This entry has been written from an ‘out of character’ perspective to discuss EVE’s Industrial ships rebalancing.
Something I have been aware of but not actively participating in is the ongoing discussion about Industrial ship rebalancing/tiericide and the controversies it is apparently kicking up. From what I gather, the truly big surprise is that people actually do care about this most unglamourous of ship class. It is perhaps the least interesting yet most widely used ship type in the game, but one that most of us give very little actual thought to on a daily basis.
My impression, from reading commentary from other peoples blogs, is that CCP Rise is spearheading the work and has fallen into an easy trap when approaching this project. Industrials have always been a dull yet necessary ship class with a very straight forward role. They are used to move large amounts of stuff, and their pilots need to balance capacity with safety. CCP Rise has therefore set about giving us the option of moving lasrge loads in one slow/weakly tanked ship, or smaller loads with a more agile/stronger tanking ship. And that is all there is to the class.
I shall now go do a little bit of reading and see if that holds up. BRB. 😉
Ah ok, that actually didn’t take long. CCP Rise came back to the 37+ page thread this afternoon and announced that they are effectively taking their proposal back to the drawing board. And that they are doing this pretty much in recognition of the above. The design that has been proposed apparently boils down to being too bland and racially homogenous that everyone would just be flying the Iteron V as everything else would be rendered pretty pointless. I think I agree!
So here is what I have been mulling over today. Over the weekend I read this blog post by Mabrick that discussed the other issue kicked up lately, that CCP’s art department don’t like the look of the Mammoth and want to downplay its prominence and presumably redesign it completely at some point. Mabrick brings up the question of what should a sci-fi space cargoship look like, and its a good little read. BTW, my vote is to save the Mammoth, its a much better looking ship than the Hoarder!
In it, he brings up the Millenium Falcon, of Star Wars fame. Which got me thinking, there is prently no ship in EVE that does what the Millenium Falcon does in the Star Wars universe. The Falcon is classed as a light freighter and owned by a smuggler who, unsurprisingly, uses it to smuggle cargo. In EVE that would be Blockade Runners, which are tech 2 versions of the smallest Industrial ships. But that isn’t all that we see the Millenium Falcon do. Not by a long shot!
In A New Hope, we see the ‘Falcon escaping from the Death Star shooting down persuing fighter craft as it goes. At the end of the film it joins in on last ditch a frontal assault charging into battle. In Return of the Jedi we again see the ‘Falcon plunging into a massive pitched battle taking numerous hits and trading fire with the Imperial warships. This is a ship with modest cargo capacity that can also defend itself.
No present industrial ship in EVE can currently do this. In fact, tht is probably a good thing as if CCP just dropped the Millenium Falcon into EVE it would probably need a swift nerfing! But I think that there is room to meet it part way. As welcome as a more tanky hauler might be to EVE’s ship roster, what might be even more interesting would be an indy that can not simply take a few more hits, but actually return fire.
What if we had a small to medium capacity Industrial that can actually stand its ground against a tech 1 frigate long enough to either drive off a lone assailant or for one side to get help? Why is it that all industrial ships are designed to be defenceless prey that simply take a varying amount of time to kill?
Why not give EVE’s industrialists a ship that gives them a chance to actually fight back a bit for once? Why not allow the guy bringing ammo to the I-HUB bash a chance to join in? Why not give the hauler guy a choice other than just run the hell away?