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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.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Citadel Traps

I’m a big fan of gameplay that requires plays to do work to catch targets. Generally speaking, if Eve is about improving your skill and defeating a human opponent, using a cheap trick completely defeats the purpose.

That tends to be why I don’t really respect pilots who fly with boosting alts, particularly as they’re still of the off-grid variety. To me, that smacks of throwing money at a problem and pretending it’s skill. It’s certainly a viable, effective, and permitted tactic, but it’s not a very skillful one.

One of the tactics that fit into that category from the moment citadels deployed was dropping a citadel and drag bubbles in line with a gate to pop anyone who warped directly from gate to gate. From the safety of your citadel, you could kill everything with ease. It was a cheap tactic.

And, with the August patch, it’s no longer possible. Drag bubbles will now only catch ships if placed within 500 km of your warpto location (a gate, a planet, etc.)

What surprises me isn’t that Eve players chose to take advantage of this, or that CCP didn’t anticipate this application of the mechanic. It’s that it took this many months for the change to come. I mean, I can understand that it might require some development, and that citadel mechanics are new and prone to surprising effects when you change.

But in null-sec, a citadel-bubble combination is just ridiculous, and systems were lousy with them.

Regardless, it’s another one of those problems we can relegate to history and the “wow, that was really a thing?” category.


  1. I'm very disappointed Tal. I acknowledge your point of view, "I’m a big fan of gameplay that requires players to do work to catch targets" I also acknowledge this comment "Generally speaking, if Eve is about improving your skill and defeating a human opponent, using a cheap trick completely defeats the purpose" yet you have closed your mind and simple "speaked" away the game play you don't like.

    Scenario 1: New player tries out null sec. DIES TO GATE CAMP with bubbles. Input from veteran play "NEVER, EVER, NEVER WARP DIRECTLY TO THE GATE. Get pings, make pings, use bounces or get an interceptor but NEVER WARP DIRECTLY TO THE GATE! ARE YOU STUPID OR WHAT!". Now the player in scenario 1 would say that bubbles are crap game play and that truly the gate camp should have to catch him/her at the gate, not use a cheap trick "bubbles" to catch them.

    Scenario 2: Lets say the same player from scenario 1 has now lived in null sec for 3years and is well versed in the mechanics of null sec travel to the point that this player is now the leader of the alliance logistic arm and is in charge of provisioning the FC's every want and need for fleet fits. His/her experience, skills, tactical and strategic knowledge makes it nearly impossible for the average gate camp to catch this player. Not "impossible" just "nearly impossible". As a participant in a local bubbled gate camping group comms goes something like this. Eyes: Gate Fire Stand by! FC: HOLD COMMS! Eyes: 3 neuts, baaahhh all interceptors. FC: Roger... @.@ guys check out this video. ...... Eyes: Gate Fire Standby! FC: HOLD COMMS! Eyes: 3 nuets, OH MY GOD FC 3 Hyperions in warp to you. FC: BUBBLES UP! LOGI WAKE UP! DPS make sure you concentrate fire, no splitting fire, these 3 will be tanked! ..... and so forth. My point to this scenario is what did they do to "improve their skills in defeating a human opponent vice using a cheap trick"?

    Scenario 3: Using the same player from scenario 1 and 2 let's assume this player through whatever method he/she used they have amassed a veritable EVE fortune. Using said fortune they buy (how many individual players in EVE can actually buy a citadel) a citadel, using skills acquired over the years and with tactical and strategic thinking they place said citadel in just the perfect spot to wreck people (including unaware junior FC's fleet) warping gate to gate.

    Seems to me that as you are a HUGE fan of "improving your skill and defeating a human opponent" you would recognize the skills, initiative, and tactical as well as strategic thought that went into this PVP style that you have just celebrated the demise of. Just an alternate way of seeing the game of PVP within EVE.



    1. In the first two scenarios, the attacking/camping pilot is at risk. He/she is flying a ship that can be destroyed by a single other ship, if it's the right ship. It's possible to bust a bubble camp.

      In the third scenario, where that player (no longer a pilot...) is using a citadel, that pilot faces absolutely zero risk of personal loss. No amount of skill by the bubbled pilot is going to result in the "camper" being killed.

      That's the difference. Plus, If you need to throw 900 million and complete safety to camp a bubble, is that skill anymore? To me, skill requires making more out of your resources than usual. Fighting at even strength or below strength and getting kills is a sign of skill. Hotdropping one target with 30 isn't (in most cases; super kills, for instance, involve lots of pre-battle preparation that contains skill, of course).

      But, that's my take on it. Not every kill is admirable or worthy. I've certainly had my share of fish stuck in barrels.

    2. Tal, sigh.... if u are gate camping in a smart bombing battleship and I fly through in a shuttle and u kill my ship and my head what are my options for killing you back? I know I will go get some friends and we will come back with enough DPS to spank u. Crap you are camping a highsec/lowsec gate and if I try to kill you with my friends you will just de-agress and jump through. Hmmm ok, so now I need a complex plan with a some friends so I can trap you and then kill you :) problem solved.

      Wait don't you need that same plan for my citadel killing you. Come back with friends and a plan and kill the citadel 20B kill mail for you friend. :)

      I am afraid that I cannot agree with your assessments either in your original post nor within your rebuttle. You merely see this game mechanic as something you don't agree with and not as something that you need to learn and adapt to. Where as I have been killed traveling through low sec by an ANNOYING game mechanic, recognize it for what it is and don't attempt to have it removed nor would I celebrate its removal if it was.

      Please don't think that I am saying bad things so you or about you, I am saying that I feel your view point is skewed and I am hoping that you will recognize this discussion for what it is and that is merely a discussion.


    3. This is actually a great discussion! And yeah, in your extreme example (SB BS, shuttle), there's no hope. But there are some possible scenarios when flying that smartbombing BS where you can die. There could be a fleet on the other side, waiting for you to aggress so they can kill you. Maybe the ship you try to smartbomb is hardened and it lights a cyno. Among the multitude of possible ships that warp into you, you could suffer a loss in some of them. But with citadels, every single scenario in which you're sitting in the safety of a citadel and killing passersby, you personally will never suffer a loss at that moment.

      As to your point about losing the citadel... the risk of that happening is the same regardless of where it's positioned; it being part of a bubble camp has no bearing on its survivability.

      Different perspectives, and yours is certainly valid. I just disagree, based on what I value.

  2. If I may... to me personally (and I could absolutely not care one whit less about nullsuc, I live in really dangerous space, Anoikis) but... A citadel is not a ship and should not be used as one or in place of a fleet.

    Just my opinion... dumb ass stuff like camping a hole with a Fort can't happen in Anoikis anyway... =P

  3. So much for it's a sandbox and I can play any way I want to ... as long as it only meets the definition of yours and your mates definition of the game. And we wonder why the numbers just keep dropping.

    Tur your post on the creativity of your time years back with your army men was perfect. Yet you wont allow the rest of us to play with the same toys in a different manner. Please open the box lid back up and let me play the game the way I want to play it. ADAPT, OVERCOME, HTFU as the saying used to be.

    Both: If some one takes ALOT of isk and goes about the game trying to KILL ship PVP period end of conversation all cause they don't like that game play you two will lose your fucking minds. Yet you will advocate kill a game play style you don't like.

    Sorry but you both are disappointing with your limited thinking on this topic.

    It just doesn't matter whether we like it (regardless of what play style it is) or not. If there is a way for you to avoid it then it should be cheered for its creativity and the users insightfulness not killed "JUST BECAUSE I DONT LIKE IT!"

    If you still cant agree then we will just have to agree to disagree.


  4. Anon... ...disappointing with your limited thinking on this topic. A Citadel is not a SHIP and should not b able to be used as one, not because I don;t like it. Using a Fort in this manner is wayyyyyyy OP... That is what Tal and I, and obviously CCP also, disagrees with.

    So yea... agree to very strongly disagree.