A typical PvP battleship -- a Tempest, say, or an Apocalypse -- costs the pilot about 200 million ISK fully fit, loaded, and ready for combat. A really pimp pirate faction battleship -- a Vindicator, for instance -- costs between two and three billion ISK. That's between 10 and 15 times as expensive as the cheaper ship. Let's suppose our pimped-out pirate faction battleship had the following advantages over its cheaper cousin:
- its buffer tank is 15 times stronger; and,
- it does eight times more DPS; and,
- it has the area of effect e-war attack of a Scorpion; and,
- it is immune to e-war itself; and,
- it has an interdiction nullifier capability similar to a strategic cruiser.
And yet this is the difference between a Thanatos costing about 1.5 billion ISK and a Nyx costing about 22 billion ISK -- 15 times more. Put rather blatantly, if Vindicators worked like this, then that Vindicator would do 6000 DPS, would have 1.8 million EHP, would be immune to e-war and webs, would have an area of effect jamming attack, and would be immune to most forms of tackle. And it would still cost two to three billion ISK.
Sign me up for one of those Vindicators, please.
But apparently a super-carrier that costs 15 times more than a carrier and can do all of those things is perfectly OK.
"Super carriers cost a lot of ISK", we're told, and sure, that's true. "Since they're so expensive, they should be better than other types of ships," we're also told, and that part is BS. The value proposition of a super carrier is ridiculously, ludicrously high. It is so far over-powered compared to other types of ships in the game that it may as well be a ship in another game entirely. Likewise, this kind of comparison renders laughable CCP's recent attempts to nerf super carriers. The tanks of armor super carriers were reduced some 15% and its non-fighter/fighter-bomber drones were removed.(1) When compared to its other advantages, I think it's pretty clear that these were weak nerfs at best, feeble and impotent ones at worst. Put into perspective, our Vindicator has 1.8 million EHP instead of 2.1 million EHP and loses its ability to shoot light drones. Color me unimpressed.
In order to truly balance super carriers and bring them in-line with the game's other ships, CCP is going to have to take drastic action. Anyone think they will?
To put Titans into perspective, let's assume for a minute that our Vindicator cost 10 billion instead of 2.5 billion. In this case, we'd have a Vindicator that, in addition to all of the advantages above, could also:
- use gang links like a Command Ship; and,
- would give every ship in its gang an additional massive gang bonus; and,
- could jump people around the region like a Black Ops battleship, except it could do this for any type of ship and at much longer range; and,
- could generate jump clones for people; and,
- would do ten times more DPS than a standard battleship instead of eight times more; and,
- would track targets between two and three times better than a standard battleship; and,
- would be able to insta-volley one enemy non-faction battleship of its choice every ten minutes; but,
- would have to give up the Scorpion-like e-war attack (awwww).
Now granted, with 4300 or so super-caps in the game right now, if CCP started taking drastic action to correct these blatant deficiencies, there would be quite a lot of player rage. And that rage would just as obviously come almost exclusively from the most loyal, long-term EVE players.
But the more time CCP lets go by on this issue before they take action, the worse it's going to get. As I said yesterday, there's going to be 5500 super-caps this year. 7000 or so the year after that.
Anyone think the problem's going to be easier to solve then?
(1) With the recent addition of dead-space Invuls, the shield supers were essentially buffed, so we'll ignore them for the purposes of this conversation.