Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Does IHub Season Begin Next Tuesday?

I smiled yesterday imagining all the tears coming from certain quarters of null sec when CCP Fozzie posted the changes to the sovereignty capture mechanics coming next Tuesday with Galatea. Perhaps CCP is disappointed in the amount of space some alliances still hold. Whatever the reason, I believe CCP just made trolling conducting offensive operations in null sec a lot more easier:
"The first and most significant change in this release is that we are reducing the base capture time of Structure Command Nodes from 10 minutes to 4 minutes, and Station Services from 5 minutes to 4 minutes. This means the capture times for these structures will range from a minimum of 4 minutes (for defenders and when the multiplier is at its base of 1) to a maximum of 24 minutes (for attackers against a 6x multiplier structure). This change only applies to Command Nodes and Station Services, NOT to the initial reinforcement of a sov structure (which keep their current base capture time of 10 minutes)."
If I have my math right, an uncontested attacker can destroy a territorial control unit (TCU) or an infrastructure upgrade (iHub) in as little as 12 minutes if the system has an Activity Defense Multiplier (ADM) of 1. If the sov holding alliance is just counting on a high strategic index level and doesn't actually conduct any PvE in the system, the maximum system ADM is 2.  In that case, an uncontested attacker can destroy a sov structure in as little as 24 minutes. Those figures are down over 50%, from 22 minutes and 44 minutes respectively.

To make matters worse for the absentee landlord, the vulnerability window is 18 hours for a system with ADM 1 and 9 hours at ADM 2. That's a lot of time to have to protect a system from hostile attacks. Or even trolls.

I foresee the ultimate scenario playing out like this. First, someone decides to have a little fun and starts entosifying structures. What's 15 minutes or so to troll someone? A couple of days later, a small gang looking for a fight decides to entosify the command nodes spawning from the structure. Why not? The worst that happens is that no one shows up to defend and everyone gets to grab a drink or take a bio break.

I'm not sure that the proposed changes will result in more action in null sec. Sometimes diplomacy trumps game design. But with a lot of territory very vulnerable, the tear collectors may come out in force next Tuesday.

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