Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The dawn of capitals

So finally it happened. A supercapital battle. Not a gank, a fight where both sides committed supercapitals knowing that the enemy is doing the same and survival of the supers are not guaranteed. Where both sides lost serious supercapital amount. For the first time supers and capitals were used as they meant to: mainline ships.

More importantly, CFC, which used to subscribe to the idea of solving everything with stupid amount of Drakes, bombless bombers and rarely T1 battleships, finally used their capital fleet and the subcaps were just what they are meant to be: auxiliary fleets fighting on side objectives, like camping hostile staging systems to prevent capital backups. It is an important task, maybe it shifted the balance to CFC, but it is still auxiliary. The grid of the main objective belongs to capitals and supers.

Despite I hate Goons like the leper, I'm happy that they won. Had they lost again (after HED-GP), they wouldn't have replaced the lost capital force and would have been cemented into the "blob them with Drakes" doctrine. Now their pilots finally felt what it is to fly meaningful ships. They won't be happy if stuffed into bombless bombers again.

Considering the vulnerability of drones (including fighter-bombers) to bombs and smartbombs, the slowcat "problem" solved itself. Slowcats were a bizarre duck-tape-assembled doctrine of N3PL capitals to massacre the swarms of crap CFC were throwing at them. They are pretty useless against CFC titans. The carriers will regain their place in Sov warfare: drop triage, save a titan, explode, reship, do it again.

This fight also meant the rise of the Phoenix, literally. Shield capitals and supers aren't used simply because they aren't compatible with the existing armor fleets. But since whole fleets has to be replaced after this - and the following - fights, they can be shield fleets too. Shield capitals are stronger than armor capitals, but unable to engage subcaps. Since capitals used to be fighting outnumbering subcaps, armor was an obvious choice. Not anymore. Shield capital fleets will be dropped on top of hostile armor capitals soon.

The most important thing for you is to not get intimidated by the size of this fight. The value lost, 10T ISK ($300000 in PLEX) is an unimaginable number to most players. But it's like the budget of your country: despite it's incomprehensible compared to your salary, it is created from the tax of you and fellow citizens. The participating alliances have more than 20K players (not characters). This was the result of their combined effort, an average guy bearing mere 500M ISK, about $15. It's not that scary isn't it?

However replacing this loss is huge for alliances that live on mere rent and moons. Their income is the range of 0.5-1T/month, so they can't keep up for long. The reason for that low budget was that they didn't really need more. What they needed is lot of "PvP-ers" who spent countless hours in bombless bombers. That doesn't cut it anymore. The nullsec alliances will need "carebears" who can bear this budget. The donation board idea was tested and proved, but didn't gain widespread use, because of what Mynnna commented: it would mean recognition and respect to "carebears" which the "PvP-ers" will never give. Well, when he'll look at the GSF wallet to reimburse the lost capitals after a victory, he'll reconsider. N3PL will have harder time reimbursing their losses and they are having lower numbers anyway, so can't fall back to "just blob them with Drakes".

Flying capitals is also easier on the execution side than flying small subcaps. You can't really move, there aren't many warp-arounds, your modules cycle slow even without TiDi. Flying a triage or dread is something that any highsec carebear could do without further (player) training. I forecast intensive recruitment of players who are ready and able to donate money to keep the alliance afloat and fly a dread or carrier in large fights.



Lemmings update! This is a screenshot from RvB killboard. As you can see RvB is losing stupid amount of pods to Lemmings.
The reason is obvious: RvB rules disallow podding, so RvB pilots are both pimping their pods like carebears and didn't learn the "save your pod first, beat up the keyboard later" rule of highsec-lowsec PvP. If you want to farm RvB punks, join Lemmings.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

On the forums I read about 2T in GSF losses - in the largest eve battle ever. So around 4 times what you alone have at your disposal. No wonder goons are so butthurt about you.

Anonymous said...

I think you overestimate the number of upcoming battles of similar size to this. There is still a fixed cost of 40 days to build a titan, and a small number of available builders. It will take a year to replace what was lost today.

Anonymous said...

Do you seriously believe that supercaps and caps will now replace subcaps as line fleets in main battle line doctrines of the major game superpowers?

Is that what you are saying?

Anonymous said...

For the first time supers and capitals were used as they meant to: mainline ships.


you state this like they were designed to be used in this way. They were not. By CCPs own admission several times, ships like Titans were only meant to be built a handful of times in the game - such was their immense cost. They *design* intent was that alliances might have 2 or 3 of them at their disposal as enormous force multipliers. Of course the reality is that alliances have dozens, or even hundreds of them, but to state that they are "meant to be used" as a mainline battle doctrine is immensely stupid.

Gevlon said...

Titans aren't the only capitals. Slowcat fleets are already mainline fleets. What I'm saying is that serious fleets going for Sov objectives will be built around capitals. The days of grinding down Sov in Drakes is over.

Druur Monakh said...

Are you sure?

The people flying bombless bombers (to use your favorite text-macro) aren't exactly the same ones that fly the super-caps. At best, you could make an argument that the people with capital alts might push for more capital action, but even that I feel is a stretch.

Also, one big battle does not make a trend. To draw a parallel with WW2: back then, there were battleship battles (the equivalent of Titan battles in EVE), but they were few and far between. Battleships, even more so than Titans, were more a psychological than tactical weapon. The majority of naval fights were execute by 'sub caps'. And Air Craft carriers, which have no real equivalent in EVE.

And the figure of 500M/member is misleading in that it doesn't take into account the amount of time it takes to produce a super-cap. One does not simply jump into Jita, drops a trillion ISK and buy a hundred super-caps.

Anonymous said...

Titans aren't the only capitals. Slowcat fleets are already mainline fleets. What I'm saying is that serious fleets going for Sov objectives will be built around capitals. The days of grinding down Sov in Drakes is over

Grinding down Sov in drakes has been over for a long while - the Drake Doctrine fell out of vogue a while ago. However grinding down sov in subcaps will continue to be a thing in the future as the meta grows and changes.

There are *sub capital counters* to slowcats which CFC have used before. siege fleet has legitimate tactical advantages over dreadnaughts in POS grinds (despite your misgivings on the subject you have failed to address this point). Ahacs and their kin continue to be useful. Battleship fleets (especially sniper domis) etc..

The game is designed to give every ship a go. Obscene capital usage is not only contrary to the design of the game it is bad for the servers and will be nerfed into oblivion (it is already happening with the omni nerf).

If you honestly believe that suddenly we're going to be seeing no more subcaps in sov grinds in favour of shield caps (which is retarded for a whole bunch of other reasons) you obviously have no idea of the history of the game or the way the fitting meta works, or the manner in which CCP rebalance ships.

Anonymous said...

@1st anonymous.

Gevlon has nowhere near 500b at his disposal. You talk as if he is 1/2 way to having 1/3 of what Mynnna has in liquid.

Gevlon, understandably is happy to allow people to continue thinking this.

500B was "This is the amount of money I made with trading. I don't have this sum, I have some invested, a lot in implants to sell and spent some on various projects. Yet, this is what I made in the one year and four months of playing EVE."

Anonymous said...

@Druur Monakh: There are about 22 air craft carriers currently in the whole world. And there is a country that has its navy doctrine literally revolving around the usage of carriers. If anything, aircraft carriers would be the real-life-titan-on-steroid, so I don't think your example of carriers to say that real life doesn't use carriers would be apt.

Anonymous said...

This was hardly the first super capital fight, there have been a few before. It's the dimensions that are new..

There are a few things worth looking at though.

First, right after Pl and goons sign botlrd we see a major shift in how they "battle" each other. From the old, pretty carefull behaviour that was boring to most, but required to be able to defend your own systems, they have switched to the big battles everyone wanted, right after agreeing on making those battles meaningless for as much as who owns what region.
Now call me paranoid, but to me this looks like staged battles, games to keep the grunts happy.

As for the cfc wining this.. Both sides have lost about the same percentage of their supercapital potential, it's no secret that pl+friends own a lot more titans than cfc.

I must confess that my numbers don't take into account activity levels of the titan pilots, but my projections end up with both sides having lost about 20% of their titans.

Most likely the majority of those losses will be replaced within the next 4 weeks. If not sooner.

I predict there will be more such staged battles under the pretense of someone fucking up. Over a year ago shadoo suggested this kind of behaviour (staged battles) and caused a lot of protest. The way it is implemented now will keep the common player calm.

Welcome to the new world of eve.

To change this there would be a third party needed, who uses the void (of sleeping players) after such big show fight to move in on cfc or Pl territory. Sadly that would most likely cause Pl and goons to openly work together again (as they did in past) and Quite likely fail.


Anonymous said...

This was hardly the first super capital fight, there have been a few before. It's the dimensions that are new..

There are a few things worth looking at though.

First, right after Pl and goons sign botlrd we see a major shift in how they "battle" each other. From the old, pretty carefull behaviour that was boring to most, but required to be able to defend your own systems, they have switched to the big battles everyone wanted, right after agreeing on making those battles meaningless for as much as who owns what region.
Now call me paranoid, but to me this looks like staged battles, games to keep the grunts happy.

As for the cfc wining this.. Both sides have lost about the same percentage of their supercapital potential, it's no secret that pl+friends own a lot more titans than cfc.

I must confess that my numbers don't take into account activity levels of the titan pilots, but my projections end up with both sides having lost about 20% of their titans.

Most likely the majority of those losses will be replaced within the next 4 weeks. If not sooner.

I predict there will be more such staged battles under the pretense of someone fucking up. Over a year ago shadoo suggested this kind of behaviour (staged battles) and caused a lot of protest. The way it is implemented now will keep the common player calm.

Welcome to the new world of eve.

To change this there would be a third party needed, who uses the void (of sleeping players) after such big show fight to move in on cfc or Pl territory. Sadly that would most likely cause Pl and goons to openly work together again (as they did in past) and Quite likely fail.

Druur Monakh said...

@Anonymous (sheesh, is it really so hard to acquire at least a nick name for commenting purposes?)

I know that aircraft carriers are a weak point my analogy, but there are differences to EVE for them. Prime amongst of them, the combat effectiveness of an aircraft carrier is reliant on a great part on the effectiveness of the pilots. Once we have fighters and fighter-bombers piloted by EVE-Oculus players, we may be able to draw similes, but for now, I'm not going to touch it.

Lucas Kell said...

@Gevlon
We will continue to use what gets the job done. In this case, the counter to N3/PL and their supercap fleet required the use of supers. If we needed to take down a structure tomorrow without committing caps, we'd be using bombless bombers. It's tactics, plain and simple. You use what you need to get the job done. This was no different.

By the way, in no way was your donation board ever proven. The only thing it ever proved was that TEST could squeeze isk out of you with relative ease, which they then proceeded to run off with. Not sure if you realised, but TEST in fact lost that war, quite badly in fact. If the donation board worked as intended, that wouldn't have happened.

Face it, they scammed you. You agreed to match donations so they donated from anonymous sources to get you to match it and pushed until you stopped matching, walking away with what, 40b? For 5 minutes work?

Anonymous said...

"Now their pilots finally felt what it is to fly meaningful ships. They won't be happy if stuffed into bombless bombers again."

You do realize that a few hours after the capital fight we had siegefleets running as usual?

Babar said...

It was said during the first Grear War that no war has ever been decided by who ran out of money first, but rather by which side fail cascaded first. It was true then, and it's true now. The big picture after yesterdays fight is not really the sum of ships lost, but the effects of morale and change in ships used.

This is obviously a huge thing for CFC/RUS, mostly because it shows that the wrecking ball can be beaten. In some senses it reminds me of Z9PP, which was a huge turning point in the Fountain campaign. It showed that slowcats could be beaten, and suddenly PL was more interested in the Alliance tournament, and N3 suddenly had to grind Solar at home.

On the other hand, both N3 and PL are solid alliances, and they still have the superior superfleet, so it's not a given that things will change much. The absolute worst outcome for CFC/RUS would be a capital welp in the near future, so I think both sides will be very careful with capitals in the near future.

And I also wouldn't be really surprised if PL find something else to do, since they are protected by the B0TLRD-treaty anyway.

daniel said...

the only thing this battle showes (once again) is, how broken eve's economy is.

in a real world situation a battle of this size should significantly hurt - here it seems, that to most ppl, loosing a supercap is like me using a t1 bs.

server lag wouldn't be much of an issue, if alliances had to think about, if it really really were wise to fully commit to battle.
instead of aknowledging this problem, ccp keeps flooding the economy with isk.

Anonymous said...

The donation board is a good idea when you fight to achieve a certain goal or are under attack of an enemy you couldn't hope to repel otherwise.

For normal day to day operations the alliance has to be profitable on the income its territory generates. Why else conquer it in the first place?

Not only have they to be able to reimburse ships to full extent but it would actually be their obligation to distribute the income to the pilots that fought for it. If your pilots have to bring money from home, holding sov is just a failed business model.

Anonymous said...

"server lag wouldn't be much of an issue, if alliances had to think about, if it really really were wise to fully commit to battle."

There is no a situation in which it is wise to commit partially but unwise to commit fully.

Any bit of numerical advantage you can get over your opponent directly translates into fewer losses. The more costly the losses are, the more "all hands on deck" CTAs you will see.

Anonymous said...

So much for the "dawn of capitals" - S2N announcement excerpt:

Primary fleet comps for the fights going forward will be: Domis, Ishtars, Eagles, Tempests(Herocat fit)/Taloses(Anti-capship/structure)

fap_angel said...

"Rise of the Phoenix?" Its not the tank of the Phoenix that renders it truly useless, its the DPS. Theoretical shield-capital fleets can be argued for, I suppose, but how do you figure the Phoenix's horrid DPS will be addressed? Capital missiles lose a crippling amount of DPS against anything that can move; literally anything. Even a Titan can speed-tank citadel torpedoes. How is that not an issue anymore?

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