Header art by Redline XIII
I recently gave the new BlackOps changes a whirl on Singularity, and I have to say, I really like where CCP is going with this. These changes show the Killer player-type some much needed love in a game that once drew them like flies to honey. For the last several years EVE Online game mechanics have been heavily in favor of Socializers and Achievers, and recently, Explorers have gotten some attention – with the events and industry changes – which is fine; but Killers are what made this game hit the big leagues. CCP is on the right track with these changes, and frankly they could even go further.
You would think BlackOps would be right up my alley, but up until now, I’ve never flown one. Until now, they weren’t worth the time and money. As a small time FC I’ve had alliance mates beg me to do “BLOPS” or bombers, and I’ve frankly always hated them. I want to fight; I don’t want to sit around on a station waiting for other people to stalk around in the tall grass only to bridge a bunch of people over for a 10 second beatdown of an unsuspecting carebear. And I sure as shit have had it up to here walking around with my finger in some other FC’s belt-loop like some kind of Cleveland Browns fanboy who collects watches.
Nope. I want to kill things. I want to fly things that bling-bling, and sling that zing-zing. I want to fly badass ships that do scary amounts of damage, and I’m willing to pay for the privilege.
Dial It to 11
BlackOps are an asset class that cost as much as a capital ship while having the hitpoints of a lightly-tanked battleship. This means they have plenty of room to be sick little demons that haunt people’s nightmares. CCP’s changes are definitely a step in the right direction, but they need to go a bit further to really be the Christmas-in-July that the killers of this game have been needing. Here’s a few thoughts:
- Either remove the Improved Cloak speed penalty entirely, or remove it for BlackOps.
- Alternatively, consider giving them the Covert Ops Cloak.
- Remove cloaked BlackOps pilots from local chat.
The first two have obvious implications, and that is where I thought CCP was going with the changes. It would mean that while cloaked, a BlackOps would effectively be micro-warp-driving. This could create some really cool tactics for hotshots willing to put these assets on the line. Imagine the games of Marco/Polo they could play.
The last suggestion would really give BlackOps pilots an edge, and would be a reasonable compromise for the poorly-received blackout. Gangs of BlackOps battleships could really infiltrate an area, stalk their prey, and strike at the heart of enemy territory. The counter-balance to this would be the extreme cost of failure.
Taken together, these changes would breathe some much needed life into combat throughout the cluster. I’m glad BlackOps are finally getting the attention they deserve; I just hope CCP doesn’t play things too conservatively. BlackOps are the perfect candidate for a real serious buff – they’re expensive, slow, don’t have too many hit points, have a high skill ceiling, with a serious punishment for failure.
There is no need for CCP to be gentle when it comes to these monsters. Unleash the beasts!