Wednesday, June 08, 2011


In the latest Voices from the Void podcast Hallen Turrek said something very true and often a problem in Eve when he was going over some ideas for more small fleet objectives in null sec proposed by Gevlin of Space Monkeys Alliance in Speakers Corner forum. He said, and I'm going off of memory here, "there is nothing there that a large fleet couldn't do faster" when talking about destroying enemy objectives.

This is the crux of all problems relating to fleet warfare in Eve: it is almost always better to have more pilots if you can. Nobody ever tells 5 pilots to stand down because 20 pilots is sufficient. Overwhelming firepower and all that, right?

The question is how do you make it advantageous to have a smaller group to do an operation instead of as many pilots as you can gather?

So I put the question out to you, dear readers. What change can be made to make smaller gangs preferable to a larger one?

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Out of the office for the next couple days, blogging resumes as normal on Monday.


  1. Create minor sov-realted harassment targets, and give those targets a very small sig radius, so large weapons aren't as useful to them. Maybe they require hacking or codebreaking modules to enable for a limited window.

    This doesn't break the n+1 issue - frankly there is no way to stop people from playing together, but it could open up the opportunity for smaller groups to perform harassment activities (they should not be able to impact Sovereignty as a whole).

  2. here's a two-part, simple to implement idea; the code for the first part already exists, and the second isn't terribly complicated

    1. add wormhole bonus/penalty anomalies to all space i.e. shield boosting, armor resist, drone damage, etc. you'd do this on a inverted scale tied to sec status, so the penalties/bonuses in 1.0 space would be 0, 0.9 space would be 10%, 0.0 would be 100%, and so on

    2. you add new anomalies that make either
    a) big ships bad
    i.e. make a 50 man fleet of frigates able to compete with a 20 man fleet of BC's
    b) small ships better i.e. a scaling tracking modifier where bigger guns, using bigger ammo, don't hit as hard; call it nebula sludge that slows the rate of speed of the ammo. but of course smaller ammo with less mass can pass through it unaffected
    c) and this is likely the most effective one, have an effect with a scaling penalty, i.e. if there's 500 people in a system, then everyone suffers a 50% reduction in rate of fire
    -these kind of penalties would have to be offense related, or they'd give an advantage to whoever was in system first i.e. alpha down an enemy fleet jumping in on a gate as their defenses get penalized
    -making these offense related and tied to # of people in a system instantly makes it bad to bring too many people to fight in one place, as you may gimp your dps to the point where you can't break the enemy's tank (and he can't break yours) creating an instant stalemate

    just my 2c

  3. Greetings,

    if you saw the movie 'Jumper', a jumper ( warper in our case ) creates a rift in space and jumps through. What if groups of more than 15 ships create a rift large enough that they leave rifts behind which can be used by other ships to follow them wherever they go. Rifts would phase out after 5/10 minutes.

    This would make hit and run harder for larger groups since the run part is pretty impossible until they split off.


  4. - Small scale titan-like portals which only allow for a certain mass to pass through. Maybe module that can be fitted on a fleet command-ish battleship or something?

    - Area of effect weapons. We all know how devastating 40 stealth bombers can be to a 100 (or 500 for that matter) man fleet. We might want more down that lane. My personal favorite: suicide bombers (fly somewhere and hit 'detonate' to do 10% hull (or perhaps a % of EHP would be fairer?) damage to everyone in a 10km radius. Maybe even with cloaked warp capabilities but with only freighter-like speed. Would be awesome, trying to sneak through the bubbles as far as possible into the heart of an enemy fleet, all while running the risk of being devloaked. But if you succeed in getting 10-ish people in, the hostile (supercap ;D ) blob is gone for the day

  5. To me it's human nature. As long as you have the recourses needed to field more people you will because we like success. Of course in the real world there are recourse limitations (such as funding in the case of war) but this is EvE and money is seemingly endless for some groups.

  6. I think Meatay touched on a key point. It's not that there are so many pilots, but that there are so many pilots who can field effective ships. I know it would be very un-fun to have pilots say, "I can't afford to fleet up, so I guess I'll ship spin," but currently, fielding a fleet-fit BS isn't that big of a deal.

    Anyway, my pet "small-gang objective" is the CONCORD Relay Station. This is a celestial object in every 0.0 system; it is easily seen on the overview. Canonically, the CRS is a CONCORD outpost that runs coms for the CONCORD vessels and capsuleers who roam null-sec. The Outpost is indestructible, but it has two stages of reinforced.

    In the beginning, the CRS is not reinforced, and Local chat displays both the number of people in the system and their names. Suppose, however, that an alliance sends a small roaming gang into enemy space. This roaming gang can attack the CRS and put it into reinforced 1. This will take the structure to armor. At that time, Local ceases to show who is in the system. It only details the number of capsuleers in the system and names people who have talked in the past 15 minutes.

    The CRS remains in reinforced for 15 minutes. After that, it can be attacked again, and when its armor is destroyed it enters reinforced 2. At this stage, Local either a) goes offline or b) shows only the people who have spoken.

    Reinforced 1 mode lasts 2 hours, and the shields slowly begin to recharge after the 15-minute timer. Reinforced 2 mode lasts 4 hours, and armor/shields begin repping immediately after being taken to structure.

    I think reinforced 1 should take about 10 average-DPS frigates to make it come about. Reinforced 2 should require a slightly larger/more powerful gang. I imagine 20 average-DPS frigates, or a smaller number of Cruisers, Assault Ships, or something else. Somewhere between 5-10 minutes of shooting should do the trick.

    Additionally, I think the CRS needs to broadcast in Local (or in the sov-holding alliance's Alliance chat; not sure...) when it is being attacked. That gives the inhabitants of the system warning, so they may either mount a counterattack or call in reinforcements to keep the CRS from entering reinforced 2.

    So why is this helpful? It allows small gangs an objective that is useful to larger fleets. An invading alliance could send gangs into various systems, destroying their Local. The defenders would then not be able to rely on a ratter in his POS telling them, "300-man DRF fleet in UMI-KK," but instead they would need to have defensive scouts in the system, scanning and watching for fleet movements. On the other hand, reinforcing the CRS will allert the defenders to a coming attack.

    So, that is my pet idea, which I have finally been allowed to iterate on. Thanks for reading!

  7. Anonymous12:21 am

    Nice Idea Stevie . . . damn you. I was thinking if Local was dependent on the number of ships in system, the more the faster it responded. Small fleets could 'slip through the lines' where a big fleet would trigger alarms. Said small fleet might still rendezvous at an assigned target to mass up but need to be in smaller bits to get there.


  8. I like that local destructable thing! Would Also be hell for botters since a small gang could kill the local channels in a whole bunch of systems and thus make them bots stay docked up.

    Maybe the time could also be short (just the 15 mins RF or so) but the thing needs to be onlined by anyone who wants it online? (might not be better but hey - we're brainstorming :) )

  9. Not a bad idea, but -devil's advocate here- it just seems like bait for a hot drop: a small gangs shuts down local perfectly setting up an environment where they can hot drop capital ships with much less visibility.

  10. I tried:

    note comment about the Rokh

    Originally by: Knug LiDi
    Renaming Anchored Structures
    Technical Director tells me it should be technically possible. I will look into getting this on a team's backlog. This is definitely not the first time we've heard this suggestion.

    Originally by: Knug LiDi
    Rokh Dronebay
    50m3 is the intended capacityfor the Rokh Dronebay.

    Originally by: Knug LiDi
    Skill Queue on EVE Gate
    Yes, we intend to put skill queue functionality and many other in-game features onto EVE Gate.

  11. Not sure if this was mentioned yet, but why not make some sov targets similar in style to incursion sites?? I know it doesnt directly relate but the scaling of isk making in incursions is directly related to the number of people in the fleet, why not make some sov targets based on that same scaling??

  12. Stevie is on to something there. It creates objectives for small / low damage output fleets.

    I see possibilities not only for removing local, But cynosural field detection for example? The Sov station could hold services much like an alliance owned station, tweaked so that the hit points of each individual "service" determines its effect on the system.

    On the down side, a supercapital blob can still simply leeroy such a system and take those services out in no time at all. Can be solved by either making the effects small / uninteresting for an invading cap fleet (removing local is not a small effect.) Or giving the structure some resistance to larger weaponry.

    But it does make one think:
    Death star trench run in a taranis? It'll be just like shooting womprats back home!

  13. Whatever Sov objective we woulud add in our perfect world where we had the Dev's ears would need active incentives to do in small gangs, not just restricitons on large ones. The finer details of what the new objective does - whether it makes space less or more vulnerable - shouldn't matter too much. Incapping local sounds like an interesting idea, but there needs to be an incentive to do it in small numbers, not just the possibility to do so or site restrictions. Low HP structures to shoot is not the answer - surely you'd just bring a metric fuckton of ships to do it instantly (or cover the backs of the ships doing it) and move on to grief/make massive numbers of systems vulnerable?

    I think Talinthi's idea of having sites to complete is a good one - and definitely tie it in with ISK making. Everyone in Eve is a greedy hoarding carebear at some level and loves to make ISK in the smallest numbers possible so as to maximise personal profits. You could add to this by making the sites escalate, with additional NPC spawns for each unique non-sov holder ship in the site, so people don't just try and solo them all the time (although this could be viable - hello 2bil ISK printer solo Tengus on roams to kill!) and can't blob the NPCs out to reduce the risk of being caught. However to prevent the use of 300+ ships triggering a 1000 NPC spawn for profit and Sov warfare, the NPCs should be scripted to warp out and need to be probed down again. To prevent people farming Sov plexes, they should only pay out upon completion. The plexes could have a range of effects upon completion - such as no local, then no cyno on overview, then temporarily contested sov - similar to putting up SBUs, for a short period of time, long enough for the standard sov blobs to do their thing if unmolested.

    This idea is probably flawed by using the critical quesiton - how do I as an FC interact with this Sov mechanic to take advantage of the hundreds of combat pilots I have online right now? - but I can't immediately see it. Maybe blobbing gangs doing these sites, which I suppose can be balanced by the sites being fairly short and the gangs being good enough to outmaneuver superior numbers.

  14. Just re-read above post, NPCs should warp out when a certain number of unique non-sov holding ships enter the site if that's not clear. And I suppose only one site should spawn at a time to prevent defence fleets probing down and camping the plexes the moment a Sov plex gang starts doing its thing.

    One balance issue I can see is if people use neutral alts or coalition partners to break plexes as soon as they spawn, so I guess this would have to be a non-essential part of Sov warfare. Hopefully this kind of defence would be too much effort to organise on a consistent basis. I suppose it would favour high-density space such as the (former?) NC, and make it more difficuult to do in Nullsec hub systems.

    Also, I suppose the ISK making may not be a vital element either, but it would be an incentive to not find a way to use large numbers to do the sites.