On the first of December, CCP announced changes to the ESS shortly after it’s release.
These changes are made seemingly to encourage ratting, and offer more advantages for the defender.
By offering more value and output and faster recovery, it seems more encouraging for people to take the risk and PVE.
I have raided dozens of ESS with both success and failure. And this is my perspective: These changes are a sign of the nullsec PVE outcry and the unpreparedness and incompetence of some nullsec groups.
For a high value ESS, there should theoretically be more ratting. If there was more ratting, there should be more people in system. Unless you’re the one guy in a Capital or Supercapital ship who can’t enter the ESS. Sucks to be you.
Those people should really be on the ball. They should be ready to defend. They should have a ship ready to defend.
While I do not disagree with the changes, I disagree with its execution.
5 minutes is quite a short time to prepare, especially for more distant systems.
- Someone must identify and classify the situation to others.
- Gather the numbers necessary.
- People will need to log on, get debriefed, get prepared.
- Switch pods and find the right ships.
- Get to the location.
These are just five simple tasks, each could easily take minutes. Minutes that people didn’t have.
And people decided simply not to fight, because they would never make it on time.
This wouldn’t be an issue if there were more localised defenders. Fraternity for example doesn’t have this issue, because corps are assigned a pseudo-feudal system of protecting their own constellations. Their localised defense forces are consistent and quick.
Understandably, not all groups have a division of defense and localised defense forces. This forces them to rely on their central standing fleet and home defense fleets from their own home system.
I believe a better system would be to scale looting time with value of the bank. A bigger payout, a longer theft time.
Whilst a Rorqual is difficult to force into PANIC in 5 minutes without the use of a massive fleet or Capital level damage, it is a billion plus ISK ship we’re talking about. An increase by 90 seconds for a small <50 million ESS seems too long, but a base 5 minutes for a larger ESS seems too quick.
There needs to be a fine balance between a theft so quick nobody can protect it, versus a theft so long that anyone attempting it is overwhelmed.
The ESS was made to create fights. The money inside is a means to an end, and isn’t the main objective.
I think increasing the time, in some ways, is a good move. Some of my colleagues in my corporation and some others in nullsec alliances disagree; they consider it bowing down to incompetent players.
CCP has the numbers. I hope by increasing the time by 90 seconds, more fights are encouraged.
They have the knobs to turn, and I hope the reward changes will encourage PVE players to take on and appreciate the new rewards.
And to change their style of play to account for the risk of theft and the necessity to defend.