In a post called "Nullsec Is Worth Saving" the prominent blogger Mord Fiddle put out an idea for saving nullsec:
Happily,nullsec can be saved. And the solutions is a fairly simple one that does not require major surgery.Needless to say, this raised some eyebrows and comments including my own. With many people posing other possibilities to addressing super capitals without removing them entirely, Mord stood his ground and insisted that the most elegant and simple solution was removing them, leading to this exchange:
1) Eliminate supercapitals - Remove them entirely. This class of ship, more than any other, is responsible for nullsec's current state. Without supercapital drops and bridges the area over which a nullsec alliance or coalition can project force will be significantly reduced as will the the speed with which they can react to threats. This will shrink the amount of space a nullsec entity can reasonably control.
2) Significantly reduce Sov infrastructure hit points so that a large subcapital fleet of barbarians with modest capital ship support can reduce it in a reasonable about of time. This will eliminate the need to have Titan-class firepower behind any play for a piece of nullsec.
Mord Fiddle March 23, 2013 at 5:39 AMI was taken aback by that as I have *never* suggested we do not address the situation. I responded as such:
Elegance is not a function of complexity or nuance. An elegant solution is one that displays the qualities of unusual effectiveness and simplicity.
I believe the solution I've put forward meets that standard.
Kirith Kodachi March 23, 2013 at 8:33 AM
But CCP will never ever remove Supercaps. *shrugs*
Mord Fiddle March 23, 2013 at 8:42 AM
If voices like yours advocate rolling over, and refuse to step up and advocate for what's good for the game, you're absolutely right.
Kirith Kodachi March 23, 2013 at 9:06 AMAnd Mord responded:
Now you're putting words in my mouth.
I never advocated for rolling over and refusing to advocate for what's good in the game. I've advocated for many unpopular positions over the years. However, I've tried to approach things with a realistic opinion of what CCP will and will not do. And from my opinion, and probably theirs, removing supercaps runs the potential of not only bad press but bad feelings with the players they consider "enablers"; the core of large null sec alliances whose influence extends far past their one/two/three/more accounts to all the people they fly with. We saw what happens with the Summer of Incarnage when the core of dedicated players stops logging in.
Also, fundamentally CCP does not remove things that are problematic in the game. Rightly or wrongly, they (and many players) would see that as a sign of surrender and weakness. Thus things get changed or new things get added to counter the problems. It is the pattern and I see no reason why they would deviate from it.
Thus, watching you tilt at windmills insisting that only removing supercaps will fix null sec and no other option is feasible is very frustrating; its a discussion that is pointless in having and I'm hoping to convince you to entertain other possibilities.
There ARE other ways to combat the problem without *completely* alienating the people with supercaps. I will continue to advocate for those ways and listen to other proposals and point out what I think will and will not work.
And my opinion is that simply removing the supercaps will not happen, and therefore will not work.
Mord FiddleMarch 23, 2013 at 3:34 PM
"And from my opinion, and probably theirs, removing supercaps runs the potential of not only bad press but bad feelings with the players they consider 'enablers'".
Ah yes, the enablers. I recall them. That's the same lot that turned nullsec into a theme park after years of railing against the evils of EVE being turned into a theme park.
I notice those same "enablers" are pressing hard for Farms & Fields and Risk/Rewards (For the uninformed see last week's Farms and Fields: Metagame). But that's just them tilting at windmills, right? Crazy talk. I mean, it's not like CCP would ever break highsec just to make a bunch of "enablers" happy.
And yet there they are, heads down and battling to affect the change they want, regardless of how radical it is. It must be very frustrating to watch.
I'm open to less radical procedures. However, I haven't seen anything yet that will get the job done. It seems any nerf of supercapitals sufficient to drive meaningful change would offend the "enablers" as much as eliminating the class altogether.
A satisfactory alternative that leaves supercaps in the game is possible. However, any solution is going to require that someone besides the "enablers" stand up, raise their voices and demand change. Shrugs aren't going to make it happen.
Think of this as an opening position. My solution is quick, easy and effective. If CCP doesn't want to go that route they should find a solution to the supercap problem and and the resources to implement it.
So I decided to take my next part back to my blog. Mord has stated his "opening position": remove supercaps and balance the game around the new reality.
Even given the possibility that CCP would go that route (and rest assured, they never will) this merely move the problem from supercaps to plain old capitals. The ONLY thing that prevents large null sec alliances from fielding nothing but fleets of dreadnoughts supported by carriers is the threat of being hotdropped by supercaps! With the threat removed, Slowcats and their ilk will run wild with abandon with greater jump range than supercaps, lower cost to entry, easier to replace, and still virtually invulnerable to fleets of subcaps the same size.
In essence, Mord's solution is none at all!
But at least he has the grit to face the problem head on and be active about fixing null sec rather than being one of the people sitting around in supercapitals and complaining about the "stagnation" that they themselves have created and perpetuated. But that's a post for another day.
So in response to Mord's "opening position", I will propose my own radical solution to the supercap deadlock in null sec.
1) Reduce Jump Range Drastically
Something of a pet horse, I think that Titans and supercarriers should powerful... AND slow. Give them jump ranges such as that they can threaten the local constellation and maybe a bit next door, but not entire regions. This will cut down their tactical flexibility and allow smaller more mobile fleets to maneuver around them.
2) Take Jump Bridges from Titans
Make a new capital/supercapital class with virtually no combat ability but does (short ranged) jump bridges and has clone vat bays. Call it mothership, whatever, but divorce jump bridging from Titans. This will discourage the proliferation of Titans as they will not be dual-role.
3) Cut the Hitpoints - Drastically
Make it so that Supercarriers can take as well as twice to three times as much as a well tanked carrier, but no more. Make Titans only slightly above that. This will make them far more vulnerable to capitals allowing smaller alliances to have a weapon to use against them.
4) Deathstrike Class Subcaps!
Sadly, as I posted two years ago:
A super capital fleet in any normal reasonable situation cannot be countered by anything except another super capital fleet. This is mainly the cause of supercarriers and is due to huge effective hitpoint tanks, tactical flexibility due to jump drive, powerful DPS at all scales of combat due to drone capability, and special immunity to normal electronic warfare.I went on to suggest a subcap ship with a weapon effective only against super caps and to a less extent capitals, but with devestating results. This would give a counter to super cap fleets in the hands of sub cap pilots.
5) Super Void Bombs
Currently Void bombs take away 1800 GJ of capacitor. Considering a Wyvern starts with 63750 GJ this weapon is nothing more than a light show. Change them to a percentage of cap neutralized, say... 75%? This would be crippling to cap fleets and subcap fleets and would be a viable weapon to countering them without taking much effort.
* * * * *
On a side note, I completely agree with Mord's point two which calls for drastically reducing hit points of structures in null sec. I understand the desire to give holders of territory a chance to respond to enemy incursions on their space in their own timezone but I think the pendulum has swung too far in favour of defenders.