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[Discussion] Entosis Link Tactics and Ship Balance

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C C P Alliance
#1 - 2015-03-09 13:13:36 UTC  |  Edited by: CCP Fozzie
Hello folks. I'm making this discussion thread to give you all a closer look at our design philosophy for the Entosis Link mechanics and the way we plan to balance the module.

We've been seeing quite a bit of concern from parts of the community that the Entosis Link mechanics will push people to pure evasion fits, the so called trollceptors. It goes without saying that we do not want the sov war meta turn into nothing but sensor boosting Interceptors, but we have plenty of time and tools to help ensure that scenario doesn't occur.

To explain our current approach and help focus the feedback, I want to discuss some of our specific goals for the Entosis Link mechanic itself.

As much as possible, the Entosis Link capture progress should reflect which group has effective military control of the grid.

At its core, the Entosis Link mechanic is a way for the server to tell who won (or is winning) a fight in a specific location. This is a surprisingly tough thing for the server to determine. The best way to win a structure or command node with the Entosis Link should be to gain effective control of the grid.
This means that there will always be an intermediate state where the grid is "contested" and neither side is making significant progress until the fight is resolved.


The optimal strategy for fighting over a location with the Entosis Link should be to gain effective control of the grid.

This is the other side of the coin. In practice it means that we should discourage mechanics that lead to indefinite stalemates over a structure or command node. This is the reason for the "no remote reps" condition on active Links. This is also the goal that trollceptors would contradict if they were to become dominant.


The Entosis Link itself should have the minimum possible effect on what ships and tactics players can choose.

Entosis Links will always have some effect on the types of ships and tactics people find viable for Sov warfare, but we should strive to keep those effects to a minimum. As much as possible, we should work towards a meta where whatever fleet concept would win the fight and control the grid would also be viable for using the Entosis Links.
This also means that we don't want to be using the Entosis Links to intentionally manipulate ship use. We've seen some people suggesting that we restrict Entosis Links to battleships, command ships or capital ships in order to buff those classes. Using the Entosis Link mechanics to artificially skew the meta in that way is not something we are interested in doing.
This goal is why we intend to use the lightest touch possible when working towards the first two goals. It would be easy to overreact to potentially unwanted uses of the Entosis Link by placing extremely harsh restrictions on the module, but we believe that by looking at the situation in a calm and measured manner we can find a good balance.


The restrictions and penalties on the Entosis Link should be as simple and understandable as possible.

This is a fairly obvious goal but I do think it's worth stating explicitly. If we can achieve similar results with two different sets of restrictions and penalties, we'll generally prefer to use the simpler and more understandable set. This also means that we'd generally prefer to use pre-existing mechanics that players will already be familiar with, rather than using completely new mechanics.


All in all, I want to make it very clear that we are going to make adjustments to the Entosis Link in order to get the best possible gameplay and to match these goals as well as possible. If we clearly see a situation emerging where any pure evasion tactics are going to become dominant, we will make changes to the Entosis Link to bring the gameplay back into balance. We expect that there will be many changes and tweaks to the Entosis Link module before launch, and more tweaks made after launch as needed.
We have all of the numerous tools of EVE module balance at our disposal and everything is on the table. We can use everything from module price, range, fittings, cap use, mass penalties, ship restrictions, speed limits and many many more. We intend to use as few of these dials as possible and use the lightest touch possible, but we do have the tools we need to reach these goals.

We would like this thread to become a place of discussion around the Entosis Link mechanics, the ships that you expect to use them on, and the tactics you foresee becoming popular. What issues do you foresee popping up? How do you think these goals should be adjusted or refocused? Which of the many module balance dials do you think would be the most intuitive?

Please keep discussion calm and reasonable. Remember that even though we're not making knee-jerk reactions, we are definitely listening and working to get this balance right.

:Edit: I've answered a few questions from the first two days of the thread here. :edit:

Game Designer | Team Five-0

Twitter: @CCP_Fozzie
Twitch chat: ccp_fozzie

Minmatar Republic
#2 - 2015-03-09 13:19:18 UTC  |  Edited by: afkalt
Trollceptors are a myth do not buy it. They'll be shattered by missile boats.

edit to add for clarity


You need to make who is using a link appear on the overview (like scrams/ewar to players do at the moment).

A purely "visual" effect will be impossible to get a hold of the right ship to target.

We also need some clarity on the following points (there are probably more)
>How will warping be blocked
>Does this affect MJDs/MWDs (i.e. is it a scram or a point effect)
>What happens if the ship loses lock
>Capital cycle time was discussed to be longer - is the capture time also longer
>Will cynoing OUT with an active link be allowed i.e. does this fully "tackle" caps and supers too?
>Are other high slot mods blocked at the time the link is active - bastion/triage/etc/etc

Also - make the module drop rate 100% - encourage hunting non-committal attempts to troll. It'll pay better than ratting Smile

Add occupancy bonuses in reverse to defenders recapturing - so a fully upgraded object can be recapped by defenders in <2.5 minutes.

ed: start the alert at the cycle start, not end.


Edited: Responses in: https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=5572815#post5572815

Sorry for not directly pasting, too many quotes
Goonswarm Federation
#3 - 2015-03-09 13:19:45 UTC  |  Edited by: Amyclas Amatin
Wishful thinking. If Entosis links flip/destroy structures, they will be the center of our doctrines. We play to win.

Quote:

The optimal strategy for fighting over a location with the Entosis Link should be to gain effective control of the grid.

This is the other side of the coin. In practice it means that we should discourage mechanics that lead to indefinite stalemates over a structure or command node. This is the reason for the "no remote reps" condition on active Links. This is also the goal that trollceptors would contradict if they were to become dominant.



Put it this way. If sending 500 suicide alts to Entosis something is a viable strategy, we will do it.

For more information on the New Order of High-Sec, please visit: http://www.minerbumping.com/

Remember that whenever you have a bad day in EVE, the correct reponse is "Thank you CCP, may I please have another?"

#4 - 2015-03-09 13:21:25 UTC
There are so many things you can do to counter trollceptors I cant help but think that this is a vocal minority overreacting and creating doomsday scenarios.

Collect this post

#5 - 2015-03-09 13:22:26 UTC
Amyclas Amatin wrote:
Wishful thinking. If Entosis links flip/destroy structures, they will be the center of our doctrines. We play to win.


so basically anything without a utility high is already a no-go for your fleet doctrines?
(i assume the ectoplasm link still requires a high slot)
Goonswarm Federation
#6 - 2015-03-09 13:23:41 UTC
Dave Stark wrote:
Amyclas Amatin wrote:
Wishful thinking. If Entosis links flip/destroy structures, they will be the center of our doctrines. We play to win.


so basically anything without a utility high is already a no-go for your fleet doctrines?
(i assume the ectoplasm link still requires a high slot)


Addendum - Ishtars online.

For more information on the New Order of High-Sec, please visit: http://www.minerbumping.com/

Remember that whenever you have a bad day in EVE, the correct reponse is "Thank you CCP, may I please have another?"

Gallente Federation
#7 - 2015-03-09 13:23:59 UTC
Fozzieclaws clearly showed the community this past days that ceptors are not broken and that they're easy to catch.
#8 - 2015-03-09 13:29:22 UTC  |  Edited by: Kaarous Aldurald
Quote:
As much as possible, the Entosis Link capture progress should reflect which group has effective military control of the grid.


This will not happen if frigates are allowed to use it.

Quote:
The optimal strategy for fighting over a location with the Entosis Link should be to gain effective control of the grid.


Then make it disable prop mods as well, so people can't ***** out and kite their way through a sov capture.

If their intent to attack the sov in a given system is genuine and not just trolling, then they'll have no problem fighting for control of the grid, instead of kiting until the other guy dies of boredom.

One or both of those things should be implemented, if you are actually serious about making it matter who has control of the grid. Otherwise it will be a trolling contest.

"Verily, I have often laughed at the weaklings who thought themselves good because they had no claws."

One of ours, ten of theirs.

Best Meltdown Ever.

The Bastard Cartel
#9 - 2015-03-09 13:29:59 UTC
Amyclas Amatin wrote:
Dave Stark wrote:
Amyclas Amatin wrote:
Wishful thinking. If Entosis links flip/destroy structures, they will be the center of our doctrines. We play to win.


so basically anything without a utility high is already a no-go for your fleet doctrines?
(i assume the ectoplasm link still requires a high slot)


Addendum - Ishtars online.


So nothing of importance will have changed. Good to know.

Eve is like an addiction; you can't quit it until it quits you. Also, iderno

Goonswarm Federation
#10 - 2015-03-09 13:31:05 UTC
Trollceptors fundamentally don't fit the "effective control of the grid" argument. The things that can hit an orbiting snaked-out interceptor are few and far between and require very specific fits to counter, allowing a trollceptor to easily keep a link alive without effective control of the grid. This also forces specific metas, in opposition to the view that they should not affect the meta - you have to be able to blap interceptors in your fleet composition.

They also simply allow you to evade committing anything to a fight, and if you're attacking sov at the very least you should be risking a single ship.
Goonswarm Federation
#11 - 2015-03-09 13:31:37 UTC
so, no changes are going to be made then

right, thanks for the update

invest in maledictions
Goonswarm Federation
#12 - 2015-03-09 13:31:47 UTC  |  Edited by: Anya Solette
End of the day, the weak alliances will fall, and GSF will still be standing towering over the wreckage, gloating over the corpses of the people who were sure that "This change will **** the goonies good lol"

I for one welcome our future swarms of hundreds of interceptors with PRESS F1 to SOV modules, we have lots of people who are either adept at flying interceptors or are training into them now.
Gallente Federation
#13 - 2015-03-09 13:31:59 UTC
While brawling doctrines would be far from optimal I think the HIC will see a fair bit of use as an Entosis platform from smaller groups.

Bubble up to hopefully catch reinforcements you're not getting reps anyway.
#14 - 2015-03-09 13:32:31 UTC
EvilweaselFinance wrote:
Trollceptors fundamentally don't fit the "effective control of the grid" argument. The things that can hit an orbiting snaked-out interceptor are few and far between and require very specific fits to counter, allowing a trollceptor to easily keep a link alive without effective control of the grid. This also forces specific metas, in opposition to the view that they should not affect the meta - you have to be able to blap interceptors in your fleet composition.

They also simply allow you to evade committing anything to a fight, and if you're attacking sov at the very least you should be risking a single ship.


fortunately you don't have to hit a trollceptor to stop it, just activate your own link.
Goonswarm Federation
#15 - 2015-03-09 13:32:51 UTC
CCP Fozzie wrote:
We can use everything from module price...


Please, please, learn from experience. Price is not a sensible balance mechanic in any way.
Goonswarm Federation
#16 - 2015-03-09 13:33:01 UTC  |  Edited by: Amyclas Amatin
Will Entosis links do anything to ship velocity?

If they don't, even if you don't allow frigates to fit them, we will troll in orthruses or 10mn AB tactical destroyers.

For more information on the New Order of High-Sec, please visit: http://www.minerbumping.com/

Remember that whenever you have a bad day in EVE, the correct reponse is "Thank you CCP, may I please have another?"

Minmatar Republic
#17 - 2015-03-09 13:34:30 UTC
EvilweaselFinance wrote:
Trollceptors fundamentally don't fit the "effective control of the grid" argument. The things that can hit an orbiting snaked-out interceptor are few and far between and require very specific fits to counter, allowing a trollceptor to easily keep a link alive without effective control of the grid. This also forces specific metas, in opposition to the view that they should not affect the meta - you have to be able to blap interceptors in your fleet composition.

They also simply allow you to evade committing anything to a fight, and if you're attacking sov at the very least you should be risking a single ship.



A 100m isk, 2k EHP ship with a billion isk pod?

I'm sure they'll be ten-a-penny Roll
#18 - 2015-03-09 13:34:58 UTC  |  Edited by: ISD Ezwal
Reserved so I can criticize you when I get home from work. In short you keep talking about having all these tools at your disposal for balancing yet we have yet seen you use it to any effect.

*Snip* Please refrain from personal attacks. ISD Ezwal.While you started good with sov changes everything you will do by letting frig/destroyer class use the Entosis link is create a pissing contest all over eve.

Lately lot's of things you have said just make no sense which is a shame because you have done some good work in the past. This whole sov package thing is nothing it's a **** poor implementation if the sov chagnes on the day they come out do not include:


  1. Measures to prevent an all-out pissing contest with frigs and destroyers which they will.
  2. Overhaul of the 0.0 Income
  3. Capital and super capital overhaul


People have been waiting for 6 years for this expansion. CCP which you are part of has had 6 years to plan for this expansion and deliver a conclusive package to address all problems with sov and sovereignty warfare. It is not fair to the community that you are so willing to HALF-ASS this expansion.

It's not fair to the people who built this game into what it is today. That the one thing they have been asking for the most the one most important thing, comes out as nothing more as a half done pissing contest. What you are doing by saying "hey we have tools now to easily balance things later on" is an insult to those players after countless discussions and years of waiting CCP owes it to the players not to half-ass this expansion. These players should not have to wait so long and ask for so long for a change only to get something so poorly done with a statement MEH WILL CHANGE IT LATER IF IT DOES NOT WORK OUT.


Quote:
I would suggest that you put the sov chagnes back on the table because what you have now is jack ****. And rework them so that when delivered they are delivered as they need to be including the whole package addressing the 0.0 income and capitals and super capitals.


*Snip* Please refrain from personal attacks. ISD Ezwal.
Northern Coalition.
#19 - 2015-03-09 13:36:43 UTC
CCP Fozzie wrote:
Hello folks. I'm making this discussion thread to give you all a closer look at our design philosophy for the Entosis Link mechanics and the way we plan to balance the module.

We've been seeing quite a bit of concern from parts of the community that the Entosis Link mechanics will push people to pure evasion fits, the so called trollceptors. It goes without saying that we do not want the sov war meta turn into nothing but sensor boosting Interceptors, but we have plenty of time and tools to help ensure that scenario doesn't occur.


I have to wonder, how do you want to do this if you plan to make the module usable by nearly every ship in the game? We will always try to find a way to abuse a mechanic (even if we dont like it because if we dont use it, our enemies will) and a module with 250 km of range fitable by nearly every ship in the game is a good way to give us alot of options to abuse this.

Your argument that you dont want to influence the nullsec metas by restricting the sovlaser to a specific shipclass is a good one and I totally agree with that. Maybe the best solution would be by creating a special ship (made by Concord?) that is designed to use the sovlaser and the only one capable of doing that. You could even create different classes of that shiptype and it will still be much easier to balance as you only have to look at the options one or a few ships give and not every ship you created in the past 12 years.
#20 - 2015-03-09 13:37:22 UTC  |  Edited by: Jaro Essa
EvilweaselFinance wrote:
Trollceptors fundamentally don't fit the "effective control of the grid" argument. The things that can hit an orbiting snaked-out interceptor are few and far between and require very specific fits to counter, allowing a trollceptor to easily keep a link alive without effective control of the grid.

You won't have to kill the interceptor. With your own entosis link active on the structure or command node, no progress can be made towards the timer. Though, if you can't kill one interceptor, why should you have sov?

EvilweaselFinance wrote:
This also forces specific metas, in opposition to the view that they should not affect the meta - you have to be able to blap interceptors in your fleet composition.

You bring whatever you think will beat what the other guys brought, they having brought what they think will beat what you might bring. That's the very definition of the metagame.

Tineoidea Asanari wrote:
...a module with 250 km of range fitable by nearly every ship in the game is a good way to give us alot of options to abuse this.

The T2 module will have 250 km max range, but in practice it will be limited by the lock range of the ship it is fitted to. Bring damps.
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