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Choke Points

Today's question to you from the summit, is about choke points.

This is a topic that has come up several times but one we had a very good discussion about today. The Phoebe changes to jump drives is a contentious one still. I like that we had changed but now, a bit over a year out, we need to look at what the changes did. Did they do what was wanted them to do? Is there room for change?

I have discussed the shape of space before. There are some part sof Eve that we want to be inaccessable. It makes terrain. However, the shape of space was not created around the idea of jumping ships. I am not the only one that felt that the shape of space needed to be addressed when the jump changes came.

I also asked, "What is a choke point?" How do we define this. By there being one route? Is two a choke point still? The answer may be as simple as add another route. It may be more complex then that.

So, I'm calling back in the feedback I've had about the shape of space. I need to dig through my documents a bit as well. I figured that I would freshly open the floor about this topic.

The shape of space fascinates me. What will happen in Great Wildlands if someone opens a freeport Citadel with a market? The shape of space is very much centered around the handful of stations out there just as Syndicate is station heavy.

I have no desire to make all space the same. Please do not walk over the depth of the question with such a shallow assumption.

Comments

  1. Out in oasa, for me, jump freighters feel like a wall not worth climbing. Same for covert hauling or even dst.

    I reach for wormholes instead.

    With a wormhole any chokepoint has gaps. Some times they are nonexistant or tiny gaps, other times a chasm.

    I would however look to any new space having these and change existing systems reluctanlty. Possibly player driven. (Some cataclysmic event that players affect. A difter artefact either saved or detroyed affects the very fabric of space)

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  2. PvP'rs are hungry for things to shoot at, choke points enable some of that content: a guaranteed place to find traffic.

    I see two kinds of choke points: in region transit (like Uedama,) and region access (low and null entry systems.)

    It can still be a choke "area" even with two access or transit systems, if they are so close to each other that the tollbooth gang can jump from one to the other with ease. Putting three jumps in between raises the challenge for one group, and may create an opportunity for a new group.

    Looking forward to the first large Citadel in Great Wildlands; the un-stationed N-RAEL system deserves a place to park. And it could use an oasis in the middle. But I think in the early weeks, Citadels will just be PvP targets, even if declared a market open to all.

    GW really needs new NPC stations (Thukker should be doing well, having pioneered the fuel block technology.) Only three systems have stations in that region, each tending to house its own group. More NPC stations set up some distance from the current ones would hopefully give new groups places to call home, and bring more "content" to the region.

    -a GW resident

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  3. If I understand correctly, Eve’s initial topography was generated mostly randomly. Since then there’s been a few tweaks and iterations (super highways have been fiddled with, wormholes were layered on top, faction warfare tweaks were added, etc.). Accordingly, similar to Abavus’ comment to your last post, I don’t think there’s ever been a ‘grand unified vision’ of just what the topography ought to be. That said, I’m not sure I like the idea of CCP fiddling about too much in Eve’s topography. In my experience, maps that are purposely designed to do something all too often look and feel artificial.

    Truth be told, I set this whole question up as I did mainly to point out that player built stargates, depending on what they actually do, fill me with both hope and terror. If they point only to new areas of space - hopeful. If they point, even indirectly, to other areas of space we already have – terror. Anything that allows players to short cut around topography both flattens and shrinks space. I find that bad. Jump drives have handed us enough shrinking flatness already leaving CCP a terrible mess to clean up, kindly don’t add in another shrinking flatness mechanic.

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    Replies
    1. What Dire said. (And not just because he referenced my post :) ). I started framing up my thoughts but can't do a better job than Dire did here.

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  4. (From a more solo point of view)

    I've barely used my capitals since range changes were made. Having to make 2 to 3 times as many jumps to cover the same distances ended up just being too risky, so I now mostly look for wormhole chains.

    A little while ago I looked at what I needed to do to move my two carriers from one side of the map to the other. I looked at various routes I could take - but the shortest ones ran through choke point systems you always saw capital and super capital kills in. By-passing these could throw you out into Sov space.

    In the end the only choice I felt I had was to sell the hulls, and buy new carriers closer to where I wanted them.

    While I appreciate the big powers can't project their power as well, from my personal point of view my capitals have become hanger ornaments and not worth having or using.

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  5. Wormholes are basically the answer. I'd rather the map stay. Make wormholes more appealing as a means of travel other than via choke points. The means is already in the game. People just need to use it

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  6. I do not believe the notion of choke points should apply to jump capable ships (and black ops).

    I am advocating for making the jump capabilities of capitals to truly be an asset for all type of play, including solo players, and I'd rather allow any jump-capable ship to cyno to any sun of a non cyno-jammed solar system in range.

    The ability of the larger groups to establish cyno beacons, network of cynos alts with precise and safe destination is already a major advantage over jumping to a sun, where no safety can be found at docking distances (provided no citadels can be built within the grid of the sun).

    Make capitals a valid option for all play styles, instead of pigeon holing capital pilots to being in a larger alliance.

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  7. As a Jump Freighter pilot, my main problem with the shape of space is the self TP mechanic itself. Eve was not thinked aroudn self TP and self TP was not thinked for Eve either.

    So now we have to deal with two completely different way to deal with space and terrain. And they are nearly orthogonal. Maybe it is time to rethink self TP more than rethinking the way Eve space works.

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    Replies
    1. Self Teleport : The ability to teleport you to any system in range. Ie Jump Drive

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  8. A choke point only exists if something is being choked by something else. So you need two entities at least for this tango. Some traffic and something that constrains that traffic in this context. Without either party there is no choke point. So if you want choke points then you need to generate a reason for the traffic to exist first. Then you contrive a mechanism for it to be choked. Jump changes attempted to do both at the same time. It succeeded. The choke point is now at the traveller's undock/log on point. The traffic in null such as it is, is the traffic that has already passed through the choke.

    If you accept my tortured logic then the traffic must be allowed to flow again and a different mechanism or environment for choking is needed.

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  9. Former PushX pilot and now deep null resident here. Choke points are critical to the game. I hated flying through Niarja/Uedama as a hauler, but those moments of anxiety were also the moments that kept me coming back (and the reason I got paid handsomely). As a deep null resident, I have the same feeling (now largely removed by convenient WHs, when available). N-RAEL keeps my blood pumping and provides me with great joy when I successfully sneak past bubbles. Please use great caution and a light touch if reshaping space and choke points. For example, the great wildlands are great for explorers, small groups with a pos, and people who want to get lost. I can't speak to jump ranges, as I don't do that, but I think the current shape of space and number of chokepoints is "just right." I'll leave it to others to comment on jump fatigue, etc.

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  10. If you want an answer, just reactivate CCP Greyscale's account.

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  11. Honestly, if someone opens up a Citadel in the Great Wildlands, chances are they'll be dogpiled and blown up in short order and everyone will go back and use the NPC-stations in the Wildlands as markets.

    If a large enough group does this and can somehow defend their Freeport, yeah that could turn out interesting, but I'm not holding my breath.

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  12. Choke Point: The Golden Pod is not Golden

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  13. Chokepoints is what makes wormholes fun!

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  14. Also: How often to people/organizations use the advantage a Choke Points may offer ?

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    Replies
    1. Uedama and Niarja are the most obvious examples for consistent usage. Gates like HED-Kerb are somewhat similar.

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  15. If this post is about player built stargates, my 2 cents: they should not be permanent, or should be relatively destructible. Otherwise, space will be homogenized and we'll lose conflict drivers, like Niarja, HED, N-RAEL, etc. Living in deep null, why wouldn't I just build a gate to Perimeter or Jita?

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure you will get your wish: anything player built should be player destructible, and with talk of them replacing Jump Bridge mechanics, they will surely have limited ranges.

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  16. All these comments respond in the context of the current Eve. What if we back up a step and talk about it abstracted from Eve.

    A choke point is where ingress of a (potentially hostile) force is limited in speed and/or numbers. For instance, a doorway or bridge limits how many combatants can cross at one time. Conventionally this means that a smaller number of defending combatants can hold back or defeat and larger number of equally capable attackers. This is because they know where the hostiles are and can focus fire on them as well as set up ideal defensive structures.

    It seems the only equivalent currently is bubbling an incoming gate or wormhole. If it became possible to "own" gate guns to fire on ships based on standings, or position citadels within weapon range of a gate then that would help. But neither of those things cover the concept of slowing the ingress of the hostiles. If gates, WHs, or cynos were limited in the sense of Mkg/min then that would cover that aspect.

    I think this is an interesting idea would expanding, but at the same time I wonder about the goal of making deep null even safer than it is now...

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