Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Long Live ECM?

Well, FozzieSov has hit, and the first set of timers has begun.  It looks like more than 280 timers were created yesterday alone.  So far, predictions from around the community that FozzieSov will succeed in burning down all the things are looking encouraging. 

So are predictions that the well-organized are more than capable of dealing with the hassle.

Suffice it to say, I’m incredibly disappointed in the enemies of the Imperium.  Very few systems were successfully pushed into reinforcement.  Apart from a MOA internal message, I didn’t see much in the way of significant efforts to attack.  It should surprise no one that Goonswarm came into FozzieSov with very high indexes throughout most of its core systems (ie. Deklein).  Indexes were around 5.5 or higher, providing plenty of time to react to reinforcement attempts.  With sufficiently compressed space, it looks as if Fortress Deklein is certainly still a thing, perhaps more so after FozzieSov.

As I was watching Slack, my corporation was responding to multiple attempts to shut down station services and swat off folks trying to entosis EC-, the gateway system to Torrinos and Caldari high-sec.  We saw a lot more traffic coming through that system, including a hostile gate camp made of three Orthrii.  That bump in activity was encouraging.

Yesterday did see the various Eve forums and Slack fill with a solution to troll entosising that pretty much headshots all of my concerns, though.  After all, to frustrate an entosis effort, you don’t need to pod the aggressor, or even kill his ship.  All you need is to disrupt his target lock to prevent his entosis cycle from succeeding.

That’s right my friends.  The supercap king is dead.  Long live ECM.

… I can hear the groans from here.

An Entosis link takes 5 minutes to cycle through, during which the target can’t receive reps or warp off.  And with a full rack of jammers, one of them is bound to succeed at least once during all that time.   And one is all you need to reduce that whole Entosis cycle to waste.

Plus, jammers have a tremendous range, which can be enhanced with rigs and ship bonuses.  Add in the ability to cloak on a Falcon to position itself carefully, and you’ve got a sure-fire way to counter any entosis attempt.  And you have the added benefit of infuriating your attacker.  Nothing is more infuriating than being jammed.  And – let’s be honest here – it’s only fair to harvest tears from the tear-harvesters.

I may be a bit late to the party, but I’m starting to swing in favor of the view that the Aegis expansion is actually well-named.  I want to reserve judgment until we see how this first round of timers goes, but it’s just possible that this new sovereignty system does provide a massive shield over current sov owners, provided that they live in and maintain their space.

I’m willing to admit when I’m wrong.  I’m not there yet; we just don’t have enough information, but I can see ways defenders can frustrate the efforts of current sov holders quickly and easily.

But… inb4 renewed cries to nerf ECM!


  1. Let's not forget the use of sensor dampening as well. Plenty of ways to counter the entosis link users. Should be an interesting summer to watch how it all unfolds from a distance (I live in highsec).

  2. Tal-

    I am glad to see that FzSov hasn't killed the game as you were forecasting. Given an issue the players will always find away around it.

    1. Still too soon to tell. Let's see what those logged in counts do.

  3. Tal you REALLY need to do something about the stutter posts!!!

    1. Oops! That's what happens when you try to post via smartphone with unreliable access.

      Ah, the burdens of trying to approve all your comments in a timely manner!

  4. I don't see why you should be disappointed. You've won. You're utterly unbeatable.

    This is the casual come-down where people stop playing because 'Hat Gons, Grr Gons', and start playing because they like the game.

    And maybe, just maybe, the truth is that the game isn't very enjoyable?

    Something for you to ponder....

    As for ECM, Damps, and various other things, who cares?

    Null-sec is for those who want to live there, I like owning my little spot already. Bring on the quiet decline unto the death of the Server.


    Perhaps when we were terrified about the 'game-breaking' loss of the Something-Awful community, we were missing the blindingly obvious: It wasn't the Goons that we were going to lose, it was everyone else....

    *raises his glass*

    Rob K.

    Commanding a Cruiser in the USN.

    1. Easy there, space cowboy. I'm not ready to declare victory yet. We've had one day, and it remains to be seen what happens to GSF members over the long haul.

      But, more generally, you didn't really think any change CCP could come up with would break the Imperium, did you? CCP is very adamant that organization and cooperation should grant an advantage in the null game, and the Imperium is best-in-class in those areas. Whatever they throw out, the Imperium is best-equipped to manage it. Would you rather it be otherwise? If so, what should rule? Length of time in game (sp counts)? Number of players (blobbing)? Individual awesomeness (how do you measure)?

      But let's look at what FozzieSov will likely do... it will force a trade-off between power projection and safety. If the Imperium wants to keep safe, it needs both its ratters and it's PvP pilots to remain in its own space to both keep indexes up and deal with entosis attempts. Even yesterday, a few more attempts succeeded. Deploying away from their space would expose them to attacks.

      "Fortress Deklein" is clearly a thing, but even with all SIGs and corporations running defensive ops, a few timers slipped through. That effect would compound if they deploy elsewhere, either from reduced indexes or reduced PvP response fleets.

      As a result, we're looking at a contained Imperium, an Imperium that can absolutely roflcurbstomp any other entity, but which can't dominate everywhere and which can't dominate without paying a price... increased vulnerability.

      The universe is much bigger now than it was, and there is opportunity out there. I wouldn't be worried about the Imperium, I'd be worried about groups like PL, who don't care about their base and don't want to be tied down to a single area of space. They could literally appear anywhere and ruin someone's day. The Imperium's commitment to its space will prevent them from engaging in that kind of game.

      What I fear is all these groups being dislodged from their sov and spending all their time roaming like bandits across null. The alliances of the Imperium suddenly unchained from their sov ownership would be a menace to everyone across the whole map.

      To calm the Viking threats, the King of France didn't kill them all, he gave them land and settled them somewhere, so their energy is spent defending it. They were still a threat, but not as frequently or as dangerously.

    2. You might not be ready to declare victory, but that doesn't change the truth. The allies had already defeated Germany before they declared themselves the victor. You can pretend yourselves vulnerable, but it is only pretending...

      As for 'break the Imperium', what kind of whiggist history are you trying to claim here? You're claiming a historical imperative that you will always exist.

      The problem isn't the existence of the CFC, but the ease of their existence. Marshalling a semi-feudal/proto-nation state should be an exercise in pain, hardship, and failure. The CFC hasn't really experienced anything like the difficulties of history, somewhat due to player intervention, but mostly due to their leveraging of the tool provided by CCP.

      CCP can develop for the breakdown of the Imperium, either directly: ban all Imperium players from the game, or indirectly, by removing the tools that make being a member of GSF so easy. Obviously the first idea is a farce, but the second is distinctly possible, and I hope, likely to happen.

      Do you think the CFC would be able to exist in its current form if guerilla warfare was possible? A whole bunch of CCP systems cripple the very possibility of guerilla warfare inside Sov-Space.

      The Tower notification system should be removed.
      The Moon Mining API (which CCP cannot fix) should be removed.
      Siphons should be invisible on d-scan.
      Ratting bounties should be dependent on structure that are easily taken over and stolen from.
      Instant local must go.
      Industry should be pillageable.

      Defending a massive space like the Imperium should be as hard as defending a land border is today.

      Suddenly, the Imperium is vulnerable, and needs patrolling, not just camping 7 gates, and critting wormholes.

      And finally, why should I be afraid of PL/the CFC/Whatever roaming horde? Either people will burn out of isk, willpower, or the lack of meaningful gameplay. There might be a persistent corps of players who enjoy crushing other people's stuff, but I can't imagine that they represent *all* null-sec players.

      We'll see. The Vikings, even when tied down, managed to occupy a whole kingdom, take over much of France, and almost became the pre-eminent superpower of Western Europe. Can you imagine the CFC doing any worse?

      Rob K.

    3. And yet, we don't speak Norse languages in France. We aren't Scandinavian now. They had their run and it came to an end.

      Be very careful asking for CCP to destroy an in-game group. That's not thier job, it's the players'. If the players can't be arsed to get themselves organized enough to make it happen, that's not CCP's fault.

      Do you want to know how to stop the Imperium? Ignore Goonswarm. Assign different hostile alliances to attack different regions. Set up strike forces that can clonejump at a moment's notice to strike the instant the Imperium deploys anywhere. Commit yourselves to creating as many timers as possible that you have no intention of contesting. Do this for six months. Wear them down and burn out Imperium pilots by denying meaningful kills, wasting their energy, and weakening their desire to log in.

      By the end of those six months of continuous effort, they won't be logging in in enough numbers when you finally storm in from eight fronts at once and tax their systems to the breaking point.

      That's how you do it. N3 tried it one before... oh, for about a week. Then they got bored and stopped. It proved the weaknesses in their will.

      To destroy a superpower takes commitment. The Imperium has it. Any force that seeks to destroy it must have it as well.

      If you want CCP to do the work for you, it sets a dangerous precedent that I don't really like... that of CCP dictating how the game should operate.

      I simply don't buy the impenetrability of any in-game entity. THe forces are out there who CAN stop the Imperium, if only they choose to set aside thier differences, work together, and make it happen.

      No one is perpetually victorious.

      And that would be a fight worth participating in! I yearn for that sort of resistance.

    4. It isn't often I get to correct you, so I'm going to enjoy this little thing for just a moment. :D There are some few people left, who still do speak 'viking-esque' languages.

      Now, as normally happens, our analogies go a little off track, so I'm not quite sure what exactly this proves... Goonswarm, if they fail, will become an endangered group? *laughs* Not likely :D.


      I don't want CCP to destroy the CFC, nor Goonswarm. In fact, I like GSF and the CFC quite a lot. They're a bunch of guys who're a lot of fun to talk to.

      What I'm bemoaning here (though I can be somewhat unclear) is a lack of any other playstyle in sov-null. You can't live in null as a guerilla, a bandit, or any other type of highwayman. There's no way of beating a sov-holder unless you break them. Sov-Null is totally one-dimensional.

      I know a couple of guys who would like to set up a 'guerrillero' corp, but know that there's no way of hiding from the all-seeing eye of free intel. Blind the eye, and people will come to contest the riches that cannot be beheld.


      The CFC had commitment to take the space, I'll agree. That they've committed to holding it, I'll disagree. This is what I was trying to say. Previously, there was no effort required to hold space, if you were not attacked.

      Now, there's a very small amount of effort required to hold that space. It is an improvement, yes, but I think that the 'effort requirement' of holding space is too easily removed by OOG tools.

      What I want is for CCP to remove all the free intel that they give out in null-sec, so that players can be the 'Rebel Alliance', not just the Empire. Because really, do you think Mon Motha would've lasted 5 minutes if she was on the local chat window?


      And finally!

      It isn't about being victorius always, it is about being victorious *enough*.

      You've already seen the start of your 'about-facing' strategy. Note who has gone up to CFC space recently. It isn't the big guns any more, just PH and Brave. Think they're keep roaming to death in CFC territory forever? I don't.

      Rob K.

    5. You can see where I ran out of brain power....


      Think they're going to keep roaming to their death in CFC territory forever*

      Rob K.

    6. If any CFC alliance could roam PL style across the map then that's what they'd be doing. Even INIT, the most likely to do this, couldn't keep it up. Most likely they would lose their sov, reform and re emerge again, doing pretty much the same thing as before (ahem, old Northern Coalition, ahem).

      The reverse is true. To dislodge the CFC means doing what they do, plus a bit more. Single leader, single doctrines, single coordination and pings and so on. Certain egos taking a back seat. BUT, if any alliance out there was like this then they'd....already have joined CFC long ago. This isn't what non CFC alliances want, they don't sub for this, they don't log in for this sort of thing.

      The only thing that could beat the CFC is a 2nd CFC, but why make a 2nd when the first is recruiting?

      Endie said the game is dead if no one rises to beat the Imperium. Well..................