Discussion about balance within Eve Online is absolutely essential. In fact, I’d argue it’s the most valuable topic of discussion, since it lets us stretch our innovative muscles in a way that requires us to consider third- and fourth-order consequences to changes, not just first- and second-order ones.
Easier said than done.
A lot of discussion about balance and changes CCP should make revolve around making the proposer’s life easier, often at the expense of others, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Personally, my view is that CCP should only make changes if they a) maintain or improve the level of engagement and vestment players have in the game, b) reduce – or at least not add to – unnecessary complication, and c) generate additional revenue.
Often times, a lot of changes to the game that people propose seek to perform a single function in a single situation. The new hull buffer tank modules fit into the same role (reducing freighter ganks by increasing hull HP, making them cost-inefficient to kill). I generally don’t like these types of modules. By all means apply specific conditions to them, but when you include them for a very clear, single purpose, it strikes me as meddling with the sandbox too much.
But that’s just a personal opinion. Since these modules do fit a specific role not being filled right now, it’s complication, but not unnecessary complication. I don’t like them, but they don’t violate my conditions.
Why this long introduction? TMC recently posted an article talking about the need for a remote logistics disruptor. In a nutshell, this module would activated against the target of logistic ship reps to make the reps less effective. In other words, if you are shooting at an Archon and you activate a remote logistics disruptor module on it, any ship repping that Archon will provide less actual shield HP for each rep.
Unfortunately, not only would this module require new code to be written to support it, it’s utterly unnecessary. Why? Because we already have a logistics-cancelling option available: remote sensor dampeners. To neutralize logistics ships, all you need to do is throw a couple remote sensor dampeners on the logi ship to reduce its lock range; a logi ship can’t rep a ship that isn’t in lock range. Or, you can throw scan res scripts in your dampeners and make it take forever for the logi to lock your primary target initially, allowing you to throw more volleys into the target before it catches reps.
The options are already there, and remote sensor dampeners can be applied at significant range, making countermeasures against them difficult.
And if your fleet chooses to kill the logi first, you can turn those remote sensor dampeners to your high DPS targets to take them out of the fight as well – it’s particularly useful against kiters.
The author does a good job of considering the issue, and I’ll never find fault with that. I’m enjoying these articles as thought-exercises, and his writing style is entertaining. He’s looking for ways to help reduce the size of fleets once again, and I’m fully on board with that mission.