Art by Major Sniper
CCP Rise gave an enlightening and thought-provoking insight into CCP’s recent changes to EVE Online. Featured on Pando’s “FC Chat” Twitch stream, the Senior Game Designer for Team Talos touched on the recent proposals to Black Ops battleships, BLOPs conduits (where the bridging ship moves with the fleet) as well as the difficulty in balancing the new Mobile Observatories.
Team Talos was created in Oct 2019 with the simple aim of providing quick, balancinig solutions to EVE Online that would keep the player base interested with compelling content. They have provided lots since their inception and CCP Rise has always been at the forefront of ensuring that player activity remains their highest priority.
During the two-hour interview with host Pandoralica and co-host Isa Shana they covered a great deal of material. Here are the key talking points:
Black Ops Conduits
- Black Ops bridging changes or “conduit jumps” are designed to let the Black Ops Battleship get into the fight with the ships it is usually bridging. As the black ops is the training end goal for cloaky hunters, “It’s unsatisfying for the person using that ship…and you’re not risking anything extra.”
- He also discussed the power of drops using bombers, which are a cheap asset, but by placing an expensive Black Ops on grid the attacker faces more risk. He alluded to CCP’s thoughts about making all jump mechanics use the conduit, whereby the bridger MUST move with its associated fleets. This was considered for Titans, but not continued.
- There was mention of a potential of a smaller bridging asset, such as a “Black Ops Battlecruiser” that can only create a conduit.
Mobile Observatory & Cloaky Camping
- The Mobile Observatory “is definitely better, [an] un-counterable long-term cloaking; if you started from scratch, you would never have that.” Pando countered by arguing that the 15-minute cloaking immunity was too short. The two veterans sparred over what was the most effective way to implement such a change, with CCP Rise being firmly against the ability to have an effect on another player without any counter.
- CCP Rise mentioned a proposed booster that extends cloaking invulnerability.
- There was an interesting observation made about players feeling the need to have eyes everywhere. He viewed this as a suppression on all players: “we take away your ability to watch everything, but that leads to activity because [if] you can’t watch everything, you don’t need to watch everything!”
- The delay to Local Chat was discussed, with CCP Rise being firmly against it and cited the blackout as an example where it created an environment where people did not undock. There must be a balance, where the reward to the player is worth the risk, such as high payout sites that tackle a player(27:00). “It would be healthier to scale that risk based on activity rather than a blanket approach to all NS.”
- Isa Shana raised the critical point of the impact of scarcity. CCP Rise stated that there was another team working on the economy, and that they are constantly talking about content for capitals and super capitals. “We are short on content dev right now; there’s a backlog.”
On The CSM
- CCP Rise stated that having a diversity of playstyles is important for the CSM. The institution has grown more mature and effective. In the early days, when the CSM was more directly diverse but less professional, it was also less effective. Now, despite the partisanship, they are far more professional as a conduit to the player base.
- Pando raised the point of Tech III Cruisers. CCP Rise agreed that they needed to go back and look at nullification – especially with T3Cs. “We want powerful things to be activated and timed, not an innate passive effect.”
EDENCOM Ship Changes
- The ongoing issues with EDENCOM ships continue. CCP Rise mentioned the difficulty to obtain the skill books, combined with their high cost and high skill requirement, which has led them to not being used. He mentioned that having more control over the targets you damage is an appealing option.
- Pando did not mention citadel spam.
- Pando did mention Heavy Bombers.
CCP Rise did mention the ongoing discussions about the creation of new ships, noting that player suggestions, such as Angel Titans and ships that are only affordable by the few richest players, were not the priority. He stated that he wanted to make new ships for everyone – citing the disappointing low use of EDENCOM ships and the excessive cost of Triglavian ships.
In a well mannered discussion, CCP Rise reiterated the macro objective of Team Talos: “we have to be careful to not hurt activity,” he stated. “There’s an ecosystem that is dynamic, where we want to make it more robust, [with] more activity in each part of it, which leads to potential for stuff to happen.”