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CSM9 - Day 154

I’ll start with Oceanus. It was deployed last week, on Tuesday. On Wednesday, CCP announced changes to movement using jump technology. This has caused some people to comment, on my blog, that they felt Oceanus was pushed under the rug or that the jump change was announced to cover up the negative feedback for Oceanus. Considering the comment thread from an idle, silly blog post I wrote that developed about the topic, I decided to to explain why that is not so.

The Devs are several groups and not one singular force.

The six week release cycle simply means that every six weeks a release window opens up and people who have completed their projects to a state where they are ready to go to Tranquility, release them. If a project is not ready, it is not released.

There is more than one team. The teams who released items of Oceanus own those items. They will do the follow up work, the bug fixes and catches, and they will be responsible for changes, fixes, and feedback. The team working on jump technology for the next release, Phoebe, is a different group and if they have anything released in Oceanus they will actively work on both projects.

Now, teams do multitask and developers do have individual projects. This can be seen the best by CCP Rise and CCP Fozzie who do ship rebalancing but also belong to different teams and work on those team projects as well. Depending on what aspect of the game they are touching, the various tasks need a variable number of people to work on it.

Oceanus

Module Tiericide - This is the first round and the response has been ‘meh’. The removal of items is not sitting well with people. The change in items is not sitting well with people and some missile users are unhappy. The first change was Tuesday so I hope that you are giving the feedback needed about this. Fits or Builds (depending on the game) are not my focus areas so I will often not have a very strong opinion. Example: I know that people are unhappy with missile launchers because they have told me that they are. I do not use missile launchers.  And that’s okay, I’m more than happy to point towards the well reasoned and written feedback that has been given.

Flavor and choice are buzz words for the module changes. CCP is streamlining and updating them modules for more focused and clear uses. The players are saying that instead of creating choice they are creating a small number of ‘right’ pathways and cutting off all other routes. This is an area that needs more clarity. Would usage stats, help?

I am hearing that the simplification of the names is coming through as bland. This is an area where clinging to non-creative terms as not being ‘science fiction’ or serious enough diminishes things. I think a reasonable and unique naming structure can still be built with repetition used to teach familiarity versus an exact definition. None of this is set in stone and they have been discussing the player feedback.

Steve, Mike, and I have been working on the language channels. I don’t have anything to share about it as of yet. It is not forgotten and we have some goals and hopes that we are working on.

If you have not played with notifications and wish to, give it a try.


And NPCs where not actually remote repairing themselves for a while. They were faking it. That was fixed when the new Burner missions were added.

The Movement Changes

On Wednesday, CCP Greyscale released the planned changes to instantaneous movement in Eve. This covers the use of jump drive mechanics for combat, logistic, and personnel movement. These changes are planned for the November 4th release. The dev blog was a small, necular device with feedback a post count hitting 100 pages in under 12 hours. The thread statistics are fascinating.

I did know of the general plan for the jump drive changes. I knew of jump fatigue and the plans to severely limit combat jump ability. BlackOps and logistics were to get a slightly softer visit with the nerf bat. Seeing the actual numbers and realizing what they mean has sent me reeling. It is quite the large and shocking change.

I agree that jump technology needed a visit with the nerf bat. I however feel that logistics need more range than they are left with as a result of the proposed changes. As people are looking at the map and the regions there are many areas of space that need the jump mechanics to allow for more range. Or space itself needs to be looked at seriously. Of course, some molding of the two also works.The random nature of Eve’s structure is nice but when a mechanic is being reduced for a reason then nature may need to have a bit of terraforming done to it. Bottlenecks, nearly stationless regions (Hello there Great Wildlands) and chunks of NPC nullsec choked off by Sov Null are problem points that need to be addressed. BlackOps need more flexibility than the current proposed fatigue acquisition will leave them.

I’m am not happy with a month for the fatigue cap. I think it should be less than a solid calendar month. The same goes for the maximum of three days locked out of jumping. I believe there should be penalties and I believe that things need to slow down. I’ve not argued for more range for combat capable ships. However, I dislike mechanics which convince a player not to log into the game. For an example, jump fatigue will cap at a month. I feel that top end is longer than it needs to be. Two weeks would still be a long time to not be able to access a movement activity.

I have been going to people and asking them how they feel about the changes. I’ve been reading responses. I have a very split response so far. The severity of the nerf to capitals is too much for some. It is just fine for others. For low sec, there is speculation as to regional and local control as well as the acknowledgement that scattered assets will become potentially unmaintainable. The biggest concerns are for logistics and black ops. There is a line between effort and fuck this. I’d like it not to tip towards the fuck this side of the scale as people deal with the changes this brings to their game.

Some things have been addressed. The jump fatigue cap was not in place originally. There has been a proposal for those who wish their new players to death clone. This has also caused the concern that this may be used as a new griefing method to lure and lock people into null sec. Some say just use the gates, run the gauntlet, and learn that way. Everyone does not learn the same way.

I have seen the proposed battle Rorquel. While undocking Buttered Scone for honorable capital warfare has some fascination as does Rorquals as the new hotness, this is something that needs to be looked at and considered.

Low Sec Doomsdays were a complete surprise for me. I also quickly realized that I needed input about them because I have no experience with them. I’ve been running around and again, that has so far been a very divided topic in terms of good and bad. I’d like more feedback on this.

The Minutes

We started submitting the minutes to CCP on Saturday. I’m fairly confident we’ve finished everything. Oct 6 is our deadline. I wound up picking up a session that could not be done by its owner. I managed to do that one on Friday. That brings my total up to nine and I am quite tired of minutes right now. I find that I go for a hybrid of transcription and technical minutes in my style. I feel that this is a good reflection of where members where and what arguments they had and how they had said arguments. It creates more text but I’d like to bring as much of that time at the conference table to the readers of the minutes. It may not be correct in the technical sense but it is what I would like to see when I am reading them.

Eve Vegas

Eve Vegas is in two weeks. I’ll be there, puttering around if anyone wants to say hi or have chats. I do worry that I will not be able to write up the unrecorded sessions as I have done the last two years. I still plan to attempt to do this.

Communication

My IRL and Eve schedules over September to October have caused me to have problems doing my monthly talk. I decided to put the minutes first as well. I will resume the monthly open talks; this is not some type of end. My work schedule only gives me every other weekend off and when one includes travelling and a splash of real life, that is the area that has suffered.

I’d also like to thank everyone for the e-mails and eve-mails and conversations. I’d also like to thank those who have responded to my inquiries in e-mails and eve-mails and forums and private chats. If you want to talk to me please do. My blog, the game, comms, chats, whatever. I’m happy to listen but I do ask questions.

Comments

  1. People moan about the module name simplification because everyone who learned the totally arbitrary gimmick names had an advantage over those who didn't. They lose this advantage now. I think even still too many useless names were left: http://greedygoblin.blogspot.hu/2014/09/weekend-minipost-bad-complexity.html

    Logistics ranges need to be the same as normal capital ranges, or people just deploy with jump freighters. The fleet gets to the destination in interceptors, the ships arrive in JFs and nothing changed. The purpose of the change is not to put extra work on logistics pilots but to make quick deployments impossible.

    Lowsec doomsday is necessary for the new role of titans "local hammer". A small corp can now buy one and use it to counter enemy capitals. Without doomsdays, titans would be totally useless in lowsec (you can't routinely bridge because of fatigue).

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    1. But Gevlon, you hatebfun so of course silly fun giggle worthy names don't work for you.

      Rapid deployments for combat and being able not to trash your jump freighrer , say fuck it, and move to a high sec boarder are another.

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    2. With that 90% fatigue reducer, I can imagine that JF's and Rorq's will occasionally be used in this manner.

      What I like about the new system is the idea of 'tactical' jumping. No longer will it be a thoughtless activity where everyone hears about a capital fight and goes running around the galaxy to join in the throwdown. Jumping will now be planned, timers considered, and going through gates no longer laughable.

      The really great thing about it is there are many different ways to deal with the new limits, and I keep hearing new ones from different people. I can honestly say that after the initial shock/anger reaction, most people looked at the changes and actually started liking the idea. The one guy will do all his jumping before he goes to bed and wake up with hardly any fatigue left to jump back every day. Another is dropping his cyno alt because he can just fly his carrier the two jumps to station if he needs to, or borrow someone elses. Another is considering where to put his titan for best 'fleet hot drop' impact on his region. A jump freighter pilot is talking about 'passing the baton' at the midpoint lowsec station instead of at the first highsec station as he used to do.

      I wasn't aware that they had set a time cap on it, it's probably that long because that's the point right before the variable overflows. I'll agree that a month seems quite extreme at the long end of it, but we have plenty of time for people to either argue that time down or make peace with it. Two weeks does seem fairly appropriate. I'd go down to a week personally. They still need to think about putting in a skill that speeds up the fatigue decay, but it will have to be well thought out.

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    3. The issue of "power projection" is limited to the superblob of Damocles hanging over everyone's head. No one complains about Razor or FA or Goonswarm deploying somewhere with subcaps only. The game of Eve in 2014 simply requires you to have a wide variety of ships, and you need to haul a bunch at a time to enable fun for everyone.

      Nerfing jump freighters - even at a 10% fatigue rate - is like digging up the railroad tracks and roads... it doesn't slow things down, it grinds them to a stop.

      By all means, smash capital power projection, but don't kill subcap movement in the process. No one has ever had a problem with subcaps traveling all over the place, and subcap power isn't broken.

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    4. I've likened it more to installing speed bumps in a parking lot. If you try to move fast in an SUV over them, it really hurts, but if you go the right speed over them, you don't feel them as much.

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  2. Just a quick shot out. Thanks for doing such a great job keeping us up to date. I hope being on the CSM is as much fun as you had hoped. Keep up the good work.

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    1. Thank you for reading! It is often fun SNF often hair pullingly frustrating but well worth the time.

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  3. “they felt Oceanus was pushed under the rug or that the jump change was announced to cover up the negative feedback for Oceanus.”

    This is indeed pretty tinfoil hatty. I suspect CCP can walk and chew bubblegum at the same time. Blaming CCP for the player base’s inability to perform the same simple trick seems misguided.

    While trotting out Jump Drive changes so early may have slightly diminished Oceanus’ thunder, given the sweeping scale of the changes under consideration, I think Greyscale deserves compliment for bringing things out earlier rather than later.

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    1. I'll agree it was good of Greyscale to bring this out early.

      Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that some players are upset that some of the Oceanus changes were brought up so late that they couldn't be reviewed and discussed properly before going live.

      Comparing the two announcements, it seems a lot more preparation, thought, and opportunity for feedback is being given to jump drive changes.

      Delete
  4. "However, I dislike mechanics which convince a player not to log into the game."

    Quoting for emphasis. Applies to much more than jump fatigue too. :)

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    1. "However, I dislike mechanics which convince a player not to log into the game." I basically agree... unless the players not loggin in are not loggin in because CCP changed the way the game works in a way they dunt like... Those players I could care less about... seriously.

      And as I have said before and will say over and over and over again and again... It's time to HTFU once more in EVE... and this aint nothin but a good thing. =]

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    2. You're a horrible Demagogue Tur.

      Repeating a point over and over doesn't make it any more valid or lend it any extra weight.

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    3. So? I;m not Sugar, I could (1) care less for your descriptions of me and (2) whether I repeat it or not, it's still the truth. But there are so many entitled Cap pilots out there who whine longer and louder than any pubbie carebear who seem to NEED to have the truth rammed home... cause they just don't get it...

      They games the jump/clone/etc. mechanics to cause the Big blue Doughnut, and this is the fix until the next group figures out how to game these new mechanics.

      And actually, if I have upset your apple cart, even if just enough to make you comment... then my work is well done. Thanx! o7

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  5. On the logistics issue keep in mind that many corps in deep wormhole space have been supplying themselves with ships for many doctrines, ammo, modules, starbase components, pos fuel, capitals, minerals to build capitals and other sundries without jump frieghters, mineral compression hacks (you cant reprocess 1400s in a wormhole) or jump bridges. Wormholers cant mine ice locally, set up either a market or contracts at their towers or make use of numerous other tools that the null sec coalitions have. I think they protest to much. Logistics are hard but not unfairly so.

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    1. Hear Hear!!!

      I can attest... we have never needed Jump Anything in Anoikis... and we had to travel through multiple WORMHOLES to get from "A" to "B"...

      Delete
  6. "The teams who released items of Oceanus own those items. They will do the follow up work, the bug fixes and catches, and they will be responsible for changes, fixes, and feedback."

    The problem is that going by past experience, CCP does not do follow up work. Once a feature is in the game, it seems to take years to get it reviewed and fixed, and that's assuming CCP ever even admits that the feature has a problem. It will be interesting to see if the new six-week cycle fixes this, but for now there is not a lot of trust in this area.

    "Would usage stats, help?"

    Not particularly. Every player knows his/her own experience, and it is that experience that primarily shapes their perspective. Showing a bunch of numbers trying to convince some players that hardly anyone uses a particular module or feature, and it is therefore unimportant, does little to counter the personal opinion of "I use it, so it is important to me," and typically only serves to further the belief that "CCP doesn't listen to customers".

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  7. Regarding the jump drive changes, the space in EVE definitely needs to be bigger, and overall this is a good step to achieving that goal. There will of course be growing pains with a change this sweeping, and that has caused a lot of whining (interestingly enough, it seems to mostly come from the groups that are usually the first to tell others to "harden up" when changes come along). That should not deter CCP from doing what is necessary to ensure the long-term wellbeing of the game.

    Will adjustments need to be made? Of course! And for that reason, it is good that these announcements have been brought up so far in advance that we can have a good discussion on it. But any adjustments should always keep the primary goal in mind: reduce power projection, make space more vast, and disrupt stagnation. Any changes made in order to placate one group of players or another that run counter to this goal should be immediately dismissed as detrimental to the good of the game as a whole.

    As for logistics, I can see an argument for reducing the penalty on JFs. However, this argument seems to be based on the "need" to access market hubs and deliver goods deep into null. With several recent changes, it appears that CCP's goal is to generate more local production (particularly in nullsec), and to decentralize the large market hubs in favor of more local trade locations. A reduction to logistics projection would also seem to support that. Perhaps what is needed is a gradual adjustment of JFs; leaving them relatively unnerfed for the time being, but as trade hubs shift and more features to enable local markets are release, the JF's range would be reduced.

    On the subject of new player deathcloning, this seems a concession to allow null corps to be lazy. If deathcloning is a bad thing and needs to be removed, then it should be removed completely. If nullsec groups want to recruit players from other space, then form up a convoy and clear the gate camps to escort your recruits to their new home. What better way for them to see the workings of a corp in action then for their first encounter to be a team effort to bring them home? To me, "we need deathcloning to bring in new players" just translates to "we don't want to do the work or use the tools we already have to bring in new players, so please rig the mechanics to let us get around it". I was in a corp that moved out to null. We travelled in groups. Assets were contracted to corp members for freighter runs. As we continued to grow in null, and new members joined, we brought them in. I'm not aware of any new corp members using deathcloning to reach us. And we had a lot of hostile space to cross to get there.

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    1. I've been making a similar argument to my alliance with regards to what we actually need access for. Essentially, we currently import a lot of T1 hulls, especially in the cruiser-and-larger range, because it is simply less effort than building locally. Once you drop out hulls, the rest can be plausibly imported with less than a BR run per day... and certainly with only a couple per week per importer. I'm finally training black ops on my JF/carrier pilot because then I can use that to get a little more reach than the coalition jump bridges would give.

      That said, T2 hulls are going to be incredibly awkward. It turns out that most of them require approximately the same amount of T2 materials (ignoring T1 minerals for the base hull, which can be sourced locally or, worst-case, compressed) as their eventual product volume. This is where the JF range nerf (which is essentially equivalent to just deleting JDC from the game compared to right now) really hurts: currently, I can midpoint a freighter once, in friendly space, and hit my home. Afterward, I'll need something like five midpoints, although, if our coalition takes a system or two that we haven't even been trying for, it might get reduced to "only" three. That's a lot of cyno alts, never mind the time it takes waiting five minutes between JF jumps. (There's an alternative, of course: bring a freighter through one of the most notorious high<->null gates ever!) So, this is going to hurt, even if seems unlikely to kill us.

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  8. Thank you for all the energy and the good comments in the feedback. I appreciate everyone taking the time and having the sanity to write out how this is affecting them and how they are looking at these changes.

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  9. I read one comment in the threadnaught that gave me an idea:

    "The fundamental issue is that combat cynos are inherently gamebreaking because they negate terrain -- no matter what the enemy does, you can always cyno "behind" them."

    What if there were a way to create "terrain" and "front lines" in EVE space? What if there were a way to not just prevent cynos within a system, but to disrupt and prevent jumps passing through a system? If a corp or alliance put up enough of these "jump disruptors" in neighboring systems, they could potentially cut off angles of approach to what would become more protected systems within their space. This would allow the creation of guarded borders to claimed territory. Perhaps this would even create a new method for sov to exist.

    The counter to this would be for BLOPS to bypass the disruptor effect. BLOPS could then be used to jump inside to the protected space and harass the enemy from within, ensuring that defense of inner systems could not be completely disregarded. Also, an attacking force could jump in BLOPS who would then take down the disruptor, allowing the main fleet to jump in.

    Obviously it is a very rough idea that would require a lot of polishing, and I'm sure the mechanics would probably be a mess to work out and implement, but I just thought I'd throw it out there as a potential concept.

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