With the original announcement, some details of the new structures came as a bit of surprise most notably the revelation that the new structures would not have any kind of automated defense. Instead they would rely on an active pilot and vulnerability windows. Those windows, combined with the unique geography of wormhole space brought some concerns that corporations, especially those on the smaller side, would be locked into a gameplay which required them to "structure sit" during the vulnerable window for fear of podding and eventual reinforcement of their structures. These, combined with the low barrier to attack in the form of an Entosis linked ship, made for a seemingly troubling situation for wormhole space.
Yesterday, I took a look at the other side of the equation, the defended tower being attacked. Here we have a balance challenge between the EHP world of Citadel defense guns and the Entosis linked ship. EVE players are quite adept at min/maxing any situation and this defense seems to be just another equation to solve possibly resulting in no valid defense at all. Combine this with the safety mechanic of Citadels where no real loot is gathered by the attackers and the potential for backlash in the form of "evictions because we can" seems quite real. Solve the defense equation and your Entosis linked ship is now a deadly threat to anyone incapable of matching your fleet numbers.
Today, however, I want to highlight a portion of the blog that amends some of the above observations:
Medium sized Citadel structures will be tailored for individual or small groups of players. They will be able to fit some appropriate defenses to offer resistance against most kind of assaults including capital ships.
While structure weapon systems will deal considerable amount of damage to compensate for their static nature, most of them will require Electronic Warfare assistance from defending ships to be fully operational (like Stasis Webifiers or Target Painters).
Medium towers capable of defending against capital ships is a clear indiciation that CCP wants the towers to be highly defensible. Clarity on this point is important because without this important piece of information, Citadel structures appear to lean to heavily on the vulnerable side of the equation. But, this defense only works if it is manned and additionally if it is supported by a defense fleet providing electronic warfare assistance. These are good counters to the potential invincible tower, but this is a bit disingenuous to the claim that these structures are targeted at individuals and small corporations. A small corporation or individual may not be, or in the case of a single person, could not be, in a position to field a support fleet to make their weapons effective.
At this point, I think it is good to wait and see what further details emerge. There are enough details to get a sense of the direction, but the specifics are going to need a lot of careful consideration.
The balance to be struck between Citadel weapons and an Entosis ship's defense is going to be a challenge. If the Citadel weapons do too little damage to a ship without a defensive support fleet present, then the goal of a tower defense for individuals is not met. If the Citadel weapons are too effective, then you have the situation where the attacking force has too difficult a task.
There is a concern for the vulnerability timers and "station sitting" being a real negative for individuals and smaller corporations already at a disadvantage from the above fleet mechanics.
The removal of loot drops from a victory against a structure does remove a primary content driver from wormhole space as well.
However, I do want to close with a suggestion.
I would like to see the ability to claim wormhole space through the use of a type of claim unit. In a half joking, half serious way, these units could be called "Altars to Bob" in homage to the wormhole god now part of EVE lore through it's mention in a recent Scope view. It would be a great tribute to player created content. Even without a tounge-in-cheek name, such a structure and resulting system wide benefits would open up gameplay options for "system indexes" similar to sovereignty where active wormhole corporations could increase their home system desirability and receive "blessings from Bob" as a result. Most importantly, they could be used to influence the Entosis times giving more defense to systems that are used more frequently and not systems that are farmed once a week as some wormhole systems are.