[Editor’s Note: CCP have today released a devblog on the upcoming balance pass in the October patch. What follows is a response to this blog from the members of CSM13. This has been published as-is.]
The first summit of CSM 13 was a wild ride. What started out for us as a very grim and sober march of duty turned into a surprising blast of euphoria and hope. Thanks to arriving early, the CSM went into the summit very much aligned and in sync. We took the time to consolidate our positions into four major talking points we unanimously supported. Those points should be clear when the meeting minutes are released, but suffice it to say that one of these four points is addressed below.
To be clear – this isn’t to say that we did not discuss or bring up other issues, as each member had a number of specific issues he wanted to bring to the table and all did. However, our four overarching points represented the core of the CSM platform going into the summit.
While there were significant concerns among some parts of the player-base that the make up of this CSM was too null-sec heavy, half of our agreed platform had nothing to do with null-sec, and some of the issues represented were also brought up at the last summit. Consistency in our message and the consensus generated from that message was extremely helpful this go around, and we hope that becomes a pattern for future CSMs.
As noted in the recent devblog, the CSM was successful in collaborating with CCP to address a number of balance changes that were discussed at the summit. The CSM is united and unanimous in our support of these changes. These changes represent compromises, in-game testing of the efficacy of balance fixes, and the kind of incremental changes that should not significantly rock the boat. For example, in the case of nullification, the focus on combat interceptors will give us the chance to test and gather data on what we view as a positive change while not completely ending the existing meta.
Specifically addressing the balance changes:
ECM has been the bane of PvP in EVE for as long as we can remember. It is the genesis of memes throughout the years and the swinger of Alliance Tournaments. Both the RNG nature of ECM and the lack of real, effective counter play (ECCM is neither) was what made it so toxic. There is nothing more frustrating in combat than having literally no ability to impact your opponent while he is hitting you.
Turning frustration into a 1 vs. 1 fight is quintessentially EVE. It represents real counterplay that isn’t decided before you undock. We expect most players will be pleased with this change.
Oh baby! This is a big one, and one that multiple CSMs over the years have pushed and pushed for. While this isn’t everything the CSM has been asking for with regards to nullification, it is a great first step to gather more data. In general, the CSM position has been there should be no nullification on combat ships. Travel based ships – yachts, shuttles or other taxi ships – should maintain nullification. In PvP, they are toxic as there is little counterplay available unless you are bosoning gates or smartbombing with mass titans, battleships or T3 cruisers. In rare cases you can get lucky and your opponent goes AFK after jumping (like Aryth did). Even then, the limited counter is only at gates or fixed points.
Now, we expect with this change that the meta will simply shift to fleet interceptors but that is fine, as it demonstrates what we have been arguing, which is that the individuals attributes of these interceptors aren’t the problem, it’s nullification that makes them usable. This data will help us convince CCP that nullification needs to be more heavily investigated.
FAXes and Capital Balance:
The CSM has continued to advocate for changes to FAXes, and we continued to work with CCP to develop changes that will help reduce the oppressiveness of FAXes while taking into account community feedback from the proposed FAX changes made earlier this year.
We aren’t completely sure what form the changes will take even at the CSM level. However, we do think CCP understands our concerns as a player base with regards to the strength of FAXes in general and how they could be nerfed. We were very vocal about their strength in wormholes, in particular.
In terms of overall capital balance, the CSM brought a wide variety of ideas to address specific changes in terms of capital balance, both for combat ships as well as capital industrial ships. We intend to continue working with CCP to develop balance fixes that can help address the various issues we’ve seen.
At one point during the summit the words “It totally sucks” might have been uttered. We don’t believe there is anything especially controversial here. We all know it sucks. Adding an extra mid should provide for a greater variety in fittings to help make it more usable and relevant. These are the kinds of changes that should be easy to support.
In closing, while we are very pleased to see these issues being addressed so quickly after the summit, we want the players to know that these are not even the most significant changes that we expect will arise out of the last two summits. The best is still to come. We will be heavily supporting those changes also and cannot wait for the next blogs.
We are extremely pleased to see CCP is willing to make significant changes that will impact the meta and risk making those changes on Tranquility where we can see in real time the impacts those changes make. This is the kind of gutsy moves we want to encourage, and we are ready and willing to back those plays as they’re made.