The Case Against Boosters

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Nah a on grid FC should be able to use eccm to resist ecm so this is the wrong way to go.
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I didn't forget to mention it, because it actually causes as many blobs as it fights against. Think about it, if you don't have things like links you know you'll need significantly more warm bodies for the engagements against gangs that DO have links, so in essence the small gangs with links are upping the entry barrier to engagements.I also don't think they "help against the blob" as much as you think because now days all the blobs have links too so its not like you're some elite fighting force using gang links to even the field, you're just a guy fighting outnumbered.
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How about making T3 command ships not give any bonus at all to links, but instead allow you to run 1 link per level, so at defensive subsys V you could run 5 links simultaneously without command processors. That would be in line with the original thinking of making T3s versatile but less specialized.
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This is actually pretty good and I like it
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I don't really get your point of "they shouldn't do as well as their tech 2 counterparts". Dude, they are worth at least half a billion. That's the price you pay for their excellence. And no, its completely wrong to assume that boosters are present in every gank. They are not. Simple as that, and why shouldn't you have an advantage when you have a booster and the other gank doesn't ? I do agree however on the question of the risk involved in flying one. A simple countermeasure would be that you couldn't get below a certain sensor strenght with the command subs, or an increase in sig radius, something like that, I dunno. On another note, I don't really get the "a guy with a booster will win vs a guy without" in a "1vs1 and half" situation. It makes sense that a dude with two accounts would get the upper hand on a guy with one. Its like saying "You should nerf the falcon, cause a guy fighting a vaga in another vaga, but with a toon in a falcon on the side, has 100% chance to win the fight." Well duh. Skilling a booster is often an investment, people pay the $$ and time to skill it, the isk to fly it, and if you use it as a booster, well it can't do anything else, whereas a Nighthawk or a Sleipnir will still rip you to shreds (thats for the "doing things better part" as well I guess).Anyhoo, I find some of your arguments alright, I see where you are coming from, but others are a little dull to me.
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I'd like to see more kinds of individual bonuses too, like new skirmish and siege links.
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Lets start at the top, when they were introduced, CCP stated that as their intention for T3's, those are the company that makes the games words not my own. If I were to care enough to go dig up the dev blog for you for when they were released.As for the other part, you are essentially arguing that money should win a fight. My Titan thinks you are right, unfortunately the game company doesn't so they nerfed the shit out of my Titan, and pretty much have blanket stated through nerfs and adjustments that money should give you a benefit, but not be the automatic ticket to winning.
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Um, paying half a billion for a boosting T3 is offset by the fact that you're also taking on a /lot/ less skill training than you would for its command ship equivalent.
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I have never once flown in a gang under 50 with link boosters EVER, I fly daily when possible. We fight gangs that don't have boosters. So take your "everybody flies boosters with every gang" theory and cram it right back into the empty space between your ears. The only time I have been in a fleet with a link using booster was 100 ppl +
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OR you could make it so links give a diminished return depending on fleet size, This would allow smaller fleets to keep the edge. Sure big fleets might just have a smaller fleet with links dedicated to tacklers n shit but atleast they would have to try to manage more then one fleet etc
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Blob usually alpha command ships first, so if anything an on grid boosting likely favors the blob more then the small gang, that can't break the reps on what is a pretty beefy tank if they tied.
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EDIT: replied the wrong post :3
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"In the grand scheme of things we want Tech 3 ships to take a much broader role than any other ship class. Whereas Tech 2 ships are highly focused, Tech 3 ships will fulfill multiple roles through customization and versatility." - CCP Nozh | 2009.02.12On CCP's own devblog introduction of the T3 ships, they stated that T2 ships should remain the high-focus version of a bonus. Having a T3 ship provide better bonuses than a highly-specialised fleet command ship breaks that ideal.
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There's a huge divide between the statements "a t3 boosting alt is becoming the required norm in small gang PvP" and "everybody flies boosters with every gang".
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As I said in the article I don't expect everybody to agree with me or even like what I say.One would ask though, if you don't use t3 boosters that much or haven't ever seen them in a gang under 100 people why are you so aggressively opposed to what I'm saying? You seem pretty violent about something you don't seem to use.On the topic of the actual content of your post, the evidence stands against you, you're the first person to come out and say small gangs don't frequently use boosters.
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Rorquals could be left the same as now by making bonuses system-wide when a ship is deployed.
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I'd be down for this honestly. Also, I hate offgrid boosters as well, for the record.
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Ever since 2009-2010, if you didn't take links with your fleet you were putting yourself at a severe disadvantage 9 times out of 10.
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Personally I don't feel that on or off grid is the problem, its the difficulty in probing them down.I wouldnt mind if fitting warfare links meant that a T3 couldnt fit a covops cloak and nullifier either. This would go a long way towards balancing them....edit: I do also think that the Command ship should definitely be providing a stronger bonus....
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I find it funny that whenever a booster argument comes up people always bring up 1v1 situations. Sure a person with boosts has an advantage but If they weren't using their alt to boost it would be in a falcon or a second dps ship. I would rather face someone using a booster then one of those other options.Switch t3 and command ship bonuses that makes sense but otherwise not much needs to be changed.
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Links are needed to stay competitive! That is the problem not T3 ships. T3 ships allow smaller gangs to use links.If you remove off grid boosting you are only removing links from some people while others, mostly bigger entities have no problems using command ships.End effect is small gangs end up getting more slaughtered by blobs. GJ Grath!
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As far as telling what is on grid: link (bonus ship) to pilot distance: < or = 500km => bonuses apply. Else none. Simple distance. Maybe even get fancy and have the bonus have a fall off out to 1k km.
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Problem easy fixed 5% per level for command ships and 3% per level for t3, just reverse the bonus per level. If you want or need max bonus's then they are on grid and average bonus's sitting offgrid
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I don't really see where it says in there that T2 should still be better. I do agree with you though, the way a loki can't beat the range of a huggin web, or a proteus can't beat a lachesis in term of scram range. But then, the tengu shouldnt be so powerful compared to a cerberus (but that's another case). My main point was the fact that you complained a booster would make you win a fight in small gank or one vs one, a position that's not defendable for me.
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Grath makes a good point, and I agree with him for the most part. It takes a lot to train, a lot to buy and frankly can be a pain in the ass trying to get it sorted in big fleets. Furthermore, if not monitored during a fight the system can easily break down. It takes some skill to make it work from begining to end. The ships/skills while expensive are well within the reach of all players - so those who choose to make the investments can reap the rewards. That said, I think POS shields should negate or at least reduce the effects command ships/ t3's provide - there should be some element of risk to the boosting ship. They should at least have to bounce -I made the AWACS argument previously as a RL example of "boosters". They are a force multiplier - they fly "off grid" of F-18's combat zone but can be engaged if found. I view command ships/t3's the same way.
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I like the idea but I would counter with this. I think it should be a link per level plus one. So that at level five you can run 2 full sets (6 links). Why because you have no bonus to them from the ship so countering that with being able to run 2 sets seems fair. In Large fleets you wouldn't see these ships because the bonuses wouldn't be high enough and in small fleets being able to run two full sets on one ship actually makes it easier for smaller corps/alliances to have most of the bonuses of the big boys.Oh also the warfare processor sub system should have a built in negative bonus to being scanned. I.E. no matter how you fit a T3 with a warfare processor it should be reasonably easy to scan them down.Just a thought.
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That won't fly simply because it will add monstrous amounts of calculations to the game. Think how much extra the server would have to do to track distance for (up to) four different booster ships and then multiply that across every ship in the fleet. It would be like a continually firing gun from everyone in fleet. Think instant 10% tidi, just for starting a fleet.
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mate, running six links is its own reward.
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I think forcing T3s to be on grid to give boost would balance them because the days of the 3 link T3s with command processors and co-processors would be over. Nobody in their right mind would field a T3 with no tank for a 2% bonus on the links.You would have to choose between 1 big link or three smaller ones.
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Currently the T3 cruisers are a covert-cloaking, interdiction-nullified boosting machine which has almost completely displaced the dedicated fleet-command ship in terms of pure bonus - this is a bad thing.
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I contend that the real problem is that links are required whether they are on grid or off grid, on command ships or on T3s. Nerf the shit out of links and compensate certain modules for the loss.
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Fleet commands do not fit into the engagement ethos for most small gangs. In a lot of ways, they're simply a liability. Every person is important and it's somewhat unacceptable to have a ship on the field where the only thing it can do is hit F1-F3 and (maybe) activate tank.
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Yes, but the point is that right now you're *JUST* the guy fighting outnumbered. With links on grid, you'll be fighting outnumbered and without links.
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Please don't ask our fleets about their full booster chains.
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Hang on Grath, are you insinuating large groups would field smaller gangs if links were no longer off-grid?
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While Mittens has no love for the EVE-O forums i think it should at least be mentioned that there is a fairly constructive thread on the topic in the W&T subset. Wether you prefer to carry the discussion here or contribute elsewhere it would probably do you good to root yourself in that thread first, because there's been plenty of interesting suggestions and perspectives on the topic.I still have my own preference, argued in that thread, that simply implies removing the Command processor (module). Moving the stronger bonus over to CS is a popular suggestion, but i belive it strikes the wrong tone, and doesn't capitalize on the ability to make the different ships perform different roles. What i like about having Strats focused and CS blanketing is that it balances the use of POS and off-grid boosters without necessarily removing the option to do so should you prefer it. It deals with any form of "illicit use" (gimped fits with better boosting, maintained by environmental exploit) by making it balanced in regard to ideal use (on mains, in fleets, on grids). The main problem right now is not that those boosters exist, the problem is that they are too powerful both overall and in regard to general use. Hardcoded and punitive removal is rarely a good approach, it's better to just balance it out than slapping people on the fingers. Letting Strats carry one focused link and CS three allow them different application, that also go hand in hand with Liang's comment about how CS handle in small gangs down this comment section: the Strats are more adaptable ships to small gang variation, and stronger focused links would likewise appeal to the more specialist nature of a smaller gang - that may not need all links.Anyway, go read that thread. I won't link it since it's been on the first page for months.

We recently published Andski's article on off-grid boosting.  Here, Pandemic Legion fleet commander Grath puts the opposite viewpoint in response.

It's hard to believe that I'm the one against boosting links.  I've taken advantage of almost every questionable mechanic in the game since I started playing: nano ships, titans, incursions, wormholes that didn't neut... You name it, I've probably taken advantage of it until it was fixed.

To understand why, I guess we need to go back to the start before we can get to the meat of the matter...

Hello T3's

T3's weren't supposed to be great at anything. They were supposed to be better at doing more, but the t2 ships were supposed to be better in each of their specific roles. When you compare a recon to a t3, this holds true.  But in every other case, CCP diverged from its originally stated path. The most egregious example?  HACs. They live in a dumpster covered in a thick layer of filth, detritus and last week's pizza boxes, overshadowed in almost every imaginable way by their 3rd tier counterparts. The worst case of CCPs negligence in this matter is the t3 command link. Not only does it provide stronger bonuses than a Field or Fleet command ship, but it can do so on an agile platform that can dodge bubbles and be rendered virtually unprobable.

So much for not taking a crap on T2's niche specialty.

Un-probeability is something long used by groups like Burn Eden and Brick Squad, with things like Nightmares and Cerberus used to hit quick and hard from range while avoiding probers. Crafty covert ops pilots and the occasional hero frigate could sometimes inflict casualties, but after this spread to the provision of unprobeable AFK boosting alts, CCP took notice and stepped in, saying that being un-probeable was a glitch in the math and shouldn't be possible.

Case closed right? No not really.

Boosters Boosters Everywhere...

We've reached a point now where a t3 boosting alt is becoming the required norm for small gang PVP. In a fleet situation where you'll be in one system for a long time, the idea of probing down the booster and killing him is something that can be achieved. Only that's not where the t3 boosters are a problem, if anything, the blob versus blob fights are one of the only places you'll find the boosters balanced, because they are at risk. When you get to the smaller fleet and gang engagements that happen like a flash in the pan, then they get to be what we'd call broken.

A solo pilot with links against a solo pilot without is a non starter: the guy without links gets crushed.  It doesn't matter if he does everything exactly as he should: the hit points, speed, and ewar power that comes from the booster is so incredibly intense that its suddenly like you're fighting a ship class above your weight. And in a situation where 2 roaming gangs meet up? If one side has no links its a slaughter, but when will that happen?  These days both sides have the links because nobody sane undocks a gang without them. Are the links in that situation ever actually in any danger? No, no they aren't, nobody is going to stop in the middle of a 20 man fight and devote the firepower to going to find those links. And if one side doesn't have the links they can't even target that particular advantage to try and even the field.

Every other combat asset you have needs to be put at risk to give any benefit at all except for those T3 boosters. In lowsec they're virtually untouchable outside of instalocking gate camps and in 0.0 they're always nullified so the risk is negligible.

So what would I do to fix the situation?

Burn the Witch

Shuffle things around a bit for starters, moving the bonus level of the T3 to the fleet command ship, and the bonuses of the fleet command to the field command.  Finally, I'd implement some kind of rework on the T3 booster: they're supposed to be able to do more, but not as strong, remember, so perhaps weaker bonuses of a broader scope would provide a unique role without compromising that of command ships. This will put the onus back on the fleet and field command ships running in their intended roles while still giving the Loki and Tengu boosters of the world a function.

Does this bone miners? A little, but I would shift miners' strongest bonuses to the mobile Orca, and make the rorqual something more of a Field Command ship. Miners are generally hard to catch anyway due to proper scouting and many high end groups have Orcas out already. Adding some risk to the reward is going to piss off the miners who simply love their safety but some things just can't be helped. In an ideal situation the miners would mine, the orca would tractor it in and the haulers would make runs from the Orca to the Rorqual at a safe or tower where he was busy compressing the ore.  There's an overall design goal.

In the end, I don't expect my point of view to be popular, but I believe it is best for the game, and today's T3 booster alts are pretty much the only combat asset that doesn't require significant risk to field.  Yes, there are issues with grids and the like, but thats probably not something that can be easily fixed since I expect it's mired in the oldest code parts of EVE.  I suspect that, as far as the gang system is concerned, CCP simply don't know (and cannot easily discover) what is on-grid with something else, anyway.

The issue here is that of the same old story as ever regarding Eve and the law of unintended consequences: when there were just a few T3 boosters, it was acceptable, but once it becomes required for competition in the larger world of the game then the game becomes seriously imbalanced.

[name_1]
Sniggerdly CEO, I took the job after Shamis Orzoz stepped down (long live the king). Between my Kugu posting, several mails, and a recording here or there I've earned a reputation as "The Hate Monger of PL".