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I focus almost exclusively on PvP, whether solo, small gang, or large bloc warfare. In the past, I've been a miner, mission runner, and faction warfare jockey. I'm particularly interested in helping high-sec players get into 0.0 combat.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Killed In Its Cradle

RIP Trollceptor… we never knew you.  We will not mourn your passing.

Today, Fozzie released the details on the changes to the original null-sec sov revamp plan.  And boy, do I like what I see.

The major issues with the original plan, as identified by players, were the following:
  • Time zone control effectively locking ownership of systems into certain time zones (ie. if you can’t log in during EU prime, you’ll never be able to take an EU system) and disincentivizing alliances from spreading across more than one time zone.
  • Alliances regularly using their systems should have an even easier time when defending them.
  • The initial wave of proposed changes would make it difficult to maintain control over your capital.  Typically, it attracts a lot of enemy attention and has hotdroppers regularly, making ratting and mining extremely hazardous.  With indexes, ironically your staging system would be MORE vulnerable to conquest.
  • The ability of players to use entosis links on ships that are uncatchable and unkillable, particularly those that can bypass gatecamps.  The community was concerned that this could create a means of players to reinforce dozens of systems they had no intention of contesting with minimal risk.
Time zone vulnerability that scales based on the combined index of the systems… designated capital systems providing a bonus to indexes… increase in maximum modified from 4x to 6x… each of these provides a good solution to these issues.  While Fozzie repeatedly states that CCP would prefer to use the simplest solution to a problem and I’m not sure these qualify in all cases, I can live with them.

But the best change rests in the stats of the entosis links themselves.  I’ll reproduce for ease of reference:

T1 Entosis Link:
  • Requires Infomorph Psychology 1
  • +250,000kg mass when online
  • 5 Minute Cycle Time
  • 25km range
  • Fitting requirements: 10 PWG, 1 CPU
  • Capacitor use: 50 Capacitor per cycle (0.1666 cap/s)
  • Consumes 1 unit of Strontium Clathrates per cycle
T2 Entosis Link:
  • Requires Infomorph Psychology 4
  • +1,000,000kg mass when online
  • 2 Minute Cycle Time
  • 250km range
  • Fitting requirements: 100 PWG, 10 CPU
  • 500 Capacitor per cycle (4.166 cap/s)
  • Consumes 1 unit of Strontium Clathrates per cycle

Both the 100 powergrid requirement and the 500 cap requirement for a cycle of the T2 link destroys any possibility of fitting a T2 EL on any frigate, let alone an interceptor or other extreme-speed ship.  You can get the powergrid.  You can get the capacitor.  You can't get both.

Which means that while frigates can still participate, they have to remain within 25 km of the item they’re reinforcing.  Ships orbiting in a 50km diameter are easy prey for a sniping ship.

This is an elegant solution to the problem, reinforcing Fozzie’s statement that, “…the Entosis Link mechanic is a way for the server to tell who won (or is winning) a fight in a specific location,” represented by gaining “…effective control of the grid by simultaneously keeping your forces alive and eliminating your opponents.”

Yes.  Oh God, yes.  A thousand times, “Yes!”

More than a victory for anyone who wants to keep balance in the game, the way CCP is handling these null-sec changes represents an elegant and inclusive way of including player feedback while still ensuring that CCP’s primary objectives are achieved.  And that’s a great sign for things to come under the current regime at CCP.

In fact, I’m hard pressed to think of any changes I haven’t liked recently, except for interceptors’ bubble immunity.  But the guy responsible for that is gone.

And the game appears to be in great hands.  I no longer have any objections to the sov revamp.  In fact, I’m really looking forward to it, and am happy to say I’m pleased with how it’s turned out.

Here’s to hoping that the next set of changes CCP contemplates bring more activities into the sov index calculations!  From what I’ve seen, I feel confident in that hope. 


  1. If the development is going your way....

    "The Game is in good hands", "A great sign for things to come", "A thousand times, "Yes!" "

    If the development isn't going your way....

    "this system will absolutely fail", " glaring hole", "a greater failure than Incarna".

    Winning the Propaganda war, one scaremongering post at a time...

    Rob K.

    1. I'd love to know:

      a) Who am I supposedly propagandizing for?
      b) What do you dislike about the changes?

    2. Character: Talvorian Dex
      Corporation: Repercussus
      Alliance: Goonswarm Federation

      Was that first question rhetorical?

      The volume of comments by members of the CFC has hardly been quiet. Enough noise, and even the most tone-deaf CCP Developer will start moderating their ideas. When there are two devils on your shoulders, how do you hear the angel?

      CCP has caved again. Their design process seems simple:

      1) Create a system that will achieve their aims
      2) Moderate it down a little, because no-one likes being shouted at constantly
      3) Moderate it down more, because the volume is undiminished
      4) Release it.

      If you abuse someone enough, they'll do what you want again and again.

      If the truth is that the CFC has won Dominon Sov, then their domination will continue unabated in FozzieSov. For a system dedicated to 'burning down the empires', in your words, it fails completely.

      Rob K.

    3. Yes, my corp, Repercussus, is in Goonswarm. There's a big difference between that and me pushing state-sponsored propaganda. Do you know how many conversations I've had - in my entire Eve career - with anyone from GSF leadership? Zero. Nor do I have a vested interested in promoting thier agenda. I share my honest opinions here.

      The purpose of FozzieSov is to prevent small alliances from being obliterated from the face of the map, and to limit the space an alliance can own to a) the pressures of its neighbors, and b) how much space it can realistically live in. There will be areas within even Imperium alliances that are susceptible to easy attack. Not so for an entity owning a constellation or two... they can farm and maintain ALL of their systems, making attacking them incredibly difficult. That's the goal, isn't it? The Balkanization of null-sec? Less space for the empires? Owning space isn't enough; you have to use it.

      But if you think CCP is changing null-sec to destroy Goons, I'm sorry, but it isn't so. So long as structures and organization remains in tact, so, too, do entities Look at BL... God, look at Solar Fleet or XIX. They absorb disaster after disaster, but their structures remain in place. On the other hand, look at N3... the CFC didn't break N3, N3 broke itself. Sov changes won't destroy entities.

      It can - and HAS - burned castles, though. The physical space owned by the Imperium has shrunk considerably. There, art thou happy? N3 disintegrated, leaving 11 regions up in the air for folks to claim. There, art thou happy? Renter alliances WILL burn or revert to their renters' ownership. There, art thou happy? And FozieSov hasn't even hit yet. Nothing that these changes announce will alter the effectiveness of FozzieSov to limit the sizes of alliances.

    4. I think you've gotten a little hung up on something you think I said, which I didn't. Perhaps it comes from answering the same way over and over again?

      I said "a system dedicated to 'burning down the empires'. I didn't say 'a system dedicated to destroying the Goons'. It may suit you to pretend that I said the latter, but I did not.

      Sov changes may not destroy entities, but they can make them sub-optimal. The CFC is, apparently, optimal due to the nature of Dominion Sov. Should FozzieSov, as it was promised, make the CFC sub-optimal, then Goonswarm will shed their allies (I won't impugn them by calling them otherwise).

      Will it be so? I doubt it. The changes required to make the CFC non-optimal, would be fundamentally rejected by members of the CFC. There is safety and volume, in numbers.

      As for the 'There, are thou happy?'. No. Those examples mean very little. N3 was never a coalition. You can pretend that they were, it certainly suits your rhetorical aims. Was there really any inter-alliance coordination and organisation? For all the so-called organisation, It still functioned as a group of alliances. Not so with the CFC.

      Similarly, the CFC has shrunk, but not in the way that matters. Space is meaningless, if you're looking at balkanisation. If we saw a significant loss of characters, maybe five or ten thousand, then FozzieSov would be working.

      Show me examples of Alliances going it alone, breaking old affiliations, and continuing to exist in Null-sec. Lets see them succeed. Then, then I shall be happy.

      Rob K.


      I felt like I should address my, rather unfounded, assertion. I don't accuse you of directed propaganda, lead by the Mittani. I accuse you of a more subversive form of propaganda. Astroturfing.

      You are, in my opinion, part of a culture that has a set idea of what the new sovereignty system should entail. What, where, why and how it should be played. How it should be organised and lead, what types of play it should encourage and discourage.

      As part of this culture with these ideas, you write from a specific point of view. It is, I do not disagree, entirely your honest opinion . You are, in your own way, a proponent of ideas which are influenced by the culture you are part of.

      You represent only one part of an initiative, not structured or orchestrated, to influence the next sovereignty system. You, the CSM, the Forum posters, the interviewers with CCP developers, You're all part of it. It isn't directed, like traditional propaganda is.

      You create a wall of opinions with one slant, and very little opposing opinion can get through. You direct the consensus in a way favourable to you.

      To take the most recent example, of the first 20 replies to the new Devblog, 10 are CFC affiliated. Two thirds of the player replies. Some endorse the devblog, others push for the 'next step', a null-sec income buff, others talk about how it is 'goon influenced'. The number of CFC commentors continue onto the next few pages.

      If I was a CCP developer with a job to do, how long would I spend reading beyond the first few pages, if they all seem to point out the same thing?

      Then again, I have indulged in a little tinfoil here (Dinsdale would be proud), and recognise that the numbers of the CFC do represent a substantial population of null-sec players. Is it still astroturfing if you all hold similar opinions?

      Rob K.

      (I was going to comment on the 'Forum CTA ability of the CFC, but felt that implying you had all had no social life was a little rude :P)

    6. Unfortunately, you're not going to see that. The thermodynamic arrow goes one way. You can't put the genie back in the bottle. Once opened, Pandora's Box is empty but for hope. Now that folks have seen the level of sophistication, organization, and technological application that the Imperium uses, there is no going back. And CCP recognizes this. That's why the changes are as they are.

      As to N3, I disagree with your assessment. They were a coalition. But they were a coalition that lacked a cohesive identity. The CFC's identify was solidified, ironically, but efforts to isolate them by their enemies. That isolation led to a "circling of the wagons" and an "us vs them" attitude that strengthened it. No one seems to realize that neglect and blueballing (ie. no one in Eve fighting the CFC in any theater, ever, for a full year) is the CFC's enemy.

      Did you explicitly mention the death of the CFC as your desire? No, but your comments and your assumption that I bought the CFC's line because I'm in a GSF corp permitted me to infer it. Apologies if I was wrong!

    7. (In response to your second post) You'd be absolutely right, and I'd be the first to agree with you.

      Only you're flat wrong.

      I am, first and foremost, a Repercussus pilot. We're odd ducks in Goonswarm. We join strat ops, but our first love is small gang. We spend a lot of our time in low-sec. We love fighting outnumbered. We have our own corp forum.

      I'm not really a part of Goon culture (not that it's a good or bad thing, just a thing) at all, actually. I read specific threads in the Goon forums only when directed to them by someone (like an alliance update). I participate in deployments (because they bring with them PvP), but that's about it. I don't read the Eve-O forums (they're a lot of cancer), though I do read,, and reddit. My experience of player opinions is of Eve player opinions.

      It's tempting to think that everyone who wears a Goon logo is the same, but that's a generalization. In fact, within the CFC and within GSF, there is a wide range of disparity. That's one of the reasons it's so successful.

      I'm no more a part of "Goon culture" than you are. In fact, you probably are more exposed (thank you for the insight about the Eve-O forum thread; I hadn't seen it).

      That said, I'm still proud to fly with the most organized group in Eve.

    8. I think its a very astute point, that the genie is out of the bottle. Certainly, considering the organisation and structure of the CFC, Pandora's box seems somewhat fitting. My thought is this: if CCP designed a game where that structure wasn't necessary, would it dissolve?

      To take an example: the notification that a structure has been shot. This is one part of the free intel network that allows Goons and other entities to not live in their space, because every action done by a 'guerilla resident' is immediately visible to them. If CCP removed all the free intel sources, wouldn't that force Goons to spread out and look after all their towers? (This, incidentally, is one of my problems with the new Sov system.)

      As for the death of the CFC, that is exactly what I wish for. What I don't wish for is the death of Goons. The CFC is an entity which suppresses PVP within its borders. Goons are an organisation that does PVP, but relies on roaming far and wide to get it. Goons should be pvping with Razor, TNT, SMA et al. Not going to Syndicate, Fountain, and beyond.

      As for 'the CFC's enemy'. I doubt it. The CFC has the numbers, isk and organisation to perpetuate itself, with no requirements of anyone beyond themselves. 200% SRP, and the surplus of FCs means that anyone could lead a group in highsec and burn Jita, Amarr, Dodixie and Rens all at the same time. In short, the CFC is a self propelled entity.

      That is probably why they protest weakness as soon as they have won the war. (Though admitting weakness during the war is traditionally a bad idea.) As soon as they had undeniably won the Fountain war, the propaganda initiative came out. "No idea how close it came", "We were worried", etc. They proclaim weakness to hide their strength, which is that no-one has ever provided a challenge to the CFC in a war. The CFC has reached critical mass.

      Rob K.

    9. As for the second post, I take immense pride in being right and wrong at the same time :D.

      You are, in many respects, completely right. However, I would say that you aren't as self-contained as you may think. Unless you don't speak with other goons, don't read their forums at all, don't join strat-ops, don't read any other goon commentaries or listen to their podcasts?

      And that's just you, singular. Does everyone else in Repercussus do the same thing? I think that the free flow of opinions within Goonswarm is a little more free than you think. :P.

      That is, of course, talking of exposure. Taking a rather strange viewpoint, People within society aren't exposed to that society, they're part of it.

      As for the various strengths of GSF, organisation, varied skill sets, number. I can't agree more. GSF is the strongest, most talented alliance in EVE. To say anything otherwise would be false.

      Rob K.

      (Apologies for the rather rushed nature of these replies, I'm travelling cross-country today, and it's all very frantic.)

    10. "The changes required to make the CFC non-optimal, would be fundamentally rejected by members of the CFC."

      What are these changes? Maybe they would be rejected, but as they don't exist we don't know. Rob won't come up with a solution and nobody else does.
      There are a lot of bloggers, CSM members and general a big non-goon or even anti-goon crowd among the community, where are different ideas to brake Goon-supremacy?

    11. Rob has solutions, but didn't think that this would be the best place to discuss them.

      Considering the comments expressed so far, I didn't want to talk about specific ideas in what had already roamed a little far from the initial post.

      I have a blog for stuff like that :p

      Not that I've posted enough on it yet.

      Rob K.

    12. And also, it isn't the supremacy of Goons, it's the supremacy of n+1 in terms of player number.

      The CFC has 7 regions and 35000 thousand characters. I'd like to see it become an anachronis. They are the most obvious, but not the only target.

      Rob K.

  2. There will still be a trollceptor, but it will be a horde of griffins undocking to jamm the guy with the link... .