Wednesday, April 10, 2013

CCP Soundwave and CCP Solomon On Twitch

Yesterday CCP held the second of three live streamed interview sessions on Twitch hosted by CCP Guard scheduled before Fanfest.  While CCP Mannbjorn and CCP Sisyphus also appeared, the stars of the show were Eve Online's Senior Lead Game Designer CCP Soundwave and CCP Solomon, the product owner of Teams 5-0, Superfriends and Game of Drones.  I couldn't watch live but did watch when I got home from work.  I picked out a few segments that stood out for me and quickly tried to get some of the quotes typed out.

The first subject involved the upcoming redistribution of resources throughout New Eden.  I'm not sure this will appear in the summer expansion but I found the segment interesting nonetheless.  CCP Soundwave stated that he believed that the current sov mechanics were just a small part of the problem with null sec.  I think that some people will get a shock from hearing what may about to descend on players...
CCP Soundwave - “We’re going to be tinkering around with minerals.  Personally I’d like to see some changes to ice, for example.  There’s a lot of interesting opportunities there.  I think ice is very underplayed as a very tactical resource. Like it should essentially be the oil of Eve Online... It would be good if it was something that people thought about instead of something you get from endless mining barges in Empire that may or may not be piloted by people.”

CCP Solomon - “One of the key drivers for this work we’re doing, and this come a lot from the CSM Summit, is people are looking for resource contention and acquisition to involve more people.  They were concerned that it was too static and it was in the hands of the few. And rather -- we don’t necessarily want to stop that -- but rather encourage large-scale organizers to lobby more people in terms of gathering and exploiting these resources and working the space.  So just systems have more of a feeling that they are busy and there’s activity going on there.  That’s very much been a driver when we’ve been looking at this resource work and kind of the high-level goals we want to hit.”
Like I wrote above, I'm not sure this will appear in a few months.  But one topic that definitely will not see changes before the winter expansion are outposts.  Are destructible outposts about to become a reality?
CCP Soundwave - “It’s a little bit boring now but it’s also prohibitive for industrial gameplay.  Being able to go out and drop an outpost is really interesting five years ago, but today space is just littered with outposts.  So I think that if we get to a point where putting up outposts is something that you do frequently then I think we have a higher tier of industrial gameplay that I find really interesting, but because they’re not destructible we can’t really do that.  So I think we need to find some solution where outposts can be phased out and then rebuilt.  Whether you can kind of wreck it so you can repair it or destroy it, we need to get something going so that part of the gameplay gets really interesting.  And I think there is a consensus with the players, the CSM, and within CCP that we need to do it, we just haven’t really gotten to it yet.  Although I suspect that once we start picking up 0.0 it will be one of the early things.”
Those who wish to see high sec nerfed, or at least not as good as null sec, received some hope with part of the discussion...
CCP Soundwave - “Right now the outposts in Empire I think are too good compared to the 0.0 ones, especially factoring in upgrade costs and stuff like that.  It would be nice if they were better but also a bit more fragile.  So you don’t have to grind through systems if you just want to go on a campaign and burn everything.  Then why the hell not?  If you want to do that then go for it.”
I exclusively fly Minmatar and ORE ships, but I found the discussion of the user interface for drones interesting...
CCP Solomon - “Drones is actually an interesting subject and it’s gaining more momentum, certainly internally, as something we want to look at and address, both because we’ve heard some concepts about how drones can be manipulated and used more like modules but also because frankly our content designers and design people are raising concerns about some of the restrictions of making new drone types and changing attributes on drones.  It’s an internal tool that needs a lot more work and something we want to address.  And there are certain restrictions that has to do with the velocity of the drone vs. its ability to track its target that produces undesirable effects in-game so they are somewhat restricted in how they can improve and tweak drones.  So this would be a good opportunity to both refactor that system so its more usable, all the tools are better for authoring and making design changes to drones and looking at how we can update the UI as well.”
A revamp of the drone UI sounds like an extensive undertaking and I'll be interested to hear what CCP has to say about the subject at Fanfest.

The last subject concerned Tech 3 ships.  After telling CCP Guard that we'd see no more Tech 3 ships and that CCP was skipping directly to Tech 5, CCP Soundwave said...
CCP Soundwave - “I really like Tech 3 ships.  I like that they’re different.  My biggest beef with them is that the subsystems aren’t really competitive enough compared to how many there are.  But that is something we’ll get to balance-wise because there’s essentially one configuration for each race.  Which I think is a little bit terrible.”

CCP Guard - “That was not the intention of the system.”

CCP Soundwave - “No it was absolutely not the intention of the system.  So if we can get them to do something different I think it would be fun.  What I keep thinking about is: do we want to have that modular configuration Tech 3 and then have ships that play differently as Tech 4 for example?  Do we want to say, oh well, Tech 3 frigates aren’t modular, they play differently.  Will that be weird?  I don’t know.  But we’ll get a different line of ships.  I mean, I’d like to have modular battleships, for example.  I think that’d be really cool.  I think that would be high on my wish list.”
I personally won't hold my breath on this as I don't see CCP making any moves in this direction until after the ship re-balancing is complete.  But when complete maybe a clear role for new ships, including Tech 3 and even Tech 4, may emerge.

I should point out one final thing I noticed.  The CSM received a few mentions, and not just in the "get out and vote" segment at the end of the stream.  I didn't have time to transcribe any more of the Q&A, but the developers apparently actually do listen to the CSM's input on things.  With an apparent revamp of null sec coming up and what looks like a null sec dominated CSM 8, things look like they may get interesting over the next year.


  1. Dinsdale PirannhaApril 10, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    soundwave is still a goon, doing the bidding of his RMT cartel lords. He is doing everything possible to put a larger piece of the Eve economic pie in the hands of a few, not the other way around. He is just as bad as the other null sec zealots like mynnna, malcanis and james315.

    Soon enough high sec mining / mission looting will be crushed with the introduction of null sec superveld and superscordite, wiping out the demand for it in the high sec hubs as supercap production low end mins will be provided by the superores. The goon lead dev has also been quoted on the forums stating his burning desire to remove T2 mfg from high sec, delivering another massive income stream to his bosses in null.

    Now we are hearing about ice being in play, likely removing it also from high sec.

    This guy does more damage to high sec than all of his buddies' suicide fleets combined.

    1. Would certainly be nice if he were replaced. He seems to hate highsec players, miners, industrialists. Not that all of those mentioned are in highsec, but many start out there. Hurting new and solo players can't be good for Eve's bottom line and hope for growth.

    2. He won't be replaced. He is one of the top a**kissers at CCP, if nothing else.

      He has a fixation on null, 'cause he never really played anywhere else, and a hatred of high sec 'cause he was always space-poor. He couldn't even run L3 missions solo, he wasn't tech savvy enough to code a bot to do his mining, and he never understood how the industry & market side of the game worked. So, naturally, he hates everything about high sec and wants to f**k it up. Rich, comfortable high sec carebears make his big fat tummy hurt. So, nothing surprising here.

      But, he isn't all that fond of low sec either. He is not a very good solo or small gang player - in fact, he is just bad at most games, not just EVE.

  2. Tech 3 ships were envisioned to be like a Swiss army knives - able to do anything that any other t1 or t2 cruiser could do, just by swapping subsystems around. It just turned out that certain configurations were not only just as good as the specialized cruisers, but much better than t2 specialized cruisers AND better than t1/t2 battlecruisers.

    They were meant to have corkscrew and a screwdriver functionality - depending on what you needed. They were not intended to be the best corkscrew and the best screwdriver.

    T3 ships are simply too good. What needs to be rebalanced is the downside when configured for a particular upside.

    You want t2 logistics? Cool, but you won't have the same cap recharge as a t2 logistics cruiser (or something like that). You want more DPS than a t2 command ship (1st I'd say 'no', but) ok, but you will be giving up something like command links or mid slots.

    Being a jack of all trades implies the mastery of none. The latter part is currently missing.

    1. "Being a jack of all trades implies the mastery of none. The latter part is currently missing."

      The former part is also missing. Very few people ever reconfigure their tech 3 ships. Kirith Kodachi wrote a blog post detailing the 3 reasons why ( which pretty much covers the bases there.

      However, even in the scenario where those 3 problems are fixed, and tech 3 ships are actually a jack-of-all trades( but only one thing at a time, and therefore more accurately called a jack-of-one-thing-at-a-time) if you nerf each specific function like you want to, no one will ever use them. In that case, they would offer no real benefit over just using the best ship for each task.

      The only way that tech 3 ships can ever be viable in a jack-of-all-trades role, is if they can actually be viable in multiple roles at the same time. That is, of course, not in keeping with a modular design at all, and so makes little sense and will never be implemented. Realistically, none of your ideas have any chance of ever being implemented.

  3. Also, you indicated a possible hisec nerf, pointing to the discussion about outposts in Empire. There are no outposts in hisec. POS (which are destructible) are everywhere.

    1. The highsec nerf was focused on highsec production, refining, etc. Soundwave didn't specify so much as he eluded to a reduction in capabilities, thus another reason for all to move to lowsec and null.

    2. "Also, you indicated a possible hisec nerf, pointing to the discussion about outposts in Empire. There are no outposts in hisec. "

      Actually, the person who referred to outposts in Empire was CCP Soundwave, not noizy.

      CCP Soundwave - “Right now the outposts in Empire I think are too good compared to the 0.0 ones, especially factoring in upgrade costs and stuff like that. "

      Obviously CCP Soundwave is referring to NPC stations in Empire as Outposts--if you don't think CCP should be allowed to refer to structures in their own game with the names that they choose, then good luck with that dude. Let me know how that works out for you.

    3. Soundwave often gets confused. Watch the old AT videos. It is surprising how little he actually knows about details and mechanics of the game, including just the correct names of items in the game.

      As a result, every comment he makes is vague and hand-waving. He depends entirely on the other devs to fill in the rather substantial gaps he leaves behind when he yaps.

      Just FYI - he also gets very angry when you point out his ignorance.

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