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...

Friday, January 11, 2013

People like blood sausage

And now an important message from Jester's evil twin, Garth.  The opinions of Garth are not the opinions of Jester (unless they are).

You know how new parents do that sickening thing where -- when their new off-spring take their first enormous smelly dump -- they "oooh" and "aaah" over it like it was adorable?  Well, as reported by this guy over here, CCP Fozzie has doubled down on his first bad decision.  And I find it fucking adorable.

Even if the rest of you recognize it as something smelly and awful that should be chucked in the trash.

"Why oh why," Fozzie has been asked, "is the Ferox keeping a range bonus when another bonus -- pretty much any other bonus, really -- would be more useful?"  After all, absolutely nobody is going to fly a sniper Ferox as long as the Oracle and Naga and Tornado exist.  Here's the first thing Fozzie had to say:
The Blaster Ferox works quite well with the current stats, and the optimal bonus is in fact useful with blasters (especially with Null or Void ammo, as well as alongside a TE module) and creates a nice (if subtle) game play distinction between the Ferox and other blaster ships.
"Subtle," he says.  It's a "subtle" distinction.  Using Void ammo, that subtle distinction is 1700 meters: that's the difference in optimal between a Ferox and a Brutix.  Using Null, that subtle distinction is 3100 meters.  On a ship that is almost 200 meters/second slower than a Brutix, that's subtle all right.

Put another way, if tackling someone on a gate 15km away, the Brutix will hit the optimal range of its guns in 9.75 seconds.  The Ferox will hit the optimal range of its guns in 9.54 seconds.  Congratulations, Ferox!  Thanks to your oh-so-special range bonus, you hit optimal range 0.2 seconds faster.  It's a "subtle" distinction.  The thing that might be an issue is the Brutix will be doing about 220 more DPS when you both get there...  But the blaster Ferox "works quite well."

As my buddy Kirith put it, the extra range "on the slow-ass Ferox does not make a difference because you're either faster than your target and close the distances quickly, or slower and out of range quickly anyway."  Yup.

In other news, if you fit a Tracking Enhancer to a Ferox, you're an idiot.  Just saying.  Matter of fact, I dare Fozzie to go back to his PL buddies and tell them they should fit Tracking Enhancers to Feroxes.  You know, just to see what they say.

Moving on, here's the second thing Fozzie has to say:
We have metrics on how people are fitting their ships, and many of you may be surprised to know that the most common high slot modules fit to Ferox in the game are named 250mm rails. There is actually a significant number of people using the Ferox for turret based PVE that many veteran players can easily overlook.
Someone ask Fozzie to check how many of those ships are sniper Feroxes from 2009 that haven't been undocked since then.  But let's say he's serious.  Let's say there are really people out there doing this.  As my favorite weatherman put it in this situation, "People like blood sausage, too.  People are morons."

If you're out there using named 250mm rails on your Ferox for anything, please stop.  You're preventing the rest of us from getting a useful ship.  Here's why.  At 35km, your named rails are producing about 250 DPS.  Unless you follow Fozzie's advice and fit a Tracking Enhancer in which case they produce 240.  Drake at same range?  275.  Harbinger?  380.  Hurricane?  400.

Talos?  Naga?  Oracle?  Tornado?  It starts at 500 and only goes up from there.  A properly fit Talos can one-volley rat frigates at that range, no problem.  If you are using a rail-fit Ferox for just about anything, you are officially doing it wrong.

Which brings me to the last thing Fozzie has to say:
The issue of balance between long range fit Combat BCs and Tier 3 BCs is an important one. In the end the solution will likely revolve around making sniping with medium weapons and sniping with large weapons more distinct. I'm not expecting people to use RailFerox fleets in pvp after this point release, but while also keeping a strong BlasterFerox alive I want to put the ship in a place where it can benefit from any changes we make to both help medium rails specifically, and the balance between medium and large long-range weapons in general.
This is a "subtle" way of saying that tier3 battle cruisers are about to get their tracking nerfed right down into the ground.  Can't wait.

Anybody want some blood sausage?

Garth out!

The preceding has been an important message from Jester's evil twin, Garth.  The management apologizes to any and all whom Garth may have offended.  If ignorance is bliss, Garth is the happiest person on earth.


  1. Seriously, I don't know why Garth does not have his own blog all the time. :)

    1. He does: http://poeticstanziel.blogspot.com/

    2. KITT doesn't let him out of the car very often. This makes blogging rather difficult.

  2. So, with the Harby not getting any good love and the Oracle about to head to the slaughter, all Amarr have left is the Prophecy?

  3. I dont know why people dont come out and say it more often - tericide has been and continues to be a failure.

    1. I disagree.Tiericide has been quite successful. Name 1 t1 cruiser that sucks.

    2. @Michael Harari
      Seriously? We've been taking out corp roams with them and they're loads of fun.

    3. I mostly disagree with you. I've found the ship changes so far to be highly positive for the most part. It's just the fact that obvious, glaring issues that cause some ships in EVE not to be used continue to not be fixed.

      How slow Caldari ships are and how bad railguns are are two of those things.

    4. I think that whether or not tiericide has failed depends on your answer to this question:

      Which is the best (frig/dessie/cruiser/etc) in the game?

      (a) It depends on the tactical situation.
      (b) It doesn't matter - they are all pretty much the same.

      After tiericide, for me, the answer in PVP is still marginally (a), but, for PVE, it is definitely (b).

    5. Buffing bad ships works. Not so sure nerfing good ships does.

      We're about to find out.

    6. @Stabs - your statement expresses the most common problem with game balancing: power creep.

      Buffing is always easy and popular - nerfing is not. However, if you do nothing but buffs, then the game will reach a point where the game mechanics break down.

      So, yes, CCP needs to nerf good ships, as well as buff bad ones, in order to achieve balance and avoid power creep.

      BTW, this isn't just theory. We've actually seen it happen in EVE with the speed creep. The ships kept getting speed buffs, via stat changes and new modules/rigs/implants, and eventually reached the point where the math in the game code wasn't designed to handle it properly, creating all sorts of unintended behavior - such as ships which could not be tackled, nor hit with guns, missiles or drones.

      So, despite their popularity, nano ships had to be severely nerfed, in order to restore balance to the game.

  4. What hit me personally was the armour/shield tanking issue brought up in hispost:

    The Reactive Armour hardener is not only shit when compared to the Anci Shield Booster in PvP but it is shit in both Sleeper & Incursion PvE. One quick thing CCP Fozzie could do right now is to give the Faction Plates the same HP bonuses that the T2 plates got in addition to the lower mass ( right now faction plates are as unused as the T2 plates were 6 months ago )

    1. Dude no need to copy paste your post from the forums. If you want to say the same thing in both places, at least reword it and try and relate it to the blog post.

    2. Go back & read
      I added a preface sentence here explaining where I got it from & also reworded the EVE forums post to circumvent the profanity censor.

      Really?, Cant you read?

  5. Link your fits please, because im getting the harb at 400 dps, the cane at 350 and the 250mm rail ferox at 330, all predrones with faction ammo for everyone (scorch on the harb ofc).

    A nanocane with barrage is less than 200 at this range

    1. Do your fits again with named guns and no faction ammo except for the Harb. Fozzie said named guns.

  6. There are two issues hitting BCs as a class - and its worth keeping in mind that a naval BC is a ship that was faster than anything that could hit harder, and hit harder than anything faster.

    Firstly, CCP really don't understand skirmishing as a tactic. Their visions of small gang warfare revolve around something more akin to an AT, where a certain number of small ships are 'required' for some reason.

    Secondly, they are intent on splitting the BC skill whilst making things as friendly as possible to new players by not making them cross train at all. This means that every race has to be a hard counter to every other race, and as this is impossible everything gets homogenised (the ludicrous spectacle of speeding up armour ships and slowing down shield ships so they end up roughly the same speed is just one of the side effects of this). Ironically, in doing things this way, they'll end up favouring the gang with more SP as it can do more dps and has more tank.

    1. I agree with you. Every single MMO prior that has made everything equal across the board doing the same thing as similar classes in the same category has called this "balancing the classes". While I feel balance is required in any game, I do not feel that making everything a copy/paste between each one is healthy balance.

      For example, in EQ2, almost every mage class was distinct. Enchanters could charm and crowd control well, Summoners had awesome OP pets with spell to support them, and Sorcorers did insane dps with very little utility. These days, each of those classes (Archetype > Class > Subclass) can do a little bit of everything the others can.

      Homogenization of ships is happening and its a road that will ruin EvE.

    2. Which is why tiericide is failing. Unsubbing in 3...

  7. I've always kinda wondered why the Tier3 BCs didn't have the tracking reduced. If you think about it - moving those guns uses power. Battleships have the reactors and power to move them at their optimal levels...'cause they are battleships. BattleCRUISERS, on the other hand, wouldn't have all that power to move those guns so effectively...'cause they are but cruisers.


  8. Dude, what are you talking about? Blood sausage is awesome =)

    1. Andie McDowell liked blood sausage in that flick too, as I recall. But she also liked French poetry, Vermouth, and drinking to world peace. So her opinions -- and therefore by extension yours -- are suspect. ;-)

  9. The underlying problem with meeting player expectations is a misconception of the BC class by the old CCP devs. In RL, the original BC was spec'ed to be a cruiser hull, mounting battleship weapons.

    According to this definition, then, only the more recent Tier 3 BCs are true BCs. The Tier 1 and 2 BCs, mounting cruiser weapons, on a larger hull, are actually just heavy cruisers.

    With a correct definition in mind, then, the changes made to Tier 1 and 2 BCs make much more sense.

    A Tier 1 or 2 BC should do damage on par with - or only slightly higher than - a cruiser, support more tank with less speed - at a moderately higher price than a cruiser.

    A Tier 3 BC should do damage on par with - or only slightly lower than - a BS, support a lighter tank with more speed - at a moderately lower price than the BS.

    The original naval BC was conceived to hunt and kill heavy cruisers, relying on greater firepower/range and speed. So, keeping with this concept, a Tier 3 BC should be faster than a Tier 1 or 2 BC, with greater DPS and comparable tanks.

    1. Finally, someone else who remembers what real battlecruisers were :)

  10. Whenever you talk about range, you always seem to use this example of 'time to reach range'. While that's true for gang fights, for solo a much more important factor is what you can and cannot hit.

    Having soloed in the Ferox quite a bit, I can say that its range bonus genuinely did come in useful. As useful as a damage bonus? No. But useful nonetheless - when I'm swarmed by frigs and trying to blap them quickly, any extra flexibility that lets me keep using Void rather than switch to AM or Null is a blessing.

    We also shouldn't kid ourselves that it's a choice between an optimal bonus and a damage bonus, much like we shouldn't kid ourselves that they can just switch the Drake from kinetic-only to omni. The aim is balance, and if they feel that a ship is balanced with its current bonus, giving it a better one is going to mean nerfing it elsewhere to maintain the status quo. To me, the new Ferox doesn't look weak as proposed right now.

    1. Yep, I get what you're saying. Anything I or Garth write is going to be written from a small gang perspective, though, not a solo perspective. Solo, you only have to worry about yourself. In a small gang, everyone in the gang has to be coordinated and bringing their full DPS on target and be as effective as possible.

      And simply put, if I can only bring five ships, right now I'd rather have five Brutixes than five Feroxes. Every single time. They get there just as quick, the tank isn't that much less, and that extra 1100 DPS goes a LONG way.

      That said, I think Garth is mostly arguing for better railguns. ;-) Give people a reason to actually use them.

    2. Rails get a bad rep, but they are quite effective, if you know how (and when) to use them.

      Since most players think that PVP is mostly about flying in close, and orbiting the target, with everything outside of that range considered to be 'sniping', it isn't surprising that they think that rails are nothing but fail.

      Rails have impressive range flexibility (if you aren't dumb enough to just load AM) and the thermal/kinetic damage type hits well against most targets, in both PVP and PVE, shield or armor tanked. CCP kicked them up a notch back in 2011, with a 10% increase in damage plus the reduction in reload time to 5 sec.

      You'd be surprised at how many kills you can get on kiting Minmatar AC-fit pilots who expect every Gallente ship to be blaster fit. The last thing they expect is for you to pull range on them, keeping their ACs in long falloff, while they chase you in pretty much a straight line.

    3. What kind of fleet sizes are you doing this with, though?

    4. I've mostly run it solo and in small gangs, with BCs and smaller. We all know that you like unusual fits, so go try a few EFTs with your Brutixes... :)

      Remember that rails don't work in an "in your face" fit, though. You don't jump your ships on top of your opponent, and you don't want to be stationary, either.

      Solo, you want to kite your opponent - getting them to keep chasing you, since they know that their "vastly superior" AC ship will be able to remain outside of range of your "blasters". Won't ever work against an opponent like Azual, but most PVPers aren't that sharp. I've had several victims wonder how I was hitting them at such long range with "blasters".

      In a gang, you also don't want to be all clumped together around a single logi. You want to force your opponent to burn around, so that, at any given time, they can only approach one or a few of your ships, while still being continually shot at by your entire gang.

  11. I get the impression the idea is to use Ferox with at least 1 or 2 tracking enhancers in order to exploit the optimal bonus and fight in scrambler range when solo, or apply DPS better while in gang.

  12. Sorry Garth, but I smell a little "EFT Warrior-ing" here. Tracking with turrets is a huge issue, and although EFT (and programs like it) can't display the effect of tracking on your DPS if I have the choice between adding a third heat sink or a tracking enhancer the choice is obvious: I'll get more real world damage out of the tracking enhancer. Even sitting perfectly still shooting a stationary target turret damage varies -increase your tracking and your damage goes up, even though there's no relative movement...

    1. EFT CAN model the effect of tracking on your DPS. Try the DPS Graphs you will be surprised ;-)

  13. I am a noob; and when I pull out gun-shaped ship peripherals it is to shoot rocks.

    So with that out of the way, here is my question : isn't a larger optimal distance to the target making it easier to orbit said target ?

    Or are ships dying so quickly these days that you just make a pass and that is that ?


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