But... but... It's Too Big!
By: George Argyropoulos
In a recent BP on BV show, it was stated definitively that Kixeye is going to, at the least, block Conqueror hulls from hitting Forsaken Mission targets. This was coming on the heels of two months of speculation after some forum posts and a TFC show in which an Admin of The Forsaken Council hinted that this might be coming in the future. While I have not heard anything official, I am not surprised at this news, and quite honestly, think it may be needed- now, rather than later.
Let's review why there was a split in the first place so we have some solid context in which to have this discussion.
Back in March of 2016, we were introduced to the idea of splitting PvP and PvE. What kixeye was finding was that there was significant bleed-through in design from one to the other. In other words, hulls that they had designed to do well in PvP were doing better than they had intended in PvE which forced their hand in design. This means that our targets ended up harder than Kixeye wanted to design because of the unintentional bleed-through of the hull's effectiveness into an unintended area of the game and fueled some of the power creep we were seeing in the game.
What Kixeye finally decided was rather than make everyone's lives more difficult- Theirs with regard to coding, ours with regard to difficulty and power creep, a split was implemented. Let's face it, having one of these aspects unduly influence the other does not make for a good environment for the game. Hull longevity suffers, power creep increases and the possibility for game breaking issues cropping up increases.
I'll directly quote GD Raikan at this point as he was very succinct about this:
"In order to address these issues, after much discussion, the team concluded that the most ideal solution would be to separate out PvE hulls and PvP hulls; each having their own identity and preferred statistics. This way, we could provide more clear messaging to players as to the intended use of a hull, while also creating that distinct separation and supporting it in all aspects of the game. It’s not enough for us to simply label “PvE” or “PvP” in the stat block of a hull. I’m proud to say that the community is very creative in finding ways to challenge that expectation. We want to continue to encourage that creativity, but we also want to refocus it."
The reason for the current rumored change is rather obvious. The amount of armor on Conqueror and Defender hulls, in conjunction with the repair modifiers inherent to those classes, allows players to exploit those classes in ways that were obviously not intended. I also do NOT think this is going to end up in the extreme situation wherein only class specific hulls can hit class specific targets. I think this is just to stem a current problem that could escalate into a bigger one that this split was intended to avoid in the first place.
An apt example: During the design of the current raid meta, Kixeye developers were battling players in the test servers trying to keep 'out of the box' surface fleets from performing well in the target. The Vanquisher, in conjunction with exploiting these very game mechanics, was the reason the early iterations of the current raid targets could be broken in testing. It was giving Kixeye fits for 2 months and in the end could still be done (though not in a cost effective manner and a VERY niche build) despite all the tweaking done to the targets. One of the big reasons it worked was because of the amount of armor and the repair modifier of the hull. Something we can carry into this conversation.
All this alleged change to the FM (and likely Raid targets) would do is close a loophole that we exploited very early. Given the direction of the game there is good reason to assume that these hulls will continue to escalate in power and create a further imbalance in these targets that would be exploitable and essentially break the targets. This will be particularly exacerbated if the armor continues to increase. We all know how that ends- we've been there. I'd rather have them fix it sooner rather than later and avoid where we were a year to a year and a half ago and forcing another huge change as the split was.
As an aside: This is not a coin grab. Kixeye has shown, time and again recently, that they are willing to give us some time to adjust, or give us an avenue to adjust with (see:Tide Seeker).
Granted, Kixeye has offered up the Citadel Deal twice now- obviously for coin... but they also have given everyone THREE shots at getting the Harlock's Citadel. They also practically gave away the Tide Seeker hull in that TLC.
Given that my Tide Seeker tank build seems to be doing better that my Punisher one, this should be a good indication of what you can do with JUST a tank and an Hcit:
So, if you are trying to get into Tier 5, and this change goes through, expect both the HCit and Citadels to become available. Watch some videos or read some articles to prepare for the Dark Reign campaign should it become available again.
Watch for TLC's, token deals and prepare yourself for the Hull Raid upcoming and plan accordingly. Remember, FM is THE number one priority in this game.
If you are currently relying on Furies and Vendettas to get you to Tier 4 or Tier 5, I would humbly advise you to start preparing for this change. It only makes sense from the perspective of a developer and a player.
My final thought on this is this: It makes sense to me. It made sense to me when I heard the rumor. If you go to my YouTube channel, you will see my progression from using Vendettas to Citadels. In fact, I just this weekend finally got my citadels fully ranked. I personally was pro-active in this because the change is logical if you want to avoid the same pitfall that the game had already once fallen into.