Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Distributed Objective Based Warfare

CCP Fozzie took a hockey stick(1) to a hornet's nest today with the first dev blog on the new sov system coming this summer. I'm not going to comment on all of it as I'm still thinking about it (but so far, overall, I like it) but I do want to address one statement I've seen a few times.

"This is just like Faction Warfare mechanics!" Or "CCP is bringing Faction Warfare to Null Sec!"


I can see the temptation to think that way but let's change the perspective.

CCP wants Distributed Objective Based Warfare for null sec sov mechanics so that fights for control over TCUs, IHubs, and Stations are spread out over multiple systems, thus leveraging constellation geography to make fights unique in different constellations as well as lowering overall load per node by making large fleets on a grid less advantageous.

How do you accomplish those goals without introducing constellation objectives that small groups can take or defend? Thus command nodes.

Since Faction Warfare is also a Distributed Objective Based Warfare system, but with slightly different input requirements and implementation, its no surprise both systems look and feel very similar to a casual inspection. But a careful examination shows significant differences between the two that will lead to very different gameplay.

For example, in FW the only thing you capture is control of a system which locks the hostile militia out of the stations. To tug on the control bar for that system you need to capture complexes IN that system. The complexes have acceleration gates (except for Larges) that restrict certain classes of ships which impacts the fleet doctrines that attackers and defenders utilize (i.e. T1 Frigates have a very specific role). In addition you need many plexes captured to flip a system, over a hundred, and that's if unopposed.

In contrast, in the proposed null system the Command Nodes to capture a structure are spread out over a constellation, far fewer are needed unopposed to succeed so the time to capture is a lot faster, there are various things to fight for control of in a system (TCU, IHub, Station), the command nodes are not locked in complexes so there is no need for T1 frigate doctrines, and the area of space brings its own wrinkles such as bombs and warp bubbles.

In other words, the differences far outweigh the similarities.

1 - Hockey stick because he's Canadian like Yours Truly


  1. It is very, very close to FW mechanics. I don't see how that's a bad thing. Now if CCP can take some of what they've learned from this change and perhaps apply it to FW in some way, that'd be great, too :)

    Oh, and remember when the new FW mechanics came in, the howls from the warzone were all "This is Sov in lowsec!" Oh, the irony :)

  2. I have taken a hockey stick to a wasp's nest. You need to be able to run quickly :)

    We Canucks will rule the world (and New Eden!)

  3. The key differences are:
    - no gating. That seems right to me, nullsec should be designed as the place where the big boys get to freely use their toys.
    - much harsher access if station lost. In F War all you need do if locked out is make an alt and join the other side. In null you'd need to infiltrate an alliance or wait until the station is contested again if you fail to evac during the freeport period.
    - constellation wide instead of system wide. This is much more tactically interesting with a number of option for deploying forces.
    - it costs more. Player built structures are blown up and fights will be much larger and have no upper limit on ships anywhere in the battle.
    - mining and ratting playing a defensive role.

    So enough significant differences to make it not just FW version 2.