Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Burner Balance

Reading forums, it's apparent that there's some disappointment with Burners.

Now, it's the EVE community. There's going to be some whining and banging of pots and pans.  But, some of it struck a chord with me and put words to the feelings that I had rumbling around behind my brain.

Folks are saying that there's too much risk for too little reward.  They're saying that that they're too hard.  Or require a big shiny faction fit in order to be completed.

Overall, I think CCP hit pretty close to the mark.  Although some adjustment is probably warranted, I wouldn't do it just yet (let's collect more data), and I wouldn't make sweeping changes.  But I do think that they need to get the balance a nudge or two before cranking things up with Cruiser sized burners.

Things I like:

  • I like that burners are difficult.  
  • I like that they're making people think about their fits and affecting their skill queues.  
  • I like that there's a whole new strategy and tactics being developed for them (I saw the term "drop bait drones" being used as a means to break warp scram during an unsuccessful burner run and thought it was great, i.e. turning the AI's desire to murder drones against itself).  
  • I realize these are pretty high level, conceptual bullet points, but all in all, I'm reasonably happy.  All in all, Burners are pretty cool.

Things that Suck:

  • I wish that we'd drop from warp a little further from the target, to try to get our bearings before being instalocked and ganked.  Either add some distance or turn down the npc's lock time a bit.
  • Balance is tricky, but the current setup yields a little bit of rock-paper-scissors(-lizard-spock).  Each burner is designed with obvious counters, meaning that a relatively narrow range of ships will be successful.  Youtube is yielding a surprising number of different setups for some of the flavors, but given the number of frigates in the game, we're using far too few of them on Burners.
  • Balancing around overheated faction webs kinda sucks.  A near mandatory ~95M isk investment is poopy.  Wish Mr. Sansha's orbit range was 10km instead of 15km, for instance (even a 12km orbit would let me do it with meta4 and an off grid booster).
  • Once you drop from warp, it's very much about getting all the right buttons mashed to facilitate a kill.  Once guns are firing and modules are blinking appropriately, there's not much to do but wait for the eventual success or fail.  If CCP /really/ wanted to make things interesting, the AI would get smarter and do things like random orbit ranges and other maneuvering switchups that would make you react during the fight.
  • It's over too soon.  More on this in the next post.

Some of this goes away if CCP would say the words "Burners aren't meant to be solo'd."  But I don't think they should balance around a gang fight.  The solo frigate fight is the classic duel, and emulating that experience in a lvl4 just kinda feels right.  If they can get the balance right, it goes a long ways towards having a future in PVE, /and/ as a stepping stone to train future PVPers.

Anyway, with 1 week in game, that's my opinion on Burner Balance.  Sometime soon (maybe even tomorrow), I'll chat a bit about how the concept could be extended in future patches.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Alpha State

"Everything that has a beginning has an end."  That's one of my favorite quotes from the Matrix 2.  It has to do with the ...