Posted Tue, Mar 20, 2012 by The Mittani
One cannot avoid a feeling of deja vu. Almost three years ago I wrote about the proliferation of Titans and their grievous impact on the game; that was just before the removal of AoE Doomsdays in Dominion. In patch after patch, Titans have required ever more stern nerfs.
The Titan Timeline:
12/2005: Titan blueprints introduced in Red Moon Rising
9/2006: First Titan built
6/2007: Revelations II removes the Remote Doomsday and adds a 10 minute ‘no jump after Doomsday’ timer. Two days later saw the first combat loss of a Titan.
12/2009: Dominion removes AoE Doomsday, replacing it with a single-target nuke.
11/2011: Crucible limits single-target Doomsday to only impact capital ships, EHP cut.
4/2012: Titan scanres, tracking, and targets drastically cut to prevent subcap ‘blapping’.
Before the first combat loss of a Titan, there were less than ten of them in the game. As of March 13th, 2012, there were eight hundred and eighty.
Whenever players in a competitive game are given a powerful tool, they will use that tool to the utmost to win - ideally with the least possible risk. At release, it was possible to fire a Doomsday through a cyno to land anywhere within a system; Titans never left the shelter of POS shields - peeking out of the edge, firing a DD that would wipe out an entire fleet, and then scuttling back to safety seconds later. When Remote Doomsdays were removed and a 10-minute no-jump timer was added in Revelations II, Titans fit nanos and Nomad implants and began doing rapid-align drive-by Doomsdays - warping in, DDing, and aligning to escape before they could be tackled. When players facing Titans began tanking their ships against Doomsdays, these drive-bys stopped being solo affairs, with two or more Titans firing consecutive grid-blasting doomsdays. When the Doomsday was changed to be a single-target attack, even Interceptors weren’t safe; logistics ships and command ships, the backbone of every subcapital fleet, would be sniped down in seconds. After Crucible changed the DD to only impact capitals, the blapping began.
One Titan, alone on the field, is incredibly vulnerable. But there are now so many supercaps in EVE that the safest place for a Titan is in a fleet with 20 or more other Titans. Should the Titan fleet get tackled, the Titans can create a blistering array of fire around them using capital turrets, and ‘scratch the backs’ of their companions. By stacking tracking computers and using Strong Drop boosters, Titans can easily hit even interdictors with no need for a subcapital support fleet - the usual ‘support fleet’ for Titans consists of as many webbing and neuting supercarriers and carriers as can be found. With enough remote rep and Strong Drop, the only thing a Titan fleet has to fear is a larger Titan fleet.
Once this latest way to abuse Titans was worked out, an all-too-familiar pattern reasserted itself. Just as with Titans using AoE Doomsdays to kill small handfuls of players before Dominion, Titan Blobs began to drop on anything they could cyno on top of. The only Titans who were killed during this period were either victims of bad luck due to being bumped away from their fleetmates due to physics glitches, or those dumb enough to be caught alone and ganked. The apologists of Titans - who were growing in number as the number of Titans spiraled out of control - claimed that the lack of actual Titan losses was merely a sign of the inferiority of everyone else, a refrain that has remained consistent since 2006 regardless of the iteration of Titan imbalance.