Fozziesov? What is this called, anyway? The new Sov system.

I’ll bet you expect me to raise all hell about the problems this new system raises for Goonswarm, and to start pointing out why it will never work, aren’t you?

Wrong!

First off, there are many elements of this system that I like. I think that the stated goals – provoke fights, increase flexibility, enable smaller groups to hold sov – are wholly admirable, and I was very flattered to see several passages from my blogs appear. I think, overall, that there is a huge amount of promise there: Fozzie made it quite clear that an important element of the design was that it was malleable, and that he foresaw the potential for a lot of tweaking before it went live.

Entosis -> Apoptosis -> Necrosis

I love the Entosis element: I had suggested a class of ship dedicated to “hacking” sov like this instead of a module, but on reflection, the module allows for more variety of fleet doctrines than being tied to a certain class being in fleet and working around that. The underlying principle is the same: you have to put ships on grid to take or defend sov. That is the key point and everything else is attempting to balance what is perhaps the single most complex game on the market.

I think that the timer element is well executed, as well. Yes, it will provide challenges for AU TZ people, for instance, to take systems from EU people, and similar combinations. But at the same time that is balanced for AU TZ defenders who will tend to be be more secure. Widening the window or making structures vulnerable round-the-clock would mean that people would be encouraged to troll-reinforce those who cannot give them a fight at the time: people who will be asleep when the sov structures get reinforced. I think that would go against the “get-fights” spirit of these changes.

As well as their ability to disable services, off-timezone forces will also have the important job of reducing the defenders’ use of the space to even out the timer multipliers. I do like that aspect of the design: there are lots of ways to attack. That is good!

There are a few elements that I do feel need tweaked. Here are my first couple of suggestions: everyone is already suffering great fatigue from reading a thirty-page sov design document so I won’t do it all in one post!

What about the little guy?

Malcanis’ Rule is not broken here: read to the end!

I like the constellation sov idea, with split up fights in a variety of locations. I hope that yields what is intended: an urgent race between opposing forces, moving around rapidly, splitting forces to take one timer while harassing others and so on. The fact that these timers can be all over a constellation really favours someone who has forces to spare to camp gates.

I do worry that this favours people like us (Goonswarm) rather heavily. On a big op, we can afford to place a full fleet in three timers and put a fourth on duty interdicting hostile travel. I think that a further advantage explicitly rewarding the smaller defender would be good: perhaps a multiplier on top of the occupancy bonuses meaning that an alliance that owns one system has its Entosis systems run twice as fast again; one that owns two systems has them run at 1.8 times as fast, and so on down to, say, six systems when there is no bonus. Otherwise a small defender will rapidly be camped into zero occupancy bonuses then easily overwhelmed by numbers.

I may very well be shot at dawn for this by my own bloc but perhaps that multiplier could further scale once a certain threshold is reached so that someone who owns a very large number of systems (more than 8-10 constellations, say?) has its Entosis systems run progressively slower?

Thus endeth the reading…

OK that is part one: I hope it came across as welcoming and optimistic but with a couple of important quibbles. ┬áNext, I’ll look at Risk vs Reward and the inevitable rise of the remote tracking computer-boosted blap-Muninn in Fozziesov.

  • Fuzzysteve

    I’ve voting for Hydra sov. Fits the current naming scheme (Greek monsters) and the ‘one head cut off, 5 more show up)

  • Zip Slings

    Okay, Endie. I’m on board. I (even being a member of a small alliance) like the concept that numbers and organization still win the day. That being said your idea doesn’t make it *impossible* to take space from a 1-system holding alliance. Just harder so that’s fine.

    As far as “primetime” goes, I’m not sure I like having SOV be *completely* invulnerable for 20 hours per day. My thought was to move the difficulty to reinforce structures on a scale that makes Sov Lazers run normally on a “primetime” structure and progressively slower on “non-primetime” structures. I would even go as far as making 8-12 hours still invulnerable, but leave some room for timezone counterplay in the remaining 12-16 hours. There are issues with both concepts, but I hate the idea that a player might be restricted from participating in these awesome constellation wide battles just because they live in a certain area.

    It also seems like you’re not one of the “oh no ceptors are eve now” nerds so that’s a big check mark.

    Looking forward to the rest.

  • Endie

    I do sympathise with the AU TZ here, and at least I am that rarest of things: a Euro who actually considered how the Anzacs will be affected by something other than when asking them to come and save us from Germans.

    But I think that the point of structures and timers is twofold:

    1 – For the attackers, to generate a fight (i.e. not just to dick with someone)
    2 – For the defenders, to make sure that they cannot lose sov without the chance to put up a fight for it

    I think both of those require that structures are vulnerable in the timezone of the defenders. If that changes materially then the rest of the system as discussed at present makes it ferociously unpleasant to try and hold sov, and nullsec would probably rapidly depopulate. The big boys (PL, us, NCdot) would go to NPC sov and lowsec while the rest would just have to put up with being bullied every other day or move out.

  • callduron

    It may be the case that if players are utterly determined to band together no game design decision that’s remotely sane will force them to balkanise.

    I think that CCP needs quite badly for this to succeed because a lot of nullsec has held together out of interest in how the game will be redesigned (and for lack of anything remotely comparable). Now at some point someone is going to produce another game that attracts people with an Eve mindset and CCP won’t keep them if nullsec is dull and stagnant.

    I think the blue doughnut (not necessarily Goons) is the enemy in this regard and that CCP has the major coalitions in its sights. But they’re balancing that with wanting to keep the players.

    So it’s a real tightrope they’re walking, enough damage to the nullsec establishment to shake things up but not so much that people leave in disgust, especially if some of the pretender games in development are actually good.

  • Endie

    I take your point, but I have always suggested that the point should be to remove the necessity to group up, not to try and block it. The way to do that is to favour the defender, while still allowing a determined attacked to grind them down over time. That is one of the very few things that the POS sov system did reasonably well.

  • Edward Pierce

    I get the impression that this new system puts the burden of action on the defender more than the attacker, particularly in the case of the IHUBs, since losing that fight means you have to bring in a new IHUB. The attacker has the obvious benefit of choosing where to attack and when (within the window) and yet risks nothing except a ship and an 80mil module; if they chose to not show up for the reinforcement timer then they have lost nothing.

    It seems to me that this new system will particularly favor the people that have no SOV, and therefore no fear of retaliation, leading to SOV fights for the sake of fights rather than SOV fights for the sake of SOV. And all this extra effort to keep your space without any additional benefits to owning it?

    There needs to be more on the line for the attacker when they start to contest SOV to prevent this from becoming the latest way to harass the power that be.

  • Edward Pierce

    You shit on the “ceptors everywhere” crowd, but do you really see any point in battleships in this new system that favors mobility above all else? Let alone carriers and supers?

  • Azure and Argent

    I like the idea of speeding entosis links for small defenders but slowing them above any size is a problem. Any slowing would put an artificial cap on the size an alliance could realistically reach as above a certain size an alliance becomes suboptimal. Such a system seems counter to CCP’s stated goals of promoting player interaction. I don’t expect that it would really have an effect though. I’m already expecting sov holding alliances filled with cyno alts to run ent-links so it isn’t a big leap to simply divide an alliance into two halves that still live in the same space. It would just be added complexity without any added benefits to gameplay.

  • Red Teufel

    The new sov system is what eve has needed since 20011. Anything more than a 4 hour time window would hurt smaller groups from taking sov. When the new sov hits in June and anyone who thinks they can just hold their space is going to get a very rude awakening when sov is reset in their Jump Bridge systems and Ratting systems. Those who do not move on from the bore thy enemy to death mentality will be purged.

  • Raging walrus

    you have to fight for several points, you lock down a few with your (super)caps, battleships will be in a better place than ever because the more mobile foes they have to face cannot leave the grid or they lose the objective; battleships will be the brick you have to face against instead of endlessly dancing around them

  • pugnaxbonecrusher

    Glad to hear you’re more or less on board. What do you think about the ever-elusive carrot? Why should people care about owning sov?

  • Edward Pierce

    This is the case for the “Main Event” once the structure is out of reinforcement, but for initializing the reinforcement in the first place there is no real need for the small ship to stay on grid if a defense is formed against it, better to just fly off and reinforce something else.

    I guess this is where the judicious use of jump bridges comes in. Heh

  • Endie

    That is something I intend to address next. I am prepared to be the content for others – the slightly-better-AI NPC replacement – but you have to pay me.

  • Endie

    I agree that whatever iteration of these changes goes in, it will require radical rethinking on the part of current sov holders. The big targets will be those who try to hold onto their existing (probably renter) empires.

  • Endie

    It is no more an artificial cap than speeding them for the small guys would be an artificial bonus. People would still have a choice as to how densely to live and how large to get. Do you want 30,000-man alliances? It is in the post.

  • Endie

    Yes, there has to be balance: the attacker has to put something of value on the field, and it has to be vulnerable to attack. We should wait until we see the fitting requirements or the Entosis unit before we get too worried about super-fast, untrackable frigates, however.

  • Edward Pierce

    This seems like a fairly fundamental detail to miss out on the devblog, don’t you think? I’m sure they hadn’t considered this or they just wanted to test the waters.

    Either way, so long as there is no real consequence to failing a successful reinforcement this new system is far more likely to be used as a way to grief SOV holders than a legitimate way to contest other people’s holdings for your own, which makes holding on to your space a daily shore with no additional benefits.

  • Endie

    This is where… ahem… Gevlon is right. The attacker doing the reinforcing should have to put up their own valuable stake since they are betting against the defender’s sov and many man-hours of defenders’ time when the sov structures come out.

  • Zip Slings

    Constellations have chokepoints that matter now, and heavy gatecamps during capture events are going to be a powerful deterrent (read battleships). As for supers? Nothing about this new system prevents or prohibits escalations. If one group gets caught with their pants down and one thing leads to another and one side drops dreads… Suddenly supers.

  • DSilvermane

    I think attackers must have a WarDec against the defenders before they can attempt a Sov take. This makes it so harassers who are not involved between the sov will have no involvement.

  • greatfozzie

    –Old P– Hi i was off a few years. What happen with game? So many changes, i cant understand -i have no weapon in my ships?
    –Player– Ohh! You dont know? There was so many updates. Its great game now! You dont need guns, you have The Enthosis Link!
    –Old P– Enthosis Link? What’s that?
    –Player– It’s module u can use to hack any other! When you want destroy station you are using The Enthosis Link!
    Waiting 24h and just use it again on station, TCU, etc. Its FozziSOV, you know.
    –Old Player– OK, i see, but what if i want shot to something?
    –Player– You dont need, you can use The Enthosis Link on anything and it will be destroyed, even on other ships.
    Its FozziPVE and FozziPVP. This game have no violence now! Its great, eve children can play!
    –Old Player– Really great, but where are other players? Why we are alone?
    –Player– Other players left EVE. :( and I’m Fozzie