Tuesday, August 27, 2013

SCL 4 Team drawings completed!

With the fourth SCL drawing near, the random draw for the remaining ten slots has finally been completed. Full details can be found at this link.

Or I am just going to copy it all in here.

Pandemic Legion and Reputation Cartel, as top 4 finishers in SCL 3, are guaranteed spots. Insurance Fraud Inc and Warlords of the Deep did not return this round.

This leaves 10 spots from the random drawing, so the first 10 teams on this list get in. I will be mailing these team captains to collect the entry fee.

1. Team Mincemeat
2. TEST Tourney Team Please Ignore
3. Spiritus Draconis
4. EXEceptional Otters
5. DeepWater
6. Pandemic B-Lues
7. Black Legion
8. Footwork
9. Top Three Teams from ATXI
10. Verge of Collapse
Your Boats Don't Count
Reputation Cartel
Late Night Alliance
Jakkaru's Revenge
Cerberus Allstars
Zulu Squad
Pandemic Legion
No Boundaries
Nulli Secunda
AT Renegades Council (RIOT)
Now with all 12 teams chosen the SCL can continue down the path for what is likely the most talked about tournament so far. Mainly because of the screen time the SCL commentators received during ATXI and the still relatively high interest around the SCL and alliance tournaments.

Unfortunately, my Rote Kapelle-filled team (No Boundaries) did not make the cut, but Reputation Cartel is guaranteed a spot. So no SCL for me! Maybe SCL5. In any case the SCL website remains down, but the bracket will now be filled in with actual team names.

Also, thanks Poetic, who pointed out that the teams that were guaranteed spots were also in the random drawing, those being both PL and Reputation Cartel.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Gallente HAC and CS changes

With Odyssey 1.1 a host of new changes are coming online for game mechanics in general but also specific to Command Ships and HAC's. This is my breakdown post for the changes as they currently stand, Gallente edition.

As I said in the Minmatar breakdown, All HAC's are getting a new role bonus to MWD signature bonus, this will reduce all MWD bloom by 50%. They are also getting an across the board buff to their sensor strengths to bring them in line with t1 BS instead of cruisers. This is in the 21-24 range of sensor strength. Additionally HAC's got a bonus to their capacitor recharge rates and capacitor amounts in order to hopefully allow more cap hungry setups.

Heavy Assault Crusiers

Role Bonus: 50% reduction in MicroWarpdrive signature radius penalty
Gallente Cruiser Bonuses:
5% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret damage
7.5% bonus to Armor Repair amount
Heavy Assault Cruiser Bonuses:
10% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret falloff
5% Medium Hybrid Turret damage
Slot layout: 5H(-1), 4M(+1), 6L; 5 turrets, 0 launchers
Fittings: 1050 PWG(+60), 360 CPU(+10)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 1200(+40) / 2100(+60) / 2550(+19)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap/s) : 1400(+25) / 225s (-110s) / 6.2/s (+2.1)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 230(+22) / .475(-.055) / 11460000 / 7.54s(-.875)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 50 / 50
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 85km(+20km) / 270 / 6
Sensor strength: 22 Magnetometric(+7)
Signature radius: 150(-10)
The Deimos or the more commonly known Diemost was popular for a while, then unpopular and then popular with the "kool kids" and then unpopular again and now might once again see the light of day in regular fleet ops. Well if everything goes according to plan that is.

Like several other HAC's the Deimos keeps it's original bonuses but then gets some very beneficial changes to it's slot layout. To be exact, it's gains another mid slot at the cost of a high. With already having 6 lows it's utility high was scrapped and moved into a mid slot providing that extra slot needed for fitting full tackle AND a capacitor booster needed so badly on this ship to keep the guns and reps running throughout a fight. It's also picking up some needed PG and CPU to allow for the extra module needed in the mid slot. Extra speed has also been added, along with a touch more agility, extra lock range and better capacitor recharge.

Overall the extra speed, mid slot and increase to agility will allow the Deimos to finally outlast it's long earned name.
Role Bonus: 50% reduction in MicroWarpdrive signature radius penalty
Gallente Cruiser Bonuses:
7.5% bonus to Heavy Drone speed and tracking(was 5% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret damage)
10% bonus to Drone hitpoints and damage
Heavy Assault Cruiser Bonuses:
5 km bonus to Drone operation range per level
7.5% bonus to Sentry Drone optimal range and tracking speed(was bonus to drone bay capacity)
Slot layout: 4H(-1), 5M, 5L; 4 turrets(+1), 0 launchers
Fittings: 780 PWG(+80), 340 CPU(+55)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 1400 (-6) / 1600 (-18) / 2300 (+191)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap/s) : 1400 (+275) / 265s (-70s) / 5.28/s (+1.9)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 195(+4) / .52 / 11100000 / 8.43s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 125 / 375(+250)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 80km(+20km) / 294 / 7
Sensor strength: 23 Magnetometric (+7)
Signature radius: 145
Wow. That's it, just wow. This is a dedicated Drone ship if I've ever seen one. Not only that but this is borderline OP in so many cases. The only thing that makes it more fair is that the bonus to speed and tracking is only to heavy and sentry drones. But the 10% damage bonus is still to every type of drone it can field, which as usual is pretty scary. With the Odyssey 1.1 Dominix bonuses stacked on top of a drone operation range bonus, even more drone bay, and more lock range, this thing is a beast. The price it has to pay is one high slot. I think the trade is worth it. Drones alone, Ishtars will be doing between 600-700 DPS with close range sentries and only slightly lower with Heavy drones, without a full low rack of Drone Damage Augmenters, which can boost damages up to 700-900 DPS total. Truly this is once again a formidable opponent at range. Being cruiser sized does come with one downside, lower HP, and it retains the usual Gallente weakness to explosive damage in it's armor.

The Ishtar retains it's ability to cross tank, that is be either a shield or an armor tank, and do both effectively with the shield tank being marginally weaker due to the EM resist, but then supplemented by the fact that the usually weak explosive hole is plugged in the shields. The Ishtar, once again, is going to beat out most other drone boats and be a king of the space-lanes.

Command Ships

Gallente Battlecruiser skill bonuses:
7.5%(+2.5) bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret damage
7.5% bonus to Armor Repairer effectiveness
Command Ships skill bonuses:
7.5% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret rate of fire (was 5% damage)
10% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret falloff
3% bonus to strength of Armored Warfare and Skirmish Warfare links
Fixed Bonus:
Can fit up to three Warfare Link modules
Slot layout: 7 H, 4 M, 6 L, 5 turrets (-2), 2 launchers (+2)
Fittings: 1350 PWG (-100), 440 CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 3400(-444) / 4900(+576) / 5000(+195)
Base shield resistances (EM/Therm/Kin/Exp): 0 / 60(+10) / 85(+7.5) / 50
Base armor resistances (EM/Therm/Kin/Exp): 50 / 67.5(+8.13) / 83.75(+8.13) / 10
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 3000(+187.5) / 667s(+41.7) / 4.5
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 155 / 0.7(+0.03) / 12300000 (-950000) / 11.94s (-0.34)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 50 / 75(+25)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 75km (+20) / 200 / 8(+1)
Sensor strength: 23 Magnetometric (+5)
Signature radius: 300
Cargo capacity: 400
So if you saw the changes to the Sleipnir, you know that none of the 7 gunned beasts are safe. The Astarte has been reduced to 'just' 5 guns, but don't worry, it's got the dual damage bonus to pick it back up and give it the meaty feel of shooting 7 guns at once. Like the Sleipnir the Astarte is also receiving a alignment of it's resists to the Eos level and gaining a slight boost to it's drone bay up to 75 from the previous 50, but retains the 50m3 drone bandwidth limitations.

The interesting thing here is that with the changes to rails, Railtarts become a much more viable option even if the Falloff bonus isn't a Optimal range bonus on this ship. As usual, the astarte receives a active rep bonus that could really shine with the incoming bonuses to local reps also happening in 1.1. The 7.5% bonus per level could make this an active tanked beast for smaller to mid ranged fleets and even more so for solo pilots out looking to score a kill or two before help can arrive. The Astarte loses the information warfare bonuses but in return receives bonuses for both Armored warfare and Skirmish. A more than fair trade off.

Otherwise it has a decent slot layout, fine for active or passive armor tanking. For those adventurous types, it does keep it's 4 midslots, enough for a passive shield tank.
Gallente Battlecruiser skill bonuses:
7.5% bonus to Armor Repairer effectiveness
10% bonus to drone damage and hitpoints (was 5% MHT damage)
Command Ships skill bonuses:
7.5% bonus to Heavy Drone tracking and microwarp velocity (was drone bay bonus)
7.5% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret tracking (was link bonus)
3% bonus to strength of Armored Warfare and Skirmish Warfare links
Fixed Bonus:
Can fit up to three Warfare Link modules
Slot layout: 6 H (-1), 4 M, 6 L, 4 turrets (-1)
Fittings: 1200 PWG (-225), 425 CPU (-25)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 3300(-544) / 5100(+776) / 5500(+695)
Base shield resistances (EM/Therm/Kin/Exp): 0 / 60 / 85 / 50
Base armor resistances (EM/Therm/Kin/Exp): 50 / 67.5 / 83.75 / 10
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 2812 / 625s / 4.5
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 145 / 0.704 / 13000000(-250000) / 12.69s (-0.24)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 125 (+50) / 250 (+100)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 65km (+10) / 200 / 8(+1)
Sensor strength: 22 Magnetometric (+4)
Signature radius: 300
Cargo capacity: 400
When the Eos was first introduced, it had the ability to field 5 heavy drones and outside of the regular combat command ships, it was one of the more used command ships in the game. Truth be told with it's great slot layout and the damage from 5 bonused Heavy drones, it was quite a beast. Then it was nerfed down to 75m3 bandwidth, quite a blow to a drone based ship if ever there was one. From there the Eos fell in popularity, only rarely seen in space or in Alliance tournament and NEO setups for it's unique information warfare bonus.

Well it's time has come again. Boosted back up to 125m3 bandwidth and a large 250m3 drone bay, enough for two flights of sentries or heavies, the Eos is back! In addition to this good news the Eos has gone on a diet, lost a bit of weight, added a bit more lock range, hardened it's armor tank, and got ready to be an passive tank brawler or a very effective actively tanked dominator in small to mid gang sized fights. It got a rather sneaky bonus as well, a tracking bonus per command ships level, which incidentally boosts a rail based setup to support those ranging drone packs.


As we can see, if there are ever winners and losers in the mad race of nerfs and buffs, the Gallente definitely came out as one of the winners in this set of changes. Every ship is improved and even ones that were still good got a needed boost. In this case the HAC's do a good job of both improving on and providing the quality needed to match their increased price tags. As for the Command ships here, I think they are strong, but will have their niche uses. By that I mean the active tank bonus is still good, but in larger fleet fights, that being 20+ people, alpha is still going to be too high for the active tank to be used fully. In smaller gangs, the rep bonus will allow insane amounts of DPS sponged while they sitll put out close to or above 1k DPS.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Minmatar HAC and CS changes

Odyssey 1.1 is coming out and with it a lot of rebalance and changes to the Cruiser and BC lines of t2 ships. Specifically so far the CS changes and HAC changes are in their second iteration on the forums. All rebalances and changes can be found with a bit of effort on the Eve Online Forums. Specifically under Features and Idea Discussions.

Just as a disclaimer because I won't talk about it too much, HAC's across the board are getting a boost to their sensor strengths to bring them in line with t1 battleships in the 20-24 range it appears. Now this is a huge improvement across the board in response to EWAR so it does make a big difference, but I just don't want to have to circle around and mention it every time. They are also receiving a role bonus that provides a 50% reduction in MWD signature radius penalty (bloom). This is also quite significant, but mostly brings into question if AHAC doctrines will become MWD doctrines instead. Additionally HAC's got a bonus to their capacitor recharge rates and capacitor amounts in order to hopefully allow more cap hungry setups.

Let's take a look at Minnie HAC changes first and then move on to their CS changes.

Heavy Assault Cruisers

Role Bonus: 50% reduction in MicroWarpdrive signature radius penalty
Minmatar Cruiser Bonuses:
5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret rate of fire
7.5% bonus to shield boost amount (was 5% bonus to max velocity)
Heavy Assault Cruiser Bonuses:
10% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret falloff
5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret damage
Slot layout: 6H, 4M, 5L; 5 turrets, 1 launchers(-1)
Fittings: 900 PWG(+45), 400 CPU(+5)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 1750(+97) / 1400(+63) / 980(-4)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap/s) : 1200(+137.5) / 245s (-90s) / 4.9/s (+1.7)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 295(+56) / .504 / 11590000 / 8.1s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 25 / 25
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 70km(+20km) / 330 / 6(+1)
Sensor strength: 21 Ladar(+7)
Signature radius: 115
I kept hoping this ship would be made relevant again, so let's see if these changes actually take steps towards making the Vagabond a solidly better choice than either the inexpensive Stabber or the Cynabal.

The Vagabond has most noticeably had it's max velocity bonus removed replaced both with a significant base speed buff, up to 295 m/s base, and the bonus replacing the velocity change is going to be a shield boost amount bonus. Overall I'm pretty underwhelmed by what is the largest change to the ship. Active shield boosting with ASB's can be very nice, and this change would be great, if the Vagabond could fit a XLASB, and dual 180mm t2 guns without having to use an ACR or fitting modules to make it happen, but as it stands, even with a solid PG boost and tiny CPU boost we still won't being seeing that configuration all too often as you will need both the usual co-pro and ACR to make it happen.

The overall here is that the Vagabond is becoming less buffer-skirmish and more active-skirmish. It won't have the tank and DPS combo to go face to face with much in the way of fleets, it retains most* of it's speed so it can still be a viable heavy tackle ship, but in large, in my opinion, it fails to provide a demonstrable advantage over the cheaper stabber or the on par Cynabal. In the Stabber you are still able to do 90% of what the Vagabond is going to do, for a fraction of the cost. Other options still include flying the Vagabond without taking advantage of the active boosting bonus, and still flying via buffer tank, here the extra Power grid could make fitting 425's an easier option to increase potential range and damage both at range and up close. Bottom line is that even with the t2 resist profile and baseline EM resist common to Minmatar t2 ships, the Vagabond is still going to be squishy, lacks the capacitor to effectively run a large or XL shield tank, and even after local rep changes, I just do not see MSB or even faction Small shield boosters giving this enough tank to last in a brawler type fight.

* - 5% bonus turns out ot be a little bit faster than the baseline 295 they have given the Vagabond here.
Role Bonus: 50% reduction in MicroWarpdrive signature radius penalty
Minmatar Cruiser Bonuses:
5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret rate of fire
5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret damage
Heavy Assault Cruiser Bonuses:
10% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret optimal range
7.5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret tracking speed
Slot layout: 6H(-1), 3M, 6L(+1); 5 turrets, 1 launchers(-2)
Fittings: 1160 PWG, 355 CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 1580(-2) / 2000(-4) / 1400(-6)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap/s) : 1300(+50) / 255s (-80s) / 5.1/s (+1.4)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 210(+14) / .571 / 11750000 / 9.3s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 25 / 25
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 80km(+25km) / 294 / 6(+1)
Sensor strength: 21 Ladar(+8)
Signature radius: 125(-5)

Ahhh the Muninn. When I first got access to HAC's I bought a single Muninn along with about 2-3 Vagabonds. After all it's still a HAC, it can't be THAT bad right? Well I think everyone already knows the answer to that, except in a few niche situations, a-la Black Legion in a big enough fleet of this sexy ship fit with arty, there was never a huge demand for this t2 spanish Galleon. Has the rebalance changed this?

The main changes on the Muninn appear to be the loss of one high in favor of another low. Wow, that's a seriously good change for the Muninn. Before there was always questions about what to do with the 'extra' high slots of the Muninn after you fit your 5x 720mm t2 arty. Now with the loss of that extra high and the addition of it as a low it's going to change this ship greatly for the better. The muninn still retains it's optimal range bonus, so lends itself towards arty, especially with the rail and Arty changes and the Muninn's other bonus to turret tracking could make it quite a sexy new FOTM (because I need more reasons to fly Minmatar). Further helping the Arty fit for the Muninn is a new +25km lock range bonus giving it a base range of 80km! Finally enough to not need a sebo just to use this ship in medium ranged engagements.

With that extra low, the often maligned autoMuninn might just gain the extra tank needed to move it from the "not really viable but people fly the unexpected" over to the "Mainline fitting doctrine." With 6 lows the Muninn will now be a viable addition to AHAC or MWDHAC fleets and be able to stand and fight with a similar tank to a Deimos or Ishtar, if fewer of those two ships inherent upsides. The muninn also retains it's 25m3 drone bay and bandwidth.

Command Ships

Now over to the Minmatar Command ships. Previously the Claymore was another projectile based ship with the Sleipnir being the 7 gunned steed of gods. Overall their changes move them both apart from each other and distinctly enhances each.
SleipnirMinmatar Battlecruiser skill bonuses:
10% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret damage (was 5% RoF)
7.5% bonus to shield boosting amount
Command Ships skill bonuses:
10%(+5) bonus to Medium Projectile Turret damage
10% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret falloff
3% bonus to strength of Siege Warfare and Skirmish Warfare links
Fixed Bonus:
Can fit up to three Warfare Link modules
Slot layout: 7 H (-1), 5 M, 5 L, 5 turrets (-2), 2 Launchers (-1)
Fittings: 1300 PWG (-160), 475 CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 4500(+176) / 3600(-244) / 3500(+137)
Base shield resistances (EM/Therm/Kin/Exp): 75(+12.5) / 60(+10) / 40 / 50
Base armor resistances (EM/Therm/Kin/Exp): 90(+5) / 67.5(+8.13) / 25 / 10
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 2625 / 583s / 4.5
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 165 / 0.704 / 12800000(+300000) / 12.49s (+0.3)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 25(-15) / 25(-15)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 70km (+25) / 220 / 7(+1)
Sensor strength: 20 Ladar (+4)
Signature radius: 240
Cargo capacity: 475
Right away we see that the bonuses have been changed around on the Sleipnir and then we drag our eyes down to the all important 7 guns and find them nerfed down to 5!!! OMG WORLD ENDING...

Oh, right back to the bonuses to figure this all out.... Look, it's not the end of the world. The Sleipnir is still the bullet spewing beast it ever was, it's just trying to save you on ammo costs! The new bonuses make up for the loss of two turrets by dramatically increasing the damage output of the remaining guns, giving 10 percent bonus to damage in both the BC skill bonus AND the Command ships Skill bonuses. Otherwise the changes show a loss of the RoF bonus (replaced with the 10% damage bonus) and a new change that gives a 3% bonus to the strength of Siege Warfare AND Skirmish Warfare links! Sweet.

So now Command ships aren't just giving a bonus to one type of link, they are giving a better bonus than the T3 command cruisers end up with. About time! Other changes include the loss of a single high (7h), a slight nerf to powergrid to make up for those two lost guns, but retains it's CPU... An addition to the mass of the ship, making it slower to align and get into warp, combined with a nerf down to 25m3 for the drone bay. CCP Rise and Fozzy must not like the 40m3 bandwidth ships, I keep seeing them getting knocked off one by one. Fair enough. These are offset by bonuses to Sensor Strength, longer lock range, out to 70km, and more locked targets.

Something of an overlooked change is the Sleipnir's Shield and armor resists have actually been increased to match the, up until now, tankier Claymore's bonuses. This is huge because it allows the Sleipnir to have even more inherent tank. More tank means more time on field and more time on the field means more rounds fired.

Overall, will the Sleipnir be changed? Yes, of course, it won't be the dominant Autocannon spewing machine of death that it was before, but now it will have the ability to fit Autocannons, links and a strong tank (as always) OR be able to fit a decent artillery broadside witch will be devastating at range given the bonuses to turret damage. Good changes here.
Minmatar Battlecruiser skill bonuses:
5% bonus to Heavy Missile and Heavy Assault Missile rate of fire (was MPT RoF)
7.5% bonus to shield boosting amount
Command Ships skill bonuses:
5% bonus to Heavy Missile and Heavy Assault Missile rate of fire (was link bonus)
5% bonus to Heavy Missile and Heavy Assault Missile explosion velocity (was MPT tracking)
3% bonus to strength of Siege Warfare and Skirmish Warfare links
Fixed Bonus:
Can fit up to three Warfare Link modules
Slot layout: 7 H (-1), 6 M, 4 L, 2 turrets (-3), 5 Launchers (+2)
Fittings: 1100 PWG (-290), 525 CPU (+10)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 4700(+376) / 3800(-44) / 3400(+37)
Base shield resistances (EM/Therm/Kin/Exp): 75 / 60 / 40 / 50
Base armor resistances (EM/Therm/Kin/Exp): 90 / 67.5 / 25 / 10
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 2625 / 583s / 4.5
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 170 / 0.7(-0.004) / 12500000 / 12.13s (-0.07)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 50(+10) / 75(+35)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 65km (+20) / 220 / 7(+1)
Sensor strength: 22 Ladar (+6)
Signature radius: 240
Cargo capacity: 575 (+100)
The Claymore has undergone some serious refactoring in this patch. Looking we can see it is now a heavy missile and HAM platform instead of another Projectile weapon based ship. It's lost two turrets, but gained 2 more launchers, bringing it up to 5 Launchers and 2 turrets. Enough to fill it's new loadout of 7 highslots with bristling weapon systems, but let's face it, those last two slots are often going to be links and the Claymore doesn't dissapoint here either, fielding the same new bonus sported by the Sleipnir, that is a 3 percent bonus to Siege Warfare and Skirmish Warfare links!

The Claymore's newer bonuses help those 5 new launchers become something really quite terrifying, especially if you happen to be approaching it in a smaller ship. 5% bonus to rate of fire comes from the BC skill so a automatic boost of 25% RoF will have missiles screaming out of their launchers already, and another possible 25% bonus from the Command BC skill will leave a terrifying swarm of missiles headed in your direction. Combine that with a Command BC bonus to explosion velocity and nobody's going to be safe from either the HML or HAM version of this ship.


Well honestly it would be a clean sweep if only the Vagabond was able to return to it's former glory in some aspect. But overall it's making me wonder just how my wallet is going to handle all these ships I'm going to want to buy. Most market hubs have already gone crazy with speculation.

Source links

HAC changes
CS changes
Armor Rep Changes
Domi Tracking bonus change
Gang bonus changes
Rail/Arty Changes

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

SCL4 - Fourth Tournament announced.

With ATXI now in the books, it's time to get back to the excitement that is the SCL. Fourth iteration for the SCL is starting the weekend of September 14th and 15th. Full details can be found on the post by community rep for the SCL, Aegon Blackfire, in the Eve Alliance tournament subform.

A quick breakdown of the ruleset follows:

  • Teams will be 10 players, as opposed to the 12 in ATXI, and point limit for teams will be 85 points versus the 100 for the AT.
  • Energy transfers will be limited to logistics ships to cripple the remote energy "tinker" teams that slowed much of ATXI down, and had a significant impact in SCL3.
  • Tournament prize ships cannot be used, mostly because the SCL takes place on a test server, so everyone would have access to the prize ships, making it even less realistic.
  • 12 teams will compete with the top four from SCL3 being granted slots, while the other 8 slots will be picked at random, should there be more than 8 remaining entrants.
  • 1b isk entry fee to be paid on TQ after teams are selected to participate, which will be rolled into the prize fund.
  • Double elimination series similar to ATXI will be employed. (hopefully with something to break up the finals so it's not one match per hour)
  • Banning rules will be in effect from the first match.
More specific details can be found on the thread but the usual website for the SCL is offline. Bracket can be found here.

When more is announced I will cover teams as well. Until then, get your applications in and your banning strategies ready.

Monday, August 12, 2013

BB #48 : Lore-in it up!

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 48th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.
* * * * *
This month's topic is a request from CCP Sisyphus who wants to know how important is Lore in EVE Online? 
"How important is “fluff” in Eve online? Would eve online be the same if it were purely numbers and mechanics, or are the fictional elements important to the enjoyment of the game? Would a pure text, no reference to sci-fi or fancy names still be an engaging game? Should CCP put more or less emphasis on immersion?"


From an on-again, off-again roleplayers angle, Eve online lore, for me, is sometimes very important, and other times nothing at all.

Let me explain. When I start roaming the interwebs for games to play, lore built up around a game is one of the deciding factors. If the game developers can't, don't, or won't come up with a convincing or at least semi-good reason for their game universe it speaks a lot to their dedication as a company towards that title.

In short, if there is no backstory, then I usually won't play the game. Besides, what am I going to be reading while the game downloads and installs. This goes back to the olden days for me where I would pour over every word in a game's manual, looking for insights into the game while it installed. Then I may or may not have never looked at that manual again.

Once in Eve the lore becomes less important, UNLESS you end up RPing at all. Not just troll RP people. If you choose a character you have to submerge yourself in the lore for a while to get to a point where every other statement you make is either wrong or everyone ignores you.

Otherwise I think that Lore pretty much falls under the "nice to have" but not required to play category.

On the other hand, what would Eve lose if there was no Lore? I think it would lose a lot of the allure that attracted me to the game. But on top of that, I think it's important to have a good story. If, as some others have said, it was just "+5 damage to blasters" or something more generic in skills and descriptions of ships, well then it'd be pretty boring. I do spend time in game, almost every time a new ship is released, or new modules, like a huge nerd, reading the information about the new item. Both in game and in the wiki. It's fun to read all the quasi-science output by CCP.

Additionally the sci-fi names, and fancy backstories for nearly everything in the game adds quite a lot of interest because of the sci-fi background it adds. For instance, if this was just space game one and not called Eve online, and all it was ended up being the spreadsheets in space and a combat game, do you think it would have lasted as long as it has? Would it have developed the same backstory that it has? I don't think so.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

So long ATXI

And thanks for all the win.

Sunday saw the end to the Alliance tournament, and another win for PL after coming back from a 0-2 deficit in a best of five versus Hydra Reloaded. Quite a fight but lessened by the immense time between active matches. If one thing can be said, it would be that a third place match should have been held to fill the dead air between each match.

In fact while we are at it, let's break down all the things that could be better next time.

  1. Third place matches to break up the finals. Perhaps exhibition matches scheduled between the finals matches to prevent 30-50 minute breaks between any action. Maybe even best of (so far) matches, or a look-back rebroadcast of some earlier matches to keep viewers interested.
  2. More features. As in try to appeal to a bigger range of audience then just the e-sport inclined. Even though the majority of the changes that were broadcast in ATX never went live, it was still a good filler towards the end and during mid-day breaks.
  3. This one is on the Eve community. More commercials for corps and alliances. Hell, even people or pvp videos, streaming channels, blogs, whatever. More player created content would be fun.
  4. Repeats or even graphics outlining what exactly a tinker or remote setup is, why it's so powerful, even if in just very broad terms. Use of those graphics should be frequent and varied. Twitch chat was filled with "What is a tinker setup" and other similar questions that could have been more simply answered.
How about things that were more successful in ATXI than previous tourneys.
  1. Of course I am going to mention the commentators. But not just the Rote Alliance guys, but everyone. Dolan, for the first time, appeared better informed and more composed in front of the camera, providing good commentary even if it was not perfect, it was at least as close as he's ever gotten. I appreciated Shadoo's self-proclaimed "passion" especially during critical bits in the match. Where Brent and Bacch took the more subdued, but excited route during matches Shadoo was excited and loud. Loved it. Fozzie, Soundwave and Rise all were their normal amazing selves, especially Fozzie, who I thought was able to retain the title of most knowledgeable and best spoken of all the CCP commentators. Rise was maybe the only downside, and only for a few moments, mostly when not doing match-time commentary. He seems adverse to taking a positive happy view, one might even consider him a bit of a bittervet.
  2. Graphics - Wow, finally guys, this was so needed. Lists of ships being brought, points, explantations, not to mention previous teams beaten by who and brackets. Good stuff here.
  3. Replays - Usually not a huge fan of replays when they take away from the action, but giving the commentators the sometimes worthy ability to call out critical moments and maneuvers and discuss why that second or that minute was so important really helps the eve-rookie understand the intricacies of the tournament when otherwise it just looks like exploding spaceships. With the replays and the breakdowns in combat it helped me, even as a seasoned bittervet follow bits of the action I had missed before.
  4. Double elimination bracket - Simply the best, makes a lot of matches mean a lot more, and for those people who are not really competing at a very high level, it lets them exit early on.
  5. Bans - Should be extended to every weekend instead of giving a cheater weekend where the best setups are noticed and then banned the next week. Gotta keep on evolving this idea.
I think the overwhelmingly positive reaction to this tourney was because so many things were done right, and because, even with the drop off in tempo towards the end of the last day, it moved at a break-neck pace. Often with 5-10 minutes between matches, and often with one good match after another.

For me this was the best presented AT, even if AT8 is still my favorite of all time.

Until next year, or rather next MONTH for the SCL, thats it for my tourney coverage.