Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Not the Direction I was Thinking Of

So Rubicon 1.1 promises to give us a slew of new mobile deployables to play with this winter. We are getting:

- Encounter Surveillance System to add some farms in low sec
- Micro Jump Unit which acts like an off board micro jump drive that battleships can currently employ
- Mobile Scan Inhibitor which cloaks ships within its sphere from directional scans (but it still shows up itself and is easy to probe down)
- a variant of the Mobile Siphon Unit.

I've let that sit in the churn bucket for a weekend and now I'm ready for my reaction post. Here it is:
Not the direction I was thinking of...
I'm surprised to see more examples of disposable temporary mobile structures for combat battlefield modification purposes (like the cyno jammer) rather than semi-permanent ones for non-combat utility roles (like the mobile supply depot and tractor tower).

To me, the latter approach is what EVE needs more of, more control of activities outside of the confines of POSes and stations. Module recycling, ore compaction, ammo/charge construction, ship repair / refueling, ship storage, ship-to-ship cargo transfers, etc. I.e. mobile bases in which to operate from.

Instead, CCP seems to be leaning more towards the battlefield modification route where these temporary structures are launched to modify the combat environment in a certain manner and then forgot about. A new form of ammunition for a fleet as opposed to a ship we could say. While I'm not opposed to seeing some progress down this route, I'm surprised CCP chose this route because balancing combat utility deployables should be harder and more risky than balancing non-combat deployables that are designed for making life easier or more varied.

Regardless, the fact remains that we have two new terrain modifying deployables and two "utility" deployables to look at.

Micro Jump Unit - An interesting concept  but the execution leaves a little wary. The 12 second spool up time essentially means that you are faster than an interceptor (8.333 km/sec average speed over the 12 seconds) but it also gives your opponents that long to lock you up and scram you. And that's ignoring the setup time the unit has to begin with. This limits its flexibility a lot but does leave room for some very specific use cases for getting around a battlefield quickly when needed. Best idea I heard was on the High Drag podcast where they suggested a fleet jumping through a gate into a bubble could hold cloak while one member anchored the micro jump unit and then they could all use it to speed out of the bubbles faster than simply burning for clear space. Still, a very specific scenario.

Mobile Scan Inhibitor - Colour me intrigued. While it won't completely hide a fleet since it is visible itself on deep scan and easily probe-able, it does add the factor of the unknown to the mix. What's hiding there? Who in local is docked up and who is in that inhibitor? Should I warp there? In null sec, the fear of bubble traps increases the tension and in wormholes with no local its like knowing you heard a noise from the closet in a house you are supposed to be alone in. Nerve wracking. to say the least. Additionally, in faction warfare in busy systems I could see perhaps wanting to use one inside a plex to throw an enemy fleet a curve ball; sure, one scout can find out what's there but I like having the tool available.

Encounter Surveillance System - In an attempt to add a type of "field" to null sec, they created a deployable that will have the least impact overall but cause the greatest amount of wailing from the null bears. I appreciate what CCP is trying to do in this scenario (adding risk for greater reward) but I don't know if it will greatly change the landscape at all. Time will tell.

'Rote' and 'Hybrid' siphon units - Expanding the siphon mechanic from base moon mining materials to threaten reaction and wormhole POSes. I approve. Not much to add.

* * * * *

What next? We will wait and see...

1 comment:

  1. My wish item:

    To be able to scan down (with difficulty) a semi-permanent dead-space pocket, and then construct my own acceleration gate to it. The pocket will remain so long as the gate exists. I can lock the gate through one mechanism only: assigning one NPC tag to be the required key. Anyone with the correct tag, can slide right in. The gate can be destroyed through the usual EVE reinforecement timer mechanism. Once the gate is destroyed, the pocket will decay in 24 hours, unachoring (or destroying) any structure left inside

    Inside the pocket, is space that I can anchor a POS (or whatever will replace POSs in the future)


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