Thursday, January 29, 2015

Long Delays and Deep Thought

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been logging in pretty regularly, doing all the usual roaming, gate camping, scanning down anoms, and even losing the occasional Deimos to a surprise blops fleet that decided to attack the camp we had been running predictably every night for the past week.  Who knew?

The answer, of course, is “everyone”, including us the moment we saw that Myrm.  But I just couldn’t help myself…  must… kill… all the things...

But, despite all the logging in, I spent a lot of time scanning down wormholes and updating RP’s bookmarks for the anoms in our local area.  I recently discovered that the Confessor can easily fit an expanded probe launcher without sacrificing much at all in the fitting (particularly with the CPU +3 implant I always fit to my ships, just to squeeze a little extra out of my maxed fitting skills).  I say “discovered” because reading is hard, and I only realized the T3 destroyers are bonused for probe launcher fitting after I finished Amarr Tactical Destroyer V (quick train, makes a big difference, do it now).

What I like best about the Confessor is the name.  Confessor.  I’m waiting for the next Amarr ship to be called the Summoner, Indulgence, or Pardoner).  But what I like second best about the ship is how, despite its advantages, it’s not overpowered.

Sure, it can perform multiple roles effectively, and it’s far more effective than any other destroyer (as it should), it’s flexible in its engagement range, and it has multiple modes depending on your needs at that moment.  I thought at first that a 10-second delay on changing modes was too much, but I’m actually pretty okay with it.  10 seconds makes it a real choice whether you want to go into Defensive or Propulsion mode when you jump into a massive gatecamp and need to burn back quickly.  You only get one.

But unlike some other ships, you can’t do it all at once.  It has flexibility without hegemony, and that’s a very good thing.  People are losing Confessors.  They aren’t like Tengus or Ishtars, where they are a go-to ship in all situations.  Sure, I hear the “Yet™” on your lips as I type, but I really don’t think Confessors will become a meme like Drakes.

This really represents, in my mind, a bull’s-eye on CCP’s part, by introducing new ships and paradigms of mechanics (the three changeable modes) without breaking balance in the process.  I’m excited to get my hands on the Svipul (more on that in the next post) because Minmatar, but also because of the potential of the various hulls.  So far, the Confessor seems like a well-balanced little ship, and I’m appreciative of the time they’re taking in releasing these new hulls.

Nonetheless, the post is titled “Long Delays and Deep Thought”.  The “delay” is from me not really having much to write about.  Everyone I’ve met has been keener to run from my Confessor than fight it.  Since it’s assuredly not because I’m so awesome (kids, if you want more fights, start a blog; everyone wants your killmail), and Confessors are dying like crazy, it makes me wonder: Why aren’t people willing to engage my Confessor?  Dare I say, it spurred some deep thought.

For most players, bravery comes from either familiarity or having a fleet at your back.  If you face a ship you’ve faced many times before, you’re likely to feel pretty confident during the fight, win or lose.  This can sometimes backfire for hulls with a range of fitting metas, but generally speaking, you’re more likely to take the 20th fight against a certain hull than the 1st.  And, of course, having backup helps too.

Confessors have a mystique about them now, a psychological effect that has one of two effects on people.  Either A) I want to kill one, yarr! or B) Eek… scary!  The former is less common than the latter.

We saw a similar trend with T3 cruisers, as well.  For the first six months, people took note when a T3 appeared on grid, and the psychological effect of seeing one against you was significant.  A lot of people wanted to kill one, and more often than not, when they did, it was with a fleet.  But a T3 kill tended to be the crowning achievement of a roam, remembered fondly.

Now, with prices dropping and their use ubiquitous, T3s are no big deal.  More often than not, most pilots assume a single T3 is a boosting ship moving into position, or an exploration vessel.  And, more often than not, they’re right.  This is natural, and comes with familiarity.

A lot of the videos you’ll see and fights you’ll see recounted for the first six months’ of each of these new hulls’ lives won’t be possible a year from now as knowledge of these hulls increases and the enemy pilots themselves will have had time to try them out.  The psychological edge of appearing on grid in an unfamiliar ship is a fleeting advantage, one that is already starting to dissipate.

But I find it interesting nonetheless.  The launch of a new ship class in Eve represents a chance to see a player’s unfiltered nature.  For all we talk about Eve players being a bunch of maniac space murderers, we sometimes forget that we all apply human perspectives to our actions.  Unfamiliar situations make us respond according to our instincts.  Right now, the way players react to seeing a Confessor when all alone – regardless of the ship they’re flying – is telling.

Do you run or fight?  Do you commit immediately or play it safe?  Are you aggressive or reactive?  Eventually, learned tactics will get in the way of our natural reactions (that’s called learning and improving), but for now, a Confessor fight is a bell-weather for your true personality.

So who are you at your core, not after layers of conditioning and experience take hold?

1 comment:

  1. “For most players, bravery comes from either familiarity or having a fleet at your back.”

    I would comment that for me at least, “bravery” often manifests in a third situation . . . rescuing a corpmate in trouble. When a “HELP!” call comes down the line I find myself unthinkingly dropping everything, hopping into whatever appears best at hand and foolhardily rushing to the pain point, all with nary a thought about personal risk.

    Sorta reveals how sudden outbreaks of “bravery” may be generated not so much by the physical consequences of one’s actions but rather by the meaning of one’s actions. While it remains preferable to successfully bail your corpmate out of a bind in the help case, dying gloriously in the attempt is nearly as valuable. With loyalty being the salient measure underfoot, “bravery” is a no lose situation.

    I wonder if nearly all examples of “bravery” unravel in similar ways.