Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Structure shooting structure

People in nullsec cry left and right how horrible it is to shoot structures. They often post various suggestions to change Sov warfare. However the structures are there for a reason: to prevent losing Sov to a surprise attack. The high HP makes it impossible to just destroy them with a volley and run away from the defenders, while timers make it impossible to attack in time zones out of the defenders choice. It's no wonder that Pandemic Legion forms "war games" to force the change of Sov mechanic, they are the masters of surprise attacks. A Sov system where you can win with "suddenly 100 titans" would make them unstoppable. The Sov structures with 25-75M HP must stay and may even deserve increase of HP to battle with supercapital proliferation.

However it is a valid argument that the long structure shoot is meant as an obstacle against invasion, you have to shoot 75M HP while fighting the enemy, practically demanding 75M HP damage more from attackers than defenders. But currently it's usually an inconvenience when you just have to grind down 75M HP all by itself. Sov grind should be easy if the defenders don't show up.

Let me introduce the solution: the mobile siege device!
The mobile siege device is an anchorable structure. It is 300000m3 packaged, costs 1B to build and onlines and offlines in 4 hours. You can plant one anywhere where any kind of structure is or can be anchored (SBU, IHUB, station, POCO, POS...) You can anchor more than one. After it onlined, you have to fill its hold with XL ammunition (cap booster charges for Amarr). Onlined and loaded, it automatically attacks any hostile structures (including enemy siege devices) with 8K DPS using T1 ammo, 10K with faction. It fights day and night, instantly resumes fighting after downtime, if a structure comes out of reinforcement or a new hostile structure is planted.

The mobile siege device is visible and warpable on the overview to everyone, even during onlining period, and unable to defend itself against ships. It only has 5M EHP, some 500HPS shield regen and no reinforcements or invulnerability periods. Its only defense is sending notifications to the anchoring corp. This makes its use impossible if the defenders fight, this case you must grid the structures the hard way. However if the defenders don't bother to defend, you just anchor a mobile siege device, come back 4 hours later to fill it with ammo, unanchor it a week later when it finished its job.


Anonymous said...

1. so defenders would turn into attackers and attackers would defend the siege device(s). cant see the point.

2. if i would be defender, i would park a few t1 logis behind the attacked stucture or a carier on undock, and afk rep, meanwhile slowly killing siege device with fighters/ drones.

Anonymous said...

uhm, how is this different to dreads, except that a dread needs to piloted (which is the better solution)

Gevlon said...

because dreads needs to be piloted, so need human hours.

Anonymous said...

Don't be silly. Ships need an active account, not an active human.

Gevlon said...

A dread pilot needs to keep in mind reinforcement timers and can't be in two places. You can only shoot when the structure is not reinforced. But you can plant the mobile siege devices any time and they fire when the structure comes out of reinforcement. The point is that a single player can grind down a whole region all alone if no one shows up to contest it. Good luck doing it with even a dozen dread accounts.

Anonymous said...

This seems like a rather complicated solution to the problem. Would you not get the exact same effect by just requiring RFd towers to require some defensive action during the RF period lest they just pop when the timer is up? Eg some repair module needs to be delivered, or a certain amount of reps need to occur while in reinforced, otherwise when the time ends the tower self destructs.

gallego said...

The bottom line is that Sov should only be difficult / time consuming to take if there is a willing defender. If you've driven out your enemy, or they have left then it shouldn't be a chore otherwise you're disincentivizing conflict because the reward is something the player doesn't want a part of.

The current structure mechanics allow for defenses to rally and thus create conflict but don't allow for the attacker to just move on when the defender chooses (for whatever reason) to pass on defending their structure.

The sole purpose of sovereignty in any game is to promote fighting between groups. When the mechanics of that system start to disincentivize fighting then there's a big need for change. Gevlon's idea is a step towards solving that issue.

Tego said...

Interesting idea, though I think you could do one better. instead of a physical attack siege machine make something that can be planted on or near the station with a covops ship that hacks the station. give it half the EHP and shield recharge rate listed above, but at the end of that week you get the structure (becomes neutral,what have you) proper skill can commandeer it, or for stations some force (100 to 200 people have to dock up there for a few hours and "subdue" the non capsular inhabitants) You could even have to actually fight over the station (dust extension anyone?)

In the end that would mean that if you don't protect it not only is it gone, it will be part of your further demise.

This could lead to situations where you have gotten through 99% of the hack when you are stopped, that could be offset (to "encourage" earlier defense and discourage a really slow turtle) by having the hack damage the station/structure in some way so it is progressively weaker as the hack goes on. This could be the hack turning guns against the structure, or energy grid issues etc.

Anonymous said...

Why a seige engine? Why not just have a bomb with a delayed fuse that blows up anything if it is not deactivitated within 4-8 hours.

Anonymous said...

The core concept is very solid. However, some changes, since killing a 5M EHP structure isn't difficult for most competent sov-holding alliances.

(1) Reduce the anchor/unanchor time to 5 minutes, the online/offline time to 15 minutes. During that time, the structure has 0 resists, and is trivial to kill. A well-organized defender can thereby try to blitz the siege structure. Maybe reduce its total HP (at 0 resists) to 2M or so, and adjust resistances when online so its online EHP is still about 5M.

(2) Reduce build cost by 50% or increase damage output by 100%. I'm more in favor of reducing the build cost, in order to avoid the golden ship issue. Psychologically, for whatever reason, people find it easier to lose a lot of cheaper stuff than one big expensive thing. We want these things to be fielded, so that they can provoke fights to the utmost extent possible.

Otherwise, I like the mini-dread drone concept. A defender will be able to destroy them fairly easily, but they will be a huge improvement for uncontested sov grinds, which is the real problem with the current sov system.