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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A better way to address miner protection.

If you haven't skimmed through the forum post Barge Fairy Tale yet, you should. There are some great tears there about the massive barge tanks revealed on SiSi last week. The post is up to 130 pages now and finally slacking off.

At the bottom of page three, CCP Soundwave bravely wades into the fray here, and later on here, here, here, and here. The gist of his comments are that CCP will not eliminate ganking as an option, they just want it to cost a whole lot more. Of course, I agree with this in principle wholeheartedly.

Now the rumor mill has it that CCP is going to ease up on the resists given to the various barges in response. The question is, is CCP right? Is taking the shield resistances away the right answer? I say yes.

Though I love the idea of an exhumer with a battleship level tank, it shouldn't naturally be that way. There is a better way to give industrialists the protection they want. Give each industrial extra slots in the mids as CCP's already done with the new Skiff, but I don't mean just one. Put in two or three or even four. Boost the capacitor and the power grid on them as well. Allow the industrialist who is so inclined to fit his own shield tank.

The capsuleer who started the post above seems to be under the impression that industrialists who don't fit a tank deserve to be attacked. I don't think peaceful industrialists deserve to be attacked, but those who refuse to take precautions do so at their own risk. CCP should not take that responsibility away from them.

I tank my industrial ships just like I tank everything else. I know not every industrialist does this but, as I've said before, they should. If they are given the ability to fit a 50k EHP tank and don't, that's their mistake.

Now, some of these ships already have plenty of slots. They just need more capacitor or power or both. For instance, here is my current Hulk fit.
[Hulk, Blue Bucket]
3x Modulated Strip Miner II
Medium Shield Extender II
2x Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Upgraded Thermic Dissipation Amplifier I
Micro Auxiliary Power Core II
Damage Control II
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Ancillary Current Router I
[Statistics - Mabrick]
Effective HP: 31,267 (Eve: 24,591)
Tank Ability: 102.26 DPS
Damage Profile - <Omni-Damage> (EM: 25.00%, Ex: 25.00%, Ki: 25.00%, Th: 25.00%)
Shield Resists - EM: 71.70%, Ex: 84.15%, Ki: 83.02%, Th: 84.08%
Armor Resists - EM: 66.00%, Ex: 23.50%, Ki: 36.25%, Th: 44.75%
Capacitor (Stable at 25.88%)
In a way, this is a crap fit. The reason is because it requires power enhancement to maintain the active tank. Those are "wasted" slots that I could better utilize. However, in order to tank a Hulk, this is currently required. If CCP would give the Hulk more power I could tank this ship properly myself; like this.
[Hulk, Blue Bucket Future]
3x Modulated Strip Miner II
Medium Shield Extender II
2x Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Upgraded Thermic Dissipation Amplifier I
Damage Control II
Shield Flux Coil II
2x Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
[Statistics - Mabrick]
Effective HP: 30,835 (Eve: 24,297)
Tank Ability: 142.79 DPS
Damage Profile - <Omni-Damage> (EM: 25.00%, Ex: 25.00%, Ki: 25.00%, Th: 25.00%)
Shield Resists - EM: 71.70%, Ex: 84.15%, Ki: 83.02%, Th: 84.08%
Armor Resists - EM: 66.00%, Ex: 23.50%, Ki: 36.25%, Th: 44.75%
Capacitor (Stable at 25.88%)
This fit has increased my active shield tank by 35% and is cap stable while mining. If I wanted a mining upgrade or cargo expander, I could exchange the Flux Coil for it. That would actually raise my EHP 10% but drop my recharge rate nearly 20%. If I wanted to live dangerously, I'd drop the Damage Control II and go with another cargo expansion.

If the ship had more low slots, I could have it all but that would be too much. We industrialists still need to make the choice - tank or profit. That's industrial risk. Isn't that what CCP's all hot on right now? Risk happens when a choice is made. The choice should be mine and not CCPs. I like it that way a lot better.

This empowerment only requires a power grid increase from 45 to 65 on my Hulk. It's not a huge amount. That even makes sense from a ship role perspective. It's an industrial ship that crushes rocks and extracts valuable ore. It should have massive amounts of power. Heck, if CCP gave it the  power grid a professional rock crusher should have, I'd swap the medium shield extender for a large. That'd give me 42k EHP and that's certainly plenty of tank. Perhaps I'd have to turn off my strip miners to get the power back. I'm good with that.

But all this isn't even necessary. All this dev time could have been used on something else. CCP could do two easy things to eliminate most ganking instead of all these hard things. The first thing they could do is eliminate all loot from a ganked non-combat ship. Shooting a paper cup with a bazooka leaves nothing. That is what the ganker should get - nothing.

The second thing CCP could do is automatically pay platinum insurance (plus clone fees if podded) on the lost industrial and recoup that amount straight from the ganker's wallet - even if it puts them negative. You see, I don't really care if a ganker's security rating takes a hit. That's between them and CONCORD and they wear it like a badge anyway. I want them to feel it where I feel it most - in the wallet.

Just those two changes would solve the thing everyone publicly identifies as the problem. Of course, that probably isn't the problem CCP is trying to fix at all. I'm not convinced this has anything to do with gankers. But that's a subject for a later post.

What this post is about is how CCP could implement industrial ship changes and address all the ganker tears... I mean - valid concerns - brought out in the Barge Fairy Tale post. I think increasing middle slots, power and capacitor sans shield boosts does that nicely - without turning Mackinaws into Mackinuts that are too hard to crack.

Fly careful.

11 comments:

  1. I like the idea of increased slots versus major buffing. Taking responsibility for my actions seems more EVE-like as well. That being said, while surviving a gank (if possible) is one goal, I fit my mining ships more with an eye towards dealing with rats rather than gankers. Not that the two are necessarily exclusive, but at least I get ISK for killing rats.

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    1. Well, if they had a bounty on them and you could target them before CONCORDOKKEN, you should get the bounty or am I mistaken there?

      As for what sort of fit you use, I think a rat fit is just fine. All you have to do is last 20 seconds, max, until the cops arrive. If you are in a .6 or higher system the wait is even less. There is no need for scram and web (that order) so PvP fit makes no real difference.

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  2. You know damn well I want to write a book on this, but so far things are just changing too fast for me to throw my expensive, fancy hat in the ring. I do like your addition to the discussion as it is, and I tend to agree with you and your commenter, the responsibility for keeping a player safe should emphasize the player, not the ship. I was stunned at how truly easy this hulkageddon was on the gankers, (of course some of us worked our butts off to develop useful tactics to increase the carnage) but putting responsibility on the player is the best way to get a better game by better players contributing better content.

    As for your wallet idea, that would just result in throwaway disposable alts with empty wallets. Also every ship is a combat ship. Some just don't know it yet.

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  3. /me shakes head

    i seriously can't understand why anyone takes forum trolling seriously. nerfing resists? why would you make the hulk any more gankable. the best (non attractive) tank you can get on there is pretty much what you posted as a fitting. 30% more on 20k-ish EHP isn't exactly going to stand up to anything serious.

    thank you for the links to the devposts. i like the quotes he responds to in that i like how ignorant, conceited and trollish they are. personally, i don't think anything needed responding too. it just validates idiocy.

    hulk this hulk that. the damn thing max tanked could fall to a handful of cheaply fitted catalysts. test server or no.

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    1. /me rolls eyes

      Reducing resists may be a troll there but it isn't here. CCP more then doubled the basic shield for a Mackinaw and the Skiff is just way out there now. Why to they need inherent resists with those shield buffers at all? They aren't combat ships. Give me slots and I'll add the resists if warranted.

      And as for EHP, all I need to do is last for no more than 20 seconds. Then CONCORD does its job. I'm a hi-sec industrialist - remember.

      And the question isn't whether a Hulk would fall to a handful of catalysts. It should because it isn't a combat ship. The question is whether it would be worth ganking in terms of isk spent to gank it.

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    2. oh you're preaching to the choir there, bud. I'm ignoring the salient points that we're both taking for granted while having fun bashing the trolls:

      (1) the greedy industrialists will do what they've always done - max out mining upgrades for the fastest gatherer of ice/ore around. It was the pitifully tankable mack and now it will be the more expensive hulk with the same pitiful tank (because they believe they can gain more in profit than the gankers can grief)...and the hulk hasn't been boosted except to make it more attractive to the greed factor (hulk/covetor)

      (2) they've made solo account holders who like to mine very happy with this patch too. imagine: it's like a hauler with lazorz. (mack/retriever)

      (3) CCP made it so that people willing to be less greedy can actually 'tank' the average lazy solo catalyst pilot out for shits and giggles. (skiff/procurer)

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  4. the only way to prove these things aren't all that and a bag of chips (except to trolls) is to watch and see if battle barges become viable on the pvp scene.

    now that would be funny, albeit something to watch get nerfed. but...srsly?

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  5. So, to get that straight, if you don't use a mining barge for what it was designed for, you're "smart", but if you do, you're greedy? That's pretty fucking stupid. Something else that's stupid is to suggest that combat ships need to pull modules out and use cargo expanders, or they only have enough cargo space for 1 reload of ammo. That is the same broken-brain logic that demands that mining ships turn into tanks instead of mining ships. Mining ships should be tough. Carrying tons of cargo, nasty jagged rocks, etc. how can they NOT be tough? The griefer tear crowd claims they should be paper because they're clueless. Maybe they need to shut Eve off for a few hours and go take a peek at ANY little video or documentary that talks about mining equipment. It's big, TOUGH and DURABLE. Maybe CCP needs to get off their asses and do the same thing. Maybe some life experience would add some brain power to both the devs AND players. Increasing the natural tank of the mining barges is a good thing, and a natural thing. Leave the slots on a mining barge for making it a miner. That's what the ship is for. Mining. Nothing the matter with ganking so long as it takes the same amount of isk to gank a boat as the ganker boat cost to build or buy. Blowing up a 500million isk ship (that took a shit load of time to train for) with 60 million worth of destroyers that took no time to train for, is completely fucking broken. THAT is the problem with ganking, not ganking itself.

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    1. Wow Pointy, who pissed in your cereal this morning? I'll grant that mining equipment is tough. I can't disagree with that. But I once took a 155mm howitzer, sited in on an old tank (1960's vintage) in in the middle of Fort Irwin, and blew it to pieces. That was a tank designed to fight other tanks. It didn't matter. So sure, mining equipment is tough. But it's not tough enough to take even one round from a 155mm howitzer. Oh, and that howitzer's primary function isn't even shooting at tanks in direct fire mode. That was a self-defense training exercise. Believe me, actual tanks are much better at killing other armored vehicles. No piece of mining equipment ever made would last even a second against a main battle tank. I know. I've seen them in action in RL. So while I give your spirited reply high marks for personal investment, I'm think you should watch a few documentaries yourself.

      Still, I admit I am comparing apples to oranges. Eve has ships, not main battle tanks (at least yet.) The comparison of ships to armored vehicles is a bit loose. Unfortunately I don't know of any mining ships ever engaged in combat of any type. World War II transports were routinely sunk by U-boats. Some of the transports were given cannons and surprised a couple U-boats, but then they weren't really being used for transports at that point. So you've got me as to whether a mining ship in RL could withstand fire from a ship like the Prinz Eugen or the Admiral Graf Spee. I just wouldn't want to be on the deck of the mining ship when that encounter happened. Would you?

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  6. Yeah, we'll you're not the only one with military time and I watched as we bounced three 105 rounds off the blade of a bulldozer. Also, you should be aware that bulldozers were used as ad-hoc tanks as infantry advanced behind them, right? So, point of fact,no pissed in or on anything of mine, I'm just injecting a little comparison for a reality check when people are talking how mining equipment is paper and it should be tanked. It is tanked, or it wouldn't be able to do what it does, and throwing a 155 round against just about ANY tank from the 60's or before is going to produce the same result, same with any piece of mining equipment. That isn't what we're talking about though. With ganking the barges, what we're talking about is taking out that bulldozer I mentioned with a few VW bugs circling it shooting out the windows with 22's. That is pretty much the parallel that is the problem. No effort and minimal cost to take out a barge that SHOULD have more tank naturally. If gankers want to grief, that's fine, but it needs to be equal. If they want to assplode a 500 million isk ship, then it needs to take at least 500 million worth of ships to do it. When ire three bc's were popping freighters, I was fine with it. Why? Because there was parity. It took as much isk to blow up a freighter as the freighter itself cost. I'm cool with that. Blowing up a 250 million barge with 12 million destroyer is badly broken. If you want to compare to real world for THAT, compare the cost of a military vehicle or ship, to the cost of a standard piece of mining equipment, or a barge or cargo ship. Point of fact, the costs would be reversed. So, give more tank, natural tank, to the barges. They should have had it anyway, and it shows the game actually supports a sandbox and isn't skewed completely in favor of the assholes. Simple.

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  7. Some thoughts about mining and barges.

    Compare missions and mining:
    High sec mining 99% of the time is done in belts, wich locations' are known to everyone. So if you want to gank a miner, you just have to find a non empty belt. Wich is easy.
    Unlike when you want to gank mission runners, where you even have to scan them down... <- it is effort.
    Also in a mission if anyone else enters the mission who you didn't invited means trouble, and if you are not tackled you can warp off right away. If anybody comes to a belt you can't know if he means trouble. 99% of the time the pilots in combat ships are after the belt rats.
    With a mining barge/exhumer you are safer in empty low sec space then in High sec if you are afraid of gankers, wich is just idiotic...

    And about the changes, I have 2 issues with them:

    1.) The cargo hold on the Hulk and MAckinaw. Especially on the hulk, the limit of 4 sets of spare crystal space is laughable. It will only create annoyance, nothing more. The logistical issues in 0.0 will drive a lot of ppl mad. CCP should allow it and to the Mackinaw too to have enough cargo space for the 12 spare crystal sets.
    Most of the time 0.0 mining ops are done with solo miners in the fleet with an afk offgrid booster, and 1 or 2 haulers. Everyone has to attend to their own mining gear. Imagine in real life, where you want to do something, but you can't bring all the needed tools with you, and have to ask someone to bring and hold them for you until you need them... Is it a change to punish those who haven't got alts yet? Or to drive ppl mad with the new Uni.Inv.?

    2.) A fleet exhumer that can't have enough EHP in "safe home" space with max yield to allow a logistic cruiser to remote rep it if someone even sneezes at them... These ships are made to endure out in space!
    And as Pointy pointed out above, these things should be durable, and not gankable by ships 1/10th or 1/100th of the price of the exhumer....

    So in conclusion:
    Hulk got nerfed in a very annoying way (cargo space for crystals), and I hope the Mackinaw got a good enough

    tank to use it in high sec without fear of being ganked by destroyers but that sig radious change might be tricky against tornadoes, Skiff looks good.

    The only change I'm missing is the range of the survey scanners. We need a scanner that has a scan range of at least 26km for fleet mining ops.

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Be civil, be responsible and most of all be kind. I will not tolerate poor form. There will be no James Hooks here. We are all better than that.