Greedy Goblin

Friday, June 21, 2013

The horrible industrial rebalance

CCP Rise published his ideas about industrial rebalancing. I seriously doubt he ever flown one (except as a bait). He creates two industrials for each race: a tanky and a large-hold one. The remaining Iterons will be foster children.

His ideas don't address the fundamental industrial problem: they are all stepping stones. The Caracal isn't just a stepping stone of the Raven and the Tengu. It needs the same skills and runs well on lower level, so someone who learns for a Raven or Tengu usually plays with a Caracal until he gets there. But the point is that after he can fly a Tengu or Raven and even have these ships, he still has reasons to fly a Caracal. CFC often sends fleets of them to Fountain. The Caracal is a ship on its own right, not just a stepping stone flied only by newbies. On the other hand the industrials, even with the rebalance are worse than the Orca in every aspect. Even the new "tanky" hauler has less EHP than an Orca and even if you take the paper-thin T1, fill it with cargo expanders and rigs, it'll have less cargo space than a max tanked Orca.

I think the reason why CCP Rise doesn't see the problem is the fundamental difference between industrial ships an combat ships. A combat ship can accomplish its mission despite dead. If you are defending your system with Caracals, dying and reshipping 10 times but saving the timer, you won. If you shot just one Tengu while losing 10 Caracals, you even won the ISK war. Also if you just want fun, roaming in a band of Caracals will do: you'll have fun despite you'll return as a new clone. This creates a position for cheap ships for veteran players.

On the other hand if an industrial dies, it failed its mission in every aspect. It lost the cargo and made its owner sad. No industrial pilot who did industry (and not comedy fleet or baiting) was ever having fun in a fight. Even if you survive a gank attempt it's not "yeah I won, I'm the man" but "Thank you Jesus!". The purpose of an industrial pilot is to transport valuable cargo, so making the ship cheap doesn't help with the loss. If you don't care about your cargo, you don't transport it, but reprocess and sell it to a buy order. An industrial pilot will pick the safest ship that can do the job. In highsec it's the Orca or a Freighter, in other spaces it's the Covops hauler or the Jump Freighter. After they can fly these, they will fly only these. If the situation is too hot for even these ships, he doesn't fly anything and saves his cargo until it's safer. T1 industrials and even the "deep space transport" are obsolete ships flied only by newbies who can't fly or can't afford the "proper" ship.

To give a reason of existence to T1 industrials, you must give them a role where they beat the Orca, Freigher, JF or Covops. Let me offer some ideas:
  • Sigil, Badger, Wreathe, Iteron: they are designated noobships, they all cost about 0.5M, on a resaonable fit, they can carry about 4000m3 and tank about 10K.
  • Bestover: tanky highsec hauler. 4000m3 cargohold without expanders but no one would put expanders on it but armor tank. Fully tanked it has 300K EHP.
  • Hoarder: wormhole hauler. 200m/s while flying under T2 cloak (can't warp cloaked). Bonused for scanners.
  • Mammoth: combat hauler. Bonus to salvage cycle speed (not strength), can fit both armor and shield tanks (enough slots and powergrid), but cannot fit cargohold expanders. 100K tank with good fittings, 3000m3 cargohold, with proper fittings 1000m/s, 5 secs align. Its purpose is to fly with fleets, loot and salvage.
  • Badger II: relic/data site hauler: automatically collects the loot from the loot-explosion.
  • Iteron 2,3,4: specialized haulers: they can carry about 50k m3 of various kind of items: ore, PI, fuel.
  • Iteron 5: like today, the baby-freighter, the last stepping stone before the big ones.
  • The 4 currently useless "deep space transports" would become useful again if they got interdiction nullifying bonus and some more warp stab bonuses as +2 won't save you in the world of +2 long points. I'd take the the +2 strength and give +100% effect from warp core stabilizers, allowing them to have 10 warp strength if filled with 5 warpstabs.


Anonymous said...

Not sure about some of the numbers but in general your idea seems great.
Some more variety in industrials is something I've wanted for quite some time.

Anonymous said...

Iteron 3 has a turretslot should also be a wormhole hauler in my opinion.

Unknown said...

A caracal outdoes a tengu only in speed (and one extra target). The tengu is better in absolutely every single other way, and with the extra slots and PG/CPU, you can get almost as fast as a caracal with otherwise equal fittings.

The reason that CFC uses caracals instead of tengus is they are dirt cheap and don't cost SP when you die.

T1 haulers keep that same advantage, but they aren't strictly worse either. The haulers also have vastly better sig radius, are faster and more agile, and can fit a turret (battlebadger!) If I have to move a medium quantity of items through high sec, a T1 hauler may actually be the best ship for the job, regardless of price/SP.

Caras said...

Dammit, bloody good ideas, applause. The proposed change-concept, is boring and irrelevant, even worse than horrible, so please press on :-)

Anti said...

how about a chameleon hauler?

pilot designates any other ship he is able to fly as the disguise. hauler appears to be disguise ship (on overview, dscan, perhaps even visually) and the disguise is only removed if scanned with a ship scanner (or perhaps if approached / bumped)

hauler that looks like a combat ship may confuse or scatter the enemy long enough to allow passage

Von Keigai said...

You are too much in the highsec uber alles frame of mind here.

For the profitability of cargo hauling, these factors matter:
(1) the cost of the hauler
(2) the cost of the cargo (volume time price per unit)
(3) the probability of gank

If (3) is not zero, then the interaction of (1) and (2) becomes interesting. Flying a cheap cargo in an expensive ship is a bad idea. Only if (3) can be essentially zero (as is the case in highsec flying an Orca with a DCII), does (1) fade to irrelevance and the maximization of (2) dominate the calculation. Of course even then you can still be ganked profitably at some level of cargo value; but you are still probably safe because freighters are lower hanging fruit.

As a specific example, I do PI in wspace. You don't do this in an Orca because the value of the cargo (10-50m) is so much smaller than the ship. (And also the ship is a whale, making (3) that much more likely.) I very rarely lose an industrial and its cargo; this is a cost of doing business. Losing a ~650m Orca would not be acceptable. And this is especially true given that the average load I am moving around is perhaps 5000m^3, and rarely larger than 20000m^3. I have different haulers to handle different load sizes. My cheaper haulers are really cheap; they do not have have cargo-expander rigs.

Anonymous said...

T1 haulers give reason why pirates gank them, cause only a noob would fly such nonsense. Anyone that flies one with over a 100 million in isk, is asking to lose it. e.g. one Tornado with 14k alpha can usually pop most T1 industrials in a single volley.

Anonymous said...

Well reasoned, Gevlon. Making some industrials 'tanky' (and what a laughable tank it is) while further weakening an already paper-thin tank in pursuit of more cargo space is only doing gankers any favors. Certainly not industrialists or haulers.

Anonymous said...

The Itty 2-4 suggestion is more or less what Rise went with, and DSTs weren't under discussion with this patch.

Don't those other recomendations basically boil down to "more EHP on the t1 haulers?", "I don't want to click loot cans", and "I want a super-noctis?". Unfortunately by reducing the cargo holds to the X000 range will make industrials unusable. They'll still cost too much by comparison to a Scanning frigate with cargo expanders.

With all that said, though... you may be on to something here. Perhaps the T1 industrials could simply get more tank out of a Xmm plate than another ship would. I think your numbers are too high by about a factor of 2... but you're right that the gap between T1s and the Orca is huge at the moment.