Carriers, the Swiss Army Knife of EVE???

Hello,

Most of you have probably read Zulupark's blog about the Carrier and Mothership changes we've been discussing here at the office, the feedback and next steps.

We expected such a drastic change to result in a lot of feedback. We did not expect the requests to prematurely end dear Zulupark's existence in this universe, some of which were very imaginative and in more ways than we thought possible. We'd like to point out all design matters are ratified in groups, so in the future, please include at least Hammerhead, Oveur and our janitor in any ill thoughts you may have as a result of EVE's direction.

Let's take a look at what Carriers and Motherships are currently capable of:

  • Fighting off any kind of foe, small or big. Most have a set of fighters and a lot of normal drones in their drone bay. This means they can choose drones / fighters based on their enemy's size, choose their damage type and even be quite effective jammers using ewar drones.
  • Great logistics ships - They've got plenty of capacitor to be very effective logistics ships using capital sized logistic modules. Triage mode can be very effective in small scale fleet combat when applied correctly.
  • Jump capable haulers - Although not an intended role, they're currently being used as jump capable haulers, which is probably the safest way to transport stuff from empire space to 0.0 and vice versa.
  • Excellent support ships - They can bring ships and modules behind enemy lines, are capable of fighter delegation and able to help damage-wise with minimal exposure to the enemy.

What activities do players engage in with their carriers?

This thread was a very interesting read about how people use their carriers.

  • Damage dealing (Small scale PVP, Capital PVP, Starbase Warfare)
  • Logistics (Small scale PVP, Capital PVP, Starbase Warfare)
  • Support (as in bringing along spare modules and ships behind enemy lines)
  • PvE (Ratting, missions, complexes etc.)
  • 0.0 Transporting
  • POS fueling

If you can do all that (and probably a lot more) extremely efficiently with a single ship, why would EVE need any others? The problem is not that Carriers and Motherships are overpowered in a single specific role, but that they're extremely proficient in very many roles. In fact, no other ship classes are as versatile and powerful without requiring you to refit for it.

What do we want to achieve

No ship in EVE should be the “end game” vessel, but that's what we feel we've got now. There are more than 10,000 Carriers in play, a vessel which can be everything you want it to be (which is part of the problem) without having to fit for the occasion. We don’t want to see either of these ships ripping apart everything that gets in their way, no matter the size. Carrier and Motherships were designed to be a combined effort among corporation members where they rely on the group, and be pretty much defenseless against small ship classes without support.

So what was the former solution?

In an effort to shift the role of Carriers and Motherships from being assault ships to fleet logistic ships, as well as reducing their solo fighting ability, we wanted to limit the amount of fighters a carrier or mothership could field solo. By allowing them to control only up to 5 fighters themselves, but delegate up to 15/25(Carrier/Mothership w. drone control units) we're making them rely more on support if they are to unleash their full combat potential.

A few points you need to take into consideration when looking at this change:

  • Encourages people to bring support vessels with their capital fleet
  • Increase teamplay and make the low skillpoint, non-capital pilots more valuable in fleet combat
  • A standard Carrier pilot (10 fighters) will need at least one "wingman" to field all his fighters.
  • Delegation control is much easier with the improved gang member list and the new "watch list"
  • We definitely don't want Carriers to be parked at starbases, they should be at the front lines keeping their gang mates alive.
  • Carriers are also receiving a ship maintenance bay / corporation hanger boost, allowing them to bring more ships and modules to the front lines.

Conclusion (or not?):

We've spent the last couple of days going back to the drawing board, looking at alternative solutions, reading and evaluating feedback and our conclusion is that to fully realize the goal of allowing the Carriers and Motherships all these multiple roles would require more effort than we can achieve before our code freeze in a couple of days. Our reasoning is, as stated before, simple. It's not the number of roles they can perform, it's that they can do them all without drawbacks such as the lack of need to refit for the occasion. This means that we won‘t change Carriers or Motherships damage abilities in our next expansion.

We also realize that we put you into the situation of having trained and paid for them with the goal in mind of being able to use them to their full potential. We recognize this is what hurts you the most and we sincerely apologize for that. With this in mind we have changed two things:

  • We want to continue to allow the multiple roles, many of them at the same time, but there will be choices have to be made.
  • We don‘t want Carriers and Motherships to be as effective against smaller ships (Frigates, Destroyers, Cruisers and Battlecruisers) while being just as effective against the larger ships (Battleships and up) at the same time.

So I‘m not nerfed today but in 3 months instead?

Yes, but not like proposed earlier. You will have more choices to make. You can be all you can be, just not all at the same time. We will look at tracking of Fighters, Drones and so forth, including the addition of more Fighter types. We will look at new modules for a broader selection, and at moving basic functionality to modules, such as you have to fit the ship hangar to get the functionality, but offer something up in exchange(like, a slot).

That is at the core of the new proposal. You retain your abilities, power, and versatility, but at a cost you chose. After all, choice is what EVE has been about. You should know, you painstakingly trained yourself through all the different ship classes and their role-sets.

This is far from being an unnecessary “random nerf”, we care a lot about EVE and we strongly believe we’re doing everything we can to make it better. It’s against everything that EVE stands for that one ship is able to counter “almost” every other ship, can do all roles, all the time, without drawbacks. And that must change.

-Nozh

Ps. Don't mind the changes on Sisi, they'll be reverted on next update and were accidental.