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Dev Blog: Deciphering Tiericide

June 12, 2020

Dear Capsuleers,

Since the Tiericide efforts have been revived this year, it was deemed appropriate to remind old players and to introduce new players to what this process is about, so here is an update.

WHAT IS TIERICIDE?

“Tiericide” is the name given to the process of balancing ships and modules, revamping them so that they fit into distinguishable specializations rather than simple power tiers. The goal of this process is to ensure that the options are more meaningful and apparent, making it easier for a player to discover and to pick the ship or module they want, depending on its role, power, requirements and price.

The Rebalancing EVE, One Module at a Time dev blog is recommended for some background information.

When a module group receives the Tiericide pass, you can expect the following:

  • Specific roles for some modules
  • Clear progression from low-end to high-end modules
  • Apparent naming convention indicating the role and power of the modules
  • Removal or consolidation of modules where no meaningful variation exists

To show what “changing the values in DB” entails for a module Tiericide, let’s take an example of what gets done.

First, the whole module group gets looked at in order to identify the primary and secondary attributes, usage, quantities in game, prices, and the attribute patterns and extremes. At this point it is decided which modules should be removed, or whether some new ones need to be added, and what the module power progression should look like. For most module groups, the progression isn’t just a singular line, but rather there are progression “bands” separating the group into sub-groups focused on different attributes. The main power progression indicator is the Meta Level. Some modules might have their Meta Level adjusted to represent their power level, while others might have their attributes adjusted to match the Meta Level they are on. Sometimes it’s both.

At this stage it is also decided whether there’s a need to change the names of particular modules or that of the whole group. Renaming modules is usually the most controversial part as it always affects some players negatively. There is always an effort made to find the correct balance between making the names more helpful and preserving some historical flavor elements, in order to appeal to as many players as possible.

A recent example is the Armor Hardeners group. Its analysis and design went as follows.

Armor Hardeners are divided into the following groups:

  • Included in this balance pass:
    • EM Armor Hardeners
    • Explosive Armor Hardeners
    • Kinetic Armor Hardeners
    • Thermal Armor Hardeners
  • Not included in this balance pass:
    • Reactive Armor Hardeners (only one module type)
    • Scriptable Armor Hardeners (Capital Flex Armor Hardeners)

Each of the damage-specific groups is divided into Meta Levels indicating power progression.

  • The primary attribute for the hardeners is the damage resistance bonus.
    • The calculations for progression purposes will take into account the fact that the value of the resistance module bonus is not added directly to the ship resistances, but rather it proportionally increases the resistance by reducing the difference between the current resistance and 100% resistance by a given percentage. One module is better than the other by the amount of the damage reduction, not by how big the difference is in the resistance bonus they provide. For example, -88% bonus is not 8%, nor 10% better than -80% bonus. It is 40% better as the better module reduces the remaining incoming damage of the weaker module by 40% (1 – 0.8 = 0.2; 1 – 0.88 = 0.12; (0.2 – 0.12) / 0.2 = 40%). As the base value for comparing all modules damage resistance bonus, the Meta Level 0 – Tech I module (-40%) is taken.

Named (Meta Level 1) modules

  • The following specializations for named modules have been established:
    • Ample – Used for named modules that specialize in extra capacity
    • Compact – Used for named modules that specialize in reduced fitting cost
    • Enduring – Used for named modules that specialize in lower cap use or otherwise longer running time
    • Restrained – Used for named modules that specialize in reduced drawbacks
    • Scoped – Used for named modules that specialize in longer range
    • Upgraded – Used for named modules where no specialization is possible (used sparingly for modules with few effects)
    • Precise – Used for named modules that specialize in better tracking
  • Armor Hardeners are active modules activated on self, providing one bonus and no drawbacks, and not requiring charges. This leaves two named (Meta Level 1) module variations: one with the Fitting specialization and one with the Usage specialization.
    • Fitting: all Armor Hardeners require only 1MW of Powergrid and this won’t be changed. The CPU varies and it will be adjusted where necessary to create the Compact specialization.
      • Current Prototype type will become Prototype Compact. Current Limited is the one with lower CPU requirements, so it will be merged into Compact to avoid unnecessary issues with over-fitting for ships currently fitted with this module.
    • Usage: Activation cost and Duration should be combined here to get the actual Usage. This is because the bonus received is not a one-time event when the module is activated, but a continuous bonus while the module runs through its cycle. This means the longer the cycle, the cheaper it is to run the module. The disadvantage of longer cycles is the inability to overload/disable overloading too often. The Enduring version will be the Usage specialization module. The Heat Damage has been increased for Enduring, so the overall Heat Damage over time is the same as for the other modules.
      • Current Experimental type will become Experimental Enduring. Current “Upgraded” will be merged into it.
    • Meta Level 1 modules will have their resistance bonus increased from -40% to -42% to put their primary attribute between Meta Level 0 – Tech I (-40%) and Meta Level 5 – Tech II (-44%).
    • This design follows the scheme of the recent Shield Hardener Tiericide.

The naming scheme should make the module names indicate:

  • module group (Armor Hardener)
  • type of damage resistance (EM / Explosive / Kinetic / Thermal)
  • specialization for named modules (Compact / Enduring)
  • historical flavor for named modules (Prototype / Experimental)
  • Tech level for Tech I and Tech II
  • Meta Level:
    • Tech I – 0: the name includes the name of the group, damage resistance type and tech level
    • named – 1: the name includes the name of the group, damage resistance type, flavor and specialization
    • Tech II – 5: the name includes the name of the group, damage resistance type and tech level
    • Faction – 8: the name includes the name of the group, damage resistance type and the name of the Faction
    • Deadspace: the name includes the name of the group, damage resistance type and “Deadspace Type” designation letter indicating the position in the Meta Level progression (even Meta Level numbers from 10 to 16)
      • Meta Level 10: C-Type
      • Meta Level 12: B-Type
      • Meta Level 14: A-Type
      • Meta Level 16: X-Type
    • Officer – the name includes the name of the group, damage resistance type and the name of the officer. The name of the faction’s officer indicates the Meta Level (odd Meta Level numbers from 11 to 17). Each officer’s name indicates the same Meta Level across all module groups. For example Draclira’s Modified modules should always have a Meta Level of 17.
    • Armor Hardeners can drop only from the officers of pirate factions that use armor-based ships: Blood Raiders, Sansha and Serpentis.
      • Meta Level 11: Tairei, Brokara, Brynn
      • Meta Level 13: Raysere, Selynne, Tuvan
      • Meta Level 15: Ahremen, Vizan, Setele
      • Meta Level 17: Draclira, Chelm, Cormack

All officers

Meta LevelAngelBlood RaidersGuristasSanshaSerpentisTriglavian
11MizuroTaireiKaikkaBrokaraBrynn
13HakimRaysereThonSelynneTuvan
15GotanAhremenVepasVizanSetele
17TobiasDracliraEstamelChelmCormackZorya
  • Current naming: Armor EM Hardener I, Limited Armor EM Hardener I, Khanid Navy Armor EM Hardener, Armor Thermal Hardener I.
  • This doesn’t match the name of the group (Armor Hardener) as it puts the resistance type name between the two words.
  • Shield Hardeners, for example, use the following naming: EM Shield Hardener I, Domination EM Shield Hardener.
  • Armor Hardeners will match this pattern: EM Armor Hardener I, Enduring EM Armor Hardener, Khanid Navy EM Armor Hardener.
  • All blueprints will be renamed accordingly.

Skill requirements: Hull Upgrades level 5 for T2 and level 3 for everything else, no changes.

Meta Levels are not consistent with the current scheme. They are being changed as follows:

  • Named Meta 2, 3, 4 → Meta 1
  • Faction Meta 9 → Meta 8
  • C-Type Deadspace Meta 11 → Meta 10
  • A-Type Deadspace Meta 13 → Meta 14
  • X-Type Deadspace Meta 14 → Meta 16
  • Officer Meta 12 → Meta 13
  • Officer Meta 13 → Meta 15
  • Officer Meta 14 → Meta 17

Faction modules

  • There are two bands of Faction modules
    • Old Meta 8 (Domination, Republic Fleet) – resistance bonus lower than T2 (40%), high CPU requirements, lowest capacitor cost, rare modules.
    • Old Meta 9 – resistance bonus same as T2 (44%), lowest CPU requirements, average capacitor cost, less rare than old Meta 8.
  • All Faction will be moved to Meta 8 and will have the same main power level: resistance bonus at 44%
    • Old Meta 8 will keep the extremely low capacitor cost and will also get an increase in duration, lowering that cost further. The Heat Damage will remain unchanged at 6.6, which means that Domination and Republic Fleet Armor Hardeners will produce less heat damage over time, due to their increased duration. For comparison, the Enduring modules that got their duration increased as well, got their Heat Damage increased, for the heat damage over time to stay in line with other modules.
    • Old Meta 8 will keep the high CPU requirements, to balance out its advantages over Old Meta 9.

Deadspace and Officer modules

  • The power progression within those Meta Levels was off. The Officer modules are the rarest of the rare and that is visible in their quantities and prices, but their stats were exactly the same as the comparable Deadspace modules.
  • Now for each tier in power progression, the Officer will have a better resistance bonus than Deadspace. This change will smooth out the progression within the Officer/Deadspace tiers, without changing the extremes. The bands can be identified by the same CPU requirements and capacitor consumption.
    • Every next Deadspace Meta Level will be better by 1 percentage point in calculated resistance effectiveness bonus, than the previous Meta Level.
    • Every next Officer Meta Level will be better by 1.5 percentage point in calculated resistance effectiveness bonus, than the previous Meta Level.
    • Example:
      • Meta 10: Corpus C-Type Thermal Armor Hardener: -45.8% thermal resistance. This is 9.7% higher than calculated resistance effectiveness bonus of T1 at -40%.
      • Meta 11: Brokara’s Modified Thermal Armor Hardener: -46.7% thermal resistance. This is 11.2% higher than calculated resistance effectiveness bonus of T1 at -40%. 11.2% – 9.7% = 1.5% power difference between Meta Levels if Officer is the higher Meta
      • Meta 12: Corpus B-Type Thermal Armor Hardener: -47.3% thermal resistance. This is 12.2% higher than calculated resistance effectiveness bonus of T1 at -40%. 12.2% – 11.2% = 1% power difference between Meta Levels if Deadspace is the higher Meta
      • Meta 13: Selynne’s Modified Thermal Armor Hardener: -48.2% thermal resistance. This is 13.7% higher than calculated resistance effectiveness bonus of T1 at -40%. 13.7% – 12.2% = 1.5% power difference between Meta Levels if Officer is the higher Meta

Volume is 20m3 for Meta Level 0 modules and 5m3 for everything else. Changing all modules’ volume to 5m3.

The above analysis was the basis for the name and attribute changes for 156 Armor Hardener module types. Some other nuances were considered but were either too obvious or too minor to be documented here.

THE PROGRESS

The Tiericide process started in 2012 with ships and in 2014 work started on modules.

The module groups that went through the Tiericide process so far are as follows:

Armor HardenerGyrostabilizerRemote Shield Booster
Armor PlateHeat SinkRemote Tracking Computer
Armor Repair UnitInertial StabilizerSensor Booster
Auxiliary Power CoreMagnetic Field StabilizerSensor Dampener
Ballistic Control systemMining LaserShield Booster
Burst JammerMining UpgradeShield Extender
Capacitor BatteryMissile Guidance ComputerShield Flux Coil
Capacitor BoosterMissile Guidance EnhancerShield Hardener
Capacitor Flux CoilMissile Launcher LightShield Power Relay
Capacitor Power RelayMissile Launcher Rapid TorpedoShield Recharger
Capacitor RechargerMissile Launcher XL CruiseShip Scanner
Cargo ScannerMissile Launcher XL TorpedoSignal Amplifier
CPU EnhancerNanofiber Internal StructureStasis Grappler
Damage ControlOverdrive Injector SystemStasis Web
Drone Control Range ModulePower Diagnostic SystemSurvey Scanner
Drone Damage ModulesPrecursor WeaponTarget Painter
Drone Tracking EnhancerPropulsion ModuleTracking Computer
Drone Tracking ModulesReactor Control UnitTracking Enhancer
ECMReinforced BulkheadWarp Disrupt Field Generator
Energy NeutralizerRemote Armor RepairerWarp Scrambler
Energy NosferatuRemote Capacitor TransmitterWeapon Disruptor
Expanded CargoholdRemote Sensor Booster

Here’s a list of the remaining module groups:

Armor CoatingMissile Launcher Rapid Heavy
Armor Plating EnergizedMissile Launcher Rapid Light
Automated Targeting SystemMissile Launcher Rocket
ECM StabilizerMissile Launcher Torpedo
Energy WeaponPassive Targeting System
Gas Cloud HarvesterProjectile Weapon
Hull Repair UnitShield Boost Amplifier
Hybrid WeaponShield Resistance Amplifier
Jump Drive EconomizerSmart Bomb
Missile Launcher CruiseWarp Accelerator
Missile Launcher HeavyWarp Core Stabilizer
Missile Launcher Heavy Assault

The next in line, scheduled for the June release, is the Shield Resistance Amplifier module group. It will be followed by Armor Coating, Armor Plating Energized, and Shield Boost Amplifier. That will conclude the armor and shield categories.

THE WEAPONS

Turrets and missile launchers are the most difficult to balance due to their number of attributes and the fact that those might be dependent on the charges used. Some launchers received the treatment already, but no turret-based weapons have been balanced yet, even though the very first example given for module Tiericide back in 2014 was the Beam Laser group. It is likely that all groups of turrets will receive a Tiericide pass at the same time.

To give you an idea of the scale of the task, here are the numbers of types of all turrets and charges:

  • Energy Turrets: 210
  • Frequency Crystals: 200
  • Projectile Turrets: 165
  • Projectile Ammo: 144
  • Hybrid Turrets: 221
  • Hybrid Charges: 224
  • Total number of valid turret-charge pairs: 27,683

Each turret has five prime combat attributes: damage multiplier, optimal, falloff, rate of fire, and tracking. Each type of charge provides its own damage type and damage amount, and for some charges, they also affect the turrets’ attributes too, like range or tracking. On top of that, different turrets and charges have different designated roles, so they perform differently from each other in different scenarios. It gets even more complex when you take the fitting requirements and capacitor consumption into account.

To put it simply, there are too many turrets and charges and only a fraction of them represent a meaningful choice. 78% of total turret usage is generated by 10% of turrets (59 most-used turrets, out of 594 turret types).

It is still too soon to talk about the details, but you can expect dramatic changes to turrets and charges in the future.

Missile Launchers and Smartbombs will follow, but most likely those will be the last categories of module groups to go through the Tiericide process.

FEEDBACK AND ITERATION

You might have noticed that some of the module groups that went through the process this year have been updated again in May:

  • Armor Repair Unit
  • Shield Booster
  • Shield Hardener

The Tiericide passes for those groups have been revised due to the feedback received from you. You have pointed out some modules that didn’t receive the usual treatment, and provided some other suggestions that have inspired further changes.

Thanks must go to all of you who came up with suggestions through various channels, and to Neugeniko and other players reporting on Tiericide on the EVE forums. That thread inspired us to pick up this whole task back in November 2019.

It might not be apparent that we react to your feedback if we don’t reply to it right away, but rest assured that all of it is taken into consideration. Whether you criticize, praise, or suggest solutions, please keep it coming!

If you have any questions or comments regarding this blog or Tiericide in general, please post them in the official forum thread.

Fly safe!

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