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I am an Endie standing for CSM X AMA

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Endie von Posts
Brutor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#61 - 2015-01-21 15:43:51 UTC
Dave Korhal wrote:
Endie,

1. In NC's recent Alliance Update, Vince said that "everyone in NC should be working towards owning an SC or Titan." For the major coalitions, it seems like supers have gone from a rare, valuable strategic asset to a mandatory piece of equipment. Do you think this super proliferation is a healthy step in an aging NullSec, or do you think it will stagnate NullSec and make it nigh-impossible to break their fleets and put a dent in the old superpowers' resources?

2. If Goonswarm was started today instead of 8 years ago, would they still be able to establish themselves as one of the major NullSec superpowers? Or would they have been repeatedly crushed by the older NullSec coalitions? What does this say about the current state of NullSec compared to 3-5 years after the game launched?

3. Do you think more NullSec systems should be added to the game? If so, should they follow the same mechanics as the rest of NullSec, or should they have different mechanics to encourage occupancy by different/younger coalitions?


Apologies for the delay responding to you. I Blame H3N2 variant flu.

First, I should say that I am part of the supercapital problem. I have a titan and a supercarrier of my own, and have encouraged people in my corporation to get into supercaps to the extent that Bat Country (a small corp at the best of times) have the fifth or sixth most supers in the whole CFC. So I’m not coming to this from the point of view of a supercap-hating Goon with a lingering inferiority complex.

CCP had the chance to do something radical about supercaps years ago, but the genie is out of the bottle, now. I have heard figures mentioned that suggest that there is now a substantial, five-figure total of supercapitals in the game. Even assuming that only six or seven thousand of those are subscribed, CCP do not strike me as being in the sort of position where they can afford to have those accounts unsub, let alone the associated subcap accounts.

But I feel that they have to do something. Groups like Brave Newbies have amazed me with how far they have come in the past year, but the fact is that they cannot hope to compete with older groups like NCdot, PL or us in a serious sov war without essentially standing behind the shield of one of those groups. I am sure that I am far from alone in having newer players despondently mention that they feel it is impossible ever to catch up.

I don’t have a simple solution because I believe there is no longer a simple solution. Perhaps a specialised role can be found within the new sov revamp? Perhaps the long-suggested solution of “choose a station: ok here are the relevant number of capital components” is not yet impossible. But I don’t want to play a game where serious warfare is predicated upon only one class of ships, even if we have the most of those ships.
Endie von Posts
Brutor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#62 - 2015-01-21 15:49:39 UTC
Dave Korhal wrote:
Endie,

1. In NC's recent Alliance Update, Vince said that "everyone in NC should be working towards owning an SC or Titan." For the major coalitions, it seems like supers have gone from a rare, valuable strategic asset to a mandatory piece of equipment. Do you think this super proliferation is a healthy step in an aging NullSec, or do you think it will stagnate NullSec and make it nigh-impossible to break their fleets and put a dent in the old superpowers' resources?

2. If Goonswarm was started today instead of 8 years ago, would they still be able to establish themselves as one of the major NullSec superpowers? Or would they have been repeatedly crushed by the older NullSec coalitions? What does this say about the current state of NullSec compared to 3-5 years after the game launched?

3. Do you think more NullSec systems should be added to the game? If so, should they follow the same mechanics as the rest of NullSec, or should they have different mechanics to encourage occupancy by different/younger coalitions?


Re your second question: as it was, we were stood on and shoved-around by the major powers in 2006, and the disparity we faced back then was only one of being in cruisers while facing HACs and battleships. We didn’t succeed because of ability or ships: I suspect that the leadership and the resilient culture that saw us through would probably have had a chance today, too. But it would have been desperately hard, and we would have been faced with paying rent* or protection money to one of the hegemons. Not a glorious story.

I think that adding more, conventional K-Space systems would be inviting more renting by the same dominant blocs who would snap it up in a matter of days. I suggested on my blog that the solution was to make groups require less space: to allow for more dense occupation of space and to make it far harder to hold large tracts of space. I think that the Phoebe changes, although a trifle cart-before-horse in implementing the power projection changes before the profitable-nullsec changes, were at least a step in that direction.

*Technically we rented some belts in a system in Syndicate as it was!
Endie von Posts
Brutor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#63 - 2015-01-21 15:55:19 UTC
Speedkermit Damo wrote:

What would a more balkanised Eve mean for the CFC? Does not the existence of the CFC and the "other" big bloc prevent a more balkanised Eve? I guess what I mean is that any changes to the game to bring about a more balkanised Eve must mean breaking the power of coalitions.

How does this sit with you as a senior Goon, and what do you think can be done to balkanise nullsec?


A more balkanised Eve absolutely implies an Eve in which the CFC and N3 cease to exist in their current, vast, unwieldy forms. Frankly I would like to see an Eve in which even an alliance the size of Goonswarm is seen as unnecessary. This should be done, as I suggested in my blog, not with the stick but with the carrot. Once people no longer feel the need to huddle up into megacoalitions then those vast blocs will drift (or fly!) apart, as the centripetal forces of fear that hold them together no longer counterbalances the centrifugal forces of drama and independent-minded leaders.

As to how this is achieved, I will spare people the need to read the vast tracts I wrote on the subject at endie.net in the summer of last year, but it is all there!
Endie von Posts
Brutor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#64 - 2015-01-21 15:56:13 UTC
Dave Korhal wrote:
Speedkermit Damo wrote:
What would a more balkanised Eve mean for the CFC? Does not the existence of the CFC and the "other" big bloc prevent a more balkanised Eve? I guess what I mean is that any changes to the game to bring about a more balkanised Eve must mean breaking the power of coalitions.

How does this sit with you as a senior Goon, and what do you think can be done to balkanise nullsec?


He's already addressed these in his articles on sov.

TL;DR: The giant coalitions exist because it's too easy to take sov; sheer firepower at specific timers is the biggest determining factor in sov, so a few dozen people with supers/T3s could take sov from hundreds of players that don't have similar resources without breaking a sweat. Hence everyone has to band into coalitions with equal firepower just to survive. Remake sov so it's persistence, not firepower, that determines who controls sov, so that a group of 100-200 newbros can force NC to put time & dedication into taking a single system from them (rather than steamrolling them with a dozen supers whenever their reinforcement timers pop), and the gigantic coalitions will no longer be necessary to survive. Once giant coalitions are no longer necessary, they'll fracture because it's a pain in the ass to keep 12,000 people cooperating with each other.


I wish that I had put it this concisely!
Speedkermit Damo
Invicta.
Muffins of Mayhem
#65 - 2015-01-21 16:31:56 UTC  |  Edited by: Speedkermit Damo
Endie von Posts wrote:
Dave Korhal wrote:
Speedkermit Damo wrote:
What would a more balkanised Eve mean for the CFC? Does not the existence of the CFC and the "other" big bloc prevent a more balkanised Eve? I guess what I mean is that any changes to the game to bring about a more balkanised Eve must mean breaking the power of coalitions.

How does this sit with you as a senior Goon, and what do you think can be done to balkanise nullsec?


He's already addressed these in his articles on sov.

TL;DR: The giant coalitions exist because it's too easy to take sov; sheer firepower at specific timers is the biggest determining factor in sov, so a few dozen people with supers/T3s could take sov from hundreds of players that don't have similar resources without breaking a sweat. Hence everyone has to band into coalitions with equal firepower just to survive. Remake sov so it's persistence, not firepower, that determines who controls sov, so that a group of 100-200 newbros can force NC to put time & dedication into taking a single system from them (rather than steamrolling them with a dozen supers whenever their reinforcement timers pop), and the gigantic coalitions will no longer be necessary to survive. Once giant coalitions are no longer necessary, they'll fracture because it's a pain in the ass to keep 12,000 people cooperating with each other.


I wish that I had put it this concisely!


Is it easy to take sov though? I have taken part in sov-war (small scale) and it didn't seem easy what with the endless timers. I guess it's easy to take sov with lots of Supers. With subcaps, not so much.

I'll read your articles on sov and nullsec.

Protect me from knowing what I don't need to know. Protect me from even knowing that there are things to know that I don't know. Protect me from knowing that I decided not to know about the things that I decided not to know about. Amen.

Dave Korhal
Kite Co. Space Trucking
#66 - 2015-01-21 17:49:59 UTC
Speedkermit Damo wrote:
Is it easy to take sov though? I have taken part in sov-war (small scale) and it didn't seem easy what with the endless timers. I guess it's easy to take sov with lots of Supers. With subcaps, not so much.

I'll read your articles on sov and nullsec.


It is easy for the established powers to take sov from younger powers. The most recent example I can cite is the recent PL vs HERO war, in which PL managed to take a half-dozen systems from us, threatened an important gateway system, and nearly aborted one of our supers. Now note that all that was them playing with us; if they really wanted to, they would've held a half-week bashathon and conquered all of Catch, driving out the several thousand active BRAVE players. Once they did, they could essentially control Catch without actually living there. They could just fall back to NPC NullSec and just show up for timers to dissuade us from recapturing Catch and essentially turn it into a ghost region.

Thought experiment: if PL, CFC, or NC. wanted to, they could form a marauding band of supers, smash into every younger NullSec coalition that couldn't fight back, drive them from sov they had occupied for several months, and immediately move on, leaving desolated NullSec in their wake. It is feasible the supergroups could depopulate vast swaths of NullSec (albeit not practical, because they could make more ISK from renting it out) without putting a dent in their own resources.

The chances of them falling into a Vietnam War-like situation, where a superior force takes expensive losses trying to conquer territory from inferior-but-persistent defenders, is very slim. It is far more likely the defenders in this situation take crippling ISK losses while a more-expensive attacking force takes almost none because the defenders can't break through their reps.

Here I will reference the December 5th battle for HED-GP, which in my opinion should be mandatory study for anyone interested in supers vs subcaps balance, or the power struggles between older and newer coalitions. There, PL's subcap fleet got wiped out, leaving a few dozen capitals & supers at the mercy of 800 bloodthirsty BRAVE defenders. BRAVE had enough firepower to wipe out the capitals' drones, effectively neutering them. In response, PL's capitals turtled up, repping each other. BRAVE couldn't break through the reps, so what followed was a 2-hour fight to keep PL's supers tackled while we batphoned Black Legion to bring enough firepower to crack through their reps. In the end, we only managed to kill 1 super before NC warped in its own group of supers to reinforce PL's fleet, once again making them nigh-unbreakable.

Actually, Endie, I would like to hear your thoughts on that Battle for HED-GP, since it is (in my opinion) the best example of an all-out supers vs subcaps brawl in the game thus far.

In addition, what other fights over the past year do you think should be studied by the CSM?

Matt: "Mining is the devil's work. If any of you mine, I will AWOX you."

Vikkiman: "What about Dave?"

Matt: "Dave gets a pass; he's batshit insane."

Speedkermit Damo
Invicta.
Muffins of Mayhem
#67 - 2015-01-21 17:57:00 UTC
Dave Korhal wrote:
Speedkermit Damo wrote:
Is it easy to take sov though? I have taken part in sov-war (small scale) and it didn't seem easy what with the endless timers. I guess it's easy to take sov with lots of Supers. With subcaps, not so much.

I'll read your articles on sov and nullsec.


It is easy for the established powers to take sov from younger powers. The most recent example I can cite is the recent PL vs HERO war, in which PL managed to take a half-dozen systems from us, threatened an important gateway system, and nearly aborted one of our supers. Now note that all that was them playing with us; if they really wanted to, they would've held a half-week bashathon and conquered all of Catch, driving out the several thousand active BRAVE players. Once they did, they could essentially control Catch without actually living there. They could just fall back to NPC NullSec and just show up for timers to dissuade us from recapturing Catch and essentially turn it into a ghost region.

Thought experiment: if PL, CFC, or NC. wanted to, they could form a marauding band of supers, smash into every younger NullSec coalition that couldn't fight back, drive them from sov they had occupied for several months, and immediately move on, leaving desolated NullSec in their wake. It is feasible the supergroups could depopulate vast swaths of NullSec (albeit not practical, because they could make more ISK from renting it out) without putting a dent in their own resources.

The chances of them falling into a Vietnam War-like situation, where a superior force takes expensive losses trying to conquer territory from inferior-but-persistent defenders, is very slim. It is far more likely the defenders in this situation take crippling ISK losses while a more-expensive attacking force takes almost none because the defenders can't break through their reps.

Here I will reference the December 5th battle for HED-GP, which in my opinion should be mandatory study for anyone interested in supers vs subcaps balance, or the power struggles between older and newer coalitions. There, PL's subcap fleet got wiped out, leaving a few dozen capitals & supers at the mercy of 800 bloodthirsty BRAVE defenders. BRAVE had enough firepower to wipe out the capitals' drones, effectively neutering them. In response, PL's capitals turtled up, repping each other. BRAVE couldn't break through the reps, so what followed was a 2-hour fight to keep PL's supers tackled while we batphoned Black Legion to bring enough firepower to crack through their reps. In the end, we only managed to kill 1 super before NC warped in its own group of supers to reinforce PL's fleet, once again making them nigh-unbreakable.

Actually, Endie, I would like to hear your thoughts on that Battle for HED-GP, since it is (in my opinion) the best example of an all-out supers vs subcaps brawl in the game thus far.

In addition, what other fights over the past year do you think should be studied by the CSM?


This is where I believe Eve needs a new class of ship. A subcap designed to kill caps and supercaps.

Protect me from knowing what I don't need to know. Protect me from even knowing that there are things to know that I don't know. Protect me from knowing that I decided not to know about the things that I decided not to know about. Amen.

Dave Korhal
Kite Co. Space Trucking
#68 - 2015-01-21 18:25:51 UTC
Speedkermit Damo wrote:
This is where I believe Eve needs a new class of ship. A subcap designed to kill caps and supercaps.


Isn't that what battleships are meant to be? Well, perhaps could be; I know they've fallen out of favor in the current meta, and it'd be nice to give them a bit more love.

But there is still the underlying problem of breaking through capital reps. The biggest issue with supers isn't the DPS, it's the reps, because once you reach a critical mass of supers repping each other you can survive forever against most fleets. (Players will argue capacitor draining is the solution to that, but since you can install Capital-grade remote cap transmitters that is no longer a problem once you reach a critical mass as well.) We'd need to make it so if you field a group of X supers, you could still lose a few to a slightly inferior force, rather than forcing your opponent to bring X+10 supers just to put a dent in your reps, but that would probably require redoing reps entirely.

Sadly, the only experience I have with capitals is on the frustrating receiving end, so I mainly know them as these nigh-unstoppable juggernauts rather than being familiar with what weaknesses they already have.

Matt: "Mining is the devil's work. If any of you mine, I will AWOX you."

Vikkiman: "What about Dave?"

Matt: "Dave gets a pass; he's batshit insane."

Dave Korhal
Kite Co. Space Trucking
#69 - 2015-01-21 18:42:12 UTC
Endie von Posts wrote:
I am sure that I am far from alone in having newer players despondently mention that they feel it is impossible ever to catch up.


A dark newbro joke:

Q: "What's the best advice you can give to a new EVE player?"
A: "Start 8 years ago."

But yes, I realize HERO started similarly to Goonswarm years ago. I've also heard plenty of taunts and insults that we do not belong in Nullsec because we're not powerful enough, or that we are only alive because the superpowers view us as pets or entertainment. If either are true, I think their truth would speak more about problems with Nullsec currently than a fatal flaw in HERO itself, namely that our biggest problem is we didn't "start 8 years ago".

Matt: "Mining is the devil's work. If any of you mine, I will AWOX you."

Vikkiman: "What about Dave?"

Matt: "Dave gets a pass; he's batshit insane."

Malcanis
Vanishing Point.
The Initiative.
#70 - 2015-01-21 22:57:05 UTC
Dave Korhal wrote:
Endie von Posts wrote:
I am sure that I am far from alone in having newer players despondently mention that they feel it is impossible ever to catch up.


A dark newbro joke:

Q: "What's the best advice you can give to a new EVE player?"
A: "Start 8 years ago."

But yes, I realize HERO started similarly to Goonswarm years ago. I've also heard plenty of taunts and insults that we do not belong in Nullsec because we're not powerful enough, or that we are only alive because the superpowers view us as pets or entertainment. If either are true, I think their truth would speak more about problems with Nullsec currently than a fatal flaw in HERO itself, namely that our biggest problem is we didn't "start 8 years ago".


You should have seen some of the things that were said about Goonswarm when they were at a similar stage in their evolution.

"Just remember later that I warned against any change to jump ranges or fatigue. You earned whats coming."

Grath Telkin, 11.10.2016

Dave Korhal
Kite Co. Space Trucking
#71 - 2015-01-21 23:12:10 UTC
Malcanis wrote:
You should have seen some of the things that were said about Goonswarm when they were at a similar stage in their evolution.


Granted, we haven't had leadership of a rival alliance state we didn't deserve to play the game yet.

Matt: "Mining is the devil's work. If any of you mine, I will AWOX you."

Vikkiman: "What about Dave?"

Matt: "Dave gets a pass; he's batshit insane."

Hendrick Tallardar
Doomheim
#72 - 2015-01-25 00:49:15 UTC
Endie, I've asked this question of other candidates so I feel its only fair to ask you.

As someone who hails from a community that lauds itself as pro-newbie with its members and developed its own newbie education program internally, what are your thoughts on the New Player Experience in EVE in general? What do you think can be improved upon and adjusted to better incentivize players into subscribing etc.?

One point of contention I have with it is, it does a very poor job introducing and preparing players for the concept of permanent loss when undocked and attacked by other players (or when their ship is destroyed by NPCs). There is also the problem regularly stated that a new player "has no clue what there is to do" when starting out. It could be said this is because the "sandbox gameplay" doesn't open up for the player until several hours into the game and beginners tutorial is completed.
Endie von Posts
Brutor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#73 - 2015-01-26 11:21:59 UTC
Hendrick Tallardar wrote:
Endie, I've asked this question of other candidates so I feel its only fair to ask you.

As someone who hails from a community that lauds itself as pro-newbie with its members and developed its own newbie education program internally, what are your thoughts on the New Player Experience in EVE in general? What do you think can be improved upon and adjusted to better incentivize players into subscribing etc.?

One point of contention I have with it is, it does a very poor job introducing and preparing players for the concept of permanent loss when undocked and attacked by other players (or when their ship is destroyed by NPCs). There is also the problem regularly stated that a new player "has no clue what there is to do" when starting out. It could be said this is because the "sandbox gameplay" doesn't open up for the player until several hours into the game and beginners tutorial is completed.


I've deliberately run through the NPE myself twice recently. It is improved in some ways, but the incredibly low number of skillpoints means that much of the time is spent waiting a few hours to train up enough to fit the stuff that makes it bearable.

I was asked about this on Capstable last night, and what i mentioned was the gulf between the NPE for WoW and Eve. WoW is brilliantly planned with very regular, well-signalled and effective improvements:

- You appear and there is the NPC who gives you a mission.
- A few minutes in and you gain a level.
- A few minutes and you finish a quest that gives you a better weapon or armour or wand or something similar
- A few minutes more and the increasingly addictive "ding!" of another level occurs
- Even playing at true newbie speeds, within an hour you have new spells, new abilities and so forth.
- By the end of that first larval-stage, enthusiastic session you are probably tenth level, getting a new trait and moving onto the next zone.

Everything is laid out clearly, progressing you and ensuring that you are never hanging around waiting for something before you can proceed. Go back to being a new player with today's tiny number of skillpoints, able to do sod all, and it is a lesson in frustration and cockblocking.
Endie von Posts
Brutor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#74 - 2015-01-26 11:22:58 UTC
That being said, the New Player Experience does get rid of the people who are not prepared to find other games to play while waiting around for Eve to let them have fun. You cannot get a more realistic training experience for Eve than that.
Hendrick Tallardar
Doomheim
#75 - 2015-01-26 12:09:58 UTC
So, per your response, you would suggest increasing or adjusting the types of skills granted to a player at the start (perhaps have "Industrial" "PVP" etc. optoins to choose from that gives you the skills/skillbooks immediately to train) as well as streamline the process of explaining the base level mechanics?
Endie von Posts
Brutor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#76 - 2015-01-26 12:25:03 UTC
Hendrick Tallardar wrote:
So, per your response, you would suggest increasing or adjusting the types of skills granted to a player at the start (perhaps have "Industrial" "PVP" etc. optoins to choose from that gives you the skills/skillbooks immediately to train) as well as streamline the process of explaining the base level mechanics?


I think that vastly accelerated training for the first few hours and days of the character's existence might be one aspect of it (this has been done before with implants), but I think that there is a need for a more guided and rewarding new player experience, and one that occurs somewhere that the rest of us cannot get at them: the equivalent of other games' "Newbie Zones".
Hendrick Tallardar
Doomheim
#77 - 2015-01-26 12:38:39 UTC
The first issue I can see with accelerated skills is the abuse (eg. people making a mass of Maulus alts) it could lead to. Though, I'm sure a balance or even subsequent tweaking can be done to stem that to some degree.
Dave Korhal
Kite Co. Space Trucking
#78 - 2015-01-26 23:58:52 UTC
I don't know if that's really an issue; Mauluses can be trained extremely quickly as-is.

The most egregious part of new player skills to me is that you need to wait 6 hours to train into MWD, which is one of the most basic modules to me. It also requires knowing how useful it is and exactly what to train into, which isn't apparent to newbros. I wonder if it would be more useful to just let newbros fit neatly every T1 module from Minute 1.

So that's my question to you: Do you think newbros should be able to fit every T1 module from Minute 1? (I'll leave out extremely specialized modules like bomb launchers and triage. On the fence whether to include cloaking devices or not.)

Matt: "Mining is the devil's work. If any of you mine, I will AWOX you."

Vikkiman: "What about Dave?"

Matt: "Dave gets a pass; he's batshit insane."

Hendrick Tallardar
Doomheim
#79 - 2015-01-27 02:37:17 UTC
The Mauluses were simply an example of a useful ship that could be expedited for a new player to get into.

Giving access to "nearly every T1" module right off the bat would be problematic from a balance perspective. it would make groups that cater solely to new players, such as yours, have a larger mass of effective pilots. Using the Maulus example again, you would be capable of putting a brand new player into one of your groups Maulus' a lot quicker. The ship, en masse, has proven to be very effective across numerous conflicts. If you were to buff the ability of a new player's ability to access specific modules, you would need to nerf the overall ability of those same modules so as to stem any abuse/gaming the function.
Dave Korhal
Kite Co. Space Trucking
#80 - 2015-01-27 04:44:09 UTC
I think you're grossly overestimating how much time it takes to train into those in the first place. Aside from specialized T1 modules like Gas Harvesters or Bomb Launchers or (perhaps) the Cloaking Device, I think it would only take 2-3 days to train all the skills necessary, which isn't that much of a difference... if you know which skill books to buy, which things are useful, which things aren't, etc. Automatically giving those skills to a newbro wouldn't give newbro organizations a larger mass of useful pilots than they already have because we already get them with a bit of advice & investment in skill books.

Note: Just realized that also lumped in T1 modules of more advanced weapons, like Heavy Launchers or Large Railguns, which was unintended. I meant the frigate-level versions of potential modules, like Shield Hardeners, Smartbombs, Weapon Upgrades, etc. The goal is to let new players fit a variant of every potential build off the bat, rather than giving them a partial toolbox and forcing them to look up what skills they need for modules they're not even sure they need.

Matt: "Mining is the devil's work. If any of you mine, I will AWOX you."

Vikkiman: "What about Dave?"

Matt: "Dave gets a pass; he's batshit insane."