Posts Tagged ‘ dominion ’

Thoughts on Dominion

Last week I posted a fairly negative review of Dominion, as I felt that it was not fully ready for release, particularly with respect to its nullsec changes (sovereignty and capital/supercapital issues). Despite this, Dominion was still released yesterday. Here are my thoughts thus far.

The Fleet Finder

The Fleet Finder has dramatically improved fleet functionality. Broadcasts work better, there are new abilities such as loot logging, automatic re-joining of a fleet after getting disconnected works, and locating members is much easier. The new fleet interface also allows you to see your fleet mates’ ships, locations, and leadership skills:

As you may know, the fleet finder now allows you to place an “advertisement” for your fleet to allow others to find it. This worked a bit..differently from what I had expected. Attempting to make my fleet available to an out-of-corp buddy, I set it open to all people with standings above 5.0 with me (I had him set blue). However, since my corp had blued Proviblock (to make it easier to distinguish NRDS guys in nullsec from, say, U’K), my fleet ended up open to all of Proviblock. I did not even realize this until I was told by several bloggers in-game that they could see my fleet. So if you are using the fleet tool, be very careful when setting who your fleet is open to.

Graphics

The new planets, moons, and stars do look very nice, but after about thirty minutes, I had already forgotten about the changes. The other new Dominion changes seem more important to me than the graphics. The new mega pulse laser graphics do look better than the old one, however.

Evemail

The new mail interface is far better than the old Evemail. However, because of the fact that you no longer have corp and mailing list mails in a separate tab, you must use labels, or you will be overwhelmed by the jumble of mails in your inbox. I only wish that Evemail threaded conversations like Gmail does; currently you need to manually label your replies.

Jukebox

Personally I do not care at all about the ability to import playlists (right click on the Jukebox in the Neocom to do so), as I would rather just use iTunes (where my music is already sorted, rated, etc). The filepaths do not work properly on the Mac, so a fix is here. A word of caution (from a corp mate) concerning the jukebox: Do not attempt to import 10k mp3 files at once.

In-game Browser

Although the browser is now actually usable, I still use my out-of-game browser (Firefox), as the in-game browser does not sync bookmarks, does not support extensions, and does not work with bookmarklets. Of course, many others do use the in-game browser now; this may bring about an increase in the number of fap kills.

Faction Ships

I have not gotten the opportunity to fly any of the new/tweaked faction ships yet, but some mates have told me that certain ones (e.g. Cynabal) are really epic now. There have been some complaints about empire faction battleships being worse than pirate faction battleships, but that is not an issue because empire faction battleships are far cheaper than pirate faction battleships (less than half the price) and thus should not be as good. Of course, some faction ships still need rebalancing (for example, the majority of empire faction cruisers are absolutely useless (Navy Osprey, Navy Augorer, Navy Scythe, etc).

Self-Destruction

Self-destruction still needs a change: if a ship is under attack and self-destructs, the attackers should get some sort of killmail. Or at the very least, the self-destruction notification message should be more visible (e.g. a red countdown timer under the ship’s bracket). Several times I have not even realized that a ship was self-destructing because my combat notifications hid the destruction countdown notification.

Alliance Mechanisms

Alliance creation/disbanding mechanisms should have been changed in Dominion; I cannot understand why CCP would not make it an ultra high priority issue. For example, while playing with the alliance creation controls, fellow blogger Escoce accidentally created an alliance (and thereby lost a billion ISK) due to a lack of confirmation dialogs. This could have been easily prevented using a method similar to my KOS space warning message proposal. And the alliance closing controls still have not been changed, even after the CVA fiasco.

Supercapital Ships

Motherships have not received any buffs in Dominion, and are thus essentially useless. However, the new Titans seem fairly effective for driveby shootings, as they can instapop any ship in the game. Stationcamping Chimera kill. Rorqual kill. Naglfar kill (the fitting seems to indicate the pilot’s dislike of the Naglfar’s new bonuses :P). Phoenix kill.

Sovereignty

This topic was one of the main reasons I wanted Dominion to be delayed, and it still needs significant tweaking. For example, infrastructure hubs are enormous and only fit inside T1 freighters (not jump freighters). This makes it very, very difficult for any alliance without direct highsec access to make upgrades to their systems (like this battle). The full effect of the sovereignty changes will not be seen until the seven-day transition period expires, but Razor and Wildly Inappropriate have already lost a large number of systems (freighter train slaughter).

The new map options are pretty though:

Conclusion

Overall, I feel that Dominion did introduce some very nice features, but high-priority ones have been either neglected or poorly implemented. Motherships are useless, dreadnoughts are terribly imbalanced, and sovereignty is problematic.

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Dominion: Disaster Imminent

As you probably know, Dominion is set to arrive in less than two weeks (December 1). However, as much as fresh content and changes excite me, I believe that the release should be delayed. Here’s why:

When the preliminary ideas for the expansion were initially shown at the FanFest and shortly thereafter, I was quite optimistic about Dominion. The push to make nullsec more accessible yet simultaneously more volatile, the new roles for supercapitals, the revamped faction ships, improved graphical eye candy, and functional in-game browser all excited me.

But as the months passed and the release date for Dominion neared, CCP still only had vague ideas of what the actual changes would entail. For example, a mere four months before Dominion, the dev blog posts on the upcoming sovereignty changes displayed great ambiguity. It was not until a month before potentially game-upheaving changes that the devs gave any indication as to what the changes would actually be like. And that dev blog post created an uproar among the Eve player base, as calculated costs would exceed several billion ISK per month per system. The prices were hastily adjusted, but suddenly Dominion seemed a bit less bright and a bit more unstable.

Then twelve days before Dominion, CCP made major changes to the behavior of all capital ships. This dramatic change was not only unexpected but also quite disturbing. Once again, those affected by the change protested (CCP somehow managed to get sworn enemies such as IT (ex-BoB) and GoonSwarm to unite on something). The dev blog not only reversed months of planning and testing, but it also displayed a complete lack of knowledge about capital ship warfare. Take these two statements from the dev blog: “Capital ship fights rarely if ever happen at short distances” and “The explosion velocity is slightly higher than that of the Citadel Cruise Missiles which means target painters will have to be utilized in many situations to achieve full damage potential.” Both are completely wrong. Capital fights do indeed occur at close ranges, and target painters do not work on supercapitals, POS modules, sieged dreads, and trianged carriers. And those are just two of the issues with the dev blog.

So what should be done? With ten days to go, implementing half-baked changes would be a terrible mistake. Dominion needs to be postponed, at least until the end of December, or there will be tremendous instability in nullsec (and thus the rest of Eve). And do not be fooled, these changes will not affect only nullsec dwellers. Wherever you are, you will be affected.

Dominion – What Hath CCP Wrought?

Today was faction ship test day on Singularity.

An hour before the test was set to begin, I tried to log in to Singularity from the Mac client. It failed. I checked the forums, and found that Macs currently don’t play well with Singularity. It’s a Windows-only world in there (and perhaps some Linux). So I booted into my Windows XP partition – and once again the patch failed, as I kept getting a BITS error. I googled BITS and tried various system tweaks to start/restart the service, clear the queue, etc. Then I saw this on the forums. The alternative patch supplied there worked perfectly, and soon I was in Singularity.

After much confusion involving me fruitlessly searching contracts, logging in and out, and undocking and redocking, I finally found out that I was actually supposed to REDEEM the ships. Wala! I now had 10x of every faction ship in the game.

[ 2009.09.18 18:34:52 ] (info) You have successfully redeemed the following item(s):
Republic Fleet Firetail x 10
Worm x 10
Bhaalgorn x 10
Vexor Navy Issue x 10
Cynabal x 10
Omen Navy Issue x 10
Scorpion Navy Issue x 10
Caracal Navy Issue x 10
Ashimmu x 10
Typhoon Fleet Issue x 10
Succubus x 10
Daredevil x 10
Augoror Navy Issue x 10
Imperial Navy Slicer x 10
Vindicator x 10
Osprey Navy Issue x 10
Cruor x 10
Exequror Navy Issue x 10
Scythe Fleet Issue x 10
Rattlesnake x 10
Nightmare x 10
Megathron Navy Issue x 10
Vigilant x 10
Caldari Navy Hookbill x 10
Apocalypse Navy Issue x 10
Machariel x 10
Federation Navy Comet x 10
Stabber Fleet Issue x 10
Gila x 10
Phantasm x 10
Dominix Navy Issue x 10
Dramiel x 10
Tempest Fleet Issue x 10
Armageddon Navy Issue x 10
Raven Navy Issue x 10

Salivating, I attempted to take a screenshot of all the pretty ships in my hangar. But then I realized I was on the Windows partition, and my MacBook (laptop) doesn’t have a Windows printscreen key (so bear with my wall of text; I will have a screen capture tool for the supercapital test).

I hopped into an Armageddon Navy Issue (don’t have skills to fly the other faction battleships well) and started fitting Mega Pulse Lasers. But just as I was in the process of dragging a laser onto the ship, I was suddenly transported by the all-powerful devs to a class 6 wormhole system. Apparently many others found themselves in the same situation as I did; local and fleet comms flooded with complaints about unfitted ships. At first, I considered myself slightly luckier than those folksĀ  – guns are all I need for pewpew happiness, right? Wrong. I realized I had no frequency crystals. I was about as useful (or useless) as a very unfortunate capsuleer who was teleported in a Charon (a freighter).

As soon as all of our 100-man fleet were in wspace, CCP Weirdfish warped us – not into an enemy fleet (CCP divided us into 5 fleets), but into a Sleeper site. Carnage ensued. Faction ships (we had faction frigates and cruisers as well) nearly instapopped as they arrived, overwhelmed by Sleeper DPS. Within a minute, half of our fleet was space garbage. But those in our fleet with both guns and ammunition finally managed to kill the Sleepers, upon which we were all magically yanked back into known space. As a consolation for our losses, CCP allowed us to defeat some CONCORD ships that spawned on us:

[ 2009.09.18 19:42:29 ] (info) You win , Have some cake

Taking advantage of the lull in activities, I quickly docked at the nearest station and fitted out my ship. We then started fighting a capital and supercapital fleet in a belt. I started shooting the primary, a Nyx, when my overview started flashing with a lock warning from…a Leviathan. I was admiring the massive Titan floating 30 km away from me when suddenly my screen went nearly pure white. I zoomed out a bit to see if my display was just bugging out. It wasn’t. My ship was simply engulfed in a huge white…explosion (like a multifrequency laser x 100). As far as I could tell, there was no beam or torpedo or anything showing who or what was hitting me. But the only ship with a red lock on me was the Leviathan, and the explosion seemed to occur every 30 seconds… I may be wrong, but I think it was the new Titan death ray (how else do you explain it? I wish I had screenshots :( ). The only puzzling aspect is that I never took damage from it – is it simply not fully implemented, or is the death ray only harmful to capital ships? The answer to that question could greatly affect the Titan’s new role.

Now that the Singularity festivities are over, I feel compelled to add my 0.02 ISK about Dominion (I have been avoiding blogging about it due to all the excellent coverage it has already been getting from other Eve bloggers):

  • The faction ships are absolutely wonderful. Tier 1 faction battleships will be as deadly and fearsome as faction ships should be. The tweaked faction pirate ships will be formidable opponents, possessing various specialized bonuses.
  • The new Supercarrier class seems to be far more useful and attractive than the neglected Mothership class ever was.
  • The Titan weaponry and HP tweaks drag it back into the realm of capital ships. Previously, unlike dreadnoughts, carriers, and motherships, it was used as a weapon against subcapital ships. But perhaps now it can finally be used for solo PVP. :P
  • Sovereignty changes are titillating. It will become far more volatile than it currently is due to sovereignty being easier to break. That means no more influence maps looking like this, more space for new alliances, and more incentive to develop space.
  • The new in-game browser actually works.
  • Planets look epic (and they may look even more epic than that!)
  • 11% NPC corp tax to encourage players to join player corps.
  • A new fleet finder tool in the bar on the left brings up a list of active corporation and alliance fleets and enables you to join them.

Apocrypha brought us 2,400 wormhole systems, Sleepers, T3 cruisers, the skill queue, attribute remapping, epic arc missions, better graphics (albeit at the cost of the classic client), more informative ship fitting screen, and a stealth bomber overhaul. And it seems that Dominion won’t disappoint either.

TL’DR version: Dominion ROCKS.