Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Damp EWAR Problem.

It seems fitting to have a master of chaos announce the first entry of this blog into the chaotic shouting match that can result from blogging.  From the subtle way of pointing out mistakes politely until you end up showing the target blogger knows nothing (or at least less) about what they think they know, to the more blatant way of shouting "u stuuupid idiet, u dont no any thing u noob." there is always a grudge match to be had.
Realizing this, I will wade into this realm of chaos without the backdrop of the Eve forums.  Sure I go there from time to time to comment on a BIG issue, or see the latest patch notes, or perhaps to voice my support for a CSM candidate, however, by and large I avoid the rage zone that has become prevalent in many well-to-do forums.  Some of my opinions therefore may seem like mirrors of what others have said or may be out of touch with an obscure post made by a dev saying something to the extent of  "The drake may or may not be overpowered and therefore we may or may not be fixing it in the next 200 years."  No, I will do without above mentioned areas unless I have absolute need of them.  Most of my opinions will be based off my own experience and off the experience of those I fly with namely, lowsec Faction Warfare pirates with a mingling of noobs, vets, demi-gods and Zeus himself.  My experiences are not those of null sec blobbers, or highsec carebears and station campers, but those of small to mid sized roaming gangs of pirates without tools like  bombs, bubbles, supers, or endless isk.

Friday Night in Nennamaila

For my first chaotic rant on the problems with Gallente I bring to you the damp EWAR problem (see what I did there? *laughs amused by his own terrible joke*), something which CCP already knows needs fixing as made evident of them removing all EWAR from plexes in Inferno 1.1.
For the most part, the existing EWAR modules are useful in their own right.  Target painters, ECM, tracking disruptors, can all be fit on ships without bonuses and still make a noticeable impact with ECM being the strongest when used on a ship with bonuses.  Sensor damps on the other hand is pointless from the get go except for extreme ranges (150km+) and fast locking ships whose only point would be to slow down enemy lock times (which of course must be accomplished before the enemy can lock you).  One of the big reasons damps are at a disadvantage is that it provides the damp ship no bonuses to itself (unlike TP's or indirectly, TD's) and doesn't make the target ship unable to lock (like ECM), all it does is HINDER a ship.  Gallente need more than a projected hindrance to get close in order to apply DPS (which I will cover in another blog) due to ships having adequate lock ranges on many ships to mostly stifle all but the most dedicated of damp ships.  Lets look at an example.
Lets say a Drake is going to fight a Keres and an armor Brutix.  With all skills at level 5 and with a typical drake fit (no sensor boosters or mods) two damps from the Keres will bring the target range down to 18km for the drake, still WELL outside non-faction or boosted scram and web range and so the Drake will still be able to effectively destroy the Brutix without being damaged.  Now of course this example has limits and TP's and TD's wouldn't have an affect upon the drake either.  That said, my point is that even with a dedicated damp ship using multiple damps it still does not make possible what the Gallente need AND the same reason why knights of old began to decline as firearms made their appearance:  the ability to get close to a target while having an armored defense to apply damage.

Gallente: World of Tanks style.

This problem only becomes compounded in larger battles when a small number of damps ships must split between their enemies only to see little to no affect in similar scenarios.  Why are Falcons, Rooks, and Blackbirds often primaried?  Because they can essentially remove a ship from the battle.

Knowing the problem then, how do we correct this?  I have a couple of thoughts...
The first, using the logic of a 2 year old would be to make the bonuses for damp ships greater.  While this may have some use for said damp ships, it would have no affect on damps as a whole and their effectiveness on non-damp ships (unlike TP's and TD's).
The second option would be to increase the base values of the damps themselves but again, I don't think that this would be a noticeable enough difference to make it worth it while still trying to avoid pre-trinity style.
Here's a thought: what about changing the fundamental principle of the damps (similar to tracking disruptors rumored to become weapon disruptors) to that of computer dampeners.  The idea is that instead of lowering the target range it instead lowers the CPU of a ships OR the number of modules allowed on the ship.
Consider the first.  Let's say it lowers the amount of CPU by 30% with level 5 skills, implants, dedicated ship , etc. (perhaps an unaltered baseline of 10%) the target would then either randomly offline modules or offline them based on the amount of CPU needed.  While this may or may not affect a targets ability to project damage thus allowing a Gallente ship to get close, it could say, offline their MWD or perhaps their tank (allowing rails to become a viable alternative again).  The advantage of this is that there are defenses to this already available (in the CPU upgrade and the newly released rigs).  Some may think this is OP but again, lets consider ECM.  If you jam my ship, sure I can still move and tank, but what good does this do a combat ship?  I am entirely useless until my 20 seconds are up.  How then is this so much different except that with the new damps the target would still be able to use SOME damage (it could be made to not affect high slots) or SOME tank but not all of it.  It would also enter a whole new kind of EWAR in and of itself which CCP has always loved to do, throw a money wrench into an already large pile of both monkeys and wrenches.
Oh I almost forgot, using the second option (number of module slots allowed on a ship) you could force the use of scripts targeting high, medium, or low slots thereby nullifying based on what you need to mitigate (shield tank, armor tank, etc.) while not affecting any/all modules without needing multiple ships or damps.

Before you all go bonkers and say that I've lost it consider this:  These module would only get this to that highest level with GALLENTE ships (which have fewer mid slots than Caldari) so we are not talking about 5-6 modules per dedicated EWAR ship, rendering whole fleets bereft of anything.  This would require large numbers of dedicated EWAR ships meaning (of course) less DPS.
Also consider that you may think I'm insane but since we are all Eve players anyway...

To the Damar Rocarion in all of us.

With that, I believe that I have killed a sufficient number of electrons for one post.  I will further explain some more Gallente problems and my solutions in the coming days.

"Making the armies able to take on opponents without being defeated is a matter of unorthodox and orthodox methods."  Sun Tzu

Friday, June 22, 2012

To Boldly Go...

Until I started getting more and more into Eve I never thought much of blogs, thinking they were little more than glorified tweets with which homicidal maniacs and conspiracy theorists used to convey strange views, I had zero interest in following them.  I started to see their value however, when certain Eve news sites that would occasionally post a rather entertaining perspective on an issue that I did indeed care about.  Then it happened:  one fateful day after quite a bit of ranting in Shalee's game channel Sov Wars about the inferiority of Gallente ships, I was asked to do a guest opinion on the subject.  While it didn't turn out quite so short, it did open my eyes that there are painfully few Gallente blogs tied to Faction Warfare and so I began my effort, my.... quest, to construct this blog.

While I intend to cover a multitude of areas, it will be specifically tied to that of the Gallente-Caldari warzone with an overture of rants regarding the problems with Gallente ships and tactics.  Stay tuned....