Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fanfest 2012 Impressions (Part 1?)

After a few days to process the info from various blogs, video streams and the interwebs at large, I think I have a grasp on Fanfest 2012:

Overall, I think the wardec revamp looks like a good starting point for iterations.  There is no ability for aggressors to retract poorly chosen targets, so I think we will see more selective targeting.  Giving defenders the ability to add support while denying this to attackers should also have the same results.  I am a bit worried about what happens to small corporations that cannot defend themselves.  Poetic has some thoughts on member-disparity based pricing, which may not be perfect, but provides disincentives for tremendously unequal conflicts.  My biggest fear is that small corps will still be "grief decced", as the 20-30 million range is still rather low to prevent organized griefers.

Centralized Killboard?  Yes please.  Crimewatch changes?  Yes please.  I am interested in what these will both actually come out as, but the principles are good.  I would love to see more done to prevent station games, something like longer aggression timers at gates and stations, coupled with some sort of "station view" so pilots in stations can look out the damn windows.

Skill and Ship Balancing
These two topics are intertwined in my mind.  This also represents a huge minefield for CCP in regards to reimbursement.  Although I am not opposed to reworking the skill progression so that Destroyers and Battlecruisers are not "orphan" skills, I would rather see ship bonuses split into more categories.  Most ships have 2 or more bonuses, and require a racial hull skill.  I would rather see a generic hull skill at each level that opens up ships themselves, and racial hull skills unlocking the bonuses.  The same could be done for turrets/launchers.  This would allow more people to fly more ships before you specialize into the specific hulls and weapons systems you decide you like.

As for the ships themselves, CCP needs to tread carefully.  The tiers are an outmoded concept given the number of hulls in the game, but I have a suspicion that CCP needs to focus on buffing poor ships and not nerfing popular ships.  I think there is also a lot of room for freeing up restrictions on turret slots that could let players get more creative with fitting ships.  Powergrid, CPU and slot layout already dictate a lot of what we can do.  Is it necessary to keep odd turret/launcher restrictions in place?

Also, the ship role slides from the presentation looked like an odd mashup of Warhammer 40k unit types. While not necessarily a bad thing, dramatically redefining ship roles could cause space rage.

Dust 514
Hmm.  The game looks cool.  But the passive skill training of Eve does not seem like a good fit, especially when they already have over seven (!!!) years of skills to train.  In a free to play game based on instant-on PvP, this skill system misses the point.  Or it may be the greatest idea ever.  All I know is the market base for Dust is FPSers, who are a somewhat different breed from Eve-ers.  And the competition in the FPS market is much deeper than the spaceship MMORPG market.  Asking players to commit long term to a FTP game may be a mistake.  Also, PS3 exclusivity means a huge number of players are not coming to the Dust table.  For many players, Dust 514 will cost $250.  That's a lot of PC/Xbox/Wii games they could otherwise be buying and playing.

That's my first set of impressions.  I may have more to say about modules, industry and the drama of Fanfest after some more time to properly think about things.

No comments:

Post a Comment