Tuesday, January 26, 2016

On-Grid Links

Hello Spacefriends!  First off, anyone who hasn't listened to this - Rixx's Podcast - needs to go ahead and do so!  It's a great listen, plus it talks about the topic of this particular Post.

Ok, back?  Great!  The following is my idea of how On-Grid links should work. 

It's fairly simple, really.  I don't think they should be launched items at all.  While I understand the idea behind that as not only will Industry be generated, but it applies an expense to their use (being, of course, the same as Warp Bubbles, an expense that any pilot using them must accrue), I still think that it doesn't help the main issue.  What's the main issue?  Actually making Links STAY in the fight by forcing them to not just be On-Grid, but close to the fight.

While doing a probe-style launcher does pull links On-Grid to a certain extent, it doesn't seem that it will require the Booster Ship to stay close at all times.  All it does is make (presumably) the Link Ship show up on a Killmail.  How often do we see Interdictors or HICs on KMs where the ship itself wasn't even close (or even really present) for the kill?  While the probe idea absolutely helps us down in LowSec in regards to exposing those supposed 'solo' pilots as long they do show up on KMs, does this really matter in the long scope in terms of other playstyles?  I don't really think so.  Sure, things will have to change a little bit, but it still allows a Booster ship to fire off his link probes, or whatever you want to call them, and then run away to a much safer distance, especially after the massive expansion of Grid Size.  With the Command Destroyers, all one has to do is launch boost probes, MJD away, wait until it is close to the probes 'expiration time', MJD back, then rinse and repeat.  If you keep doing this cycle with at least a pair of Command Destroyers, and in a Fleet you'll have a few of them I'm sure, you will always have a MJD ready to fire off, and your ships will never really be in much danger as one jumps the Command Destroyers in, and another one jumps them out almost immediately.

A better option, in my opinion, is an AOE (area of affect) type link booster module.  This forces a Link Ship to not only be on grid someplace relatively close, but to be in close proximity of the actual fight.  This enables more choice.  Take more link ships, as they WILL die, or take more actual DPS or Logi ships?  It's more of a balance act, and requires not only more direct combat piloting, but more tactical set up as well, not just in terms of what ships to take, but their placement within a fleet as well.  We know that AOE modules are easily implemented in-game, as we have Smartbombs that do this same thing, only applying DPS to an adjacent ship and not a boost.

What do you think?  Should the New Links be a Probe-style item, where it is fire and forget, and run away if you can or want to?  Should it be an AOE module which forces the Link Ships to not only be present on the field, but to stand and fight if they want to actually give boosts?  Or is it something different altogether?

Friday, January 22, 2016

Hey there Folks.  I've known for quite some time, obviously, that I've been neglecting this Blog.  I haven't in fact, posted anything since last May.  That's quite some time.  Part of that are some life changes I've been working through, but a large part of it has been flat out laziness.  The title is accurate, after all. 

While it's not as if I have ever had much readership (though how could I expect any with such a tiny sampling and a relatively quick stop!), I do suppose we should Blog for ourselves, and not anyone else.  Anyone else reading and enjoying our ramblings is a huge plus, but not the reason we should do it.  All of that aside, I'm going to start making it a priority that I have at minimum one post per week.  I hope you don't hold me to that, but that's the goal at this point. 

Most posts should be about EVE related things, though on occasion I'm sure I will drift a bit.  Thanks for your patience, and thank you for reading.

Argos

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Combat Recons, and the Potential Altering of D-Scan

Driving today, I listened to Sard Caids PodCast, as the Head of A Band Apart and Stay Frosty, Rixx Javix, was a guest.  He was invited there to discuss, along with Sard Caid and Bocci Sammich, the Role, Utility, and current usage of Combat Recons.  If you want to have a good listen, it's well worth the hour.  It only aired last night-it's on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySzbJ0sNOgk  It is well worth the hour.  In listening, they kicked around a few ideas, including talking about reducing the effectiveness of D-Scan.  This gave me two main ideas.

First idea?  On the Podcast, they talked about D-Scan being reduced to the point of only saying 'Frigate, Cruiser, Battleship' etc.-the basic, general classification.  While I actually agree that D-Scan is far too powerful-I can make a solid determination on the likely odds of my success in a fight before I even Warp to them-I think that blunting them to the point of only doing basic ship classes is a bad idea.  T1 Frigates, and T1 hulls in general, likely won't be useful at all in solo or small gang combat if this happens, as you have to assume that 'Frigate' you see on scan is an Assault Frigate or Electronic Attack Frigate etc., and the Cruiser you see on scan to be a HAC or HIC or somesuch.  People will become even more risk adverse than they already are, as many people won't be able to afford to 'upship' all of the time like that.  So what do I propose?

Make D-Scan comparable to the Market.  What I mean by this is, for example, Frigates.  Have D-Scan, by default, show 'Standard Frigates, Pirate Frigates, Faction Frigates, Assault Frigates, Electronic Attack Frigates, CovOps, Interceptors and Expedition Frigates'.  Follow this for all ship types, Cruiser, Battleship etc.  This makes it so D-Scan is no longer nearly as powerful of a tool, but it DOES give people a good general idea of what is in the system.  So how do Combat Recons figure in?  Simple.

Give them an ACTIVE module that only they can fit, probably in an existing High, that makes their ships D-Scan act just like it currently does.  This gives them a definite utility not just in solo and small gang, but larger fleets as well.  In addition to taking a slot and having Cap Usage etc. however, while active it NEGATES A COMBAT RECONS D-SCAN IMMUNITY.  It shows up on D-Scan as exactly what it is.  Sure it lets that pilot see more specific info on ships in system, but it shows itself so everyone can see it as well.  See it as an active sonar ping.  It gets new and valuable information to you, but it also blows your cover.  Maybe give it a 60 second cycle time during which the ship cannot warp off.  Combat Probes anyone?  This gives it both good utility as well as a solid, hard-wired downside from what otherwise would be a huge boost to itself and any fleet it might be in, as long as the potential targets are paying attention of course.

The second idea is also valid, in my opinion.  It however is much more limiting.  It would probably only make any difference in Null and WH Space.  In WH Space it would radically change things, which is why though valid, I am not a fan of it.  I don't live in WH Space, but whenever I talk about 'balance' issues, I try to keep in mind all perspectives-it's not just my game after all, it's all of ours.

The idea?  Give Combat Recons a module that only it can fit. alongside the other module it they'd like, that shows all cloaked ships in the system.  Not in a manner which allows it to probe it down, or see on D-Scan specifically where it is, just to show them for what they are-they can come up as 'Cloaked Ship' or whatnot.  Again, not a huge fan of this due to the massive changes it would bring to WHs, but it seems Fozzie has plans for allowing something similar in the future anyhow.  Again this module would have the same effect as above, or perhaps have something additional.  Yes, a ship would be able to fit both, but no new slots means you'd have to sacrifice something as well.

My favored option in Option #1.  It makes the ship useful in more situations, helps change D-Scan so it's not all-powerful but is still a great tool, and helps ensure that they don't become all-powerful while still giving them an absolutely specific potential role.

What are your thoughts?  Let me know what you think!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Summary of Bloody April, and How I'm NOT a Full-Time Pirate

So, I've now found out that I can not be a 'full-time' Pirate.  There was no doubt in my mind, really, that this was the case.  I knew that I was not made out for all-out PvP, constantly, every time that I undocked.  There is too much to do in EvE, and honestly, PvP takes a hell of a lot of effort, at least when it comes to solo and small-gang warfare.  After all, you have to actively hunt, track, and engage your targets, and even then there is no guarantee of an actual fight.  Being a full-time Pirate requires drive and motivation, and as the name of the Blog says, I am LAZY.  So that's that.

I had a great time, however.  April gave me the opportunity to try out many new ship hulls and fits, and to engage many targets that I knew that I'd lose to-including, at times, welping into the same Pilot, flying the same ship that I had died in to him knowing I would lose, two, three, four times in a row.  Why?  Because I felt like it, and since the endgame was to have fun, not really to get kills, it was a successful thing.  After all, there were a few occasions that I knew I'd lost before I engaged-and somehow I didn't lost after all.  That made it all worth it.

So, highlights.  These aren't blingy kills, and likely some people will say 'that's horrible!'.  They ae highlights to me not due to the quality of the kill, but for the story, basically, behind it.  I have more impressive kills, but they aren't the ones I remember, it's the fun ones that I do.

https://zkillboard.com/kill/45897802/

This is likely my favorite kill of the month.  Why?  Because it was hilariously fun.  We had Battle Crabs in the system thanks to my friend Nix, and we all got into one to kill this Venture-except for Marq, who on comms went 'Uhh, guys?  I can't fly one...'.  So, Velator!!!  The guy was cool with dying actually, we convoed him afterwards and had a nice chat.  Fun all around.

https://zkillboard.com/kill/45753064/

Only because I managed to get Crake.  That was nice.

https://zkillboard.com/kill/45895099/

What's this?  A loss as a highlight?  Yup.  This guy was at a Novice.  It was bait.  He had two Curses outside, which is why you always warp to Plex gates at 10km, so you can attempt to instantly hit the gate.  Even then, this was a long fight.  Long enough that since I wasn't used to using rockets, or having a fight last that long-most Frigate fights last less than a minute to a minute and a half-I burned out my Rockets.  Having never encountered this before, I didn't even think to un-group them and see if one or two launchers was still active.  Instead, I burned though a reload of MASB, ran out of those, and then slowly died.  Look at the damage, almost 11.5k in a frigate.  That fight was great.

So, final tally?  118 kills, 38 losses.  Not horrible, not great.  I had fun, and I found out some things about what I like to do, and what I don't like to do with my time in EvE.  Even if you aren't a PvP pilot (or even if you already are) I suggest that you get out of your comfort zone, fit up a few ships to blow up in that you typically don't fly, and try out something new.  There is so much to do it'd be a shame not to, and maybe, just maybe, you'll find something that you enjoy doing.

A.G.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

EvE-Meets, and the One-Hundred Kills

In a few hours I'm going to be heading off to an EvE-Meet.  It will be my 3rd one.  I've met Sugar Kyle before, along with many other great and incredibly interesting and fun people (NARWHALS!!!) at these Meets.  I cannot recommend highly enough for people, even for those who are socially awkward or shy, to go to these.  While it can quite honestly be intimidating at first, it is well worth it.  You can meet a ton of people that have the same interests as you, and I'm not just talking about EvE.  This time I'll get to meet Mynxee and Rixx Javix as well, so that will be absolutely great as well, and I'll get to catch up with my Alliance mate Grimmash too, always fun.  Hopefully it won't be too crazily insane inside the place, but if it is, I'm sure we'll still have a blast.  If anything massively interesting happens, I'm sure I'll post it here-honestly, even if there isn't, I'll probably still post something here, you know, *eventually.  Cause like the name says, well, LAZY.

So, Bloody April.  To be honest, I'm fairly well burnt out on PvP.  I can completely understand why people have to take breaks from solo-small gang PvP at times, and have even more respect for those that do it 'full-time'.  I can't be one of those people.  This is a reason I love my Alliance though.  I don't actually, typically, PvP constantly with Argos.  Name it, and I've probably at one point or another, tried it with Argos.  I get bored otherwise, if I do the same thing.  In the ABA we're allowed to play that way, even while being in a 'Pirate Corps', with no judgement or anything else.

That being said, I reached the 100th kill mark for the month today, even after slowing my pace considerably from the beginning of the month.  I've also had a crap ton of losses (35 I believe at last count).  Not the best record.  As I've previously stated in the blog, I've welped myself into fights I figured I couldn't win because of 'why not', dived into fighting the same person 3, 4, 5 times in a row after losing to them all of the previous times, and flat out tried to kill just about anything I came across.  Does this partially explain this?  Sure.  It also explains the Proteus in a large Plex that I tackled solo with my Tristan-with no one closer than about 27 jumps from me-that turned out to be Warp-Core Stabbed, because it ran away while under Scram.  From a T1 Frigate.  It explains the numerous ships I've used this month.  I haven't just used my Standard Tristan, or my Comet.  I've used Atrons, Breachers, Tormentors, Algosii, Jaguars and so many, many other ships.  It's been a blast finding new ways to fly different ships, and I really do think I should do this more often.  Who cares if I can max a certain ship-going into each engagement has been unique in and of itself, simply due to my at times misunderstanding on the optimal way to fly a ship is.  I had a Breacher loss that tanked almost 11.5k damage.  Yes, 11,500 raw damage, before it died to a Dramiel.  The only reason it died?  Because I'd never had an engagement that long, and I rarely fly missile ships-I burned out my Rockets.  To boot, I didn't even think about un-grouping my Launchers and seeing if I had any active.  DERP!  So with all of these new experiences, what do I think I've gotten out of this month, thus far?

Learning!  I think that's what draws me to EvE more than anything else.  There is always something new to do, new to see, new to try.  This, above anything else this month, is what I've gotten out of this month.  I encourage each and every one of you to get out of your comfort zone, to try your version of 'Bloody April' no matter what you do in EvE.  That doesn't necessarily mean PvP-just commit totally, 100% to something that you don't typically do full-time in game, go after it for a month, and see where it takes you.  You might be surprised where you end up, or what you learn.  I'd love to hear about what you do.  Good Luck!


A.G.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Bloody April, and the Freedom of Not Caring about Sec-Status

Heyo Folks! 

I haven't made a post on the Blog in some time.  Oop!  I'm not entirely sure why, though I do think that part of it is that I've decided to make April a special month of sorts for Argos.  He's decided to forgo the idea of a Positive Sec Status, tank it, and just engage things at random, like crazy, and see how many kills he can get.  It's Bloody April!  So far he's sitting on 76 kills and 28 losses.  Not the best efficiency, but hey, I welped 4 times in a row into one guy with the same ship, knowing that his ship (obviously, after the first try) could best mine, and 3 times (same deal) in a row to another guy.  It had to be done, those crews were just getting too rowdy for my liking.  I've let guys refit their ships before fighting me, obviously knowing they would tailor their ship to counter mine (adding T2 EM and Thermal Rigs on a Breacher to fight my Tormentor anyone?  He even posted his fit in local to boast about it-umm, congrats?)  In addition, I'm definitely branching out the hulls, fits, and compositions of most of the ships I am using in combat, so it's taking me a bit to adjust to the ways of flying each one.  It's a great, fun process learning and experiencing something new is always enjoyable!

So, where will this end?  Your guess is as good as mine.  I have, however, noticed something interesting that I hadn't really thought about at first.

Argos has always cared about his Sec Status.  He likes doing things other than PvPing, after all, which is one of the reasons that A Band Apart works so well for him.  As a side effect of this, however, is that Argos is fairly selective about his targets.  It's not that I care about losing ships, that doesn't bother me at all, it's more that he tends to try and approach fights that he thinks he will get an engagement out of.  That's a distinction that I think is very important.  Win or lose, he wants a fight for each time he takes a hit on his Sec Status, and if he doesn't think he'll get a fair shot at one, he won't go for it.

Who-the-hell-cares-about-Sec-Status Argos?  If he thinks you're stabbed, or will run, or will blob, or overmatch him, he doesn't care.  He'll welp again and again into your ship, just to have something to shoot at for a few seconds.  Not caring about his Sec Status opens up so many potentially good fights for him, simply because he can stop being so selective.  It's a strange sense of freedom that I hadn't really thought about before, even though I have an old PvP alt that did the same thing.  I suppose I don't have the same level of emotional attachment to him that I do with Argos, so it's not something I had ever considered.

Are you the same way with some of your characters?  How many do you think Argos will get before either the month ends, I need to take a break, or some crappy RL thing pops up to prevent me from killin' ships (and dying in them a lot as well hah)?

Time to undock.  Let's find out.

A.G.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

My Thoughts on Warp Core Stabs

Apparently Twitter is all, err, 'a Twit' with talk of Warp Core Stabs again today.  There are differing opinions on this, as with everything.  There are people that want to eliminate them from the game, those that want them only on certain ship types, those that want them left as they are, and just about every other thing you can (or can't) imagine.  My solution is an easy one.  CCP has proven they can implement it, so the baseline coding should already be there.  It helps eliminate people from being afk in a FW Plex, which is a complaint of many.  Also, it doesn't effect what you can fit them on, or their function in-game, so should have a minimal impact on those that use them, whether for hauling, moving around in Null/WHs, or anything else.  So what is it?

Simple.

Make Warp Core Stabs an active module, one that cannot be activated within 30km of a Faction Warfare button. 

This ensures that it will have a minimal effect on haulers and movement with other ships, because as soon as you drop your gate cloak and start to align, you should already be activating any active tanking mods you have fitted, that or your cloak.  Yes, WCSs would be an additional thing you have to activate, but there shouldn't be such a delay in activation that you would get caught in a situation you would have previously avoided.

Also, this addresses the complaint that WCSs are used in FW to afk mine the plexes.  Feel free to fit your ships with WCSs, sure, but if you are close enough to run the timer down, you aren't far enough away to activate your stabs and run away.  You can also still activate all of your weapons, but you have sacrificed potential DPS mods or tank mods on something that might not help you at all.  That is balance.  It's a choice you have to make.  EvE is a game about choices and consequences, and instead of limiting them with this new way of module usage, it actually expands the options and choices you have to make, which can help generate content for us all. 

Again, CCP has already proven they can implement all of this.  Cloaks can't be activated within 30km of the button in a plex.  You can fit one, sure, but you still have to pay attention and get out to range to activate it if you do.  Turning a module into an active one?  Sure, it will involve work, but obviously we have active modules so there shouldn't be too much legacy code to work through.

That's pretty much it from me on the subject.  What do you think?  Is it a good idea, a bad idea?  Let me know what you think.


A.G.