- he writes the dev-post clearly in the mindset of a man wearing flame-retardant underwear who is expecting to be set on fire by angry EVE players; and,
- he indicates at the top and the bottom that this isn't going to be implemented until Odyssey and that CSM8 will apparently have some say-so on whether this gets implemented at all.
So let's concentrate on that first bit. Fozzie is nervous. Why is Fozzie nervous?
Resistance bonuses are at the heart of some of the most iconic ships in EVE Online. Most notably, the Drake, Abaddon, Damnation, and Archon all carry this bonus and are widely-renowned and beloved as bricks. There are 44 ships in total that carry the bonus, split roughly equally between shield ships and armor ships, and Fozzie lists them all. There are five things going on here that Fozzie is either worried about, or should be worried about. I list them in order from least important to most important.
First, all four heavy interdictors are affected. HICs are the very definition of the lonely wanderer. When they're applying their trade of keeping someone pointed or bubbled, they cannot receive remote reps. They can broadcast, and their saviors can lock them up, but no remote reps can fall until the HIC is no longer doing what it was designed to do. If seriously pressed, a HIC must "coast out" of its bubble time hoping that a combination of buffer and resist will save the ship until the bubble goes down and the logistics ships on field can repair it (and often, resupply it with cap as well).
So this one is fairly serious, but not dangerously so. HICs almost always operate with either shield or armor links and I personally think that their resiliency to damage is about right where it is now. But the nerf can be balanced with slight tweaks to the armor or shields of each HIC to restore the balance lost by the resist nerf. I believe this should be done, and I believe it will off-set the effect of this nerf for these four ships.
Second, a number of beloved combat ships are being hit right in their most central reason for being. With the "Geddon" becoming... something, and the new Apocalypse's role being tweaked and made somewhat less effective, more players than ever are going to be turning to the "Baddon" for their Amarr battleship needs. The Abaddon has always been the king of combat brick tanks for armor, and that's going to be reduced. That said, I don't think it's going to affect the use of the ship. Likewise, old favorites like the Drake and Damnation will be somewhat thinner, but it's certainly not going to result in people not flying Drakes and Damnations.
New favorites like the Maller and Prophecy will also be affected. Right now, the only reason not to fly an Omen rather than a Maller is the increased tank. This will probably result in fewer Mallers out there unless they receive some balancing buff. The Proph will continue to be pretty damn awesome; it was one of the winners of the BC re-balance and it will continue to be so.
All of the T3 cruisers have resist subsystems that can be fitted to these ships, but most of the T3s also have buffer subsystems that can be fit instead. In my experience, those buffer subsystems tend to be both more practical and more popular. Certainly, there are a few fits that rely on the resist subsystems, but not enough to seriously impact the number of people that want to fly T3s.
So overall, this one isn't a major concern. There are a few ships like the Maller, Eagle, and Merlin that will suffer, but these ships can receive small balancing buffs to make up for what's being lost.
Third -- and let's be honest here -- this is effectively a buff to the very alpha tactics that Fozzie brings up and slightly bemoans in his post. Now Fozzie has been flying ships in EVE a long time -- longer than me. He's got a huge amount of experience with this issue, and this is the issue that he spends most of the dev-post talking about. In particular, he brings up the issue of remote reps in the faces of both high DPS, low alpha damage and low DPS, high alpha damage. So, I'm inclined to believe that Fozzie spent most of his time thinking about this issue and is confident of the change in the face of it. But I'm going to revisit in a second.
Fourth... and this is the first area where Fozzie is likely truly nervous... Archons and Aeons. In many quarters, Archons are regarded as the only carrier worth taking into serious PvP. Certainly, they're regarded across New Eden as the most effective and survivable triage carrier and that's with the Nidhoggur's huge bonuses in this area. And those resists are the reason why. Archons, particularly triage Archons, are tough. They're tough when they're all alone, able to resist the damage of whole fleets, and ridiculously tough when paired with a triage partner. Archons can be fit to hold off a dozen Moroses, or can be fit to tank a Doomsday.
And now they're about to get a pretty significant nerf.
Again, even though the Archon isn't mentioned explicitly, I find it difficult or impossible to believe that Fozzie hasn't considered the impact on this iconic ship. And quite frankly, I suspect he's considered it and said, "yeah, so what?" The Archon is considered the best carrier for so many applications -- for nearly all applications, really -- that he and the rest of the team probably regard this as a needed nerf to a somewhat over-powered platform. And even though I'm a fan of the Archon myself, on due consideration, I am forced to agree that this is valid thinking about the balance of the game.
But what about the Aeon?
Yeah, yeah, I just heard several hundred of you say "fuck Aeons!" into your monitor and yeah, I can't disagree. Still, several hundred EVE players spent tens of billions of ISK each on them with the expectation that they would be primaried absolutely last in any engagement. ;-) If my rough math is correct, the typical un-bonused Aeon fit is going to lose 2.6 million EHP from its substantial tank as a result of this change, dropping from a little under 43 million EHP to a hair above 40 million.
But it's still going to be a good 25% more tanky than its next closest competitor. Fuck Aeons. ;-)
Fifth and last... and here's the reason Fozzie is wearing his flame-retardant underwear: all three exhumers are affected by this change. He really expected and expects to hear from miners on this one, particularly miners who have been the targets of suicide ganking attacks. If this thread turns into a river of flame, that's the direction it's going to come from.
Hulks and Mackinaws can already effectively be measured in "Catalyst units"... in other words, your exhumer's tank is measured by New Order Logistics and other groups like them in terms of how many Catalysts it will take to destroy them. This nerf is going to reduce the Catalyst unit rating of every exhumer in New Eden by a fairly substantial amount. Again, my back of the envelope math says that the typical fairly tanky Hulk or Mack can expect to lose about 3500 EHP out of this change. Because of the third factor above, less tanky ones actually lose about the same, meaning that their loss will be higher on a percentage basis.
Looking at typical Gankalysts with typical New Order pilots aboard, I calculate that equals one half Catalyst unit per exhumer.
So, when New Order sends out their squads, they can either replace one high SP ganker with one newbie ganker, or roughly one fewer newbie ganker is going to be needed to blap the typical Odyssey exhumer. Is that significant? I'll leave that up to the miners out there to decide.
All in all though, I'm in favor of this change. In particular, I'm in favor of the fact that it's a 1% per level adjustment as opposed to a 2% or 2.5% per level adjustment. Too often when CCP decides to nerf something, they take it way too far, way too fast. This time, we're seeing a small incremental adjustment that will then be studied to see its impact. That, I can definitely get behind. I'd like to see more like this, please.
Anyway, having had most of a day to think about this post, that's what I came up with. Anything I'm missing out there, EVE players?