Friday evening I was sitting around playing Minecraft when the call went out for a Harpy fleet forming up in YA0-XJ. Having been somewhat delinquent this month on fleet ops, I decided I had the time, so I logged on, jumped my clone to the staging system, grabbed one of my pile of Harpy frigates (I seem to buy one on every deployment and subsequently fly it home safely) and joined the fleet.
I was late in joining all the same and, while they were pushing for people to mount Entosis Link modules on their ships, I let that slide in order just to get in and undocked and ready to go.
As it turned out my skipping on the Entosis Link module turned out to be a good thing as we were headed to the west end of Pure Blind to take sovereignty from my alliance, TNT. I mentioned this last week as an illustration of UAxDEATH Fozzie Sov gripes, the inability to transfer sovereignty.
The ability to transfer or surrender sovereignty was a feature of Dominion sovereignty system that was omitted from Fozzie Sov. This was allegedly done to making cooperation between alliances more difficult so as to atomize null sec further into discrete organizations.
However, given the long standing relationships that exist in null sec, what it ends up meaning is just some extra work to move sovereignty from one alliance to another. So there I was in a fleet attacking the sovereignty of my own alliance. And I couldn’t use an Entosis Link module to help because I was literally the one person in the area who would be defending that sovereignty if I tried.
I said in the fleet channel as a joke that I was conflicted, being there taking our own sov, but that at least I was excused from lingering about on a node with that link running through a warmup cycle and then to slowly burn it down.
We didn’t face much in the way of opposition. A lone neutral in a Svipul flew about and managed to take down a couple of ships before heading elsewhere, and a gang from Mercenary Coalition showed up and got enough of a bloody nose on a gate in Y-C3EQ in an exchange of kills to convince them to head elsewhere, after which we were pretty much left in peace to finish up. Mordus Angels were too busy hunting ratters to oppose our rather under strength fleet.
I felt a bit bad about the time it took to take KU5R-W, as I had been in there ratting a couple weeks back in order to raise the activity defense multiplier (ADM), which boosts the amount of time that Entosis Links have to run in order to take a module.
This was the first of a number of fleets that managed to turn the sovereignty in a dozen and a half systems in the west of Pure Blind, so the map now looks like this.
You can see that Mordus Angels managed to get in and take the Territorial Claim Unit (but not the infrastructure hub) in Y-C3EQ. It took them about two days of trying, as you can see that system was no longer held by TNT as of my post last week. That system becomes vulnerable later today and I would be surprised if it was still belong to them by this time tomorrow.
So that was part of the cycle of the weekend, fleets being sent out to move sovereignty from one alliance to another. And all the while people bitched and moaned about Fozzie Sov.
Those were minor gripes in general, as The Imperium isn’t really suffering that much under Fozzie Sov. Mining and Ratting fleets are going out and getting participation links for helping to raise ADMs around our territory and we are only really facing any attempts to take our sovereignty in Pure Blind, where nobody lives currently. (The Section 8 project should hopefully change that.) I mean Mordus Angels live closer to some systems in Tribute than to Y-C3EQ, but you don’t see them on the map there.
So the main thing complaints were about not getting fights or how under Dominion sovereignty we used to at least get a kill mail for SBUs, ihubs, and the like and how we have to hit so many damn nodes even when there is no opposition.
Now we just deploy the Fozzie Lasers and hang out and chat most times. You can argue about the validity of kill mails, but being on the kill mail was the participation link equivalent for people who were in null sec before a certain date. (A group which includes me. I’m like a null sec veteran now or something!) It was as much a marker to prove you were there as anything. Now we get nothing if nobody shows up to fight us… well, we get a participation link, but that isn’t as much fun.
In that light Mordus Angels probably did us more harm by not showing up.
But our minor gripes are nothing compared to what I hear is going on elsewhere in null sec.
The Timer Board site continues to show a couple hundred systems in play every time I check it. There is UAxDEATH’s petition, which was followed up by a combined Russian operation… they put aside their differences for this, which is something of an accomplishment… to burn Jita in protest. I heard this yesterday in our corp channel and I see The Nosy Gamer has some coverage of the event, so you can go there for that. Somebody was making Incarna discontent comparisons, though I am not sure we are there just yet. If nothing else, this has been a much slower burn.
But there was last week’s town hall meeting which was supposed to be about Phoebe jump fatigue, but which turned into a rather pointed reminder that regardless of how many systems are in play, how many Entosis Links are running, and how many little skirmishes are happening, that those numbers do not equate to happiness with the new system.
This led to a discussion on The Meta Show on Saturday (link to the YouTube page for the show archives, though the show in question wasn’t up yet as of this moment) where The Mittani managed not to be too smug that The Imperium was hurting less for all its preparations and summed up what The Imperium think tank thought were the best suggestions so far to change Fozzie Sov for the better without gutting it or going back to Dominion sovereignty. (Or even pre-Dominion, something being suggested by the rose-colored glasses crew who pine for the days of The Great War and such.)
I was actually home and listened to the show live (while playing Minecraft, a message in that I am sure) and my summation of the suggestions is:
- Reduce the number of nodes spawned
Basically, why do we have to hit so many nodes, scattered about a constellation, in order to take a single objective in a single system? (See that screen shot above.) Less nodes seems viable, though there was also a suggestion of something like a “First to 5, win by 2” sort of system to keep this from being such a slog when unopposed while still allowing an active defense to drag things out.
- Have nodes degrade over time
This was one that related directly to UAxDEATH’s petition. In previous versions of sovereignty, if somebody hit your TCU and set a timer, then didn’t bother to follow up and attack it when it became vulnerable, the TCU (or ihub or station) would “heal” itself and eventually the window of vulnerability would close and the attackers would have to start over again setting the first timer. As it stand now, the defender has to go out and run Entosis Link modules on nodes in order to reset what was done. I am all for active defense, but this can quickly become annoying busy work.
- Limit Entosis Link modules to battlecruisers or better
Another one that has been mentioned before. Basically, the modus operandi of some small groups is to hit modules with an interceptor or even a cruiser with an over-size propulsion module and, if anybody shows up, just to burn off, cloak up, then wait for another opportunity. Limiting the modules to battlecruisers and battleships could stop that, forcing people to more fully commit to an entosis operation, as well as putting battlecruisers and battleships back in play. Of course, with a micro jump drive fit, I suppose trolling is still an option, though at least that would be a bit easier to catch than an interceptor.
- Clear jump fatigue when you jump into you alliance capital system
This was the item highlighted by our pretty-quite-of-late CSM member Endie, the idea here being that, if jumping into your alliance capital cleared your jump fatigue, then people would be more inclined to stay centered on the capital and feel free to move a jump or two from there without having to worry about contracting a couple of weeks of jump fatigue, or “space AIDS” as it has become commonly known. This would favor defense of nearby systems without unleashing the free ranging capital fleets that used to flit around New Eden pre-Phoebe.
All in all, I think those sound reasonable. But I also have the line member’s view of things, and will not claim I can see all the strategic implications. I would add in some sort of sovereignty transfer, or at least sovereignty surrender, system to the mix, but that might just be me grumbling about having to be in a fleet in order to help people take sovereignty from my own alliance.
Currently nothing about Fozzie Sov is on the list for the August 25th Galatea release, which seems heavily focused on cosmetic items at this point (new Domi model, new skins, new clothes, new doomsday effects, and allowing the camera to stay on your target so you can watch it blow up after a kill) and something about remote reps. But maybe all the talk will get some Fozzie Sov changes on the table for the next release.
Anyway, at least TNT is almost out of Pure Blind. That can be somebody else’s problem soon.
Addendum – This being the subject du jure, others have their own critiques and proposals. Time to collect a few links I think:
Addendum: And then CCP announced these changes, some of which sound familiar.