Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dev Blog of Mini-Rage -- Ship Rebalancing

The Dev Blog published today caused a widespread insta-rage, but let's start off by saying right up front: "YOU'LL BE ABLE TO FLY ALL OF THE SHIPS YOU CAN ALREADY FLY TODAY."

Now onto the news. The Dev Blog in question was released by CCP Ytterbium regarding ship rebalancing. The bulk of the rage comes from the pending introduction of racial BC and Destroyer skills as opposed to the blanket skills that exist today. Vets are raging because they don't want to lose the ability to fly 3 races of BC's even if they get fully reimbursed for one racial BC skill (same for Dictors/Destroyers obviously). I had the same initial thoughts. I am just finishing up a complete crosstraining at the moment. The only thing left for me is Amarr medium and large guns. I would be pissed if someone told me I just lost the Drake, Oracle, Talos, Myrm, etc (because I would definitely keep Minmatar BC. Tornado and Cane are enough for me). Luckily, Liang Nuren cleared that one up for me in one single tweet.

"According to CCP Soundwave cross trainers have nothing to fear from the skill changes: "
- @LiangNuren

If you read through Soundwave's comments, he explicitly says "Destroyer and Battlecruiser reimbursement: it has been said before, but allow us to repeat again, that we do not want to cut ships you can already fly. Thus, having BC skill at 5 would mean you get all four variations at 5." Perfect. That's all I wanted, and now I can settle the hell down and analyze whats going on. Take a nice deep breath, everyone.

Overall the changes regarding ships are fair and pretty intuitive. It seems to be well in line with CCP's initiative to simply processes in Eve that are unnecessarily complicated. Was the current skill tree unnecessarily complicated? I could argue both ways on that one. I'll be honest, I was a bit confused the first time I hit Battlecruisers. "No Gallente BC? Just plain Battlecruisers? Okay works for me." But that was it though. In all honesty, I viewed both BC and Destroyer as quite a blessing once I began to crosstrain, and I'm sure many have. Getting BC V made me feel damn near invincible switching between races. I'll have to pick a new skill to point out to people as "the best level 5 to train."

At the end of the day though, it is a change that simplifies the game to some extent. Battlecruisers are the backbone of most fleets, and they may as well be introduced as part of the normal progression up in ship class. The same argument applies for Destroyers, but they aren't as integral as they just aren't used as much currently (ignoring Dictors).

I have two concerns with the skill changes however. The first is how much this change benefits the vets. Anyone who had one BC V gets 4x the amount of SP. If they don't change the rank of Battlecruisers, that means that each BC V skill will be around 1.5M SP. For each vet, that's on the order of 20-30 days of training. For a corresponding new player to catch up, thats almost 3 months extra training time when they were already behind to begin with. I'm not too sure I'm behind that element of it.

The second problem I have with the skill remapping is a small one. I'm not totally in favor of opening up a race's capital ships for Battleship 4. Personally, I really liked the BS V barrier into capitals, as I don't think they're just "next in the logical progression." I only have Gallente BS V, and although I have a Thanatos, I've never flown it. I just think that in a game where capitals, and even more so, supercapitals, are so often complained about, we don't need to lower the entry barrier. Everyone can get to capitals 30 days faster, and apparently Dictors/CS's are up to 20 days faster, but Battleships can take 17 days longer? The priorities seem backwards here. Battleships should be more attainable than capitals and high level T2 ships. I know that you obviously still reach Battleships before Capitals, for example, but even to trend in the opposite direction seems unintuitive.

As for the rest of the blog, its a lot of wait and see. The new ship lines are "fine" until we see what concrete changes come about. I'm in favor of every ship having a role because I think it could alleviate some of the FOTM type of stuff we see right now. I'm hesitant to get on board until we see actual stat rebalancing though. I hope CCP has their heads on straight for that one.

A final note for anyone who didn't pick up by the way:

No comments:

Post a Comment