Friday, June 12, 2015

Let Us Take a Fleeting Look… at Flying About inna Groop…

~or “Is Fleet Warping OP?”

My Da’ always said, “If yer gonna pitch a bitch about sumthin’, ya better have an idee how ta fix it… ifn ya dunt, then you just sit real quiet like and keep yer ignorance to yerself.

Ok, my Dad never said that, exactly… He was a VMI man who worked his way up the RW corporate ladder to EVP of, at the time, VEPCO. But he was born a country boy to a Chesapeake Bay oysterman and a tough love country mom… so the sentiment is something he believed in completely, he just wouldn’t has said it with quite as ‘southern’ a twang as I. I do tend to prefer a bit of a ‘twainish flavor in my scribblin’ sumtimes.

So, we have reached a point in the ongoing evolution of New Eden where the Fleet Warp Mechanic is getting looked at for rebalancing. I watched the latest o7 Show – June 11 where CCP Fozzie and CCP Larrikin reveal and discuss the upcoming changes to Fleet Warping in EVE. It’s worth a watch… go on, I’ll wait.

To sum up, from the OP Post on the Comments

[AEGIS] Fleet Warp Changes
Fleet Commanders, Wing Commanders & Squad Commanders will no longer be able to warp to anything a fleet member couldn’t warp to on their own. This includes –

- Probe Results
- Bookmarks
- Any private deadspace item (missions, etc.)

Commanders will still be able to warp their fleet to other fleet members, and all other ‘public’ objects.
The goal of these changes is to encourage more individual fleet member participation and reduce the speed at which fleets can get on top of targets (e.g bombers).

Interesting hmmm? OK, so initially as most have been, are or will be, I was dismayed in the extreme when I heard that CCP was going to mess with Fleet Warp. I mean the mechanic has been around long before I joined, it is a staple of wormhole life in small gangs and it is HUGELY important in any gang or group effort in EVE… in ALL spaces. I was really quite upset TBH… and more than a little ragey… until I calmed down and asked myself ‘why’ and then tried to ANSWER ‘why?’…

This has been roiling around in me noggin fer a few weeks the now… and this evening I read Sugar’s post on Fleet Warping, CSMX - Post #13 - Fleet Warp. I read through the post and at the time 14 comments and my answer to ‘why’ and my response to same gelled right then and there.

I have tried and I simply cannot at this time give a better answer than I did in that post… so below is my comment in full.

NOTE: I am a wormholer who care's not one damn whit for nullsec or Sov style gameplay…

The Mechanic:
(1) Fleet Warp as it exists is one guy initiating a warp to a specific point which is then immediately carried out by all the ships in fleet simultaneously.

The Issue:
(2) One guy can manage the movement of a whole fleet all by himself.

(2a) The issue harks directly to 'exploitive' gameplay whereby one player can utilize a fleet as if it were his sole ship.
(2b) This was made even worse by Drone Assignment Mechanics that allowed one guy to simultaneously command all the drones in a fleet.
(2c) This was heavily exacerbated by multi-boxing software that allowed one guy to generate target, fire (and all other) commands across a whole fleet simultaneously.

Taken all together I think we can all agree this is suck gameplay, I don't care who you are or where you fly.

The Rebalance:
(3) So far, banning multi-boxing software so individual ships must be controlled individually, whether by individual players or by one player having to switch between clients to input commands to each ship, non-simultaneously.

Now we take a look at changing Fleet Warp because it seems on the face of it to be part of the same 'exploitive' type of gameplay.

But... is it really? Fleet Warping has been around a long long time. It empowers players to act in unison but only in movement. And fleet movement, leaving/arriving from/to designated places in EVE is a powerful thing... just look at Jump Changes.

OK... so suggestions?

(4) The Fleet Warp command does not initiate a Fleetwide ‘Warp To’ command... it initiates ONLY a Fleetwide ‘Align To’ command to a designated warpable point, that’s all. For the actual warp to take place each ship must have the actual ‘Warp To’ command initiated by a player.

Go AFK... you get left behind, period. Wanna warp all your alts in Fleet? Better be amazingly fast at client switching…

Simple, easy to play, you have to be there, at the keyboard and be awake... and for them as are there and awake, the gang still gets the job done whether it is a corp/personal BM or whatever warpable point the FC wants to land on.

I do not doubt that this suggestion does not answer all needs and wants of all the players, but it does quite nicely eliminate the OP of the One Man Fleet... while maintaining the Strength in Numbers and Group Gameplay aspects of Fleet Mechanics in EVE.


This is the crux for me… EVE is a Social Game, Fleet Warping is a definitive Social Activity…
Changing WHAT we can Fleet Warp to is NOT the fix…
Changing WHO can take part in a Fleet Warp IS.

Fly Fleetless and I just might not see you in the Sky  =/|)=

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Viam Anoikis…

~or “Acceptance”

I often wonder at how I ended up so deeply invested in the incredibly deadly space in which I I live and die in EVE. I have never been much of a daredevil or even really a big risk taker. My kid brother was the daredevil and jock of our family… Surfer, dirt biker, skateboarder, a real adrenaline junky…

Oh I surfed in my youth, and I too rode dirt bikes and I still love off-roading in my ’99 Jeep TJ and I love to single hand my '88 Catalina 22, all of which do have some inherent risks, but they are understood and manageable risks for the most part. I have also been a licensed PI and bounty hunter and such… and yes carrying a gun and occasionally having to wear a ballistic vest are kinda risky… but believe me it aint Magnum PI or anything even remotely like TV… not at all.

So when I joined EVE I learned about Hisec, lowsec, nullsec and negsec… I felt I was probably fated to be a hisec guy who occasionally dipped into lowsec for excitement and as a quick way to reduce the number of hulls I owned…  =]

Sugar Kyle‘s post, All Your Base… got me thinking about this once again and as oft happens I discovered a post waiting inside my reply. Sugar has never really been drawn to try out negsec in any depth due to safety, or the absolute lack of safety for her stuff I should say. And I must admit living in Anoikis is never ever going to be considered safe in any respect… but for me, that is just part of its charm and ambiance...  =]

The thing for me with life in Anoikis is manyfold... and a bit Zen...

While I may not be the adrenaline junky my little brother (HA! ‘little’ the kid was 6’5” by the time he was 18…) was, I do enjoy certain thrills… rollercoasters, hunting, surfing and even my PI work did, at times, generate at least some adrenaline buzz… but I am also a realist, as such I am really drawn to Hard SciFi, Science Fiction that is deeply rooted in real science. Now understand I love the Lord of the Rings but as far as I am concerned Fantasy should not be lumped in with SciFi… it is not magic, it is science and as such should deserves a little respect.

Flying in Anoikis with no local and living out of a destructible POS with everything at risk and on the edge is, well, real. It is a helluvalot more the way things might really be like if we ever do get off this one lone rock and venture out there into the Black.

It is a lot like RL in many ways... On Earth your house can burn down from a lightning strike or even a stupid accident like bad wiring… or an earthquake can swallow it, a flood can wash it away... or a war can sweep through leaving a wake of destruction. No place, no ‘thing’, no ‘one’ is actually “safe” in real life… we just have periods of less dangerous times interspersed with periods of more dangerous times.

In EVE however (aside from one or more of the above happening to the CCP server farm) your stuff actually is safe, really and truly safe from ‘acts of the gods’ or other players. In Empire NPC Stations there is no cataclysm, catastrophe or War that can have any effect on your stuff... ever. The only thing that can put your stuff at risk is you.

Unless you choose to live in a POS. The whole “Wait a minute there pubbie, in nullsec we can lose all our stuff with a Sov switch!” and “We can get locked out of our stations losing EVERYTHING!!!” is true enough… but so far Nullsuc Outposts are as indestructible as NPC Stations in the highest of Hisec… right? And I cannot but wonder how many nullsec players have a backup cache (if not their main cache) of ships etc. safely tucked away in a Station in Empire… JIC. Besides, it’s my blog and TBH I care not one whit for Nullsuc so meh...

Anyhoo… So living in Anoikis is a compromise. I actually have about half if not more of all my ships stored in Hisec. So I am at most roughly under 50% at risk for my total of worthwhile assets, my hulls. Implants, PLEX, factions mods, etc., IE all my ‘stuff’ of really high value is also permanently stored in Hisec. The Wallet, IE our bank accounts, are never at any risk, of course, except for human foolishness.

But here is the key to living in Anoikis… Acceptance. Accepting that whatever you bring in, whatever you jump the crazy marble sitting in or hauling with… is already gone. You accept right then and there that it will all never come back out. It’s already on fire, assploded, looted, salvaged and in someone else’s cargo or hangar bay right next to your flash-frozen burnt-up corpse.

This is, strangely a very worry and stress free game actually. Acceptance. Buying the hulls, theory crafting the fits, buying mods, fitting the ships and, The Naming of them all, then that first flight… only to kiss it all bittersweetly goodbye at the command, “Jump! Jump!” Each and every hull and module I have in the POS has already been sacrificed to Bob in my mind and my heart…

Hence I have nothing to lose,
and so I have no worries at all.

This is part of the Viam Anoikis (The Way of Anoikis)… the Tao of Holes… and it is good.

Fly Reckless and See You in the Sky =/|)=