I've had a very, very, VERY insane week so far to think about FozzieSov and what it means to the game if implemented as is right now. And I've had some time to listen to other pontificate / wonder / enthuse / rant about it, so I feel ready to give my impressions and thoughts on the new proposed sovereignty system.
Things I Like
- Separation of Structure Dependencies - I hated how what structures could be attacked and when was all tied together into a flow chart of doom:
It was confusing, frustrating for attackers and defenders, time consuming, and time wasting if the defender had surrendered and moved out. How many null players left the game after grinding through this flowchart in a region the defender abandoned? The new system has three simple flow charts, one for each sov structure:
- Freeport! - I love the idea that a fight for a station involves a period of time where the station is a freeport, i.e. both sides can dock. I can see some huge fights and casualties erupting as pilots try to evac assets from a station while the attackers start pouring in.
- No Structure Grinding (Sort Of) -Yay! No more hundreds of thousands or million of structure points to grind through multiple times to take a system! In my time in null I wasn't on a lot of structure grinds but the ones I did go on were tedious and annoying. I couldn't imagine having to do it night after night to take over an entire region.
- Constellation Matters - The idea that once a fight for a structure occurs that the corresponding command nodes that need to be captured spawn across the constellation instead of just in the system is brilliant. Since the shape of constellations varies so much and the position of systems relative to each other determines movement strategies and engagement possibilities, it really makes each battle for a constellation unique.
Things I Don't Like
- Troll-ceptor - If the fitting for the new Entosis modules are too low, its going to enable horrible gameplay where one pilot in a small nearly uncatchable interceptor is going to set off reinforcement timers over a wide area. Such a small investment of effort by one pilot requiring a significant defense response by an entire alliance is unbalanced gameplay. I think the fitting for the module should be able to be used only on a cruiser at the very least, preferably battleship in my books.
- Fast Burn - one of the best things about a battle for a system under the Faction Warfare Distributed Objective system is that a battle for a system can run for days or even weeks as long as the defenders have some ability to defensively plex as well as compete against the offensive plexers. This can lead to massive long running fights over days as both sides tug of war at that control bar. The FozzieSov system seems to resolve a lot quicker meaning prolonged fights for a structure control will be over quickly and not have that epic feel to them unless both sides are evenly matched. To be fair, there are a lot more fights to be had for control of a system (TCU, IHUB, and Station) so this might balance out in the long run.
- Four Hour Vulnerability Window - I've heard people talk about how faction warfare's system is "gamey", but this takes the cake. At least in our system you decide when a system is most vulnerable to attack based on their activity and strength compared to your own side's; the FozzieSov's mechanic of alliances setting a four hour window when they are vulnerable seems like a horrible mechanic. I understand CCP is reluctant to have constant vulnerability of structures to attack so that alliances can build empires and farms and fields and feel like they have a chance to counter, but I think that it would all balance out as pilots learn to defend the structures from attack, especially if there was some sort of de-reinforce mechanic, i.e. Attacking Alliance puts a structure into reinforce any time but they now have to guard it from being un-reinforced by Defending Alliance until the battle starts for control. This would allow us to throw out the silly mechanic for 4-hour vulnerability windows and create running battles like faction war has. Alternatively, I'd like to see the size of the vulnerability window grow or shrink depending on another factor like alliance size (#systems controlled) or something like that.
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Overall I like where this system is heading, but I think it needs some tweaks before it hits in June.