Short Range Missiles
- Increase missile acceleration so that real range is much closer to the client assumed range of flight time*speed against a stationary target. This means a slight range buff for all missiles, and missiles will act in a way that is more intuitive to newer players.
- Change the Guided Missile Precision skill, as well as all associated implants and rigs to affect all sub-cap missiles
- Reduce HAM launcher PG requirements by 10%
- Decrease all Light Missile Launcher fitting requirements by 2pg and 4cpu
- Explosion radius reduced from 50 to 40
- Damage increased by 10% (rounded to closest digit)
- Affects all variant light missiles, including FOF.
Tech Two Missiles
- Base flight time reduced by 35%
- Base velocity increased by 14.66%
- In total, base range reduced by ~25%
- Damage decreased by 10% (rounded to closest digit)
- Explosion radius increased by 12%
- Affects all variant Heavy missiles, including FOF.
Tracking/Range Mods and Ewar
- Remove ship penalties from tech two missiles (ship velocity and signature radius)
- Precision: Increase bonuses to explosion velocity to +20%, increase damage to match T1 missiles
- Fury: Increase damage bonus to +35%, reduce flight time to 50% of T1, unify penalties to explosion radius (+72%) and velocity (-16%) across the sizes
- Javelin: Just remove ship penalties
- Rage: Increase damage bonus to +35%, Unify flight time to match T1, unify velocity penalty (-16.7%), unify penalty to explosion velocity (-14%), increase penalty to explosion radius (+72%)
First, the good news, and there is actually a good amount of that. HAMs and Torpedoes are about to become pretty damn awesome, and Light Missiles will be improved. In particular, for HAMs, their fitting requirements are being reduced fairly substantially. This is going to create a new tanky HAM Drake. Currently, it's tough to fit an LSE to a HAM Drake but that's going to change. This will result in a close-range high DPS brawler that's going to completely shatter people's current perception of the Drake. Don't get me wrong: for the CFC, they'll still be useless. More on that in a bit. But for small-gang PvPers... seriously, start training for HAMs now because they're gonna be pretty sweet out to point range.
- Tracking mod and disruptor changes moved out of this release until the first set of changes settles a bit
If that's not awesome enough, the Guided Missile Precision skill, previously limited to long-range missiles, will work with short-range missiles as well. This isn't a big deal for Rockets... maybe they'll be a little better in AF versus AF battles. But for HAMs and Torps, this is a very big deal and I'm looking forward to it.
Finally, the new yet-to-be-named Caldari missile destroyer will benefit from a fitting buff to Light Missile Launchers and a gentle buff to their damage. The Minmatar get a similar skirmishing destroyer. If it works the way CCP intends, looks like a few more kiting ships are on the way to space near you.
Let's get to the not-so-good news.
Tracking Computers, Enhancers, and Disruptors are no longer going to nerf or buff missiles. So those of you that were thinking about actually un-docking in your Pilgrims can go ahead and put them back into moth-balls again. And without the ability to disrupt missile fire and with Guided Missile Precision now working for these dangerous close-range Drakes and other missile ships, tackling them is going to be doubly dangerous.
Those of you that had dreams of reclaiming the HML Drake's range advantage with a single Tracking Enhancer taking the place of a Ballistic Control Unit are likewise out of luck. The latest State of the Goonion implies pretty strongly that the GSF will be abandoning their signature Drakes for rail-fit Rokhs likely taking the place of both their Drake fleet (and for light duty) their Maelstrom fleet. Heavier duty work would seem to be the future province of GSF's version of PL SloCats. So inflation is hitting hard all over. ;-)
The lack of TE bonuses also puts paid to the idea of greatly extended ranges on torpedo-fit battleships, which is probably one of the main reasons why the idea was scuttled for now. Pity too, because I was looking forward to a renaissance of extra-long-range torp Ravens and Typhoons. It might still happen, but it won't be soon.
These changes, though, pale next to the continued savaging of the Heavy Missile Launcher. While the damage nerf is being reduced somewhat, from 20% to 10%, the explosion radius is also being increased. That's mostly going to impact the HML's ability to damage the new destroyers and armor HAC gangs. Damage from an HML Drake to a Guardian will essentially be cut in half. It's a big nerf. The 25% range penalty also remains, adjusted slightly to impact missile flight time instead of velocity. Missile velocity is actually being buffed twice over which is going to somewhat help the HML's ability to actually deliver damage on target in a timely fashion.
But it won't much matter because fewer people will be fitting the things.
This comes out most clearly in the Fury missile nerf: range on Furies is getting cut in half on top of the 25% nerf already being implemented for T1 missiles. This is going to cut Fury missile range to 29.5km on a Drake, or not much more than HAM range. Their explosion radius is also being massively nerfed. Furies will no longer be effective against cruisers and HACs and will lose much of their current effectiveness against other BCs, particularly armor BCs.
The price of Scourge Furies on the Jita market fell by 20%... today. Players are clearly seeing the implications and are rapidly dumping their stocks.
Finally, though, I end with one more bit of mixed news: Rage missiles, while still getting the large nerfs to explosion velocity and explosion radius, are getting a stronger damage buff. That's going to further serve to drive people toward HAMs for all of their current medium missile applications, I expect. Again, if you haven't trained HAMs already, start start start. They're going to be the go-to missile in 2013.
So overall, quite bad news for lovers of HMLs Drakes and Tengus. You've got a couple more months to do your thing with these ships. Get them insured, get them into fights, and try to lose them. Or get busy training HAMs and prepare to do some refitting come the winter. When I say "fire ze missiles", the word "fire" has more than one meaning. ;-)