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[Discussion] Entosis Link Tactics and Ship Balance Part 2

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C C P Alliance
#1 - 2015-04-01 22:28:12 UTC  |  Edited by: CCP Fozzie
Hey everyone. We're ready to announce some finer details about the current state of our plans for the Entosis Link module.

Big thanks to everyone who has provided feedback so far, especially in this thread (which I'm locking to move the discussion over here now that we have more detailed stats).

I want to repeat some text from the OP of that earlier thread that helped explain what our goals and motivations are when determining gameplay balance surrounding the Entosis Link:
Quote:
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.


Let's go over the stats for the module that have already been announced:


  • High Slot module, limit of one per ship
  • Requires a target lock on the structure to have any impact
  • While the module is active, your ship is unable to cloak, warp, dock, jump or receive remote assistance. There is no way to get rid of the module penalties early except for losing your ship
  • The first cycle of the module is always a "warmup cycle" and has no impact. If you lose lock or the module is disabled for any reason, you'll need to go through that warmup cycle again before you can continue exerting any influence over the structure
  • Other than that warmup cycle, the cycle time of the module does not impact how long it takes to capture a structure. Once you're past the warmup cycle all that matters is that your module stays active
  • Capital ships have a role bonus that increases the module cycle time by 5x

  • Two versions:
  • T1 with a base 5 minute cycle time and 25km range, costing ~20m isk
  • T2 with a base 2 minute cycle time and a 250km range, costing ~80m isk


Now on to the new details. A few players have brought up the idea of putting a fuel use on the Entosis link in our feedback threads, and we discussed the idea further with players at Fanfest. We like the way that fuel use encouraged logistics and supported attacks, and discourages leaving alts logged off behind enemy lines. It also helps break long stalemates in the worst case scenario of neither side being able or willing to engage each other.
Our plan is to use very small amounts of Stront, which do not add much cost to using the module but that are fairly bulky and will take up noticeable cargo space for extended sov attacks.
We're also adding a small flat mass increase that will apply whenever the Entosis link is online (not just when it's active). This will work much like smaller armor plates, where it has a more noticeable effect on smaller ships than on larger ships.
Finally, we have the fitting and capacitor costs of the module. Like most other modules, T2 will use more cap and require more fitting than T1.

T1 Entosis Link:

  • Requires Infomorph Psychology 1
  • +250,000 mass when online
  • 5 Minute Cycle Time, 25km range
  • 10 PWG, 1 CPU
  • 50 Capacitor per cycle (0.1666 cap/s)
  • Consumes 1 Stront per cycle


  • T2 Entosis Link:
  • Requires Infomorph Psychology 4
  • +1,000,000 mass when online
  • 2 Minute Cycle Time, 250km range
  • 100 PWG, 10 CPU
  • 500 Capacitor per cycle (4.166 cap/s)
  • Consumes 1 Stront per cycle


As always, nothing is set in stone and we plan to continue discussing this new module and its impacts with you all over the next few months. This thread will be the new focus for discussion of the Entosis Link and its balance, and I hope that you will all let us know what you think of this version of the proposal and its implications. Thanks!

Game Designer | Team Five-0

Twitter: @CCP_Fozzie
Twitch chat: ccp_fozzie

Amarr Empire
#2 - 2015-04-01 22:37:05 UTC  |  Edited by: Crysantos Callahan
1st of April, best day to post :)

In general a good idea to add mass and fuel. But I still don't get why the T2 version has 10x the range of the T1 version. It's totally not in line with the usual T2 to T1 bonus and it'll encourage people to get away from the action. I'm all for control of the grid, less range on the T2 would mean less trollability, more actual content and fighting.

And I'd recommend to read this post about how to tweak the mechanics a bit:

Entosis Link tweaks
#3 - 2015-04-01 22:38:14 UTC
Reserved.

Post coming in a bit.
#4 - 2015-04-01 22:40:59 UTC
go to riot!

or we riot!

#5 - 2015-04-01 22:45:57 UTC  |  Edited by: Cade Windstalker
Some quick questions for clarification:

CCP Fozzie wrote:

  • The first cycle of the module is always a "warmup cycle" and has no impact. If you lose lock or the module is disabled for any reason, you'll need to go through that warmup cycle again before you can continue exerting any influence over the structure
  • Other than that warmup cycle, the cycle time of the module does not impact how long it takes to capture a structure. Once you're past the warmup cycle all that matters is that your module stays active

  • Does this mean that if multiple ships are trading Entosis Links on a structure that each ship needs to run its own warm-up cycle? Like, if the structure is capturing right now, and I activate my module 10 seconds before my allies de-activates, do I need to go through a full cycle before I start progressing the capture timer or do I start capturing right away because my side already had an active capture going on when I activated my module?


    Quote:

    • +250,000 mass when online
    • 10 PWG, 1 CPU
    • ...
    • +1,000,000 mass when online
    • 100 PWG, 10 CPU


    Can you share the process behind picking these numbers? They seem to roughly match up to Meta 4 400mm and 800mm plates respectively but that still seems like a significant amount of weight in any sort of speed reliant fit.

    Also the power-grid requirements are pretty high for anything not at least the size of a Cruiser (ignoring T3 Destroyers for the moment) so does this mean you guys feel that's about the minimum bar that's likely to be relevant in Sov as a fleet composition?



    Glad to have more details and it's nice to see a lot of the feedback from the previous thread obviously taken into consideration in this one. Here's hoping this will be a very productive thread as well, thanks Fozzie!
    Mercenary Coalition
    #6 - 2015-04-01 22:48:21 UTC
    IB4 100pwg 10km/s 250km lock range trollceptor plans
    Goonswarm Federation
    #7 - 2015-04-01 22:49:24 UTC  |  Edited by: Querns
    The mass changes and use of strontium as fuel do a lot to curtail the use of interceptors with entosis links. The T2 module, in particular, nearly doubles the mass of an interceptor. Thank you for taking these concerns into account with the new sov model.

    e: didn't notice the capacitor either — that is more capacitor than, e.g., a malediction has. Definitely going to be effective in curtailing the use of the T2 version of this module on frigates.

    This post was crafted by the wormhole expert of the Goonswarm Economic Warfare Cabal, the foremost authority on Eve: Online economics and gameplay.

    C C P Alliance
    #8 - 2015-04-01 22:52:24 UTC
    Cade Windstalker wrote:
    Some quick questions for clarification:

    CCP Fozzie wrote:

  • The first cycle of the module is always a "warmup cycle" and has no impact. If you lose lock or the module is disabled for any reason, you'll need to go through that warmup cycle again before you can continue exerting any influence over the structure
  • Other than that warmup cycle, the cycle time of the module does not impact how long it takes to capture a structure. Once you're past the warmup cycle all that matters is that your module stays active

  • Does this mean that if multiple ships are trading Entosis Links on a structure that each ship needs to run its own warm-up cycle? Like, if the structure is capturing right now, and I activate my module 10 seconds before my allies de-activates, do I need to go through a full cycle before I start progressing the capture timer or do I start capturing right away because my side already had an active capture going on when I activated my module?

    The warmup cycles for each Entosis Link are independent of each other. In your example, your side would not make progress towards capture in the time between when your allies de-activate and when your second cycle begins.

    Cade Windstalker wrote:

    Quote:

    • +250,000 mass when online
    • 10 PWG, 1 CPU
    • ...
    • +1,000,000 mass when online
    • 100 PWG, 10 CPU


    Can you share the process behind picking these numbers? They seem to roughly match up to Meta 4 400mm and 800mm plates respectively but that still seems like a significant amount of weight in any sort of speed reliant fit.

    Also the power-grid requirements are pretty high for anything not at least the size of a Cruiser (ignoring T3 Destroyers for the moment) so does this mean you guys feel that's about the minimum bar that's likely to be relevant in Sov as a fleet composition?

    The powergrid requirements for the T2 version are indeed difficult for frigates and destroyers. The T1 version is a much more viable option for frigates, but yes this mean we would expect ships of cruiser size or higher to have a lot of importance in contested sov warfare.

    Game Designer | Team Five-0

    Twitter: @CCP_Fozzie
    Twitch chat: ccp_fozzie

    #9 - 2015-04-01 22:58:08 UTC
    I can tell you put a lot of thought into this. Nice job.

    I might be tempted to double the cpu requirement however to prevent trolling even more
    Goonswarm Federation
    #10 - 2015-04-01 22:58:17 UTC
    I like these changes a lot. I would need to see a mathing on the mass change which I am sure will be done shortly. But good set. They are also maybe a bit too cheap still but that is an easy change later I suppose.

    Leader of the Goonswarm Economic Warfare Cabal.

    Creator of Burn Jita

    Vile Rat: You're the greatest sociopath that has ever played eve.

    Pandemic Legion
    #11 - 2015-04-01 23:01:45 UTC
    Liking the fitting reqs and mass addition for the entosis links. Should still make small ships viable for capturing structures when nobody is around but entirely removes the problem of troll ceptors which dont fit with the design decisions you are taking.
    #12 - 2015-04-01 23:03:49 UTC
    Thanks for the prompt responses Fozzie! The warm-up cycle being new for every ship is especially important since it seriously changes the math in contesting a sov site, effectively doubling the time you need to keep an Entosis link up from a single ship in order to make progress.

    Super excited for this to get up on the Test Server. I'm hoping we can give some current Eve FCs the reigns on some Mass Tests as a way of putting these mechanics through their paces and finding as many potential issues as possible.
    #13 - 2015-04-01 23:10:56 UTC
    It's really satisfying that, unlike certain other proposals where "we'll take feedback into account, we promise" and nothing changed from the original proposal, these changes combined with the IHub and upgrade changes REALLY curtail a lot of the problems people saw with the original proposal.

    The only thing that might still be concerning is the ability for ewar to have a disproportionate effect on halting capture progress. I think it would be nice if the "warm-up" period could be skipped if the module stays active (although you only make progress while the target is locked, say), but in practice I think this will really be an edge case that won't come into play the majority of the time. Overall these changes are very satisfying.
    Gallente Federation
    #14 - 2015-04-01 23:13:37 UTC  |  Edited by: Troyd23
    Quote:
    Capital ships have a role bonus that increases the module cycle time by 5x


    Forgive me here,

    Considering you're a flying (immobile) brick with this active and can't receive remote assistance. What is the advantage of having a longer entosis cycle time? Or is this the cost of using a capital to capture a structure ala - the new 10 min siege cycle :)
    The Initiative.
    #15 - 2015-04-01 23:14:56 UTC
    so just leave it offline until your ceptor reaches the target system then online it
    Mercenary Coalition
    #16 - 2015-04-01 23:15:21 UTC
    Albert Madullier wrote:
    so just leave it offline until your ceptor reaches the target system then online it

    And then die when anything shows up.
    #17 - 2015-04-01 23:16:15 UTC  |  Edited by: Cade Windstalker
    Troyd23 wrote:
    Quote:
    Capital ships have a role bonus that increases the module cycle time by 5x


    Forgive me here,

    Considering you're a flying brick with this active and can't receive remote assistance. What is the advantage of having a longer entosis cycle time? Is this the new 10 min siege cycle :)


    It isn't an advantage, it's a penalty. In this case the idea is that a Capital has to be without remote assistance for longer to make up for the fact that capitals are very hard to kill and there's no restriction on throwing a Carrier into Triage or a Dread into Siege Mode while you're using an Entosis Link. Never-mind the potential issues with Supers mounting the things.

    Also it's 20 minutes total, otherwise you finish your warm-up cycle and then have to do another one when you restart the module after being healed up.
    Minmatar Republic
    #18 - 2015-04-01 23:17:18 UTC  |  Edited by: Anhenka
    The one unit of stront per cycle is.... entirely ineffectual.

    Even a Stiletto with a midget cargo hold of 92 m3 will have enough room for 30 cycles, or 150 minutes for a t1 link.

    Can't honestly say I would ever expect it to live through 30 cycles, so the limit seems nearly pointless, even on a ship with the smallest cargo bay.

    The mass addition is also underwhelming, since even the example stilleto has a Mass of 1,000,000 kg normally and 1,500,000 with a MWD running. +250,000 KG is only a minor decrease in maneuverability and acceleration when it's time to abandon the offense and burn away.

    Thank you for making the t2 unable to be fit on an interceptor easily though, that was definitely needed.
    Gallente Federation
    #19 - 2015-04-01 23:18:03 UTC
    Cade Windstalker wrote:
    Troyd23 wrote:
    Quote:
    Capital ships have a role bonus that increases the module cycle time by 5x


    Forgive me here,

    Considering you're a flying brick with this active and can't receive remote assistance. What is the advantage of having a longer entosis cycle time? Is this the new 10 min siege cycle :)


    It isn't an advantage, it's a penalty. In this case the idea is that a Capital has to be without remote assistance for longer to make up for the fact that capitals are very hard to kill and there's no restriction on throwing a Carrier into Triage or a Dread into Siege Mode while you're using an Entosis Link.


    That's fair, I guess the stock terminology "Role Bonus" implies an advantage. (Which it typically does)
    The Initiative.
    #20 - 2015-04-01 23:18:14 UTC
    Rowells wrote:
    Albert Madullier wrote:
    so just leave it offline until your ceptor reaches the target system then online it

    And then die when anything shows up.


    most allliances aren't that clever, they'll sit there and ping + have 1hr form up and by that time the ceptor has done its job
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