Monday, February 18, 2013

Wrath for the Titans

Come to Erebus ... heh-heh, heh-heh-heh. heh, I said "come". heh-he-heh-heh-heh.
-Erebus, from the hit vid Erebus & Aeon

Everybody likes to QQ about Titans. How they're OP, allow too much force projection, how hard they are to kill, it's "hotdrop o'clock" anytime, thanks to Titans, blah blah, etc, etc.

There're so many threadnaughts, blogpoasts, etc, on the subject of "fixing" supercaps, it'd make your head spin if you saw it all at once. Like Dave at the end of 2001, you'd be amazed, awash in monitor glow, going "My god, it's full of shit...."

"Nerf Titan bridges..." "Nerf tracking and scan res..." nerf, nerf, nerf. Then nerf some more, just to be sure.

Here's a thought: raw stat nerfs aren't the way to go.

Wow, I think the planetary air pressure dropped with that collective gasp (from the 5 of you actually reading this). Seriously, deep breath, hold the raeg, and let me explain:

Rather than "nerf" Titans...just change the way in which they project force.

For those not in the know, Titans project force by "bridging". A friendly ship in fleet with the Titan (and consequently the rest of the fleet to be "bridged"), lights a cynosural field. The Titan pilot then right-clicks "bridge" on his fleetmate, from the safety of his POS of course, the fleet then right-clicks the Titan, and zoops off to the cyno ship, many systems away.
In the process of all this force-projecting, the Titan is perfectly safe within the POS shield, unless he clicky da wrong butan. Derp.

Looks to me like a lot of "reward", for not much "risk".
Wait. Isn't EVE about risk for rewards?
Good question. Glad you asked it.

So, people bitch about how OP Titans are, how they can "hotdrop" fleets from afar with virtually no risk, and Jester keeps a running count of how many Supercaps (granted that includes SCs as well but still) die per week, which is, with the above linked exception, always a hilariously low number.

How do we fix that, the "OP", "force projection reward with NO risk", issue with Titans?
Very, oh soooo very simply:
Turn their mechanics around.

How's that work? I say easy, it'd prob be a bitch to code, I'm sure, but basically, turn the "bridging" process on its head...

tl;dr: instead of "bridging" from the safety of a POS shield, the Titan jumps to the cyno (still using the "bridge" function), which leaves behind a "bridge" beacon in the spot where the Titan previously was. It then stays at the cyno, "holding the door" for the incoming fleet (under the new mechanic, rather than right-clicking the Titan, they would right-click the beacon to "bridge" to the Titan). The "beacon" would remain in space for a couple mins after the Titan's bridge timer spooled down, allowing it to jump back behind friendly lines, but it has to move quickly or it "misses the bus" and needs a new cyno to jump home (a disposable hauler with jump gas might be a good idea in such fleet ops ;-) ).

Why this is good:
-Titans no longer provide lots of force projection "reward" with virtually nil "risk" (unless the pilot mis-clicks and jumps instead of bridging, but that's the same risk they face now). Overall risk would be somewhat mitigated by the fact of a friendly fleet following the Titan through its bridge. Then again, there's nothing preventing the "recieving force" from bridging their own Titan-sponsored hotdrop fleet or BlOps gangs in, either, or having a group of hictors standing by 1 jump out...
-Titans doing that sort of bridging would be drivers for more conflict (as we saw already).
-Serves as a deterrent against randomly lol-hotdropping fleets on a single ratting ship with impunity ... such actions now carry a potentially serious consequence.
-Will generate millions of gallons of Titan-pilot and major sov-null alliance tears, "You mean I have to risk my nice shiny expensive toy to hotdrop random bads for lulz?!?! QQ QQ QQ!!!"
-In response to the above tears, for once in their lives, pretty much everybody else in EVE who doesn't own a Titan can "UMadBro???" and "HTFU" the "big null badasses" for lulz and tears.

In EVE, consequences are good. So's conflict. Right now there's not much of either where Titans are concerned. This proposal makes alliances actually USE Titans in order to benefit from them, and actually commit them to operations, placing them at risk, creating consequences and driving conflict.

Hmm, hmmm-hmmm.... I am terribad!
-148 Cognitive Dissonance


  1. Hong, you are a bad bad man.... I like it. I like it alot :)

  2. This is one of the most retarded ideas I have ever seen.
    This idea would lead to supers needing to be on standby for any titan bridge, which would itself lead to blueballs.

    The only people this would hurt are the smaller alliances. Larger organizations would adapt to this with a minor change of tactics.

    1. lol Define "small alliance". Any alliance large enough to possess Titans, as well as the ability to secure and defend POSes for their storage, is most likely by definition NOT "small".

      Besides, all of a sov null is blue donut anyways, so until that changes, really all of this is moot anyways.

      Thanks for playing, though!

  3. There are multiple approaches to the problem of Titan bridges, some of them fairly clever, and this is certainly one of the more elegant variations I've seen so far.

    But it doesn't address one fundamental problem: Titan bridges are not just a means of force projection for invasion or repelling an invasion. They are also an indirect solution to the problem of fight-seeking, their role is also in launching groups on long-distance roams. That elegant solution to the force projection problem would also wreck the use of titans in fight-seeking, since it's obviously not worth it to send a titan together with a small gang roam just for fun somewhere into Syndicate, titans are too valuable.

    You can't really solve that problem without creating another, so how would you also solve that other one?

    1. So your roams actually have to roam? I see no problem here...

    2. Going 50 jumps just to have some weekend fun kind of is a problem. And while it is not my problem, and judging by your words, neither it is yours, that will have interesting and wide-ranging effects on nullsec topography. Unpleasant effects which Eve as a whole probably doesn't need.

    3. Weird. I seem to recall a certain POS module for sov null that performs that same "bridge" function as a Titan, and I remember using one of those networks quite frequently when I was part of the -A- train. What were those called again...? It's been so long since -A- was roflstomped out of null... ;-)

    4. On a moar srs note, I did suggest in a previous post a while back that jump bridges be allowed anywhere, including hisec.
      Perhaps along with a mechanic that not only lets you control WHO can use your JB (that's already in place), but also set a certain 'fee' for passage, a "commercial jump bridge network", if you will. Maybe +10s pay a certain fee, +5s pay twice as much, and neuts pay 5x as much. Something like that, said fees to be set by the JB owner, of course. ;-)

    5. You can't put one of those in an enemy territory, which you would often need to cross to get where you want to roam, so it's not quite as applicable as it could be. :) Now, if you could put jump bridge endpoints in NPC null, that could be something of a solution.

      And while commercial jump bridges would make a lot of sense, remembering what happened to the Interstellar Starbase Syndicate, the outlook on that doesn't sound good. If you want transportation through a region of space that has any kind of sov in it, there has to be such a thing as neutrals, neither red nor blue, which in today's Eve don't exist anywhere except high sec... well, and maybe CVA space, but I don't know how they're doing these days.

    6. If you allowed jump bridges anywhere, in any sec space, sov wouldn't be an issue. Of course, if you put up a JB POS in someone else's space without permission, it'd be popped quickly, just as any neutral or hostile POS would be, since :sov early warning system:, but yeah, otherwise, sov would be a non-issue.

      As for how the "commercial" aspect would work, they could riff off the POCO mechanic -- only to the next degree. JB owner sets a base fee per hull size, then modify it, +/- x% based upon standings, and of course you could set it to allow only blues (that's already in the current JB mechanics). Alternately, you could allow neuts to use it at a 300% markup, and even oranges and reds at ginormous expense. Why not make a lil money off em? ;-)

      I dunno how CVA's doing. Haven't been to sov null much at all since the -A- failscade. :-/

  4. What will this do? It will limit hot-dropping to a few select groups, less than half a dozen, Pandemic Legion coming to mind.. the kind of people whose titans you don't even bother tackling because you know you can't outship them no matter what you do.

    How about we fix the risk/reward problems in null vs hisec, and we fix passive vs. active income, so that there's actually a reason to roam around instead of sitting on a titan?

    1. Ok, sure. How do we fix those things? I know sov nullsec has ENTIRELY too much reward for the nil risk that's there -- you have a far greater chance of being ganked or meeting a ninja who kills you after you shoot him for going suspect... we should definitely make hisec moar safer! I've been arguing that for months! Glad someone else agrees. ;-)

  5. I have nothing constructive to add to this, however, with the font on your site, I kept reading this as farce projection, which I approve of.

    1. Farce projection is what this blog is all about, Kobea. ;-) o/