Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Supercarrier Too Super?

I dislike Superman. He's too strong/invulnerable/good. I like my heroes to have a little vulnerability to them, a weakness that is not "oh look, more of that rare green meteor rock!" I believe no one should have it too easy and Superman with his get-magic-powers-from-yellow-sun BS has it easiest of all. I'm a Batman fan; I like that the guy is just a human that has to train and dedicate his life to crime fighting in order to be on top. I'm talking round the clock training, OCD style.

OK, where the hell am I going here?

There is a sentiment in the Eve community that supercarriers since the upgrade are too powerful, and being a supercarrier owner it is a topic close to my heart (and wallet).

The evidence is scary. Multiple millions of effective hitpoints with resistances easily reaching 90% across the board, incredible DPS from the fighter bombers as well as hordes upon hordes of utility drones, immunity to common electronic warfare, and a jump range equivalent to a dreadnought. An alliance with a small fleet to call upon for hot-dropping has a chilling effect on any minor offensives a competing alliance might try to launch without it own fleet of supercarriers.

The startlingly high increase in the number of the ships as shown in the latest QEN leads one to wonder it their propagation is a good thing for the end game as massive alliances pump them out of the construction arrays. Normal battleship fleets are virtually useless against these behemoths and destroying them in the 15 minute logout timer (due to aggression) is next to impossible without capital support. To make matters most alarming, losing one of these supercarriers is no longer an significant economic blow to a large null sec alliance. Its fairly easily replaced and back in action.

Should something be done to curb these engines of destructions? What can be done? Do the same concerns apply to Titans?

I'm interested in hearing thoughts on the subject.


  1. The only change I feel is necessary is that CSAAs should be anchorable either in lowsec, or at least NPC nullsec; In other words, remove the sov requirement for anchoring.

    While there are commercial sellers of supercaps, the biggest problem for a small alliance is that if they don't have sov somewhere, and aren't willing to bow to the sov of one of the larger alliances as a renter or meatshield, they aren't going to be able to develop a fleet to compete.

    I could also see a change being made to the 15 minute logout timer, as it is entirely arbitrary and doesn't make a lot of sense in the game universe. As much as I enjoy probing down logoffskis, I'd be happy with "If you have a point on you, no ewarp, no 15 minute logoff timer. If you don't, Ewarp and log off."

    It could potentially lead to griefing, but what's eve about if not griefing?

    Re: the power in general: Clark Kent gets to take off his costume. He can return to his desk job any time he wants. The Supercarrier pilot cannot leave his steel tomb unless there's a holding character in place (which in and of itself is a major investment). I don't think Superman wants to train a slightly less Super Man who can only fly around and look pretty.

    If you're stuck in a ship, it needs to be awesome. Eve is not a game of perfect balance, and if you're willing to shell out the time and money and training for something that's powerful, it needs to be powerful.

    The balance issue is that it, like every ship and skill in eve, needs to be available to everybody, hence my feelings on the sov requirement for CSAAs.

    /emote ends his wall of text.

  2. I was in an NC fleet last week where we used a titan bridge to get close to our target system. We had just under 250 ships in our fleet, we were quite deep in "safe" territory (that occasionally sees a small roaming gang of reds but that's about it) with clean intel channels for 8 jumps in any direction, and yet the titan cyno'd in next to the POS, and immediately bolted behind the shield with all his reppers and defenses turned on. Only once he was safely behind the shield did he activate the bridge.

    Given the extent of the paranoia going in to protecting that 1 titan in "safe" space" I don't know that titans are considered as "behemoth-y" as they once were. I still haven't actually been a part of a fight including caps or supercaps yet, though, so I don't know how it all shakes out for certain yet. But soon. . . .

  3. The problem is tremendously compounded by the persistent, nasty lag as well. It's not easy, but hardly impossible, for sub-cap fleets to deliver millions of HP of damage under normal circumstances. 100 BS can deliver 1M damage in well under 1 minute (100BS x 500dps x 60sec = 3M damage). BUT, that's compared to 30M, 50M, even 70-80M ehp on a SC (lol Aeon ftw).

    And, again, under normal, ie lag free conditions. Then add lag, where guns cycle once per min and drones won't obey, yeah, not so much. Given nasty lag potential (err, guarantee) in even 100 v 100 fights, SCs are nearly impervious to sub-caps.

    Oh, and, the best part - CCP says 'Suck on it noobs! We're booked for 18 months'. WiS and Dust will be great for all the WoW kiddies CCP is going for I guess, 'cause their current base will be gone in 18 months. Maybe that's CCPs solution - make the game into shit so all the vets just unsub! No more SC problem.

  4. Hm.

    Supercarriers' weakness is that they rely on fighter bombers for all their damage. When something on your side gets primaried by SC surround it with smartbombing carriers, or better yet keep a squad of smartbombing BS nearby that can warp to 0 and take out the FB.

    I encountered a situation earlier this year where the enemy had 10 supercarriers sitting on pos shields. We weren't able to kill them because they could simply re-enter shields if taking damage, but they were unable to put damage on our small capital fleet due to smartbombs.

    That said, they should be easier to kill. A modest hitpoint nerf (30-40%) wouldn't hurt, and increased logoff timers for supercapitals would be really nice since at the moment they're practically unkillable unless you have a bunch of titans/SC.

    As for the difficulty of smaller alliances in getting SC that david brings up, I don't agree - multiple SC are sold on the market forum every day, albeit at somewhat of a price premium.

  5. In laggy situations are Fighter Bombers especially effective? I haven't tried pvping with drones in Eve but I remember in other games lag + minions = win. Diablo 2 in particular had a tactic where as a Necro you'd teleport on top of an opponent with 50 minions out, you'd both lag like hell and when the game started working again your opponent were dead and your skeletons were slightly fatter.

  6. Nyx Killed Today by your alliance, with 2 members of your corp on the killmail. Subcap fleet did it!