Thursday, December 6, 2012

Retribution Review

For fuck's sake...

Well, it is released. The newest EVE Online expansion, Retribution.


CCP has been continuing their new focus on iteration over "Jesus Features," and I feel this is an extremely worthy addition  Where Inferno fixed factional warfare and warfare in general, Retribution's large focus is on Crime and Punishment.

CrimeWatch 2.0

First off, the "aggro" tracking system has been completely redone in a feature called CrimeWatch 2.0, and it is incredible. It has its own quirks, but there are basically 3 global states for any player: Normal, Suspect, Criminal. 

Normal is as expected, you aren't a valid target in hisec, and will cause aggressors to lose sec when engaging you in lowsec.

Suspect (gained through shooting people in lowsec, or can flipping in hisec, or meddling in affairs you shouldn't, like remote repping) means you are a valid target to everyone, everywhere (including your pod!) until the timer is up. 

Criminal is gained by shooting non-valid pods in low or suicide ganking in hisec (which causes Concord response), and grants the victim a Kill Right on the aggressor which can be made public for sale. These Kill Rights, when activated, flag the individual as Suspect for 15 minutes. 

In addition to these global flags, and to cover up confusing situations, CCP added Limited Engagements, that basically means you can fight with a specific person for a shorter period of time. This is more or less caused when a player shoots a Criminal, Outlaw (low sec status, same as before), or Suspect, they enter into a Limited Engagement against that target.

Also, these flags are readily available at all times in the upper-left hand corner with pretty icons instead of a single bar of text. This INCLUDES the weapon's lock timer.

A small gripe I have with this system is that shooting a target in lowsec front-loads the sec loss now, which is 1/2 of what a full hit was before if a target didn't aggress, but this is still higher than the old system of simply taking a minor hit for aggression, since I almost always waited for a target to shoot back. CCP Greyscale mentioned during the New Eden Open that there would be a fix for this coming, possibly involving tags.

Bounty Hunting

This has FINALLY been fixed, and after an assault frigate roam through the Tama pipe yesterday, I have to say this is quite possibly the greatest thing CCP has done for PVP in ages.


Any player can place a bounty on any other player, Corp, or Alliance. This bounty pays out 20% of the loss value of anything destroyed. This prevents exploitation and actually creates incentive for fighting. My Alliance received a 100 million ISK bounty from Seph Kerr, which was quickly paid out to the Basgerins. We also made some money off that engagement (to my surprise. Have you read my post on how ECM is ridiculously overpowered compared to other EWAR?).

But, loot aside, every member of the fleet during our AF roam made 11 million ISK, as the bounties split to each fleet mate of the member that got the final blow.

We will start looking for corps to wardec with high bounties, as this could potentially be extremely profitable.

Ships

There has been an extraordinary balance pass with Retribution. All existing frigates, destroyers and cruisers (tech 1) have been rebalanced and placed into roles as Attack (fast, light), Combat (durable, decent damage), Disruption (EWAR), or Support (Exploration, Logistics). I have personal refit just about every ship in the game and saved their fittings to our corp fittings for guidance of the newer players.

Four new destroyers, filling the gaps in fleet doctrines among the factions (Gallente and Amarr with drones, Caldari and Minmatar with missiles), have also been added, alongside the new ORE frigate that took the place of the 4 existing mining frigates (which have been rebalanced into logistics frigates). I have made cheap fittings for these as well.

UI


The targeting UI has been completely revamped, moving from squares to circles, and adding the amazing ability to resort targets not only in horizontal position but now vertically as well.

New overview colors and icons have been added to FINALLY differentiate between Outlaw, Criminal, and any other form of aggression that was previously indistinguishable from one other.

Overall, this expansion is pretty kick ass. Now if only my shit Alliance can muster more people for some AF roams, we could really start profiting off this shit.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Basgerin's Robbed of a Carrier Kill

For fuck's sake...

So, we were playing some Dust 514 during their "stress-test" event, and right when I hit an exceptionally laggy game, I decided to call it quits. All-in-all, it wasn't a bad run all day, but that's beside the point. When I turned back to EVE, I saw in our intel channel "Friendly carrier tackled." I looked in local to see several of the now-returned-to-Seyllin Basgerins global criminal. So I assembled a rag-tag fleet of Rectanus, Dark, and Yinandyang, shipped most of us into battleships and warped into the great unknown on the Roden undock.

D-scan reported that they had a couple Loki's, a Brutix, and an Archon. The Archon was parked under the station, repping the hostiles that had Cpt Ghost's (a blue from Sea Hamsters  Archon tackled off station about 50 km. The Domi's (me and Dark) attempted to damp the enemy Archon, but must not have been able to bring his targeting range down low enough, as he continued to rep the enemy fleet. I charged outward with bold, reckless abandon against the tackle fleet, and to my surprised they all began to scatter off of the blue Archon and back to the safety of station dock range. I used my MWD to bump the enemy Brutix away from the Ghost, towards Roden itself. I continuously told Ghost to "stay aligned!" in the intel channel, and as soon as the Brutix was out of disruptor range, Ghost took off.

I then gave the order to warp off, and we all made it but Rectanus, who was now tackled and being similarly bumped off station. I warped back to him, and proceeded to repair his ship and bump, as best I could, his Armageddon back to station. In the end, we lost only a stationary, uncloaked, pretty terribly fit Nemesis, and managed to save both ships that were in danger of dying, against superior forces.

For there being almost no record (through kill mails) that the engagement happened at all, it was one of the best I've had in ages. I look forward to future skirmishes with the Basgerins, at least until they get bored and move on... again... for like the 5th time.