Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chess vs Checkers

Checkers is an easy game, really. There’s a bit of strategy involved, but no one writes books about it. You don’t see checkers columns in the newspapers and the World Checker Champion isn’t though of as being particularly brilliant.

Take a checker player & put him on a chess board and things just don’t seem fair to him. The rules are different and the way to win is no longer straight forward. Confronted with this situation, most folks either learn to play chess (appreciating it for what it is) or return to checkers (playing what they enjoy). Few resort to calling for changes in the rules of chess to make it into Checkers 2.0.

These days, in Eve Online, it seems the Devs are listening to the checker players.


Yes, I’m a dedicated, maxed out Falcon pilot with months of invested training time, get that out of the way from the beginning.

However, the implication that Falcons are so overpowered that they need to be drastically changed is simply wrong. And wrong on several levels.

The role of the Falcon is that of force multiplier. It’s weapons are stealth and denying the enemy the ability to inflict damage. It has no tank and laughable DPS. The Falcon rewards pilots, FC’s and corps that understand tactics, that have the patience to prepare the battlefield and have the situational awareness to know when it’s time to move. Falcon’s are for chessmasters, not checker players.

Falcons are extremely vulnerable on their own. With no tank, minimal DPS and no drone bay, there are many ways to get a Falcon pilot to leave the battlefield, denying his force multiplier effect to your OPFOR. Bring your own Falcon or have a cruiser with combat probes ready to drop 1 short range probe, establish a warp in and insta-pop the Falcon or send an interceptor with a flight of Warrior II’s assigned out to the Falcon or warp your own set of anti-Falcon snipers into the fight after the Falcon is revealed or fit an ECCM module. Being ready to counter Falcons requires preparation and planning, but it is not impossible. It’s for chessmasters, not checker players.

And even if the foregoing wasn’t true, the proposed changes will not have the desired result.

To balance things out, Falcons will lose the range advantage, but will get more jam strength, more tank, more agility and more DPS.

And the checker players _like_ this?

Instead of reducing the number of Falcon pilots flying in small gangs, this will actually increase their proportionate representation. If you increase my jam strength 25%, then the number of jammers I need to be ready to apply to a representative battleship target to have a 94% probability of a successful jam drops from 3 modules to 2. So, 94% of the time my 6 jammer set up can service 3 battleship targets now, instead of just 2. What about cruisers and HAC’s? 1 jammer need now for 93% probability of success instead of 2.

Does this sound like a nerf to you?

For those that think that Falcons are overpowered in their effectiveness, I’d suggest you support a combination of the following easy changes:

1. Shorten the jam cycle
2. Reduce the base strength of all jammer modules by 10%
3. Reduce the optimal range bonuses by 5KM per level
4. Introduce scripts to Signal Distortion Amplifiers, 1 for optimal, 1 for strength

The results would bring Falcons closer to the fight and with a lowered probability of success. That is what you want, right?



WTM said...

Some good analysis there, and I like your proposed solutions

Tony "EVE's Weekend Warrior" said...

LOL good points!