EVE Blog Banter #11: T3 Landing Craft

Welcome to the eleventh installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month’s banter comes to us from Joe Brusati a long time reader of CrazyKinux’s Musing, who asks the following: CCP states that T3 Strategic Cruisers are just the start for the T3 line-up. In future Eve expansions what would you like to see as the next T3 ship type. Please be specific on details about what role this ship would play, cost of manufacturing, and the different modules that would be available for it, and of course you must give your T3 ship a name!

So far as I understand it, T3 cruisers allow for modular design to create the ultimate in flexibility.  Of course, this isn’t really true, as far as I can tell from the few conversations I’ve heard regarding their fitting.  But the point is that they serve a variety of roles.  This is true of T1 cruisers and battlecruisers as well, who are perfectly capable of any number of tasks.  But what about other T3 ships?  Does it make sense to have a flexible T3 frigate hullin this vein?  Not really – first off, its probably too expensive to justify the flexibility, especially given the reduced survivability inherent in a smaller vessel.  Perhaps T3 battleships might go this route – but battleships serve as lineships for the most part – combat vessels.  So, flexilibity is not required really.  T3 Capitals – proposed over at Ninveah would fit this mold of course, but they are about the only ones (and maybe not even then – since there aren’t even T2 Capitals yet!).  And really the current T3 ships mimic battlecruisers more so than  cruisers, so the current range is in fact very limited in spectrum, so its hard to see the concept being applied game wide across ship types.

So I don’t think other T3 ships will be designed with flexibility in mind.  What I do think is that T3 ships will need to function, gamewise, as time and money sinks for players, much as with any more traditional MMO expansion.  What are veteran, long-time players looking to do more effectively?  So much so that they will train a new set of skills and plink down a pile of ISK for?   And I don’t really know the answer to that because I’m not one.  But I have a hunch it will play in with sovereignity and piracy, the two announced initiatives of the next expansion.   Pirates want vessels that can prey on others, and alliances want ships that will allow increase the snail’s pace of current nullsec siege style warfare.

In real life, siege warfare became obsolete when walls did.  And piracy is really only effective when you can take other peoples things.  So we need  ship that can open limited holes in tower shields, and one that can secure cargo and modules from enemy ships.

We need a Landing Craft.  Especially since land combat via DUST is headed to the realm of EVE.  So how do these landing craft work? 

Well basically like this:  These are highly advanced transport craft who eschew cargo space for the ability to launch Lancers – the tip of the spear.  These assault craft don’t bounce when they hit a towers shield bubble – they attach to it, and cut through it with hi-intensity beams – hi tech “wire cutters” – that allow them to slip through the fabric of the shield energy.  Not just tower shields, but the navigational shields of ships as well – at least, those of medium size or larger.  These Lancers then attach to the hull of their target, again burning through a hull, and disgorging a highly trained group of combat specialists – trained in sabotage, assault, and close quarters combat.  Here they secure cargo and modules for safe retrieval by their compatriots, and destroy key points of infrastructure and command to disable the ship completely and permanently – without completely destroying it.

In game terms, we are looking at a modified missile launcher – like probe launchers for exploring – that utilize a special ammunition type – Lancers.  Lancers are built using the traditional components – but also what are currently utilized as trade goods – people.  Mechanically, Lancers do damage directly to the structure of a vessel or tower without harming the components, armor, or shields.  Once the hull hits zero, but so long as some of the otheres “hit points” remain, the ship is disabled.  Pilots may still eject in their pods, but may not self destruct or fight back.  The victors may now claim x number of the ships modules or cargo, dependent on their skills trained. 

Speaking of skills – we are looking at several.  New construction skills for the building of these modules.  New pilot skills for the Landing Craft and the Launch Bays and Lancers themselves.  A variety of skills around Lancer range, damage, precision (how many modules one can pick from the disabled ship.  New secondary modules boosting Lancers and speeding up their damage cycles.  New defensive modules for ships and stations that allow them to repel these boarders, doing damage to the Lancer itself, slowing the damage cycle.

Sieging towers takes on new levels of strategy.  No longer can dreads and battleships sit behind shields, pounding back and forth at long range.  Carriers must do more than reinforce shields.  Landing Craft must be destroyed before too many Lancers can be deployed – but not at the expense of ignoring the shield loss being endured.

Pirates have a new way to wreck havoc on other players.  No longer is it just the thrill of the kill.  Piracy means more than destroying the miner or mission runner – it means pinning them and sucking their blood out – forcing them to watch as you sort through their favorite modules and valuable cargo to take for themselves.  Ransom has new meaning – and a new incentive to pay up, if it means getting all your gear back.

Some limits need to be in place too though.  Disabled ships themselves are dead and gone – not just unusable, but not salvageable either.  Nor will bounties be paid out on disabled ships – Concord doesn’t want to encourage piracy and stealing, the Bounty Office wants to encourage people to utilize them and not get paid through alternative means.  And of course, the price on these Landing Ships and their Lancer modules and ammunition will be significant – significant enough not be cost effective to zerg a nullsec station with them and them alone.

As for names, I think these ships, with their boarding capabilities, should be named after famous pirate vessels:

Minmatar: Revenge

Amarr: Delivery

Caldari: Fancy

Gallente:  Liberty

What say you?  Did I give a little shakeup in the structure of null sec warfare?  Did I entice veteran pilots to try something new?  Did I give pirates a way to expand their ability to obtain loots and tears?

Whether I did or not, be sure to check out these other blog posters who have taken up the topic as well:

  1. A Mule in EvE – ‘Thor’ the Minmatar T3 ~ Banter #11
  2. One Man and His Spaceship – Blog Banter 11 – The many heads of the Hydra
  3. Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah – Strategic Capitals
  4. Achernar – Strategic Battlecruisers: the Spiders
  5. Journey to New Eden – Eve Blog Banter #11: Introducing the T3 Strategic Mining Barge
  6. Kyle Langdon’s Journey in EVE – Strategic…. EVE Blog Banter #11
  7. The Captain’s Log – Blog Banter 11: Increasing our knowledge of the universe
  8. Deaf Plasma’s EVE Musings – Eve Blog Banter #11 – a ship called Starfury
  9. Yarrbear Tales – Blog Banter 11: T3 Destroyers
  10. Break Vol – Blog Banter #11
  11. Harbinger Zero – EVE Blog Banter #11: T3 Landing Craft
  12. Diairy of a Pod Pilot – Blog banter #11: Strategic frigates
  13. Mike Azariah – Blog Banter #11
  14. Ecliptic Rift – Blog Banter 11: Strategic Industrial Ships
  15. Roc’s Ramblings – Blog Banter #11 – Salvation
  16. Hands Off, My Loots! – More than just a cruiser – Blog Banter XI
  17. Level Cap – EVE Blog Banter #11 – I Can Haz Tech 3 Battleships?
  18. Internet Spreadsheets Naptime Online – Blog Banter #11 – Tactical Destroyers
  19. More to come…

Blog Banter 10?

Apparently, we’re doing another blog banter.  Nothing on CrazyKinux’s website yet, and many of the blogs are not featuring a full blog roll at the end, so I’m not sure what to make of it, but…whatever.  (-:

Welcome to the tenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month’s banter leans a little, OK a lot, on the academic side. It comes to us from xiphos83 of A Misguided Adventurer, who asks the following: ” Victor Davis Hanson argues that western culture, comprising of ideals such as freedom, debate, capitalism, and consensual government, are what make western society so successful at waging war. These ideologies create a warrior who’s direct participation in government, ability to think freely, and desire to remain free, fights harder and is willing to suffer more than his conscripted foe. Though a military must remain a structured oligarchy to fight a war effectively, why in a world where military conflict is as familiar as breathing are there so few alliances that embrace these ideologies when governing their members?”

It seems that the responses for this topic have so far fallen into two categories:  either the blogger is adamant that the assertion about there being a lack of corps and alliances embracing these ideologies is incorrect, or they are amused at the attempt to place Hanson’s real world argument in the context of EVE Online’s fictional gaming universe.

First off, I had no idea who Hanson was.  So I went to a trusted source and read all about him.  That lead to reading some of his personal stuff and papers.  I have mixed feelings.  On the one hand, I have difficulty trusting a Banana Slug, but that may be personal bias that ESPN made them number 1 and only gave my alma mater the number 8 spot on the list of cool mascots.  On the other hand, he does say some thought provoking things.

To those who believe that all is democratic fun and games and Western Ways of Warfare in EVE, think again.  I belong to a corp that is run by an individual’s fiat – there is no council, no group decisions.  Other corps joining our alliance must abide by his final decisions – failure to do so results in the removal of your corp from the alliance.

That it is run that way is somewhat ironic, given that our corp leader and many of our vets are themselves ex-members of Atlas, which is itself run (or was at the time our corp was given the boot) by the same dictatorial bent that currently pervades our operations.

It is worth noting also that in EVE we are not dealing with governments – we are dealing with corporations, which, like in our real world, are either public or private companies, which themselves have various types of leadership, both individuals and boards and sometimes even straight democratic functions.  So the application of a real-world theory about nation-based warfare is stretched to limit when applied to virtual world reality of non nation-based warfare.  That the distinction between nation and non nation based warfare is lost on this Blog Banter is indicative of the fact that our entire nation, and even more relative, all of Western civilization, has failed to grasp an important lesson of the history of warfare and nations.  This failure is costing us virtual world angst in this case – and sadly, real world blood.

Despire this bizaare knowlege gap, there is a link, and a proof (of a sort) of Hanson’s theory in EVE Online – factional warfare.  This was an idea that many thought would fail because it did not offer any substational reason for playing.  And yet people still identified enough with in game entities, most centrally, in game NPC Empires – that they were and still are, willing to spend millions of ISK to defend the honor and good name of these Empires.  The purity of this experiment will shortly end with the introduction of factional LP and rewards.  That is not that I’m necessarily opposed to that change, but thinking about it in this way does give one pause, doesn’t it?  Is turning patriots into mercenaries a good thing?

Other Blog Banter 10 posts will be added here, just as soon as I can figure out where the spectral central post is located at.  Feedback, as always, is encouraged and welcome.