Wednesday, May 14, 2014

More Ships and Fewer Choices

Are there too many ships in EVE?

In a day and age where ‘flying in space’ seems to be everything to people in EVE, it seems that most people would answer, “NEVER!” 

But, as I log in, and browse through my growing multitude of ship choices, I sometimes get overwhelmed. 

Don’t get me wrong. I love spaceships! But sometimes, especially with all this rebalancing, I often feel that I’m being told what to do with each and every ship. And, that in many ways this is actually limiting my choices, not expanding them. Sure, I can fit whatever I want on any ship, but the carefully defined roles and bonuses greatly limit what MAKES SENSE to fit on a given ship. There is more of a sense of a ‘good’ fit and a ‘bad’ fit when role definition makes the usage of the ship so clear-cut and defined.

Sometimes I wonder what EVE would be like with less ships. Instead of having a ship for every foreseeable role, imagine just a few ships that were more or less ‘generic.’ A broad range of bonuses would give users a wide range of choices for how they want to fit the ship –depending on what they want to do.

It would change everything. You would no longer be able to tell the composition of an enemy fleet, simply by seeing what ships they’re flying. You would need much more intel in order to counter what they are doing.

And, imagine more of a ‘crossing over’ between industry and pvp ships a little. Imagine having ships that were either good at combat, or good at industry –depending on the fit! Is that ‘innocent’ miner in the belt really a defenseless industrialist, or a disguised pirate trying to lure you into a trap? Are you willing to take the risk to find out?

I always smile when I run across those rebellious sorts. People who are trying to find a weird or unusual way to fit and fly a ship that goes against its intended role. Mining barges that are tanked bait –or logistics ships that are really fit for offense-combat. You see a few of those sorts in low-sec especially. Pirates tend to be a creative bunch, who enjoy testing limitations and boundaries. So, it makes sense that they would also test the ‘role’ boundaries of given ships.

I smile, but it also bugs me. It bugs me that this sort of creativity now seems to be an exception to the ‘norm’ in EVE. It bugs me that there is even a ‘normal’ to fitting a ship, period.

What do you think?


  1. think k it depends on who you are with. I have doctrine ships and then what I like flying.

    I also think it is the inevitable outcome of war to try to homogenize the troops for the greatest impact.

    In a way it is working as intended. We may just be finding out we dont enjoy that.

    I don't have quite this thought but I like to fly what I like because I like it. Yet, I've learned some fly because stats matter to them more than things that matter to me.

  2. So, we need more Gnosis in the game? :-) Or Frigate, Dessy Variants of it :-)

  3. You can have choice either with lots of specialized ships or few generic ships. Boyh are fine, it is a question of which flavor you like more. I think more ships leads to more art assets which is nice. I think an underlying question comes into play with skills. Havinf less hulls would reduce the skills needed for newer players. That is a slightly different discussion though.

  4. "You would no longer be able to tell the composition of an enemy fleet, simply by seeing what ships they’re flying."

    This would be great. I don't see it happening though. The null blocs wouldn't like it and we all know what the chances are of CCP implementing anything the null blocs don't approve of.

  5. If only CCP could design a modular ship that could fill many roles, from recon to logistics to all out gank.
    Perhaps they could start with a popular size, the cruiser. And call it something better than Tech 2.

    CCP seemed to be going down the path you described with Apocrypha, and then as is usually the case with CCP, instead of iterating and completing the process, they abandoned their concept for a new shiny one. (whatever that was, I have no clue).

    And now, we have the dev with the clown shoes, fozzie, getting his hands on the T3. Instead of consolidating the amount of ships in the game by wiping out ship classes like the recons, HAC's, logi's and DIC's, and giving the T3 the potential of being the BEST of breed in all classes with various subsystems fitted, we are faced with the T3's being nerfed into a jack of all trades, master of none.

    And you just described why that will kill the T3's usage. Why would anyone fly a ship for a specific role when there is a better one designed strictly for that role that can be max /min'ed?

    1. Because you will not be able to predict which role. But the price tag has to change substantially for that to work.

  6. I agree! I like the idea of customizing ships to fit roles that CCP hasn't already defined. My favorite is a sniper Thorax that can apply damage at 100km+. Sure, their are ships that are better suited to a sniper role, but who would expect a Thorax very (VERY) slowly nipping away at your shields from 100km?

    So yeah, the game gets less 'sandboxy' when roles are predefined, less interesting when you know what to expect from your enemies, and the utility of all of those empty slots and various modules less useful when all of the fits but one are fail fits.