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Retribution While I Slept December 4, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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Last night before I went to bed I made sure I had a nice long skill set.  A reminder came out over Jabber as I was checking, suggesting that people have at least a 4 day long skill training session queued up.

I also jumped myself to a clone in empire space… just to limit any potential surprises.  Plus, that is where my implants are, all the better to hasten training during the expected down time.

The Retribution expansion was set to hit EVE Online, and the old hands can all recall a time where that could mean a long stretch offline.  While “what goes up must come down” might be a truism, there is abundant evidence in the IT world that what goes down may never come up again.

Retribution - It's Green!

Retribution – It’s Green!

But I woke up this morning to find the expansion deployed and the game back up again.

Way to go CCP!  Look at you, an expansion deployed in just a few hours!

Now we only need the hot fixes for the inevitable issues and we will be good to go.

And so we have Retribution, the 18th “free” expansion for EVE Online.

I also like that CCP has to call out “free” every time them mention an expansion, as though there was a set of circumstances where they could charge for their expansions.  By charging, they would have to ensure that people could play without them, which doesn’t really seem viable in a sandbox where the players must drive the content.  Sure, CCP could cordon off things like factional warfare or wormhole space with a price tag, but why would they ever want to?  They are not really analogous to theme park “new zones” style expansions.  They are tools for the players to make fun.

So expansions in EVE are there to keep us subscribed by adding or enhancing those tools, not to try and wrench a little extra money out of us.  And Retribution is a prime example of the type.  Retribution features:

Not all of that is listed on the expansion page.  Oddly enough, CCP doesn’t like bragging about nerfs, so those are relegated to the patch notes.

There is a little bit in there for everybody, both good and bad.

The agony of defeat.

I am interested in the UI changes, since I contend that the original AI was conceived by somebody who wanted to punish players for daring to play their game.  Of course, those used to the old ways will grumble.  But there is some absolute good on the list. As I mentioned before, visible timers for things like aggression are a win all around.

I like some of the Crimewatch changes.  High sec space still won’t be safe, but it will be unsafe in new and interesting ways over time I bet, as players figure out the “never intended” aspects of the update.  In something of an irony, the Retribution trailer plays up the bounty hunting aspect of the expansion.

Yet bounty hunting has never really been effective in the game so far as I can tell.  It has always been too easy to just have a friend or an alt blow you up in a cheap ship, collect the bounty, and laugh at the system.  I am not sure how that has changed, but I also don’t pay much attention to that part of the game.  All in all, I think I preferred the silly Retribution ‘In Development” video which featured, among other things, what may be the only 1979 Mazda 929L in Iceland. (I used to pride myself on my ability to identify cars, a skill which peaked for me right around 1979.)

The ship rebalancing, new destroyers, and the new ORE frigate do not really touch me.  The only sub-battle cruiser ship I fly regularly is the Tengu, and I only rat in that.  And even the AI change won’t touch me, since I tend to do that solo or with Gaff, who flies an even better fit Tengu than my own, so AI switching targets doesn’t really mean anything.

The heavy missile nerf may sting.

  • Base flight time reduced by 35% (to 6.5 seconds) for tech1 variants
  • Base velocity increased by 14.6% (to 4300m/s)
  • Damage has been decreased by 10% (rounded to closest digit)
  • Explosion radius increased by 12%

I can launch heavy missiles from my Drake at ranges beyond my ability to target, so I can get people running away.  And my Tengu can put them out to 113km from my ship.  Or it could.  Damage is getting chopped, ability to harm smaller targets is taking a hit (explosion radius), and range is down 25%.  Jester went through all of the changes a while back, so you can read about this in more depth if you like.

On the plus side, the penalties for tech II missiles have been removed, so those are more viable in fleets.

Still, I am glad I just finished up my training plan to fly a tech II fit CFC fleet Rokh, which represented a large investment in gunnery skill points.  I don’t know that the day of the Drake is over.  It still has a mighty shield tank.  But how to use them as a fleet doctrine sounds like it will have to change again.

Anyway, I am sure by this weekend there will be a lot more opinions about what the changes really mean to players.  But first, we have to patch.  1.5GB?  Okay, maybe there was a good reason to put a long skill into the training queue after all.  I live in the land of slow DSL.

What do you think is good… or bad… about Retribution?

Comments»

1. Gaff - December 4, 2012

I switched to HAMs on my ratting boats to avoid all this nonsense.

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2. doyce - December 4, 2012

Bounties: What they do now is pay you 20% of the value of the hull you destroyed when you got the guy with the bounty on his head. It’s the same basic mechanic that pays pilots in Faction War loyalty points when they kill an enemy pilot.

That payment comes out of the total “Bounty Pool” on the guy’s head (or the pool of bounties on his head + his corp + his alliance), and the pool remains until all of it has been paid out, one kill at a time.

SO: in order to collect your own bounty, you’d have to blow up ships roughly equal in value to five times the total bounty on your head. All in all, pretty hard to game.

You’ll probably find out about how it works fairly soon if your corp or alliance is the sort to attract bounties. If an alliance has a bounty on it, any pilots from that alliance will award a bounty if someone kills them.

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3. Wilhelm Arcturus - December 4, 2012

@Gaff – I have ~100K Scourge Fury heavy missiles sitting in my hanger. I might want to shoot those off before refitting for HAMs. For the typical Guristas Forsaken Hub of grinding, range won’t matter much. The damage hit stings some, though the Tengu makes that up in volume.

@doyce – Thanks for clarifying. Still, I remain confident that the ever inventive EVE players will find some way to game the system.

The corp/alliance bounty thing might be fun though. I generally sit in null, where bounties are pretty meaningless. If anybody was going to shoot me, they’d have a few reasons before a bounty. Which accounts for my complete lack of attentiveness to the subject.

I suppose we will see if TNT, my alliance, attracts any bounties.

I bet GSF starts getting them.

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4. doyce - December 4, 2012

I would be astonished if GSF as a whole doesn’t have at least a trillion isk bounty running by the time I log in tonight.

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5. Anonymouse - December 4, 2012

Here we can see the difference between a true expansion and a maintenance release.

Retribution is just a glorified maintenance release, iterating on existing/broken content and lacking any dramatically new content (such as wormhole space), resulting in the much shorter downtime than for past “true” expansions.

On the one hand, this is good, because we can expect CCP to catch up on fixing old/existing minor bugs created in the past expansions, rather than creating a host of new major bugs in the new expansion.

On the other hand, the Retribution expansion is meh.

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6. Wilhelm Arcturus - December 4, 2012

@doyce – You would think. Then again, I see stuff like this:

GSF isn’t PL, but still.

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doyce - December 4, 2012

True, but the average high sec guy won’t have heard of PL (shocking, but true) — everyone’s heard of Goonswarm, though. You figure all those different guys who are willing to get a little payback for a scam a few years ago and will drop the minimum alliance bounty on GSF… all those 100 million isk bounties add up until you’re talking about real money.

I know at least one FW corp that was talking about putting a bounty on themselves to encourage people to fight them.

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7. Anonymouse - December 4, 2012

Shedding bounties, under the new system, is relatively simple.

Just join RvB and engage in casual, mutual PVP.

You don’t need to worry about being podded, and most of the players will happily scoop up any modules dropped by your wreck and return them to you. They will get the bounty and you can probably arrange to split it, or just collect any bounties they might have on them.

You lose the ship and half your modules anyways, but, now someone else is making up some of that loss by putting the bounty on you.

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8. Anonymouse - December 4, 2012

Also, the bounty goes to the “final blow” players.

So, an incredibly silly idea would be to have your one of your own fleet members put the final blow on you, when you get into low structure.

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doyce - December 4, 2012

It goes to final blow if, say, there’s 15 guys not in fleet all beating on the same guy.

If those 15 guys are in a fleet together, the reward (still just 20% of the value of the ship) is split.

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9. Wilhelm Arcturus - December 4, 2012

@Anonymouse – I thought I read that the bounties would be paid out relative to damage done rather than just to the person who puts in the final blow. Better go back and look.

Or I could just look up and see what doyce wrote and nod my head sagely.

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10. Anonymouse - December 4, 2012

If two fleets are smacking you, then it should go to the fleet that lays the final blow.

So, if that happens to be your own fleet, then you should get part of the bounty, too, along with your fleet mates.

Right or wrong?

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11. Anonymouse - December 4, 2012

The bounty is also split among all players who did damage, if the final blow is laid by Concord, or if you self-destruct your ship.

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doyce - December 4, 2012

Relevant:

* Bounty payout is now based on damage inflicted on the target.

BUT

* The bounty is paid to the character with the final blow.

AND

* A fleet that claims a bounty on a player, will now get paid for the bounty. The payout is split equally amongst the fleet members.

… so points 1 and 2 up there seem to kind of contradict one another. In any case, this:

* The payout is 20% of the loss value.

* Bounty is now claimed on anything that generates a Kill Report. This includes, ships, pods and structures.

I can honestly see bigger alliances putting bounties on their next objective, to give their fleets little payouts for structure bashes.

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12. Anders Johansson - December 5, 2012

Oh shit 1,5G this is going to take a while

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13. Anonymouse - December 5, 2012

Here you go, I knew someone would figure out an exploit:

From crime and punishment thread:
Bounty hunting loophole:

Step 1.) You place bounties on the heads of their highsec freighter gankers
Step 2.) They’re in the same fleet/corp and aggress each other
Step 3.) They gank your freighter
Step 4.) Concord ganks them
Step 5.) They receive isk for completing the bounties against each other
Step 6.) You’ve just gave them another means of profiting from your death

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