Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Capital Ship Gap

So ignoring the way that CCP dropped the ball on the mothership/supercarrier changes for Dominion, let's talk about what should be done.

The graph above reflects my opinion of the four combat capital ships effectiveness in combat and logistical (i.e. moving stuff, jump portals, repairing POS shields) roles and it reflects the problem with the current mothership: its effectiveness is not much superior to the carrier and dreadnought but its cost is far greater.

Side Note: I think this is because the original cost of the mothership took into account the supposed power of the clone vat bays, but they are virtually unused for a variety of reasons.

There are two ways to address this disparity: make the mothership more effective or bring the price down.

CCP tried the first on the test server with a huge hit point buff and fighter-bomber drones and it was well received by the playbase but for whatever reason was not acceptable to CCP. Then they proposed the second by making motherships effectively tier II carriers and lowering the price but the playerbase howled in outrage (especially current mothership pilots whose asset would drop in value by half with no recompense).
So now CCP has backed out of any changes.

What's the right answer? I propose two strokes to solve the issue.

1) Introduce new ships called supercarriers that would represent what CCP Nohz tried to do in the second phase of mothership changes.

These would be tech II carriers costing about 7 billion, have superior stats to regular carriers in terms of hitpoints but still be limited to +1 drone/fighter per level, can dock, have bigger ship bay and corporate hanger, same jump range, and can use Fighter-bombers unlike normal carriers.

These ships would be feasible as flagships for smaller corporations and alliances and fill the price point gap between Dreadnoughts and Motherships.

2) Change motherships by removing the ability of clone vat bays and introducing a new capital module for motherships only called Teleportation Device or something else suitably sci-fi sounding. This module would allow for ships in the fleet with a new high slot module called a Teleport Homing Device fitted to be transported immediately to the mothership as if they jumped there.

In essence the Mothership would be able to act as a focal point for a fleet, bringing in new pilots arriving on the scene or pilots reshipping from so many light years away. This would give the ship the intended role of the clone vat bays without all the downsides that made it pointless to use, and in protracted conflicts would be an important driver in a fleet's ability to maintain numbers.

As well, Motherships would be due a hitpoint buff and perhaps the ability to use fighter-bombers.


  1. Not a bad suggestion. Throw it out there on EVE-O, might serve as a source of inspiration to the devs.

  2. Maybe throw in a few limitations for this Teleport Homing Device? Otherwise it might be abused and make logistics too easy.

  3. Not being a capital ship using alliance for the most part my input on this will be limited to my own opinion. i think introducing a split between the Super Carrier concept and the Mothership concept is the way to go. I think CCP was going in that direction but dropped the ball. Remember when they first introduced the concept of the super carrier they indicated that they wanted to re-think the role of Motherships before re-giving that ship back to EVE. Where they dropped the ball is that they should have simply introduced the new carrier and then re-tooled motherships. The hue and cry is mainly because of the percived watering down of assets due to switching over all current moms over to the supercarrier load out. What I think should be done is address the issues of the clone bay that cause it not to be useful. Personally I feel that one should ... Holy crap I just had a great idea for making MOM's relevant again... Must go blog...

  4. Re: limitations

    For sure I would want some limitations. Maybe a fuel or high activation cost, or only fittable to certain classes of convential combat ships. I.e. make it good for bringing ships into combat but not for making logistics easy.

  5. Anonymous11:05 am

    Your use of a line graph here made me cringe, dude. There's no time series or anything here and "carrier -> dreadnought" is not a logical progression.

    You might instead use something like a scatterplot or just a set of bars for each ship type.

    --your friendly math nerd

  6. Anonymous7:39 am


    mother ship 
    a vessel or craft that services others operating far from a home port or center.

    I have next to no experience with nullsec and absolutely no experience with capital ships.

    Now with those things out of the way, let me start by saying that I think you're definitely on to something here. That is to say:

    - The roll of any "mothership" as per the above definition is as a base of operations.
    - Your proposal to change how clone vats work on motherships is in line with this definition of motherships.
    - You're right on the mark in terms of increasing their logistical effectiveness.

    Now keeping in mind that I have no idea how this would change the dynamics of capital warfare, my personal opinion is that a mothership should pretty much be a POS with engines and a jump drive.

    You should be able to park a mothership somewhere and as long as you can manage the logistics of supplying it with fuel it should be impossible to take it down. The only way to get rid of one should be to cut off its supply lines and then break its shield.

    It should be capable of anything that a station is, including:

    - Kirith's Clone Vat (KCV) *tm AKA Medical Bay
    - Industry (refining, copying, inventing, manufacturing)
    - Massive ship hanger
    - Massive corporate cargohold
    - Repair facilities
    - Etc.

    A mothership should have no guns of any kind, nor should it have the ability to launch or manage fighters or drones. The mothership is there in a supporting role for all of the other pilots and ships in the fleet. Want fighters? Undock a carrier. Want drones? Undock a battleship. Want a supermassive ship with supermassive weaponry? Fine. Just don't call it a mothership because that is not what it is.

    With the role of stationary POSs changing (in regards to sovereignty), I think it's time for the completely mobile POS in the form of motherships. It will bring an interesting dynamic to nullsec warfare. Some random rules by the surly old guy who brought you this post:

    - Clearly it's important for the mothership to keep enough fuel on-hand to survive somewhere between 12 and 24 hours in some sort of reinforced mode before getting refuelled.
    - Once the ship is in reinforced you can dock, but cannot use any of the services until it is repaired. Industry jobs are suspended or cancelled.
    - There is no shield bubble around the ship. To take advantage of the protection offered by the ship you must dock.
    - You can't jump it when it's in reinforced
    - It is really expensive to jump and contains only enough fuel to jump its maximum jumping distance once. After that it needs to be resupplied.
    - Motherships don't warp. Ever. Are you kidding me? You're going to warp a city? No.
    - Some other stuff I'll think of right after I hit "submit"

    The particulars need to be worked out of course, but the fundamental point is that a mothership should be in line with the definition at the top of this diatribe. If there is simply no way to fit such a thing into EvE, then the idea should be dropped along with the name.

    So there, I've climbed out on the limb and fallen off. Flame away.


  7. Rather than incorporating teleportation why not a built-in (ie: not a fitting) hybrid cyno? The mothership could get in a scrap, pop their hybrid and then anyone in gang within a certain range can lock and jump?

    Maybe a mass limit based on skills or other fittings? Perhaps because of its hybrid nature it would be immune to cyno jammers? Discuss.