Wednesday 21 May 2014

DST Freighter and JF Changes

I've commented on the proposed changes to blockade runners but I haven't said anything about the proposed changes to Deep Space Transports, Freighters or Jump Freighters. Mostly that's because I don't fly any of those ships but also partly because I know my some of my opinions (particularly on Jump Freighters) would be extremely unpopular.

Ok, here goes...

Deep Space Transports

I never cared for DSTs, they're way too big, way too slow and not nearly agile enough for my purposes. I generally don't need anywhere near that much cargo space either and for the rare times a large cargo hold might come in handy it isn't enough bigger than that of T1 haulers nor is the survivability enough better to justify using them over much cheaper T1 haulers.

I think the fleet hanger is a terrible idea, why not just make the normal cargo hold bigger instead? Say about 60-75k when fit for max cargo. Give them great tank, somewhat better speed and alignment time, double the warp speed, and replace the shield booster bonus on Minmatar and Caldari DSTs with a shield hit point bonus.

I don't think that would be overpowered but I don't fly DSTs so maybe I'm being too generous. That'd make DSTs a viable option between T1 Industrials and Orcas.

Maybe give them that nullifier idea that's being tossed around in the feedback thread too. I'm not sure if that would be overpowered or not but it'd certainly make them far more popular for use in low and null which is after all what the name "Deep Space Transport" implies.


Again I don't fly Freighters for the same reasons as for DSTs but it seems to me the Freighter changes were very poorly thought out at first. The rig idea was terrible, about all that would've accomplished was significantly increase the cost of freighters and force freighter pilots to choose between bad options.

Thankfully the rig idea received the quick death it deserved, now the plan is to give Freighters 3 low slots instead. That'll give pilots more flexibility how the want to fit their ship, allow them to change fittings on the fly and it won't increase cost significantly like capital rigs would've.

The plan for freighters seems all right to me now though I never have and probably never will fly one.

Jump Freighters

Ok, here's the controversial part. No doubt Jump Freighter pilots (among others) won't like my saying so but IMO jump mechanics are insanely overpowered, not only for JFs but for Dreadnaughts, Carriers and Titans too. It's ridiculous that the largest, most powerful ships can move across the entire map faster than just about anything else.

Jump bridges and Cynos are at the root of the "power projection" problem where gigantic blobs can basically teleport across the entire map more quickly than local forces can respond and roflstomp pretty much anything except an even bigger teleporting blob.

I'm of the opinion that Jump mechanics and Cynos should be removed entirely, except for Black Ops which can only move special ships the largest of which are battleships. Even then there should probably be limits on how many ships a single Black Ops battleship can move.

In that case JFs would have to be completely reworked and probably renamed. Maybe make them "Fast Freighters", with less cargo capacity than regular Freighters but with significantly better speed, warp speed and alignment time too.

Note, besides helping with the "power projection" problem, removing jump mechanics would likely be a boon to local industry and trade everywhere (except Jita). Jita would almost certainly become smaller and far less important while many other hubs in far flung regions grow larger and become more important. Transporting goods over long distances (especially in bulk) would be more difficult encouraging local production as well as good business for those who do transport and/or trade goods that aren't produced locally (or not produced in sufficient quantity to meet local demand).


  1. Teleporting ships was such a bad idea for Eve. The game is clearly intended as a game of asymmetrical warfare. Moving valuables around is such a great opportunity for that and the idea that alliances would run freighters around escorted by pvp ships with scouts out in multiple directions is clearly rather fun. Also an enemy that approaches rather than one that hotdrops is rather fun. We'd see much more conflict and a neut in local wouldn't automatically make nullbears dock up.

    However now that it is part of the game it can't be easily undone. The player base is temperamental and volatile - you can't take toys away from a toddler without a screaming fit. Someone like Mittani could easily say "ok guys we're moving on to a new game" and leave Eve Online decimated.

    My hope is that the player built stargates will lead to a new type of space where power projection is severely limited. That would re-introduce gate to gate logistics without directly taking away from established players.

    1. I agree, it was a bad idea, it can't be easily undone and many players would throw that "toddler's screaming fit".

      But it should be done anyhow because it would be good for the game in the long run.

      In fact if Mittani and all his "awful" pals did decide move on, I'd say that's about the best thing that ever happened for the game. By a long shot!

  2. "I think the fleet hanger is a terrible idea, why not just make the normal cargo hold bigger instead?"

    OK here's the reason. With a cargo hold people will fit cargo rigs and lows. By making it a hangar there's no point doing that so people are steered towards fitting defensive modules.

    1. It's harsh but I have no sympathy at all for people who aren't bright enough to realize good fits aren't just about maximizing one stat, cargo space in this case.

      If someone wants to use terrible fits and make himself a loot pinata, even if it's only because he's too dumb to know better, I'm fine with that. :)

  3. Without jump capable ships, how would the moon minerals be transported from deep null/lowsec to highsec? Basically, there would be bubble/hictor gate camps everywhere in high-low, high-null transition systems, which will make logistics hard or even impossible. If you would build T2 items, ships in null/low, how would you get them to market hubs? Selling it locally is not going to bring much profit, I would say.

    1. Why would moon minerals have to be transported to high in the first place?

      The upcoming industrial changes are supposed to encourage more local industry and the emergence of more local hubs and stronger local markets. One way to help do that is by making long distance bulk transport more difficult.

      Buyers go to Jita now because just about everything is cheaper there and sellers ship to Jita because it's easy to do and that's where most buyers are. If it's cheaper or even just reasonably priced right where they live players will just buy it where they live rather than taking a long trip.

      Some of us make 10s of billions every month by bucking that trend, buying items on the main hubs and moving them out to sell in smaller markets.

    2. Stabs' comment about the gameplay that would result from escorting freighters with PvP ships is a good one too. He has another good point about how a neut in local wouldn't instantly make everyone dock up anymore either.

  4. Second part of my reply was about shipping T2 items to trade hubs. The little amount (compared to todays trading volume) of items that would finally get to highsec via fleet escorted freighters would be priced insanely high, basically it would be the end of T2 in highsec.

    And the other way around - the import. To build T2 you need multiple type of moon materials, what if there will not be all the kinds of necessary moons in the region to mine? The material would need to be imported too. Again, escorted freighters, at high prices.

    I imagine only large alliances spanning multiple regions with enough players to be able to call the escort fleets any time, could run that kind of logistic project.

    1. You have a valid point about T2 production and moon materials but then again the industry changes seem to be more about buffing null sec production than anything else and the lack of moon mining in high sec should do that for T2 production.

      Of course any time there's a major change (and removing jump capability from capital ships would be a major change) there's going to be a ripple effect leading to other changes and tweaks. In this case, they'd need to rework JFs at the least and probably tweak a few other ships too.

      My vision of hauling roles in a non JF universe would be something like this. Freighters would be mostly for moving goods in bulk in relatively safe areas. DSTs would be the heavy tanks of the hauling world capable of hauling fairly large cargos through more dangerous areas. JFs could be changed into "Fast Freighters" with smaller cargoholds (but still bigger than anything else) and about twice the performance when it comes to speed, warp speed and alignment time. And of course Blockade Runners would continue to be fast couriers perfect for quickly moving smaller cargos around.

      Long distance hauling in anything besides a Blockade Runner would almost certainly require an escort. Long hauling wouldn't be profitable on the scale it is now (which is basically ship everything to/from Jita) but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be worth doing at all, especially not for things that aren't produced locally (like moon materials in high sec).

      It certainly would be more difficult moving large quantities of goods long distances but that'd work well with CCP's plans to spread industry and market activity around more.

    2. For better understanding of volume of materials needed to build T2 ships, I checked with IPH - 10x Ishtar needs more than 200 000 m3 of already reacted moon materials and minerals. That would be 20 trips in Viator, 10 in Occator (roughly estimate). After DST rebalancing, with 50k m3 fleet hangar it would still need 4 trips (who knows how many jumps). Of course some of the materials could be probably acquired locally, and you could send a fleet of BR or DSTs with escort. But you should now have an idea what would take to build only 10 HACs. T1 manufacturing would basically prevail in nullsec.

    3. It really should be the other way around, with cheaper, smaller stuff produced in low/null and bigger more expensive stuff in high. In the real world it isn't war torn 3rd world countries building aircraft carriers or even luxury automobiles. That gets done in stable industrialized countries where not only is it safer but the infrastructure and skilled labor force needed to do it exists.

      CCP will never allow that that to happen though, their null cartel buddies would scream bloody murder. AGAIN