The Evolution of Fozzie Sov

Fozzie Sov has now been with us for about a month, hitting a week after the main Aegis expansion drop.

Actually, I understand that the preferred term at CCP is “Aegis Sov.” But the Reagan Administration preferred “Strategic Defense Initiative” and we all called it “Star Wars” because once something gets a snappy name it tends to stick.  Sorry CCP, we were calling it Fozzie sov long before we even knew there would be an Aegis expansion.  We could all pretend it is another Fozzie I guess.

Entosis link modules should go "Wocka Wocka Wocka!!"

Entosis link modules should go “Wocka Wocka Wocka!”

Ah well.

Reavers have already done a two test deployments to try out how things work behind enemy lines.  The Timer Board site shows a couple hundred null sec systems continue to remain in play at any given time.

Making the save

Making the save

This change to the status quo hasn’t been for everyone.  Just about two weeks back UAxDEATH posted a petition about Fozzie Sov in the forums.  When he posted it he, and those who endorsed the petition, were just some null sec alliance leaders.  Loud voices, but outsiders to the process none the less.

Since that petition was posted, UAxDEATH has since become a member of the CSM.  And, as we learned with the wormhole changes, members of the CSM appear to be able to exert some level of influence on CCP.  So maybe it is time to take a look at what UAxDEATH had to say.  The petition is as follows:

Introduction

We are the people of nullsec! Living for years in this epic and massively rich in conflict environment, we set aside our differences to join forces against destructive actions from CCP against sovereignty mechanics.

The new game mechanics, called by many fozziesov, turned out to be the greatest discrimination against nullsec dwellers in all of EVE Online history. This untested release shouldn’t build the platform for life in 0.0 for the most organized, united and active part of New Eden. Alliance leaders, who signed this statement, have collected enormous amount of proof that confirms this statement.
We, like no one else, can see that this release leads to stagnation in 0.0 and death to nullsec. Only in a short while since the release, we have collected a record amount of negative opinions about the new sov. We combined our strengths and analyzed, what does it mean to live in fozziesov for the nullsec people.

Our opinion is – this game mechanics needs to be tweaked and the shortest time possible.

Problems and suggestions

Problem: fozziesov in its current state critically reduces chances for large scale fights, fights that significantly separate EVE Online from its competitors. Large amount of spawned beacons, motivates sides to not engage, but to hunt down ships fitted with entosis link. In one of those cases, to defend off 2 structures players spent 6 hours of game time, most of which was spent jumping through gates and warping around in systems. Pilots who took part in all of this were rewarded with exhaustion and emptiness, instead of glory from being victorious and enjoyment from the overall process. Besides that, fleet commanding and fleet bonus structure took a hit as well. We want massive fights, not cockroach races.
Solution: reduction of beacons (nodes) , to about 1-3 per system, which are located next to a contested structure.

Problem: low skill requirement practically affirms harassment towards any sov owner. While new player harassment is subject to a support ticket. Roaming fleets or interceptors shouldn’t be able to affect sovereignty. The game mechanics shouldn’t be a tool to force exhausting actions upon players – a single ship can force entire alliance of players to take part in tiresome and hollow defence. Currently the entosis link module is a tool for trolls, not a key to sovereignty contest.
Solution: reduce the amount of tactics that create invulnerable situations, which are currently based on ship’s speed. Entosis module should reduce speed dramatically, up to 0 m/s.

Problem: CCP didn’t give the right interface tools for players to engage in sov-wars, every aspect of ever changing situation has to be memorized, written down somewhere and kept up to date. This results in quick exhaustion and aggravation towards the game instead of enjoyment.
Solution: introduction of a new sov window, similar to watchlist, that displays information about structures/nodes that are being defended or attacked using entosis module, with pilot’s nickname, solar system, structure id and progress.

Problem: fozziesov has a potential exploit in relation to Entosis Link II – using this module allows attackers to do a quick 2 minute cycle, which sets structure vulnerable, regardless of vulnerability period or until the status of vulnerable structure becomes known to its owner. Vulnerable structure can be noticed after a close inspection. This aspect of game mechanics negates vulnerability period.
Solution: remove vulnerability from such structures at the the end of the vulnerability period, but allow owners to entosis structure back up. If structure was partially attacked, it should be clearly visible.

Problem: structure that exits reinforce timer, doesn’t regenerate back, which in the old game mechanics served as a defensive mechanism against sov trolling. Attacked systems spam node beacons, which can last forever, which is discrimination against sovereignty owners – they must defend their space despite the fact that no one will show up to contest it.
Solution: a new type of status – defended. If the nodes are not being captured by any attackers during contested campaign for a period of time dependent of defence index, then structures change from contested to defended.

Problem: notifications about attack contain no useful information except the fact of aggression (and system). Solution to this should be inclusion of information about the system, structures and nicknames of attackers. Command node names are too long, which obstructs quick overview of the system nodes and forces to expand overview window to 1/4 of the screen, just to see the full list of nodes.
Solution: to use abbreviations TCU, iHUB, Station and remove “command” from the name.

Problem: in Dominion sov, alliances had means to transfer sov between them, however long and inconvenient it was. In the new sov, this ability was removed, which is ridiculous for a sci-fi game.
Solution: allow executor corporations to transfer remotely structures via listed sov structures context menu, similar in the way it is now with the customs offices.

Conclusion

Fozziesov is currently a long, exhausting and inconvenient sovereignty warfare model. Sovereignty is absolutely unprotected against sov trolling. This game mechanics stimulates unintended usage. This situation can no longer exist in its current state. We are highly determined and if all our demands and solutions are not addressed in a week’s time, we reserve the right to fight back for our game time and fun, which we were stripped off by the new game mechanics.

And so there it is.  There are fifteen alliances listed as endorsing this petition last I looked, though most are from the east of null where population density is low and thus sovereignty has been very much in play.  From The Imperium, only RAZOR has endorsed the petition, though they have always stood a bit apart from the rest of the coalition.

This, of course, generated the usual set of reactions, including one on Reddit that seemed to want to pin this all on The Imperium despite The Imperium not actually being present on the list, aside from RAZOR. (Translation of Reddit post to from MoA to English available here.)  The Imperium circled the wagons, reduces the space it held, and began recruiting new players in order to increase population density before Fozzie Sov hit… which is to say we actually did some prep beyond wishful thinking.

Certainly there are a few items on that list which do not generate much sympathy with me even when trying to give it the most charitable spin.  Things are different, adapt.  Harassment isn’t really that big of a deal if you live in your space, at least no more so than AFK cloaked ships. And wasn’t reducing the size of fights part of the reasoning behind the whole change?

Of course, the flip side of that last one is asking whether or not we are getting more interesting fights, which was also part of the reasoning.

But when we start getting to the UI elements… well, when has a 1.0 CCP UI ever been sufficient?  It is hard to argue with anything on that front.

And then we get to the grave oversight, the inability to transfer sovereignty between alliances.  This has lead to a strange situation in Pure Blind where, in order to hand over sovereignty from TNT to Goonswarm for their Section 8 project. There had been talk of just letting Mordus Angels take the sovereignty, then just taking it back from them.

Slowly changing from TNT to GSF

Slowly changing from TNT to GSF

That was difficult.  Actually, the taking back sovereignty wasn’t difficult at all.  They haven’t managed to hold a system longer than the minimum.  It was just hard to let them take systems.  To start with, they still seem to be mostly in the business of hunting down ratters in Imperium space.  But even when they are out there running their entosis links, it is tough not to shoot them.  hostile targets mean content, fleets go up and off we go.  It is a comedic situation where having active targets fights with our dependence on hostiles to swap sov.  So The Imperium is left attacking its own systems in order to hand over sovereignty.

Meanwhile CSM member Jayne Fillon also has a thread up in the forums asking for feedback on Fozzie Sov. (Where I also heard about the preferred term for it.)

And then, even as I am writing this there is a roundtable talk going on to discuss the whole jump fatigue question and whether or not that has changed things for the better since it was introduced back with Phoebe or if it should be revisited.  Corbexx has some thoughts initial thoughts.

So Aegis sov and related items still appear to be in flux… but then the game has always been in flux.  Change is in the nature of New Eden.

5 thoughts on “The Evolution of Fozzie Sov

  1. David Andrews (@proceduraldave)

    Aside from the bit about generating interesting fights (which does appear to carry some merit), the rest of UAxDeath’s litany of complaints appears to just be so many tears. Terms like ‘trolling’ and ‘unintended usage’ have always been mainstays of EVE Online, not exceptions. And comparing the harassment of sovereignty to the harassment of new players is so funny it’s sad.

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  2. anon

    I’m not an active player, but for what I follow it does seem that the “trench warfare to mobile armor” metaphor is appropriate to some extent. Many people seem to still be clinging to the biggest sledgehammer they managed to get a hold on from last era and are still trying to use it to solve every problem that arises.

    It is unlikely that the new sov is perfect, but it may not be the best response rushing to change it while a good portion of the users are still figuring out the whole meta inplications of it. Starting roundtables after six months of usage, like they are doing with the jump fatigue, seems a more reasonable approach.

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  3. in reply to anon

    I’ve been in a few of these sov fights. It’s not at all a case of some ‘mobile armor’ that everyone should evolve to. It just comes down to a few single interceptors or svipuls bouncing around trying to find and shoot the isolated defender entosis ships (if they can) and then running away if even one more ship shows up in the local list. No actual fighting occurs. Just a lot of travel for nothing. So feel free to bring a small gang. Or bring the big fleet. You’re still not going to actually do anything with your game time. For most the event the ‘hostile’ gang won’t even show up.

    Or, you know… you could swallow pride and admit you have a mining barge. Suddenly it takes almost hours to even start the event due to the defense multiplier. And the trollceptors troll themselves.

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  4. Telke

    The Roundtable was a big mess, and you’ll no doubt hear about it over the next few days. In my opinion the most well-written and reasonable summary is by Endie here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Eve/comments/3guqam/csm10_people_of_reddit_you_are_being_lied_to_endie/ GSF’s resident spymaster and CSM member.

    I’m of the opinion that with tweaks Aegis sov will be fine, since CCP have the knobs to tweak, but we’ll see if they are confident in using those knobs.

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  5. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Telke – Yeah, I was reading Endie’s post while on a break at the courthouse earlier today. Jury duty, such fun, but not as much fun as that roundtable appeared to be, with people wanting solutions while they waited I guess.

    Also, I had to make a correction in this post. I mistakenly had Fozzie Bear saying, “Wakka Wakka!” when, in fact, his trademark line is actually “Wocka Wocka Wocka!”

    “Wakka Wakka” is actually a B. Kliban reference, though not commonly used.

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