Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Proven wrong

I don't mind at all being proven wrong when it's in a good cause.

Yesterday, I hinted at a little bit of frustration with the lack of spaceship-related features being promoted in the winter expansion this year.  I then responded to a comment from a reader who was equally frustrated with -- as he put it -- the "glacial" pace of the ship re-balancing project in EVE.  And remember, this isn't a new project: players have been pushing for a ship balance overhaul since last summer with the CSM6 meme "a spaceship is not a punch line".  I expressed agreement with my reader and pointed out that if CCP stuck with just frigates and destroyers in 2012, that pace meant it would be 2016 or later before this project was finished.

Before the day was even out, CCP Fozzie was pinging me on Twitter with an indication that there was more to come on this topic.  God bless game developers!  They're so bad at keeping secrets.  ;-)

And sure enough, this morning there's a new dev-blog on this topic.  Saying that the ship balancing project is "ahead of schedule" and calling out Fozzie for praise specifically, the dev-blog says that the 16 standard cruisers will also be rebalanced for winter!  This is great news, and you can check out the dev-blog yourself to read overviews of some of the details.  In particular, it confirms what appears to be a CCP strategy to standardize the number of total slots per ship class to a specific level during the design phase.  For frigates, looks like this number is going to be 10.  For destroyers, it looks like 13 will be the magic number (with likely eight of those being high slots).  For cruisers, the number looks like it's in flux but it looks like it'll be 13-14.

Each of the frigate and destroyer classes is apparently getting a comment section on the EVE-O forums looking for suggestions.  The cruisers aren't there yet, but there's at least a little bit of conceptual information.  So far, I'm quite interested in proposed changes to the Bellicose (anti-frigate missile platform), Rupture (more tank, more speed!), and Moa (shield resistance plus more damage).  There's also a hint that the Caracal is going to be getting more grid; it mentions that Caracals will get some help with damage projection.  Perhaps my comments about how it's currently difficult to fit HMLs on a Caracal and still make the ship work a couple of weeks ago helped.

While you're at it, CCP, more Amarr missile ships!  It's really rather depressing how few of these there are, and most of them are T2.  How about making the Maller a mini Sacrilege instead of a mini Abaddon?  The Caldari and Amarr are allies so it only makes sense that the Caldari would share some tips.  ;-)

I was also pleased to see that the art team took Rixx Javix's crusade against the new Vagabond model seriously.  The Vaga's getting its frill back as well as a new base Stabber model that looks quite nice!

So all in all, I'm quite happy to be upstaged here.  That said, it's not all rainbows and puppies quite yet.  Turns out I had underestimated the number of ships in EVE Online.  If all of these updates are complete in time for year end, CCP will have rebalanced about 50 ships in 2012... which CCP Ytterbium says is 20% of the total ships in EVE.  Since 20% in one year still means re-balancing the rest could potentially take several years, you can expect me to keep the pressure on moving this project forward.

Thanks for the great dev-blog, CCP Ytterbium and thanks to this team for all of their hard work.  Keep it up!  This isn't a sprint, it's a marathon.


  1. Actually, there won't be *any* t1 amarr missile ships once the inquisitor gets repurposed to a logistics ship.

    Despite some criticism that they're homogenising the races, tiericide is actually doing the opposite in a way. Rather than odd ships doing different things all over the place, they're organising ships into 'chains' within each race, making each race much more consistent in terms of what it does and doesn't do.

    Amarr for example do lasers and tank, with drone capabilities featuring quite a lot. Their main combat chains are tank/gank with armour resist and damage bonuses (punisher, maller, abaddon), and full gank chain with damage and cap bonuses and a large drone bay (tormentor, omen, geddon). Missiles is something which Amarr (aside from a specialist t2 range) don't do.

    Minmatar on the other hand are getting a more more defined chain of missile combat ships (breacher, new destroyer, bellicose, typhoon, I wouldn't be surprised if the cyclone joins them). Missiles is now something that minmatar do, rather than just something they occasionally have in utility highs.

    It's a good system, and imo it makes a lot more sense than trying to have one of everything for every race.

  2. If we keep the "special ships" out of it (prize ships, gift ships etc), there is 233 ships in EVE:
    - 61 frigate hulls, 24 T1, 9 faction, 28 T2
    - 8 destroyer hulls, 4 T1, 4 T2
    - 57 cruiser hulls, 16 T1, 13 faction, 24 T2, 4 T3
    - 20 battlecruiser hulls, 12 T1, 8 T2
    - 33 battleship hulls, 12 T1, 13 faction, 8 T2
    - 18 capital hulls, 14 T1, 4 T2
    - 9 super capital hulls, 8 T1, 1 faction
    - 21 Industrials, 13 T1, 8 T2
    - 6 Mining barges, 3 T1, 3 T2

  3. I hope the smaller Amarr laser boats get some EXTREME love... there is not a good cheap laser fit gank ship anywhere that can compete with the thrasher.

  4. Fozzie posted a thread about the new T1 logi cruisers https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=1907314&#post1907314

  5. Perhaps it's only 20% of the _total_ but I suspect it's a much higher percent of the ships people actually fight with. There's no need to spend much time on shuttles and freighters. The limited edition ships probably don't need any love (Gold Magnate anyone?).
    So... 20% of the total this year, but that doesn't mean it'll take 5 years to complete.

  6. I'd be happy with fewer Amarr missile ships. Give me a Caldari laser ship or two, then I'd be OK with it. Seriously, lasers and gunnery skills are a marathon of skill training. To me it makes more sense to leverage the generic gunnery skills by pivoting from lasers to projectiles and hybrids. Missile skills are a distraction for most people training gunnery, and in my opinion should be left for last. Amarr missile ships only encourage deviation from gunnery skills. I've been playing 3 years and have no missile skills yet. Please don't give me more Amarr ships I have no interest in using for another year at least.

  7. I'm essentially in the same boat as you, the higher tier ships are in bigger need of balancing, given that they have a more significant effect in battles. Having to wait another year or two is going to suck balls.

    Nevertheless, I'm really excited about all these changes. Having a choice for destroyers, varied T1 frigs, but especially the cruiser revamp. It'll be great to finally actually USE them and not get laughed at. Can't wait for the arbi buff, same goes for all the other amarr hulls. And giving players a viable option aside from T2 logi ships is going to be great for the logistics profession.

  8. Thanks for the mention. A lot of people deserve credit on the effort, but I guess I stirred the pot and got the issue brewing. Anyway, I'm just glad that CCP listened to the player base and corrected an obvious error in judgement. As we approach a decade of Eve, these "things" become legacy issues and need to be appreciated in more ways than simply design options. IMO anyway.

  9. Oh yeah I remember using a T1 cruiser once. It was to mine with. Amarr T1 Cruisers and even worse their Battle Cruisers suck in pve for the newer low sp player especially if he ventures into Angel missions. Where a Drake or Hurricane can more easily venture into Amarr space and run Sansha missions for example. Glad to see these changes as it should really help with new player retention. One ship that needs love in the cruiser class is the Omen. Which is funny as it has a kick ass T2 variant. Heck try and fit out almost any race's T1 cruisers with meta 4 mods. Even worse fit T2. You are using rigs very quickly just to fit a very crappy tank and almost no dps. Trying to run lvl 2s even with all lvl 5 core fitting? Then remember what it was like with electronics/mechanics 3 or 4 and say cruiser 4?
    Just saying should a newer player (anybody) expect his first cruiser to be almost totally unfit-able, actually unusable, even tho he has the skills to fit medium guns or heavy missile bays? IMO these ships should be very fit-able without rigs to just squeeze in a fit they should be able to accept and cap. Rigs should be more for the outlandish fit or to enhance tank/gank. They shouldn't have to be used as a shoehorn in most instances.
    I don't want to see skills removed but come on lvl 5 on most of this stuff so your T1 cruiser is even less than mediocre? Level 5 should make for a great cruiser not, oh I can fit it now. So my biggest advice would be moar cpu and grid on all them. Maybe some decent base level capacitor? The slots layout seems fine.
    I would really like to see these ships fit-able more than have some special usage. Take the lol out of the cruiser roam!

  10. In the explanation thread on the last of the frigate cruisers, Fozzie shows us the Tristan will become a drone boat. I applaud this for just RP and aesthetic reasons, but one of the bonuses it gets is: +10% per level to drone tracking speed.

    The 10% drone damage per level that I currently enjoy on my Vexor I understand; moar damage - but how does drone tracking speed help? Since drones move to and orbit their target, wouldn't this bonus be moot?

    1. Drones move to and orbit their target AT HIGH SPEED while firing their guns, therefore tracking is an issue. 10% bonus tracking is probably less bonus damage than a raw 10% damage boost on most larger targets, but should be a significant increase vs smaller faster targets (frigates, other drones) or for larger drone variants vs. small ship classes.

      just for clarification, drones attack their target the same as any other turret firing vessel.

    2. The only way I could see a 10% bonus to drone tracking speed being beneficial would be for sentries, and I doubt they are giving the Tristan a drone bay/bandwidth sufficient to run sentries.


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