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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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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Trolls in the navy

As long as I'm in a battle cruiser mood today, I thought I'd quickly cover my initial thoughts on the four navy battle cruisers in today's dev blog.  Then I thought I'd very briefly cover the cruisers and the frigates.

Hint: these ships are pictured in order of desirability

Let's start with the Hurricane, and in particular with this text from the Chaos CCP internal test server...
In YC 115, after much heated discussion, CONCORD issued a decree stating the Hurricane-Class Battlecruiser was far too effective to stay under its current technological label, and demanded the Minmatar Republic to either cease production or sort it as a more technologically advanced craft. The Tribal Council grudgingly complied by releasing a simplified version of the Hurricane, then quickly exploited a loophole in the legislation and began using the original overpowered hull as part of its active fleet force. And that is how, after a new paint coat and renaming fees that the Hurricane Fleet Issue came to be.
and this text from today's dev-blog:
Hurricane Fleet Issue: over its regular version, this ship has 8 high slots, two utility slots, slightly more mobility and fittings, while the role itself doesn’t change. Kind of reminds us of something, but what could that be? Memory must be playing tricks on us.
Uh huh.  CCP Troll, best troll, I guess.  If you're not getting the joke, the Hurricane Fleet Issue is... the Hurricane, circa early 2012.  Sure, it's upgraded slightly here and there (notably sensor strength and shields) but it's essentially the old Cane we used to love, previously the gold standard of PvP battle cruisers, now returning for a limited engagement at what will probably settle in to about three times the old Hurricane price.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.  Again, Amarr victor.

That doesn't apply to the Harbinger Navy Issue, though.  It's going to be quite a nice looking ship... but kind of a nice looking ship looking for a role.  It's getting a fairly significant buff to EHP and an additional mid-slot, so I think we'll mostly see these boats acting as shield skirmishers.  That said, they're going to suffer significantly in this role compared to the Oracle so it remains to be seen how much they'll get used.  Overall, it's the faction BC I'm least impressed with.

The changes to the Drake Navy Issue, on the other hand, are just plain strange.  The current Drake has six launchers with a 50% kinetic damage bonus at Battlecrusier V skill, resulting in nine effective launchers.  The DNI will have eight unbonused launchers, resulting in an 11% damage reduction for kinetic missiles and a 33% damage increase for other types of missiles.  In addition, it will have a significant explosion radius bonus and a missile velocity bonus.  Finally, it gains a significant mass decrease (resulting in greater speed and agility), but also loses its legendary shield resistance bonus.  All of this points to the return of an old favorite, the 80km HML skirmish Drake... except that I thought CCP hated those!  Another CCP troll?  Regardless, we're going to see a goodly number of these on the battlefield acting as screening ships for skirmish and sniper fleets, clearing frigate tackle with Mjolnir and Nova missiles.

Best of the new bunch, by far?  The new Navy Brutix.  Combining its existing damage bonus with an additional low slot, the Talos tracking bonus, and greatly expanded EHP is going to make this thing a monster.  In particular, watch for a lot of shield gank versions of this thing plying the space lanes.  The only thing that's been preventing shield gank Brutixes from using Void ammo against equal size targets has been the tracking issue... which this ship is going to easily solve.  It should do particularly horrible things to attack BCs such as its brother the Talos.

So, sign me up for a couple of Brutix Navy Issues and one Drake Navy Issue.  No thank you on the Hurricane: the memories will just cause too much pain.  ;-)

I don't have too much to say about the navy frigates.  I've actually never been all that much of a fan of them, though I respect what others have done with the Slicer in particular.  God knows that ship needed a CPU buff.  I joke sometimes that Amarr ships don't have enough processor power to run the warp drive and the ship's coffee maker at the same time, but the Slicer took it to extremes.  Most fits I saw for that boat required a Co-Processor... on a frigate.  I do like the Comet and it's getting very small buffs, but nothing too revolutionary (or really needed, to be honest).  I am also pleased to see the Firetail is getting a significant buff!

Ditto the navy cruisers.  Other than playing with the Stabber Fleet Issue from time to time, they've always struck me as kind of goofy one-offs not really worthy of serious consideration.  Cruisers typically have to operate so close to their targets and are so fragile anyway that I don't think I'm going to use even these new ones very much, with a couple of exceptions.  The new Caracal Navy Issue and Exequror Navy Issue are lovely examples: faction brawlers?  In fights that I'm in, that sounds like an expensive loss-mail waiting to happen.  ;-)  SFIs have been popular due to the fact that they're relatively good targets for reps and work at the edge of point range.

In addition to the SFI, that's also now going to describe the Omen Navy Issue, which I like best of the new faction cruisers.  The speed and optimal range bonuses should make it an exceptional skirmisher.  I can also see the Vexor Navy Issue working well as "Ishtar light" in the same kinds of comps where an Ishtar would be welcome but the player involved doesn't have the SP to fly that.  My least favorite is the Scythe Fleet Issue.  I get the dual weapon bonus thing.  But in practice this is going to mean that in a lot of cases while all the other faction cruisers get two bonuses, your ship is only using one at any given time.  That in itself will serve to put you at a disadvantage.

So, to sum up.  The good:
  • Imperial Navy Slicer: some great, much-needed buffs.
  • Republic Fleet Firetail: likewise.
  • Omen Navy Issue: becomes a terrific screening and skirmishing ship.
  • Vexor Navy Issue: "Ishtar light" will gain a lot of fans.
  • Brutix Navy Issue: an awesome face-melting machine.
  • Drake Navy Issue: the 80+km skirmish Drake returns.
The bad:
  • Caldari Navy Hookbill: does so little DPS I don't think it deserved to be nerfed.
  • Scythe Fleet Issue: I get the idea behind the dual weapon bonuses, but no.
  • Caracal Navy Issue: an expensive loss-mail waiting to happen.
  • Exequror Navy Issue: ditto, though it will look really good doing it.
  • Harbinger Navy Issue: I'm not sure what the goal here was.
The ugly:
  • Federation Navy Comet: I'd like my old paint job back, please.  ;-)
  • Caldari digital camouflage: the DNI is the closest this look comes to being appealing.
  • Hurricane Fleet Issue: CCP Troll, simultaneously best troll and worst troll.
Your thoughts?

17 comments:

  1. Except the HFI doesn't have the powergrid of the circa 2012 Hurricane.

    It will be a crazy expensive skirmishing arty-cane. A job that is done much more effectively by the Tornado/Talos/Naga/Oracle...

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Hookbill in FW has a reputation for being the best of the faction (both navy AND pirate) frigates. It was roundly agreed a nerf of some sort was required.

    Also, hate that we get yet more combat-olny oriented ships in the navy BCs. This was a chance for something new and different and CCP failed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The damage is pathetic but the Caldari Navy Hookbill has incomparable control in the frigate world. Five Med Slots, how I hate thee.

      Delete
    2. "Also, hate that we get yet more combat-olny oriented ships in the navy BCs."

      Agreed - and CCP is going the same route with the battleships.

      Guess that's what happens when you hire "one-trick ponies" for devs. They think that each ship should be designed to have only one viable fit and everyone should use it. None of these guys have much creativity.

      Delete
  3. RE ScyFI: Weren't you the one who raved about the thorax making the vaga obsolete as heavy tackle? Guess what the new ScyFI will do to the thorax... =]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For the price points involved, I'm sure the Thorax will do just fine. However, how many Vagas you see these days? There are none in my neck of the woods, just Thoraxes (Thorii?) and Cynabals... and Staffer Fleets Issues.

      Delete
  4. Re ScyFI: I feel like you may have missed the point of the dual weapons systems bonuses on the ship. Typically a ship's damage bonus would be 5%, whereas the ScyFI is getting 10% per level, with the intention that using only one of the two bonuses is giving you nearly the same impact of two hull bonuses. Yes, it's not as powerful as, say, 5% damage and 5% rate of fire per level, but it's not terribly far off and will keep the ship competitive. Add in the adaptability of the ship thanks to the two weapon systems options, and it's actually one of the ships I'm more excited about.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The Caracal Navy looks like a pretty nasty anti frigate platform to me.

    And the Scythe Fleet Issue combines Cynabal-like speed & agility in a much cheaper ship at the cost of somewhat lower dps numbers in eft/pyfa but missiles won't be that far behind I reckon at the ranges Cynabals actually operate at.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh shit, BB changes are out...

    ...and they're fucking horrible. I think the Domi just got obsoleted in every possible way. ;_;

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Depends how you look at it.

      Both Domi and Phoon are now going to be "fleet PVP" ships, along with the rest of the battleships. Single weapon, single role. So, if you like to fly in fleets, this is an improvement - according to CCP Rise. And, after all, *everyone* only uses sentry drones in the Domi, right?

      And, supporting only fleet PVP is also fine for the game. According to CCP Rise, the future of solo and small gang PVP in EVE is dead anyways. And, no one actually plays PVE.

      I guess that CCP has finallly admitted that players who belong to large PVP alliances are simply better customers.

      Delete
  7. I agree with Kirith on the Hookbill, those things were effortless kiters and next to impossible to deal with without just bringing your own.

    Anyways, Scythe might actually be cool, the 10% bonuses to both weapon systems will be worth a look, not "bad."

    ReplyDelete
  8. Scythe is a fantastic sig tanker. Put this into Namamai's modded EFT and tell me that's not impressive.

    [Scythe Fleet Issue, sig tank]
    800mm Reinforced Steel Plates II
    Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
    Gyrostabilizer II
    Gyrostabilizer II
    Damage Control II

    Small Capacitor Booster II, Navy Cap Booster 200
    Warp Scrambler II
    Stasis Webifier II
    Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I
    10MN Afterburner II

    220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Fusion M
    220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Fusion M
    220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Fusion M
    220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Fusion M
    Medium Unstable Power Fluctuator I

    Medium Ancillary Current Router I
    Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
    Medium Trimark Armor Pump I


    Warrior II x5

    ReplyDelete
  9. Fleet issue prices just always make me cringe. They look nice, probably handle nice but with the exception of the frigates I doubt I will use any of them simply because the price differential is so high for an upgraded version of a T1 hull, which isn't as specialised as the T2.
    But then I'm missing the point of having variety. Again, overall they're overpriced to be worthwhile.
    Will the Hurricane have gold plated interior, since its the old one with a paint job to deserve its increase in its price tag?

    ReplyDelete
  10. "Vexor Navy Issue: 'Ishtar light' will gain a lot of fans."

    Not really. Removing 3 turrets and the gun bonus gimps this ship rather badly and the idea of a pure drone boat which can't even field a full set of spares is always ridiculous.

    And bonuses to drone velocity and drone tracking are just plain stupid. Worse than a split weapon bonus, the drone velocity bonus does nothing for sentries and the tracking bonus is equally useless for heavies.

    Even with a velocity bonus, heavies are slow and easy to hit/kill, esp. since you don't need to worry about any significant gun DPS (ie. ignore the VNI and kill its drones first).

    With sentries, the VNI will either be standing still or orbiting close to its drones. Fine for a heavily tanked battleship, but not so smart for a cruiser - esp. a cruiser with only 2 unbonused guns.

    A stock Vexor, with 4 bonused guns plus bonused medium drones, should have very little problem killing a VNI.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ya know... I don't think Rise, Fozzie or Ytterbium have ever actually flown Gallente ships, esp. the drone ships.

    ReplyDelete
  12. One thing to consider about the DNI is that with the explosion velocity bonus T2 missiles will be a lot more useful than they often are in the Drake. Using Rage/Fury gives the DNI slightly more DPS than a Drake with CN Scourge.

    ReplyDelete
  13. [Harbinger Navy Issue, Armor]
    Heavy Pulse Laser II,Conflagration M
    Heavy Pulse Laser II,Conflagration M
    Heavy Pulse Laser II,Conflagration M
    Heavy Pulse Laser II,Conflagration M
    Heavy Pulse Laser II,Conflagration M
    Heavy Pulse Laser II,Conflagration M
    Medium Unstable Power Fluctuator I

    Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I
    Medium Electrochemical Capacitor Booster I,Navy Cap Booster 800
    Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I
    Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I
    Faint Epsilon Warp Scrambler I

    Heat Sink II
    Heat Sink II
    Damage Control II
    Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
    Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
    1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I

    Medium Ancillary Current Router I
    Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
    Medium Trimark Armor Pump I

    Hammerhead II x 5

    Inherent Implants 'Squire' Engineering EG-603

    The 3% PG implant will be necessary to make this work, unfortunately. As stated, this may not have a role to excel in--Brutix Navy Issue might overlap this completely. Still, it looks like a good brawler to me.

    If only the T1 Harbinger had its cap usage bonus replaced too...

    ReplyDelete

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