Thank you very much everyone for placing me on CSM 6 and now on CSM 7 where I am currently serving as the Chairman! If you would like to contact me directly, do not hesitate to just send me an eve mail in game. Keep your eyes here and watch for new posts.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A few words on Supercap Rage

Senator Clay Davis
I love Scrapheap Challenge because it's where all the really cool bitter vets hang out.  They tell stories and rage about the game they are one step away from quitting unless XX gets fixed (usually lag).  Sometimes it's just a good place to talk about how many dicks were on Spartacus last week (a lot).  I post a lot there because it just feels all cozy but since I started running for CSM, I've had to start getting a bit more :serious: about everything.

Inevitably, the subject of my involvement in the 'boosting' of supercaps comes up from time to time and this morning I had an overdose of caffeine and wrote up what's probably my most direct response to this most vexing of issues.

I'll say it again - people that are looking for a scapegoat to pin all of their supercap emo on need to look higher than me. I'm not trying to deflect my role in it, but you really need to examine what happened, why it happened and what has NOT happened since.

A lot of people who rage about supercaps don't know a game without them. They have no concept of what it was like to actually be scared of these ships. Hell, in 2007 I once stood off a fleet with 40 BS in my Nyx solo; they jumped back out instead of engaging me. It was retarded because Supers were paper thin but reputation + "WTF is that thing?? RUN!!!" kept folks from charging in. 
WTF is that thing?!

I think it's funny that so many people raging about supers owning everything were the same ones raging about how they were permanently sat at a POS for 2+ years and were screaming for them to be able to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING, PLEASE!!! FREE ABATHUR, etc... 

This was pretty cool, actually.
If I had to pick a 'turning point' it was when Molle lost his 4th titan to an NC fleet; Vily posted a video of the take down to a bunch of dreads and Molle's Avatar lasted all of about 40 seconds. This was the first time I was able to walk into Noah's office and say, "Click this link and watch this. Now, tell me that's how it's supposed to be. Months to plan, weeks to build, seconds to lose?" It was disgusting. No one was even flying the damn things and Titans were nothing but a portable stargate unless you got 25+ of them in one spot to mass AoE DD a carrier fleet. (Yes, that video got played a lot around the office as well.)

So when the time to change them finally came to be, I took it and ran with it. As has been noted, it wasn't JUST ME though. There were other designers involved and probably some of the most fanatical testing ever done on SiSi. I organized mass tests, handed Supers out like candy, recorded the data, talked to people in local, replied on the forums, etc... I poked old friends and enemies on MSN and asked them what they thought and we pulled all that into spreadsheets and played with stuff on the internal servers. 

But even after all of the testing and feedback, do you guys remember what happened next? All that got tossed, as in literally ignored, and the next three months was spent with people raging about everything from docking supercarriers to Titans DDing 'motherships' because one got upgraded and the other did not. Remember? Titans hit TQ with the HP buff and other 'upgrades' while "motherships" were left completely untouched. It was an :awesome: decision, pun intended. Two-three months of wasted time that could have been used to more properly balance, play test and get feedback.
I have no idea why the current designers seem so gun shy about tweaking these ships. I fear it's probably because they spend most of their time talking about putting jump portals onto supercarriers or some other thing they won't get approval for that requires actual programming time.

What would I do? I'd take it a step at a time until things got right. Right now, I'd cut the Fighter Bomber damage by about 20-30%, I'd get it fixed to where FB's could not shoot sov structures and I'd remove the Supercarriers logistic bonuses. I'd see how that went for a month or two while getting feedback on the forums and talking to players and the CSM, then I'd take all of that data and tweak the numbers again. What I would not do is make some changes and then leave them untouched for 1-3 years.

EVE Online: Iterations. It's my campaign theme for a reason. You cannot silver bullet balance stuff; it's supposed to be a constantly evolving process.

If you think that I shouldn't be on the CSM because I 'fucked up XXXX', well, I think you're just mad and looking for an outlet. Take a look at what actually went down. Or as Senator Clay Davis might say, "Think I'm gonna be the scapegoat for the whole damn machine? Shieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!"


  1. How about some balance for the SC, lol shield tanking SC's and more so lol the poor Hel :(

  2. What do you propose to do about Sov. Structures if SCs can't shoot them anymore?

    The experience of shooting iHubs, Sations, and TCUs is excruciatingly painful and soul-crushingly boring with sub-caps and dreads.

    If we have to go back to shooting sov modules with Dreads that is a bitter pill to swallow because you'll need to field 30+ dreads for each reinforcement timer. That isn't always practical and the reality is you end up with 5-10 poor bastards sieging an iHub for 2+ hours in the middle of the night due to some wonky sov timer when neither the defending or invading force is active/awake/online.

    I'm sorry, but that is just downright cruel and unusual punishment for your player base.

  3. The "answer" lies in completing the Sov system to begin with. What exists now is literally the foundation of the house, so to speak. There are no walls and no roof and no rooms or anything else. If the Sov system itself was more dynamic and complete then you wouldn't have to worry about what tweaking the stats on SC's would do to game play.

  4. Fair long as we get the sov system into a more usable state before nerfing SCs from hitting sov modules, I'm all good with that...just please spare me from having to be one of those 5 poor bastard Aussie/Kiwis shooting some iHub with a dread for 4+ hours between 0700 and 1100.


  5. I would like to say to Vini, shooting pos structures should be boring.. Its a structure, its meant to be there for a while..

    Sov is Broken... no doubt about it.