I try very hard to leave no ambiguity in the titles of my articles so it should probably be pretty clear where this article is headed. As the title implies, this one is about force projection. You can read this in isolation or, in the context of my views on Escalating Sov Costs, as part of a larger set of changes that seek to discourage the overexpansion of empires by creating a universe that is more fractured and has more conflict. Not just because some Eve nerd pissed off another Eve nerd at Fanfest, but because the game is fundamentally designed to encourage these things. I know, I know. Heresy! And who really wants that? Honestly, I think a lot of players want that, including a good number who find the current status quo inside the large power blocs boring. However, they have also resigned themselves to the fact that the game currently plays into the strengths of a “more is better” philosophy, so the status quo will remain until something changes.

For those that don’t know, because I’m not Eve-famous, I’ve been playing since 2009. I’ve been around a bit, but I would generally classify myself as a nullsec player. Today I am a card-carrying member of the CFC. Now before you think that this is going to be some Mittani-laced propaganda, you really should read on. I’ve only been in the CFC for the past 6 months and I am as far from being an insider as probably any of you who are bothering to read this. Nor do I drink the Kool-Aid, nor am I a puppet of the Master. Being in the CFC has indeed added to my perspective of the game. But if you’ve read anything else I’ve written in the past, or heard me on Eve Radio (DJ Bigcountry’s Wednesday 00:00 show), you’ll notice that most of the ideas I espouse are decidedly anti blob. Why? Because in my reasoned view, it makes for a bad game as more and more of the masses huddle together and seek solace in the safety of numbers. It may be human nature, but it doesn’t necessarily make for a fun video game that is based on conflict. So that little preamble aside, let’s get to the point of the matter.

Eve is Too Small

Eve is too small, but not because there isn’t a lot of unused or underused space out there. Even in hisec, we haven’t begun to crowd ourselves out if you’re willing to move away from the hub areas. I won’t even begin to speak about lowsec since I view that area as the one-legged ginger-head of Eve that even CCP can’t seem to figure out.

No, New Eden is too small because of the ease at which we can all traverse its territory in a very small amount of time. While we all enjoy individually moving from point A to point Z as rapidly as possible in order to conduct our business, the problem comes into play when we consider the speed at which vast armadas can traverse the same amount of space. Whether it is the rage ping to whore on a ratting Nyx, the speed at which 500 battleships can commute 5 regions away to defend a CSAA and be back in time for dinner, or the rapidity with which a capital fleet can move from one side of the universe to the other in the amount of time it takes for a dreadnought to complete one siege cycle in TiDi, the Eve universe is like a small town with high-speed rail service. Sometimes it feels like a small town with teleportation, but whatever, space can be traversed quite quickly.

Don’t get me wrong, I would very much like to maintain the ability for players to respond to a locked-down super carrier in an anomaly. Whether it is to kill it or save it matters not. Likewise, I don’t really want to cause a single capital, or even a small group of capitals, from making their way to/from a destination. I want to limit actual force projection: the ability for the Great Powers to exert dominance over vast, interstellar distances in minimal amounts of time.

Black Ops

Let me start off the entire discussion of proposed changes by first singling out Black Ops battleships, covert jump portals and covert cynos. This is a very simple topic to cover so I want to get it out of the way before I butcher any sacred cows in the follow-on topics.

Black Ops and everything about it should stay as it is. I wouldn’t change a damn thing about these ships or their ability to project themselves onto a battlefield. This is what bridging should be. Light infantry from the sky. Not entire divisions of heavy armor falling behind enemy lines simply because someone popped a cyno and suddenly Megathrons. So going forward, anything I say about bridging or cynos or anything else has no bearing on anything Blopsy or covert. Hear dat? Good.

Jump Bridges

Get rid of them. OK, no, I’m just kidding. Deep breaths into the bag. Jump bridges are the private, highways of Eve. They are POS-based, thus requiring fuel for the POS itself, typically a large tower on each end, and liquid ozone to power use of the jump bridge itself. On top of this they cost 600 million isk per month in sov upkeep costs (300m/endpoint) not including the base sov costs associated with claiming sov in both systems. Excluding the liquid ozone needed to power their use, total upkeep costs for a single jump bridge are close to 1.5 billion isk per month.

Their most common use is as a local network used to reduce travel time, bypass potentially hostile choke points, or connect key systems, generally in a localized area of no more than 5 light years away. However, they can be set up in such a way, if you have the resources and the space, to create a far-reaching superhighway network that can span regions and be usable by anyone on an alliance’s blue list. And this is where jump bridge networks need to get some tweaks.

It wasn’t all that long ago that jump bridges required a password for anyone who was not a part of the alliance that owned them. You may have been blue, but if you didn’t have the password it was gates for you. CCP removed the password requirement to make them easier for allies to access. Passwords do suck, so it was a good change, but we do in fact need to slit the throat of access on the altar of force projection.

Jump bridges should only be accessible to the alliance that owns them. No more extended blue lists having free reign to quickly traverse your territory and vice versa. No more coalition fleets travelling together across Eve’s blue superhighways. Jump bridges are great local tools that should remain in the game. But they are an overused means of moving too far, too fast, with too many.

Removing the ability to use non-alliance jump bridges is also one less reason to keep those blue lists so long. And for the love of God, would some of the actual PVPers out there please sound off: this change would put more transit through gates in nullsec and that would be good for that mythical “small gang PVP” thing, wouldn’t it?

Cynosural Field Generators

Cynosural Field Generators (cyno) are ship-based mods that, when activated and in the same fleet, allow capital ship jump drives to lock on to it and the capital ship to jump to the cyno’s location. Any ship with jump drive capability, including Black Ops battleships, is able to jump to a standard cyno, and any ship with a Jump Portal Generator, such as a titan or Black Ops battleship, can open a jump portal to it, bridging in all manner of ships.

Cynos are the keys to the kingdom when it comes to real force projection. No cyno, no suddenly spaceships. A single cyno can be responsible for hundreds of ships all of sizes appearing. Whether they are subcaps through a titan bridge or capital ships themselves, the cyno is the key.

I propose limiting cynos to a maximum of 50 ships per cyno per cycle. Currently these are 10 minute cycles; five minutes if used on a Recon. Therefore, I also propose reducing the cycle time by 50% – 5 minutes and 2.5 minutes, respectively. Hell, reduce it by 70% to 3/1.5 since who really cares. Chances are if the area is hostile, the cyno is dead meat anyway. Also, the fuel requirement should be reduced by a similar proportion.

This would not interfere with typical player logistics or even the movement of moderately-sized fleets. But if you want to jump in 100 or 150 ships (or more), you will need multiple cynos. If you have that many dudes willing to jump their capital ships, I’m quite certain you can find a couple more cynos. Or just wait out the timer for the reinforcements, if of course the cyno lives. It also requires more management and fleet discipline. Wing 1 jump to… Wing 2 jump to… Cyno down, shit who did we leave behind?

Special note on titan bridges: for the purpose of the cyno proposal, I consider a titan bridge a single toke on the cyno pipe. But, more is yet to come that specifically deals with titan bridges.

Titans! More Titans?

Where to start really? I’m going to save my full thoughts on titans and super carriers for a future installment because I think it deserves to stand on its own. For now, I’m going to stick with the Force Projection theme and where I think titans fall into that. Primarily, where titan bridges fall into it. Titans themselves jump like any other capital ship and would be governed by the same proposal for cynos above.

I have already proposed to make jump bridges available exclusively to the alliance that owns the bridge. This was part of the escalating sov costs argument as well as this one on force projection. The common response, after “screw you Dirk, you’re dumb”, is the opposite end of the spectrum: “So what, they’ll just use titans.” OK then, let’s deal with titans.

There are two elements here that I will include under the “force projection” heading. The first being the use of titan bridge chains to move composite fleets no longer able to use the jump bridges of other friendly alliances. The second is what I’ll call “the last leg” of force projection: bridging massive fleets into a target destination. Both are solved by the same proposal.

Assume for a moment that I don’t want to get rid of titan bridges altogether. Do I? I don’t know. Find out in my next installment of “How to Make Eve a Better Game.” But assume I don’t. I just want to limit their ability to project force. In the “Age of Coalitions”, if a composite fleet wants to move any great distance and can’t use jump bridges, it must take gates or get a titan pilot to login. That in and of itself may help limit force projection because it creates the weak links of managing the chain, herding the titan pilots and perhaps overworking them. Weak links break the chain for all but the most disciplined, but don’t blame me if someone else has that discipline and you don’t. But is that enough? I think not, because it doesn’t solve “the last leg” part of force projection.

The last leg, the point at which a titan opens that bridge and 254 ships come pouring through (don’t question me, it’s 254). Sometimes into an empty system, sometimes on top of your fleet like they were the wrath of God. They might as well be the wrath of God since they appear just as magically out of thin air. The titan really is the king of the hill when it comes to force projection when and where it counts most: at the point of contact. So, what to do about that?

Remember the limit on cynos? I counted one titan bridge as just one ship? Yeah, that was because I was saving it for here. I propose titan bridges be limited in one of the following two ways:

Option A: A titan can bridge no more than 127 ships of any size (that’s half a fleet for you math wizards);
or
Option B: A titan can bridge no more than 63.5 Billion kg in mass (also half a BS fleet)

Over a rolling 10-minute period. Max out in 60 seconds and you need to wait 10 minutes to bridge even one more ship. Do it a bit over time and you can probably keep it up indefinitely. Thus, reinforcement bridges wouldn’t be impaired. Note: Do me a favor and let’s not debate the 10-minute deal. I don’t even know if it is technically feasible and it really isn’t the focal point of the proposal. It’s there because when you limit based on numbers or mass, that limit has to wash out at some point.

Option A lets you know exactly how many ships you can bridge. It’s simple and doesn’t take a lot of thought, but it is also inflexible.

Option B gives you more flexibility. If you are bridging smaller ships, you can bridge more of them at once. On the flip side it tosses you the curveball of having to account for those idiots in the fleet with active prop mods chewing up your mass limit. Just another wrinkle.

What does this solve? It is going to take more time to move big fleets using titan bridges or you’re going to commit more titans to the job of making it go faster. And let’s be real, if you have 256 dudes in fleet, you should have 2 titans, right?

Conclusion

I know, that’s a lot. But let’s reiterate the goal before saying each idea is shit stupid. Force projection needs to be curtailed because it is simply too easy to move huge armadas across the map in very little time. Being able to do so doesn’t encourage gudfites. It encourages overexpansion. Good fights can still be had, but choices should have to be made and it shouldn’t be as easy as it is now. Can I react quickly enough to defend my space if an enemy attacks my far-flung holdings? Do I deploy my forces halfway across the universe and leave my own space exposed? Maybe I don’t take my entire force and need to leave some in reserve. Do I even want to go that far just for shits and giggles if it is going to be more hassle than it is worth?

This isn’t an argument over fairness or leveling the playing field. It is about creating a game that is more enjoyable by promoting a more fragmented universe and more localized conflict. Force projection is overpowered as a standalone issue and could be addressed on that basis alone. But in the end, limiting it should be used as a means to achieve a greater end. The goal has to be to shape a game that plays better and continues to attract players. Space is big and it should feel big.

229 Comments

  1. Just da noobie

    I agree with comments that this is overly complicated to go about solving it. Why not just have a 15 min jump calibration timer for capitals and 30 mins for supers. Leave all else alone.

    September 17, 2013 at 5:52 am Reply
    1. Dirk MacGirk

      I agree, cool down timers on jumps would inhibit rapid force projection. But I intentionally left that out because it would also slow normal transit of capitals unrelated to force projection, and because it would disproportionately effect smaller groups. We have to be very careful that any change intended to limit the effectiveness of the blob doesn’t equally limit groups already at a disadvantage in other ways.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:41 pm Reply
  2. JIeoH Mocc

    Kind of missed on the major points IMO. Subcap force projection is not a real issue.

    Titans fix is moronic, everybody who has a whole fleet to project will easily have 2 titans. So that
    wouldn’t change anything, except adding a small nuisance during the process.

    What about the ability to project a shitload of supercarriers across the whole galaxy in 15 minutes?
    Hundreds of slowcats anyone?

    That’s where i am waiting for the fix.

    September 17, 2013 at 8:04 am Reply
  3. -_-

    Better idea, remove titan bridges entirely (giving mass limit will HELP CFC as they can afford as many titans as they want where others can not), leave black ops alone, remove pos jump bridges entirely, cut all cap jump distances in half (or even more) and increase fuel cost by 25%. This should be a start, possible tweaking on the fuel cost to 50%. Overnight eve will be 10x larger and freighters will need escorts again (pirates wet dream) forces will have supply chains and capitols will in most cases need to position themselves much more strategically.. Large power blocks will find defending their borders much more difficult and will truly need to split their forces when invading and fighting a multi front war. War will be harder to wage on a full scale roaming gangs will again be a viable option crashing nodes with over 4000 pilots in one system will almost guaranteed not happen. win, win, win, win, win, win. well loss for super blocks like CFC, bet PL wont be happy either ^_^ your average pilots though and small corps/alliance will love 0.0 again ROAMING GANGS YAYY

    September 17, 2013 at 9:54 am Reply
    1. -_-

      o gosh, thinking about having fights that are on scales of 100 vs 100 again ^_^. the bountifulness of little to no lag, tears of joy m8, tears of joy.

      September 17, 2013 at 9:57 am Reply
    2. Ze Noob

      no no and more no the last thing the titan needs now is a nerf taking away the bridge the one thing it is actually used for will make a titan effectively useless like a 120 bil paper weight most regular pilots now days have carriers and most alliances have a JF alliances are getting bigger fleets are getting bigger and these ships give them the ability to get into some nice fights asakai for example

      i think it would be a smarter idea to make EVE bigger again maybe 50% bigger this will also mean that smaller alliances have some space to take asides for providence

      September 17, 2013 at 12:26 pm Reply
      1. -_-

        o god no, don’t get rid of ze titans!
        they can be rebalanced to super dreads if you like, but the bridge is making super blocs far too powerful. As for asaki, there is a reason everyone knows that name, its VERY VERY RARE to have an engagement like that. Personally Id swap out those once every year or two engagements if it meant a host of new 0.0 corps and alliances. I agree with your later point making eve larger (scale wise) would also be a good move however if ccp could wave their hand and double their infrastructure im sure they would have, funding is getting low and im seeing FAR too much talk on CCP selling out to EA.

        September 17, 2013 at 12:32 pm Reply
      2. Dirk MacGirk

        Making Eve actually bigger wont help a damn thing without limiting the ability for super powers to just take that too. Force projection isn’t the only answer nor are the ideas I proposed. But we have enough unused space now. We don’t need more for the big blocs to keep you from using. And they will. Because they can.

        September 17, 2013 at 2:28 pm Reply
  4. Nulsec Vet

    +1, this is 1 of the best ideas i have seen lately. Can not wait for CCP to implement this.

    September 17, 2013 at 10:53 am Reply
    1. Filip Viruk Drab

      They won’t.

      September 17, 2013 at 12:41 pm Reply
  5. Filip Viruk Drab

    1, Force projection is issue only for some players (I don’t have a problem with it tbh)
    2, either the small alliances will have no or little say in the matter of 0.0 sov holding or you can limit the benefits of large numbers groups until EVE is no longer a sandbox (nerf titan bridges, nerf jump bridges, nerf supercap / cap jumping capabilities, nerf the number of people allowed in fleets, nerf this, nerf that)
    3, what we see now in 0.0 (few large blocks holding most of the space) is just a natural evolution of large masses of players in a sandbox with similar interests (CFC players are sharing CFC interests and are working toward them)

    September 17, 2013 at 12:41 pm Reply
  6. Greb

    This is not limiting force projection, it is just making more complex. If the limit is half, everyone will now have 2 titans waiting to bridge. Cant afford 2 titans, well you aren’t big enough to project force. This is just going to weigh the scales more in favor of large alliances, while doing nothing to limit their force projection.

    If you really want to limit it, make the titan jump with the fleet. Hot drops get a lot more interesting when you have to commit your logistical ships to the combat. Also, kill jump freighters already. The supply chain is too easy to keep up as is. Fleets of haulers would at least give some counter play options.

    September 17, 2013 at 1:03 pm Reply
    1. Dirk MacGirk

      How does any of this weigh the scales in favor of the goliaths of the game? Nothing here would hurt smaller alliances. If anything, everything here would work to make life more difficult for the biggest groups. Small alliances can’t do shit now. And I won’t propose something that would curb everyone equally. I tried very hard to ensure nothing would change for smaller groups except maybe smaller groups who are really just part of larger coalitions. But that really makes them part and parcel of the larger groups anyway.

      September 17, 2013 at 2:33 pm Reply
      1. Greb

        What you are proposing is making it harder to travel without owning many titans. In fact, the best solution to force projection under your idea is to have more titans, all over the place.

        TItans are expensive..By limiting the number of ships a titan can bridge, you are raising the number of titans required to to the same effect. A small alliance titan is a hefty purchase, where a large alliance can cover the cost much easier. Only the biggest alliances will be able to afford to have titans spread around the galaxy as bridge points.

        I feel like this is explaining that if we double the cost of apples it will hurt poor people more, as food is a larger portion of their budget. I really don’t see how this idea is eluding you.

        September 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm Reply
        1. Dirk MacGirk

          Read the response up a couple. I can’t type it again. But let me ask: how many does your alliance put into a CTA fleet? In your best day? If you are a “small alliance” I doubt you’re topping 150. So how many damn titans does a small alliance need?

          September 18, 2013 at 2:20 pm Reply
          1. Greb

            Lets say you are fighting CFC. They pull 2 full fleets. That’s ok though, because you have friends who hate them. So you invite them to join up with you, except you now need 4 titans at each bridge point if you want to be able to counter drop. CFC has those 4 titans waiting, because they can afford to do so. What we have is a smaller alliance being hindered by a rule that was intended to hinder large alliances. This took me less than 30 seconds to come up with. You need to sit down and think about what you are proposing for at least 30 seconds.

            What you wrote can pretty much be distilled to “need more titans to bridge and project power”. To say this benefits the small alliances shows a complete lack of understanding on basic concepts of how the game work.

            September 19, 2013 at 9:00 pm
          2. Dirk MacGirk

            So you want balance? Any change must result is a leveling of the playing field to a common level? That you shoukd be able to compete at the same level as the CFC because tou have some friends but not enough Titans? chances are you dont have enough of either and your scenario sounds good on paper but doesnt actually play out in game. I can think about this for more than 30 seconds and not arrive at simple answers because nothing about this is simple. Your answer is simple, but the outcome isn’t.

            Also, don’t focus on one single piece of the proposal. They were ideas that could be mixed an matched. Some people were more concerned about jump bridges, others focused on the Titan bridges. Maybe none of the solutions made Perfect sense, but if we wait around for perfect we’ll be waiting forever. Perhaps I am completely wrong and there is nothing wrong with the existing mechanics. I may not have the perfect answers but I’m fairly certain something isn’t right with the status quo.

            September 20, 2013 at 2:30 pm
          3. Greb

            Let’s start with the whole “your alliance” bit..I am in CFC. I am not arguing form the point of a small alliance that is upset because we cant fight against CFC. I mention this because your assumption that i must be in a small alliance is ridiculous, and indicative of your general argument style.

            I am not arguing that things are great as is, i am arguing that your “fix: does not do anything to fix the problem. If anything, it exasperates it. I agree that the heart of the problem is force projection, but your solution is wrong.

            If the house is in fire, lets not throw gasoline on it. There are some “solutions” that are worse than nothing. The titan bridge limit is one of them.

            As for the other bits, they didn’t strike me as glaringly wrong as the titan idea. Jump bridges, i honestly don’t think matter all that much. We didn’t use them in fountain really. Sure you could bring your ships from VFK down too the area via bridges, or you could just buy them at the goon seeded market in fountain. I used jump bridges once in that whole campaign, and honestly I would have been better off just jump cloning it.

            As long as jump freighters exist, jump bridges aren’t a big deal.

            September 21, 2013 at 12:55 am
          4. Dirk MacGirk

            Greb, you have no idea how many replies I have tried to respond to. Actually you can probably scroll up and see. Most authors don’t bother to stay involved after posting their stuff. But in this case, this was a pretty active thread. When I said “you” or “your alliance”, it wasn’t so much directed at you. It was more directed at the general “you” if it applies to you. If that makes any sense. Layer on top of that the various trolls and well, responses sometimes get snippy. And for that, I apologize.
            Like I said, my proposals were as much about provoking a response and getting feedback as anything else. None may work, some may work, some may work in moderation or with tweaks, maybe others not mentioned would work. But I guess its more about discovering if there is an issue at all. Some seem to think so. Others say no and mean it while some will say no, but defend it anyway because it works in their favor. So we’ll see. I have no expectation of anything changing. And shit, any of these changes would hurt me. But that doesn’t stop me from voicing it. Anyway, thanks for the input.

            September 21, 2013 at 2:06 am
    2. GrouchyOldGamer

      Agreed, all these suggestions favour large groups.

      September 17, 2013 at 11:20 pm Reply
      1. Dirk MacGirk

        Expand please. Identify how they favor larger groups. Or somehow disadvantage smaller groups. Explain the disadvantage a 1,000 man alliance would incur versus that of a 5,000 man coalition.

        September 17, 2013 at 11:45 pm Reply
        1. thereagainisaidit

          Large groups have more titans. If you make titan bridges cost more, or jump less mass, or jump less far, it is easier for the large groups to make up for this through more titans. As I’ve stated elsewhere, the problem is the bridge itself. The idea that you can relocate an entire fleet 10ly away and come back, go somewhere else, do this all within the scope of a single session is the problem. As it stands, if Goon’s fleet sitting in tenal: OH NOES ATTACK IN FOUNTAIN!… No probem, we just get titan bridge! Take out titan bridge, and putting all in tenal would be stupid, since it will take so long to respond to attack in fountain. You must keep forces spread out (bad), or consolidate your sov into something you can defend, a region or group of systems that you can quickly respond to threats within.

          September 18, 2013 at 12:04 am Reply
          1. Dirk MacGirk

            You have it exactly right. Except I don’t believe it gives NCdot or Goons or PL anymore advantage than they have now. Yes, they are big and have more titans they could log on. But they also have more dudes to put through a bridge. If you don’t have more than 127 then you don’t need another Titan anyway. Lets also forget about numbers and deal with the concept. 127 or 50 or 256 don’t matter as much as te concept you got exactly right: you shouldn’t be able to sit in Tenal and defend Delve. Or sit in Immensea and defend Cobalt Edge. Not easily anyway. It’s not the numbers. Those are details. We can’t get half the monkeys to even agree that there is something fundamentally wrong with force projection at all. Too many just want to commute to war, blob the enemy and run home for dinner with the miners.

            September 18, 2013 at 2:18 pm
        2. GrouchyOldGamer

          As already described by others reducing the capacity of Titans to bridge people is only really an issue if you don’t have enough Titans to just scale up. NC. aren’t going to blink if you say only 100 ships can jump through a Titan bridge – they’ll just log on more Titans.

          Under your scheme it would be practically impossible to take somewhere like Tenal because if you wanted to drop jump bridges from your bridgehead system to anywhere only those in your Alliance could use it. Effectively eliminating any possibility of building a coalition to come help you band together and remove someone from their space, because they’d have to take a staging system per Alliance.

          You even suggest a way around your scheme by saying you wouldn’t nerf blackops. Surely under that situation as a sov holder I’ve just have stock piles of sub caps in strategic locations and move everyone there in a bombers?

          The inability of people to replace loses during a battle because you’ve nerfed the ability for the attacks to project force. So if I roll up with more ships than you each loss you take has a higher impact on your ability to lay down DPS.

          Making Eve less mobile won’t make it more fun – just more stagnant. Take your ideas and look at them through the eyes of an attacker they are more onerous than any restriction they place on a defender.

          If you want to make Eve seem bigger the only way is the go the whole hog and remove any jump mechanic and force people to move via. gates.

          September 18, 2013 at 12:26 am Reply
    3. Yum

      I don’t see it affecting a small alliance, because a small alliance wouldn’t really be able to field a tonne of guys anyway.

      September 18, 2013 at 5:31 am Reply
  7. pop

    Coming from a mouth from a cfc obvious that he only want it so cfc can be even more dominant while any smaller alliances can’t do much to defend themselves. Guess what black legion, the retirement club are small alliance’s and it has titans and uses them so stop saying retarded things.

    September 17, 2013 at 3:16 pm Reply
    1. Dirk MacGirk

      You’re dumb, can’t read, didn’t read or English isn’t your first language. I’ll give you a pass on the latter if that is the case. But otherwise, your ignorance of how this would help the CFC is just that, ignorant. Seriously, saying because I am in CFC means this would help the CFC is just plain stupid. Get yourself Hooked on Phonics and try again. Seriously, I know any retard can get a PC and login these days, but could more mothers choose to abort earlier?

      September 17, 2013 at 3:21 pm Reply
      1. LEARN TO BRAIN

        Funny, those are all things that came to mind reading your article.

        There is already a limit on the number of ships that can jump to a cyno, or take a bridge. It’s 255. When that limit is passed you simply use another cyno/titan.

        If you would kindly take your own advice and give yourself a 120th trimester abortion, that would be great.

        September 17, 2013 at 5:33 pm Reply
        1. Dirk MacGirk

          Omg dude, the tards who keep saying “you simply do this or you simply do that.” Some people will simply do it but others will try to do the simple thing and fail because maybe it wasnt so simple for them. No single thing is foolproof and smart people will find a way of mitigating the effect any change has. But you don’t say not going to bother because smart people will adapt. Let them adapt. The solution, if there is one, isn’t a single change anyway. It will be a basket of changes or it will create more harm than good. But actually, nothing will change. It is too late in this game’s life for serious change.

          And hurhur. You one upped my abortion comment with my abortion comment. You’re special. Lol

          September 17, 2013 at 6:19 pm Reply
  8. Baki Yuku

    This is not a solution because large coalitions will simply have more titans for each fleet to solve the problem. Also the harder you make logistics the more impossible it becomes for people to live in the deep parts of 0.0. There is no real solution to force projection and there shouldn’t be because force projection is not the issue. The issue is people clustering up into huge blocks. The only way to break that up and the stupidity that is renting empire’s is by radically changing the sov system from ground up.

    September 17, 2013 at 3:28 pm Reply
  9. Sigh

    Here we go again boo hoo hoo.
    If 30000 players want to join together and create a vast empire, who are you to say they cant ?
    CCP states null sec is to create vast empires, and the CFC has done just that with alot of work.
    The little solo alliance has no place in sov period.
    If you want small gang warfare, well thats what faction war is about or lowsec.
    If you want a battlegrounds type of game when each alliance can only bring even numbers, then i suggest WOW is the game for you wingers.
    Its like saying to the US military that they cant force project because its nor fair to the smaller countries in the middle east.
    CCP knows what they want in a space game, and its not hello kitty pink spaceships like you cry babies do.
    Nerf this Nerf that and after awhile you will have a kitty online space game.
    Be carefull what you wankers wish for.

    September 17, 2013 at 6:07 pm Reply
    1. riskreward

      Dirk’s valid point here is that it is too easy for large coalitions to move their entire fleet across the entire map with nearly no risk in nearly no time. This makes it impossible for smaller alliance to even defend a single sov system, because the commitment to killing them is so small: the large alliance can pull the fleet out, and move to a larger threat in no time. So there is no unavoidable state of “being out of position” strategically for large null alliances if they want to focus on one area of the map.
      Imagine the game of Risk, except you can move all your armies at the end of turn to any occupied territory on the map, leaving no defenders, instead of just one power-move one region away. This is the contrast of eve with titan / jump bridges and without it.

      September 17, 2013 at 6:29 pm Reply
    2. Dirk MacGirk

      CCP giveth and CCP can taketh away. You can’t say that anyone but CCP created the environment under which success can be measured. They created the structure and some talented groups took advantage of it. But it doesn’t mean it can’t be modified. None of this matters as we all know its not going to change. But to say “we did this or we did that” is only half true. First, CCP have built a structure that plays into mass clusters. Then your leadership figured out how best to take advantage of those mechanics. Quit making it sound like it was an open slate. If the game began by giving a reduction to effectiveness in damage and hit points based on the numbers on grid to offset blobbing, and that was in the game from the start, you wouldn’t know any better. But I bet the tactic of blobbing wouldn’t be what is is today. I’m just saying, mechanics change, ships change, everything changes, and players adapt. It’s not criminal to call for change.

      September 17, 2013 at 6:35 pm Reply
      1. The Mechanic

        The biggest problem with your idea is TiDi.
        If your intent is to force large attack forces to use jump gates, then it would take days to get to a fight.
        Literally.
        That is enough to nail the coffin lid shut on your idea to begin with. Most of us do not have enough free time every day to spend slowly jumping across systems to a fight what will be over tens of hours before we can get there.
        Until CCP can construct a lag and TiDi free system, the current force projection mechanics should not be touched.
        Aside from that, your view of “blobbing” is completely wrong headed. Dissuading calls to arms to build superior attack or defense fleets is simply stupid. In any combat situation, real or imagined, the first thing you do is raise a sufficient force to get the job done. Fleet comp and “skill” are meaningless without proper numbers.
        The argument on how leadership figured how to “take advantage of those mechanics” is just rubbish. In the real world, all of us have done exactly this just to get through the day. That is why I don’t bother trying to walk on the ceiling to the bathroom and piss up into the toilet. I’ve discovered an easier way, and I “take advantage” of that mechanic.

        September 18, 2013 at 6:44 am Reply
        1. Dirk MacGirk

          OK, I’ll give it a shot because I’m a nice guy.

          1) if you’re that far away that you can’t viably respond to a threat, then perhaps you have overextended your ability to defend your space. I don’t are if it is tidi or simple distance. Or are you under the impression you should be able to respond to every threat across however much space regardless of anything else?

          2) I am in no way dissuading bringing as many as you can to a fight. I am attempting to discourage the ability to do it at the last minute using magicky ships that teleport you from your mining/ratting directly to the battlefield. You and your 500 friends. You should bring as many as you can. But when we talk about force projection, we are discussing the capability of doing it across distance and time. You want to not be bothered with any leg work so you can get back to what you do before and after your alliance calls on you. I say fuck that. If you need to be attack or defend, you should be stationed in reasonable proximity to get there in time. With as many friends as possible. But the game doesn’t need to make it easy for you.

          3) “Fleet comp and skill are meaningless without proper numbers” – I probably should have stopped thinking when I read this because it calls into question your entire grasp of this game if that is what you think. Or perhaps you are just conditioned to being in a blob. It’s fucking retarded and you’re probably lucky you’re hiding in whatever blob you’re hiding in. You should feel bad for this comment.

          4) Yes, your leadership as well as others has learned to take advantage of both organization (herd the cats) and tactics given the current mechanics. If they are that good, they will likely overcome any changes to their ability to project force across time and space. There may be some pissing into your own mouths for a bit while things shake out, but likely everyone would experience the same learning curve. Don’t fear change. Embrace the opportunity.

          September 18, 2013 at 2:10 pm Reply
          1. J.D.Powers

            quote: “It’s fucking retarded and you’re probably lucky you’re hiding in whatever blob you’re hiding in. You should feel bad for this comment.”

            I have a challenge for you then. You bring a fleet of any composition and skill level you like as long as it does not exceed 100, and I will bring an ass load of Test (if there is an ass load left, that is). After we beat your ass all up and down will you retract this stupid remark? I mean, if you are soooooo fuckin good, how could you get your ass beaten by Test? I love it when someone makes a comment so retarded that it can be shot down in seconds.

            On your Item 4) I can only say “wow”. You not only avoided the issue, but you made it clear that your only reason for asking for the changes to the games physics’ are trivial and arbitrary.

            You don’t just remove gravity from the universe because high divers have become very good at using it to their advantage. I have seen several project managers use the bullshit consultant’s mantra “Don’t fear change. Embrace the opportunity”, just before they implemented an arbitrary change in someone’s business that killed the company and cost everyone a job. You are not a consultant, are you?

            September 19, 2013 at 3:34 am
          2. Dirk MacGirk

            Dude you said fleet comp and skill are meaningless if you can’t bring raw numbers. It’s a balance and you know it. Enough numbers can out game competency and fleet composition if enough numbers are brought to bear. It’s a valid tactic, but to say fleet comp and skill don’t matter is foolish. Plenty of groups out there prove that daily. That’s all I was trying to say. We don’t need to 100v100 at planet 1 to prove that point. Plus I suck anyway. I said you were lucky to be in a blob because if you don’t want to being skill and proper fleet comp then you better have numbers.

            As for #4, I’m not sure what I avoided. All change will have an effect. Will it be completely mitigated through skill and organization? No. But good leadership and structure will find a way to make the best of a new situation. Smart people play Eve and I have no doubt that no change would be perfect and be the ultimate solution. We can only try to get it close to right. But you don’t avoid trying to make changes because you can’t obtain perfect. Better sometimes has to be good enough. I’m not trying to avoid your question or say any of this is trivial. Other than its a game so it’s all technically trivial. As for arbitrary, I tried very hard to not make anything arbitrary, as in: fuck it just change this for laughs. I made a case for the need to change force projection, gave reasons, and then offered possible solutions in order to achieve an end. If you don’t feel like force projection as we know it is an issue, the the solutions are of no consequence. If you agree that force projection is OP, then the proposed solutions come into play and can be debated. I didn’t recommend changes just for the sake of change. That would be arbitrary.

            September 19, 2013 at 3:18 pm
          3. check that

            quote: “Dude you said fleet comp and skill are meaningless if you can’t bring raw numbers”

            Sorry, wrong again. What was said was “Fleet comp and “skill” are meaningless without proper numbers”.

            Note the word “proper”, not “raw”. And that is absolutely correct. without PROPER numbers to get a task done, it does not matter whether you bring a fleet with the best “pilots” in EvE, seated in the finest officer fit whizbang ships ever made, or not. You will still loose.
            This is the reason so many L33t “pilots” hate the Goons. They bring the best killboard jockys in the game to a war, the Goons show up with a few thousand angry faggots (with some of the best FCs in the game) and proceed to stretch every L33t butt-hole within dick’s reach all out of shape. Don’t like numbers? Sorry, but they matter, and always will.

            September 20, 2013 at 2:02 am
          4. Dirk MacGirk

            OK then I misunderstood what “proper” meant in the context of the statement. I interpreted “proper” to be the code word for “as many as I possibly can.” OK, so what’s the point then? Have any of my articles or comments in any of these threads made the case in favor of blobs? I’ve pretty much said they are the refuge for the lazy and should be encouraged in RL but discouraged in a video game. I’m not even sure where this is going at this point.

            September 20, 2013 at 3:38 am
          5. fini

            The point is…wait for it…”blobbing” should not be discouraged. This is not a hack, a cheat, or a broken game mechanic. If thousands of paying clients want to team up and take on everybody else in some good ole fun, then it is their right to do so. This entire argument is based on the silly assumption that if the other guy is able to attract more members, then he is somehow cheating, inferior, whatever.
            When I hear someone use the “press F1” argument, it makes me feel like I’m taking crazy pills. So the large fleet pilot is inferior, less honorable, lazy?
            Do any of you morons actually think that you are piloting a spaceship? Sorry to break it to you, but the controls for this GAME are keyboard and mouse clicks. Using F1 thru F8 and beyond doesn’t make you any more a pilot of a spaceship than sticking feathers in your butt. You are a nerd, probably obese, sitting in a desk chair, for hours, pretending to be something important. If you’ve been playing this game for a decade, it doesn’t mean that you are some kind of authority compared to the newb, the carebear, the station trader, the pod hunter, the wardecer, etc. Actually, it probably means you are kind of pathetic.
            There are many ways to play this game. And they are all correct…unless you are Test.

            September 20, 2013 at 7:37 am
          6. Dirk MacGirk

            You are correct. Blobbing should not be discourage. But it need not be encouraged, which is what the entire existing set of game mechanics does. It encourages large groups to form in the first place and then over expand further. It then encourages large groups to project their weight anywhere, anytime.

            You’re obviously content with the status quo, and that’s fine. I get the feeling many people are content with that.

            September 20, 2013 at 2:12 pm
          7. puffy

            quote: “But the game doesn’t need to make it easy for you”
            Nor does it need to make it hard for you. You still haven’t given a single explanation for this change that isn’t arbitrary. Just because you don’t like a thing, doesn’t mean there is something wrong with it. And physics, real or otherwise, isn’t a democratic matter.
            I’m still wondering what the perceived evil of large powerful alliances actually is. I realize that the pussies of the world always root for the little guy, but the fact of the matter is that the dick, that takes what he wants until he can take no more, is the one who does great things. The pussy can only whine and demand that the rules be changed in his favor.

            September 19, 2013 at 6:42 am
    3. -_-

      Because anything less than 2k vs 2k is hello kitty land! I needs that 90% tidi so as I can jerk off while in fleet fights.
      no one said large entities couldn’t form, no one said massive battles COULDN’T happen. people are saying its TOO easy for a power block to go from top of the map to the bottom. They will still have force projection, it just wont be “hello kitty” jump bridge form.
      As for your US navy coment, just image that the US could INSTANTLY be anywhere they wanted, the entire US navy could go from a safe American harbor to shores of syria in the blink of an eye on a whim. then after that massacre be back home for lunch.

      September 17, 2013 at 7:24 pm Reply
  10. Stab_My_Eyes

    While I applaud the thought and detail that went into this article, and that Dirk was willing to take on what is a sensitive topic for many, I have to agree that the answer is not curtailing the abilities of the large power-blocks to project their force, nor do I believe it’s escalating the costs of owning sov. It’s human nature to find ways around hard limits, especially in the context of a dynamic like MMOs. If CCP wanted too (and as many have pointed out, why would they) they would need to identify and implement an incentive for the large powerblocks to “right-size” themselves on their own, anything else is clearly a violation of the spirit of the sandbox environment.

    September 17, 2013 at 10:26 pm Reply
    1. waristheonlyway

      “incentive for rightsizing themselves…” what exactly is this “right size” and who is to determine it?
      If you want to preserve sandbox, this is not the right approach either. Same rules for large and small. Let the players decide what the “right size” is through war.

      September 17, 2013 at 10:43 pm Reply
  11. SOV Master

    I have the solution to your pains:
    Anything jumped through cyno or covop should arrive crippled, period. Maybe unable to target, or slowed to 3% of it’s total speed, no weapons, or half shields, armor and structure, or a combination of all, or perhaps a surprise.
    Cynos should have a timer before being jumpable by multiple ships. Single ships should jump right away.
    Jump bridges must be fixed in a way that the edge of the universe can be reached without kissing balls allover.

    September 18, 2013 at 12:58 am Reply
    1. Dumbass

      Or…just have the ship explode when you click jump to cyno!
      There, does that make sense?

      September 18, 2013 at 6:21 am Reply
  12. Derp

    So, instead of asking that those who want to play with the big boys step up to the challenge, your idea is to cripple the successful players so that there is far less risk to the underdog.
    I’m guessing you are American.

    September 19, 2013 at 6:48 am Reply
    1. Dirk MacGirk

      I don’t want to penalize success. But defining success by thousand of lazy bitches hiding under mommy’s skirt isn’t success. It is for mommy, but not for you.

      I’m guessing you’re European? The Blob is of course the bastion of socialist minds. Very Euro in nature. If we just pool into one big group, we can say we are big and strong like America. LOL Ah the socialist utopia that Europe has become. No military and entirely dependent on Germany.

      September 20, 2013 at 2:40 pm Reply
      1. clown

        Big and strong like America? Your president is currently being ass-raped by Russia, Syria, and Iran. Why, because he does what this generation of Americans always do, run his mouth until an actual man puts a foot in his ass.
        Don’t compare yourself to the Americans of thirty or more years ago. You’ve elected a pussy to the office of president, twice, and unfortunately for you, leaders reflect their constituents.
        Good luck in Syria, you’re going to need it.

        September 21, 2013 at 1:37 am Reply
        1. skeolawn

          Yeah, he should have just nuked the sh*t out of those sand bandits to prove he’s a “real man”

          September 22, 2013 at 8:00 pm Reply
          1. clownin

            Exactly what he said he was going to do, and then failed to follow through.
            That’s what happens when you have a candy-ass for a leader.
            For someone who’s always big billy bad-ass when it comes to threatening his fellow Americans, it’s strange to see this president sit down and STFU when Putin says so.

            September 23, 2013 at 7:17 am
      2. shigmund

        quote: “But defining success by thousand of lazy bitches hiding under mommy’s skirt isn’t success”
        By this, do you mean to say that the tens of thousands of American Marines who poured onto the beaches on D Day were a bunch of lazy bitches hiding under mommy’s skirt? I mean, they DID overcome the superior firepower from the German turrets with shear numbers, so I don’t think you could say it wasn’t successful.
        I don’t mean to bring any more RL war analogies to bear, God knows, but why is this tactic considered to be distasteful in your eyes?
        If the Americans just sent the men up a hundred or so at a time to be cut down, would that have made them more heroic to you?

        September 21, 2013 at 1:56 am Reply
        1. Dirk MacGirk

          First, and its kind of off topic, but I don’t think any Marines hit the beach on D-Day. Marines were involved with training for the landing and some were present as observers, but D-Day was an Army deal and a lot of territorialism between the Army and Marines got in the way of Marines being included. But of course, Marines did fight and die by the bucket load in the Pacific. But yeah, I get your drift.
          So to your drift… as alliances and coalitions grow, they also get more bloated. I would categorize the “thousands of lazy bitches hiding under mommy’s skirt”, more as those who either don’t fight, only show up because they were compelled, or otherwise are just the fluff that bloats any alliance.
          I absolutely believe that numbers is a valid tactic that is in no way dishonorable. On a personal level, I don’t care about fair fights. I only care about winning. However, I have tried to make the case here, and elsewhere, that it is a tactic that is encouraged by the game design more than it need be. Human nature is enough to encourage it: safety in numbers. But so far as a game is concerned, I’m not sure it should be as encouraged as it is. Its just an opinion.

          September 21, 2013 at 2:25 am Reply
      3. Mad

        people will just use 2 or 3 titans in a POS if you limit the amount they can bridge….

        September 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm Reply

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