Retribution: The Rise of the Good Fight

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Very nice Article! - retribution still needs some balancing , especially with the new dessies.
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Great article, T2 will be a nightmare, 1. All faction needs a buff relatively, and perhaps pirate factions need to be newly differentiated by their cross training requirements, in respect of the re-imagined race weapon paradigm. 2. For bc the tweaking has already been fleshed out 3. For bs I anticipate tweaking or a de-kinking exercise only.
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They took away the most vibrant part of low sec. The 2/10 frig plexs, and with that they killed a community of frig/destroyer pvp. For this I will not forgive ccp fuck you.Otherwise pretty solid stuff all together. Just bring back the frig plexs ccp, not all of us are fw nerds you know.
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For the most part, aside from normalising slot layouts, the main thing needed to balance T2 is their relative cost. I love that the dps and functionality of T1 equivalents are closer to T2, their extra tank and specialisation being the thing you are paying for. Battlecruisers will be controversial, but on the whole I think there will be less buffing required the further up the scale we go.
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T1 logi and the cruiser changes have given new players a very viable role in higher-level PVP (such as WH, small gang NPC null) which really is the best change of all.Nice article. I think the changes in Retribution will be felt for years.
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We spent the weekend stomping on Tengu and Naga fleets with T1 cruisers. For that alone, Retribution is a hit.
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agree . the restrictions gave a lot of good fites . either win or loose and it would have been nice to see how this goes in FW with logi frigs . They should bring them back so we can get some decent frig/dessy/logi - FW brawls. "fuck you ccp"
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Good summary.I found myself actually staying logged in and playing for the first time in months, rather than just logging out after updating skills.I was wondering why I was actually staying, and it was because of this. Now all ships are viable and there are options. Rather than the same cookie cutter fleets again and again.After these changes, FW is actually fun!
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One way to deal with t2 would be to make them extremes, make a ship which is the fastest but sacrifices a lot for that, or one with the most dps, or most tank. Rather than making them better all rounders make them specifically good at one thing and that's what you're paying for, like merlin -> dram means speed boost etc.
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I don't want to be a T2 ship manufacturer these days, all those skills and investments for a product that is now completely uncompetitive.The only reason to use T2 that remains is that no T1 ship can warp cloaked, and in wormholes stealth is paramount. If I weren't a w-space resident, I would probably never fly a T2 ship again until they are massively buffed.With T2 ships it's very hard to win the ISK war now... you kill 5 ships and lose only one and you have still lost the battle.Hopefully this will bring the influx of new players they hope for, but then it has to be fixed. Players don't train years for expensive but also cool and powerful T2 ships to then fly just the cheap T1 ships they could already fly after two months in the game.
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T2 ships are that one notch better than T1 variants and you need T2 ships in order to win against lager fleets :) Think RnK level
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The biggest issue I see is that T2 ships now need a defined niche of their own. Slot layouts and bonuses need to be worked out, maybe modules looked at for fitting requirements. It would be nice to actually consider a force recon a usable ship for recon and small skirmishes. As of right now there is almost no point... your either scouting is a covops or solo/ganking in a T3. The T2 ships need to be further defined instead of just heres a few more % in resist and you can go a little faster.
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Also, they need to do this without destroying their T1 balance, which is why I think they need to find very specific tasks/roles instead of just a buffed up T1 duplicate.
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great article - you almost got me to resub!
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>implying killboard stats are more important than good gameplay, or the ability for newer players to play the same game as the rest of us.
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I think what it will do is alienate the usefulness of certain tiered ships for different aspects of the game. Obviously you don't want to bring T1 battleships into an incursion or L5 (although you CAN) but you don't also want to take a Bhaalgorn on a lowsec roam. But you also don't want to feel cheapened by the hull you're flying if you want (like the writer suggested) use a dragoon to test out a baby Curse without having to shell out the cash to fly an Arbitrator T1 ship that makes 25mil refits "throwaway". You still want to maintain the bonuses a ship gives, with the price of the class you're flying. I like it, and am excited to see what happens in the future with other ships. Maybe it will make the more blingy and pricey ships more affordable.A good read.EDIT- Not to mention the viability of getting people to change roles on the fly instead of needing a month to reskill rudimentary skills.
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I generally agree the rebalance is good, but at some level if groups 20m isk cruisers are stomping on groups of 750m isk cruisers, there is a problem.
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You mean to tell me throwing isk at the problem isn't an automatic win button anymore and you actually have to think strategically with your fleets? Oh the humanity...
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I personally can't wait for my Amarrian drone battle-cruiser!
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Completely agree with balancing relative cost. Disagree with with "less buffing required the further up the scale we go."The median price for a Caracal is 11.50m, while it's 58.46m for a Navy Caracal and 126.00m for a Cerberus. For five times the price of a standard Caracal, the Navy version gives you about 12% more DPS at the same range. For 11 times the price, you get ~25% more DPS and ~50% more range with a Cerberus.* The standard Caracal has a higher base speed than either of the other two ships, and has the same number of mid and high slots for tank. The Cerb has 55% better resists, but still has that 0% EM hole. And BTW, the DPS advantage for the Navy Caracal and the Cerb only applies to kinetic; use EM, thermal, or explosive, and the DPS for the Caracal and the Cerb is the same (the Navy actually does less than the other two).In short, the price-to-performance ratios (not to mention the additional training time for the Cerb) make the rebalanced Caracal the clear winner. The fact that there are still 100m buy orders for the Cerb in Jita makes you question people's sanity.* Assumes max missile skills, the max number Heavy Missile Lancher II's for the hull, 3 BCS II's, and Scourge Fury Heavy Missiles.
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EDIT: I meant the same number of mid and low slots for a tank.
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Are you stoned? Just jump in a Novice complex if you want a frig-only brawl.
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Hmm, sounds like they got Short range cruisers right on top of long range Tengus/Nagas.What's the problem when Short range shit stomps long range shit at short range?
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Price performance ratios have always favored T1 by an enormous amount. And that's intentional.T2 is meant to be a costly force multiplier. Use it when your primary constraint is Pilots, rather than ISK.
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Very good article. I think Retribution is perfectly in line with the incremental improvements from Crucible to Inferno and on. Nothing "earth shattering" a la Apocrypha or Dominion, but very good (and much needed and long over due) changes. Well done CCP. Keep up the good work.
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I believe that's the intended goal. Though, I think they're aiming at specific roles rather than activities. ie: recons vs. t1 counterparts.
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The navy and Tech 2 ships, where not niche, have always been about incremental bonuses though. Consider the standard VS Navy Raven. If torpedoes were fleet viable, would anyone bring a Navy Raven to a fleet for the marginally better shield and damage? Hell no. But when running missions that little bit of extra can be the difference between barely soloing Worlds Collide and getting wiped out in the second or third room. ( my reference is several years old. I haven't actually missioned in ages but you get the idea )
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@Ruby and @Saiphas:Thanks for the responses. I hadn't thought about it that way.
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I think hes talking about the risk reward, like ganking 200m hulks with 5m dessies.
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i think i miss seeing you mikey babe
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This is now impossible. You need at least 15mil of gear on your Catalyst, and you need the target Hulk to be completely untanked. Like, nothing.Of course, this is immaterial, since almost no one uses Hulks anymore, and Mackinaws require two 15 mil Cats to kill at the very least - again, assuming literally zero tank.
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This is now impossible. You need at least 15mil of gear on your Catalyst, and you need the target Hulk to be completely untanked. Like, nothing.Of course, this is immaterial, since almost no one uses Hulks anymore, and Mackinaws require two 15 mil Cats to kill at the very least - again, assuming literally zero tank.And those people deserve it.
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Good read!

Retribution has now been out for several days, the new destroyers are finally at a reasonable price, and EFT warriors have pumped out some nice analyses of the rebalancing changes. All in all we have settled into the new era of EVE and can finally look at how people are taking it. As far as PVP is concerned, the resounding response I have seen in blogs, Twitter, and in game is that Retribution is amazing. There are naturally those who complain about the new UI, some hilarious bounty initiated tears, and a few people having to get used to the new crime watch, but overall the response has been overwhelmingly positive. However, I am not here to report THAT the changes have been well liked; I would rather analyze a few reasons that I think are major contributors to why PVP has been so fun since the expansion.

An expansion of options

The goal of the balancing and tiericide that has gained full steam in Retribution was to make EVE ships more about roles than just scaling power. However, this balancing did more than just help out a few ships that never got used. It gave nearly every T1 cruiser and below purpose and identity. It was largely understood by the player base that Thrashers were good, and Coercers were bad. People just accepted that the Augoror had no place in a real fleet. Most fleet fights compositions were fairly straight forward, and imagination or unorthodox designs were mostly laughed at by the community at large.

But EVE Online caters to more than just our drive to smash ships into one another. We have a drive to explore, create, and most importantly, to figure out. Simply being told how to build our ships like they are stamped out at the factory breaks the point of the fitting system. EVE shouldn’t be simply about knowing which choice is right and which is wrong, but about which of the above fits for you. A kiting Omen? You betcha. A all drone frigate? Go get ‘im Tristan! Concepts that were never given a moments thought by gang FCs are not only viable, but practical.  This is the reason EFT warriors exist, and drive people to fly ships not because they are powerful, but because they aren’t. Unorthodox ideas are what drive player ingenuity, and diversifying not only the ships that are viable, but the TYPES of ships that are viable plays directly into this aesthetic. Now not only can you try out some insane new idea, it just might work.

Lowering the pain threshold

Along with this comes the reducing of the pain of defeat. There isn’t a need to bling every ship, because T1 ships are competitive now. If you want to try kiting, you don’t need a Dramiel, just a Merlin. If you want to try logistics, you can learn with cheap frigates and T1 logistics ships. Instead of learning about cap warfare in an expensive Curse, you can now enjoy your Dragoon and learn the ropes. Most importantly, because the “lesser varieties” are much closer to their more powerful counterparts now, the decision to go with the cheaper one doesn’t inherently feel like you are cheating yourself, or your FC. This allows people to try on new strategies, without feeling the giant hit to their wallet. Cheap no longer means “suicide tackler”, almost every combat role in the game can be tried out without breaking your bank. This has allowed many to try out things they always wanted to, but were too afraid to.

Prolonging the fight

With the rebalancing we have seen a logistics explosion. Gone are the days of the people too scared to bring reps because the fleet wasn’t big enough to warrant it. Small gangs are using logi frigates and shipping up into T1s. This is making fights last longer in a way that previously rebalancing tried (and largely failed) to do, thus making more interesting choices on and off the battlefield. Pilots are given more time to calculate and perform clutch maneuvers.  Fights are becoming far more than simply calling primary. Combine this with increased intuitiveness of the on screen information, and you have a recipe for epic, tactical warfare from small gang on up.

Putting the pieces together

These three factors combine together to allow something to emerge. FCs and pilots are trying new things, and enjoying them. Success is feeling even more rewarding, and failure’s sting is not quite as harsh. Players who have little or no FC experience are gaining new confidence and stepping up to try their hand at command. New ideas are coming out as players find increasingly more ingenious ways to piece together the tools that we have been given, confident that they can slough off failure and tried again. Fights last long enough for players to understand the situation and make tactical choices and see those choices play out in victory or defeat. Players of all skill levels and experiences are feeling more empowered by the changes, and empowerment feels good. 

Keeping the ball rolling

CCP Fozzie’s success in Retribution’s rebalance is a double edged sword. On the one hand he has been victorious in his design so far, but arguably the worst is yet to come, and the bar is set high. Not only will this level of balance and interesting design become increasingly more difficult as he moves to Battlecruisers and Battleships (and one can only speculate how capitals/supercapitals will go), but rebalancing T2/faction/pirate frigates through cruisers against this new paradigm could be a nightmare. On the one hand the risk is that the “more powerful” ships will not be good enough, and thus not be worth the money (already we are seeing a dramatic decline in the use of those ships), but alternatively they could be overpowering to the T1’s and put the balance right back where we started.

[name_1]
I have been playing the game *terribly* for right around two years. After a brief time in null, and longer stay in high, I have now entered into Gallente Faction Warfare and somehow landed a job as director of Aideron Robotics. I am still terrible.