With CCP’s announcement that they’ll be limiting the ability of FCs and probers to warp fleets to only those destinations that fleet members could reach themselves, I’ve been thinking a lot about why this idea frustrates me so much. And I think I have a couple answers to it.
Players and commentators have said CCP is trying to force players to think for themselves more, and to take a more active role in fleet battles. The narrative expressed by these players is that CCP is upset about “F1 fleets” and wants to engage players more in large fleet fights.
Unfortunately, while this is a pretty theory, I have a hard time believing this is really CCP’s goal. This change only has the effect of limiting overall tactical options without having any effect at all on player involvement. CCP didn’t make the change so that individual fleet members have to actively and intentionally warp to, say, a probe scan result. No, this change will permit no one to warp to the probe scan result except the prober. This is a downright removal of warping fleets on top of an enemy fleet.
(Side note: yes, this is eliminating the option entirely. The window for landing on an enemy fleet is frustratingly narrow, and the delay it takes for a prober to warp cloaked towards an enemy fleet, maneuver into position to allow his fleet to warp to him, then for the FC to initiate warp is ruinous and cuts out 90% of fleet warping opportunities. Previously, a friendly fleet could be in warp about 12 seconds after probes hit dscan. Now, the length will be closer to 30 seconds. This is a stab to the heart of on-grid maneuvering as well; sell your Tornados now.)
Let’s look at who suffers the most from these changes… multi-corporation fleets (and if CCP finally gets around to introducing alliance bookmarks, it’ll be punishing only multi-alliance fleets)… sniper gangs… fleets warping on top of and repositioning themselves… “hunter” fleets trying to destroy an enemy fleet. Who isn’t harmed? Fleets that seek to control specific areas of space… defense fleets… slower, stationary fleets… armor fleets.
If anything, this change reduces the ability of a smaller fleet to take on a larger fleet, as those smaller fleets almost always need to rely on speed, quick repositioning, and precise, fast warp-ins to do their damage. With all the changes to fleet warfare in FozzieSov, CCP looked poised to want to bring back small gang battles, yet this change completely undercuts that by eliminating agility and tactical positioning from the bank of available tools. Why would they do this?
Further, this change is a direct attack on content enablers, the players who enable and amplify the experience of other players. And, lest we forget, these players are in the group CCP Seagull stood up on stage and identified as the very players CCP wanted to help unleash. Something has clearly been lost in translation here.
A few players have countered this concern by saying, “Well, it’ll force line players to learn and do more.” But this is a deeply flawed argument that equates to, “Most players would rather let someone else do this work for X effort and Y value, so let’s push the enablers out and make the players do it for themselves for 2X effort for Y value!” I don’t think that will happen, but maybe I failed algebra. Oh, wait, I didn’t…
I’m all for “teach a man to fish”, but that model assumes one key component: that the person needs fish (food) to survive. We aren’t in the real world, and every player has the option of starving – deciding to go elsewhere.
This change eliminates complex tactical and fleet positioning options without adding anything of value back. If its goal is to make fleet members more active, I fail to see how this will happen. The locations an FC can warp members to will be exactly the same as those a fleet member can warp him/herself to.
I confess I don’t understand why this is suddenly such an issue. I’m also confused as to how eliminating the ability for a prober to relay probe results to a fleet via fleet warp, or for an FC to issue a command to warp an entire fleet to his personal bookmark, will help anything at all. CCP is solving a problem that doesn’t exist. That it also will drastically reduce the advantage of small nano gangs and effectively curtail the variety of tactical warp-ins is what really spoils it for me.
Maybe it’s me, but I’m seeing that concurrent user count continue to plummet in the USTZ when it should be peaking in anticipation for the opportunities FozzieSov will bring.