So now CCP has reverted back to the original iteration of the Marauder changes in Rubicon, meaning the local rep bonus is back, no generic web bonus for everyone, and no T2 resists. I kind of like this version more than Iteration 2 (almost everyone does, leading some to speculate that this is CCP’s strategy to get people to accept Iteration 1 by proposing a universally hated alternative).
But that’s not what this post is about, although maybe it is tangentially related…
What strikes me about this whole Marauder shenanigan is that the development team at CCP has no idea about effective change management. In fact, their whole mindset going into this rebalance practically dooms any chances of a resounding success.
One of the most basic elements of change management is that if you want to encourage your users to use any new features you’re implementing, you most definitely should NOT penalize the alternatives. Instead, you should introduce incentives instead. I think it should be almost universally known by now that positive reinforcement is miles better than negative reinforcement.
But somehow, the dev team at CCP seems to think that the best way to encourage MJD and Bastion use is to nerf the base Marauder hull until MJD and Bastion needs to be used…
Let me tell you what is REALLY going to happen. Instead of being a new feature that pilots are excited to use, now they will get the reaction “oh great forced to do Pythagoras theorem and MJD because CCP nerfed my speed” or “sigh dammit now I have to Bastion again just to tank this stupid room that I’ve tanked hundreds of time before pre-nerf”.
If the MJD cooldown reduction doesn’t get people to use MJD with Marauders, then obviously there must be reason for it. I’m not married to my Republic Fleet 100mn Afterburner, it won’t show up knocking on my door in the middle of the night if I unfit it. However, if I don’t want to calculate angles every time I want to move 20km to an acceleration gate then letting me calculate angles every 1 minute instead of every 3 minutes isn’t going to make me fit a MJD. The MJD incentive is simply not strong enough, and all the negative reinforcement will do is to push people to mount MWDs instead. I proposed on the rebalance thread that Marauders should get a new MJD module that can only be mounted on Marauders, similar to Covert Ops cloaks. The new module should allow for selectable range jumps, maybe with a short range jump requiring less activation time and a long range jump requiring more activation time. Both short range and long range jumps will have the same reactivation delay (1 min). Now you at least provide strong benefits to using the MJD, while at the same time you don’t penalise those who don’t want to use it for no reason and drag the whole idea (which by itself is innovative and interesting) into a quagmire of resentment.
The same goes for the Bastion tanking bonuses. It’s so incredibly stupid that their first reaction to the concern that the tank would be too strong in Bastion mode is… wait for it… to nerf the hull repair bonus instead of tuning the Bastion mode repair bonus. If they had gone through with that (thankfully reverted) then the people who didn’t like Bastion mode would REALLY HATE BASTION MODE. All the people “pushed” into using Bastion would be resentful instead of amazed by the work put into the concept and transformation animations etc. Is that what they want?
This is like a town council deciding to reduce traffic congestion by building a bypass, and when no one uses the bypass because it’s still faster to use the old road even with the congestion, the council decides to take a jackhammer to the old road and fill it up with potholes “to encourage bypass use”.
When something is overpowered, then a nerf is justified. You don’t nerf something that’s already weak (Marauder speed and mass) just to push people to do something else. Let’s be honest, the entire Marauder “rebalance” is supposed to buff Marauders since the general consensus is that Marauders are pretty weak now. WTF CCP, WTF.