Posted Tue, Dec 06, 2011 by The Mittani
Iceland in winter is much like Alaska; no sun, freezing cold (a good bit warmer than Alaska, really; Canadians and those from the upper Midwest will be right at home) and a complete lack of daylight. There's a brief haze of gray that begins around 1pm which counts as 'day'. In Summer the Icelanders drink out of joy, and in this season they drink out of despair. If you come armed with Vitamin D supplements and find a sunlamp, though, you can stave off the suicidal ideations and crushing depression that your biochemistry will offer up from the utter lack of light.
I was last in Reykjavik in July during the bright-yet-unpleasant days of the Incarna Emergency Summit, and then returned home just in time for the abortive invasion of Deklein by PL, NCdot and Raiden. Unlike the May summit, there was no official spaceships discussion in July, just endless recrimination about the failures of Incarna. This time should be different; with Incarna dead and Crucible being heralded as a restoration of EVE, spaceships are at last front and center in CCP's planning.
This begs the question: What is to be done? Already many of the 'sucking chest wounds', the most broken areas of EVE, have been fixed in Incarna. We now find ourselves in the happy position of looking to fix things that are broken in the game - of which there are many - but not actively driving the customer base to quit en masse. Here's what I - and my liver - will be pushing for this week.
*Destructible Outposts: Face it - nullsec is littered with outposts now, even in the most trivial of systems. Outposts are invulnerable in the present Dominion sov system, meaning that spamming a region with stations as a speedbump against invasion is an effective and widely-utilized tactic. The proliferation of outposts after Dominion has correlated absolutely with the stagnation of bloc warfare as a tool of regional conquest; players simply do not enjoy fighting through four off-time zone timers for every single station they have to capture.
The solution is simple: let outposts be destroyed. The question is not 'should outposts be destructible' as much as 'how do we handle the assets in a destroyed station'. There are two primary ideas, both valid, that have come up to address this. The least destructive option is to have a destroyed outpost become a 'wreck' which can be repaired with a new outpost egg; once repaired, all the assets in the destroyed station become available to their owner as before. The alternative was suggested by CSM delegate Two Step, a 'forced firesale' of all assets within the destroyed outpost. Upon destruction, every asset in the wreck is automatically put up for auction. The owner of the items being auctioned gets 80% of the auction value, the alliance destroying the station gets a cut, and (an easy deflationary isk-sink) CONCORD takes a tax. In this way, a player 'loses' items in a destroyed station, but those losses are converted into isk, rather than setting up an 'I lost everything, I quit' scenario that might scare off CCP.
*Tech 2 Frigate Revamp: Assault Frigates didn't make it into the Crucible rebalancing; they're an obvious candidate for the post-Crucible release. A less well-known situation is that facing Electronic Attack Ships, the least common ship class in EVE. More pilots fly Titans than the neglected EAS frigate.
Originally intended as a 'mini recon cruiser', the EAS frigates are too fragile and lack any unique role, completely overshadowed by their larger cousins. The solution? Allowing EAS ships to use their electronic warfare abilities on ships which are normally immune to ewar - the supercapitals.
Presently, supercaps en masse can still operate without a support fleet, though not without risk. A properly supported group of supercaps will make short work of any squadron of EAS frigates. But supercaps operating alone would have a much harder time hitting a frigate-level signature, even where cruisers and battlecruisers fear to tread.