get flown in the most common situations, with the other 13 used only in certain circumstances, is *not* homogeneous.

      But, I will admit that having ships which are never flown at all is pretty useless, in all cases.

  5. yeah, it's not like ccp is some omnipotent being creating awesome ships through nerfage...they got it right BY ACCIDENT for a few ships that are actually...god forbid...FUN to pvp in for the veterans who have alot of experience at it.

    who would want a multitude of MOAs to choose from? Sure, go play eve they said, it'll be fun they said.


    Has ccp proved over the years that they know how the player get the most out of the game for fun? no, they haven't. they're clueless.

    The fanbois, and the ignorant, want to assume CCP is fearlessly committed to raising the bar and also dumbing down the game for n00bs.

    here you have them SCREWING AROUND with every single ship and it's cpu/power/fittings - these are the same people who gave you "certificates"...what an absolute waste of programming that was.

    Yeah, sure, it's exciting to have more slots for amarr frigates i've relegated to the dust pile, and it would be swell to actually think positively of the less used cruisers are viable for once on a regular basis.

    gotta realize, once it all gets ironed out we'll go back to the same old pattern just using different ships...and was that really worth all that effing programming time? no. not in my opinion. there's tonnes of things desperately needing fixing...and they give us watered down alchemy as a solution to technetium? puhlease.

    bah. stupid ccp. fix corporation roles. fix ...well, hell, go look at jester's "fix this" suggest blog post, ffs.

    meh. i think it's a nice concept but i trust ccp as much as i do an chimpanzee with an ak-47

  6. heh. speaking of the "planet of the apes," we're all worried about the Dust bunnies taking over the universe.

    1. I really don't think the DUST players will stay with Eve, no matter what CCP does. The FPS crowd is just too fickle, and too easily seduced by the next shooter. And, quite frankly, for a FPS player, Eve is too slow and clunky for "real" PVP (so says all of my FPS-addicted friends).

      But, I do wonder just how badly CCP will try to convince them to stay and to play Eve. If DUST manages a moderate successful launch - say, 300-500K players - what sorts of crazy thoughts are going to go through the "greed is good" minds of CCP's management and investors?

    2. I think Anon1259 hit it on the head.

      It is not whether or not DUST actually does good, and the DUST players come to Eve Online. It is about what CCP is thinking in terms of getting more players, and what they are willing to sacrifice to do this.

      Remember Incarna? This same sort of rah-rah when on before Incarna, with most of the players convinced by CCP that WiS was going to be so utterly cool, bring more players to Eve, and make the game better. Then, it came out, along with rumors of P2W, and everyone had a cow.

      Well, the only difference I see this time around is that DUST *is* P2W, not just a rumor.

  7. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, since I thought that comment was poor.

    For instance, he takes the sentence "missiles will act in a way that is more intuitive to newer players" completely out of context.

    Here is Fozzie's whole comment.

    "Increase missile acceleration so that real range is much closer to the client assumed range of flighttime*speed against a stationary target. This means a slight range buff for all missiles, and missiles will act in a way that is more intuitive to newer players."

    Clearly, Fozzie is talking about the effect of missile acceleration on the new player NOT about some great secret desire of his to make missiles and turrets the same.

    1. Acceleration isn't that difficult of a concept. Anyone who took a high school or college physics course will understand it by the numbers, and anyone who has driven or flown any sort of vehicle probably has an intuitive grasp of the concept.

      I'm not sure what sort of RL education/experience that Fozzie thinks that these "newer players" must lack (the only ones I know of in this category are kids under the age of 16), but this certainly sounds like "dumbing down" the game to me.

      Maybe next he'll suggest just substituting "range" for "velocity" and "flight time". Oops, no, I guess that would make missiles too much like guns.... :)

    2. Seriously, that is the sum total of your argument - that easier range formulas equals turret?

    3. @Anon 0904 - I believe that this is Fozzie's thinking, yes. He wants it to be much easier for less-educated players (and devs) to be able to quickly compare/balance missiles and turrets.

      I've seen this in the past, with game design, going back to the original Asteroids arcade game. Eve is well-known to be a "spreadsheet" (ie. numbers and formulas) game, which just isn't popular with the twitchy-finger crowd. Less numbers, easier formulas are good. Real physics is bad.

      Take it as you want, though - good or bad, insult or improvement. Fozzie's stated goal is still to make missile performance easier to figure out, not more realistic or complicated, in order to encourage more newer and dumber players to stay and play.

  8. the P2W tin-foil-hattery is hilarious...

    as is the butthurt about long-overdue rebalancing of some flavours of the month.

    Eve is already way to homogenious by virtue of the fact that there is a very small subset of ships that are even worth flying right now due to the fact that alot of ships and weapon systems are just plain broken.

  9. Just how is an unguided (dumb) missile different to a gun in aspects other than range. Additionally in RL some gun munitions can be guided. I also look forward to how this one turns out (perhaps it will all turn into lasers).

    1. Time to target - at least in Eve. All guns hit instantly, missiles don't.

      So, pretty much all guns are already lasers.

  10. I was getting tired of Shield Tanks and Capless Weapons Online. Time to dust off the old amarr ships

  11. CCP's effort to rebalance ships, no matter how well intentioned will lead to them back to the same problem. The most popular ship type is popular because its effective (think Darwin). If CCP blurs the distinction between ship types and the result is that the function of all class of ships is homogenous then they will have accomplished nothing except aggravating their players.

  12. Now, since I am an older player I remember this...


    And this...


    Both of those used to be directly on the old Eve Website. They may still be.. I couldn't find them.

    But anyway. They were my introduction to Eve's Weapon Systems. Before I'd ever subscribed I understood the difference between Turrets and Missiles because CCP told me on their website under the area of stuff new players should know. And in an interactive format.

    Since those there have been a few tweaks to tracking, and a few tweaks to how missiles apply damage, but the overall algorithm is still mostly the same.

    So here's the Pepsi Challenge. Go slide the nice pretty bars till you hit the current numbers and see what the outcome is. And then go plug in Fozzie new numbers till you see what the outcome is. My bet is the difference will be un-noticable. Because in all of that, there are only three changes to the actual underlying numbers on the signature way in which turrets and missiles differ in applying damage.

    1. Light Missiles have had their Explosion Radius moved from 50-40, which sliding those little bars around tells me is a 20% buff on frigate sized targets. But means squat all on any other hull type.

    2. Explosion Velocity of T2 Fury variants are going to be nerfed. Which means speed tanks are being given a buff against them.

    3. Explosion Velocity and Explosion Radius for T2 Precision variants will get a slight buff to match the exact same numbers as T1. That's less of a buff and more just making them useful against the hull size they are supposed to be shooting at.

    So there are some actual numbers. Still think CCP is trying to make missiles act exactly like guns?

  13. I completely disagree with this "dumbing down" comment.

    Adding more modules for, and ways to counter, missiles is dumbing down how exactly?

    Creating more balance between HAMs and HMLs so both are viable rather than just always choosing HML is dumbing down how exactly?

    Having more viable ships to choose from because of these much-required balance updates is dumbing down how exactly?

    Hearing someone weighing up the pros and cons of which ship to use in anoms rather than just sayin "lol HML Tengu, you noob" is dumbing down how exactly? (We are maybe not there yet even with this nerf, but at least a bit closer).

    "Dumbing down" is usually a meme used when the victim of a nerf to his favourite ship has run out of valid arguments.

    "I didn't think of that, but you might have a point there..."
    The reason you didnt think of it is that he doesnt have a point...

  14. I believe this comment is spot-on with what is happening at the moment.

    Not because of the tiericide and stuff but one must be blind not to notice the homogenizing that's been taking place in Eve for the last months. From the sudden disappearance of the YT-8 and similarly SF named mods and their renaming to prop-mod-1 and prop-mod-2, other skills and mods renaming - e.g. fuck it, because some dumbass thought that siege launchers were just too complicated they needed to be renamed torpedo launchers - frigate buffing to kingdom come - seriously, for example the Atron is freaking overpowered and there is no reason at all to fly the Taranis - basically it's all dumbing down and homogenizing shit.

    Why train for Taranis when you can be just as effective in an Atron with a week less in your training time? Why go through the pain of rclicking -> info when prop-mod-1.5 is easier to understand? Why why why.

    Eve Online is getting ready for the ADHD console FPS kiddies assault. Actually it's not getting ready. But we should get ready.

    Fresh meat incoming. Load the 800s and give'em hell \o/

  15. Pay to win? Hmmmm. Have you played the Dust beta yet, Ripard? (No, this is not a leading question.) I'm honestly interested whether you think Dust is P2W. There's been a number of posts recently connecting various EVE expansion elements - like contracts - directly to Dust 514, readers should have some context and know the amount of time you've spent with the beta.

    1. Don't be an idiot, Hans. The DUST beta is a "beta". They are not expecting anyone to P2W now, because then no one would actually be interested in testing it. This will change when the game actually goes live.

      DUST has already been announced as F2P, with micro-transactions. How exactly do you think they are planning to make money on running this game out to hundreds of thousands of players? In-game advertising? Renting planets?

      It doesn't matter how Brandon Laurino cares to spin it to Eurogamer, P2W is P2W.

  16. 'Effectively dumbing them down, so that, as clearly stated by CCP Fozzie, "missiles will act in a way that is more intuitive to newer players."'

    This want to be quotation is totally ripped out of context! The full sentence is stated below:
    "Increase missile acceleration so that real range is much closer to the client assumed range of flighttime*speed against a stationary target. This means a slight range buff for all missiles, and missiles will act in a way that is more intuitive to newer players."

    And that is simply not dumb missiles down but make it a little bit easier to tell how far you can shoot. The comment seems more to be written from someone furious about the fact that he might have to train something else to cover different purposes and not just one drake with HMLs to cover every range in PvP (except the rare snipers)

    1. "Dumbing down" means to make something simpler to understand, even if it is not entirely correct.

      This is done in many games, so whether it is good or bad depends on your POV.

  17. Commenting on the post title that is "homogenize", I do not think that is bad in the EVE context(!). Choice of flavour is good in general market terms, but in EVE this does not apply.

    Here is why : the EVE populace is (has the opportunity to be) extremely well informed about mis/fits. Thus, bad fits are not flown, as information disparity is rather low - unlike a real market. And you may discount the flavor of the season which goes among presumably good EVE fits.

    Secondly, price in EVE I cannot see as a differentiator of quality, nor is it availability. Oh, price is between T1 and T2 alright. But there is no price difference induced by differing quality within similar groups. And in Jita 4-4 everything is available and everyone can afford to go there.

    Hence, bad options are bad game design choices since they are simply NOT REQUIRED as an option for players. They simply punish the (unintentionally) badly informed and new players. If anyone is crying over homogenization I would deem it is griefer tears, who fear that their noob targets cannot mistakenly choose the bad choices though they could afford the better ones in terms as I stated above.

  18. Tiericide is the exact opposite of homogenizing - and frankly Jester, I'm surprised to see you furthering that line of thought.

    If anything having tiers in the ships does more to homogenize. When you have a tiers of ships, with each ship in the tier being better than it's predecessor, then by definition the highest tier ship is the best.

    Once you can fly a Rifter/Merlin/Punisher (nobody flies Gallente ;-) then there's very little reason to go back to the lower tiered frigates. Skipping to BCs - the most popular class of ship in the game - you see the same thing. Drakes/Harbingers/Hurricanes/Myrmidons. Just 4 ships. You rarely see the tier1 BCs in active because the tier2 BCs out-perform them in just about every way.

    There's a few notable exceptions - but that's got more to do with the weapon type than the hull itself.

    So if anything, tiericide is actually putting more choice in the game. For example, if you want to sacrifice a little DPS for a little more speed, now you have a choice. You can adjust the fitting for the ship you normally fly - maybe swapping a damage mod for a nano. Alternatively there may be another hull more-suited to the new role, and you may be able to achieve the same result (or better) by switching to a different hull.

    Frankly, I think the problem that some players are having is that they now have to _think_ about their ship choice. Rather than simply having a single "best" hull in a particular class - and just making a fit, they have to think about both hull and fit.

  19. I loathe conspiracy theories and this one is simply another crack-pot attempt to explain something that is easy enough to understand. CCP is simply fixing the ladder that has been broken since day one. The ladder needs to be fixed and every rung on that ladder needs to be solid and balanced so that we can reach the next ladder.

    In other words, Destroyers should be better than frigates, Cruisers better than Destroyers, BCs better than Cruisers and so one. This has never been the case in all instances. In the simplest terms this is what they are trying to accomplish. And while I believe many of their choices are strange, or at least cart before the horse efforts, I believe the over all goal is worth attempting.

    I, for one, enjoy flying ships I've never flown before because now they make sense. I never thought in a million years I would be undocking in a Tormentor! But I did yesterday. And I've bought a cargo ship full of other hulls I never thought I'd fly, that I'm anxious to try out.

    For the last few years Eve has had several accepted "win" buttons and people have become complacent and accepting of the status quo. Time to shake things up.

    1. I like conspiracy theories. They are an essential part of Eve Online.

      "Greed is Good" was my favorite one, to date. Maybe this one will be even better.

  20. I must say the quality of other peoples' replies is impressive. almost as if this was a blog not a forum of trolls =)

  21. Well if I support tiericide, the OP is not enterly wrong...
    Having played WoW for a while, I consider like lots of other ex-WoW players that it's the homogenizing of classes who make us stop this game. I had a shitload of alts, so the day I didn't saw enough difference between them, my will to play got hit badly.
    And on a game like EVE where we have way more choice... it could do something similar.
    However... on WoW it took me until cataclysm to think the same as others guys, before that I liked the change on the classes, it's only after the 3rd expansion that I considered it was too much for me, and given stats of the subscribers, it seems lots of people though about the same thing.
    So... the question here for EVE is : "where are we currently on the homogenize line ?" I think we are so much far from the danger zone, that there's not much risk for now, when it's about making useless ships become useful it's not bad.
    When it's about making a special weapon system works a bit more like common ones... we can wonder if it's bad or good... I'll let the ones who know well the game answer that.

  22. He might have a point in: missles might be more like turrets... because of more diverse, challenging and interesting fitting and counter options! Which obviously is a bad thing.

  23. Obviously a bitter Drake or Hurricane pilot.

    I know there are people who think that "choice" means there should be a clear winner and a clear loser, so they can pat themselves on the back for picking the winner and "lol n00b" at everyone who picks the loser. These people should be kept far from game design.

    As someone with both Amarr and Gallente toons, I'm delighted to have a whole range of useful frigates, and on behalf of the Amarr toon I'm looking forward to having more than one obvious choice for cruisers and battlecruisers. You think you have range and fitting problems? Put a Brutix together and fly it for a while, then come talk to me.

    (Fozzie, if you're reading this, take the PG you cut from the 'Cane and give it to the Brutix, please! kthxbai!)

    I will never understand how it dumbs anything down when you force people to make more significant decisions than they previously had to. Before Fozzie? Cookie-cutter Rifter, duh. After Fozzie? Lots of choices, lots of compromises. If you ask me, that's the real source of the tears.

    1. "As someone with both Amarr and Gallente toons..."

      Obviously an old bitter Amarr/Gallente pilot, finally looking at getting some payback for making the wrong race choices... lol.

    2. If there are wrong race choices from all POVs, out of the box, then it is bad game design and had to be corrected...

  24. Overused = Overpowered. Almost everybody in EVE can and do fly Drakes or Hurricanes (if not both) becasue they are undeniably better than the other choices they have more often than not.

    Balance = Homogeny. This happens over and over in games and sports, and the ideal behind it is that parity between competitors is more interesting than predictable outcomes caused by glaringly obvious advantages/disadvantages between competitors.

    These changes don't exactly benefit DUST players- If you have been playing for a couple years like I have, it doesn't really matter what battlecruiser becomes the new FOTM... I can fly them all. I think the various ships will remain different enough from each other to still be very different to fly, hopefully the changes get some people flying different ships.

  25. Tinfoilasshattery at it's finest.

  26. I actually agree with the OP that CCP is homogenizing the game and making it simpler (dumber) to attract more players.

    But, the real $64,000 question is: Is this a bad thing?

    I know many old players think so, but I think that if the choices are between (a) watching CCP close down due to falling sub numbers, or (b) making changes to attract more dumb players with money in their wallets, then I vote for (b).

    Along the same vein, I don't care if Eve goes P2W or not. I've played other games which are P2W, and beaten many deep-pocket players. In truth, players that have to P2W usually aren't very good. So, I say let them pump money into the game - their P2W ships/modules will go pop just like the F2P ships/modules.

    1. This.

      Getting upset about the "Greed is Good" article was plain stupid.

      We already have plenty of P2W players in the game - the ones who buy PLEX for $$$ and sell them for ISK in order to buy better ships, better modules, better implants, and even high SP toons.

      Can I personally afford to spend RL cash to buy PLEX in order to get elite toons, ships and other shit? No.

      But, do I need to do this to be able to compete with P2W players? Also, no.

      Why not? Because, as the guy above says, these P2W players aren't very good at the game. In fact, they just suck and try to compensate by buying an advantage. Unfortunately for them, you can't actually buy a guaranteed "win" in Eve, so all they are really buying is more tears for me and mine to collect.

      P2W? Thumbs up, CCP. Go for it!

    2. You dont get the point on the whole Greed is Good upset.

      The P2W like its now actually benefits the "good" eve players. Someone needs to train a char for a "noob" to buy it. So then this one person who spend the time training that char gets the benefit it lots of money.

      Same goes for the Plex system - the players who got the clue to make enough money to NOT pay RL for gametime are happy about giving ISK to an idiot who burns it out in "better" ships that explode in the next second.

      When u could buy "golden ammo" with Aurum instead, u would have gamebreaking weapons u could ONLY obtain with paying RL money. Thats where the rabbit is burried.

    3. CCP *never* planned to introduce P2W "gamebreaking" weapons. The only ones who were talking about this utter twaddle were clueless morons on the forums.

      "Golden ammo" might get you a few more DPS. Big deal. Faction ammo gives you the same advantage over T1 ammo, but it isn't an insta-win feature.

      But, if CCP wants to sell "golden ammo" for Aurum, fine. That just means it will end up being sold by some players for ISK on market, as well.


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