Back yet? Good. Just to summarize, back in January as part of the reading of the CSM6 December Summit (remember them?), CCP revealed that they were looking at four changes to rebalance the Drake:
- it would lose the shield resistance bonus and the 5% Kinetic damage bonus; and instead,
- gain a rate of fire bonus and a missile velocity bonus.
Put "the world's shortest book" into Google and you'll be greeted with a lot of sardonic humor: "Detroit Travel Guide", "America's Most Beloved Lawyers", "Making Your Parents Proud" by Lindsay Lohan, that sort of thing. Ha ha, really amusing, cue uncomfortable laughter. But say you were going to complete this sentence:
___________ in EVE is over-powered.I'm sure all of us would have a half-dozen or a dozen things with which we could fill in the blank. Know what would be chosen exactly zero times? Long-range missiles. Nobody has ever said the words "Light missiles in EVE are over-powered", "Heavy missiles in EVE are over-powered", or "Cruise missiles in EVE are over-powered."
But CCP despises them anyway.
The platform firing those missiles might be over-powered... in its way. But I suspect if Goons could find another ship that tanks as hard as a Drake or a Tengu while delivering reliable DPS at skirmish ranges, they'd use it.
CCP hates long-range missile platforms, Heavy Missile Drakes in particular, because they create an additional load on the server. So when CCP declared in December that they were going to take away the Drake's kinetic missile damage bonus, and give them a range bonus and a rate of fire bonus instead a lot of people declared that added up to a massive Drake nerf. Me, I wasn't so sure. Sure, the fact that they were taking away the resist bonus wasn't ideal but after doing the math I determined that the main people that were going to be hurt by that were newer players using Drakes to run missions.
And who cares about them, right?
For people using Drakes in PvP, the resist nerf wasn't going to be that big of a deal (PvP Drakes fit Damage Controls) and the various missile "nerfs" really added up to a reason to use Drakes even more in long-range skirmish fleets. I pictured a lot of Drakes firing Nova or Mjolnir Rage Heavy Missiles to near 100 kilometers. I thought it'd be a nice buff for the way Drakes actually get used in PvP.
Someone in CCP appears to have read that post, said to themselves, "Hell, he's right. We need to nerf the crap out of Heavy Missiles right away! How does a 20% reduction in damage and a 25% reduction in range sound? Oh, and by the way, Fury Missiles have been broken in a good way for a long time. We're going to fix that glitch too, so they suck against equal-size like they're supposed to."
And we can't even count on the CSM6 December Summit re-balance to come along and try to fix things later because:
The "less shields more gank" thing was a discussion at a previous CSM summit, not a finalized design.CCP Fozzie again.
Is CCP deliberately trying to wipe Drake and Tengu blobs off the map? Sure feels like it!
Now of course the news isn't all bad. These changes all essentially reflect a massive buff for Heavy Assault Missiles:
- the acceleration change will increase their range;
- Rage T2 missiles are getting a damage buff; and,
- Tracking Enhancers and Tracking Computers will further increase HAM range.
The amusing thing about all of this is that Fozzie tells us that the idea here is "a nerf to heavy missile range and damage to put them in line with other long range cruiser weapons." Now granted, we haven't seen what TEs in particular are going to do to missile range. Currently a single TE2 is good for +15% to range and +30% to fall-off. Assuming HMLs on Drakes are reduced in range from 79km to 59km, a single +30% TE will bring them right back up to 77km range. That's presumably the intent. But in the process, that's going to reduce HML Drake damage from about 410 to 325 (20% damage reduction) to 295 (remove one BCU from the Drake to put a TE in).
For reference, an Artillery Cane or a Beam Harby both currently put out about 260 DPS at 70km, and a Rail Brutix (were someone to build one) about 245. In short: Drake still wins.
Think we should tell them?