He singularly evidences all the bad habits CCP shows collectively from time to time: his unflinching belief in his own :excellence:, his frequent pushing through of changes apparently without checking them with anyone, a tendency toward "CCP lazy mode" programming (simply deleting troublesome features instead of fixing them), tone-deafness and arrogance in his forum posts and dev blogs, and a strong tendency to double down on bad policies when challenged on them. He also has one aspect all his own: a desire to go "all or nothing" when it comes to making changes, a true irony in someone whose CCP name is... you know... Greyscale. I'm sure he's a lovely guy in real life, but in terms of CCP tendencies he's the total package.
It probably doesn't help that until recently, he was in the middle of every controversial change that CCP was making. So it was probably a relief for him when someone else got technetium alchemy and he started working on less controversial changes. Except that Greyscale seems to be making them controversial because :Greyscale:.
The latest example are the changes being made to ship Corporate Hangars in Retribution, talked about in today's dev-blog, along with a couple of surprise changes that seem to have been thrown in last-second.
Now I've written about this before and in general I think the changes are probably -- overall -- a net positive. They're going to be a short-term and continuing annoyance, particularly to triage pilots like myself. But over time, I could probably get over my annoyance and go on with my life if I wasn't punched in the face with the insufferable arrogance this dev-blog displays in part. About the impact to veteran triage carrier pilots and Orca pilots, Greyscale has this to say:
We acknowledge this, and we understand that the changeover will be frustrating for some people, but we need to get the complexity of EVE under control and doing so is going to require functionality downgrades in certain areas. This is annoying but unavoidable.Oh... I see. This isn't CCP lazy mode. This is removing unnecessary complexity from EVE Online.
Greyscale, come here a second. I have something really important to tell you. Come closer. It's OK. I just want to whisper it in your ear.
What. A load. Of crap! I am 100% in favor of reducing unnecessary complexity from EVE Online, but to couch this change in those terms is disingenuous at best and flat-out deceitful at worst. If you want to eliminate unnecessary complexity from the game, how about deleting attributes? How about rebuilding the skill trees? How about deleting jump clone timers? How about letting me trash a Station Container I have in my own freakin' hangar instead of forcing me to wait three weeks for the audit log to clear? How about nuking the whole damned corp management interface and rebuilding it? How about letting us buy whole ship fittings at once on the market instead of piece by piece? How about fixing the 50 or 60 annoying complexities that all EVE players are dealing with every single day?
By the time a player gets to triage carriers and Orcas, unnecessary complexities in EVE are such a way of life that we veteran players put them to work and use them. So if you're going to go after unnecessary complexity, how about taking on the ones that are driving off subscribers?
Cough. Sorry about that. But yes, I do feel better now, thanks for asking.
Anyway, the dev-blog itself is mostly full of the changes we're already aware of, with a couple of nice improvements:
- Freighters will have most of their special-case restrictions removed: they will now be able to perform cargo operations in space, including moving items into and out of containers, moving things to and from containers in space, and jettisoning items
- We're removing the restriction on simultaneous users for *all* ship fitting arrays, both on ships and on starbases: an unlimited number of pilots will be able to refit at a single ship or structure
But that brings me to the two changes which are not so good in the aggregate: Orcas will now be completely cargo-scannable, and Blockade Runners will now be completely cargo-un-scannable. Let's talk about the latter first.
As I've mentioned a time or two, with the massive increase of DPS and volley damage over the years, industrial ships and haulers of all kinds are now woefully under-tanked. As a matter of fact, a single meta-fit Tornado with the proper mid- and low slots has a nearly 100% chance of locking and killing virtually any Blockade Runner in a single volley unless the BR pilot does absolutely everything right every single jump. The level of high-sec security is irrelevant. Not only will the gank suceed, but in terms of ISK efficiency, if all the Tornado pilot wishes to do is cause grief, a gank on even an empty Blockade Runner will result in a net positive ISK efficiency for the Tornado pilot if the Tornado is fit properly. Anything that the BR is carrying will be pure gravy in terms of the ISK efficiency of the kill. A similar relationship exists between BRs and a sufficient number of Catalysts to destroy one.
The only reasons that Blockade Runners aren't volleyed off the field routinely as they try to ply their trades is two-fold:
- half of all BR runs are generally empty ships; and,
- most gankers aren't looking to cause pure grief: they want to trade their security status for profit.
Knowing this as I do, when I'm running empty I often run my personal BR uncloaked through dangerous systems like Niarja and Uedama, and even more often, I let my empty BR sit aligning outside the Jita undock for several seconds again allowing myself to be scanned. This reduces the danger that my BR pilot will be in later on in the pipes. I get yellow-boxed, I sense a little remote disappointment and when the yellow boxes disappear I'm on my way. It saves me time, it saves them time.
Greyscale appears to be taking that away. Blapping BRs will now become a game of roulette where sometimes there are winners and sometimes there are losers, but over time, only the house is going to win consistently. BR pilots are going to have move even empty BRs assuming that they can be blapped at any time. Orcas being unscannable was no big deal because it required a very significant investment to gank an Orca. Only the most serious were likely to try it, and they'd probably only do it with good intel on what was being hauled. But ganking a Blockade Runner only requires a 90 million ISK or so investment in a game where the most veteran players and alliances are fabulously rich and fabulously bored.
So you can probably expect to see a lot more BR ganks in the future, and a lot of those ganks will be empty ships.
On the flip-side, Orcas will now be scannable, but Greyscale's dev-blog includes this little caveat:
(We're not making any changes to plastic wrap right now, but it has significant technical issues which will likely see it being reworked at some point down the line.)So on the bad-news side, your Orca Fleet Hangar contents will be scannable. On the good-news side, you can go ahead and start putting the "plastic wrap" code to work to make yourself unscannable again. Greyscale, you won't mind if we spend the next few months putting a little bit more stress on that code, right? Here's how:
- Buy a large stock of either "compressive" or "non-compressive" cans and store them permanently in your Orca.
- Whenever you want to move something in your Orca, place it in these cans.
- Set up a Courier contract for these cans to your destination, either to an alt or a corp that you control.
- The Courier contract will result in a "plastic wrap" that will appear as an available contract for that alt or corp.
- Have someone accept the contract and place the plastic-wrapped cans back in your Orca.
- Deliver them to their intended destination and have the alt or corp accept delivery by right-clicking the plastic wrap (or just break the contract if you don't care).