“Solo PvP is dead!” This cry has been uttered by many a pilot in the last few years. In the age of the blob and the ECM drone, lone wolf combat has been withering on the vine - or so we are told. Jump into the Bringing Solo Back channel and you will find a couple of hundred people who act very differently.
Yes, there are plenty of blobs. Yes, those blobs love ECM drones. However, sit in this channel for any length of time and you'll find a dedicated group of people talking about fits for solo work, linking kills, and generally having a laugh. Out of game, go to the My Eve forum, and you’ll find many videos (from famous personalities like Aldap, Kovorix and Prometheus Exenthal, to name a few) showing off great solo skill.
So why is this channel called Bringing Solo Back? This bemuses me - mostly because I don’t think solo has ever gone away, only changed.
Now, on to something completely different. (Humour me for a moment.)
Supercaps are perhaps the most controversial warships in the game. Condemned as too powerful, game wrecking, "win everything" ships, when you mention anything about supercap balancing on any EVE-related forum, the ensuing shitstorm can only be related to something out of the Bible. Which leads me to this: while I agree something needs to be done about supercapitals, I don’t think they need to be dealt with right now.
This may seem like a very strange statement, but looking at the player base this should make more sense. Now, raise your hand if:
1) You’ve ever flown a super cap
2) You’ve ever flown a frigate
I would bet my meagre wallet that more people raised their hand for the second question than the first.
In 0.0 sov wars, nearly all of the fights will be between ships of battleship size and smaller. Where are the supers? They're either shooting structures, bridging subcapital fleets, or moving assets around. Very rarely are they used in combat, super vs. super, and when they are, the fight becomes known across EVE (even when none of the supers end up destroyed).
The current use of super caps is the threat of super caps. They are the nuclear deterrent of EVE. This takes me back to my original point. Why do you start from the top down? Why not fix the most used ships in EVE and then fix the rest.?
This is what I think people miss when they talk about how Tiercide should be done from the "top down." You don’t build a building from the roof. You need the foundation.
Bringing Solo Back (up to scratch)
Tiercide is doing this. Because we now have rebalanced frigates and cruisers which are more suited for PvP at a reasonable price, solo PVP has the potential for renewed interest and growth. This should help generate more solo content, which in turn will make people want to solo PvP, which generates more solo content... you get the picture.
Furthermore, there are new options to choose from for larger gang combat, with the potential for the 'tiericided' ships to earn a place in the blob. This could divesify nullsec, which has been dominated by Maelstrom and Drake fleets for ages!
For this reason, I am a huge fan of CCP Fozzie rebalancing smaller ships first. I think he has hit the nail right on the head, as the new structure is good for all players.
1) We now have access to a variety of cheap, fun ships to PVP with. The low skill requirements mean that new players can be effective quickly.
2) Alliances can see how CCP is approaching the problem, so when the rebalancing team moves to battleships and capitals, there won’t be too much panic. Fozzie and his gang have established the reputation necessary to tackle the most critical issues without unjustified drama or outrage from the players.
This means we all get the benefit now, while a person who invested 70b into a Titan isn’t surprised by any of the changes to his massive investment. So, this is my message to everyone who says that we should fix supers first: you’re wrong.
All in all, the greater rebalancing initiative has been great for everyone. From the solo PvPer running around lowsec looking for pirates to kill, to frontline 0.0 pilots attempting to kill another large fleet - from old vets to new bros - Tiercide is one of the best things that has happened to EVE in a long time.