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  =/|)=


  1. As I've said on Sugar's blog, I don't see any of those arguments as a need to change fleet warp.

    If it was broken, if it was hugely OP, if it allowed people to go places they normally couldn't go, then, sure, fix it/remove it/whatever.

    I just don't see this as anything other than one dev's personal preference overriding data.

    It's like the voter ID laws that have been passed here in Canada. Sounds great at first, but then you realize all that time and effort have gone in to 'fixing' something that wasn't broke in the first place.

    Yeah, we'll adjust; Incursion runners already don't use fleet warp. But, then again, they're only warping to an acceleration gate, so it's not like fleet warp is very useful there. And yes, I've operated without using fleet warp.

    But why expend the effort to fix a non-problem?

    Why stir up more grief?

    If the real reason is as CCP stated the need to fix bombers, then fix bombers.

    Shit like this makes me just want to stop paying attention again, just let CCP do whatever they want and when they do something I can't stomach, just leave for good.

    1. I get your angst my friend… but I seriously doubt this is just ”… one dev's personal preference overriding data.” I personally believe CCP Seagull actually is ultimately in control and I simply do not believe she would allow that… IE CCP Fozzie making changes of this magnitude without much discussion and her approval. I also do not believe is it ‘solely’ being implemented due to just ”fix bombers”… though I do believe the proliferation and extreme negative effects of the One Man Fleet Meta are the driving principle here.

      The negative effects being 500 guys logon and fleet up and 1 guy ‘plays’ EVE while 499 listen AFK on Comms so they know when to reach over and hit F1… while they are actually ‘playing’ League.

    2. I don't see how fleet warp has anything to do with that. When I flew in null, people were still afk with or without fleet warp. Drone assist was much more of a 1 guy playing than fleet warp ever will be.

      I don't think Seagull is as all-knowledgeable as you say. Powerful, sure, but does she really know? Does Fozzie? Look at how many hair-brained ideas they come up with. Look at how Greyscale wanted to get rid of all passive income because he didn't like it.

      The other big issue is that CCP does a piss poor job of soliciting feedback. The forums are not the place for it; I've been reading through their fleet warp feedback and a good 30% of the posts are way off topic. They should be doing surveys, real, actual surveys. They rely way too much on the CSM for feedback, too, far more than they should. I get the distinct impression that more of the game is shaped by the CSM these days than it was before, so we're also subjected to their whims as well.

      As for the bombers bit, I can only go by what CCP says, and they're pushing the bombers bit A LOT.

  2. I also take issue with this change. Because we are not flying around in space in reality, but rather through the filter of a video game, we have to make some allowances for what I'll call "conveniences", things that just have to be that way because otherwise it would not make an entertaining or engaging situation. Fleet warp is one of those.

    What offends me is that CCP Seagull stood up in front of everyone and stated a desire to enable content creators, to make it easier for them to generate content. How is this accomplishing that goal? Fleet warp has as many positive consqeuences (players can travel all at once without needing to carefully coordinate their warpin range, etc.), as negatives (afk players are dragged along as well, and end up d-e-d, dead).

    This change is wholly unnecessary and strikes me as coming not from CCP Fozzie, but from the "L77T skillz" Pandemic Legion player he was before he joined CCP.

    1. Well… I personally do not feel I have to make any allowances for the sake of ‘convenience’ irregardless of it being a simulation, whether physically accurate or not. TBH I greatly prefer when CCP makes changes that create ‘inconvenience’. Inconvenience creates opportunities and forces us to learn, adapt and grow… Convenience does not.

      EVE is a game yes, but it is a CHALLENGING game… and for it to remain a challenging game it simply must constantly change. I find EVE’s inconvenience vastly more entertaining and engaging than say, letting one guy make not just ALL the decisions for the fleet but also apply many if not most of the commands that affect the fleet… that in the end affect my game. When I want ‘convenience’ I play Minecraft.

      It’s MY game, “I” should be actively playing it and so should all of us. And what CCP is fighting against is what I have come to call the One Man Fleet Meta… a meta where just one man has far too much direct control over the actions of all the ships (IE players) in a fleet. They want us to fly and fight together yes, but to ‘actively’ fly and fight our ships together… not one guy flying and fighting as if the whole fleet is his personal toy.

      Your “positive consequences” ”players can travel all at once without needing to carefully coordinate their warpin range, etc.” is also a negative consequence when ONLY one guy is actively in control of these actions. The need to carefully coordinate each ships warpin range, etc. is also called ‘playing the game’.

      And your “negative consequences”that afk players are dragged along as well, and end up d-e-d, dead… would actually be nullified by my proposal that a Fleet Warp Command only issues a Fleet Align command… in order for each member to make the warp, each would have to actively trigger the Warp… the AFK guys would all be simply slowboating along in the same direction out of the POS… this would show the FC (and the whole fleet) who was actually playing EVE from those who are playing League…

      I also find it fascinating that this same mechanic, Fleet Align instead of Fleet Warp, would potentially save you those same ‘AFK losses’ while also potentially shifting the balance of the the fight you were warping into… 20 guys landing, with 5 AFK is still 20 ships landing and will be initially reacted to by the opposition FC as if all 20 ships are actively manned, he cannot assume any number are AFK now can he?… However change Fleet Warp to Fleet Align and both FC’s would KNOW beyond any doubt that 15 guys landing means 15 guys ready to fight.

      Can you really argue that this is not an improvement over 5 of 20 ships landing on grid UNMANNED?? And please don’t argue that (1) you’ll take that ‘reaction’ to 20 for its tactical advantage or (b) that “Those guys ‘should’ lose their ships, it’ll teach ‘em a lesson.” cause it never has and never will.

      I fly logi… and we have to consider whether or not Logi should land at ‘0’ on a hole with the fleet, or land at range from a hole so we can support the fleet and avoid getting alpha’ed off the battlefield early. So we are and have been carefully coordinating our warpin ranges, etc. even with fleet warp as it exists now.

      CCP (not just Fozzie all by his lonesome) wants each ship actively piloted and the game actively played by an involved player… and they are screwing with the established meta to get it… so let the tears fall where they may.

  3. What do you think about the fact that you can stil Fleet warp to public places , like gates and stations and the anomalies or was it sigs.
    In wh space there are no such public places.

  4. Tur I agree with your adapt and overcome.

    Following items will be too funny to miss:

    1 People get lost now and warp to the wrong gates if they miss the fleet warps... this will get worse and result in much ass hattery

    2. FC's will have to by much more clear and concise on comms... especially during the most stressful periods, mush mouths need not apply else they will land on the other fleet all on their lonesome, again much ass hattery to follow.

    3. Comms discipline will need to improve 100 fold, no talking over the FC about how you just farted and are the only one who can smell it but insist upon sharing the experience with the entire fleet.

    4. I'm rofl laughing at this idea, how do you pronounce the next system? OMG did the FC say DTS or ECS .... AGGGGHHHH I am so lost, SOME ONE LINK FLT LOCATION PLLLLLSSSSS!!!!!!!

    Thanks for your insights and thoughts TUR and keep them coming.



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