These forums have been archived and are now read-only.

The new forums are live and can be found at https://forums.eveonline.com/

Warfare & Tactics

 
  • Topic is locked indefinitely.
 

Why do off grid links exist?

Author
Burtakus
Lone W0lf Society
#301 - 2015-12-17 18:24:32 UTC
Pestilen Ratte wrote:
I think we all need to discuss one specific issue more closely.

Regardless of whether links are a "good" or "bad" mechanic, which is inherently subjective, what can we all agree for certain about links?

I believe there is no question that links disguise the strength of enemy ships. Put another way, they create uncertainty about the enemy strength, and this is true whether there is one enemy or a whole fleet.

So what?

So, one of the big "time investment" barriers to engaging the enemy is determining their strength. This is why we keep an eye on local spikes. This is why we use d-scan. This is why we use TS3. We all know that we need to pick our fights carefully. And we know we need to keep an eye out for changes in the balance of power.

It is not contentious to say that the harder it is to determine enemy strength, the more time is required before deciding whether to engage.

Depending on how busy you are in real life, and how much you like "the hunt" or "the fight" as game play styles, the time invested in order to get a fight is a real problem.

This has been my greatest frustration with links. You log on, you fit a ship, your corp buddies are also online. Great! Now you can go out looking for small gang PVP. Get some fights.

Except, you can't. Not really.

Because of the ridiculous power of off grid boosts, the range of enemy strength that can destroy a small gang goes from a large blob to one ship.

Without links, you can say with certainty whether the ships in system can offer a fair fight. You can look for such a system, and look to get roughly balanced fights.

With links, you just never know for certain whether you are going to pick a fight you can't win.

Obviously this is not true for larger fleets. Once you have 30 ships and they only have 20, links are not an issue because you can use them yourself or otherwise overpower them with numbers.

But for solo and small gang PVP, links make even one enemy ship invulnerable. You cannot know, for certain, if you are picking a fair fight.

That makes Eve a bad investment of time, and it undermines the idea that Eve is even about fighting.

Maybe PVP in Eve is only supposed to be for massive fleets and risk averse gate campers and OGB gimps.

Maybe that is how you attract the sort of people who play Eve (and who pay for alts).

But it isn't how you appeal to people who want to fight in space ships.

Off grid boosters are not just a treacherous mechanic. They are also a statement of how CCP see and value their player base, and indeed how they see the scope and competencies of their own creation.

If links don't get massively reconfigured to address the small gang PVP concerns, nobody at CCP even believes Eve should be about space ship combat.

It is all just meant to be a chat room with space backgrounds, a facebook for chatty start wars fans.


Hiding ones true strength is a critical tactic in any form of combat. What you are decrying as unfair because you have uncertainty about opponent strength is no different than any of the following:
Cyno ships bringing in the fleet
Un cloaking e-war
Keeping a combat Recon in a plex
Bait tanking the tackle and the pounding the **** out of someone with a fleet jumping in from next door
Faction mods
Implants
Drugs

Any ad all of those hide true strength. Should we then do away with them as well?

Dani Maulerant
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#302 - 2015-12-17 21:43:39 UTC
Burtakus wrote:


Hiding ones true strength is a critical tactic in any form of combat. What you are decrying as unfair because you have uncertainty about opponent strength is no different than any of the following:
Cyno ships bringing in the fleet
Un cloaking e-war
Keeping a combat Recon in a plex
Bait tanking the tackle and the pounding the **** out of someone with a fleet jumping in from next door
Faction mods
Implants
Drugs

Any ad all of those hide true strength. Should we then do away with them as well?



I would've thought the difference would be clear by now.
None of those are done parked, and afk.
Crosi Wesdo
War and Order
#303 - 2015-12-17 22:55:35 UTC  |  Edited by: Crosi Wesdo
AFK boosts are dead boosts.

I remember killing a neutral damnation on an undock with my garmur. Took forever.

I like the fact that those opportunities are out there.
Lucy Callagan
This Game Is Terrible
Warlords of the Deep
#304 - 2015-12-17 23:20:17 UTC
Crosi Wesdo wrote:
AFK boosts are dead boosts.

I remember killing a neutral damnation on an undock with my garmur. Took forever.

I like the fact that those opportunities are out there.


especially with new zone mjd
Burtakus
Lone W0lf Society
#305 - 2015-12-18 02:25:45 UTC
Dani Maulerant wrote:
Burtakus wrote:


Hiding ones true strength is a critical tactic in any form of combat. What you are decrying as unfair because you have uncertainty about opponent strength is no different than any of the following:
Cyno ships bringing in the fleet
Un cloaking e-war
Keeping a combat Recon in a plex
Bait tanking the tackle and the pounding the **** out of someone with a fleet jumping in from next door
Faction mods
Implants
Drugs

Any ad all of those hide true strength. Should we then do away with them as well?



I would've thought the difference would be clear by now.
None of those are done parked, and afk.



Parked and/or AFK boosts are a juicy KM waiting to happen.
Pestilen Ratte
The Scope
Gallente Federation
#306 - 2015-12-18 03:14:38 UTC
Burtakus wrote:

Hiding ones true strength is a critical tactic in any form of combat. What you are decrying as unfair because you have uncertainty about opponent strength is no different than any of the following:
Cyno ships bringing in the fleet
Un cloaking e-war
Keeping a combat Recon in a plex
Bait tanking the tackle and the pounding the **** out of someone with a fleet jumping in from next door
Faction mods
Implants
Drugs

Any ad all of those hide true strength. Should we then do away with them as well?



You misread me. I don't decry them because they are unfair. I decry them because they make the basic deal offered to pilots suspect (one subscription one pilot one ship), and that erodes confidence in CCP.

I also decry them because they add to the already long time it takes to assess the battlefield.

Let's be clear: if it takes too long to get a fight, or if the fights are always easily won by the guy who invests the most money and time, people will stop logging on to find quick fights.

Arguably this has already happened, and keeps happening. New player retention is not great. Bitter vet disease is a thing.

I accept that some folks love to spend more money and time and therefore achieve an overwhelming advantage over the guys who just want to pew in a reasonable time frame.

I also accept that CCP have the liberty to go after their own choice of demographic.

So then the issue becomes integrity. If CCP want to make a game explicitly suited to those gamers who like to pay double fees for advanatages, and who have all day and night to spend setting up massively unfair fights......

Well then, say so. Out loud.

Stop wasting the time of normal people who want to test their skill in space ship combat without giving up their job or paying through the nose for the privilege.

If Eve is going to be a long, hard wait for an unfair fight which the richest guy wins (which is reasonably realistic in terms of actual warfare), then stop advertising it as an exciting team game where normal people (with jobs and lives and such) can come have a good time blowing up space ships.

It is up to CCP to choose their demographic and deal honestly with it.

Otherwise the whole thing is a shabby nerd scam that faces a bleak future in the normal person community.

Don't get me wrong. Howsoever CCP wish to go, I wish them the best of luck. If they can all make a living by catering to rich folk who spend all day online to blow up pixels in a massively unfair fight, I say they are doing well, and may they prosper evermore.

But don't try and sell me a product that was never meant for me. That's just a scam.
Crosi Wesdo
War and Order
#307 - 2015-12-18 03:31:11 UTC
I have a friend who boosts for me off grid. therefor your entire argument is invalid based on something you cannot prove either way.

It was a funny post though, people needing more than one account erodes CCPs integrity? Do you even EVE?
Ares Desideratus
UNSAFE SPACE
#308 - 2015-12-18 05:40:14 UTC
Burtakus wrote:



Parked and/or AFK boosts are a juicy KM waiting to happen.

Even if you use a multi-screen or multi-monitor setup, it's impossible to focus on both your main and your alt at the same time, especially if you're involved in intensive combat. So at least one of your characters is going to be AFK at least some of the time (as far as using an alt goes).

You could hide behind a semantic illusion since even if you aren't watching the alt you are still technically at the keyboard, and not away from it, but as far as I know there isn't a term for ignoring or not paying attention at all to a game you are currently playing, so AFK seems to be the only reasonable term to use.

If AFK is a reasonable term to use to describe the act of ignoring your alt for a bit while you do PvP, then off grid boosters are certainly AFK for a significant amount of time that cannot reasonably be ignored.
Ares Desideratus
UNSAFE SPACE
#309 - 2015-12-18 06:10:05 UTC  |  Edited by: Ares Desideratus
@ Templar Dane

One of the main arguments against links is that they are relatively cheap compared to the implants and expensive modules you would have to buy in order to have equivalent stats, but I'm not sure the math is sound behind this argument because it doesn't consider all of the months of game time and skill purchases needed to get the boosting character to that level in the first place; as far as I know it only considers the T3 he will fly + implants.

Links are (currently) overpowered in any situation, because off grid boosters are the only ships in the game that can operate almost completely AFK (as long as you check regularly for probes you are fine) from a secondary account by the same person, while being off grid, interdiction nullified, sporting a cloaking device, requiring literally zero participation from other players, and although it is possible to probe them, it's still very difficult without a high level character because the T3 has a small signature radius and high sensor strength. They do not make you invincible, but being technically VINCIBLE is not necessarily a part of the equation.

All those reasons combined is why off grid links are one of the most broken game mechanics. At least if the booster is on grid and being flown by a real player then their existence in the game is somewhat defensible, even if their bonuses are still over powered (which is another issue).

You might say you get what you pay for, and off grid links are justified by their cost, but the game would certainly be better off if CCP limited the pay-to-win strictly to buying game time and plexes, and limit ships to being flown by an active player (at least as much as possible) instead of having ships specifically designed to be operated as off grid AFK-mobiles.

Now, it has been demonstrated countless times over the years that pvppp is possible without links, even for brawlers. It's not easy for anyone, and it's even less easy for brawlers because it requires so much more strategy and skill to pull off without dying horribly. Even for a successful solo brawler, the odds of getting tackled helplessly and then blobbed or shut down from afar are so much higher, just because the brawler almost always operates at such a close range. When you commit to scram range, you commit to being scrammed, webbed, neuted, etc. The disadvantages to flying in scram range versus out of scram range are obvious.

This is the fundamental disadvantage of "brawling". Links don't fix this "problem", they're just advantageous for anyone who's in a combat situation.

You say people are moaning about how unfair links are even though they could have trained for links themselves, but I say that you're moaning about how unfair kiting is (because it's fundamentally the superior strategy) when you could easily choose to fly kiting ships. Again, just because off grid links fix your pvp problems doesn't make them OK. The fact that links allow you to warp into two Comets and brawl them down is a BAD thing, not a good thing. Bringing the links on grid with an actual person sitting in them sounds more fair to me. And if you want to disadvantage yourself by brawling then that is your problem.

As for blobs still having access to links; that's a fundamental advantage of flying in groups. There is strength in numbers. Expecting to be able to brawl people toe to toe while outnumbered and win is unrealistic and lazy. Put in the required amount of effort and pvppp is very much doable, but if you insist on brawling it's going to be that much tougher because when you brawl against overwhelming forces, you are purposefully backing yourself into a corner and giving the enemy exactly what they want.
Ares Desideratus
UNSAFE SPACE
#310 - 2015-12-18 06:17:27 UTC
Crosi Wesdo wrote:
I have a friend who boosts for me off grid.

Just to be clear, if your friend boosts for you, you should have no problem with links being put on grid, right?
Crosi Wesdo
War and Order
#311 - 2015-12-18 09:43:08 UTC  |  Edited by: Crosi Wesdo
Ares Desideratus wrote:
Crosi Wesdo wrote:
I have a friend who boosts for me off grid.

Just to be clear, if your friend boosts for you, you should have no problem with links being put on grid, right?


If i remember correctly, he said something about t3's not being abe to survive on grid in their current form. And many skirmish based commandships being unfit to support their fleet.

Also, my friend is going to have to tripple box command destroyers to retian a full set of skirmish links not to mention that there will be many plexes that create asymmetrial fights that rely on links instead of numbers that will simply not be possible (or at least not worth the risk).

I think thats what he said.

Also, id like to tl;dr what you said to TD.

"OGB are essentially afk but you have to check it constantly. Fighting outnumbered without OGB is very possible but you should not expect to be able to win outnumbered because not bringing a blob is unrealistic and lazy." - Ares

I think that just about covers it lol.
Templar Dane
Amarrian Vengeance
Team Amarrica
#312 - 2015-12-18 12:22:23 UTC
Ares Desideratus wrote:
@ Templar Dane

stuff


Story time.

I started eve in early '06. Never saw a video of it, didn't know anybody that played it. I went in blind.

Started my trial, undocked my rookie ship, asked the people in local what I should do and was told to mine. I warped to a belt.....and WOAH. A megathron is there mining. That ship is HUGE.

I saw cans littered around the belt, I inspected them and saw loot.....so I took it. I looted all the cans but one, it was right next to the megathron. Oh sweet, it's that veldspar stuff people told me to mine. This guy must not want it.

There was an issue though, it was way more than my rookie ship could hold. I opened my cargohold to see if there was anything I wanted to drop so I would have more room for the veldspar.

SHIELD DAMGE OMG, the megathron is attacking me! oh god oh god oh god what do I do. Then these npcs show up, and blow up the megathron.

Having no clue what just happened, I left that system and looked for one that was empty. I ended up in lowsec, which I had no clue was bad for a noob. BUT I made it work and lived there, eventually getting more accounts. I camped a 4/10 static plex with a punisher and killed the bears that were more clueless than me. Taking down cruisers/battlecruisers with my frigate was so much fun, I made that my little niche. I pirated the bears and avoided the other pirates because every time I fought one, it turned into me versus a gang.

Fast forward to the early days of FW. It was a killmail buffet. Oh sure, most weren't much of a challenge since I had years of specialization in frigate/destroyer combat and the skillpoints to match. Eventually the enemy figured out that taking me on solo was a bad idea and I couldn't get fights unless I was outshipped and/or heavily outnumbered.

I had to change my tactics. I still brawled but I did it with a tanky ship fitted with deadspace/faction mods, and I had HG slaves. I got fights again by taking on multiple opponents, usually pairs. Eventually they figured out two guys wasn't enough, and it was rare to get a fight that wasn't 1v6.

At that point isk couldn't get me any further, there was only one other thing to do......bring my other accounts into the picture. I could have put them in guardians or falcons or something along those lines.....which was something I had seen others do. But the thing about doing that is people remember and they'll never fight you again.

But links were something almost nobody had or understood, at least for active tanking. There were people who used the skirmish links for their nano ships but active armor tanking was rare. I also knew how to make deep safes, so I could hide the link ship out far enough that nobody would see them.

I also started rotating the pvp accounts, taking long breaks with each one so there were always small gangs floating around that had no clue. Six months or a year and then there's a whole new milita worth of people to fight.

I was far from invincible. One neut was often enough to take me down. A griffin could neuter me down to the point where all I can do is tank until I run out of cap boosters. Eventually logi frigs/cruisers were put into the game and a solo pilot can't do **** against that.

Gangs already have all the tools they need to succeed against any solo brawler. The only ones that are safe (most of the time) are the kiters. If kiting was the only option for soloing in the game, I'd rather go play something else.

Removal of offgrid links hurts brawlers FAR more than kiters. The kiters can know if/when the enemy has links and just leave or be more careful, the brawler though is already scrammed. It's a low risk method of pvp I don't care for.

The last few years have given gangs all the tools they need and more. The kiters got new toys, IE the mardu ships. Depending on the range of the ongrid links, the kiters will also have practically safe links.

Where does that leave the solo brawlers?
Zirashi
Cyclical Destruction
#313 - 2015-12-18 13:06:49 UTC  |  Edited by: Zirashi
Templar Dane wrote:

Where does that leave the solo brawlers?


Lol.

By your own anecdote, before you had links you were reliably winning 1v2 fights, to the point that people would recognize you on sight and immediately escalate because of the threat you posed alone. You even mention 1v6s being the norm (although you didn't specify whether you won those or not). All as a brawler. Then links come in and allow you to take on even MORE. Wtf do you want, invincibility? I think you'll be fine.

Also, fighting with links and calling it "solo" is a stretch. 2 ships in space is 2 ships in space, regardless of the amount of people behind them, especially when talking about OGB.
Ares Desideratus
UNSAFE SPACE
#314 - 2015-12-18 14:40:26 UTC  |  Edited by: Ares Desideratus
Crosi Wesdo wrote:
If i remember correctly, he said something about t3's not being abe to survive on grid in their current form. And many skirmish based commandships being unfit to support their fleet.

Also, my friend is going to have to tripple box command destroyers to retian a full set of skirmish links not to mention that there will be many plexes that create asymmetrial fights that rely on links instead of numbers that will simply not be possible (or at least not worth the risk).

I think thats what he said.

Also, id like to tl;dr what you said to TD.

"OGB are essentially afk but you have to check it constantly. Fighting outnumbered without OGB is very possible but you should not expect to be able to win outnumbered because not bringing a blob is unrealistic and lazy." - Ares

I think that just about covers it lol.

You totally twisted what I said.

I clearly stated that expecting to BRAWL people while outnumbered, and still win is unrealistic and lazy; this makes perfect sense because brawling is for all practical purposes a war of attrition and pure tank and gank numbers. Clearly if a man is outnumbered it is going to be very difficult for him to purely outbrawl his enemies without being in a much better ship or having links. As I said, this is the fundamental disadvantage of brawling.

Yes, you have to check on your OGB constantly, but no matter how meticulous you are about keeping an eye on it, there is going to be a time, probably during intensive combat with the main, when you are unable to check on him, maybe even for as long as 10 to 15 minutes, because doing so could easily get you killed on your main.

Therefore OGB alts have to be AFK at least some of the time and they deserve the title of being AFK or semi-AFK for this reason.

Now I'd like to tl;dr what you said about bringing links on grid.

"Bringing links on grid is too risky for me and my small gang; we'd rather keep them off grid, that way we aren't at any real risk of losing the link ship since we can cloak it and / or warp it the second we see a threat." - Crosi Wesdo
Crosi Wesdo
War and Order
#315 - 2015-12-18 15:01:01 UTC  |  Edited by: Crosi Wesdo
By your standard everyone is AFK at some time. Even those with only one account. Thats why your standard is worthless and nothing more than grasping for excuses to justify your dislike of boosting mechanics.

Personally, i fought people with boosts years ago. I liked what i saw and trained it myself. I guess its about mindset, some people prefer to just whine about things i guess.
Ares Desideratus
UNSAFE SPACE
#316 - 2015-12-18 15:24:43 UTC
Of course everyone is AFK at some time. The problem is when a game mechanic can reliably operate AFK from an alt account, while flying in a far off grid and having a direct effect on the main's combat performance, and being very difficult to probe and ready to warp and cloak at a moment's notice.

There is a clear difference between ^ that and going afk while station spinning.

If you don't have a problem with it then say so, but don't twist the facts to make it sound like something it is not.

These aren't excuses. I even have my own T3 alt which I actually don't use. I just can't help but call out trash game mechanics when I see them.
Crosi Wesdo
War and Order
#317 - 2015-12-18 15:39:06 UTC  |  Edited by: Crosi Wesdo
Even undocked, taking a drink or looking away from your screen would be afk by your standard.

If everyone is afk at some time but its only a problem sometimes, perhaps your argument is not well developed?

Now i understand that people have problems with boosts and what those problems are. Just that those people dont stop at the issues around boosting, they overstate the problem with misapplied terms like afk, godmode and p2w for example.

I have little sympathy for the anti boost people, this is the game as i have learned it so watching newer players with little pvp experience try to reinvent it is just disappointing.

As i have stated, i dont know if removing OGB is the best thing for the game overall, i know that on some levels it is but on others it is not. My point is that a change like this is problematic since it strikes directly at very established play styles from micro gang up to major fleet engagements.

As i have said before, complete removal of the boosting mechanics would be a better solution to putting them on grid if balance was the primary consideration.
Estella Osoka
Perkone
Caldari State
#318 - 2015-12-18 15:47:17 UTC
Damn, just realized you can't really effectively park a Command Ship on the undock anymore, because all I have to do is undock a Command Dessie and trigger my MJFG.
Crosi Wesdo
War and Order
#319 - 2015-12-18 15:52:27 UTC
Yep, within 30 seconds of putting my booster on iges station while i was looking for safe bookmarks i had a command dessy try to warp me off. Was not on my overview either (thanks ccp) so im lucky the effect is so large and that i was AFK...
Ares Desideratus
UNSAFE SPACE
#320 - 2015-12-18 16:35:23 UTC
So, if off grid links are not AFK, and are indeed being actively flown by a player, then what is the problem with having them be actively fielded on grid?

According to you, Crosi, it is simply too much of a risk. But obviously you know about the concept of risk versus reward. Why, if links are supposedly no different from any other game mechanic like Ewar and Logi, must they be allowed to be fielded off grid, potentially hundreds of astronomical units away from the battlefield?

It's true that a command destroyer can't fit as many links as a T3 cruiser, but again, it's risk versus reward. Instead of fitting your Loki to be "unprobable" (so called), you could fit it for mobility and survivability.

The answer is clear. You use an alt as a booster, and since you can't focus on both your main and your alt at the same time, your alt is effectively AFK while you are doing PvP, and when your alt is AFK on grid it is easily going to get destroyed.

If the booster ship is actively flown by a player, being on grid is not a problem (or at least not as much of a problem). But the majority of off grid boosters are AFK alts and that is why they are a problem.

Ships should have to be actively fielded in order to perform their role. Off grid boosters are not being actively fielded. They're effectively AFK.