Sunday, 10 May 2015

The Long Awaited Update

Greetings Wormholers!

I have received many requests to update my blog in the past few months (it IS horribly out of date after all) so here it is; the update you've been asking for, but probably not the one you want.

As of this week, I have left Isogen 5 with all my characters.
This is not due to any falling out with Iso but rather I have grown weary with wspace and EVE in general and have made the decision to close up shop.  To that end, I used the transitional period of Iso moving to their new C5>C5 home wormhole as an opportune moment to do so.

My accounts have all been unsubbed, though due to running yearly subscriptions, I'll be around in a minor capacity until the last one runs out in late October.
(Currently 2 accounts are dead already, 5 remain active.)

Wspace no longer holds my interest as it once did.
What the larger groups have done to C5/6 space is a truly sad state of affairs and I'm no longer interested in arguing about it or having anything to do with it.

I have no doubt I'll be back at some point and I truly hope the landscape of high end wspace changes drastically before then.

I wish you all luck in your wspace endeavors and hope you're still finding what you came here to look for.  Sadly, I am not.

As always my friends, fly fun.

In closing, I'll leave you with some words to live by:

PS:  The keen observers out there may notice that one of my toons is in fact still in Isogen 5, this is due to that account running dry before I got around to moving it out.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Never Not Primary the Skiff

The weekend started out fairly typically for Isogen 5.
I logged in on Saturday afternoon to find 2-3 people online with Foedus out scanning in the chain.  It wasn't too long before Foedus calls out that he's spotted some NOHO (a well known and sizeable WH corp) pilots moving around in a LS at the end of our chain and asking if I was up for losing some ships if he finds their home.
I have no illusions regarding our corp's ability to go toe to toe with NOHO but I'm always up for a fight and it was an off peak time for them.
Given that they live in a C6 magnetar, the likelihood of us getting a kill before we all died was also reasonably high if we got into a brawl due to the high DPS buff so I logged in my Gnosis and said 'sure, why not?'.
Wasn't long before Foedus scanned through 4 WHs from the LS into Polaris (NOHO's home system) and 3 of us started to make our way up the chain while he scouted.
We also invited Glyndi from Honeybadgers to come along since he was near a LS that was connected to NOHO's static so he'd meet us there.
The residents on NOHO's static were Quantum Origins and they also had 2-3 pilots online so we held the fleet 2 holes out of Polaris and I moved my own scout into the Quantum Origins hole to keep an eye on them.
It quickly became apparent that Quantum Origins were having some sort of scrap with NOHO as there was a frig wreck on the Polaris entry hole and Foedus shortly announced that there was a QO Wolf asking for a 1v1 in Polaris local.

This complicated the situation a little.

Around this point, NOHO made the situation even more complicated by warping a Hulk and a Skiff to their ore site and starting up a mining op in the middle of all this.  Only NOHO...
Given the rarity of the chance to kill NOHO miners in their home system and that the ships fighting on their hole were of minimal value, Foedus made the call to wait until their fight was over and then going after the miners.
And so we waited.... and waited some more...
The Wolf pilot ended up having a Deimos buddy and the 1v1 turned into a drawn out 2v2, then another 1v1...
To make things even more annoying, the Hulk pilot had left the ore site at some point and was now idle in a POS.  The Skiff was still mining away happily though and Foedus was still hungry for some miner blood so we continued to wait for the hole to clear.

About 45min later Glyndi, who has been sitting patiently in the connected LS, calls out that a QO Leopard just jumped past him into their hole.  Spotted.
Almost immediately I see the Deimos and Wolf warp to the LS so I tell Glyndi to bail, which he does, obviously forgetting to bookmark the hole.
The Leopard pilot hits the POS and swaps immediately to a Vigilant, warping it to join his mates on the LS.
This tasty target is enough and we go for it.
We had another corp mate log in and join us by this point and our fleet is now 2 Ishtars, a Zealot, a Caracal and my Gnosis.
We jump the fleet in and warp it to the LS, obviously landing just as the QO ships are warping off.  Fast tackle is overrated.

'Hulk is back at site, warp to NOHO hole!'

In the meantime, the Hulk had re-joined his Skiff friend and was again at the ore site.
At this point there is still a NOHO Vexor sitting on their hole, along with who knows how many cloakies, but whatever, we came here for a fight and we were gonna get one started by killing their miners!

Our whole fleet warps to their hole, jumps through and warps right past the Vexor sitting there to our premade bookmarks for the miners.
We kill the Hulk without incident but the Skiff is 50km off.  As the Hulk goes down, 2 NOHO response Ishtars warp in at range and drop curators.  My Gnosis is hardly fast and there's nothing I can do against the Ishtars so I make the warp back to their static hole, hoping to find something close range like the Vexor to shoot there, leaving the rest of our fleet to catch and kill the Skiff which they manage to do.

At this point I also see a new ship on dscan in the QO hole with my scout: 

'Kronos on D.'

It looked like the Vigilant pilot had swapped into it but I don't give it much thought as it could be someone new, or just the ship he likes to log off in, and I move my scout back to watch the LS.

My Gnosis lands on the Polaris static by now and finds it clear.  Disappointed, I jump out to see if the QO guys are around and find to NOHO Vexor orbiting at 20km on the static side.  Game on!!
I point it, overload and do my best to get into web/scram range in time but he notices and moves away from me, easily out speeding my slow ship.

'Er, Kronos on the lowsec...'
'Kronos jumped out...and back...'
'Guys, get to this lowsec!'

My scout is still watching the LS hole and to my very high amazement, the QO Kronos had warped to it, double jumped himself and was now just sitting there while I'm shooting a stupid NOHO Vexor on the Polaris hole and the rest of our fleet is finishing off the Skiff's Pod and scrapping with NOHO Ishtars.
I haven't decided yet if its bait or stupid but either way, I kinda want to shoot it!

I decide I don't REALLY care all that much about the Vexor and given that it is not pointing me, I hit warp to the LS and call for the fleet to get there at best speed.
Sometime around this point it occurs to me that the Astarte command ship that had been on dscan the whole time was probably boosting...
I land on the LS hole and tackle the Kronos.
It shortly tackles me back, followed closely by the rest of our fleet landing, along with a QO Wolf and Deimos;  bait it is.  The battle is joined!
It's extremely obvious that the fleet we have can definitely not kill a bastioned Kronos so Foedus grabs his diplo hat and calls NOHO in to help us kill it and they form up some Ishtars and other kitey ships, along with a Scythe for reps, to assist.
We quickly force the Wolf off the field and force the Deimos to jump out but by the time NOHO get there our Caracal is down and the Zealot and my Gnosis were pushed into structure and forced to jump, leaving the 2 Ishtars holding down the fort while we go 1 jump over in LS to rep in a station before re-joining the fray.

By the time I get back, NOHO have pushed the Kronos through to lowsec and I land as it jumps back into the WH so I follow and engage on that side.
NOHO spend some time trying to kill the Deimos in LS but he also jumps back and when NOHO re-join us we have enough DPS to finish off the Kronos and kill off the Deimos who had also been repping like a champ.

Fun fight indeed!

10/10 would tackle Kronos on LS again.


(Cruor is unrelated, was from QO's scrap with NOHO earlier)

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Marauding Through Space

Marauders were my very first 'end game' target ship. 
When I first joined EVE's ranks back in 2009, a buddy of mine who got me into EVE was running a Golem for level 4 missions and I was in awe of its power while I was still skilling the T2 shield mods on my purger rigged Drake.
One day I was going to fly one of those sweet ships and blow up all the things with them!

Well, my initial newbro naiveté wore off pretty quickly as I learned how things in EVE work and found out that the Golem was pretty sweet for missions but it wasn’t really THAT great.  It also cost a whole lot, couldn't be used in PVP and was actually worse at the C2 wormhole sites I was getting into at the time than my Drake.
And so, my training focus shifted heavily into cruiser hulls and it would be years before I looked at battleships again.
When I did finally start training battleships, it was all about the Vindicators and Bhaalgorns that were popular at the time and my early fixation with Marauders were long forgotten as they were not on par with their pirate faction brothers.

However, Marauders were buffed pretty heavily by CCP in their balance pass, some time ago now, and their use has grown again, even in WHs.
Running C4s, and even C5s, solo with their new bastion mode has become reasonably common and Marauders have returned to their spot on top of the PVE food chain.
When people started running C5 sites in their new bastioned Marauders, I was reasonably skeptical as there had never really been a ship that could handle the neuts and DPS of class 5 wormhole sites before but the reports of it being possible were not isolated and 'how to' videos and guides started cropping up so clearly it was possible.
I ran the numbers (on paper) myself some time ago and it actually seemed to be pretty simple to fit out any of the 4 Marauders to be able to tank the sites with minimal fit pimp and no fleet boosts while still putting out 1000-1100 DPS a piece.  Sweet!
I decided to train Marauders V on my main, bought and fit out a Paladin and... never undocked it.
At the time I basically couldn't be bothered running PVE in a ship that was far, far slower and lover ISK/hour than my tried and true capital escalation fleet and so left the Paladin in Jita.

However, I finally decided to go ahead and try it out last week and so undocked in my shiny Marauder for the first time.
I pulled the basic fit for it from one of the guys I know who runs sites in Marauders, pimped all the mods by 1-2 meta levels (T2 damage mods? come on!!) and went to run the two Core Garrisons in our home hole.
I threw my fleet booster into fleet for good measure since I have one so may as well and went to town.

Not gonna lie, warping a 2+ bil battleship into a C5 site by yourself with no backup was a little butt puckering the first time around but hey, seems to work for other people!

Turns out my concerns were completely baseless and the Paladin had no issues at all handling the sleepers.
The hardest wave tops out at around 1900 incoming DPS which it turns out my Paladin could tank, fairly easily, on a single b-type repper.
However, I was more worried about the neuts but they were also fine with my cap level never dropping below 50%.
I did manage to cock up my mid site rewarp on the first site to get on top of the last wave which meant I had to kill it from 80km away but since scorch is a fair and well balanced ammo type, this wasn't really a problem.
Honestly, the whole process with links was much easier than I expected.  I feel that even if I'd fucked up a trigger I would have been fine on tank.

All in all, running the site by myself in a single ship was a pretty refreshing change from the standard escalations fleet.
However, when it comes round to it, that's the issue I was feeling the entire time:  why am I running WH PVE in a C5 and not in an escalation fleet?
I understand that not everyone has access to a corp that runs capital escalations but if they do then there's zero reason to ever find yourself running a C5 site in a Marauder.
Still, it was actually reasonably fun for PVE and I do think I'll be optimizing my fit a bit now that I know how it handles and trying out a few more sites out of interest.

I also feel that the Marauders might actually be in a reasonable place for certain PVP scenarios and I'll be looking into some PVP fits too.
It's possible there's still nothing there but I'll report in if I make any progress.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Wormhole Farming and You

The main argument supporters of the proposed range spawning changes have been making is that it's currently too easy for carebear farmers to just roll their holes and be 'completely' (realistically the correct word there is 'mostly') safe while they run sites all day, every day.
Well ok, it is pretty easy to roll C5/6 holes at the moment and while a competent enemy can prevent you from doing so, realistically most groups can and do close holes into their system that they do not want pretty regularly.

That said, is this a bad thing?  Let's discuss.

The crux of the conflict here I believe to be a fundamental clash of mindsets.
The people who hate farmers and automatically support any and all changes that hinder them, regardless of who else they also hinder, hate the fact that these people won't fight them and that they're hard to catch.  They consider them a waste of space in WHs and believe they have no right to be there.
On the other hand the have the farmers who just want to be left alone and their ideal desired level of interaction with other WH groups is as close to zero as possible.
This kind of difference in world view is pretty global and can be found in all areas of EVE, be it AFK cloaky gankers vs. botters in null, incursion runners vs. war deccers/gankers in HS or in WHs where it's the PVPer vs. the PVEers.  It's nothing new or unusual.

Are farmers actually a problem in wspace?
I'll go over this from a few angles.

Do they take up too much room?
Well, farmers generally live in C5 space as it is a bit more secure than C6 space (due to the nature of rage rolling and how many C5s and C6s there are.  There are also historical reasons that we won't get into...) while providing the same income when running escalations.
Ask anyone in WHs how populated C5s are.  Their answers might vary a little but none of them are going to claim that it is full, as it certainly is not.
I'm not sure exactly what the real number of empty C5s is but if I was to hazard a guess I'd say that somewhere between 25% and 50% of C5 systems are completely empty, ie:  have no active POSs, so C5 space is certainly not full.
Likewise C6s are also nowhere near maximum occupancy, C4s are probably closer to 75% empty and classes lower that this may be used for PVE but the corps there are not the 'farmers' we're looking at here.
This means that it not like the farmers are taking up room that would otherwise be used by PVP groups.  Anyone who wants to move into C5 space can do so, even with more or less free selection of what static they would like.
The rarest C5 systems are C5s with C2 static which is what my corp currently lives in and we were still able to find a perfectly good one with no occupants when we moved in a few months ago after maybe a week of searching.

Do farmers actively reduce content levels in WHs?
To me this is an easy no and I can't understand why anyone would claim otherwise.
They're not pushing people out of wspace, as discussed above, so the only comparison to look at here is do farmers bring more or less content to wspace than another empty C5?
Well I've killed farmers before, haven't you? 
I've killed them running sites, I've killed them rolling holes, I've killed their scanners, I've blown up their POSs, I've killed their haulers, I've even stolen their ships out of their POSs.
That all sounds like content to me.
What was the last bit of content an empty C5 brought you?  Well PVE, sure.  A bit ironic perhaps...
Bottom line is PVE farmer corps do actively bring content to wspace.  Sure it's not as much content as active PVP groups but it's a hell of a lot more than an empty system.

Do farmers hurt other groups in wspace?
Well they're certainly not going to shoot you if that's what you're worried about!
I had a think about this and I came up with two ways in which it could be said that farmers actively hurt other WH groups.
The first is that if there is a farming group in your chain while you're out scanning, it's very possible that their WH will no longer be there when you head back with your scout, leaving you stranded.
This has happened to me personally maybe a half dozen times in my entire WH career and while yes, it's can be annoying, it didn't really inconvenience me all that much and rolling their WH is well within a corp's rights.  Hell, I've actively collapsed scanners in and out of many a WH.
The second way is that if all the farmers suddenly left the game then it would probably drive sleeper salvage prices up a bit as there would be less people running sites.  It would basically only affect melted nanoribbon prices since blue loot is locked to NPC prices and farmers do not generally run mag/rad sites.
That said, PVP groups run site pretty often too and I doubt the prices would be terribly affected.  Still, it's a consideration.

Where does this leave us?
Well, so far we have discovered that farmers are not preventing PVP groups from coming to wspace, they provide real content and they have minimal negative impact on other WH groups.
So far, I'm not seeing the problem.

Let's look at it for the opposite direction and take a look at what impact the proposed changes will, or will not, have on farming groups.
As a brief summary, the proposed change is that heavier ships will spawn further from a WH the heavier they are.  The important ranges to note are caps spawn at base 20km, battleships at base 10km and orcas in the middle.
Basically what this means is that it's much harder and far riskier to roll holes with heavy ships and they spawn outside jump range and you need to get them back onto the hole to jump back.
Does this actually affect farmers though?
Well, I guess it does mean they can't roll holes as safely but do they need to?
I've run my share of sites in the past and I've even been on two PVE 'expos' before where all we did was run sites.
Our process did involve closing all incoming WHs and critting our static so yeah this would have been affected.
However, I've run many more sites in whatever home hole I was living in at the time and the process there was far simpler; warp to site, run it.
Sure, I'd put mass on WHs if I was on alone or I knew there were hostile groups in the chain but I never really bothered with much security.
The reason for this is that by FAR the most common way of getting jumped while running sites is to have someone roll directly into you and the is something you can't avoid no matter how much preparation you do and how many precautions you take.
I'd say at least 90%, probably more, of site ganks happen because someone with enough guns rolls into a system where someone happens to be running sites and this is something the proposed change will have zero effect on.
In fact, the changes will make this even easier as there will be less warning for new incoming WHs due to the K162 spawning mechanic changes.
 That said, this change will result in far fewer PVP groups actively rage rolling which means farmers will actually be safer than they are now.

So ok, in summary the changes would have up to 10% impact on PVE farmer corps.  This is very minor and can be further negate by using systems with low class statics that are easily massed with BSs ect.
To the farmer haters out there, is this enough to make up for the far greater hassles and limitations this will put on active PVP groups?
I say it isn't even remotely close.

Personally I have never understood the hatred of farmers by so many in wspace.
I mean sure, I get that they don't give you fights but there's not much any mechanics change can do about that.
People also seem to be of the opinion that is things become so difficult for farmers that they can't continue to function that they will somehow turn into PVPers or be replaced by PVP groups.
This just is NOT the case.
If CCP went today and deleted all farmers from WHs with a magic button and banned them from wspace their systems would not magically attract bloodthirsty pirates.  They wouldn't suddenly see the light and join an existing PVP group.  They'd just leave and go run incursions or rat in nullsec.

The alternative to farmers is not a PVP group, the alternative is an empty system.
If you need further proof of this, go look at what happened in C6 space around late 2011 and 2012 when several C6 PVP groups decided to evict everyone who didn't fight.  C6 space still has not recovered from the barren wasteland it got turned into.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

WH Changes: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Well, we've been asking for it and so here it is; the first major changes to wormholes since 2009.
However, now that they're here, are they actually good?  Well, that depends on who you ask so let’s discuss the WH changes coming in the Hyperion expansion.

For those who have been living under a rock, the dev blog can be found here:

This dev blog outlines 6 major changes that CCP are looking to implement in the next expansion.
Some of these are excellent changes that we've wanted for a long time while others? Well, not so much.

So let's start with the good.

1.  Bookmark copying changes.
This is the smallest change of the bunch with CCP upping the limit on how many BMs can be copied at once and speeding up the whole process.  The final numbers are not yet confirmed but Fozzie advised it's looking to be in the 20-30 BMs at a time range.
This change has little impact on single corps due to the corp BM system but I'm sure the alliances out there, WH or otherwise, will appreciate it.

2.  Dual static C4s.
C4 space has been the butt end of many WH jokes in the past due to its horrendous kspace access, poor resources and generally empty chains and dual statics have been asked for by basically everyone who isn’t a giant carebear living in C4s purely to run solo sites with marauders for more or less as long as I can remember.
This change will open up much bigger chains in general and make C4s and C4 statics premium real estate for PVP centric corps who like having large chains to hunt in.
I expect the C4s with C4 and C2 statics will very quickly attract many corps.
This one is my pick by far for the best change coming.

3.  More and new roaming WHs.
CCP are also increasing the spawn rate of all WH originating roaming WHs to further increase available connectivity and interaction.
Again this is a great change people have been wanting for a long time.
There are also brand new roaming holes being introduced that can spawn in any class WH and lead to any class WH or nullsec.  These new holes will have high total mass but will have extremely low jumpable mass, restricting them to frigate and destroyer hulls.
I'm a bit on the fence with these new holes to be honest.  I don't really think the add anything meaningful to wspace and while yes, they make it real hard to lock your system down as they are effectively unclosable, frigate fleets are not a thing in WHs and I highly doubt these holes will have much of an effect on that.
I would much rather CCP just add normal mass roaming WHs to C4-6 space as they are currently only in C1-3 space.
Still, more connections are great so overall the change is good.

4. WH anomaly rebalance.
I guess this was inevitable at some point, even if I think it is largely not needed.
The anomaly rebalance is pretty good overall with no major holes in it.
I'm not going to go through every system type completely as you can just read the changes in the dev blog but here are the highlights.

- Black holes getting a large revamp.  Turret penalties completely removed, agility penalty halved, missile bonuses added for velocity and explosion velocity. 
This is good news for black holes as they have been utter garbage since forever.  Should lead to interesting missile kite comps from its residents that visitors will need to be prepared for.

- Magnetar is getting a target painter effect reduction to offset how popular they are for PVE.

- Red Giant is getting a damage bonus to bombs.

- Pulsar is getting a bonus to neuts to make Chimeras more killable there.

- Wolf Rayet is getting its armour resist bonus changed to armour buffer bonus as well as having its small weapon damage bonus doubled. 
This is one I don't like at all really.  The resist bonus was not an issue here at all.  The only thing I can think of to warrant this change is if they are also planning to buff capital reps in the near future which may have needed this change.  The small gun bonus has always been irrelevant since it's only useful IN the system and if you can't follow your enemy through holes with your fleet comp, you're not going to fly that fleet comp very often.  Additionally, with the new roaming frig only holes, Wolf Rayet residents are going to be hit super hard if frig gangs become a thing.

- Cataclysmic Variable if having a remote cap transfer amount penalty introduced to nerf spider tanking.  Very good change which should make the unkillable pantheon Archon fleets that people who live in these holes a thing of the past.

Overall these changes are well handled and, in particular the Black Hole changes, should level out a few of the bumps in the current WH weather.

So there we see the 4 good changes in this expansion, not let’s look at the bad.

5.  Mass-Based Spawn Distance after Wormhole Jumps.
This is the black sheep of these changes.
Basically, CCP want to make every ship spawn out of immediate jump range of a wormhole with the heavier the ship, the further away it will spawn.
There have already been two 40 page threadnaughts on this change on the WH forums and both have had very minor support from a few players who basically just want to watch wspace burn and huge levels of opposition from all sorts of WH groups who hate this change because it will effectively destroy our way of life.

This change makes it impossible to roll wormholes quickly and leaves your rolling ships stranded up to 25km away from the WH with no way to jump back.
It means smaller groups cannot roll holes with any level of security as they cannot protect their ships from larger attackers.  It means that if a small group rolls into a large group they cannot fight, they can't just role the hole and continue looking for content but they are instead stuck with a hostile static that they can do nothing with or about until the larger group rolls it or it times out.
It also means people can no longer chain roll for content, people cannot use mass to effect fights on WHs to their favour, combat rolling becomes a thing of the past, committing caps to kspace fights becomes a non-event and committing caps even to fights in your static gains an unacceptable level of risk.

As for those saying this is a good change as it will make rolling fleets easier to catch, you're looking at it completely wrong.
Yes, if the change goes in and people make zero changes to their rolling process then it will make them super easy to catch.
But do you really expect that to be the case?
People are inherently risk averse any this change will just make them NOT role the hole if there's any chance of being caught which will give you even less chance to kill them than now since they won't even leave the POS.
Yes, there will be stupid people who are careless but those people are super easy to kill even now so this change still has no benefit for you there.
Catching collapsing ships is really not that hard right now, you should learn how to do it rather than complain about it.

I don't understand why CCP feel this change is needed or wanted.  Fozzie advised that the change allegedly came from a player and that it was later brought up by Chitsa in his CSM term but I have never heard anything even remotely this absurd raised on the forums.

This is by far the worst change proposed for WHs. 
If it goes through it will dramatically change WH living and will force people to from larger groups for security as small groups in WH space will have no way to maintain their system's security against larger forces.
While it hits small groups super hard, it also impacts large groups negatively as they will not be able to look for PVP in the manner that they do with chain rolling and will not be able to coming cap groups to fights through WHs.
Not to mention the giant pain of just routinely rolling your chain to get a fresh one.

I continue to urge CCP to fully scrap this change and if you have not posted in the feedback thread yet, I would suggest you do so.

Luckily there is only the one really bad change but it does leave us with one ugly change.

6.  K162 Signature Appearance
People have been rightly complaining about how easy it is to spot new WHs every since the sensor overlay rubbish was introduced.
In order to address it, CCP are looking to change the WH spawn mechanics to only spawn when someone jumps through a new WH, rather than when they initiate warp to it.

Really?  Is this issue really that hard?
I mean, sure, this changes the problem but it doesn’t really address it.
Bottom line is that the issue is the sensor overlay and it picking up new sigs immediately.
This level of free and instant information is just NOT what WHs are about and the entire system should never have been introduced in wspace.
Unfortunately, CCP are not willing to even consider changing it now that it exists so here we are with this half way measure.

The correct solution here is to leave WH spawning as is but put a delay on the overlay picking up new sigs, something in the 5-10 minute range is all that is needed.
Note that the delay should be only on the overlay, NOT on probes.
This would leave the current system as it is for the most part but would reward people who take the extra step of actively scanning to check for new sigs.
It really shouldn't be that hard but CCP seem insistent on over complicating the matter and so here we are with their ugly change for it.

Overall, these changes are all overshadowed by the horrible change that is mass based range spawning for WHs.
I would rather have none of these changes than for that change to go through.
I really do think it will have a hugely negative impact on all forms of WH life.
I know CCP are still discussing it in light of the hugely negative feedback so here's hoping they come to their senses.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Sticky Situation

So looks like CCP are dedicating the next expansion almost entirely to wormholes.
This is very welcome news if for no other reason than the fact that it shows CCP are actually looking at WHs in some manner.

There are 6 changes being made which vary from largely irrelevant to WH life changing in scope and they are similarly varied is quality.

The changes are:

1. Dual static C4s
2. Spawn range changes based on mass
3. New frig only WHs
4. K162 spawn changes
5. WH anomaly re balancing
6. BM system changes

Corresponding feedback threads can be found at the top on the WH forums.

I'll be doing a full review soon but for now I'll just say that 4 out of 6 isn't too bad.
(It is in fact well above average given CCP's track record.)

Sunday, 3 August 2014

They're Touching Them Again...

So it looks like the PR department of CCP has scrubbed out once again.

Apparently there are changes being made to WHs that change how far away from a WH a ship spawns based on its mass, with the upper limit currently being up to 40km (which is hilariously outrageous!).
The first I heard of this was in this forum thread:

Based on the post, the change has already been deployed to SISI where it was found by several people.
There was no forum post, no dev blog, no nothing.  Just a straight release to the public test server.

Not even looking at the change itself, this immediately raises so many red flags in regards to CCPs development, testing and release cycle, not to mention PR, that it's no longer even funny.

As near as I can tell CCP didn't ask anyone if people wanted this change, didn't ask anyone for feedback and didn't tell anyone it was coming until it was publicly released on the test server.
Once again a change is being put in place in WHs that has MAJOR impact on day to day w-space life without so much as an afterthought given to asking us what we think about it.

To make matters even worse, this change is absolutely atrocious and the VAST majority of the feedback has been hugely negative.
Further to that, perhaps the most ironic thing is that this come right after several months of heavy feedback being given to CCP by players and CSM regarding changes we DO want in WHs, none of which have been looked at yet.

For those who don't know, I work in IT testing for a company that has a wide user base that we work very closely with to cater to their needs while we constantly update our product so I am acutely aware of how annoyed customers are when we change something in a way they don't like or do not communicate any upcoming changes well in advance.

In typical fashion, CCP has noticed the looming threadnaught of hate on this issue and Fozzie, seeming losing the dice roll, piped up a half dozen pages into it that the changes are preliminary and not yet set and that it's a ways off yet.  The usual back pedal nonsense to try cover a PR cock up.

Here's some free advice CCP:
Do not release changes to SISI without any warning.  Typically, changes get put on SISI not that long before release and as players, we generally assume that anything on SISI is in final testing stages and that it WILL go onto the live server with minimal further change.
Any major changes should be posted either on the forums or in a dev blog WELL before they are released onto SISI.

I urge the CSM to tell CCP to show it with this change.
It isn't needed, it isn't wanted, and it is very bad for WH life.