This afternoon, someone pointed me to a tweet from the official EVE Online account that asked for a response. It’s about the cyno changes, and how people feel about them. So I started to respond. Then I realized there’s no way I’m gonna put this into its own 5,000 tweet twitter thread. After all, why should I? It’s not like CCP is reading that twitter account. Or, by all appearances, much of anything else.
Twitter of CHAAAAOOOS
— EVE Online (@EveOnline) August 17, 2019
CCP doesn’t really want to hear everyone’s opinions about the changes in the “Era of Chaos” (say it like the cryo-scientist from Futurama said ‘The World of Tomorrow’. It becomes a lot more fun). There’s been ~1900 posts in the official feedback thread, and no indication that the devs are even reading it. Just like there’s been over 12,500 posts on the blackout, without a single response from any of the devs.
CCP Rise, it must be said, has been going around and hopping into discord groups and talking with other small knots of players, of a size conducive to having actual conversations. He’s the guy who responded first (privately, according to the thread) to the concerns about ‘cyno memorials’. In my opinion, he’s been doing yeoman’s work in face-tanking on this, but he’s one guy. And let’s face it, Hilmar started the “Era of Chaos” by throwing Rise, Fozzie, and literally every single other developer under the bus on Talking in Stations. Way to motivate the troops, call all their work for the entire period of ‘Hilmar fucks off to do other games’ total crap, I guess?
Still Gonna Say It, Though
Alert readers might have caught that on the front-page, this is tagged as ‘Op-Ed’, not ‘Editorial’. That means it’s just me. This isn’t anything anyone else here necessarily agrees with. It’s not something Goons agree or disagree with. This is me going off on my own accord, putting an article together, and pushing it out the door all on my own.
I just wanted to get that out of the way. See, I don’t have a problem with this set of changes. Not in and of themselves. Cynos on Force Recons? Been doing it for years. It’s the ship that’s actually bonused for them. I’ve always felt cyno interceptors were a completely ridiculous thing to allow, anyway. But there’s more to this than cyno-ceptors, and it’s kind of… a thing.
Developers in Stations
When Rise went on TiS this week, he talked about how no, of course CCP doesn’t want to completely kill capital gameplay. They want capital fights. They love to see the huge brawls.
Well, this ain’t gonna help that. Forget the big set-piece Keepstar battles. Those happen with freaking offensive Fortizars and Astra on-grid, where Falcons and Rapiers can sit happily tethered up until it’s time to light, and nothing is going to kill them before the supers all land in a single ‘whomp’ anyway. So those don’t matter. Ignore those in your calculations. Instead, think about the real fights. Which probably makes no sense, but you know what? It’s true.
So what is a real fight? A real fight is a fight that happens in a real way. You know, the fights that happen because someone screws up, both sides are feeling ballsy, and before you know it, 74 titans are dead because Manny forgot to pay a sov bill. You get in a fight. FC lights cyno to bring in triage. Enemy FC brings in dreads. Capital escalation leads to more capital escalation leads to supers and titans and BAM, the biggest fights in the game.
The fights that happen organically will not continue to escalate now. They just won’t. Because the only things that can survive long enough to get those escalations in will die. And once the 2-3 cyno ships on each side die, nobody’s going to keep escalating. They’re going to cut their losses and write it off at the ‘we lost some carriers’ level. So congratulations, CCP, you want to see capital fights?
Another thing Rise mentioned in the TiS interview was that he took flack from Hilmar for giving people advance notice on these changes. He did it, though, because people need time to adapt. But do they even have time to adapt?
First, let’s look at the ‘easy’ one: the JF pilot. So you’ve got a pilot who’s been using a cyno-Ibis with Cyno III. He’s got Caldari Frigate III. This means he needs Frigate V and Cyno V. Cyno III-V is 28d 21h. Racial Frig III-V is another 20d. If you go for the Prospect, you need Industry V. Add 10 days. That’s the absolute minimums. So that’s another 50-60 days.
For Force Recons, if you have Racial Cruiser V on a dedicated cyno alt already, hey, great. If you don’t, Racial Cruiser IV-V is 24d, 9h.
None of that adds in cloaks, or any of the fitting skills that throwaway cynos don’t have, etc. So best-case is 25d. Rise said players need lead time to adapt. Do we have 25d?
The September Update isn’t on the calendar yet. G-Fleet is Sept 13-14. So it’s likely that the September Update is the 10th or the 17th. Let’s assume the 17th for max lead time. The announcement was made on Aug 14th. If this change goes in on Sept 17th, that’s 34d. If it’s the 10th, that’s 27d. Just barely enough time for the best case scenario. And that assumes you only need to train 1 skill.
Hey, Rise? Exactly how are people supposed to adapt in that time? $kill Injectors?
Overall, my opinion… my opinion is that this change isn’t going to do much to break up the stagnation in the game. Will it help with hunting, and hurt the capital umbrellas? Meh? Maybe? Short term, possibly. It’ll definitely push people out of capital ratting… into supercapital ratting. And it’ll set up Rorquals to carry 2 Remote Capital Shield Boosters to lock up the Force Recon as soon as it decloaks and start repping it while the Rorq’s PANIC’d.
Meanwhile, actual organic capital fights will happen even less. The actual capital fights that are interesting and exciting and take people by surprise, get the blood pumping, and make people care… won’t happen. So the supers won’t die in any numbers. Supercap proliferation won’t be stopped. The stagnation won’t be broken at all. Little guys and independents can get rekt, cuz they’re the ones who can adapt the quickest, but not the most successfully. And the most common ‘fast’ adaptation in any ecosystem is ‘die horribly’. And that’s not any kind of ‘think of the children’ crap, either.
It’s just telling CCP they’re full of crap. If Hilmar and CCP want to build that environment, if Falcon wants an unforgiving hellscape, that’s great. Let ’em. At the same time, they need to be ready to face the fact that, as Rise openly said, the larger, better organized groups will adapt better. We’ll survive longer, and we’ll get stronger, relative to everyone else. That’s how it is. That’s how it’s always been.
Looking For Answers
To steal from RMT: We didn’t light this cyno. And honestly, we’d like to see the game fixed as much as anyone. All of the big blocs want to see the game fixed. We do. Everyone wants to see the stagnation solved and EVE to be exciting again. But we can’t fix the game. We’re playing the game CCP makes, just like everyone else. We’re just playing it with an eye toward long-term strategy. From the Imperium, Legacy, and PanFam to DeadCo and beyond, we make strategic moves based on what we see as strategic necessities. Each group has to look at the short- and medium-term welfare of their members. We can’t put the ‘overall health of the game’ first, because we can’t guarantee everyone else will. That’s just how it is.
The overall health of the game is CCP’s responsibility. That’s their job. That’s what we pay them for. And what do they offer now? Useless flipping of switches and platitudes about ‘Chaos’.
Chaos? This isn’t Chaos. This is flailing. They’re not keeping us on our toes. Our hearts aren’t racing. This is mostly just convincing us to not care anymore. Sure, there’s people seeing these changes as something that makes their little part of the game more interesting. But that’s not going to last. And the more CCP changes in a short period of time, the less CCP will be left with any damned clue as to exactly what changes produced which effects.
So CCP won’t have the first damned clue what they’ve done. Which fits, because right now, they don’t have the first damned clue what they’re doing, either.