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This morning when I woke up, I noticed that Lazerhawks was unanchoring their keepstars. For those unfamiliar with recent events, yes this is a big deal. Hard Knocks a wormhole group just like Lazerhawks came under siege by The Initiative and Goonswarm Federation. The objective of this siege was to kill the keepstar in Hard Knocks home wormhole known as Rage.

 

Now things die all the time in EVE, and it is part of the vicious cycle of destruction we all “mostly” seem to enjoy. But what is remarkable about these events is how they unfolded, and what preceded them. Let me start with a few things that preceded them. The past few months a whole host of armed keepstars have been destroyed by the same entities. Goonswarm Federation and its associated alliances have been able to kill a whole host of keepstars with relative ease. Of course, it required planning and manpower. And Goonswarm and its associates should be celebrated for their hard work. But the relative ease does make one wonder.

 

With ease, I, of course, mean a groups inability to defend them. The keepstar is supposed to be a space station of terrible destruction. A force multiplier if the battle takes place over it. But with all things EVE online, things do not always work out as intended. If one can have a mobile weapons platform and keep it out of range from the keepstar, you can attack the keepstar with impunity. Then if you vastly outnumber the defending side, they can never form a fleet big enough to defend it. And the keepstar will end up as a sweet killmail you can be proud of generating. An example of this would be the anchoring of the H-5 keepstar by Northern Coalition. However, is it really an accomplishment? As it stands now, one single group determines who is allowed to own a keepstar. No one else has the numerical support to defend a keepstar. Because of that, many groups will never consider owning a keepstar, or if they own a keepstar abandon it upon an assault. A clear example of this is the Hard Knocks keepstar, and the unanchoring keepstars owned by Lazerhawks. They rather unanchor those then fight for them in a future conflict.

 

Goonswarm Federation and its associated alliances cannot be blamed for this. The game is considerably in favor of numerical forces. Recent balance passes made sure that fighting outnumbered slowly became a thing of the past. The addition of skill injectors made it that everyone can catch up to high SP doctrines in a short amount of time. Making superior SP also less of a deciding factor in how EVE wars are won and fought.

 

As it now stands, one group decides who gets to play with keepstars. Not only because they are numerically superior. But also because of the keepstar own deficiencies. A keepstar should act as a force multiplier for numerically inferior forces. Of course, this will mean it also acts as a force multiplier for larger groups who already own one. But as it stands the keepstar is nothing more than a housing for supercapitals. That one group decides if someone else can use or not.

 

It is up to CCP games to decide if this is desirable. But a large portion of the player base is denied access to a keepstar purely on the basis that they are severely underpowered. And can be attacked with impunity by staying out of its range. With for instance the long-range mobile platform like the notorious boosh raven doctrine. In the past, we said that citadels where to oppressive and we would not fight on its grid. But being able to snipe a structure out of its range is just bad game design in my opinion.

 

If the option to abandon a structure is more enticing then to fight over it. Then something is wrong. It is not fun for the attacking side. It is not enjoyable for the defending side. Citadels and especially something as expensive as a keepstar needs to provide to the battlefield in a more meaningful way.

 

All I can say further is CCP, look at the game, you should have noticed by now that this needs adjusting. Be proactive about balancing not reactive.

20 Comments

  1. Your post deserve to be pronounce, impressive. I had no trouble reading through the content. The good thing is I have learned something new today! Cheers…

    December 19, 2018 at 06:36 Reply
  2. a keepstar builder

    nice topic, but keepstars arent expensive, they are litterly throw away stations these days.

    December 19, 2018 at 09:25 Reply
  3. lunchreader

    Keepstars, all new stations in fact are a joke in terms of defense… The POS were already lacking some punch, now we have a very low defensive platform, like a huge hangar with tiny defense. And yes having things capable of sniping out of range is bullshit. The attacker must loose on attacking. In most games (and IRL), the attacker always suffer losses to take something, sometimes more than the defender. This is clearly missing in the currently broken station game. Even back in 2006-7 when POS spamming was the only way, never a BS fleet would have come intact of a fight with a POS. Already we were complaining it could kill more. Now we are more than ten years later and it kills even less…

    December 19, 2018 at 11:29 Reply
  4. Punky260

    Good post. You have a fair point, although I don’t fully agree.
    First of all, it’s not the sheer numbers that decide a fight. It is just the question if you can keep up the necessary dps to kill the structure.
    This accounts for Keepstars as well as Raitarus, Fortizars or any other Upwell structure. And I totally agree, that this is a design flaw. There needs to be a counter-tactic like repairing or otherwise supporting the structure itself.
    Right now you can only make the structure live, if you can counter the dps of the agressor, which is hard if there is a 3G Raven fleet or for example a supercapital fleet applying it.
    The counters to those are very hard/specific and don’t really embrace a diverse meta – or even trying to fight against these.

    In summary it is bad that the structures are limiting gameplay harder than they should. On the other hand, it is also sad hard easy people give up and roll over.

    December 19, 2018 at 13:28 Reply
  5. Truth

    Simple. Give Citadels and ‘Effect Modules’ with a 300km range than can be combined and replace any other Citadel module. Give them a 15-30 minute on-lining penalty
    Resist bonuses or debuffs.
    Weapon buffs or debuffs.
    Here a penalty to missile flight-time or velocity would have been a fair counter.

    December 19, 2018 at 16:41 Reply
  6. Hmm

    Keeps stars should be a trillion isk. They are far too cheap and that’s why no one fights over them because they are literally throw away. Make them expensive and then people will fight over them and try to save them

    December 19, 2018 at 17:20 Reply
    1. Punky260

      … And nobody except the large blocs can place them. Doesn’t make much sense tbh.

      And also, where have you been the last year? Almost every big fight was about a Keepstar.

      December 20, 2018 at 12:48 Reply
  7. Voice of reason

    I realy enjoyed reading this article, it poses some interesting questions.

    The problem with keepstars is, that they are already a decent force multiplier. It gives a bubble of amazing support, a safe ‘dock’ in a fight, free repairs if you un-agress, some cool ‘weapons’ (although a bit lackluster). And perhaps not least: if the enemy wants to kill it, they have to dedicate 250 ravens, just to keep it from repairing!
    Problem is: if you want to use that power, you need to be willing to field a fleet(and risk losing it). Most keepstars killed by goons where hardly defended at all (other than fighters launching from the supers). Thus there was little to ‘multiply’.

    The problem with the boosh-ravens is a bit of a moot point. The range and damage is impressive, but with the cooldown on the booshes it should not be hard to counter. A few wel-timed bombruns, a pipe-bomb-style suicide fleet, or using your own magic-destroyers to push in the keepstars range. It just takes effort and some elite skill.

    The problem with ‘powering up’ the keepstars, is that it works both ways. If the keepstars would become more powerfull, it would also be harder to take a keepstar from ‘the goons’. giving even more power to a 3000 man fleet… scary!

    December 20, 2018 at 11:08 Reply
  8. Mentally challenged

    People complain about a 3000+ man fleet being able to kill a poorly defended keepstar.
    No shit! it should be easy. If defenders fail to mount a decent defence, why would that be a problem?

    With a 200+ man raven fleet out, you already have a 200 man advantage! add the other ‘small’ advantages a keepstar adds, and you are looking good.

    If you still can’t beat the attackers because you are a 1000 man behind. Perhaps you should start making some more friends.

    December 20, 2018 at 11:14 Reply
    1. Meshon

      I agree.
      If you outnumber the enemy by 2000 players you should be able to take it. And if people want to buff it to a point that this is not possible, they should rethink this. What should be the ‘tipping point’, 3000 players? 4000? most alliances could never field that many players. In that case, why not make completely invulnerable.

      The problem here is not the strenght of the keepstar, but thousands of people banding together under one banner, and nobody is willing to stand up and resist.

      If people are not willing to put up a fight for their assets. They don’t deserve them anyway!

      December 27, 2018 at 14:00 Reply
      1. Arthas

        The problem is the limited range. It`s ok an attacking fleet outnumbering the defenders to take it. But it would be fair to lose several ships in the process…

        December 29, 2018 at 02:43 Reply
  9. Josh Watkins

    All PL and NC Keepstars should be made 24/7/365 invulnerable… :). Once this change is implemented by CCP we will stop seeing retarded posts in Evenews.

    December 20, 2018 at 23:48 Reply
    1. Xandryll

      I agree. If you have won multiple Alliance Tournaments then all of your structures and titans should be invulnerable. Same with anyone who has blue standings to them.

      Being elite used to mean something… I’m gonna go play World of Warcraft again. I was raiding during wormhole eviction and I really needed that gear.

      December 21, 2018 at 16:59 Reply
  10. It won’t be long and keep stars won’t cost 240b but 50b for the things and spamming them will be the goal.

    December 21, 2018 at 02:51 Reply
  11. Some weird guy

    Ah, CFC… the new BOB who needs to be destroyed.

    December 21, 2018 at 21:32 Reply
  12. “… that this needs adjustin..” Adjusting what, why ?

    Equip keepstars with T6 equipment, let them fit all DDD high slots, give em chain lightning, mega-ultra-super shield, invull core that will last 5000 minutes, and that only – because its expensive ?!?

    Fortkknoks is down – deal with it, u ppl (ab)used it for years, and now ccp should “fix” the problem with keestars. There is no problem with keepstars, and they don’t need “fixing”.

    And laserducks … well rats know when is time to leave and change side.

    December 28, 2018 at 09:11 Reply
  13. The best people nature is to take time before they plan or write anything, this is a better way to express anything properly. And this is what i have found in your post.

    January 9, 2019 at 12:49 Reply
  14. You really are an intelligent person, your wordings kept me reading your whole post, I am trying my level best, one day i will become a blogger like you… Cheers!

    January 9, 2019 at 14:02 Reply
  15. Nal

    EvE online is broken in many ways, i left years ago. It’s at the apex of pay to win games/real money trading.

    January 10, 2019 at 20:57 Reply
  16. Great post, thanks.

    January 14, 2019 at 15:44 Reply

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